Publishers Corner: Update on the economics of local news

Last year in this space, we reported that the Press was approaching the end of its ninth year with a problem. The reality of the cost of running a local news operation, compared to advertising and subscription income, threatened our existence. We had begun the Press with no-strings-attached gifts of more than $120,000, but annual operating losses in recent years of between $10,000 and $20,000 had depleted those funds.

The response to last year’s call to action was encouraging. One of our subscriber families offered to match up to $5,000 of gifts, and nearly 100 households (see list of donors below) sent payments or donated online. As a result, more than $12,000 was added to the Press treasury between December and February, solving a substantial portion of last year’s shortfall.

The balance of revenue and cost is fragile. We have done everything we can to limit costs, and many who contribute their time and energy do so at low or no compensation. Harvard businesses do their part with advertising, and many non-Harvard businesses advertise, because Harvard is an important market and they know the Press is the most effective way to reach it. Many of our advertisers have come to us because a reader has told them they should. Thanks for that!

Once again, we turn to our readers for help, either by making a donation or by adding to subscription cost when renewing. In the near future, we expect to provide an option to make renewal automatic, and possibly an option for a monthly rate that continues until canceled. It is clear that this is not a one-time need; giving subscribers a way to make their support ongoing would just make sense.

To donate now, please send your check to Harvard Press, P.O. Box 284, Harvard, MA 01451, or drop it off at the Press office. To donate online, click “Donate to the Press” at harvardpress.com.

As was the case last year, this is not a cry of desperation. We can continue to operate for some time to come, but it is clear that operating at a loss year after year is not sustainable. Together, with strengthened support from readers and advertisers, we can put the Press on the financial footing we all want. Local news is important. Let’s all do our part to ensure it continues.
 


  
The publishers of the Harvard Press thank the
following donors and the many anonymous donors
who contributed to last year's appeal.

  • Patti Anklam & Joe Hutchinson
  • Ron Ansin
  • Audrey & John Balll
  • Duane & Sue Barber
  • Francis Begue & Kathy Waugh
  • Bob Benson & Maria Kaufmann
  • Stephen Besold
  • Libby Bourquin
  • Dennis Bradley & Debbie Kaegebein
  • Jim Breslauer & Deb Thomson
  • Sharon Briggs & Todd Lainhart
  • Paul Brown
  • June Bunch
  • Besty Burr
  • Didi Chadran & Paige O’Brien
  • Emilie & Frank Coolidge
  • Heidi Crieghton
  • Jean Crispen
  • Bob & Theresa Curran
  • Bill & Linn Currie
  • Connie Cushman
  • Chris & Molly Cutler
  • Maria Day
  • Stacia & William Donahue
  • Mimi & Peter Dorward
  • Alicia Dwyer & Demetrios Karis
  • Blaine & Daria Eckert
  • Paul & Lisa Eisenberg
  • James Ellis & Susan Sparks
  • Priscella Endicott
  • Glen & Pam Frederick
  • Francis Flynn & Carolyn Johnson
  • Randy Furmanick & Teresa Jardon
  • Patricia Gallagher & Peter Ricupero
  • Teresa & Mark Garti
  • Liz Gelfand & Jerry Sundheimer
  • Diana Gill & Ted Stefanik
  • David Goldgar & Erin McBee
  • John Grady
  • Paul & Marty Green
  • Gerry Hall
  • Bart & Carol Hanlon
  • Kenji & Victoria Hayao
  • Gary Helmstetter & Lisa Nierenberg
  • Linda Hoffman & Blase Provitola
  • Kim & Tom Houston
  • Bernd Janssen & Claire Rindenello
  
  • Laurie Johnson & Scott Keller
  • Dave Kay & Katy Weeks
  • Barbara Kemp
  • David & Ginger Kendall
  • Bryce & Connie Larrabee
  • Ned & Susan Leeming
  • Carol MacLennan
  • Louis & Reba Maisel
  • Arline Marteney
  • Sharon McCarthy & Jim Ware
  • Brian & Susanni McClain
  • Jane & Tom McIntyre
  • Jane & Tom Mears
  • Chris Mitchell & Cara Richardson
  • Chris & Steve Moeser
  • Betsy & Terry Morton
  • Krista & Matt Mostoller
  • Diane Newton
  • Bruce & Fran Nickerson
  • Ron & Susan Ostberg
  • Henry Park
  • Deb & Scott Pierce
  • Jack & Toni Purdy
  • Diane & Steve Richter
  • Leyla & Hakan Sahin
  • Buddy Schmidt
  • Rachel & Tim Schmoyer
  • Joe & Karen Shea
  • John Sheehan
  • Elsie Shutt
  • Don & Heidi Siegrist
  • Heidi & Tom Sikina
  • Chris & Erin Sintros
  • Dorothy & Otto Solbrig
  • Steve Stecyk & Cathryn Sundback
  • Marissa & Bob Steele
  • Carolyn & Larry Sweeney
  • George & Terry Symula
  • David and Roxana Trabulsi
  • Ken Van Wormer
  • Claudia & Stan Vestal
  • Charles Weigley
  • Abbott & Barbara Weiss
  • Heidi & Pete Wharton
  • Pat White
  • Virginia White
  • Lee & David Wilson
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