An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

An association for alumni and supporters of The Daily Texan

Friends of The Daily Texan

Contact Information
Friends of The Daily Texan, Inc.
1401 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

[email protected]

Weekly Texan? Pushback begins at TSM meeting

By Nicole Cobler / The Daily Texan

In the face of serious financial shortfalls, the Texas Student Media board discussed a budget proposal on Friday which would include reducing The Daily Texan to a weekly, rather than daily, printing schedule. A final vote to determine the budget is scheduled for next month.

TSM board president Dave Player said moving to a weekly paper would not necessarily improve funding for the paper, because reduced print costs would be paired with reduced ability to run advertisements.

“There’s some scenarios where, if we go weekly, we don’t actually save money because of that loss of ad revenue,” Player said.

TSM senior program coordinator C.J. Salgado said she could not predict if the number of active advertising clients would stay the same with a transition to a once of week publication.

“We have no way of knowing how the markets are going to respond,” Player said. “There are a lot of unknowns.”

TSM interim director Frank Serpas said although there were many factors to calculate, he believes cutting print is the only viable solution to avoid draining TSM reserves completely.

“My position is this is the most knowable outcome amongst many unknowable things,” Serpas said. “In my estimation, we have already sort of lost this game.”

Board member Jeff Cohen, executive editor at The Houston Chronicle, said analysis of the effects of reducing the print schedule should have been done years ago and the change is something The Daily Texan is not ready for.

“I believe that going to a weekly would be severely damaging to the history and perhaps the brand,” Cohen said. “We really need to see corrective action in these reports before passing the budget.”

Last year, the TSM board considered reducing The Daily Texan’s print schedule, but ultimately decided to continue a five-day print schedule while halving student wages across the board, reducing student manager tuition reimbursements and budgeting in a loss.

The board asked Serpas to provide an alternative budget proposal that keeps the print publication schedule to five days per week and adds advertising staff to boost revenue. It also scheduled an interim meeting for March 7 to discuss the alternatives and plans to make a decision at its March 21 meeting.