CNA looks at cutting fees to bring back the Sun

Sun Media's decision to pull out of the Canadian Newspaper Association at this end of year is all about the money but the newspaper chain has not closed the door on discussing the situation. Sun's parent company Quebecor is also moving its cable properties out of cable industry associations.

Sun Media’s decision to pull out of the Canadian Newspaper Association at this end of year is all about the money but the newspaper chain has not closed the door on discussing the situation. Sun’s parent company Quebecor is also moving its cable properties out of cable industry associations.

In an effort to keep Canada’s second-largest newspaper group in the fold, the CNA is forming a task force to explore ways to cut its budget and reduce membership fees for all of its 101 members.

Anne Kothawala, CNA president and CEO, says Sun Media executives would like to see the association reduce its budget and subsequently its fees. ‘We’ll take a look to see if there are areas where we can reduce dues and, if there are, then we’ll table with the board and take the recommendations back to Sun Media executives and have them make the call,’ says Kothawala.

‘They remain members for the balance of this year so we do have the flexibility of time in terms of working through the process. Over the course of the next few months we’ll move quickly so everyone is functioning with some degree of certainty – and then we’ll be able to get on with the business at hand.’

Sun Media’s membership in the CNA contributed about 20% of the CNA’s annual $2 million budget. The organization is the only trade association exclusively representing daily newspapers, both French and English, across Canada.

The CNA has three primary functions: lobbying the government on issues that impact the newspaper industry; member services, such as providing research, industry trends and forecasts; and marketing to raise the profile of daily newspapers and the CNA with advertisers and agencies.

Currently the CNA is involved in an effort to get the federal government to loosen legislation on pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer advertising. On the marketing end, it is presenting media plan makeovers to packaged goods advertisers to show them the added reach that comes from adding newspapers to their media mix.