Dear Reader: In June, The Christian Science Publishing Society's Board of Trustees spoke about its continuing commitment to support the vital role of the Monitor in publishing the highest-quality journalism in the 21st century. It also announced that the Monitor is entering a time of reassessment, honing, and streamlining in order to bring expenses in line with revenue.
Over the next few months, The Christian Science Monitor will begin making several operational adjustments and exploring new strategies to eliminate the need for financial support from the general operating funds of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, by 2009. The first steps are aimed at reducing net expenses by $3.3 million.
To that end, total staffing has been reduced by 14 percent since the beginning of 2004, through an equal combination of attrition and layoffs. Editorial positions have been reduced by 13, while business and operations positions have been reduced by eight.
Printing operations will be discontinued at the Nashua, N.H. facility, but delivery of the paper will be largely unaffected because of the consolidation of all East Coast production in Bellmawr, N.J. In addition, the paper will slightly reduce its use of color.
There will also be an increase of 10 percent in subscription rates and a new subscription program for heavy users of the Monitor website, csmonitor.com.
As we explore new ideas for furthering the mission of the Monitor, we have been receiving suggestions from our readers. If you haven't already been in touch with us, please give us the benefit of your thinking by sending an e-mail to Ideas.
We are grateful for your support through this time of transition and are dedicated to maintaining the Monitor's journalistic integrity and value. We are confident that the steps being taken will ultimately strengthen the Monitor.
Steve Gray, Managing Publisher
Paul Van Slambrouck, Editor