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The SOAP: AMA / MA

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Old 01-13-2005, 02:02 AM
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Hossfly
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Default The SOAP: AMA / MA

Thanks to the Powers-that-be, we have ARFs. If no ARFs, when would we find time to spend so much time on these web-sites, and reading magazines?

Speaking of magazines, there has been a lot of discussion about AMA's Model Aviation on this forum. There are a number of schools of thought. Thoughts are like P-51s, everyone has one or more.

Now in this forum, in the thread, "Helping Dr. Frank" I expressed my thoughts and one concerned the point about Model Aviation as a profit center for AMA. Now in that thread, posts 10 and 13 recite all the news that JR asked the AMA staff during the recent model show in southern CA. While it's all very interesting, I relate the AMA Staff question/answers to asking Dan Rather if he had any political motives in his quest for GW's air-guard experiences. In addition, I have only one conclusion as to why JR chose that thread to relay all his information.

My thesis is that AMA should require the MA staff to return a substantial -- 20% net -- profit to AMA each year. If the staff is unable to do so then get a new staff. Someone can do the job.

STORY TIME: When I was in the USAF, one day at a wing staff meeting where lower echelon officers could listen in if time permitted, the Wing Commander was searching for some solutions to problems. Those L/Cs and senior Majors were hum-hawing, making excuses, etc., so the WC said, "If you guys can't find solutions now, and get rid of your unit's roadblocks, then I bet that several of these senior Captains facing a 35-40% selection criteria as they become eligible for promotion to major, can and will find those solutions if I give them YOUR jobs and let you go down and be a squadron pilot. They would love the record on their Effectiveness Reports. RESULT: Some shifting butts in the chairs and within 5 minutes there were answers being discussed very seriously.

That is all the EC has to do. "Get it done or don't let the door hit your behinder as you hit the road."

You AMA members are paying those 6-figure incomes. Not the advertising vendors.

JR:
Addressing issue with MA only:
In talking to the Executive Vice President/CFO, Doug Holland, I found that my interpretation was essentially correct. There are other tests than those mentioned, which the AMA does appear to pass, and others they do not. In the view of Dave Brown, and Doug Holland, the AMA has a marginal right to the 501 (c) 3 IRS status it now posesses. Both would like to see the museum accredited to bolster the status. It will not be an inexpensive proposition to accredit the museum. It is extremely likely that a new building might be required, along with other changes. Accreditation is done by an outside authority and not by an assertion from the AMA that it meets such requirements as are necessary.
Why is a NEW BUILDING always the answer for a bunch of bureaucrats?

In discussing the magazine, it was brought up, by everyone I talked to about it, that very little is raised though subscriptions (negligible for all practical purposes). Since this unit of the AMA is taxable, it makes no sense to set aside, in the accounting sense, money from the membership for subscriptions. As a result, Model Aviation is a magazine without the offset of a subscription base. Again, looking at it only from an accounting view, it has to be supported by other means than a normal magazine. The only other means, of any consequence, apparent to me, is advertising revenue.
Then why is the advertising not competitive with other magazines?

1 Page Black 1 mo. 12 mo.

RCM ........................$1620.00.................. 1360.00
MAN .......................$ 2900.00 .................2385.00
FLY RC .....................$ 1625.00................1365.00
AMA /MA ..................$1533.00 .................1159.00

AMA has a captive audience / conscripted subscriber base of some 150,000 persons.
MAN has a production of only about 75,000 magazines. Much more money for a nearly 50% reduction in the advertiser's base. How does it prosper?

While I certainly have questions about the advertising revenue, some of which I have previously raised here, I can not see any way the advertising revenue can go from the current $851,032 to $2.15 million (?), much less doing it without increasing the costs of advertising, which such a feat would require.
"...without increasing the cost of advertising...) Now JR you have bumped your head on a solution and you never even recognized it. It's called being competitive in the marketplace.
While I suppose that having MA on news stands might bring in some amount, I doubt that the net revenue would be much. Just as aside, I can not remember seeing the NRA, or AAA in house magazines being displayed in news stands, but, admit they might be somewhere.
NRA isn't an Exempt unit.
In a discussion with Rob Kurek, he noted that several of the traditional magazines have decreasing circulation.
So does AMA and hence MA. Another Staffer BS answer to circumnavigate the situation.
IIRC, the same poster who suggested 20% ROI has, in the past, made an assertion that the $18 subscription rate shown on Model Aviation’s masthead IS set aside for the use of Model Aviation magazine. If that were the case, and AMA has 150,000 members who receive the magazine, that would produce subscription income of $2.7 million. IF that were the case, MA is already has a ROI approaching 25% WITHOUT ANY additional advertising revenue.
WHOSE INVESTMENT? Not MA's. MINE AND YOURS.
It's given that with the requirements of AMA News and such in the MA, it cannot be all advertising as the other magazines. However with the large subscriber base, the rates can be very competitive which IMO would motivate the other media to again support AMA as the binding organization for organized modeling activities.

MA undercuts the model media industry. MA is paid for by member dues. MA could be a profit center. That would require an EC that demands production. That would require some strong personalities that look for the bottom line, yet somewhat liberal with that line as long as it was buying the advancement of the sport and hobby throughout the nation. That is not now happening.

Edit: format
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Old 01-13-2005, 09:45 AM
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Red Scholefield
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

Some good thoughts presented here. I've forwarded to my VP. Have you sent it to yours?

ORIGINAL: Hossfly

Speaking of magazines, there has been a lot of discussion about AMA's Model Aviation on this forum. There are a number of schools of thought. Thoughts are like P-51s, everyone has one or more.

Now in this forum, in the thread, "Helping Dr. Frank" I expressed my thoughts and one concerned the point about Model Aviation as a profit center for AMA.

SNIP

MA undercuts the model media industry. MA is paid for by member dues. MA could be a profit center. That would require an EC that demands production. That would require some strong personalities that look for the bottom line, yet somewhat liberal with that line as long as it was buying the advancement of the sport and hobby throughout the nation. That is not now happening.
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:32 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

ORIGINAL: Red Scholefield

Some good thoughts presented here. I've forwarded to my VP. Have you sent it to yours?

<SNIP>
Hi Red

I agree, there is so good information there. I am impressed that Horrace has jumped on the questions I asked and taken the research as his own. I posted rate comparisons and the fact that revenue costs over ninety cents for each dollar of advertising revenue produced. Unfortunately, he is a day late (actually about 6 months) and a dollar short.

About six months ago, I posted the fact that no one on the AMA payroll made as much as $100,000. I suppose Horrace’s assertion about 6 figure incomes applies to the numbers including those after the decimal point.
He has also stated 13 issues of MA were sent to members last year. Then he posts his opinion, implying a conspiracy, in my opinion, that the AMA leadership will not “admit” that it was done. I have posted my opinion of his abilty to determine the number of issues before and won’t do it again now.
He has also stated his unsupported opinion that MA staff spent $80,000 without authorization. No facts, no substance, just his opinion.
He is promoting a return of 20% without any basis to make the suggestion. Heck, if the EC is going to mandate a ROI for MA without any basis, let’s make it a couple of hundred percent and make membership in the AMA free. Sounds good to me. Unfortunately, it’s based on zilch. Nothing has been put forward to suggest how it might be done other than to raise advertising rates that may or may not be correct as they are. Heck, while we are at it, lets raise the advertising rate to a million dollars a page. That will solve all the problems. We don’t need to be concerned whether the rates are realistic or not. We will just tell Mark Lanterman how many of those million dollar pages he must sell and all of our problems will disappear.

While I have not sent the questions and information to Tony, Mark, or Andy, the other members of the EC are aware of the questions, and have been for months. Horrace is about 6 months behind the curve. I suppose he is in need some new issue to raise, should he decide to run for EVP. I put out the information that EVP Doug Holland does not support funding of the captive. That makes it hard for Horrace to support his opinionated assertions that the members of the captive board have some nefarious intentions. I suppose MA is as good an issue as any, substantiated facts be damned.
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Old 01-13-2005, 08:06 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

ORIGINAL: J_R

Hi Red
I agree, there is so good information there. I am impressed that Horrace has jumped on the questions I asked and taken the research as his own. I posted rate comparisons and the fact that revenue costs over ninety cents for each dollar of advertising revenue produced. Unfortunately, he is a day late (actually about 6 months) and a dollar short.
In this forum, it seems that six postings ago is history for most. and 6 months is ancient history.
JR you well know that the manner of how AMA uses MA has long been an issue of mine. Where I speak of what you have said, I quote your statements. IN ADDITION, the figures I posted here come directly from the webs of the magazines or in MA's case the web of Airborne Media.
THE NEXT to LAST SOURCE OF ANYTHING THAT MIGHT BE OF TRUTH, IMO, IS SOME AMA STAFFER -- ONE EXCEPTION -- OR ELECTED OFFICER -- TWO EXCEPTIONS. THE SOURCE JUST ABOVE THAT, IN THAT LIST, HAPPENS TO BE ONE J.R.
Like anyone else, I simply copied the web site information and placed it in "My Documents" for future reference. Two magazines do not offer that info. on their web. They are FM and RCR. I have the RCR figures as the owner/editor sent them to me. I have not yet queried FM.
Your reference that I would use your research is as obtuse as thinking I would believe Dan rather. Not too bright there!

About six months ago, I posted the fact that no one on the AMA payroll made as much as $100,000. I suppose Horrace’s assertion about 6 figure incomes applies to the numbers including those after the decimal point.
True I don't have -- and should not have -- any employee's salary, just the total expended in '03. JR, here I will resort to your method of "fact" finding. I will use verbal tales from some close to the subject. In '03 I was told that the ED's salary and Bonus well exceeded $100,000. True? DamnifIknow!
However officially documented records state that the Advertising Agent -- NOT an employee but a contractor -- collected $127,803. In my dirty little mind, there seems a speck that causes me to think that if a contractor was paid that sum that some of the inner hierarchy would also be in or close to such a bracket. If not so, they only have to say so.

I don't see the need to give credence to the remainder of your illogical and delusory rants. I am aware that there are those that get a HIGH when they rub noses and other parts with those of supposedly status and high rank. It seems that these types so go ballistic when someone disputes their gospels. JR this ain't "one of those days." [>:]

edit; just learned that 'quote' is case sensitive here.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:34 AM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

More than once, you have posted a lack of trust in what is written by those in the hierarchy of the AMA. More than once, you have posted a distrust of what people have do say. By eliminating the two, just what is it you base your opinions on? Are your opinions totally unsupported? You bring up Dan Rather. I suggest you look in the mirror.

More than once, you have expressed your disdain for the AMA Financial Statements. Where do you get your financial information on the AMA, if not from the Financial Statements, written information, or verbal information? Yet, when I find questions those very documents raise, you bring up the practices of Enron. Again, perhaps you need to look in the mirror.

Until I posted, asking questions I feel need answering, your position on Model Aviation magazine was that it should be optional. Now, you take on the newfound information as some cause celeb.

You imply that I am trying to push some issue under the rug. Let me ask you this rhetorical question Horrace, just why do you think I raised the questions to begin with? It was because I have questions that have not been answered and which I think should be answered. At the same time, I find no need to speculate about the integrity of anyone or anything. All I want is a search for the truth. I have no other agenda. Do you?

Now, more specifically, you seem to have some problem with the amount paid to Airbourne Media for advertising sales. From the numbers, the commissions are 15% of sales. Is that not the industry standard for magazine advertising sales? If so, exactly what is your point?
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Old 01-14-2005, 01:10 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

Now, more specifically, you seem to have some problem with the amount paid to Airbourne Media for advertising sales. From the numbers, the commissions are 15% of sales. Is that not the industry standard for magazine advertising sales? If so, exactly what is your point?

If MA ad. rates were ALSO INDUSTRY STANDARD, AIRBORNE Media would be earning more. Wonder why he doesn't lobby for that? Perhaps it's because he couldn't sell so much so easily and therefore his net might be less. Just a possibility.

Actually, why not be INDUSTRY STANDARD and have a couple in-house clerks handle the advertising? 50% of the commission could be saved. Looks like 10 salaried people already on the mag. staff, al accounted under AMA expenses. Could a reduction in force be a possibility? Worth an investigation, methinks.

The overall point as I'm sure the vast majority of normal people can easily comprehend, is that if MA was published as an informational magazine with AMA news, to satisfy the IRC 501(c)(3) requirements, then it would not even need advertising as the cost to the individual member would not change more than about 50 cents per year. We members pay for it now and with less staff to support, perhaps the overall AMA Staff in-house expense would even drop.

In addition AMA would again benefit from the other magazines supporting AMA through reporting on large AMA sponsored events. The bureaucracy of the current AMA/MA is about like intentionally shooting BOTH feet. It is rather crippling to advancing the sport/hobby of model aviation.

JR you mention "integrity". You state "I find no need to speculate about the integrity of anyone or anything." That's fine, and proper. However, in my case, I rather prefer to term my speculations as to MOTIVATION. When a situation exists concerning people, things happen and evolve due to individual/group motivation. To change a direction of some group, first the motivation must be discovered, and changes made, and thence a redirection just may result. I'm searching for motivation. I will continue to do so.

Now would not the world be better if a judge simply had to ask, "Did you steal that car?" "Did you kill that person?" "Did you CEOs steal all the corporate pension plan money?" Then hear the No, No, No, and all is solved for a better world.
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Old 01-14-2005, 03:28 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

How do you know that Airborne is not, or has not asked for higher rates? Is that an assumption?

Has the AMA ever tried using clerks for sales and found them inefficient and expensive? Keep in mind that as an arms-length entity, Airborne is not entitled to the fringe benefits and statutory benefits which in house clerks would be. Many, many businesses have found commissioned sales schemes to be more productive, efficient, and less costly then their own in-house clerks. Airlines, which you are familiar with, come to mind.

In my opinion, a better question is: Why are the advertising sales limited to one exclusive business?

Your assertion that without advertising, the cost of the magazine would not change substantially, was my contention when I first raised this issue. However, it leads to other questions. Is the advertising, that does appear, a service to the membership, as well as a source of revenue? Has a conscious decision that it is, been made?

What is the concern with other magazines, or the effect on competition for ads, if, in fact, the magazine must exist? One story I heard was of a staffer from another magazine, back in the days when MA was beginning, who complained bitterly about the AMA publishing a magazine, because he felt the market was oversaturated with modeling magazines. He went on to launch his own magazine, which I understand is quite successful. If what I have been told is true, and I have no reason to believe it is not, the circulation of other modeling magazines, taken as a whole, are dropping. The emergence of sites, such as RCU are viewed as not only more current, but, more informative and factual than traditional magazines, by some. Is your concern in this area about a dying institution, i.e. modeling publications?

The questions I have raised in this post are just a few of those I have suggested be asked by some on the EC. There are many more. I see no point in posting them here, but, then, I have no other agenda than the truth. These questions were raised months ago.

As I have posted elsewhere, if acceptable answers are not forthcoming, and possibly even if they are, it is my opinion that an outside audit of the publication practices should take place. It has also been suggested by another AMA member that the AMA may have members who are capable of conducting such an audit, who might do the work as volunteers.

I have to ask, since the word motivation is yours: What was your motivation is putting forth an opinion that the MA staff spent $80,000 without authorization? Do you have proof?
What was the motivation in your statements about the leadership not being willing to “admit” that a 13th issue of MA was published during 2004? (A simple check of accounting records would show the truth that 12 were published).
What is the motivation in putting forth a statement that leads people to believe that MA staff have incomes of six figures, when you do not know the truth of it? It was not stated as an opinion, but as a fact. (As an aside, do you have some inherent belief that earning 6 figures is wrong?)

Again, if you believe neither the written, nor the spoken word, what do you base your opinions/motivation on?
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Old 01-14-2005, 04:07 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

I have a couple of questions for you gentlemen.

What was/is the purpose of MA? Is it primarily to bolster the IRC 501(c) (3) tax exemption status or is it supposed to be an informational publication for the membership? I have not been in the hobby long enough to know how MA started and for what reason.

Would the AMA loose its tax exemption without MA?

From what I gather from this forum, AMAs 501 (c) (3) status falls under the educational category? The small amount of reading I’ve done about the IRC 501 (c) (3) requirements, a qualifying publications content is supposed to be primarily educational in nature. MA in its current form would appear to be dangerously close to not meeting those standards. If MA became profitable and/or competitive with similar commercial magazines it may no longer meet the tax exempt standards. There is also the risk of the commercial publishers contesting MAs tax exempt status under the premise that MA has an unfair advantage in the market place.

What should MA be?
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Old 01-14-2005, 04:20 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

ORIGINAL: J_R
(As an aside, do you have some inherent belief that earning 6 figures is wrong?)
I found that statement a little quaint myself. The days where you could get people excited and create a scandal by saying somebody was earning "in 6 figures" are long gone in most parts of the U.S. For example, the executives who run major charitible organizations earn in the $600,000 range, and nobody seems to think there's anything wrong with that.
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Old 01-14-2005, 04:30 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jessica Booth" <jessicab@modelaircraft.org>
Sent: Friday, January 14, 2005 3:07 PM
Subject: AMA National Newsletter


The January issue of the AMA National Newsletter is now available.
www.modelaircraft.org/newsletters.asp

If you have any questions, comments, or want to contribute an article feel free to E-mail me.



Jessica Booth, editor Academy of Model Aeronautics
1515 E. Memorial Dr. Muncie IN 47302
765.287.1256 ext. 228
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Old 01-14-2005, 06:24 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

Jay

Take a look through this thread. Most of the issues you raise are addressed.

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/Help...2458778/tm.htm
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Old 01-14-2005, 07:10 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

If you believe, as I do, that the number 1 danger to the AMA is oblivion, then I think we must look at more publications that influence the "future" member.

If we could scale back the magazine, and use the resources saved to achieve a more effective presence in the other media (online, print, etc) would that not have a greater potential in recruiting new members, as opposed to forcing a magazine on the members we already have?
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:27 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

//snip//
From what I gather from this forum, AMAs 501 (c) (3) status falls under the educational category? The small amount of reading I’ve done about the IRC 501 (c) (3) requirements, a qualifying publications content is supposed to be primarily educational in nature. MA in its current form would appear to be dangerously close to not meeting those standards. If MA became profitable and/or competitive with similar commercial magazines it may no longer meet the tax exempt standards. There is also the risk of the commercial publishers contesting MAs tax exempt status under the premise that MA has an unfair advantage in the market place.

What should MA be?
It can be most anything the EC & Membership want, however if it must be a commercial magazine, then let's make it competitive in the market place. For example, Model Airplane News has some 75,000 circulation. MA has over twice that, under a forced conscription operation. The other mags now never support AMA anymore. I believe the other media are adequately interested in the sport's long term future and they are sophisticated enough to work with a competitor if that competitor did not take such grossly unfair advantage of its non-profit status.

Examples of rates: (may have changed recently)

MAN Color one insertion: Full page $2,900

FLY RC one insertion full page $1,625 plus $500 for 4 color

RCM 1 page 1 time... $1620 plus $120 for color.

MA 1 page 1 time.... $1159 plus $90 for color.

In the real business world, MA with 150,000 forced subscribers should easily get $3000 for that page which would be 2.4 times the current ad. revenue and bring about 1,300,000 yankee dollars into the treasury which is a "ELL of a lot better than the current DVD operation.

It's YOUR choice fellows. You now foot those bills. [:-]

edited "For example".... to replace Foe example
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Old 07-25-2005, 01:20 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA


Then why is the advertising not competitive with other magazines?

1 Page Black 1 mo. 12 mo.

RCM ........................$1620.00.................. 1360.00
MAN .......................$ 2900.00 .................2385.00
FLY RC .....................$ 1625.00................1365.00
AMA /MA ..................$1533.00 .................1159.00

AMA has a captive audience / conscripted subscriber base of some 150,000 persons.
MAN has a production of only about 75,000 magazines. Much more money for a nearly 50% reduction in the advertiser's base. How does it prosper?


As a sometime supplier, I tried advertising in Model Aviation for a year, about 2 years ago. The ads cost twice what Flying Models charges for the same space(with maybe 40,000 circulation). I got ZERO inquiries from the MA ads, while I get sales every month form ads in Flying Models. At that rate, MA could charge nothing and it still might be too much. It was expensive, but I found out what I wanted to know- the MA reader base has no interest in what I sell.

I find this especially interesting because they have all sorts of demographics and other advertiser information(which all the model mags have) that would indicate it should be a pretty good venue.
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Old 07-25-2005, 02:35 PM
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Default RE: The SOAP: AMA / MA

I don't think raising add rates in MA would be viable until the magazine is made a better magazine. Most people skim through it to decide if anything applies to them then pitch it. AMA needs to decide exactly what the purpose of the mag is (decide or convey). If it is a "newsletter" keeping people up to date as to what is going on in AMA, great. If it is to be a "Money maker" it needs to be more then a "newsletter" then it needs to lay down several goals of what they can offer in a magazine. I for one see the AMA with many hats. First of all it organizes modelers. It provides insurance, it organizes contest, groups regeons, fosters model aviation and so on. It has taken another hat as well. It is largely the go between for model aviation and government. At this stage it is something I think which needs to be taken a bit more serious. It is done by AOPA, EAA, NHRA, and any other "main organization body". As such it needs to have a couple of regular articls which keep tabs on possible legislation and other issues to protect the modeling body. They have been there in the past but I think they could re-inforce their position here. The next 100 years will entail some battles which I am not sure we are prepared for right now. We have many issues which will require comunication and education of not only those who opose us but our members as well.

With a magazine more focused, being the "front line" in our hobby, it would give it more clout.
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