Center for Public Integrity Weighs Merger or Shutdown Amid Dire Financial Straits

The Center for Public Integrity, one of the oldest and most storied nonprofit newsrooms in the United States, is considering merging with a competitor or shutting down amid turmoil in its top ranks and financial difficulties that have significantly sapped its reserves, according to two people with knowledge of the organization’s inner workings.

The nonprofit fell about $2.5 million short of its budget goal of around $6 million for 2023, according to the two people, who would speak only anonymously to protect their relationships within the organization.

This month, Paul Cheung, the organization’s chief executive, resigned after an employee accused him of unethical behavior. The board also eliminated the position of its editor in chief, Matt DeRienzo, who has left the nonprofit.

In a statement, the Center for Public Integrity said it had a “financially challenged past year” like many other nonprofit media organizations.

“The board remains committed to C.P.I. and its essential mission, and is working hard to determine the best way forward for our journalism,” the nonprofit said in a statement.

The financial peril facing the Center for Public Integrity threatens to extinguish a newsroom of about 30 journalists that has watch-dogged powerful institutions for decades. Much of its funding has come from foundations interested in supporting investigative journalism, including the Knight Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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