By Bob Allen
The board of directors of Baptist Standard Publishing voted in mid-September to put on hold talks of exploring a possible merger with Baptist News Global.
A year ago the governing boards of the two news agencies entered into talks about merger. Since 2006 the news operations have shared content through a partnership called New Voice Media. The arrangement changed when New Voice partners Associated Baptist Press and the Religious Herald of Virginia merged to become Baptist News Global in January 2014.
The Baptist Standard reported Sept. 21 that its board had voted to “temporarily suspend” merger talks until at least next summer.
“We have a tremendous amount of respect for Baptist News Global and their future vision, and we hope to continue our spirit of cooperation and collaboration with them,” said Kurt Knapton of Arlington, Texas, who led the Baptist Standard Publishing merger exploration team. “However, our board felt it best to pause discussions at this time, given the amount of change happening there.”
The vote includes a request for a meeting of representatives of the two organizations’ board in July 2016 “to consider resuming merger discussions.”
Kyle Reese, chair of the Baptist News Global board and pastor of Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., said he looks forward to continued collaboration and cooperation with the Baptist Standard, but “there are a lot of moving parts right now, and to pause discussions about a merger seems an appropriate response.”
The Baptist News Global board of directors will convene Oct. 8-9 in a regularly scheduled meeting in Durham, N.C.
Missouri’s Word and Way, the remaining New Voice Media partner, transitioned from a biweekly newspaper to a monthly magazine in July.
— With reporting by Ken Camp of the Baptist Standard.