PANPA makes a date for Sydney in 2009

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Next year’s PANPA conference will be in Sydney in August, board members have decided.

The decision was taken at the annual meeting at the end of this year’s impressive but sparsely-attended event on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Dates are August 4-5, 2009 at a hotel venue yet to be confirmed.

At the meeting, continuing president Robert Whitehead referred to the dangers of being too exposed to the “economic and structural vagaries” of the news publishing industry … and too dependent on the conference for revenue. Costs have been tightened and a new member fee structure is being prepared.

“In addition, a new business plan is being developed in order to get a renewed mandate from the publishers for the reorganisation of the industry’s key peak body,” he says.

A new financial base is needed by the end of this year to counter “deep cost changes” affecting publishers, which impact on their ability to send delegates to conferences.

The meeting also saw the election of News Limited circulation director Joe Talcott as vice-president, taking over from Martin Simons (general manager of APN New Zealand), who remains on the board with Robert Whitehead (director, marketing and newspaper sales of Fairfax Media) continuing as president.

West Australian Newspapers’ group operations and information technology general manager Liam Roche was also elected to the board, replacing his boss, WAN chief executive Ken Steinke, retiring after nine years on the board, two of them as president.

Other members of the board are treasurer, Allen Williams and directors: Campbell Reid (News) Mark Jamieson (APN) and Ross McPherson (Shepparton News). Associate member directors are Peter Kirwan (Goss International), Andrew Leighton (Norske Skog) and Chris Pash (Dow Jones Asia-Pacific).
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