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.