In December, Boise Weekly publisher Sally Freeman asked the entire BW staff to take a three-month, 10 percent reduction in pay. The request was in response to a shortfall in last quarter's advertising sales and dismal budget projections for the first quarter of 2009. At the time Freeman was confident the cut would be enough to keep the coffers in good shape, but the economy hasn't gotten any better and we've been forced to be a leaner, meaner financial machine.
In order to push successfully into the future, Freeman has cut an administrative position in sales and scaled back two editorial positions to part-time. Though it all sounds a little gloomy, the upside is that it's forcing us to be more creative in our approach to money making. Soon Boise Weekly will launch its BW Card program, through which members can purchase dining credits at participating restaurants for 60 cents on the dollar. That means you, readers.
But the editorial staff isn't being left out of this newfound creativity storm at the office. We'll soon launch the new boiseweekly.com as well as our inaugural publication of Bar, Bar, the "printed companion to libations, deals and potential debauchery in the whole of Ada County brought to you by the swillers at Boise Weekly." We've been working on the new Web site for months, and as we wrap up the final details, we're all a bit giddy about what the new site is capable of. For the editorial department, it means a heap of new work, but for our readers, it means fresh content daily, better access to events, and ample opportunity to interact with not only the BW staff but also other BW readers. Bar, Bar publishes March 4, and it's your definitive guide to getting your party on in Ada County. It's also a chance for one reader to earn more than $200 in gift certificates for free drinks with Bar, Bar's pub crawl contest.
But enough of the near future, let's talk about what's happening in this issue. In honor of Valentine's Day, we did as we always do—used the main feature space to pay homage to the heart, love and St. Valentine. Read about the history of the ticker in literature, linguistics, medicine and even food (beating cobra heart cocktail, anyone?). In News, we continue to follow the effect a proposed bill could have on current liquor license holders, and in Food, we take on one of the valley's favorite south-of-the-border restaurants.
And in a final, ironic twist, we're still giving away money. The deadline for the BW Cover Auction Grant is this Friday, Feb. 13, at 5 p.m. The private grant was established last year to support artists and arts organizations in the city. To apply, tell us how your organization supports local visual artists; how the grant will fund a new or existing project; the budget; how the grant will be used; what its location/accessibility is; and how it will benefit the community and support the BW Cover Auction mission. Need more info? Contact office manager Shea Sutton at email@example.com or 208-344-2055 with your questions. Submit your proposal to BW, 523 Broad St., Boise, ID, 83702.