Despite significant drops in revenue and being defrauded by credit card scammers, the Daily Nexus was back in black for Fall Quarter as the result of a large debt collected from the La Cumbre yearbook.
The budget, along with other issues concerning Nexus editor in chief selection and oversight for the alternative publication, The Bottom Line, were the main topics of discussion at yesterday’s UCSB Press Council meeting. The council also welcomed its newest member, communication professor Cynthia Stohl.
The council, appointed by the chancellor, approves the Nexus budget and editor in chief. It also acts as a mediator between the public and the newspaper during times of controversy. It consists of three students, one professional and one professor.
During the meeting, Storke Publications Director Jerry Roberts, who oversees finances for both the Nexus and La Cumbre, said that although expenses at the newspaper exceeded revenue by $51,321.67, the Nexus was in the black after collecting $76,536.13 from the yearbook. Roberts said La Cumbre had owed the Nexus for office and administrative costs that were originally charged to the paper but incurred by the yearbook. Roberts said the decline in advertising revenue was consistent with national trends.
With regards to the fraudulent credit card orders, Roberts said the Nexus was victim to an advertising scam that has occurred at various other newspapers and colleges. He said the perpetrators used faulty credit card numbers to purchase up to $1,500 in classified ads in the Nexus and that the credit card companies refused to pass the orders.
Roberts said a report was filed with university police, which was then forwarded to the FBI. As a result, Roberts said the Nexus advertising office has increased security.
In other business, the council discussed altering the Nexus editor in chief selection process. Currently, the staff votes for the leader and the outgoing editor in chief submits a letter of recommendation to the council, which makes the final pick.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Paul Desruisseaux said he wanted the council to have more involvement in the proceedings.
“Currently, it seems like we are just a rubber stamp,” Desruisseaux said.
He suggested that the council should send members to the staff election to better observe the needs of the Nexus.
However, Daily Nexus Editor in Chief Nick Dürnhöfer said that such a move might intrude on the paper’s autonomy.
“I think there is a reason the staff vote and the council vote are kept separate,” Dürnhöfer said. “The interests are not the same.”
Ultimately, the council ruled that it would not attend the staff election without the chief’s permission. The council also voted to interview individual candidates before the staff election. However, it agreed not to make any decisions until after the election.
Lastly, the council tabled a motion to review whether it had oversight over the Bottom Line until more research was conducted.