Why I’m Jazzed about our first meeting as a new association

Posted
Doug Phares
Doug Phares

Chicago’s rich history has its roots in innovation. Resurrecting itself as a global city from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Advancing architecture from the first skyscraper in 1885 to today’s soaring office buildings, hotels and residences. Showcasing excellence in music from its world-class Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera to its vibrant blues and jazz scene.

So, it’s appropriate that Chicago—the historic meeting place for Inland—should be where we will introduce to the industry the new association forged in the merger of Inland and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.

This Annual Meeting promises to be something special, and to reflect the innovative roots of Chicago for an industry that’s in the sometimes painful process of reinventing itself. After all, when the industry faced the challenge of dealing with newsprint trusts way back in 1885, it was in Chicago where 19 Midwest publishers met to create Inland.

The programming committee formed by both Inland and SNPA members have been hard at work creating an agenda that brings together leading newspaper executives presenting new solutions to our industry challenges.

At the Annual Meeting, for instance, you’ll hear the first results from the Google News Initiative at The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina. You’ll learn why investor Frederic Rutberg is succeeding at The Berkshire Eagle in western Massachusetts by focusing and growing—not cutting—his newsroom. And Walter E. Hussman Jr. will describe his audacious strategy to move readers of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette en masse to digital delivery.

You can read more about the program that awaits you in Chicago October 6 to 8 in this issue of The Inlander. But equally important as the content of the sessions at the Annual Meeting is the enthusiasm, optimism and passion that will surely be generated as Inland and SNPA members gather as one, renewing old friendships, forging new bonds—and focusing on our common mission to be a champion on newspapers always promoting the value of our work to the communities we serve.

I look forward to seeing all of you in Chicago for this extraordinary Annual Meeting.