ABM elects new executive committee, McCurdy to take over as chair

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Charleston, S.C.—American Business Media formally elected its executive committee, which will officially take office July 1. Charles McCurdy, chairman-CEO of Canon Communications, will be ABM's new chair.

In an interview with BtoB's Media Business, McCurdy discussed his priorities for the new year. “The key development for ABM will be the appointment of the new head of the organization. Gordon (Hughes') term (as 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 chair Peggy Walker, president-COO of Vance Publishing Corp., will remain on the board as past chair. She commented on her year as chair, which was a difficult one due to the economic challenges facing the industry and the association.

”It's no secret that ABM revenues, which are primarily based on dues (related to advertising revenue), are down,” she said. “They're also based on the events they hold. 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 other thing about 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 board for 2010-2011 are: Vice-Chair William L. Pollak, CEO of ALM; Secretary Anthea Stratigos, CEO of Outsell; and Treasurer Jeff Lapin, president of Farm Progress Cos.

At the annual meeting, Pollak said the association will log revenue of $2.3 million for the fiscal year that ends June 30. The organization had budgeted for revenue of $3.4 million, but a 30% drop in dues as a result of member departures and a 34% drop in event revenue contributed to the revenue shortfall.

Due to cost-cutting, however, the organization had a net loss of only $166,000. In the coming fiscal year, ABM anticipates revenue of $2.8 million and a loss of $220,000.

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