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Punch Closing Down After Founder’S Death

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Ivan Johnson, founder of The Punch tabloid, who died aged 68. He is pictured in 2018 receiving his Pioneer Award from the Bahamas Press Club. Photo: Press Club

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

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.

Comments

Clamshell 3 months, 2 weeks ago

“… how fitting he had every single social media platform shut down worldwide in his honour, true Ivan Johnson fashion,”

Huh?

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SP 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Talking shyt is a very serious thing!!

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KapunkleUp 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The Punch lost its way years ago.

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Baha10 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Truly “A New Day” … fanning innuendo and libelous rhetoric in an unregulated environment caused much unnecessary division in such a “small” community that was traditionally for the most part prior to The Punch harmonious.

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ohdrap4 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I will miss the grapevine. I recall when my neighbour here in "Sweetheart Gardens" waa featured. Once about her boss and twice about an aging politician. I do not know if the boss story was true. But the politician one, I know to be true.

Then a former boss of mine was featured for not paying bills. That one was true too. It is now too late to tell how he paid those bills.

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GodSpeed 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The Punch had a good run. The social media gossip pages stole much of their thunder. Print is dying anyway.

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Godson 3 months, 1 week ago

You are spot on but I think that they could have still survived with some creativity and pursistance,

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BONEFISH 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The Punch served a niche in this country. It filled Bahamians' appetites for gossip and sip sip about people's business. It had a good run for long time in this country.

The Punch never modernized or updated it's business operations. It never developed an on-line presence. So the paper was in decline for some time.

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killemwitdakno 3 months, 1 week ago

Does any business in this country have a contingency plan? Well, the punch has archives enough to earn forevermore.

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