The Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, the Collegian’s parent company, will slash its budget to the tune of $164,000, corporation president Larry Steward announced Tuesday.
The reductions come as the organization has experienced severe drop-offs in revenue in recent years, steadily falling behind its peers, according to a PowerPoint presentation given by Steward to Collegian editors Tuesday.
The paper has already seen reductions in readership and advertising revenue this fiscal year.
In comparison with revenues from July 1 through the fifth week of school in 2008, revenues from the same period this year have fallen 18 percent. Revenues have fallen off 38 percent, or almost $90,000, from the same time period in 2005.
According to the presentation, Collegian advertising revenue — the driving revenue for RMSMC, which also houses CTV, College Avenue magazine and KCSU — has decreased over 25 percent since 2005 and is projected to decrease an additional 18 percent in fiscal year 2010, leaving it almost $400,000 below its 2005 rates.
In 2009, the Collegian brought in $28.96 for each CSU student, almost $10 less than in 2005. This statistic places the paper $8 per student below the average collected by peer student newspapers. The presentation did not specify which newspaper revenues it compared to the Collegian’s.
The most significant cuts will be to the salaries of the corporation’s six professional staff members, five who act as advisors to the student staffs, which will see a total reduction of $48,000. Steward is the sixth staff member./
A proposed upgrade in broadcast facilities, which would cost $40,000, has been deferred to a later date. The corporation also plans to outsource its payroll service.
At the beginning of the fall semester, RMSMC transferred its printing business to Lehman Printing Center, saving the corporation an estimated $35,000 annually.
The organization cut its budget by $13,000 by decreasing the amount of space it rents from the Lory Student Center, giving over the use of an area that had previously been used for storage.
In addition to the cuts, Steward suggested that a new business plan be drawn up for the corporation to address marketing and advertising issues. No specific aspects of the new business plan were included in the presentation.
Though no definite criticism of the paper’s current content was given, Steward’s presentation suggested that the newspaper take a more student-oriented focus to attract more readers, providing intramural sport coverage as an example.
Senior Reporter Matt Minich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.