The Tico Times S.A. has killed its sister publication in Nicaragua, The Nica Times.
The news was confined to a small box in the last issue of the newspaper Friday. The box was addressed to “Dear Readers” and simply said that the newspaper was closing at the end of February after six years of providing news.
Although no reason was given, The Tico Times had never successfully exploited the Nicaraguan advertising market. The last four-page issue had just five display ads and just two classifieds. The largest ad was from the government’s Nicaraguan tourism institute.
Although described as a separate newspaper, The Nica Times was inserted in weekly copies of The Tico Times. For copies sold in Nicaragua, The Nica Times was wrapped around The Tico Times. In addition to the lack of advertising, the printed paper had to be distributed to some 38 locations in Nicaragua from San José. That represented a significant expense.
The situation is similar to that facing other print publications in these days of Internet communication.
In addition, the growing authoritarianism of the Daniel Ortega government is not good for business, U.S. tourism or English-speaking retirees.
The Tico Times, itself, has admitted to experiencing some of the same problems and has created a non-profit companion to seek donations to assist in news coverage and other expenses.
A major problem for the 55-year-old publication is the price of paper that has resulted in a per copy sales price of 600 colons, some $1.21, and listed advertising rates that can be more than $2,000 for a single back page color ad.