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Columbia, TN & Cicero, NY - April 20, 2021 - The Independent Free Papers of America (IFPA) and the Association of Free Community Publications (AFCP) are pleased to announce that efforts to merge the two organizations have been successfully completed to create the Association of Community Publishers, Inc. (ACP).
The fully integrated entity represents more than 1,600 publications and supporting businesses with a combined circulation of over 7.3 million homes. Working together, the board of directors, member publications and associate members will more easily and efficiently craft collaborative solutions to problems facing the publication community as a whole.
To lead the new organization, the ACP board recently named Douglas Fry as the Executive Director of the association. Fry has served as Executive Director of IFPA since 2014 and SAPA (Southeastern Advertising Publishers Association) since 2002.
At the core of this unification, maintaining and enhancing value to the members is key. For members who belonged solely to IFPA or AFCP, the unified entity will bring together member benefits such as CVC circulation audits, peer groups, in-person and virtual events, learning opportunities, the Rising Stars program and much more, as well as being a stronger, national voice for the industry.
For the publishers who maintained a membership in both associations, their suite of benefits will remain. Through unification, we eliminate the need for members to pay dues to two associations, participate in two classified networks, or choose which events to attend.
The transfer of all assets has started and will conclude by June 30, 2021. The merged organization will operate under the newly established Association of Community Publishers (ACP) name. Initial efforts will revolve around keeping the best of both associations in order to maximize potential assistance to publishing members.
Rick Wamre, past president of ACP noted, “By gathering together, this diverse cross-section of the publishing community can more quickly adapt to market changes.”
John Draper, president of ACP emphasizes the complementary fit between the two organizations. He said “ACP is noted for the top-tier networking at its events, both in person and virtual. This September we look forward to seeing all ACP members at the in-person event in Des Moines September 17 & 18, 2021. Joined together, we will achieve great things. Benefits like a paid for circulation audit by CVC, TLI courses, peer networking, and Publish magazine all work together to grow the industry.”
“This merger offers remarkable benefits to the publishing community,” agrees Charlie Delatorre, Board Member of ACP. “AFCP and IFPA joining together is a promising opportunity to ensure the longevity and profitability of our industry. Members will benefit from cost-savings and management efficiencies. We’re excited for all that this merger makes possible.”
The Association of Community Publishers thanks the unsung heroes of this merger: the hardworking attorneys and public relations professionals who donated their time to help implement the merger. Specifically, appreciation is given to the law firms of Mayer Brown and Winston & Strawn, which worked on a pro bono basis through the Lawyers for Reporters initiative, a collaboration of the Press Freedom Defense Fund and the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, whose executive director Alexander Papachristou organized the pro bono services.