Year in Reiew
THE INDEPENDENT DAILY AT DUKE UNIvERSITY
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Ripped from theHeadlines:
Awards, Honors and Transitions:
Beloved professor,the late Susan Tifft
Succeeding in Challenging Media Times
Hello, Chronicle alums and riends. It’s mypleasure to update you on the operational andnancial condition o Duke Student PublishingCompany (DSPC), the publisher o The Chronicle.DSPC is strong and healthy in eery way.Huge changes in the media industry, along witha deep recession, hae had dramatic eects on allnewspapers, and The Chronicle is no exception.We’e had to make some tough decisions to meetthe challenge, and those decisions hae madeDSPC a stronger institution. We are emerging witha healthy balance sheet, solid nancial reseresand a continued commitment to publish e days aweek. Adertising reenue has decreased about 25%since its peak in 2005-06, but we hae decreasedoperating expenses by 27% to maintain our nancialequilibrium.Like most newspapers, The Chronicle has reliedon adertising as its primary source o reenue. In allbut two years since DSPC’s inception, the companyhas generated sucient reenue to coer costs andmake a positie cash contribution to operating andresere unds. The current net worth o the companyis now oer $2 million.
A quick look back:
DSPC was created in 1993 as a 501(c)(3)independent, non-prot educational corporation.This moe proided administratie independencerom the Uniersity to ensure that The Chronicle’soice would be without muzzle. Independence alsobrought an end to the nancial subsidy we receiedannually rom Duke student actiity ees.Almost immediately, DSPC began to diersiy. TheChronicle was one o the rst campus newspapers togo online, during the 1994-95 school year, and theWeb site has since been reinented numerous timesby Duke students. The Chronicle Online consistentlyranks among the top 20 most isited campusnewspaper Web sites in the country. On aerage,online readers – students, aculty, sta, Durhamresidents, parents and alumni – iew more than350,000 pages each month (up to 600,000 duringMarch Madness).Oer the years, we hae been blessed withamazingly talented students and proessional sta.They hae made extraordinary contributions,continuing our mission to be the primary source o campus news at Duke and to proide a high-qualityjournalistic and educational experience to students.The Chronicle remains the fagship o thecompany and is as – or more – entrenched in theDuke Uniersity culturethan eer. Studentreadership o TheChronicle is consistentlyin the 90%-plus range,with other Uniersitydemographic segmentsranging rom more than60% to more than 80%.DSPC’s Board o Directors recently began tocreate a blueprint or the company’s uture. It hasmoed aggressiely to create a culture that ostersstudent innoation, eoles with the changingindustry and propels The Chronicle to the oreront o new media technology. This eort has guided manyo the decisions that the board and the companyhae made oer the past 18 months:
expand the number o student employees and reducethe number o proessionals who sell adertising orThe Chronicle. Students hae taken this challengeand run with it. In 2010-11, we are on course toincrease adertising reenue oer last year, therst gain in seeral years. Few, i any, campusnewspapers o our size and requency are expectingreenue increases this year.
committed to Web planning, marketing anddeelopment – an unprecedented number o students deoted to new media among daily campusnewspapers. Our student deelopment grouplaunched the new and improed Chronicle Web sitein October 2009, and is currently re-engineering itto improe both its sustainability and unctionality. Anew mobile app will be aailable later this academicyear.
(http://qduke.com/). Designed to be eery student’s
(online course registration), Blackboard, Webmail,the DukeCard oce, dining serices, campus mapsand, o course, The Chronicle Online. Student use o
we owned the site.
is now an ocial sponsor o the Duke GlobalEntrepreneurship Network (DukeGEN). Through thissponsorship, the company will be able to identiyand capitalize on new ideas in media proposed bystudents. One idea rom last year’s DukeGEN StartupChallenge has potential or us, and we are currentlyexploring the possibility o a partnership.
by Jonathan C. Angier IV
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