The Freedom Forum, the creator and primary founder of the press-focused institution, made the announcement on Monday; museum president and chief executive Jeffrey Herbst resigned the same day.
The news comes on the heels of five rounds of staff reductions since 2009 (most recently in January 2017). Despite more than $500 million in funding from the Freedom Forum, the museum has not proved self-sustaining, according to the foundation’s statement. Freedom Forum CEO Jan Neuharth told the Post that “this deficit spending rate would eventually drain the Freedom Forum’s entire endowment.” Beyond the outright sale of the Newseum’s downtown building, the consultants conducting the financial review will consider other options, including the partial sale of the property or joint ventures. For now, the museum will remain open, led by a three-person team: the museum’s chairman, its chief operating officer, and Freedom Forum’s Neuharth.