Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, board of trustees Philadelphia, April 24-26.
Directed the management team "to develop a strategic plan for 2006" for action at the board's October meeting.
Learned the company had an audited net loss of $4.3 million in 2002 and a $7.8 million--not $7.2 million--net loss in 2001.
Heard that for the first quarter of 2003, the company's operating loss was $473,000, $260,000 less than budgeted and $142,000 less than in the first quarter of 2002. The company cited better-than-expected sales. Management's financial goal for 2003 is to "break even."
Learned the company made a cash contribution in 2002 of $798,000 to its defined benefit pension plan because of declines in investment returns. A $950,000 contribution is estimated for 2003.
Discussed the churchwide organization's decision to cut an annual subsidy of $50,000 to Augsburg Fortress for The Lutheran, part of recent ELCA budget reductions (see page 31). The board suggested the magazine's advisory committee could raise concerns with churchwide leaders.
Heard that subscriptions for The Lutheran declined to 463,000. In April, a loss of 25,000 subscribers was reported, with most congregations saying they can't maintain the financial commitment to pay for members' subscriptions.
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