From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Council Votes to Stop "The News," Eliminates
04 May 1996 16:06:07
96095 Council Votes to Stop "The News," Eliminates
"Monday Morning" Subsidies
by Jerry L. Van Marter
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--In a move designed to stretch the Presbyterian Church's
communication budget as far and as effectively as possible, the General
Assembly Council (GAC) has decided to discontinue publication of "THE NEWS
of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)" and to make "Monday Morning" magazine
The money saved by those moves (approximately $330,000) will be used
to beef up the other publications and services of the GAC's Office of
Communication -- "NEWS BRIEFS," "Presbyterians Today," PresbyNet and
The Council's actions confirmed recommendations by its Presbyterian
Publication Task Force, chaired by the Rev. Hugh Burroughs of Santa Monica,
Calif. The task force was formed last September after a move to cease both
"THE NEWS" and "Monday Morning" was derailed by supporters of "Monday
Morning," led by David Greer, a GAC and Corporate and Administrative
Services (CAS) Committee member from Omaha.
When CAS received the task force recommendations Feb. 23, Greer said
he was "very comfortable with the report, especially with regard to Monday
Morning.'" In response to Greer's question about how long "Monday Morning"
can go if subscriptions and advertising do not cover its costs, GAC
associate director for communication Gary Luhr said, "We have until the end
of the year -- we have money budgeted for Monday Morning' until the end of
Luhr later told the Presbyterian News Service that promotional and
marketing plans for subscribers and advertisers will be laid between now
and mid-year, with a major push to enlist subscribers slated to coincide
with the upcoming General Assembly.
"Monday Morning" currently has a circulation in excess of 20,000.
Pastors serving congregations receive the magazine free of charge
(historically paid for by the Office of the General Assembly). Retired
ministers also receive it free, with their subscriptions paid by the Board
of Pensions. The pension board has been discussing whether it wants to
continue that practice.
"THE NEWS" was begun in 1988 as a publication geared primarily to
elders serving on session. Produced by the Presbyterian News Service, it
has a current circulation of 140,000. The eight-page newspaper, published
eight times a year, never seemed to find an audience -- surveys conducted
by the Research Services office in Louisville have shown very little
interest in the publication by elders.
On the other hand, "NEWS BRIEFS," the weekly publication of the
Presbyterian News Service, has received consistently high marks from
readers, particularly since its circulation was expanded a year ago to
include all pastors serving congregations. "I hear nothing but positive
comments about NEWS BRIEFS,'" noted GAC and CAS member Diane Wheeler of
Palmyra, N.Y. "It would be nice if it could go to all session members."
The current circulation of "NEWS BRIEFS" is 15,000. The Council asked
for expanded circulation of the weekly, as money allows, to include
associate pastors and clerks of session.
When "THE NEWS" ceases publication after its March issue,
"Presbyterians Today" magazine will be augmented with special material
designed for session members.
Responding to ongoing desires on the part of many church leaders for
development of an "every household" publication, the Council instructed its
Office of Communication to "seek additional input regarding an
every-household publication from church leaders at various levels,
determine how other denominations keep their members informed, evaluate the
concept of an every-household publication in light of ... computer
communcation in the PC(USA) and explore the feasibility of partnership
communication with other church entities."
As a starting point the Council asked that a pilot project be set up
to send "Presbyterians Today" free to member homes in three selected
presbyteries for a year.
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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