Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 18, 2006
WCR ekes out a surplus for 2005-06
Increase in postal costs create dark cloud for future
The Western Catholic Reporter posted a surplus of nearly $18,000 for its 2005-06 fiscal year that ended March 31. The surplus, however, is deceptive in that it does not fully reveal the dark cloud hovering over the newspaper's financial situation.
Our revenue last year remained largely unchanged from the previous year, except for an increase in donations and an increase in bank interest income.
Our expenses have remained largely stable as well. The one exception is a sharp increase of nearly $40,000 for mailing and publishing costs.
Our printing costs increased by $9,000 due to the larger issues of the newspaper we published during the last fiscal year. However, the largest increase by far is with the cost of mailing the newspaper which shot up by $27,000.
This increase is due to a change in how Heritage Canada calculates the mailing subsidy that it provides to newspapers through its Publications Assistance Program.
Because this change took place Nov. 1, 2005 - halfway through our fiscal year - we have still not experienced the full shock of this cut. We anticipate our mailing costs will rise by another $26,000 this fiscal year, due to the decreased subsidy and increased postal rates.
The Canadian government has subsidized the mailing costs of newspapers since the 1840s, convinced that those subsidies are essential to guaranteeing the exercise of democracy and a vibrant Canadian culture.
There is little likelihood that the subsidies will be eliminated. But changes in how the subsidies are applied can have a serious effect on small newspapers like the WCR.
Since 2003, the assessment that the Edmonton Archdiocese charges parishes for the support of the WCR has remained stable or, in some cases, declined. In the meantime, our expenses have steadily risen.
As a result, parishes whose revenues have increased over the last three years will see their assessments also increase effective Jan. 1, 2007.
The WCR very much appreciates the support parishes and individual readers provide to the newspaper. Without that support, the Church would not have a constant presence in the homes of those thousands of our readers who only infrequently attend Sunday Mass.
- Glen Argan
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