Dear Aggie Readers,
The California Aggie has been forced to make several mid-year budget cuts in order to try and meet our mounting deficit. The most visible of these cuts, and the one likely to affect you the reader most significantly, is the decision to cease production of Friday’s printed issue. The Friday issue will still be available online at theaggie.org. For Aggie sports fans out there, never fear, the Lineup will be moved to Thursday.
Other less visible cuts that we’ve had to make include closing the front office on Fridays, removing stipends for staff writers and staff photographers, cutting manger pay and slightly reducing the circulation of the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday issues. We have also made an effort to remove anything not absolutely necessary from The Aggie’s budget, including money for staff retreats, special training, certain office supplies and the water cooler.
Historically, The Aggie’s expenses have been fairly even with advertising revenue. For the past several years, however, ad sales, The Aggie’s only source of revenue, have been in sharp decline. This year marks a new low. The primary reasons behind this are two-fold.
First, for approximately the past five years, newspapers everywhere have been finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet due to the increasing popularity of online publishing. Readers can get the same news for free whenever they want, usually at a faster pace. By-the-second updates have made print media less than optimal as a primary news source. By and large, even the best newspapers have struggled to adapt to this new environment. The New York Times, for example, recently started to run front-page advertisements and is facing $1.1 billion in debt. The recent $250 million investment by Mexico based telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim has put off the worst of their troubles for the time being, but their problems are still indicative of the industry as a whole.
The Aggie, along with other college newspapers, has a largely captive audience. As a result, industry ills are often delayed in affecting this newspaper. Those problems, however, have finally come to the fore and are the reason for our increased work on our website as well as our budget cuts.
Second, the abysmal state of the national economy has made advertisers wary of purchasing any ad space, let alone space in a college newspaper. Until the economy improves, it is unlikely that advertising for The Aggie will see any significant increase from what it is right now. Because The Aggie’s budget needs to be based on solid data and expectations instead of hopeful forecasts, it was deemed necessary to make drastic cuts right now in order to address the deficit The Aggie will face at the end of the year.
These cuts, while unfortunate, are not without precedent. The Daily Californian, for example, no longer produces a Wednesday print edition.
These are likely the extent of the publicly visible budget slashes, though The Aggie’s management continues to meet with both the Campus Media Board and a special subcommittee of the media board devoted to the discussion of Aggie finances. The ultimate goal is to keep The Aggie printing for as many days a week as possible for as long as possible. We take our duty to provide the UC Davis campus and surrounding community with news and information very seriously.
We strongly encourage you to continue reading The Aggie’s Friday articles online at our website (theaggie.org); our reporters and editors are still working their very hardest to bring you up to date information about the community you live in.
We thank you for your continued readership and support.
Editor in Chief
Anyone with questions or concerns about these changes should feel free to contact The Aggie at firstname.lastname@example.org