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'Fine Tuning' at the NAA; Newspaper Association of America Cuts Dues for Smaller Papers, Reduces the 'Unwieldy' Size of Its Board, Creates Task Forces

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Fine Tuning' at the NAA; Newspaper Association of America Cuts Dues for Smaller Papers, Reduces the 'Unwieldy' Size of Its Board, Creates Task Forces

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Newspaper Association of America cuts dues for smaller papers, reduces the 'unwieldy' size of its board, creates task forces

TWO YEARS AFTER a shake-up united seven newspaper associations into the Newspaper Association of America, the NAA board is changing its dues and management structures significantly.

Outgoing NAA chairman Donald Newhouse, president of Advance Publications Inc., described the changes as a "fine tuning."

The action to cut dues for papers with less than 10,000 circulation is designed to reverse the hemorrhage of small papers from the NAA since the merger raised dues steadily during the past three years.

Now representing 1,050 newspapers, the NAA has lost about 350 members, many of them small papers, since the merger of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, Newspaper Advertising Bureau and five groups representing executives in circulation, marketing, advertising, research and promotion.

The NAA's board of governors, in a bid to increase participation and smooth decision-making, also restructured its "unwieldy" board of directors.

The NAA has reduced the size of its board of directors, increased the size of its executive board and created three task forces.

The changes followed a "visioning" process involving a survey of members and six sessions with members -- all designed to chart a new mission and role and to set new priorities.

Uzal Martz, NAA secretary and publisher of the Pottsville (Pa.) Republican, who led the visioning committee, said the process was based on openness, inclusion and participation. The process, which started in September, "confirmed that there is a broad consensus on the need for NAA and on the challenges facing the association and pointed out a number of inescapable road signs," Martz, incoming NAA vice chairman, told members at the group's convention in San Francisco this week.

Among them were the accelerating pace of change, the need to unify to protect common interests, an "unwieldy" governance structure and the need to communicate better with members.

The process also produced five priorities for the NAA:

* Help build advertising and improve newspaper sales and marketing. …

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