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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Opinion-- A list of regrets before I graduate
Sal WiertellaMarch 1, 2024

The North Wind reduces deficit by 20%

The North Wind reduces deficit by 20%

Following a year of extensive debt-remediation efforts including reducing staff hours and eliminating color from the print product, The North Wind expects by the end of the semester to have reduced its nearly six-figure deficit by 20%.

According to The North Wind’s End of the Year Report, approved by the ASNMU General Assembly at its March 25 meeting, The North Wind is currently operating at a cumulative deficit of $78,704. At the beginning of the year, the deficit stood at $99,507.

“The North Wind has accumulated nearly a $100,000 in debt for a number of reasons, some in our control, some out of our control, but we’ve worked really hard to stop the bleeding, so to speak,” The North Wind Business Manager Tyler Penrod said. “We’re in a really good place. I think as long as we’re consistent with maintaining the cuts that we made, we’re in a really good position going forward.”

Multiple factors contributed to the aggregation of The North Wind’s deficit, including consecutive years of below-forecasted
advertising revenue, unexpected turnover in the Business Manager position, a partially-filled board of directors and low enrollment.

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The North Wind receives its funding from two sources—the student activity fee (SAF) and advertising sales—and maintains two primary operating costs: editorial staff salaries and the print product. The North Wind is granted $6.72 per student through the SAF. This semester, The North Wind received an allocation of $38,266.91.

The North Wind Board of Directors (BOD), which oversees the editorial and business operations of The North Wind, is composed of seven voting members: five student representatives—three appointed by The North Wind and two appointed by ASNMU—a faculty representative and a community representative, and four non-voting members—a journalistic adviser, financial adviser, the editor-in-chief and the business manager.

In December, the BOD unanimously approved cost-saving reductions to the editorial staff and the print product.

Specifically, the BOD voted to eliminate the positions of photo editor and online editor, to subtract five hours from the news, opinion, features and sports editor positions and to reduce copy editor hours from seven to four hours. The BOD voted to remove color from the print product and to lower the number of papers printed weekly from 4,500 to 2,500.

The BOD accepted a suggestion from NMU to stop paying the university to rent office space and eliminated other office-related costs such as phone lines and internet.

“Our board has been really supportive with all the changes that we’ve come forward and suggested,” Penrod said. “They’ve been a really important part in making this financial transition happen.”

At the beginning of the winter semester, all BOD positions were filled and NMU Foundation CEO Brad Canale was appointed to the BOD as the new institutional/financial adviser.

“The problem solving approach taken by the staff and the Board of Directors has produced fast results,” Canale said.

In addition to BOD-approved cutbacks, The North Wind’s deficit will be alleviated by a $10,000 grant from the NMU Foundation. Canale also projects the remaining deficit will be resolved within four years.

“With continued effort in managing expense and increasing ad revenue, additional progress toward retiring the debt will be achieved,” Canale said.

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