Merger talks between two of the world’s largest newspaper associations have broke off. For the past months, the World Association of Newspapers and Ifra had been discussing merger, but this morning WAN announced that talks had ceased, at least for the foreseeable future. Neither WAN nor Ifra said why. “Both associations agreed to continue close cooperation and expressed the hope that circumstances would allow them to re-open discussions on a merger at a future date,” wrote WAN spokesman Larry Kilman.
WAN, based in Paris, represents 72 national newspaper associations, plus 13 national news agencies, nine regional press organizations, individual newspaper executives from 102 nations. IFRA, based in Darmstadt, Germany, represents more than 3,000 publishing companies and suppliers worldwide. .
In November, I’d written that a WAN/IFRA merger would have greatly benefited the newspaper industry and have brought greater coordination new media efforts worldwide. WAN’s “Shaping the Newspaper of the Future” project is among the world’s most conceptually advanced about what newspapers must do to survive in the 21st Century. IFRA is the world’s leader at newspaper printing technologies and has been pioneering the multimedia newsroom of the future at its Newsplex research facility in South Carolina.