February 23-25, 2017 in Orlando

2017 Mega Conference

Innovation & Insight: The Business of Publishing News


Thursday, February 23

7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Registration Desk open

9:30 a.m. Exhibitor set-up (Exhibit Hall)

10 a.m. – 7 p.m.  Trade Show open (Exhibit Hall)

10 a.m. – Noon Morning Bonus Session

Native Advertising Workshop

Matt Sanders of Deseret Digital Media shares key learnings from the past three years’ of growing this important revenue source–how to best position your content to engage readers, what industries are your best potential investors for this, how this best works in local markets, and more. This is one of the most popular modules of the Deseret Digital Media BootCamp.

Noon – Lunch on your own

1 – 2 p.m. Welcome/ Opening session

Thriving in Digital Transformation

Rick Edmonds, media analyst and leader of news transformation at the Poynter Institute 

2 p.m. – Break

2:15 to 3:15 p.m. –Breakout Sessions 

Option 1 - Driving Digital $$$ Success

Successful operators share what is allowing them to break from the pack to get top digital ad $$$ performance.

Lana Champion, senior vice president, sales & marketing, The Florida Times-Union, on key tenets for driving explosive growth in the Jacksonville, Fla., market amidst intense competition.

Casey Hester, senior vice president for Journal Communications, talks with Maggie Louie of DevCon about revenue gains in the form of stopping revenue losses from ad-skimming fraud. If you are using a 3rd party developer to manage your site, hear what to look for in your own operation.

Option 2 - Print Disruptor

Hear how a print product startup found success in one of Florida’s worst recessions, and how it continues to grow value today.

With Pason Gaddis, co-founder and CEO of Florida Weekly

Option 3 - Revenue Stage: R&D Solutions for Growing Consumer Revenue

Presenters to be announced

3:15 —4 p.m. R&D Break (Exhibit Hall)
An opportunity to visit our sponsors and exhibitors

4 – 5 p.m. General Session

The New Gannett: What is different today—and what will be even more different tomorrow

Gannett CEO Bob Dickey, Chief Strategy Officer Maribel Perez Wadsworthand Chief Revenue Officer Kevin Gentzel discuss the New Gannett and share their vision for its future success. Gannett has been aggressively expanding its footprint and investing in digital capabilities. Nineteen months after its official spin-off as a standalone company, hear more about Gannett’s strategy, its focus on innovation and the launch of the USA Today Network.

Moderator: Bob Gabordi, executive editor, Florida Today

5:30 – 7 p.m. Welcome Reception (Exhibit Hall) 

Friday, February 24

7:30 am. Continental breakfast (Exhibit Hall)

7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Trade Show open(Exhibit Hall)

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration Desk open

8 - 9:15 a.m. General Session

Revenue Ideas to Go

Ideas you can use from sales leaders across the country.

Tom Claybaugh, publisher of The Greenville News and Asheville Citizen-Times, North Carolina. Additional presenters to be announced

Changing the Local Media Narrative: Insights from a PR Expert

The local media story is a powerful one, but it seems to have been drowned out by an onslaught of new and exciting opportunities in digital media. We’ve asked a leading PR expert for tips from the other side of media on how to change the narrative. 

Brad Thatcher from New York-based Thatcher+Co. has spent the past year collecting information and interviewing media executives. Combining his unique insight from both sides, he offers a compelling view of local media and what it will take to reinvent and reposition the local media opportunity for the advertising community.

9:15 a.m.Break

9:30 -10:30 a.m. Breakout Sessions

Option 1 -  Audience: Leveraging the Frenemy Using distributed content to attract readers and acquire subscribers.

With Emilio Garcia Ruiz, managing editor, digital, The Washington Post 

Option 2 -  Revenue: A Digital Darling for Women StyleBlueprint is the South’s fastest growing digital lifestyle brand, anchored by its daily publications in Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, and in a Southern edition. StyleBlueprint also produces a successful deal program, the SB App, and the SB Guide, a digital resource of the best businesses in Nashville, Birmingham, Louisville and Memphis. Founded in 2009, Nashville-based StyleBlueprint was featured among the top 5,000 fastest growing private companies by Inc. Magazine, with a 192% revenue growth in the past three years. The founders will share how they win the hearts and minds of women and the pocketbooks of advertisers in the communities they serve.

Option 3 -  Revenue Stage: R&D Solutions for Advertiser Lifecycle Management

Presenters to be announced

10:30 - 11:15 a.m. R&D Break (Exhibit Hall)

An opportunity to visit our sponsors and exhibitors.

11:15 – Noon General Session

2017 Outlook

Corey Elliot of Borrell Associates shares insights into projected 2017 advertising.

Noon - 1:15 p.m.Lunch(Exhibit Hall)

1:15 – 2 p.m. Breakout Sessions

Option 1 - The Science of Storytelling

With Matt Sheehan, director of stories and emerging platforms lecturer at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications

Option 2 - Pathway to Freedom

CEO Mike Gugliotto of Pioneer News Group shares his company’s new approaches to print frequency, including early results from his tablet partnership.

Option 3 - Revenue Stage: R&D Solutions for Video

Presenters to be announced

2 p.m. Break

2:15 - 3:20 p.m. Mega Innovation Award

Two finalists will present

3:20 – 3:50 p.m. R&D Break

An opportunity to visit our sponsors and exhibitors.

3:50 - 5:20 p.m. Mega Innovation Award  

Two more finalists will present, followed by the announcement of the winner of the 2017 Mega Innovation Award

Evening  Special Event to be Announced

Saturday, February 25

7:30 am.Continental breakfast(Exhibit Hall)

7:30 – 10 a.m. Trade Show open(Exhibit Hall)

8:30 – 10:30 a.m. General Session 

Breakthrough Success: Radically Improve Your Sales Staffs’ ‘Win Rates’

Kim Ward, training director of Learning Outsource Group, and author of the new book “The New Selling IQ – Cooperation Selling” has dissected today’s buying decision process and provides new insights on how combining buyer and seller intelligence leads to better results. Learn about this revolutionary new approach and how adopting it can radically change your success rate.

Ward has personally trained or coached more than 70,000 salespeople and sales leaders. Learning Outsource Group played a critical role in training Gannett’s sales leaders as part of its world-class sales organization initiative. The first 100 people in the room Saturday morning will receive a free copy of “The New Selling IQ.”

10:30 a.m. Wrap up/Adjourn

11:30 a.m. User Group Meetings