February 21-22

Pulling together like family at this owners' conference


Think of the Family Owners and Next Generation Leadership Conference, Feb. 21 and 22 in Orlando, as a getaway that binds a family together with shared experiences and stories.

The program at this winter's conference is designed to facilitate the greatest sharing of success stories-and, occasionally, missteps taken-by presenters from the ranks of the industry's best veterans, but also among the family attendees themselves.

In the Our Stories: Lessons From Member Media Organizations session, for instance, Executive Vice President Ralph Martin will share the story of how Steinman Communications has grown from a newspaper publishing company to include broadcasting, commercial printing, mailing and fulfillment services-even hospitality with its Pressroom Restaurant and Bar.

Here's the program that awaits in Orlando on the days before the opening of the Key Executives Mega-Conference:

Tuesday, February 21

6:30 p.m. Welcome Reception and Dinner
Johnnie's Hideaway, Orlando. This popular spot is known for its steaks and seafood, which the restaurant says is "simply prepared with an emphasis towards old Florida and Floribbean cuisine."

Wednesday, February 22

8:00 a.m. Registration and Light Breakfast  

8:30 - 10:45 a.m. Confidential Group Discussions
Successors Generation Leadership Discussion
This always-popular session provides the perfect opportunity for the upcoming generation of newspaper owners to talk candidly about their hopes and concerns as they prepare to take leadership of the family business.
Facilitated by Francis Wick, publisher, Sierra Visa (Ariz.) Herald

Incumbent Generation Leadership Discussion
Also behind closed doors and off-the-record, this session explores the dynamics of structuring and operating a family newspaper business with a freewheeling, candid discussion on the topics most important to family owners in these times.
Facilitated by Brandon Eyerly, publisher, Press Enterprise, Bloomsburg, Pa.

11:00 a.m. Benchmarking performance: Lessons learned for independent newspapers

The former publisher the Erie (Pa.) Times-News reviews how she used benchmarks at the newspaper and now at ING, the networking group of privately owned newspaper companies.  She'll share what these organizations learned over years of gathering metrics-and discuss what benchmarks are most relevant in today's changing media landscape. 
Presented by Rosanne Cheeseman, executive director, Independent Newspaper Group

Noon - Lunch

1:00 p.m. Our Stories: Lessons From Member Media Organizations 

Liz White is a member of the fifth generation of family owners of the 150-year-old Record-Journal and RJ Media Group community papers and digital operations. Hear the story of this forward-looking independent media company, honored most recently for the "Revolution 2015" campaign that increased its digital audience by 39%.

Presented by Liz White, executive vice president & assistant publisher, the Record-Journal, Meriden, Conn. 

2:00 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. The Strength of our Combined Experiences: An Open Discussion
This session will tap the collective experiences of our family owners. Expect these topics to arise as families learn from each other:
•Resetting shareholder expectations in the new newspaper business environment
•Leveraging assets for cash to invest and grow
•Strategies to grow and diversify revenue streams
•Corporate structures in the family owner context

Facilitated by Brandon Eyerly, publisher, Press Enterprise, Bloomsburg, Pa. and Francis Wick, publisher, Sierra Visa (Ariz.) Herald

3:00 p.m. Break

3:30 p.m. Our Stories: Lessons From Member Media Organizations 

Lancaster, Pa.-based Steinman Communication, publisher of the daily LNP and other Lancaster Media Group newspapers and digital products, takes the same bold approach to revenue diversity. Executive Vice President Ralph Martin will explain how Steinman built and sustains a portfolio including print products targeted at young people and Hispanic residents; radio stations; commercial printing operations; direct mail and fulfillment services-and a restaurant.

Presented by Ralph Martin, executive vice president, Steinman Communications 

4:45 p.m. Conference Adjourns