ASNE, APME TALK ABOUT DUPLICATION OF EFFORTS

By: Joe Strupp

Merger Could Result Between Editors’ Groups



WASHINGTON – Citing a need to stop ‘duplication of efforts,’ leaders of
the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) and the Associated
Press Managing Editors (APME) will hold talks to determine if they
should combine resources.



Although only preliminary, the discussions could lead to a merger of
the two groups or, at the very least, a stronger working relationship,
according to people familiar with the discussions who would not speak
for attribution. ‘The two sides want to look at how we operate, and how
to fix this duplication, and part of that could be a merger,’ said one
APME official who requests anonymity. ‘Anything like that is way down
the line, but the discussions will begin.’



APME president Jerry Ceppos, vice president for news at Knight Ridder
Inc., and Rich Oppel, incoming ASNE president and editor at the Austin
(Texas) American-Statesman, each confirm the discussions, but downplay
merger talks at this point. ‘There does not have to be any certain
outcome,’ Oppel said. ‘At a minimum, we will get to know each other
better.’



No specific meeting dates have been set, but the two sides appointed a
six-person committee this week during meetings at the annual ASNE
convention being held here. The committee will include Oppel, Ceppos,
and two more representatives from each group.



‘We’re going to have an informal couple of meetings and share
information,’ Oppel said. ‘They will be frank discussions about the
future of each organization.’



Ceppos said such talks are needed to create a more productive working
relationship. ‘If they have some of the same goals, it is better to
work together,’ he said. ‘Right now, the overlap is tremendous.’



Each group is well regarded among newspaper editors, who regularly
attend the annual conventions and programs of each. ASNE is the older
and larger of the two, dating back to 1922 and boasting a membership of
900, Oppel said. Ceppos said APME, which has been in existence for
about 60 years, has looser membership requirements, but often draws as
many as 300 people to its annual convention in October. APME also has
strong ties to The Associated Press because membership is open to any
AP member’s editors.



Both Ceppos and Opell say the discussions were prompted by concerns
from members who were seeing many of the same issues, programs, and
events promoted by both groups. Some believe that talks could result in
a streamlining of efforts – and fewer meetings to attend.



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Joe Strupp (jstrupp@editorandpublisher.com) is associate editor for
Editor & Publisher magazine.









(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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