Surprising no one, Vox has learned that the Hoya will submit a budget proposal to the Media Board for the 2010-2011 academic year. The decision, which was largely expected after the Hoya‘s Board of Directors chose to defer independence, was preceded early last week by a letter addressed to the Media Board, which was penned by the newly-elected Chair of the Board of Directors Kevin Barber.
In the letter, Barber blames “financial reasons related to the state of the national economy,” in addition to “the large additional expenses that independence would bring,” as the main factors that encouraged the Hoya to delay its dreams of independence.
“It wasn’t my individual decision to not go independent this summer,” Barber said Monday night. “It was a decision made by the outgoing Board of Directors, who decided that unless the financial environment changed, it wouldn’t be prudent to go independent … but I agree with them. I participated in the discussions about [independence.]”
While Barber says that he “does not anticipate any difficulties with the Media Board,” there could be a bumpy road ahead for the Hoya. In early March, the Voice‘s Galen Weber reported that the Media Board requested only $36,000 in funding—less money than the year before—because the Board “more or less operated on the assumption that the Hoya would become independent from the University within the next year.”
But, Barber seems optimistic about the Hoya‘s chances of getting its budget approved.
“We gave the Media Board no concrete indication about independence this year,” Barber claimed, adding that, “While I don’t know what [the Media Board's] status is now, I’ve heard that they requested as much money as in years past.”
Concerning the prospects of an independent Hoya down the road, Barber said, “We’ll do everything that we can to make independence in the summer of 2011 a possibility.”
Editor-in-Chief Marissa Amendolia supported Barber’s statement, saying, “Independence still remains a priority.”
After the jump is Barber’s complete letter to the Media Board.
April 19, 2010
Dear members of the Media Board,
I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of The Hoya regarding
The Hoya’s submission of its budget proposal for the 2010-2011
In each of the past few years, it seems, campus has been visited by
speculation that The Hoya may be on the brink of fulfilling its
foremost institutional goal by becoming independent. Independence has
not yet become a reality for The Hoya, however, and this year will
likely be no different. For financial reasons related to the state of
the national economy, the leadership of The Hoya has decided that it
would be imprudent to become independent this summer.
The recession has had a widely reported impact on newspapers around
the world — most have embraced budget cuts to remain viable, and a
number have closed. The Hoya’s prospects are less dire because of
advantages it has as a campus newspaper with a stable market, but it
has nevertheless been touched by these times of economic difficulty.
Our national advertising revenue has declined this year; in
combination with the large additional expenses that independence would
bring (e.g., the lease of office space, publisher’s insurance, a
university licensing fee, etc.), this decline in revenue would make it
difficult for The Hoya to become independent this summer with
confidence in its own financial viability.
We plan, therefore, to continue to operate next year as we have for
the past 90 years — as a student-run organization affiliated with the
university. Though we strongly believe that The Hoya must become
independent to fulfill its highest institutional goals, the current
economic realities of our industry must be noted. In this coming year,
as we endeavor to make independence feasible in 2011, we hope to
continue the productive relationship we have had with the Media Board
over the past several years.
This week, The Hoya’s business director, Phil Chang, will submit a
budget proposal for 2010-2011. We look forward to discussing it in
person with the Media Board in due course.
Chair, Board of Directors