For years, Time and People had hosted a cocktail reception the night before the dinner, drawing a mix of Beltway notables, Hollywood celebrities, and news media stars.
“Time Inc. will not be hosting its annual Time/People party at the St. Regis during this year’s WHCA weekend,” a spokeswoman said. “As usual, Time will be participating in the WHCA Dinner. People will be making a donation to the WHCA in lieu of tables at the dinner.”
Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, and Bloomberg also dropped plans for their events tied to the annual dinner, as questions surfaced as to how media organizations would participate in the gathering in light of President Donald Trump’s attacks on the news media.
Trump himself tweeted that he would not attend the dinner, which is scheduled for April 28. He will be the first president to skip the dinner since Ronald Reagan in 1981, as he was recovering from an assassination attempt. Reagan still called in to the ceremony to address the audience of journalists and government officials.
The WHCA has not yet announced its plans for the dinner lineup, and whether it will include an entertainer or some other member of the Trump administration.
“This year we have decided to focus on supporting the White House Correspondents’ Association, which plays a crucial role in advocating for the broadest possible access for the press at the White House,” said Alan Murray, Time Inc.’s chief content officer.