As you well know, the current economic situation has changed a lot of things for businesses. We've been forced to re-evaluate every process and consider every decision before moving forward. The business-to-business magazine market has been hit especially hard as companies pull back on their advertising plans for the year, cancelling schedules and forcing some magazine publishers to make drastic changes. Some magazines have closed, others have combined magazines into a single entity, some have cut frequency, while others have made cuts to circulation or to staff.
Wide-Format Imaging has not been immune to the economic challenges. We've made some very difficult decisions as well in order to make sure that we remain a viable publication serving the market. The most noticeable change has been in our folio. From my standpoint, that is one of the hardest cuts we've had to make, but as you well know, sometimes the most difficult decisions are the ones that can spell the difference between the success or the failure of a business.
One of the biggest expenses we have as a publication is our consumables as well as postage. By maintaining a very close ad-to-editorial ratio, we can control our costs much better. While our folio may remain small, the information we provide has never been more essential. And because of that, we will be featuring some of our content which couldn't make it into the printed edition, on our website as online exclusives.
This month we have several exclusive articles on our website. As part of our Best of the Best issue, we have an extended article about this year's Top Shops and we are also spotlighting some of their most challenging projects during 2008.
In the "On the Cutting Edge" article, Steven Shaw speaks with several print professionals about their experiences with various routers and cutting systems—and how its helped them increase productivity and profitability.
Additionally, we have two articles specifically focused on sustainability. In the first, Angela Giraldo from Reliable Graphics details how her company has been very proactive when it comes to its policies regarding sustainability. For this shop, being environmentally responsible is more than simply a good idea or an afterthought. And if you're looking for specific "green" products or services, the second article will help point you to some of the new products on the market that are specifically designed as part of a sustainable business model.
We are very optimistic about the wide- and grand-format industry and just like you, we want to be well-positioned once the economy turns around. We've already seen some positive signs including the 20-plus percent gain in the Stock Exchange over the past two weeks as some of the programs from the Stimulus plan begin to make their way into the economy. So through the pages of the magazine and through our online presence, we will continue to provide you with the valuable information you need to make those tough decisions now, so that way you can be sure you're ready for the growth this industry will see in the coming months.