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ASUCLA finalizes budget for Student Media for 2014-2015

By John Peter Cavender

June 2, 2014 1:19 a.m.

The original version of this article contained an error and has been changed. See the bottom of the article for more information.

The Associated Students UCLA Board of Directors approved next year’s budget for UCLA Student Media Friday.

The new budget makes it clear that Student Media should seek outside funding or develop new revenue streams to continue operating in the long term.

Student Media is overseen by the Communications Board, an independent subdivision of ASUCLA. It includes the Daily Bruin, BruinLife yearbook, UCLA Radio and seven newsmagazines.

In recent years, advertising revenue for Student Media has continued to decline, and budget analysis by ASUCLA predicts the decline will only accelerate.

For now, the Communications Board has cash on hand because of a $200,000 line of credit from ASUCLA approved in February. The Communications Board is projecting that it will still have $134,000 in the bank at the end of the year, but it will still have to pay back the money they owe ASUCLA, said Rich Delia, the ASUCLA financial director.

New revenue streams such as advertisements on mobile apps could also help Student Media’s bottom line. The budget projects significant growth in mobile revenue from $19,000 this year to $128,000 over the next five years. However, Delia said he worries that the projection may be too optimistic.

“Mobile (revenue) is growing,” he said. “But the projected five-year estimate is a pretty big jump.”

Joel Ontiveros, an undergraduate representative on the ASUCLA Board of Directors and a fifth-year communication studies and world arts and cultures/dance student, said he does not want a push for mobile revenues to detract from the operations of the printed Daily Bruin product.

At the meeting, ASUCLA Executive Director Bob Williams said he thinks finding a solution may be a valuable learning experience for all involved.

“I think that part of what happens is … students want to be a part of cutting-edge stuff,” he said. “Working together, we’re going to be able to think about (Student Media) in a different way.”

At the May meeting of the ASUCLA Finance Committee, members said they hope to discuss different models to help sustain Student Media over time, including a possible fee referendum to balance their long-term budget.

Correction: This article was written by John Peter Cavender.

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