Image via Wikipedia The Daily Californian at Berkeley is taking a drastic step to cut losses this year. It’s cutting back the production schedule, dropping Wednesday’s issue.
Editor Bryan Thomas writes:
The Daily Californian is in a difficult financial condition, and with the beginning of our fall production cycle this week, we are implementing a number of changes that impact the community and campus we serve.
In short, beginning next week the Daily Cal will no longer be publishing a Wednesday edition of the newspaper, though we will maintain a full online edition. We will also be scaling back the size of our staff and reducing compensation.
Thomas blames the cuts on declining ad revenue and increasing costs.
Will this be a trend? It’s too early to tell. California’s economic woes are much more severe than other parts of the country, and the Daily Californian is a fully independent paper, which makes it much more susceptible to the economic pressures facing the professional newspaper industry than papers that rely more on university funds to supplement advertising revenue.
But there are indications (anecdotal) that the economic slowdown across the U.S. is starting to filter down to college media, especially as states and universities struggle to balance their budgets. I have heard of several school news outlets that have cut their travel budgets and looked more closely at circulation to lower costs.
If there is good that can come out of this action by the Daily Californian, it is that they might be able to experiment with the online site on Wednesdays to increase campus readership.