The Daily Pennsylvanian’s Board of Directors wrapped up a busy first half of 2014 by adopting an integrated three-pronged strategy focused on building a ‘digital-first’ culture while continuing the DP’s century-plus tradition as a printed daily; ensuring the organization’s long-term financial viability, and nurturing student innovation.
The goal: make the DP the country’s most respected and innovative college media organization, with the products to match.
The Board, which includes five current DP students and four alumni steeped in media and entrepreneurial experience, was created to make the tough, strategic decisions that all-student boards — which change every year — have had trouble making in the past. This new plan was adopted unanimously by the nine-member Board.
As part of the new focus on digital, the Board decided to cease publishing the print edition of the DP on Fridays starting this fall. The change allows the students to focus more attention on creating online content throughout the day and on weekends. The Friday print edition was the hardest to get in readers’ hands, because many Penn students no longer take Friday classes. One less day of publication per week means less pressure to fill the paper, less time tied strictly to print production, and less money spent printing and delivering a physical edition — all while maintaining current advertising levels. It also allows 34th Street Magazine, which is structured as a weekend magazine, to sit on campus all the way through Sunday.
“We are still The Daily Pennsylvanian and we will still publish daily,” says DP Executive Editor Taylor Culliver. And more of that content will be published online first. “This will be driving a cultural change in our newsroom,” he says. “We are not retreating from print, but creating time to do a much better job online.”