Two annual meetings in the publishing industry have been canceled for 2009, both casualties of the economic recession.
The American Society of Newspaper Editors announced that it is canceling its 2009 annual meeting just two months before the convention was to take place, April 26-29 in Chicago. Plans were well under way, but officials decided to cancel it because of low attendance projections and the stress of the economy on members. With the newspaper industry struggling, ASNE leaders concluded that the challenges editors face at their newspapers demand their full attention, said Charlotte Hall, president at ASNE, in a press release. Also, said Hall, attendance would have been significantly lower than normal. The convention typically attracts between 400 and 500 attendees.
This is the first time since 1945 that ASNE has cancelled its annual convention. “This is a uniquely stressful period in our business as we face both structural change and deep recession,” stated Hall. Even though the learning opportunities at the convention would have been valuable, the greatest priority is leading our own newsrooms as we shape the future of the business,” Hall stated.
The board of directors will meet electronically to handle association business that would have otherwise occurred at the meeting. One piece of business is a vote to change the bylaws and drop “paper” from its name to expand its membership to include editors of online-only news Web sites. “We intend to press on with our transformation of ASNE to ensure its relevance in the digital age,” Hall said. ASNE plans to meet as scheduled in Washington, D.C., on April 11-14, 2010.
For many of the same reasons, the Magazine Publishers of America canceled its annual convention, the American Magazine Conference. The conference was scheduled for October 18-20 in Boca Raton, Fla. “The cancellation of this year’s AMC is in response to the difficult economic climate facing all businesses, including the magazine industry,” said Nina Link, president and CEO at MPA in a press release. “We recognize that this year our members are looking at a variety of ways to achieve savings, which would include curtailing certain discretionary travel and hotel expenses.” They hope to resume the AMC next year in Chicago.
However, MPA is looking to create a new conference focused on innovation in the consumer magazine industry. “More than ever, our members need to convene to share insights and tactics to help the industry work together more effectively and strategically. We’re focusing on innovation because new technologies also offer enormous opportunities for smart publishers to innovate and connect with their audience and advertisers in new and powerful ways,” stated Link.
The new meeting will take place in New York, but further details have not been finalized.