The News Media Alliance and MPA – The Association of Magazine Media have announced their agreement to merge. The newly combined association will be called the News/Media Alliance and, according to a spokesperson, will focus on “building a powerful future for quality journalism”. The memberships of both organizations have approved the merger, which, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close this summer.
Founded in 1992 and headquartered just outside Washington, D.C, The News Media Alliance represents more than 2,000 news organizations (from small, local news outlets to large international media corporations) in the United States and globally. Alliance members include print, digital and mobile publishers of original news content.
Based in Washington, D.C., MPA – The Association of Magazine Media is the industry trade association for multi-platform magazine media companies. Representing over 500 brands, the MPA is a who’s who of established magazine publishers including Condé Nast, Bonnier, National Geographic, Vox Media, Trusted Media Brands, and countless others.
A key reason for the merger is to increase its members’ bargaining power, with extracting a fairer revenue share from Google and Facebook a top priority. Indeed, NMA has been working tirelessly to get an antitrust exemption so that newspapers can negotiate collectively with big tech. It is now hoped that the merger will help push through the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, a bill that failed to pass last year and is currently being revised for reintroduction in Congress.
Current Alliance President & CEO, David Chavern, who will act as CEO of the combined entity, says, “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to bring our two organizations together and leverage our collective voice to achieve our shared vision of a bright and thriving future for high-quality journalism and content.”
The needs of the two industries are closely aligned, and this union will allow us to deliver higher value for a broader number of publishers and content creators.David Chavern, President & CEO, News Media Alliance
Chavern continues, “Our members are continually creating new digital products that engage audiences and strengthen communities. They want and deserve markets for those products that fairly value quality journalism. We are absolutely committed to helping them to win in the evolving digital content landscape.”
MPA President and Chief Executive Officer, Rita Cohen, adds, “The combined strength of news and magazine media publishers in this new alliance will expand opportunities for both our memberships, and we are pleased to be helping make this merger happen on their behalf.”
The annual American Magazine Media Conference which was discontinued during the pandemic will not be revived, leaving the industry with a clear void in terms of large-scale industry gatherings. The NMA discontinued its own annual conference several years ago, and now participates with several other associations in the ‘Mega-Conference‘.
Publishing Hall of Fame inductee, and CEO of Precision Media Group, Bo Sacks, told WNIP that the merger will see the MPA go back to its roots, saying, “The merger with The News Media Alliance is a natural and understandable coalition. The heyday of MPA’s fantastic huge media annual parties has become unsustainable and unaffordable. The MPA is back to its original 100-year-old purpose . . . lobbying for the industry.”
The MPA merger is a classic example of understanding the dynamics of a changing business environment. In the recent past, the MPA lived happily through the vast and long-lived gilded age of magazines. The magazine publishing industry went from exuberant success of excess to the de-evolution of a hundred-year-old business model. Print is no longer the pinnacle of mass communication.Bo Sacks, CEO, Precision Media Group