The phone calls I receive before 9 a.m. rarely bring good news—a staffer calling me to tell me that today’s newspapers are yet to be delivered, an advertiser calling to tell me there is a problem with the quality of his print advertisement. As editor-in-chief it is my duty to handle all of those calls, but individual staffers rarely feel the same amount of dedication (at least those without 8 a.m. classes). This problem has reared its ugly head in recent years, particularly when it comes to the business side of the newspaper. That is why a couple of months ago we made the decision, with a generous $20,000 commitment from the Cavalier Daily Alumni Association, to begin the search for a full-time advertising manager who will dedicate all of her time to generating revenue for the newspaper.
This new advertising manager will have the benefit of not being a full-time University student with both academic and extracurricular commitments other than the newspaper. She will have the time to both consolidate existing relationships and build the new ones we so crucially need to increase advertising revenue. During summers and breaks these projects will no longer have to end like they have in the past, with the closing of laptops and the trashing of class notes. She will be able to use breaks to strengthen The Cavalier Daily’s customer base and to collect outstanding payments.
2012 University graduate Kirsten Steuber will be the first to take on this challenge, and I am confident she will play a huge role in shaping the position. She, with the help of the managing board, will create a cohesive plan for increasing advertising revenue, facilitating collections and motivating the 10-person staff of student advertising representatives. Kirsten’s experience selling online advertisements will be invaluable as The Cavalier Daily shifts its focus online. In addition, her background in customer service will ensure that unreturned phone calls and unread emails are things of the past.
The present state of print advertising should come as no surprise to any of you—spoiler: it’s not good. Above all, the decision to hire a professional advertising manager where there was once a student is one we felt we had to make. There will forever be a tension between those who believe The Cavalier Daily is a business and those who believe it is a public service to the University. Something as critical to the success of the newspaper as advertising revenue, however, is not the appropriate forum for such discussion.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 434-249-4744. You know I have to pick up now.