Poynter President Karen Dunlap: ‘These have been difficult times’ for institute

Tampa Tribune | Philanthropy.com
Poynter Institute President Karen Dunlap acknowledged in an interview with the Tampa Tribune’s Richard Mullins that “these have been difficult times” for the institute, which recently created a foundation to seek additional sources of revenue.

The institute, which owns the Tampa Bay Times, has traditionally relied on dividends from the paper, as well as tuition, foundation support and donations. But an April job posting for president of the Poynter Foundation says that funding model “is no longer viable by itself”:

Newspapers no longer offer the generous dividends that can maintain the vitality of a national journalism training institute, and strategic thinking over the past couple of years indicates that this model will no longer provide the necessary resources that will enable Poynter to thrive and grow in the future.

Mullins looked into Poynter’s financials and reports:

Poynter’s expenses … stood at $8.5 million in 2010, down from $9.6 [million] two years before. Out of Poynter’s $6 million current annual budget, only $2 million has come from foundations and local fund-raising drives. A periodic “dividend” from the Times normally helps close the gap.

The posting for the president of the Poynter Foundation says the person “will build philanthropic support through major gift solicitation, annual campaign, planned giving, special events, alumni relations, and donor recognition programs.” The foundation chairman is Brian Tierney, former president of Philadelphia Media Holdings, which owned The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.

The Tribune also reports that Poynter is finalizing plans to market property, appraised at $2.5 million, around its campus in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Earlier: Tampa Bay Times restores salaries, ending temporary 5% pay cut | Tampa Bay Times requests waiver from pension payment in 2012

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  • http://profiles.google.com/john.ettorre John Ettorre

    It’s karmac payback for treating Romenesko so shabbily. Poynter lost the respect of thousands of journos for that sad chapter.

  • http://profiles.google.com/john.ettorre John Ettorre

    It’s karmac payback for treating Romenesko so shabbily. Poynter lost the respect of thousands of journos for that sad chapter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Brown/501317197 Jeff Brown

    For starters, Poynter might replace Brian Tierney with someone offering a better track record and more substance instead of spin. Tierney is the PR and advertising executive who lost all his partners’ money in a disastrous purchase of the Philadelphia newspapers, which ended in bankruptcy. As the company was collapsing and demanding cuts from employees Tierney enjoyed a fat raise. Then he dragged the bankruptcy process on months longer than necessary, racking up tens of millions of dollars in legal fees, in an effort to maintain control — essentially, to keep his own job. While he touted his group as a new type of newspaper owner with local commitments, he was no different from his predecessors, relying as they had on cuts rather than innovation. The online operation, so critical to the future, languished, and the paper suffered an exodus of talent. With circulation plunging, Tierney relied on the gimmicky solution of combining the Inquirer and Daily News to disguise the numbers. Surely, Poynter can do better than Brian Tierney.