Local Spanish paper closes

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Newspapers in time of crisis

By Nathan L. McBroom

A local Spanish news publication is saying adios.

Hoy en las Americas produced its last issue Thursday after eight years of providing local, regional and national news for Spanish readers in Louisville and Shelbyville. The paper, which was owned by Landmark Community Newspapers Incorporated, had its offices at The Sentinel-News in Shelbyville. Close to 90 percent of the paper’s 5,000 weekly copies were distributed in Louisville and southern Indiana – with close to 500 copies of the free publication being delivered locally. Kerry Johnson, the newspaper’s publisher, said hard economic times required difficult business decisions. “Hoy was simply not the right product to continue with right now,” he said. “The current economic crisis has eliminated the viability of the product.” Johnson said he and the staff have appreciated their readers and advertisers through the years. The paper had three full-time and two part-time employees, along with some outside sales staff. The staff was notified on the paper’s cancellation on Monday of this week, and those whose jobs were eliminated  have been offered a severance package. Hoy General Manager, Margarita Green, said the paper has meant a great deal to her and to the entire Hispanic community. “We were the only local weekly news source for the Hispanic community,” she said. “It’s hard to say goodbye.” In the last issue of the paper, Green wrote an editorial thanking the readers for their support." And if the economic crisis continues, many more publications could follow in Hoy's footsteps. The newspaper industry is currently facing a myriad of obstacles as it tries to weather the nation’s economic storm. Print production costs have continued to increase while the economic crisis has made advertisers less willing to spend money on ads. In Louisville, The Courier-Journal announced on Thursday that it will eliminate 51 jobs through voluntary buyous and layoffs. people. Byron Crawford, the papers longtime columnist and a Shelby County resident, was among the employees who volunteered to accept the severance package.