Magazine article Editor & Publisher

UPDATED: NAA Gathering Not a 'Secret' Meeting, Say Participants

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

UPDATED: NAA Gathering Not a 'Secret' Meeting, Say Participants

Article excerpt

Michael Golden, vice chairman of The New York Times Co. and chief operating officer of The New York Times Regional Media Group, defended the controversial Newspaper Association of America meeting Thursday in Chicago, saying there was nothing secretive about it.

"The characterization in The Atlantic that this was a 'secret meeting' was inaccurate," Golden, who attended the event, told E&P Friday. "If it were secret, there wouldn't have been a sign on the door saying 'NAA meeting.' This was a meeting that had been planned for weeks -- you can't get these people together without planning it over a period of time."

He referred to The Atlantic's James Warren, who broke news of the meeting Thursday.

Golden added that even though the meeting was not publicized by NAA, that does not mean there was any effort to conceal it: "There is a difference between a public meeting or a town hall forum and a working group meeting and a secret meeting. It wasn't a convention, but NAA does a lot of things."

"This was no attempt at a clandestine meeting," said NAA President John Sturm, who called the summit a productive "information exchange."

Sturm added, "Price was never discussed, and interestingly enough, there was no reason to discuss price. [That's] always a local decision.

"There was a lot of talk about what people think works and doesn't work," he said, "and success stories of what does work."

Steven Brill, one of the co-founders of Journalism Online and who was among the particpants, added, "It was much a do about not a lot. …

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