Friday, September 18, 2015

La Crosse diocesan newspaper "The Catholic Times" to disband in October

Although there's been no official announcement, The Catholic Times is shutting its doors in November.  Hey, we're a blog here so we post what we know.  I haven't seen the official announcement but it's been in the plan for some time.

Franz posts his thoughts here:
To be fair, the Diocese of La Crosse is not abandoning print evangelization entirely. The plan is to publish a monthly/semi-monthly magazine called Catholic Life, which will be mailed to all registered households. I'm actually excited by the potential of the glossy magazine as a journalistic template. But with the transition, La Crosse is abandoning its proud history of independent, local journalism.
I was talking with a friend, and we were listing some of the papers which appear to be working quite well, The Catholic Key - Kansas City, The Catholic Spirit - St. Paul & Minn., The Compass - Green Bay.  You have to think a web presence or a digital consumption model is necessary to be successful in the modern media age.

Franz also says "It's sad to see the Church shrink and contract rather than grow and expand."  Certainly true, but maybe it just means it's up to the laity to create something new and independent to fill this void.   The trick is to find the business model to make it work, even secular newspapers have felt the crunch.


  1. I must confess I don't understand some of Franz Klein's comments. He discusses the parish subscription quotas and people who canceled their subscriptions. I can attest that our parish is billed monthly for subscriptions to the Catholic Times and a copy is sent to each one of our registered members. We then collect money from everyone to cover parish costs. If every parish in the Diocese of Lacrosse is doing this, there shouldn't be any issues related to cancelations or non-renewals. Is our parish unique? Do not all parishes within the Diocese of Lacrosse get a monthly bill for the Catholic Times? Or is the sum total of all the monies received from the mandatory subscriptions insufficient to operate the Catholic Times?

    1. Good questions of which I don't know the answers.

    2. My memory on the details might be foggy, as I'm referring to the way things were at the CT nearly a decade ago. But my recollection is that parishes had a certain quota of subscriptions to fill, in an attempt to supplement people who were already subscribing to the paper on their own. The parishes that embraced the quota did so in varying ways, the more enthusiastic, for example, simply adding their parishioner lists to the subscription rolls and paying for everybody's subscription. I recall the office being inundated, at times, with calls from people who were surprised to receive the paper, some even demanding to unsubscribe. Far more parishes simply ignored the subscription quotas, together with the repeated bills from the paper requesting payment for the number of subscriptions the parish was required to have. In regard to the last query, no, subscriptions did not cover the expenses of the paper. My recollection is that the annual appeal subsidy was at least a few hundred thousand dollars per year.

  2. "'content manager' (seriously, who comes up with these titles?)"

    Someone with the same mindset as the person who came up with "worship space".


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