SWNA publishers reaffirm support for ComBase

The Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association (SWNA) has reaffirmed its support for ComBase.

Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) President Clark Pepper said that at SWNAÔÇÖs semi-annual meeting on March 2, 78 per cent of SWNA member publishers attended. Those publishers passed a series of motions to support ComBaseÔÇÖs various initiatives.

ÔÇ£It was a very positive meeting,ÔÇØ said Pepper. ÔÇ£It gives that first indication of small publishers supporting ComBase. The motions passed are like a savings plan for ComBase that has money deposited in it every year.ÔÇØ

ComBase Project Manager Elena Dunn agreed. ÔÇ£There was agreement without question that this study was needed,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£The Saskatchewan publishers saw that right away.ÔÇØ

SWNA publishers at the meeting agreed to donate two pages of advertising each year for two years towards the national costs of ComBase and two pages of advertising towards the regional (SWNA) contribution to ComBase. SWNA publishers also voted a one per cent levy on regional advertising sales.

Pepper said the moves to generate revenue are an attempt to guarantee that ComBase is available to SWNA members at no cost.

The Manitoba Community Newspapers Association (MCNA) board also reaffirmed its support for ComBase.

In a teleconference on March 6, the board agreed to continue to help fund the project from April to December. MCNA Executive Director Rick Major said the board needed some clarification on how the ComBase payment structure would affect the associations and also on the pilot study results. Major is in the midst of polling members to find out how many are willing to donate the requested two pages of advertising for ComBase.

ÔÇ£This is definitely positive,ÔÇØ he said. ÔÇ£Our board is still of the belief that ComBase is an essential tool and we urge our members to take it seriously.ÔÇØ

SWNAÔÇÖs and MCNAÔÇÖs boardÔÇÖs reaffirmation of ComBase comes on the heels of the release of the pilot study results. Advertising agencies, regional associations, and CCNA will be receiving data from the ComBase pilot study on March 15.

The pilot study was conducted in five pilot markets (Toronto (ON), Red Deer (AB), Yorkton (SK), Killarney (MB), and Campbellton (NB), representing a variety of population groups and geographical areas.

Dunn will be traveling across the Canada in the next few months, giving presentations on ComBase to the various regional associations. She will give presentations on March 1 in Saskatchewan, on April 2-4 in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, on April 12 in Ontario, on April 13 in Manitoba, on April 26 in British Columbia and on May 11 in Quebec. Dunn will be giving members and other stakeholders a chance to see the preliminary ComBase numbers and the pricing structure.