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Daily Takes A Hit

For economic reasons, the Daily is having to cut back. Maybe OurLeader could learn something from the student newspaper?

From the Strib:

U student newspaper to eliminate one daily edition

By JENNA ROSS, Star Tribune

January 7, 2009

Starting this month, the independent student newspaper at the University of Minnesota will cease publication on Fridays and expand its coverage online.

Advertising had been declining steadily, and in September, "everything blew up," said Vadim Lavrusik, the paper's editor-in-chief and one of three co-publishers.

Without cuts, the paper's revenues were headed 30 to 35 percent below budget for the year, said co-publisher John Scholz. So the team announced changes. Among them: slashing bonuses, paying per story rather than per hour, combining the sports and news sections, publishing four days a week instead of five.

"This was our way of thinking for the future and the sustainability of the Daily as a news organization, moving it online," Lavrusik said.

Some student newspapers, especially those run separate from their schools, have been hit by the same trends. This fall, the Daily Californian at University of California at Berkeley and the Daily Orange at Syracuse University cut publication from five to four days.

The Minnesota Daily has a staff of more than 150 and circulation of about 20,000. Its online readership ranges from 10,000 to 15,000 unique hits daily, Lavrusik said.

The staff plans to expand the amount and the display of sports and entertainment content throughout the weekend and create a "portal" for student groups to chat and announce their events.

"Some people would say, you're not going to be providing as much to the university community," Scholz said, "when actually, we're going from a five-day content source to a seven-day content source."

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