Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
September 20, 2010
Financial surplus marked by growth in ad revenue, support from parishes
The Western Catholic Reporter enjoyed another small financial surplus on its operations for the year ending March 31. The surplus of $39,970 was almost identical to the amount for the previous year.
The newspaper benefitted from a growth in advertising revenue that was mostly due to an increased number of pamphlets and brochures inserted into the newspaper.
Even so, continued growth in advertising revenue at the WCR has been contrary to that experienced by the daily newspaper industry across North America. While daily newspapers have been hit hard by slumping ad revenues, community and so-called specialty publications such as the WCR have not experienced the same downturn.
In the same vein, many smaller publications have not lost their relevance to readers to the same extent as print publications that focus on immediate, breaking news. Canadians continue to read publications that provide them with information about their local communities and that give a broader or specialized perspective on current happenings.
The largest source of revenue for the WCR is the parish assessment plan. Parishes in the Edmonton Archdiocese are assessed up to five per cent of their Sunday collections to pay for the operations of the WCR. In return, all registered parishioners are eligible to receive the newspaper through the mail.
Without that plan, the WCR could not hope to provide the same level and quality of coverage that it provides to the 35,000 homes that receive the newspaper.
On the other side, the newspaper provides readers with current Catholic perspectives and news in a world where a Catholic outlook is often not taken seriously. In many cases, the WCR is also the only weekly link between the Church and the home.
The value of the parish assessment plan is underlined by the recent decisions of the Vancouver and Toronto archdioceses to institute similar programs to put their weekly Catholic newspapers into as many homes as possible.
Another matter of note in this year's financial report is an increase of $42,000 in our personnel costs. Although it would be an instance of great happiness to announce that our staff received large pay increases, such is not the case. The increase came because of our filling a reporter position in February 2009 that had been vacant for almost a year.
At the WCR, we do our best to provide a just wage to our employees. We are limited by the funds available to us.
I am also pleased to note that our readers significantly increased their donations to us last year. We do not press hard for reader donations because most readers contribute indirectly to the WCR through donations to their parishes. But with this issue, we do make an envelope available to readers in the event they wish to make a direct contribution.
The WCR also appreciates the prayers that people offer on behalf of our newspaper and for the Catholic press in general. Perhaps the ministry of the Catholic press has never been more important than it is today. To carry out that ministry in a time of religious indifference and even hostility to the faith requires supernatural assistance. Thank you for the prayers you have offered and will offer in the future.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.