Letter from the Publisher: Ojalá it’s only hasta luego

September 28, 2012

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From the print edition

This is the last print edition of The Tico Times.

It’s a decision we obviously wish we didn’t have to make, and we put it off as long as we possibly could.

Yet we can’t complain. Like stubborn old folks who hang onto life against all odds, the TT print edition managed to survive far longer than we had a right to hope for.

For the last four years, this feisty little paper has been fighting for its life, and it finally succumbed – but it fought the good fight, nobly and fairly, and we’re proud of that.

The reasons for the print edition’s demise are many.  Some, such as the Internet revolution that turned the newspaper industry on its ear and the global recession that clobbered our principal advertisers, could not have been avoided. Others, such as our lack of long-term vision and a series of fatal decisions, could have.

We mistakenly believed that our niche status somehow protected us. Unlike the Big Guns in the industry, we were unencumbered by weighty bureaucracies. We figured we were flexible, agile, capable of changing course quickly.

The trouble is, we waited too long to do it – and unlike the Big Guns, we didn’t have a big financial cushion. By the time circumstances forced us to rethink our direction, we had used up our reserves and had nothing left to invest in the huge changes that urgently needed to be made.

Would it have made any difference of we’d done things differently? Who knows:  Bigger and stronger papers than the TT have had to give up the ghost too. What’s certain is that many heroic efforts by many people were unable to reverse the downward spiral.

But it hasn’t been all bad. We have witnessed one miracle after another, thanks to our many angels – our dedicated staffers whose love for the paper kept them going way beyond the call of duty, under difficult conditions and terrible economic constraints; the wonderful former staffers who have given their time, expertise and economic help, without which we would have disappeared long ago; dear friends of the paper who have helped us in so many ways. Thank you, all of you, de todo corazón.

And thank you to our incredibly talented contributors, our loyal readers and our advertisers, who never stopped believing in the paper. We are truly proud that, despite its struggles, The Tico Times always maintained its high standards of journalistic excellence, integrity and community service. It has been a unique, independent voice. And it never sold its soul. Hopefully it has been a worthy model in that sense at least! 

We still have a lot of valuable projects we hope to launch and many stories we hope to write, and we hope the Online Edition will continue to serve our readers around the world.

To our print subscribers: We will be refunding the balance of your subscriptions as soon as we can. We thank you in advance for your patience, as we sort out our considerable financial mess.

To all of our readers: Thanks for being with us for so many years. With any luck, The Tico Times will arise from the ashes in a new form, and this is only hasta luego.

¡Ojalá!

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