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State Hornet Publications Board

10:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 28, 2009 • Green & Gold Room, Third Floor, University Union

Draft minutes
In attendance: Board members Nick Burnett, Holly Heyser, Adalto Nascimento, Lisa Oman, and
Todd Wilson, and in place of Tom Carroll, Karlos Santos-Coy.

1. The May 11, 2009, minutes were approved unanimously.

2. Reports
A. Editor in Chief Todd Wilson reported on:
i. Awards – The State Hornet won Best in Show for four-year, non-daily
newspapers at the Associated Collegiate Press summer convention in
Minneapolis in July. Wilson also took first place for opinion writing in July
in the Capitolbeat statehouse national reporting contest.
ii. First four issues – Newspaper production has gone relatively well. The
students have implemented some design changes that are being received
well. There have been some staffing changes, with editors being shifted into
different positions. The Hornet ran a page-one correction recently to address
forthrightly problems in an article about a lawsuit.
Board member Nick Burnett urged Wilson to prepare a plan for continuing to put
out the newspaper if there is a swine flu outbreak that takes editors out of
B. Faculty Adviser Holly Heyser reported on:
i. New printing company – The Hornet’s printer, Herald Publishing, went out
of business at the end of July, and an emergency RFP brought five bids. The
best offer was from Herburger Publications. Printing with Herburger has
gone fairly well, but there have been some billing questions. The contract
may not save as much money as initially hoped when The Hornet received
the bid, but costs should be commensurate with what was budgeted for the
ii. Inventory – Tighter controls of Hornet inventory are in place, and all
recording equipment that is loaned to students (camera, audio, video) now
has durable university inventory sticker IDs, rather than the faded stickers
that had been in place, which should make monitoring of inventory easier.
C. Budget Advisory Committee Chair Lisa Oman reported on:
i. Budget – The president approved the budget submitted by the Publications
board in May.
ii. The Budget Advisory Committee would be setting a quarterly meeting
schedule shortly.
3. Budget – Heyser reported that ad sales have been extremely weak for the first five issues as
a result of the weak economy. While it may be too early to project accurately, current
trends might have the newspaper on track for a $60,000-$80,000 shortfall – 17 percent to
22 percent of the budget.
Heyser identified $14,500 in easy savings – money that was budgeted and was not likely
to be spent because of changing plans (sticking with current free web host, failure to get a
tech support intern, cost savings from Heyser’s furlough time, and marketing money that
the paper can do without).
Options for addressing the shortfall beyond that include:
i. Changing the pay structure for ad reps in hopes of increasing ad sales.
ii. Tapping potential clients that are advertising in competitor newspapers.
iii. Using the Hornet’s contingency fund, which sits at $150,000.
iv. Cutting spending. After the identified savings, the only places left to cut are
personnel costs, meaning pay cuts.
Heyser said – and Oman agreed – that it would be premature to make major cutting
decisions this early in the process, but that the board will likely need to take action after it
has one to two months of additional ad sales data in hand.
4. Other business – Heyser noted that the Publications Board needs to fill one vacant at-large
student position and asked for recommendations from board members. Ideally, candidates
would NOT have worked at The Hornet.
5. The board adjourned until 10:30 a.m. Oct. 26, 2009.

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