By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
THE Punch, a media staple in The Bahamas for decades, is shutting down following this week’s death of longtime editor-in-chief and founder Ivan Johnson.
The tabloid appeared to announce the news in yesterday’s edition of the paper. Employees of the company confirmed to The Tribune that the publication is calling it quits.
Johnson died in hospital on Monday after suffering a sudden heart attack.
The Punch said yesterday: “We are immensely grateful to you, our loyal readers. It is because of you we have had this amazing, adventurous ride for the past 31 years. You have ridden this roller coaster with us and it has been a blast! This ride was not for the faint of heart, it was fast paced, constantly changing and its unpredictability made it exciting.
“Sometimes you held on for dear life, sometimes you screamed with excitement, other times, died in laughter, but you stayed, seat-belt fastened and enjoyed it with us, and we are grateful.”
Mr Johnson was rushed to Doctors Hospital after the heart attack Monday morning, where he was put on life support.
Through his controversial tabloid, he was a force in Bahamian media for decades. The Bahamas Press Club honoured him for his contributions in 2018 with the Pioneer Award.
His publication frequently drew the ire of politicians for stories and allegations published about them.
“On Monday October 4, 2021 the man with the fine-point pen penned his last issue and how fitting he had every single social media platform shut down worldwide in his honour, true Ivan Johnson fashion,” the tabloid said yesterday, referring to the global shutdown of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on Monday due to a system’s issue.
“He lived his life his way and would have had it no other way.
“It is with heavy hearts and a grateful spot that, on behalf of Ivan Nicholas Johnson, our editor-in-chief, we bid you farewell. May The Punch and the imprint it has made in our lives live on forever. In the words of Ivan, cheers Bahamas!” declared the tabloid’s final edition.