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Carla Wintersgill


If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, let me break it down for you: times are tough. The nasty financial situation in the States has crept its way northward, trapping Canada in the recession snare.

I’ve been reading about the crisis from a mostly observartional standpoint. Up until now, the TSX doom and gloom hasn’t affected me.

For months, our general manager, Liane McLarty, has been warning the masthead that one of the first things to go during a recession is advertising. This is bad news for the media industry.

Although most people I know complain about the amount of ads in newspapers and (especially) magazines, advertisements are essentially the lifeblood of publications. We are after all a business, and without a way of making money, that business ceases to exist.

A couple of weeks ago, Liane called me on my way to work.

“Remember all those times I warned you about advertising and the recession?” she asked. “Well, the chickens have come home to roost.”

Our advertising is down, way down. We’re not the only ones. All the major media outlets in Canada are feeling the squeeze of lost revenue brought on by the lack of ads.

Campus Plus, the company that sells advertisements for us, recently sent out their montly newsletter saying that we could expect this funk to last well into 2009. They explained how the financial crisis would affect us:

“Although September revenues were on target, there has been a noticeable decline in activity over the past few weeks, reminiscent of the period after 9/11 when advertising bookings virtually stopped.

The reason for this forecast is the financial turmoil that is now engulfing the Canadian and world economies. Added to this is uncertainty about the upcoming elections in both Canada and the United States. Businesses do not like uncertainty and many pull back on marketing and advertising expenditures at times like this.”

In September, things were looking peachy for us. Businesses trying to cash in on back to school fever were advertising steadily. But the glory days are over and we’ve headed into an advertising drought.

Since the size of The Eyeopener is determined by the amount of ads we run, the paper has shrunk dramatically. You may be noticing that the newspaper feels a little lighter in your hands.

That’s because it is. The Eyeopener usually weighs in at a hefty 24 pages. With about half the ads, we’re running at half the size. For the forseeable future, The Eyeopener will be made up of around 12 pages.

This means we have less space to run the quality editorial content that our readers are used to. But we’re still dedicated to getting you all the most important campus news. Our new size restriction has just forced us to be more rigorous in our story selection. And we’ll be making more use of our website for breaking stories.

The Eye may be half the size, but we still pack twice the punch of any other campus news source out there.

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