Executive voices

Inland Introduces Executive Voices for Top Decision Makers


The Inland Press Association has announced a series of executive-level discussions to address the challenging issues and new opportunities for the profitable future of newspapers.

Executive Voices, a unique conference, designed to facilitate discussion among top media company executives. It will be held in Chicago December 6 and 7.

The program is designed to create a forum for owners, CEOs, COOs and other top executives and will be held at the Willis Tower offices of Seyfarth Shaw, LLC. Executive Voices will be kept small - just 60 participants - to ensure a quality conversation.

"We felt it is time to focus on the road ahead and strategies for a sustainable future," said Tom Slaughter, Inland executive director.

"While there are dozens of meetings, conferences and trade shows in the industry, we found there were few opportunities for top executives to have open, candid discussions and an exchange of ideas on moving the industry forward and leverage the collective brainpower of top executives." said Patty Slusher, Inland's Director of Programming.

The event will feature a series of facilitated discussions led by the executives themselves. Although the conversations are expected to be far ranging, several topics chosen by industry leaders will be highlighted, including:

  • Frequency: if not daily in print, what is right?
  • Revenue: new revenue generation/business models
  • Paywalls: to paywall or not to paywall?
  • Content: how much and what kind to create future value?
  • Digital Media: we're all in, now let's make it work
  • Culture: recruiting and retaining talent, especially young talent
  • Weathering the Storm: how to come out stronger?

Slusher said the program is intended to be "a different kind of conference," focusing on leaders who have a vested interest in the industry and who care about its future.

"You won't see the usual talking heads at the podium at this conference. Heck, there may not be a podium at all, just the industry's top decision makers engaged in open and frank discussions focused on the future," Slusher said.

The registration price is $169 and includes dinner, lunch and other activities. The cost for the event was kept low intentionally and Inland negotiated low hotel rates to encourage executives from all types of organizations to attend.

"Diversity and wide experience just make the conversation better and more productive," Slaughter said. "We hope to attract executives from all kinds of newspapers: big markets and small, print-first and digital-first, African American and Hispanic and alternative publications. Every voice needs to be heard. Already we know that executives representing more than 500 newspapers will be on hand. That number will grow as we fill the remaining seats at the table."

The event will kick off with a dinner on the evening of Dec. 6 where the executives will be able to relax and get to know one another through camaraderie and good food. The day-long discussions will follow on the next day.

"This one will be different," Slaughter said. "Different, yet grounded in the substance leaders have come to expect from an Inland event."