NAA To Cut Workforce By 10%-12%

By: Lucia Moses

The Newspaper Association of America this week offered a voluntary buyout in an effort to reduce its full-time headcount by 10% to 12% (or 15 to 20 positions) to offset revenue declines.

The buyout offer went out to 38 eligible employees, who are full-timers with 10-plus years of service. They have until May 3 to accept. The NAA and NAA Foundation employ 165 full-timers, down from 185 in 1995.

“What has been difficult for us, as at a lot of trade associations, has been non-dues revenue, which has fallen off considerably over the past couple years,” NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm told E&P. “In order to maintain fiscal discipline in this downturn, it was necessary to take a look at our labor costs. … If I felt we were going to finish in the black … without offering this kind of program, I wouldn’t do it.”

Sturm wouldn’t disclose the NAA’s annual revenue, but said about two-thirds come from dues paid by its roughly 20,000 members. The other third comes from such sources as print ad sales, conference registration, and conference booths and sponsorship sales, which have been sluggish.

Sturm said the NAA has trimmed non-labor costs over the past couple of years before resorting to a buyout, in areas ranging from travel to the 2001 annual report. Last year, the board froze 2002 dues, which vary by circulation size, recognizing the economic slowdown’s impact on members.

Based in Vienna, Va., the NAA represents over 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada — accounting for nearly 90% of U.S. daily circulation.

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