Report to the Community, 2023 Q4

As a part of our goal to operate for the public benefit, Civic Spark Media and the Western Wayne News will provide regular updates to the community on our operations, health and future plans. This is our latest community report, reflecting recent activities for both the Western Wayne News newspaper and the news aggregator. See also: 2023Q3, 2023Q2, 2023Q1, 2022Q4.

—Chris Hardie, Owner and Publisher

By the Numbers

2023 Q4 Finances, October 1 – December 31, 2023

These financial reports are unaudited and unofficial, but we believe them to be complete and accurate as of this publishing. Rounded to the nearest hundred.

  • Income
    • Advertising sales: $73,700
    • Newspaper subscriptions & individual sales: $63,700
    • Miscellaneous income: $175
    • Donations: $0
  • Expenses
    • Employee payroll & contractors: $68,600
    • Newspaper printing: $17,500
    • Depreciation & amortization: $12,700
    • Rent, office expenses & utilities: $8,000
    • Postage & delivery: $7,800
    • Advertising & marketing: $4,400
    • Software and online services: $4,100
    • Credit card processing & bank fees: $1,900
    • Travel: $1,200
    • Insurance: $900
    • Other expenses: $150
    • Legal and accounting service fees: $0

Other Metrics of Interest

As of March 6, 2024

  • Western Wayne News subscriber households
    • Print: 3,320
    • Online: 652
  • Western Wayne News retail location copies distributed weekly: 620
  • Western Wayne News advertisers during Q4: 170
  • daily newsletter subscribers: 560
  • sources scanned: 90
  • Civic Spark Media employees
    • Full-Time: 4
    • Part-Time: 2


Here are few items of note from the last few months outside of regular newspaper production:

  • In addition to regular news reporting, our team worked hard to produce special election coverage for the local municipal election that happened in November. This included Q&A features with candidates, nearly 20 articles, and a comprehensive online election guide for voters. On election day we provided live updates and photos throughout the day, and in-depth coverage of the results.
  • Our team was honored at the annual Hoosier State Press Association awards event with recognition for sports reporting and photography, as well as our online presence.
  • Our fall intern, Reagan Sturgis, concluded a successful internship program with us.
  • We launched a new Health Savings Account contribution benefit for our employees.
  • We launched a new “Did You Know?” series in the paper that shares answers to frequently asked questions about the newspaper’s production.
  • We began printing subscription renewal/expiration dates on our mailing labels, to make it more convenient for subscribers to understand when their subscription renewal is due.

Plans & Problems

Our primary focus in the fourth quarter and since has been on expanding our capacity through hiring, addressing challenges with our printing vendor, and continuing to address challenges with delivery via mail. We also continue to build toward a more sustainable financial outlook through increasing subscription revenue.

Other Notes

We hope you find this report to the community useful; if you have suggestions about how we can make improvements for future reports, please contact us.