This story was written by David Kaplan.
Just as it prepares for its 100th birthday, the Christian Science Monitor has announced it will discontinue its Monday-Friday print run and will be replaced by a weekly paper edition, as the daily news is picked up by its website, CSMonitor. I spoke earlier with the Monitor's editor, John Yemma, who said that there will likely be layoffs, but the exact number has not be identified. The layoffs will likely occur when the shift goes into effect sometime next April. The decision was made as Monitor is feeling the pressure to be more self-supporting. The paper, which tends to cover global and political news from a liberal, analytic perspective, had $18.9 million in net losses last year with about $12.5 million in revenue, a Monitor rep said. Yemma: "While the Christian Science Church continues to be very supportive of us, whenever we need to do something, such as improve the website, we have to go to them hat in hand. This shift will allow us to build on our growing web audience, while the economics of publishing a daily paper becomes more challenging."
The Monitor claims an average of 1.5 million unique visitors online monthly, with 55,000 60,000 print subscribers. According to comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) figures, CSMonitor.com's monthly audience grew 57.6 percent with 703,000 uniques in September compared to 446,000 the year before.
Yemma added that the structure of the Monitor's deadlines also made it difficult to maintain relevance. Yemma: "To get Tuesday's paper out, our deadline on Monday is noon. Considering the 24-hour news environment, a lot has happened in that intervening period."
By David Kaplan