American Business Media formally elected its next executive committee last month at its annual conference in Charleston, S.C. The new members take office July 1.
Charles McCurdy, chairman-CEO of Canon Communications, will be ABM's new chairman. In an interview, he discussed his priorities for the coming year.
“The key development for ABM will be the appointment of the new head of the organization. Gordon [T. Hughes II's] term [as president-CEO] is scheduled to end around July 1, about the same time I become chairman of the board. That's the key development for ABM: working with the new leadership and executing on the strategic plan that was adopted last fall.”
Outgoing chairwoman Peggy Walker, president-COO of Vance Publishing Corp., will remain on the board as past chairwoman. She commented on the difficulties of the last year due to the economic challenges facing the industry and the association.
“It's no secret that ABM revenues, which are primarily based on dues [determined by advertising revenue], are down,” she said. “They're also based on the events [ABM holds]. There has been pressure on both. Member revenues are down, thus the dues are down. Some members, unfortunately, resigned. The struggle has been how do you improve member value on a much smaller group of resources?”
Walker added: “On the positive side ... the new dues structure that was put in place to help retain and attract new members has started to see new members and members come back in. Source Media came in last quarter, and we'll be announcing more members coming back in soon.”
Other members of the 2010-2011 board are: Vice Chairman William Pollak, CEO of ALM; Secretary Anthea Stratigos, CEO of Outsell; and Treasurer Jeff Lapin, president of Farm Progress Cos.
At the annual conference, Pollak said the association will have revenue of $2.3 million for the fiscal year that ends June 30. The organization had budgeted for $3.4 million, but a 30% drop in dues related to member departures and a 34% decline in event revenue contributed to the shortfall.
As a result of cost-cutting, however, ABM had a net loss of only $166,000 for the fiscal year. In the coming fiscal year, ABM anticipates revenue of $2.8 million and a loss of $220,000. —S.C.