NAA Foundation to merge with American Press Institute

Newspaper Association of America
The boards of directors for the Newspaper Association of America Foundation and the American Press Institute have agreed to “merge to create a dynamic new organization focused on meeting newspapers’ crucial multimedia training and development needs.”

Each organization has an endowment, but because they’re dependent on voluntary contributions from financially pressed news organizations, neither has prospered over the last several years. API’s longtime director, Drew Davis, retired last year; associate director, Mark Mulholland, departed as well. API’s website indicates that the institute is down to three teaching professionals, and it appears a schedule of seminars has not been formulated for 2012.

Caroline Little, who succeeded John Sturm as president and CEO of NAA last year, told me by phone that the deal will close next week, and representatives from both boards will go to work immediately on details of how it will operate. Such basics as the name of the merged organization and where it will be located have not been determined, she said. (API shares a building in Reston, Va., with the American Society of News Editors and other tenants; NAA’s offices are in Arlington.)

In the last several years both NAA and ASNE have downsized and worked on refocusing their mission.

Little said that she hopes that the new organization will continue API’s training, principally in developing digital products and revenue. She said she hoped the new group would do more “advocating for the industry” in order to rebut doom-and-gloom coverage, already an emphasis of her tenure so far at NAA. “We have more audience than ever,” she said. “If the industry actually was dying, I wouldn’t have signed on for this.”

NAA and its foundation are incorporated separately because the parent organization lobbies extensively.

The news release follows:

AMERICAN PRESS INSTITUTE MERGES WITH NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA FOUNDATION

Arlington, Va. –The American Press Institute (API) and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation (NAAF) announced today that they will merge to create a dynamic new organization focused on meeting newspapers’ crucial multimedia training and development needs. The merger agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both organizations.

API and NAAF have complementary strengths and fulfill related missions in helping the newspaper industry navigate its ongoing digital transition. Because of this, the leadership of both organizations views the merger as an excellent opportunity to combine resources and better address digital revenue opportunities, while continuing to help newspapers draw upon the long-term strengths, such as quality journalism, that they demonstrate in the changing media landscape.

Over the course of the next several months, leadership of the new entity will map out the specifics of integrating existing API and NAA Foundation programs into the new organization. Organizational and related details will also be addressed through a comprehensive review process, under the direction of board governance that will be drawn from both the NAA Foundation Board of Trustees and the API Board of Directors.

“By combining, NAAF and API create a unique industry opportunity to intensify a critical focus on extending the strengths of our print, digital and niche assets in a changing media landscape,” said Tom Silvestri, chair of the API Board of Directors. “The new organization will better serve the newspaper industry with inspiration and help in an era of transformation.”

Added Caroline Little, NAA president and CEO: “We couldn’t be happier joining forces with API. It provides a terrific opportunity to deliver more horsepower to share best practices, training and leadership development throughout the industry.”

The Newspaper Association of America is the industry’s largest trade association for newspapers, focusing on business development, legislative issues, external communications and advocacy. Under the terms of the merger agreement, the NAA Foundation, a separate IRS Section 501(c)3 exempt organization, will merge with the American Press Institute, also a 501(c)3 organization.

The new organization will have a board chaired by Mark Newhouse, executive vice president/newspapers of Advance Publications Inc., that combines representation from the API Board of Directors and the NAAF Board of Trustees. Bob Weil, vice president of operations for The McClatchy Co., will serve as vice chairman.

About NAA

NAA is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 2,000 newspapers and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and Canada. NAA members include daily newspapers as well as nondailies, other print publications and online products. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on the major issues that affect today’s newspaper industry: public policy/legal matters, advertising revenue growth and audience development across the medium’s broad portfolio of products and digital platforms. Information about NAA and the industry may be found at www.naa.org.

About the NAA Foundation

The NAA Foundation strives to develop engaged and literate citizens in our diverse society through investment in and support of programs designed to enhance student achievement through newspaper readership and appreciation of the First Amendment. The Foundation also endeavors to help news media companies increase their readership and audience by offering programs that encourage the cultivation of a more diverse work force in the press. Information about the Foundation and its programs may be found at www.naafoundation.org.

About API

API is the trusted source for career and leadership development for the newsmedia industry in North America and around the world, helping companies innovate and leaders realize their full potential. Founded in 1946 by the late Sevellon Brown, editor and publisher of the Providence Journal, API was created to fill a need for industry-specific management education. Since then, thousands of newsmedia industry professionals and journalism educators have relied on API for their career development. Today, API brings diverse talents and deep experience to each program and initiative, with one thing in common: a passion to serve, inspire and lead our industry. Information about API and its programs may be found at www.americanpressinstitute.org.

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