Starting April 16, University of California, Berkeley’s Daily Californian will be printed on larger paper with more color — and the changes are expected to save the struggling news operation $10,000 annually. “The arrangement will modestly decrease our approximately $200,000 annual deficit,” writes editor-in-chief Tomer Ovadia. (I’ve invited him to tell Romenesko readers more.)
Unless the University of California, Berkeley student organization ASUC votes for a funding initiative to help the paper, which is widely read by Cal students, the Daily Cal will likely have to cut some days out of its press run to save more money.
U.C. Berkeley students vote this month on whether to pay a student fee to help the paper. The Daily Cal would get about $93,000 a year for five years if the measure passes.
UPDATE: Editor Ovadia tells Romenesko readers: “Because printing represent a sizable portion of our expenses, we often revisit our printing arrangement in search of cost savings and better alternatives. In doing so this year, we saw what other printing presses had to offer in terms of pricing and capabilities before renegotiating our arrangement with our existing printer. That led to a deal that would save about $10,000 annually while simultaneously improving the quality of our paper. We had a similar cost-saving deal several years ago, but this time around not only are we paying less, we’re also moving to broadsheet and realizing many additional benefits. The overall shift reflects improvements in printing technology and capabilities.”