Summer is traditionally the most difficult time of the year for The Daily Californian.
With just two print editions a week, advertising revenue goes down, fewer students stick around to produce the paper, and readers see our print product less frequently. But we still have a multitude of fixed costs — printing, payroll and rent, among others.
As a result, we lose thousands of dollars over summer. In July 2011 alone, we had an operating loss of nearly $41,000.
This summer, we’re hoping to change that trend.
Starting the week of June 4, the Daily Cal will print three days a week — an initiative that we hope will bring in additional revenue to counter our expenses. If the program is successful, we expect to make an additional $15,000 from adding a third day of print.
For the first time in years, we will have a solid team of student account executives selling ads this summer. Due to a restructuring of our sales department last fall, we beat our budget goals for every month, September through April, and we expect to do the same for summer.
We’ve also made a push to hire more students on the editorial side and offer internship opportunities to high schoolers in the area.
Still, this program is a trial. We do not know for sure that $15,000 of incremental revenue is out there, and if it doesn’t come to fruition, we’ll return to two days of print for the remainder of the summer.
As we work to establish a sustainable business model, we are constantly seeking ways to increase revenues and cut costs without compromising the award-winning newspaper readers have enjoyed for 141 years. We are hopeful that this program will succeed and help us reduce our deficit for the next fiscal year.
Feel free to share with us your thoughts and input, and contact me at [email protected].
Stephanie Baer is the editor in chief and president. Contact her at [email protected]