More details about the restructuring plan of the North American Adventist publishing houses have been set out in a Memorandum of Understanding between the General Conference and the North American Division, dated June 12, 2014. The plan can be implemented if voted for at the constituency meetings of the Review & Herald and Pacific Press, scheduled for June 17.
As we have already been told, the basic outline of the plan is that the Review & Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown Maryland will be closed down. The Review corporation will be moved to the GC building. The relocation is “not expected to involve the transfer of any RHPA employees who are not currently employees of the GC,” the Memorandum says. The Pacific Press Publishing Association will become the publishing house of the NAD, and will house the actual printing facilities for both the NAD and the GC.
The Pacific Press “will henceforth be known as the NAD publishing house,” the Memorandum says, “ and will be recognized as a corporation of the NAD.”
The Memorandum lists the publications that will be published by the Review & Herald, at the GC — products financed by the GC and intended for a worldwide audience.
They include: Adventist Review, Adventist World, Sabbath Schools Bible Study Guides, Ministry magazine, Elders’ Digest magazine, various GC department publications, and occasional publications by the Biblical Research Institute.
The Memorandum outlines changes in financial arrangements for the different publications, such as where advertising income and subscriptions fees go, and where printing and circulation payments come from. It also discusses how intellectual property rights will be handled, and digital publishing.
The physical and financial assets and liabilities of the Review & Herald will go to the Pacific Press. The costs incurred in closing down the Hagerstown plant, and any write-offs or write-downs of assets, and accompanying losses, will be reflected in the Review’s financial statements.
As the printing facilities are consolidated, “it is anticipated that this will result in the suspension of publishing and production operations at Hagerstown and the disposal of the property.”
Review employees who are offered positions with the Pacific Press in Nampa, Idaho, and accept them, will become Pacific Press employees, the Memorandum states. The Review’s Board will make all final decisions on termination packages for other employees. The Review has 139 employees in total, according to a local business directory. Review employees have been waiting for resolution through numerous changes, votes, decisions and restructurings over the past many months. Last week a prayer service was held at the local Williamsport Church.
The restructuring plan will be voted on at the separate constituency meetings of the Review and Pacific Press on June 17, 2014.