Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nonprofit Mother Jones role model for industry

Thirty-three years after Mother Jones began as a nonprofit magazine, co-editor Monika Bauerlein jokes that "we're so out of date, we're hip."

She was referring to renewed interest in the San Francisco magazine's business model. As major daily newspapers, like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, cease publication and others, like The Chronicle, plan extensive layoffs to cope with dwindling revenue, many in the news publishing world are exploring the nonprofit model.

But switching from a profit to nonprofit model isn't easy - at least on the mass-market scale of many publications. Two Yale scholars recently estimated that it would take a $5 billion endowment to maintain the estimated $200 million annual newsroom budget for the New York Times.

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