Kerby Meyers, chair of the Int’l Assn. of Business Communicators, announced today that the Jan./Feb. edition of the group’s bi-monthly Communication World would be the last printed version of the publication. Future issues will be digital-only.

IABC stopped publication of its printed members’ directory in 2001.

All book publishing will cease and there will be a greater focus on regional conferences and seminars, said Meyers. He promised h.q. will work “more closely with chapters and members to share our best practices and content globally as well as more closely coordinate conferences and seminars to support chapter and regional development.”

A revamped accreditation/certification program is to be introduced in the second half of 2013.

Staff Cuts Not Driven by $$

Meyers said the firing of 16 of the 32 staffers in late November was “not driven by financial issues.” No current financial reports were made available nor were any IABC staffers or elected officers available for questioning today by members or the press. The latest report available electronically for IABC is the 2010 IRS Form 990. Neither that form nor the annual audit are posted on the group’s website.

Kerby said in an e-mailed statement that the cuts “resulted from an assessment of the existing staff and processes through the lens of the strategic direction of the organization. Unfortunately, the skills of some of the staff didn’t match the skills that will be needed to move the organization forward.”

Exactly what those skills are was not described.

New staffers are to be hired with the “requisite skills.” New staff total will be 27, down five from the previous staff.

Meyers conceded that IABC’s communications of the staff cut “fell short” and the organization could have “done better.” He asked members to “look forward.”

Effective Jan. 1, members will have access to the premium Discovery content that previously cost $99 yearly.

The new digital CW will allow interviews and information beyond the articles and will “ultimately” be available on a monthly basis.