Report from the President

See you in San Diego in February

Then in September for the return of the Annual Meeting to Chicago

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Tom Yunt
Tom Yunt

I look forward to seeing everyone in San Diego for both the upcoming Family Owners & Next Generation Leadership Conference February 24-25 preceding the Eighth Annual Mega-Conference, February 26-28, 2018 held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt!

The program is shaping up to be one of the all-time best Mega-Conference through our collaboration with the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association (SNPA) and the Local Media Association (LMA). This year will be the first of hopefully many years as we include News Media Alliance (NMA) as a conference partner and we welcome our friends from the California News Publishers Association (CNPA) as our state press association affiliate.

As we start the new year, we also look toward the future. We are already planning important 2018 meeting dates for your planning calendars:

The very successful THE Revenue Conference returns in 2018! Our members raved about the first THE Revenue Conference in Austin, Texas and we are looking forward to another “repeat performance” in April.

You asked for a conference devoted strictly to generating more newspaper revenue—and our plans again this year are to do just that! THE Revenue Conference is returning April 11 & 12 in Chicago at the world-famous Willis Towers (most of you still refer to the iconic Chicago building as the Sears Tower) in downtown Chicago. The meeting will be hosted in the facilities of Inland member, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP. Once again, the meeting will be co-sponsored by Mike Blinder. And, like last year, the program is all about REVENUE. In other words, it’s about selling every product, platform and service you may consider including in your portfolio of advertising products, digital solutions and non-traditional revenue opportunities. Those include print, digital, mobile, social, video, OTT, native, events, niche publications, contests, quizzes, and all manners of promotion. BIG newspaper? Small Newspaper? Somewhere in between? THE Revenue Conference has proven revenue strategies and tactics for you! 

The 2018 Inland Annual Meeting: We’ll be “coming home” to Chicago for the 2018 Inland Annual meeting, after our meeting last September in Colorado Springs. We’re going back to the J.W. Marriott in Chicago’s Loop Sept. 9 to 11. Stay tuned for more information to come!

The Inland Board of Directors met via teleconference Jan. 10 to approve the 2018 Association and Foundation budgets. The board will meet again in San Diego prior to the Mega-Conference. At that time, the board will revisit our 2018 budget assumptions and make adjustments, if necessary, and give final approval for the 2018 budgetary and strategic direction of the association.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Virginia Cowenhoven, Associate Publisher of The Bakersfield Californian to the Inland Press Association Board of Directors. Virginia is a fifth-generation newspaper executive of the family-owned newspaper company and continues the Inland-Bakersfield legacy of her mother, Ginger Moorhouse who served on the Inland board and who is a long-time Inland supporter and advocate. Welcome aboard, Virginia!

18 to Watch in 18: Congratulations to the outstanding newspaper and media industry professionals selected as part of Inland’s “18 to Watch in 18!” Our 2018 recipients include: Mark Baumgarten, Editorial Director, King County (Wash.) News Desk, Sound Publications and Editor, Seattle Weekly; Gaylen Blosser, Freelance Sports Reporter/Photographer, The Early Bird Newspaper and Bluebag Media; Virginia L. Cowenhoven, Associate Publisher and Director, The Bakersfield Californian; Kristen Czaban, Publisher, The Sheridan (Wyo.) Press; Jeff D’Alessio, Editor, The News-Gazette, Champaign, Ill.; Aaron Kotarek, Vice President, Circulation, Oahu Publications, Inc.; Henry Lopez, Digital Enterprise Editor, The Santa Fe New Mexican; Shannon Lough, Editor, The Northern View, Prince Rupert, British Columbia; Matthew Markham, Director of Advertising and Audience, The Janesville (Wis.) Gazette/Local Matters Digital; Jeremy McBain, Executive Editor, Petoskey (Mich.) News-Review and Charlevoix (Mich.) Courier; Paul McCarther, Regional Vice-President, Central Division, Gatehouse Media, Interim Senior Michigan Group Publisher; Jeremy Mims, Chief Strategist, SpokenLayer; J. Brian Monihan, Vice President and Publisher for the Pamplin Media; Kristy O’Connor, Director of Digital and Event Marketing, Black Press Group Group; Steve Ortman, Sportswriter, Telegraph Herald, Dubuque, Iowa; Stephan Thomas Wingert, Regional Vice-President, AIM Media Texas, Publisher, McCallen (Texas) Monitor; and Jen Zielinski, Digital Editor, Black Press.

Newsprint tariff concerns abound: U.S. Department of Commerce finds that Canada improperly subsidizes producers of uncoated groundwood paper. We continue to hear and monitor concerns from our members regarding the recent newsprint market tariff imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce. As we continue to monitor the situation with and alongside other newspaper industry trade organizations, we will continue to update and report on the topic. (See the very informative column—including what you can do—on this under-reported issue from NMA’s Paul Boyle.)

I mentioned The Revenue Conference earlier. Here are a few “teases” to ponder for this upcoming and vital conference:

You will hear specific ways to create new revenue streams from maximizing print, email, real estate, banner ads, and native content.

You will get the real scoop on monetizing local political advertising opportunities!

You will learn the strategies behind recruiting sales people WHO CAN SELL.

You will leave with actionable ideas and case studies (from all size markets) you can use to make money—immediately.

THE Revenue Conference will have something for every attendee, no matter what size the market. Register soon at http://therevconf.com/register/ because this conference is a “must-attend” event in 2018!

It’s a NEW YEAR, so perhaps it’s time to consider engaging Inland’s Employee Engagement Survey (EES), a low-cost way to probe the morale, concerns and commitment of your staff across all newspaper departments. This professionally developed and highly confidential survey tells you what’s on your employees’ minds. It goes beyond the obvious workplace issues of pay and benefits to identify problems that may be festering, or management practices that resonate positively among employees.EES can be customized for your workplace and it offers benchmarks between departments and with industry peers. For more information, please contact Karla Zander, Inland’s Manager of Research and Member Services at (847) 795-0380 or by email at kzander@inlandpress.org.

In closing, thanks for your valued membership and your ongoing commitment and contributions to the Inland Press Association! Hope to see you in San Diego!

Tom Yunt
President, Inland Press Association