The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

July 8, 2013

Newseum in DC makes changes as funding falls short

WASHINGTON (AP) — In five years since moving to its new home overlooking the U.S. Capitol, the Newseum has become a major attraction with 4 million people visiting its exhibits about journalism and the First Amendment. Yet it's been struggling mightily to cover its costs.

Public financial documents reviewed by The Associated Press show revenue fell short of expenses by millions of dollars in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Its parent organization, the Freedom Forum, has used its endowment to provide the bulk of the Newseum's operating revenue since its creation, and the endowment's principal value has steadily declined from $600 million to about $373 million at the end of 2011.

Nonprofit management consultants say it's worrisome for a museum to be relying so heavily on a shrinking endowment, but the Newseum's top executive says it's not in financial trouble.

To rein in costs, the Newseum imposed four rounds of staff layoffs since 2008, most recently in January, and slashed employee retirement contributions. The Newseum is also reorganizing its educational programs under a separate nonprofit organization. Meanwhile, compensation for its chief executives struck some experts as overly generous.

"We've certainly worked on tightening up on expenditures. We certainly are going to be working on additional fundraising initiatives," President and CEO James Duff said in an interview. "I think we're making good progress. And certainly our numbers are very, very encouraging."

The Newseum is Washington's most expensive museum, charging $22 for adults and $13 for youth, though many other attractions are able to offer free admission because they're taxpayer-funded. It has drawn more visitors each year since it moved to its current location, including 817,000 in 2012. A spokesman said its visitor count is expected to grow again by 5 to 10 percent this year.

Still, the museum's heavy reliance on the Freedom Forum's endowment concerned several museum management consultants interviewed about the situation. In 2011, the endowment provided nearly half the Newseum's $63.7 million revenue. In 2010, it was more than half.

Text Only
AP National
  • Court critical of Ohio law punishing campaign lies WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appears to be highly skeptical of laws that try to police false statements during political campaigns, raising doubts about the viability of such laws in more than 15 states. Justices expressed those concerns early

    April 23, 2014

  • Report on CIA interrogations shadows Gitmo trials WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's forthcoming report on the CIA's use of harsh interrogation techniques could add to the legal complications facing the long-delayed U.S. military tribunals of terrorist suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The

    April 23, 2014

  • APNewsBreak: Clemency after 10 years in prison? WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will begin considering clemency applications from nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars, according t

    April 23, 2014

  • Missouri executes inmate for 1993 farm slaying BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) — Missouri executed an inmate early Wednesday only a few miles from the farm where prosecutors say he orchestrated the 1993 killing of a couple whose cows he wanted to steal. William Rousan's last words were, "My trials and tran

    April 23, 2014

  • Republican activists push party on gay marriage LAS VEGAS (AP) — As bans against gay marriage crumble and public opinion on the issue shifts rapidly, some Republicans are pushing the party to drop its opposition to same-sex unions, part of a broader campaign to get the GOP to appeal to younger vot

    April 23, 2014

  • Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans WASHINGTON (AP) — Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they express bigger doubts as concepts that scientists consider to be truths get further from our own experiences and the present time, an Associated Press-GfK poll found. Ameri

    April 21, 2014

  • Delay won't quell 2014 wrangling over Keystone XL WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms. Fat chance. An indefinite ext

    April 21, 2014

  • After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security BOSTON (AP) — A large police presence greeted runners and spectators filtering in Monday morning for the Boston Marathon, a year after a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

    April 21, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. WHO HAS HARSH WORDS FOR SOUTH KOREA FERRY CREW President Park Geun-hye says the captain and some crew members of the sunken ship committed "unf

    April 21, 2014

  • Kids get codeine in ER despite risks, guidelines CHICAGO (AP) — There's new evidence that the potent painkiller codeine is being given to hundreds of thousands of children in emergency rooms despite guidelines on limiting its use. That is the conclusion of a study based on an analysis of 10 years o

    April 21, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National