Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Layoffs Precede Merger

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Layoffs Precede Merger

Article excerpt

Eight associations of newspaper executives have laid off 88 employees, nearly 30% of their combined staffs, and reorganized management--the latest steps in a yearlong merger.

Hardest hit was the Newspaper Advertising Bureau, cut from 95 people to 50, with most of the loss in administration and support. The staffs of six associations of marketers, advertising executives, researchers, and circulation managers were cut to five people, from 35, many of whom were offered transfers. The rest came from the American Newspaper Publishers Association.

Executives at NAB headquarters in New York and ANPA headquarters in Reston, Va., told affected employees in individual meetings April 20.

The elimination of positions was effective immediately, but because people will be hired for newly created positions, 65 association jobs will be lost overall.

"We are creating a single, cost-effective structure that will unite all the strengths of the merging organizations," ANPA president and CEO Cathleen Black said.

Effective June 1, ANPA, NAB, and six other groups are merging under a new name, the Newspaper Association of America, headed by Black as president and CEO, and Leonard Forman, who now leads NAB, as chief operating officer.

Black said a merger vote scheduled later this week by association members "would appear to be pretty much a formality."

The staff cuts and management reorganization are designed to make NAA more responsive to members' needs and more reflective of the industry's efforts to influence government regulation, to become more competitive, and to hire more minorities.

The latest moves came after senior ANPA and NAB executives and consultants from Booz Allen analyzed all programs and services.

Black said the most useful services would remain as they are or grow.

She said operations being cut include in-house printing, which will be replaced by contract printing. ANPA's monthly reporting of newsprint statistics may be dropped. The need for training services was being evaluated. Public relations departments of NAB and ANPA were consolidated in Reston. NAB's creative services department will close, move to Reston, or be contracted.

Senior ANPA staffers losing jobs included Martin Casey, vice president in charge of circulation and readership, and several on his staff, and Mark Daly, vice president in charge of membership.

At NAB, positions were eliminated of vice presidents Pat Thavenot and Uldis Grava.

"There was some sadness and some relief that it was finally over," said one staffer who remained in Reston and asked not to be named. …

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