For nearly a quarter-century the Arkansas Times in Little Rock has produced a Spanish-language newspaper, El Latino. But its website now leads off with the words “última edición” — last edition.
Times Publisher Alan Leveritt confirmed to Whispers last week that El Latino printed its final issue in late March, a victim of dwindling advertising revenue.
“We’ve been doing it now for 23 years, I think, and advertising was feathering down,” said Leveritt, who founded the Arkansas Times as the Union Station Times in 1974. “We haven’t figured out a way to stop it. Finally it got to a point where it wasn’t worth doing anymore.”
El Latino’s readership was strong to the end, he said. “But, as you know, we’ve just got to have people who want to advertise. We were down to a staff of two, and it just wasn’t working anymore.”
The Times will continue to publish its Immigrants Guide to Arkansas, or Guía de Información Para el Inmigrante en Arkansas, and in fact will double its frequency to twice a year, Leveritt said.
El Latino’s two employees, Editor Michel Leidermann and Advertising Director Louis Garciarossi, will remain with the Arkansas Times in its special publications group, working on the guide.
“That has been a very successful statewide publication for us,” Leveritt said, describing it as a valuable handbook for immigrants arriving in Arkansas.
“It tells what the laws are, where to get the kids in school, and identifies certain cities and parts of the state that are better to live in if you’re an immigrant, and perhaps some member of your family is out of status.”
Leveritt said driving with a broken taillight will simply bring a traffic ticket in some jurisdictions. “In other cities, they’re going to turn you over” to Immigration & Customs Enforcement. “That’s the kind of thing the guide tries to explain.”