Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 29, 2008
Added revenue leads to banner year for WCR
The Western Catholic Reporter ended its 2007-08 fiscal year with a surplus of more than $57,000.
Several factors led to that surplus. The largest was an increase of almost $40,000 in the assessment that parishes paid to the WCR that is based on five per cent of their Sunday collections.
Our advertising revenue also increased by more than $23,000. This was due in part to extra revenue from special supplements devoted to the installation of Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith and Bishop Murray Chatlain of Mackenzie-Fort Smith.
However, regular advertising also increased. Organizations and businesses find the WCR to be the best way to reach out to the Catholic community.
A third major source for the surplus was less desirable. The WCR was short one reporter for four months during that fiscal year. We saved a salary for that period but at the cost of not being able to provide fuller news coverage to our readers.
We continue to struggle in our search for a reporter who is both capable and willing to meet the unique journalistic needs of the Catholic community.
While our financial picture at the WCR has been quite positive for several years, some dark clouds are on the horizon. The rapidly rising cost of paper has resulted in a large increase in the cost of printing the paper effective in late August.
As well, Heritage Canada is planning to revamp its Publications Assistance Program, which last year subsidized the postal costs of the WCR to the tune of nearly $353,000.
Canada Post has provided one-quarter of the funding for that program since its establishment. The post office has said that it will withdraw that funding effective April 1, 2009.
That, combined with the planned realignment of the PAP itself at the same time, could have a huge negative effect on the WCR and numerous other large and small publications across Canada.
Organizations representing magazine and newspaper publishers are trying to get the political parties to address this situation during the current federal election campaign.
In short, the WCR is in a good financial situation at the moment. But the future is unclear.
- Glen Argan
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