Quote Originally Posted by desertratt View Post
Newspapers think they have "profit centers" -- areas that bring in money like circulation (all those quarters), and ads. Flunkies who dun those don't pay their bills to the paper are a "profit center." The Editorial Departments where the editors, reporters and photographers toil is pointed out as NOT being a Profit Center. All those computers and cameras and running around just cost the company money. This is why they are failing. If the Editorial Department is not a profit center then why have it? Why not just print wall-to-wall ads?
I don't know where you worked, but in cost-accounting parlance a "profit centre" is a centre the performance of which is measured in terms of the profit they produce. A "cost centre" is a centre which is analysed in terms of costs because there is no direct way to assign a profit to it. The Editorial Department doesn't have a direct attribution of "profit" so accountants only "measure" costs.

Seing it in another way, a "profit centre" is a unit which could be analysed somehow as a "business", while a "cost centre" is a unit which cannot be analysed as a "business". There is no derogative meaning whatsoever.