The boards of directors of the Hoosier State Press Association and HSPA Foundation have separately voted to make changes to bylaws to streamline and reflect current trends in the newspaper industry.

The boards will reduce their numbers eventually to eight members apiece – down from the current 12 each.

The smaller number reflects the reduction of publishers in the state, as many publishers take on multiple nameplates as part of their responsibilities. With 165 member newspapers in Indiana, there are only 90 publishers.

HSPA Executive Director and General Counsel Steve Key said the smaller number would not dilute the diversity of opinions. The boards have decided to meet at the same time, with members of both boards participating in discussion on policy before holding separate meetings to vote on action items.

“This gets all the board members involved in discussion of issues and will keep everyone on the same page, working together to maximize resources to meet the goals of both the association and foundation,” Key said.

With smaller boards, the number of officers will also be reduced.

The association will move forward with a president and secretary-treasurer while the foundation will have a president, vice president and treasurer.

Officers’ terms will now be two years rather than one.

Recent past presidents Jon O’Bannon (The Corydon Democrat) for the association and Jack Pate (Evansville Courier & Press) of the foundation both said a second year would have been beneficial for them in achieving goals for the boards.

The association will reduce board member terms from three years to two years. This gives the board more flexibility in recruiting and maintaining members.

The association board decided to halt a decades-old policy that a publisher could serve on the board only for one term.

The change will allow membership to bring back previous board members who want to serve again.

This strengthens the board by opening it to interested publishers who otherwise would be precluded from consideration by the nominating committee, Key said.

The boards will vote on the bylaw changes at their Dec. 11 meeting in Indianapolis.