What happened?

Apr 19, 2019

So, last week I talked about letting go and I announced that we had decided to sell The Vegetable Bar.  As you can imagine, that surprised a lot of people.  But I think that’s a good thing, because the Cuenca expat community needs to have things tossed about every once in a while!

This week, I’m dropping another bomb: we have sold The Cuenca Dispatch!  You probably figured something was up just by the change in size.  So, why did we sell?  Well, simply put it was the best thing for both the newspaper and us.

We love The Cuenca Dispatch; it was “our baby.”  But in fact, we had gotten too close to it and weren’t willing to make the changes that needed to happen for it to grow.  That was hurting the newspaper and we were not serving the English-speaking readership as well as we could have.

Now, I’ll be honest and tell you that we were not “listing” the newspaper for sale as we did with The Vegetable Bar.  Selling it was the furthest thing from our minds. Sometimes these things happen just because the right people were talking to each other at the right time in the right place.  And that’s exactly what happened here.

I was meeting with Jony Mogrovejo — one of my two business partners from CuencaHighLife — to go over some cost cutting ideas for the newspaper, when I realized that he and I had very different visions for what The Cuenca Dispatch should be in the future.  And I realized that his ideas were better than mine.  Because he was not wedded to the newspaper the way I was.

He was able to look at it as an evolving information product, whereas I was not looking toward changing it anytime soon.  I had convinced myself that the size couldn’t be changed, that we couldn’t do without news from the US and Canada and that certain columns just had to stay.

Jony (who is a dual U.S.-Ecuadorian citizen) saw that the important news to expats here, the really important stuff they had trouble getting anywhere else, was not what was happening in the U.S. or somewhere else, but rather what was happening here.  And he wanted more of that news in the paper.  In fact, he wanted that to be what the newspaper was all about.  Again, he was right.

As we worked through the ideas of how a “new” Cuenca Dispatch would look, I came to the realization that this might be another thing for me to let go of.  For me to make the changes we had come up wouldn’t be easy.  Even though I like what the new paper looks like.

And that’s why this was one of those times of people being in the right place at the right time.  Because as our discussion went on I realized that not only should someone else own The Cuenca Dispatch, but that someone else was Jony.  Because he has the same passion for The Cuenca Dispatch that I do. And because I have been his partner for a year and I know that he has the energy and the intelligence to make The Cuenca Dispatch even more successful.

And that’s really all there was to it.  Jony bought the newspaper from me and brought his ideas of what it should be to you today.

You’ll see the focus is on local news.  The size has changed to make sure that the paper is financially sound (Jony negotiated a new printing contract that will help insure its long term survival); and there will be a lot of new locations added where you’ll be able to find copies of the newspaper.

Rest assured that the same team of writers and editors will be working behind the scenes to make sure The Cuenca Dispatch continues to be something you want to read.  And I’ll still be continuing this column for those of you who enjoy my writing.

Thank you to all of our readers for letting The Cuenca Dispatch be a small part of your lives for the last two-and-a-half years. Without you, we wouldn’t exist.

I’m just sayin.’

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