Report from the President

Working rapidly towards our merger with SNPA

Doug Phares
Doug Phares

I want to begin this month’s column with an update on discussions with the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association about a potential merger of our two associations.

Teams from Inland and SNPA have been meeting regularly over the past months, working of the various issues surrounding this possibility.

Work has progressed rapidly and there is significant consensus on the logic of a merger and the path to accomplish one. There is agreement of several key matters, including the basic governance, such as composition and size of a new board, as well as the officers. The group has also built a business plan for the new organization, including membership programs and services, member dues, staffing and organization, and an operating budget.

We expect to hold board votes on the merger plan in early June. Before any votes would be taken, we will complete exhaustive legal and financial due diligence. If approved by the two boards of directors, we would then schedule votes of the membership of Inland and SNPA. Those votes would take place later in June.

We believe this combination of our two proud associations would be in the best interest of our respective memberships.

Of course, if you have any questions about any of this, please contact me ( or any member of the executive committee.

Even as our boards work towards the merger, staff and leaders of Inland and SNPA have been creating the program for what promises to be an outstanding, fun and informative Joint Annual Meeting in Chicago October 6 to 8. You can read more about the presenters already committed to the meeting—and their important topics—in this edition of The Inlander on this page.

Between now and then, Inland and SNPA continue their collaboration, along with The Blinder Group and the Texas Press Association, with Mission One: Revenue. This conference—a must-attend for all of us charged with generating more revenue—has been moved to Austin, Texas, for logistical reasons. The agenda and speakers remain as insightful and laser-focused for Mission One: Revenue, now scheduled for August 15 to 17 at the Austin American-Statesman. You’ll find that agenda on pages 8-10 of this Inlander.

Finally, it’s not too early to make plans to attend Executive Voices, which returns to Chicago with a welcome dinner December 10 and a working session all day December 11. Those of you who participated in this limited-attendance event last year are being kept in the loop—and the ongoing conversation—with the monthly Your Voice newsletter. Ask anyone who attended Executive Voices last year, and you’ll see why you should leap at the chance to participate in this conversation among newspaper leaders on our industry’s most urgent issues.