Register before costs go up

Penny Muse Abernathy (moderator), Mark Adams, Mark Aldam, Jeremy Halbreich and Jim Moroney
A panel of top industry leaders, innovators and investors will share the strategy they are taking with their investments, their priorities and concerns for 2018 at next month's Key Executives Mega-Conference in San Diego.

The Mega-Conference will be held Feb. 26-28.

Panelists will include:

  • Penelope Muse Abernathy (moderator), Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Mark Adams, CEO, Adams Publishing Group, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Mark E. Aldam, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Hearst, New York, N.Y.
  • Jeremy Halbreich, chairman and CEO, AIM Media Management, Dallas, Texas
  • Jim Moroney, publisher and CEO, The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, and CEO, A.H. Belo Corporation

    "How do you decide when and where to invest? That's the primary question confronting newspaper publishers or owners, whether they are purchasing companies or investing in papers they own to increase their value," says Penny Abernathy. "Our panel of industry thought-leaders will discuss their own investment strategies and expectations of what they will receive in return."

    View the full conference program

    Register for the Mega-Conference

Interactive session will offer actionable insights

Gwen Vargo and Jeff Sonderman of the American Press Institute
A major new study of nearly 4,500 people who recently subscribed to their local newspaper shows in unprecedented detail what motivates new subscribers.

At the Mega-Conference next month, learn about the consumers' path to subscription, what factors make them willing to subscribe, and what actions trigger their final commitment.

Jeff Sonderman, deputy executive director, and Gwen Vargo, director of reader relations, both of the American Press Institute, will explain the most important approaches to growing subscribers, and facilitate the attendees sharing their own questions and experiences with subscription marketing.

"The customer's journey to subscribing is not short or straight," says Sonderman, "but it need not be a mystery either. By studying thousands of people who had just decided to subscribe to local papers, we've learned a lot about what motivates their purchases, what they want from the product, and how publishers can more effectively generate these new subscriptions."

Vargo said, "Whether publishers are working with a fully developed print and digital subscription strategy, or are just starting to focus on subscriptions as a revenue priority, they will find the research and recommendations valuable. This interactive session shares not only these significant research findings, but also translates these findings into actionable insights to support your subscription acquisition strategies and tactics."

The Mega-Conference will be held Feb. 26-28 in San Diego.

View the full conference program

Register for the Mega-Conference

Calendar of Events
January 11, 2018

This webinar offers a close look at the new ideas that could easily grow your revenue in print, online and social media. Includes a 12-month strategic calendar any newspaper can follow. SNPA members can register at no cost.

February 26 - 28, 2018
Get industry recognition for innovation

Time is running out! All nominations for the Mega-Innovation Award must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Thursday.

Is your newspaper or corporate office doing something innovative? If so, please submit a nomination for this year's Mega-Innovation Award. The deadline for entries is Jan. 11. There is no cost to enter.

Submit an entry More


The newspaper industry saw its busiest transaction year in nearly two decades with 31 separate deals involving daily newspapers in 2017, according to Dirks, Van Essen & Murray.

Phil Murray, senior vice president, said the activity was driven by two factors.

SNPA Jobs Network

General Manager/Advertising Manager, Georgia
A progressive media company with newspapers, magazines, websites, digital services and outdoor advertising, is seeking General Manager/ Advertising Manager. If you are a proven leader, with 3-5 years of coaching and management experience who believes in collaborative work environment where each individual employee has the opportunity to shine and rise to their greatest potential, we want you on our team! Learn more and submit your resume

Marketing Consultants, Morris Multimedia, South Georgia
Be part of an exciting digital, outdoor and magazine media company! A progressive advertising agency in South Georgia is looking for marketing consultants to help local businesses grow. If you are competitive, like to have fun and want to earn money, we want you! Learn more and submit your resume

Reporter, Multimedia, The Daily Iberian, New Iberia, La.
The Daily Iberian is looking for a general assignment reporter who can produce work in print, online, video, photo and social media. Learn more and submit your resume

Post your job openings with SNPA. There's no cost to SNPA members. If you have any difficulty posting your openings, send the information for your employment listings to cindy@snpa.org.

SNPA People

Brandt Ayers

H. Brandt Ayers, former publisher of The Anniston Star, resigned his role as chairman of the board of directors of the company that owns the newspaper last Thursday, after a series of allegations against him.

"It is of utmost importance to me that this newspaper continue to serve its role of reporting on matters of concern to the Anniston community and that nothing stand in the way of preserving the newspaper as an independently owned publication serving this community," Ayers wrote. "I feel my resignation at this time is in the best interests of the paper and its mission."

Ayers, known nationwide as one of the few Southern newspapermen who openly supported racial integration in the 1960s, fell from public grace this week after a former reporter, Veronica Pike Kennedy, accused him of spanking her, against her will, in The Star's newsroom in the 1970s. Other women, who have asked that their names not be used, told The Star similar stories of spankings.

Laura Hollingsworth

Laura Hollingsworth, president of The Tennessean and the USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee, is leaving the company, the longtime media executive announced on Monday in a newsroom address to all Tennessean employees.

Nathan Edwards

The president of two newspapers in Mississippi is stepping down from the job.

The Clarion Ledger reported that Nathan Edwards announced his resignation from there and Hattiesburg American. Both papers are owned by Gannett Co. Inc., a media company based in Virginia. He leaves Jan. 12, and is moving to be closer to his extended family. He is going to North Carolina to oversee regional promotion efforts for GateHouse Media.

Zach Ahrens

WEHCO Media has announced that Zach Ahrens will take over as general manager of Central Missouri Newspapers Inc. beginning Jan. 17.

Ahrens will oversee the day-to-day operation of the Jefferson City News Tribune, Fulton Sun and California Democrat newspapers and HER Magazine, as well as CMNI's commercial printing facility and Flypaper digital marketing agency.

David Arkin

Fast-growing local media company American Hometown Publishing Inc. has hired content and product specialist David Arkin as its chief strategy officer.

In the role, Arkin will be responsible for new product development positioned for attractive markets, audience growth strategies and he will help identify future acquisitions. AHP owns newspaper properties in five states (Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia) and has completed two acquisitions and a merger in the past 100 days.


Two new leaders have joined the Record-Courier in Kent, Ohio, and GateHouse Media Ohio to assist local businesses in their marketing efforts beyond traditional print advertising.

Kelly Tremaine will work as the media group's new vice president of sales, while Kim Brenning is the new advertising director.

Industry News

If your New Year's resolutions include "position my newspaper for future growth," the best way to jump-start your effort is to attend the 2018 Carmage Walls Leadership Forum, Feb. 4-6 in Chapel Hill, N.C. It is designed specifically for executives from newspapers with circulations of 30,000 or less.

Time is running out to register. Please register right away to ensure your spot at this conference.

Hotel Rooms: SNPA is still holding a few rooms at The Carolina Inn. To reserve a room, contact Edward VanHorn at (404) 256-0444 or edward@snpa.org.


BlueVenn has announced the purchase of LEAP Media Solutions (LEAP), a provider of customer analytics and marketing campaign services for the U.S. media industry.

The acquisition will strengthen BlueVenn's presence in the media and publishing market, which already boasts over 200 newsmedia brands operating the BlueVenn Customer Data Platform and its analytics, personalization and campaign management tools.

LEAP has been utilizing BlueVenn technology effectively for five years, to provide media publishers with tailored data analytics and marketing campaign capabilities through a shared-hosting model. This has enabled independent publishers with limited marketing resources the same sophisticated marketing capabilities as major publishers and media, without investing in technology systems that may otherwise be out of reach.


Cars.com Inc., a leading online automotive marketplace, and McClatchy have announced an agreement to convert the remaining 17 affiliate markets into the Cars.com direct sales channel prior to the October 2019 affiliate agreement expiration date. The agreement follows an earlier November 2017 initial accord to convert five markets.

The new agreement includes marketing support payments through 2019 reflecting a continuing relationship between Cars.com and McClatchy, a smooth transition and an opportunity to immediately introduce digital advertising solutions for the benefit of dealer customers.


In this column, I have been predicting for some time that when all three Republican seats of the five-member National Labor Relations Board were filled by President Trump's appointees, the NLRB would begin reversing/overruling some of the Obama Board's more egregious decisions that demonstrated an outright hostility toward employers.

Chairman Philip A. Miscimarra's term expired on Dec. 17, 2017. On Dec. 14 and 15, Chairman Miscimarra went out "with a bang!"

Training and Development

It's not easy to keep video in the forefront of your newsroom strategy. As an editor, how do you keep the focus on adding video, and what topics are better than others? And as a reporter, how do you produce quick-hit videos getting the best quality from their phones or basic cameras? Tim Schmitt will lead a discussion about moving your video strategy forward.

SNPA members can register at no cost for this Jan. 12 webinar.

Video offers your audience a front row seat to history, a chance to feel as if they are intimately connected and an opportunity to deeply understand an issue. This session will help you decide what video strategies to adopt, what technology to use and how your entire staff can contribute video stories.

SNPA members can register at no cost for this Feb. 15 webinar. More

This webinar offers a close look at the new ideas that could easily grow your revenue in print, online and social media. Includes a 12-month strategic calendar any newspaper can follow.

SNPA members can register at no cost for this Jan. 11 webinar.

Reader's Corner

News and commentary of interest to journalism innovators and entrepreneurs. Read the latest from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

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