The Board of Directors of UMR Communications, parent and publisher of the United Methodist Reporter, has voted to cease operations effective May 31, 2013. The decision, made at a meeting on May 16, comes after painstaking review, hopeful exploration of alternatives, and frank realization that ending the longstandingministry is the only reasonable choice.
The Board meeting was a sad time as well as an opportunity to affirm the valuable ministry of the remaining 26 employees of UMR Communications, from the people who work the web press to the design support staff to the management team to the CEO. Several are staying on, as volunteers, beyond May 31 to ensure that the Reporter archives will be well and securely preserved.
As a member of the Board I can report that the decision was a unanimous one. We concluded the meeting with Holy Communion which was tearful, grateful, faithful, believing that there is a powerful future yet-to-be revealed.
The question arises, what does this mean for the Iowa Conference Edition of the United Methodist Reporter. Our last issue, in the current print format, will be published on May 31, 2013. The Communications Ministry Team will create a post-Conference review that will be distributed electronically. That review will be created in a format that can be printed easily; we encourage churches to forward the website link as well as to print copies of this special review issue and make them available for their members. Posting a copy on a church bulletin board would be helpful, too.
Alternate printers are already being contacted. New layout formats are being considered. It is our intention to print a Conference paper in September and, at the same time, explore an effective combination electronic and print editions to match the personal preferences of people who currently receive the Reporter and others who choose to receive the Conference publication in the future.
There'll be more information to come in the near future. We'll want to hear what you'd most like to see in the new Conference publication. But for now we wanted you to know the news.
-Dr. Arthur McClanahan
Director of Communications