Atlanta-based iMA will keep its name and website for the next year to ease the transition, but its board of directors is in the process of dissolving. Ultimately, the 10-year-old organization will function more as a new division within the Minneapolis-based Greater Public, with iMA Executive Director Jeannie Ericson heading up the tentatively named Digital Services unit from Atlanta.
“Digital innovation has become increasingly cross-disciplinary and integral to everything we do, which is very positive for public media,” Ericson said in a statement. “This merger is a natural evolution as iMA and Greater Public see their futures intertwined. Greater Public’s reach and reputation for impact make it the ideal next step for iMA’s mission.”
IMA’s signature conference at South by Southwest will also change starting next year when it will merge with Greater Public’s Public Media Development and Marketing Conference. But iMA will have a starring role in a “Digital Day” held separately before the start of PMDMC, which will be in Denver next year.
The merger was a logical decision for both organizations, said Doug Eichten, Greater Public’s c.e.o. It gives iMA access to a wider audience and more resources, while Greater Public benefits from iMA's digital savvy, he said.
IMA launched in 2003 and held annual conferences through 2009, when it went into limbo for a year prior to Ericson joining as executive director. Its conferences resumed in 2011, and in 2010 the organization received $400,000 over a two-year period from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.