Wednesday, June 19, 2024

A farewell message from our founder, Tony Richards

It has been a wild and crazy eight-year ride, but I would do it all over again given the chance. Mexico News Daily moves into a new phase after the newspaper changed ownership on September 9.

This newspaper was born of a notion: if other expats were like me and interested to know what’s going on in this country but had difficulty reading Spanish, would they not welcome an English-language newspaper about Mexico?

They would, and they did.

Word of mouth in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, kicked things off after I published our first three stories on June 5, 2014. An email newsletter was well received after its launch in August, and then a few thousand dollars in Facebook advertising gave Mexico News Daily the big boost it needed. Reader numbers have grown ever since.

Tony Richards
Tony Richards, founder of Mexico News Daily

We rode the “Trump Bump” along with many other newspapers and watched traffic soar as people looked for reactions to Donald Trump’s unflattering remarks about Mexico. Then AMLO became president on this side of the border. Everyone wanted to know what was up with the career politician who had achieved his dream of winning the presidency.

But our best year ever for reader growth was 2020 – COVID was the big story and led the headlines for most of that year.

There have been many highs and many lows in this adventure. Huge spikes in traffic took down the server many times, and until Starlink internet service came along at our base in Puerto Escondido, the signal was atrocious. Ad revenues proved early on to be unreliable and insufficient, which led us to the paid subscription model and having to learn and embrace the challenges of three consecutive systems.

But my god, it’s been fun.

Image of in 2014
A look at how the Mexico News Daily site looked early on, in 2014.

It’s been 30 years since I first took a newspaper online. It was a wondrous thing then to have the potential to reach a huge, international audience. And it still is for anyone who has come from the print newspaper business. Simply knowing how many people read any given story is an amazing advance from the old days.

At MND, more advances are on the way.

New energy, new ideas and new investment are going to take the newspaper to another level under the leadership of new owners Travis and Tamanna Bembenek of San Miguel de Allende.

They are excited about the future and eager to begin implementing changes that will broaden and improve our coverage, grow our subscriber list and solidify MND’s position as the premier source of English-language news in Mexico.

Mexico News Daily‘s new owners, Travis and Tamanna Bembenek.

To our subscribers, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude for your support. Many have been with us since those heady but apprehensive days of 2018 when we first implemented a paywall.

And to the team of Mexicophiles whose labors have made this newspaper what it is, thank you for all you have done and continue to do.

¡Viva Mexico News Daily!

— Tony Richards

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