Supporters Corner: Nov. 22, 2022
Is a recession coming? Or, heck, are we already in one?
This is something I, along with a whole lot of other small-business owners, have been thinking about lately. Recessions can be particularly hard on newspapers, because advertising budgets are often one of the first things to get cut when belt-tightening time comes. (They shouldn’t be; if there’s one time for a business to advertise, it’s when people are spending less money, because advertising can help a business get a larger piece of the smaller pie. But I get it; it’s a lot easier to cut an ad buy than it is to, say, cut an employee’s hours.)
Between the financial forecasts, all the news about layoffs, and the general economic weirdness (inflation, bonkers energy prices, etc.), a recession seems pretty inevitable. But financial forecasts have been wrong before; many of the companies doing layoffs may have been a bit bloated anyway; and some of the economic weirdness (such as inflation) seems to be calming down. Who knows?
All I can do—all any small-business owner can do—is prepare and try to be ready for whatever recession(s) may come. That’s one of the reasons the Independent has heavily been pushing our membership/reader support program since the pandemic arrived: Reader support is less volatile than advertising support.
The Independent’s business side had a slow-ish fall, but I am happy to say our December issue—our annual Best of Coachella Valley edition—is, revenue-wise, the best print edition we’ve ever had. It’s also pretty darned great on the editorial side, if I do say so myself. Please, check it out, and feel free to let me know if you have any thoughts.
Oh, and one more thing: Please have a fantastic Thanksgiving. I am very thankful for your support.
The December Print Preview
The thing I’ll remember about this issue: First, a disclosure: This isn’t a preview. This is the one issue each year where we can’t let the figurative cat out of the bag early, because we require all Best of Coachella Valley winners to hold off disclosing that they won until the Monday when the issue starts hitting the streets—and, therefore, we need to keep things under wraps, too. As for what I’ll remember … as I mentioned above, this was the best issue we’ve ever had in terms of revenue. (It probably won’t be our most profitable, however, because all our costs have gone up, especially printing, which is 30 percent more expensive now than it was a year ago.) It just goes to show that newspapers ain’t dead—and that if you invest in your product, good things can happen. That’s a lesson I wish all the cost-slashing big newspaper companies (like Gannett, the parent company of The Desert Sun) would learn. But alas …
Thank You for Your Support
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