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Management Firm Ends Contract With the Alliance for Community Media

Questions surround company's reason for ending contract

The management firm that oversees the day-to-day operation of the Alliance for Community Media, a public, education and government channel group, has notified the ACM that it is terminating its contract with the alliance.
On Feb. 15, Coulter Companies, an association management firm, notified the ACM that the firm was ending its current contract.

On Feb. 22, Keri Stokstad, the ACM’s chair, sent the alliance members an e-mail informing them of the situation. That e-mail says:

“Over the past several years, the ACM has utilized the services of the Coulter Companies, an association management firm, to provide the ACM/Foundation with executive management, including our current Executive Director Sylvia Strobel [who is also a vice president for Coulter Companies], and support staff to coordinate the national conference and other routine activities.

“I received written notification from the Coulter Companies that they were invoking the 180-day termination clause in their contract with the Alliance for Community Media. The Executive Committee of the ACM met that day to discuss next steps and the full Board will be meeting in Minneapolis on Feb. 28–March 1, 2013 [The ACM is scheduled to hold its Minneapolis Youth Media Summit on Feb. 27] and will take up the matter of how to proceed at that time.
“Coulter has indicated both in the letter and through follow up discussions that they will support the organization during this transition. Coulter states as follows, ‘Coulter will be pleased to work with ACM leadership on messaging so that all forms of stakeholder communications necessitated by this change in management help to foster a successful transition… by working collaboratively we can achieve our mutual objective of a highly successful management transition.’
“The ACM National Board will provide additional information as it becomes available,” Stokstad’s letter says.
Attempts to reach Stokstad were unsuccessful, and she did not return calls seeking comment.
In addition, Strobel’s voice mail says she is out of her office until March 4. However, Diana Cummins, Coulter Companies’ manager of public relations, said she could not say if the ACM was behind on payments to its contract with Coulter.
Along with the Youth Media Summit, the ACM is scheduled to host its annual conference on May 29–31 in San Francisco, and it is currently accepting video submissions for its Hometown Media Awards.