New association launches today;
SNPA-Inland merger is complete

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A new association formed by the consolidation of SNPA and the Inland Press Association was officially launched today.  The name of the new association will be announced on Oct. 6 at the association's first annual meeting in Chicago.

Edward VanHorn, SNPA's executive director, said that the merger unites two of the country's oldest press associations into a progressive new organization that will use its bigger and more powerful voice to be an unapologetic advocate for newspapers.

"SNPA and its members have every reason to celebrate the successes of SNPA over the last 116 years, but the newspaper industry cannot thrive on nostalgia," VanHorn said. "This is the next step in the evolution of SNPA and Inland.  The new association will be a strong advocate and unified voice for the industry and develop marketing campaigns to educate the public about the critical need for credible local journalism.  It is a giant leap forward."

In addition to its new role as industry advocate, the new association — like SNPA and Inland — will continue to identify trends and help its members find new approaches and business solutions.

"The leaders of the new association recognize that SNPA and Inland have strong cultures that nurture camaraderie and idea-sharing," VanHorn said. "Those aspects of the legacy associations are carefully preserved."

A national search for a CEO to lead the new association and its staff is near completion. VanHorn will continue with the new association through a transition period and retire in December after 43 years at SNPA.

Chris Reen, president and publisher of The Gazette in Colorado Springs and a former SNPA president, will serve as the first president of the new association.

Other officers include:

  • Vice President: Alan Fisco, president, The Seattle Times Company, Seattle, Wash.
  • Treasurer: Nat Lea, president and CEO, WEHCO Media, Little Rock, Ark.
  • Secretary: Cameron Nutting Williams, regional publisher, Ogden Newspapers, Frederick, Md.

The initial board of the new association includes nine members from the former SNPA board, nine members from the former Inland board, three R&D partners and the four officers.

"We must reinforce the importance of the journalism we do, and explain why it matters," Reen said. 

"Journalism is vital to democracy and needed in this country more than ever.  Newspaper journalism provides a voice for the voiceless, challenges elected officials, shines a light on government, calls for change when change is needed, and exposes corruption and injustice.  Journalism is the heart of our businesses and our pathway to survive and thrive in the future."

Reen pledged that the new association would re-brand newspapers and re-educate the public about what newspaper companies do.

All current members of SNPA and Inland will become members of the new association.  Members will receive renewal invoices for the next calendar year later this year. 

Newspaper dues for the new association will be based on paid subscribers.

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