Here at the editor’s desk, I receive overwhelming requests for precious space in the Town Crier — space that varies depending on the size of the newspaper.
People sometimes think it’s easy to add one page to the paper but it’s not that simple.
So, for those who’ve never lived in a world of commercial publishing, I’ll lay out a simple description of how the Town Crier comes to look like it does when it arrives in your hands each week.
We print on a web press that prints on continuous rolls of paper versus sheet-fed presses.
If you take apart your Town Crier, and unfold just the center, you will see that each cut sheet is actually four pages, two on each side. We cannot just add one page. Four pages is a significant part of any size Town Crier. Printing that four pages is a large expense and requires an important decision each week.
On Monday after our advertising deadline, we look at the percentage of advertising for that week’s paper to determine how many pages we can afford to print.
That percentage determines how much news space we have to work with. In a 24-page paper, that’s plenty of room to keep us busy but not enough room to get in all the news fit to print.
The greatest challenge is living in a town of more than 100 nonprofits, government agencies, clubs, etc. — most of whom believe that because they are nonprofit, we should run their events and fundraising programs in our premium news space for free.
If we did that, we would be out of business in a short space. If we did that, we would be donating to every organization on the Hill. No one does that and it’s unreasonable to expect it.
We definitely want to support your organizations and events. But we want to do it without going broke.
What we offer are lower rates for nonprofits to advertise. We also never promise news space because, as you saw this week, we never know when a fire will break out.