Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 27, 1999
WCR records second straight surplus
After several years with small deficits, the WCR recorded its second consecutive major surplus in its 1998-99 fiscal year. The paper ended the year with a surplus of $42,639.
We recorded that surplus even though we made a significant expenditure by printing our front, back and centre pages in full colour every week. Yet because of lower newsprint prices, our total expenditure was actually lower than it was two years previously.
We plan to use the major part of our surplus to reduce our debt to the Edmonton Archdiocese.
The WCR continues to spend its money in a prudent fashion. It's a responsibility we take seriously because more than half of our revenue comes through the parish assessment plan - from contributions to the collection plate made by Catholics in the archdiocese.
But the WCR is also committed to providing our readers with the best possible Catholic newspaper. One area of increased spending in the last year was for freelance writers. We have used our extra resources to provide greater local coverage, especially in the area of Catholic education.
The WCR's commitment to serving our readers was recognized by the Canadian Church Press in April. For the second year in a row, the WCR was named Canada's best regional Church newspaper by the association of more than 75 Canadian Christian publications.
The CCP's judges said the WCR is "a top-notch regional publication that rivals some of its national competitors in sheer quality."
Recently, we received some other good news. In the spring, Canada's major Catholic newspapers were threatened with the loss of a postal subsidy to be provided through the Canadian Heritage department. Loss of the subsidy - about $300,000 a year - would have forced the WCR to be distributed in some way other than through the mail. The department argued that because we had established Canadian Catholic News service to share stories with each other that we were not providing enough "original Canadian content."
We fought the government on that issue and won. The WCR recently received verbal approval from Canadian Heritage of our application, pending the completion of a circulation audit. That audit has now been completed and we expect to receive formal approval of our application soon.
Our revenue from the parish assessment has grown significantly the last few years. The archdiocese is working toward a more equitable sharing of the cost of the WCR among parishes.
This has meant significant revenue increases for the WCR - a situation which will change in the next couple of years as our revenue from the parish assessment levels out.
Advertising is one area where our revenue appears to have reached a plateau. We had several years of strong growth in the early 1990s, but have been unable to continue that growth in the last four or five years.
Advertising is an important source of revenue for the WCR; the WCR is also a good place for many businesses and organizations to advertise. Advertising also enables our readers to know about services available to them. More advertising leads to larger newspapers and more space for news and opinion articles.
We urge our readers to support our advertisers and also urge organizations and businesses to consider advertising in the WCR.
We encourage you to consider using the envelope included with this issue to make a donation to the WCR. Please also pray for the WCR that our work for Jesus and his Church may bear abundant fruit.
- Glen Argan
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
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