Vol. 4    No. 15
July 23, 2009 Archives

2009 Production Schedule

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Subscription Information:

The Capital City Hues
612 Christianson Ave.,
Madison, WI 53714-1533
($45 a year)
Contact Number:
(608) 241-2000

Claire G. Mendoza
   This is something that I am most uncomfortable with. I have been running it through my mind, fantasizing about
scenarios where I wouldn’t have to do it. But after stirring the tea leaves and looking into our crystal ball, I figured
that I had better do it now, ask for the community’s help.
   It’s pretty well known that print journalism these days is not an industry that one enters if one wants to get rich.
For the past several years, newspapers have been folding and going online as classified advertisers for job
vacancies began to use free or inexpensive ways to advertise their vacancies on the Internet whether it be free
job posting sites or e-mailing vacancy notices to listservs and asking the members to circulate it. I have seen job
postings circulated for free on listservs that would have, in years past, been advertised in papers such as ours.
   To a certain extent, The Capital City Hues has been able to adjust to this phenomenon and we were doing okay
until last September and October when the financial market crash hit. We were still attracting classified ads when
all of a sudden hiring freezes were instituted and then the unemployment rate began to creep up even in relatively
recession-proof Madison. Whereas we regularly had 2-3 pages of classified ads, last week we had two small ads.
Even though we are doing better in attracting display ads, it isn’t enough to make up for the loss in classified ads.
We did okay in this edition in terms of classified ads, but with predictions that the recession won’t begin to fade
until 2010, I am afraid that our classified ad section this edition is an anomaly rather than the rule. Oh how I hope I
am wrong and wait to be proved wrong.
   The Capital City Hues is not in danger of folding next week, next month or even this year. But when we look at the
tea leaves, I can see where it is heading if conditions continue to persist. The problem that some companies have
when they go out of business is that they don’t take measures soon enough or ask for help until it is too late and the
help will not make a difference. Then many people say ‘Oh, if I only had known.’
     Well, I don’t want to wait until the last moment before I ask for help for this child called The Capital City Hues. I
love this child and I’ve had enough people — some total strangers — tell me that it is too important to the
community to let fade away. It isn’t about us; it is about the community.
   We don’t have any expenses to cut because we’ve always operated on a bare-bones budget. While the paper
pays for my health insurance and rent, I have to work as a bookkeeper/accountant at several non-profits to live and
pay my bills. And I wear more hats at the paper than I can count. This is a social investment more than a financial
investment for my partners who invested with me in this endeavor.
     We want to keep the paper strong and staying relevant to the community’s needs. We want to make it to the
other side of this recession so that we can help — in our own humble way — Madison become a cosmopolitan city
where all are free to pursue life, liberty and happiness without being encumbered by the chains of the past. This is
about all of us.
   The trick of trying to get help is increasing revenue without experiencing a corresponding increase in expenses.
Some have taken out subscriptions as a sign of support and they have been truly supportive on an emotional level,
which we greatly appreciate. But after our postage and handling costs, we make very little on subscriptions, but we
are very happy to do them. It always gives finality to each issue when I take our subscribed issues to the post
office to be mailed.
   Then I thought about establishing a virtual subscription, hopefully for this year only, to help The Capital City Hues
ride out this economic storm. For $20, people would be considered a virtual subscriber and continue getting the
paper out of our racks or reading us on the Internet. If enough people do it — about 500 people — it would get us
through the present financial times. People always ask me how they can help. Well, this would be a relatively
inexpensive way for people to show that support. And in the first issue of October, unless people specify differently,
we would publish all of the names of our virtual subscribers as a way to say thank you.
     I have placed a Virtual Subscription form on p. 1 of this edition.* Please consider taking one out today. If you can’
t afford $20, send what you can. If you can afford more, please consider sending more as well so that we average
about $20 per person. Maybe this is a half-baked idea, but I just thought I would try it. I believe in community and I
firmly believe the community believes in us. I thank you for any consideration you give this request! Take Care!

* online readers, please send your virtual subscriptions to The Capital City Hues' address above (right pane)

NBA Star Devin Harris gives back with
Big Brothers Big Sisters
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