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Trade groups for news and magazine industries to vote on merger
April 21, 2022 |

Two organizations representing newspapers and magazines as well as the digital and mobile aspects of the news business could merge. Members of both the News Media Alliance and MPA—The Association of Magazine Media will vote on the agreement May 6.

“While the two industries have had different pasts, their futures are very aligned, and we see this as a great collective opportunity to build a vibrant digital future for quality journalism,” David Chavern, CEO of NMA, said in an email to CEO Update.

Chavern said if the membership approves the proposal, next steps would include finalizing terms, requesting regulatory approvals and moving toward a merger date in the “very near future.”
Rick Edmonds, media business analyst at the Poynter Institute, reported recently that the News Media Alliance would absorb MPA, with seven MPA directors joining NMA’s board.

NMA is the much larger organization, reporting revenue of $22 million in 2020. According to the NMA website, it represents more than 2,000 news organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and globally.

MPA, with revenue of $3 million in 2020, represents both global media companies and small independent journals. The magazine business has been hammered in recent years by falling advertising, rising postal rates and consolidation, according to the story posted by the Poynter Institute. MPA was formed in 1919, and used to hold a large annual conference. It was also a key data source on the industry and its members, including monthly digital audience statistics.

Today, MPA’s website lists two staff: CEO Rita Cohen and an administrative officer. Cohen was until earlier in April MPA’s senior vice president for legislative and regulatory policy. She succeeded Brigitte Schmidt Gwyn.

MPA had moved its headquarters from New York City to Washington, D.C., in 2019 as part of its effort to prioritize lobbying and advocacy. That is also NMA’s focus as it seeks an antitrust waiver to allow the industry to negotiate compensation rates with Google and Facebook for the content they use.