The last issue of Spanish-language weekly Ahora Utah was published last Thursday, May 24. The Salt Lake Tribune, which launched the paper in May of 2008 pulled the plug citing insufficient ad revenues to support the publication.
“Essentially, it is the challenging economic environment. We had readers. We didn’t quite have the advertising support we needed to keep going,” Deputy Editor Tim Fitzpatrick said in a Tribune report.
Reporter Normand García wrote the farewell message in Spanish, highlighting some of the paper’s accomplishments during its 4 year run.
Ahora Utah had a circulation of about 11,000, distributed free of charge in Davis, Salt Lake and Utah counties and in Park City.
Josie Tiscareño, Ahora Utah’s editor, who left the paper in early April of this year for a job at La Opinión in Los Angeles, says she’s disheartened by the closure of the well-read weekly.
“As you can imagine, when I found out, I was very surprised and disappointed, because I was with Ahora Utah since its launch on May 28, 2008 and I hoped it would be published for a much longer time,” Josie tells me. “My former boss, Tim Fitzpatrick, says there was a lack of ad revenues to continue the weekly. My opinion is the company opted for an easy way out, a quick solution that would help them concentrate on the problems they were facing in their daily paper, where they had the biggest number of layoffs.”
The Tribune laid off 9 employees, Ahora Utah laid off its lone full-time staffer, reporter Normand García.
“I’m convinced Ahora Utah should have never been shut down,” insists Josie. ” Just like the Salt Lake Tribune was known to be ‘Utah’s Independent Voice,’ Ahora Utah was also the most independent and impartial Spanish news and entertainment source in the region.”
Josie points out the journalistic quality of the paper and the team that produced it was recognized with four Best of the West awards for best news, feature and sports reporting in Spanish.
“Ahora Utah’s readers are the ones that will undoubtedly feel the impact of the publication’s closure. The paper’s focus was not only present the most current news to Latinos and the general public, but the intention was to also enhance the cultural richness of the Hispanic community in Utah and the rest of the country… Because of all this, I believe this to be a very unfortunate loss.”