CCNA’s ambitious readership research project, working under the name ComBase (Community Newspaper Database) enters a new phase as it prepares to hire a firm to conduct the pilot study.

A small technical committee, under the direction of ComBase project manager Elena Dunn, will undertake extensive discussions with the two remaining finalists. In addition, the committee will meet with technical staff at two of the leading companies offering media buying software tools to the advertising community. Members of the committee include Dunn, Joanne O’Connell of GPC Communications in Alberta and Rob Assels of Advocate Printing in Pictou, NS.

It is expected that a final decision regarding a research firm will be made in June. Costs will be finalized and methodologies defined over the summer. It is anticipated that the pilot study will go to the field in early Autumn.

While in Toronto, Dunn will meet with CCNA staff to work out operational details relating to the establishment of ComBase and its various committees. While ComBase is currently a project of CCNA, it is expected that it will be spun off into a separate corporation with its own board of directors once the pilot phase is completed.

Dunn just completed a move to Vancouver from her previous home in Victoria. CCNA has established a ComBase office at the premises of the BCYCNA. The direct phone line for ComBase is 604-669-0209; the fax line is 604-669-5365. Elena Dunn can be reached by e-mail at A new ComBase website is under development by CCNA Communications Manager Patrick Moore and should be operational by mid-June.

The ComBase project is being administered by the Research Task Force of CCNA, chaired by Jim Cummings of the Fort Frances (ON) Times. An advisory tripartite committee is co-chaired by David Stanger of DSA Baron, a media buying company based in Vancouver and Calgary, and Derrick Chamberlain of VanNet in Vancouver.

Stanger will be making ComBase presentations during the ACNA annual meeting in St. John’s, Newfoundland on June 1 and at the QCNA annual meeting in Montreal, Quebec on June 15. He is scheduled to present to the CCNA membership on July 21 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Stanger has already made presentations to BCYCNA, AWNA, SWNA and MCNA. Another member of the tripartite committee presented at OCNA in April.