The Carleton Daily was a daily (Monday-Friday) newspaper published during 1977 that was designed to combine The Carletonian, the NNB, and This Week at Carleton into a single document. (The administration declined to include "This Week" in the Daily, prefering to publish it separately). After flourishing during Winter Term 1977 and Spring Term 1977, it folded after two issues in Fall Term 1977, returning to the more familiar weekly Carletonian and the daily NNB.
The Daily was four pages (i.e., one sheet of paper folded in half). It was intended to be exapanded to eight pages on Fridays, but this was reduced to four after the first week to reduce production costs and time (January 24 issue, page 2). It was distributed, free of charge, in all Carleton and St. Olaf dining halls at lunchtime, much as the NNB had been previously, and available in the newspaper office in Willis Hall. It included the following regular features:
The "Daily Bulletin," appearing on page 1 and continuing on page 4, reported the news of the day in two columns. One column was reserved for announcements and information pertaining to the Carleton and St. Olaf campuses, including items that would previously have appeared in the NNB. The other column included national and international news.
The remaining three columns on page 1 held news of the day. This news often continued on pages 2 and/or 3.
Each issue included substantial sports coverage on page 4. This was normally limited to intra- and intermural sports, but occasionally referenced professional sports teams as well.
Editorials and Letters to the Editor were originally supposed to be run in Friday's expanded issue. After Friday was reduced to four pages, this section switched to Wednesdays, but due to the volume of submissions, expanded nearly immediately to appear much more frequently. Letters were printed on page 2.
The Arts Page, originally planned for inclusion in Friday's expanded issue, was switched to Thursdays instead. It included reviews of plays, SUMO and other films, and art exhibits, not just at Carleton but in the Twin Cities and beyond as well. It appeared on page 3.
The Daily included regular classifieds beginning with the February 14 issue. Each ad, up to 25 words in length, cost 25 cents, and was included on page 4.
Generally, from 25% to 50% of the space in the Daily was taken up by ads for local Northfield businesses. These ads appeared on pages 2-4.
Reasons for Change
The editor of the Daily, John Koten, explained the reasons for switching to a daily format in the first issue, January 18, 1977. "With the old weekly format the newspaper staff was put in the frustrating position of having to hold a news story for three or four days until the paper came out, and by that time, of course, most people already knew the details. As a daily, we can stay on top of what's going on and be relied on more as a source of news on campus." Koten also felt that the consolidation of The Carletonian and the NNB into one publication would be a better format, that staff members would get more practical journalism experience, and that the national news column would be greatly improved. He also admitted that he felt the Daily would make newspaper editors at other liberal arts colleges jealous because no other comperable college included a daily newspaper.
By selling ads, the Daily was hoped to be entirely self-financing, and the newspaper staff did not intend to require money from the school.
Results of a Daily Newspaper
Even with up to 50% of the paper taken up by ads, filling space proved to be difficult. The Daily adopted an extremely liberal letters policy (printed at right), presumably with the goal of soliciting the necessary content. In addition, writers (on the sports page in particular) began writing more humorous articles and inventing pseudonyms for contributors--the first appearance of the legendary Joe Fabeetz was in the Feburary 10 issue, when he made an IM Basketball pick on the sports page.
The new editor for Fall Term 1977, Peter Blau '79, was not as motivated to run a daily newspaper as his predecessor, and admitted in the September 12 issue that he had not thought much about the paper during his summer vacation. Publication began a week into the term, and the inexperienced staff ran the Daily on September 12 and 13.
The Daily Folds
Though it was intended to break even, the Daily in fact lost a significant amount of money. Blau reported that the amount was initially thought to be $7,000 (the staff initially considered fleeing to Aculpuco as soon as they figured out where that money went, then considered hiding in a closet). The final figure was a much smaller $2,600--not much in today's dollars, but half the cost of tuition during the 1977-1978 school year! The loss was due to higher than anticipated printing and supply costs, not due to any embezzlement or misuse.
The final issue of the Carleton Daily ran on Wednesday, September 13. The NNB resumed separate publication shortly thereafter, and The Carletonian returned, in its familiar weekly format, on Friday, September 23. Blau explained the situation in that issue, and stated that the newspaper hoped "to be able to repay the deficit."
- Archives of The Carletonian and Carleton Daily - Fully searchable issues from 1916 to 2005. Any issues from January 18, 1977 to September 13, 1977 are the Daily.