A 'Partnership of Equals': Associations to Become 'Councils' with Representation on the Board of the Planned Unified Newspaper Marketing Organization

Article excerpt

A |partnership of equals'

Plans call for seven newspaper industry organizations to become "council" with varying degrees of representation within a national newspaper marketing organization.

Within a decade, the evolving merger could result in one group encompassing up to 60 newspaper industry associations, including trade groups such as the American Newspaper Publishers Association and groups of journalists, J. Steward Bryan III told the International Circulation Managers Association at what was expected to be one of its last conventions as an independent organization.

Bryan, who is chairman of the Newspaper Advertising Bureau and president of the Richmond (Va.) Newspapers Inc., said the concept was for the associations to become councils within what is being called the American Newspaper Marketing Association. Each would retain its governing board, would be run "for and by its membership" and would have "at least one" seat on the NMA board.

Seeking to allay fears that ICMA and the other groups would lose their autonomy, Bryan provided the latest glimpse of plans to unite newspaper sales and marketing groups in "a partnership of equals."

They include the Newspaper Advertising Bureau, ICMA, Association of Newspaper Classified Advertising Managers, International Newspaper Marketing Association, International Newspaper Advertising and Marketing Executives, Newspaper Research Council, Newspaper Advertising Co-Op Network.

Without ICMA, Bryan said, the new newspaper marketing association "cannot succeed."

Bryan said the groups will merge "probably within a year" but offered few other details.

A committee headed by Fred Crisp of the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., was still planning details of the merger and was scheduled to produce recommendations "to address most concerns," Bryan said.

ANPA and the Newspaper Ad Bureau began the merger, under the aegis of NAB, last year after a consulting firm said newspapers could more effectively use their money and clout by unifying the various groups.

Ad Bureau staff reductions

So far, New York-based NAB has reduced its staff 20% over two years, to 115 people, from 148, and the formation of the Newspaper Association Administration Center at ANPA headquarters in Reston, Va., was "well under way."

In remarks at a luncheon and in an interview later, Bryan emphasized that plans were changing as the restructuring evolves in stages.

While the ICMA leaders said they had overcome their initial opposition to the merger and supported the latest plans, the merger faced a number of challenges - mainly how to share power among diverse groups representing often competing disciplines. …