Arkansas Baptist News to Transition Operations
Little Rock, Arkansas - The year 2020 will bring changes and a new stage of ministry for the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN). Since 1901, this ministry has served continuously in various forms and structures. The mission of this news service has been to tell the story of how Arkansas Baptists cooperate together to spread the Gospel.
On January 16, 2020, the Board of Trustees for the ABN voted to dissolve the corporate entity that has operated the ABN and return the operation of the news service to the Executive Board of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC). The ABSC Executive Board of Trustees voted unanimously to affirm the action on January 28, 2020. The printing of the ABN and its website is being transitioned to the Communications Team of the Executive Board.
The ministry now called the ABN began as a part of the ABSC Executive Board in 1901. In 1983, Arkansas Baptists created the ABN as a corporate agency to operate the news service, with the ABSC as the parent corporation.
Since 1983, changes in technology and society have radically changed the way most people consume information. Subscriptions for the ABN began a long and steady decline, falling from 46,480 in 1990 to 12,480 as of August 2019.
Due to these concerns, financial feasibility studies were done in 1990, 1999, and 2007. Each study clearly revealed the struggles of operating the ABN as a corporate entity and forecast the need for continued vigilance.
The latest study conducted during 2019 by Landmark Certified Public Accountants showed clearly that the ABN was not viable financially as a separate agency. Subscriptions and revenues have continued to fall at dramatic levels and the agency has been losing money at an unacceptable rate. Additionally, operating the ABN as a separate agency requires expensive infrastructure costs such as facilities, accounting and business needs, a larger number of employees, equipment, and numerous other costs. After detailed evaluation, the ABN’s Board voted to dissolve the entity.
The ABN will continue online. More information regarding future print publications will be coming soon. The ABSC Communications Team will be working with Arkansas Baptists to decide the best way to communicate in the future.
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