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September 14, 1983 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-09-14

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Page 4

Wednesday, September 14, 1983

Reading the Daily's financial

By Barry Witt
One of the most difficult jobs newspaper
editors and executives have to deal with is
deciding how to cover one's own organization.
We must ask ourselves at what point we need to
write about not only what's going on around us,
but also what's happening to us.
When the Tribune Co., parent of the Chicago
Tribune and other newspapers nationwide,
recently decided to make its first public sale of
stock, the Tribune printed only wire service
coverage of the action, rather than allow its
own reporters to write the stories.
Here at the Daily, we don't have, wire ser-
vices interested in reporting our finances, so
we lack that independent source of information
to present to our readers. Nevertheless, that
doesn't preclude the possibility that the Daily
itself is newsworthy at certain times. And, in
fact, the Daily's financial shape probably is
worth reporting on today.
If some other major campus organization -
one which involves hundreds of students,
touches thousands of campus community
members every day, and does hundreds of
thousands of dollars worth of business each
year - were having financial troubles similar
to those the Daily has had in the last few years,
we'd likely be reporting on it on the front page.
SO HERE'S our attempt to let you - the
readers, know wha't's happening to your cam-
pus newspaper. We place it here, on the
Opinion Page, in order to avoid any criticism
that the story isn't sufficiently objective: On
this page, it doesn't have to be.
In the Daily's last fiscal year, which ran from

1980 and last year.
For you, our readers, our financial situation
has meant our first hike in the newsstand price
- from 10 cents to 15 cents - since 1968. It
also meant a temporary decrease in the num-
ber of days we published during this past sum-
mer - from a normal five day per week
schedule down tothree.
Most noticeable of all to members of the
staff, though less so to the reader, is our
inability to modernize our news operation with
a computer system common to most city
newspapers and an increasing number of
college dailies. For a college paper of our size,
stature, and quality, tapping away at ages-old
.Olympias can be degrading.
EACH YEAR, the suggestion that the Daily
become a "free drop" paper becomes more
appealing, even though most staff members
are opposed to it philosophically. Such a
system - used by the great majority of college
papers - would mean the Daily would be drop-
ped all over campus every morning - in-
creasing our circulation dramatically, but
taking away a good deal of the professional
nature of this student organization. We believe
we should be able to sell our product to our con-,
sumers - just as any city newspaper, dr any
business, does - and we hope to continue to
work in that manner. Staff members take a
great deal of pride in the fact that thousands of
readers are willing to pay for our product each
day and that the Daily isn't strewn about cam-
pus like other college publications.
Of course this gloomy portrait is by no means
the whole story of the paper. We hope that the
greatest reason for our losses has been the
generally poor level of economic activity in the
state, as well as in the newspaper industry. We
hope recent turnarounds in both areas will
benefit us as well.

The Michigan Daily
In fact, we already see several signs of en-
couragement. Although it's too early to tell,
September advertising sales appear to be up
over last year, and our fall circulation drive is
going well: In one day last week, the staff sold
some 550 subscriptions, far surpassing'our pre-
start of classes push in the last few years.
Our staff is also the best it's been in several
years. Eight returning editors, writers, and
photographers worked summer internships for
publications such as The Wall Street Journal,
The Los Angeles Times, The Pittsburgh Press,
and The Milwaukee Journal. Scores of new
writers interested in joining the staff have
come in already this term. And-the writing in
our first several editions generally has been the
best I've seen in a long time.
Our success or lack thereof this year really
will make no earth-shattering difference in the
paper's future. A few changes, for better or
worse, will be made, but that happens on
any newspaper. Our long-term viability will
depend on what students, faculty, and staff
think of what we're doing; in other words, their
interest in buying and reading the paper.
Towards that end, the staff is always curious to
know what you think of our work, the new
features we add, or those we drop, the events
we cover, or those we ignore. We welcome your
comments - either written, in person, or by
My greatest hope is that the paper I return to
in 1989, when we celebrate our 100th anniver-
sary, will be stronger than the one I leave
behind next year. Until then, I suppose, Daily
editors, managers, and staffers will continue to
make tough, but successful decisions.
Witt is the Daily's editor-in-chief.


Daily Photo by DOUG McMAHON
Economics 999: Seeing the Daily through tough times.

July 1, 1982 to June 30, 1983, the Daily lost
$76,000 on revenues of $458,000. That loss comes
on top of a previous year's deficit of $54,000, on
revenues of $490,000.
In years previous to that, interest on the
Daily's substantial endowment - earned from
Daily profits stretching back many decades -
made up for most yearly losses. Unfortunately,
however, losses from the last two years have

begun to eat away at the principal, not just
chew up the interest.
JUST WHY WE'VE been losing money is a
question that befuddles us. The bottom line, of
course, is a decrease in advertising and cir-
culation revenues - our only sources of in-
come. Anyone walking into our offices can see
a sales chart which shows advertising off in
some months by more than 41 percent between


6e niriya icatja
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan


Vol. XCIV - No. 6

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Cheering college presidents

presidents to
of intercollegiate at
what the National
Association needst
back into big-time c
Last week, a g
presidents introdu
form a committeec
would be able to v
tices of the NCAA.
the committee coul
for' the organiza
however, could b
majority vote of th
NCAA schools.
The proposed con
tainly have plentyc
NCAA, even too m
we believe the pre
ning system has
academic stand
presidents have a b
Currently, facul
each university vc
changes at an annu
much of the re
organization reside
of committees ands

3H by university
gain more control
thletics may be just
Collegiate Athletic
to bring academics
.ollege sports.
roup of university
ced a proposal to
of presidents which
eto rules and prac-
More importantly,

to research and propose rules.
This arrangement, however, has put
university presidents in the backseat
when dealing with athletic legislation.
Too often, the real rule makers in the
association have been athletic direc-
tors and coaches, rather than
academic officials.
This governing structure has led to
outright falsification of grades, cash
bribes, and bending athletes' ad-
missions requirements at even the

f -l



t -
l y /--
u i
I ~O~t MKR I~ hEWIGA t >4 vr

Id design new rules best institutions.
tion. The group, There is still a lot of details to be
e overruled by a hammered out 'on the presidents'
e presidents of all proposal. Perhaps the current
proposal would even give the presiden-
mmittee would cer- ts a bit too much power, so some
of power within the compromise is needed.
uch, some say. But But the idea is promising. The
esent NCAA gover- proposed structure, or something
failed to uphold similar to it, would put college
ards. University presidents - the highest ranking
etter chance to suc- academic officials - at the head of the
NCAA, while limiting the influence of
ty delegates from officials when eligibility and ad-
ote on NCAA rule missions rules are made.
ual convention. But The plan provides hope for a more
al power in the responsible NCAA that keeps an eye on
s with the barrage athletes' educations as well as their
staff the NCAA uses performance on the basketball court of
football field.


Game in the stands

too rowdy


I AuM t

. 1


To the Daily:
We are graduate students and
were ticket-holders to Saturday's
football game. We very strongly
protest the disorderliness
allowed by stadium employees.
We arrived at the stadium prior
to game time and were unable to
reach our seats for over 15
minutes because of the crush of
spectators in the aisle as they
moved up and down, freely
changing seats. When we came to
our area, we asked the students
sitting there to let us take our
seats. We were verbally abused
by a large crowd who lent support
to the refusal of these students to
move. We were pushed, then
shoved, and explicitly
threatened. When we said we
would ask the ushers to help us
gain our seats, we were jeered

seats, saying that it was unlikely
he could get the students to move
and that if he could, we would be
targets for others remaining
It is clear that the ushers would
have liked to help - and that the
stadium crowd is largely out of
control. We were witness to a
kind of unending pushing and
shoving, jockeying for seats, and
saw others like ourselves,
humiliated and helplessly losing
their assigned seats.
We would make several
recommendations to the staff,
probably ones they've thought of
and not yet undertaken, and we'll
hope that this immediate report
of such ugliness may encourage
some improvement. First, con-

sider randomizing seat assign-
ments so there is not the concen-
trated and universal student
resentment of inferior seating.
Second, assign many more
ushers so that every aisle has an
usher within calling distance -
say eight per aisle with three at
the entrance (if that's necessary)
and five stationed every 10 or 15
rows, both to be ready to assist
ticket-holders and by their
presence to discourage the in-
credibly self righteous seat-
changing. And third, to clearly
and publicly warn all ticket-
holders that seats are not reser-
ved and that no guarantee of
seating is given or implied by the
explicit ticket stub..
While we think the crowd's

general behavior poor, especially
those in the section we were
assigned to sit in, the staff is-
clearly responsible for the kinds:
of supervision and control that::
such large numbers of spectators
demand. We are hopeful that the
staff will be able to change the
tradition that has grown up
among these students in response
to the evident lack of restraint or
authority. Football and its
disciplined aggressiveness are no
excuse for barbarism on the part
of spectators.
We wish the stadium staff well
with this undertaking; we think
the problem can be solved.
-Chett Breed
Joe Mattingly
September 10
by Berke Breathed



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