Newseum is ‘struggling mightily to cover its costs’

Associated Press

Admission fees at the Washington, D.C., museum covered about 10 percent of its costs in 2011, Brett Zongker reports. The Newseum — which costs $22 for adults to visit — relies heavily on the endowment of the Freedom Forum, which funds the museum:

In 2011, the endowment provided nearly half the Newseum’s $63.7 million revenue. In 2010, it was more than half.

Consultant David Ellis tells Zongker he considers the museum’s reliance on Freedom Forum’s endowment “a red flag because they are basically using the principal of the endowment, to some degree, to pay for operations.”

Freedom Forum CEO James Duff made $1.6 million in 2011, including $1.4 million in deferred compensation. The Freedom Forum was established by former Gannett CEO Al Neuharth, who died earlier this year. The museum laid off 16 people earlier this year in what it called a restructuring.

The museum is hardly the only news-related education entity that has struggled financially.

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  • johnqpublic3

    Why is it struggling? Because it’s a vanity exercise?

  • Wanda Garner Cash

    And why hasn’t this been reported? Because of gag orders?

  • Robert Knilands

    It’s also interesting to follow the link about the other struggling entity. It’s Poynter. One of the commenters mentions its mission was to support independent journalism. I guess as long as that meant not being independent of the failings of newsrooms and the thought processes of the failing leaders, then the mission has been a smashing success. Except for that huge budget shortfall, of course.

  • JTFloore

    it would be quite interesting to see what the feasibility study said about building the newseum — presuming there was one.

  • Robert Knilands

    Any place that hosts a site where the merit of newspapers is decided by the mere appearance of their front pages needs to crash and burn. Then the building should be demolished, and the ground should be salted.