Letter from the Record board to the CC listserv, May 6

Dear College Council representatives,

Thank you very much for giving us time at your last meeting. We truly appreciate your interest and input.

Although we recognize that this is entirely your decision, as it should be, we hope that CC will move to buy a full-page black-and-white ad from the Record each week next year. With the 20 percent campus discount and the 10 percent frequent user discount, this would amount to $332.50 a week, or $7315 for the year. We are confident that we will be able to make ends meet with this added revenue, and we will make whatever cuts necessary to do it.

In name, this proposal requests that CC buy ads from the Record. In effect, it is asking that CC give all students a newspaper. Although this will cost students more than the current price — i.e. $0 — a full-page ad will amount to less than $4 per student per year, and less than 5 percent of our subscription rate.

We would be more than happy to answer whatever questions you have about Record cash flows, printing costs, what little we know of indiscretions by former boards or any other subject. Below this message, we’re also including a list of what we have done to increase revenue and cut costs since we were notified of the deficit last fall.

We know that all of you in the room understand what it feels like to channel large amounts of time, energy and emotion into a greater campus cause. As pleasant as it would be to throw in the towel and regain half of our weeks, each of us has committed to the Record because we believe that every Williams student benefits from having access to a physical newspaper every week: whether that means sharing your opinion in an op-ed about a critical issue, or having your phenomenal goal affirmed in a sports article, or living in a more accountable campus because one of your classmates dared to challenge a administrative decision in a news article quote. We hope that, as you vote next week, you will see this decision not only as paying for paper and ink, but also as enriching the whole Williams campus.

Many thanks,
Yue-Yi, on behalf of the Record editorial board

Revenue generation

Account Executive Program: paid solely on commission, soliciting new ad contracts
Subscriptions: initiatives to increase parental and alumni awareness at on-campus events
Web ads: from three different online ad services, as well as local businesses (e.g. the Orchards)
Commencement Issue ads campaign: extra round of solicitation drew in $3000 in ad revenue from parents

Expenditure trims

Reduction in printing price: savings of $144/week
Cleaning subscriptions database: savings of $280/week
Business Manager, Advertising Manager and Treasurer have forgone wages for fiscal year 2010
Deliverer: savings of ~$50/week
End-of-semester banquet: all editors now pay their own tabs entirely
Annual archives are no longer bound into books for editors: savings of $1000/year
All software and hardware (e.g. printer) updates have been put on hold