Report from the President

Now On the table, exploring a merger with the SNPA

Doug Phares
Doug Phares

I want to update you on an important matter involving your association.

The Inland Board of Directors voted late last month to explore the possibility of a merger with the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.

Here’s why the boards are considering this.

In this time of significant industry change, there is a critical need for an industry association that provides voice and focus equal to the challenges of our new reality. We believe this combination would do that.

We want to create a new association that will be the champion of the newspaper industry and a voice promoting the value and contributions of newspapers to their communities. We will embrace this new role while continuing to support members as they adapt their business models to a changing landscape.

Over the next few months, we will develop a proposal to present to the Inland and SNPA boards and to you, our members. This proposal will include a business plan, branding and marketing details, governance structure, and details about staffing, funding and dues.

If both boards approve the proposal, we’ll then ask you to vote on the plan.

The Inland board and I welcome your input as these discussions continue.

Meanwhile, we just completed the highly successful Key Executives Mega-Conference in Las Vegas. Attendance was strong, the number of exhibitors was up—but perhaps more important, the very atmosphere was up. This was not a gathering of a beat down, uncertain industry, but one that is tackling its challenges with optimism and the knowledge it has the tools to succeed.

During those three days, Mega-Conference attendees heard from outstanding speakers laying out practical steps to success along a broad range of industry issues from the newsroom to IT center to the cloud and to advertising and marketing departments.

Inland will be rolling out more opportunities for growth for you and your organization, starting next month with the industry’s only conference focused on newspaper human resources professionals. The Virtual HR Conference will take place online for one and a half days April 10 and 11. With this conference you can gather your entire HR team to hear from industry experts, all for just one registration fee.

Later next month, from Friday April 26 through Sunday the 28th, Inland is partnering with 360 Media Alliance to present the Audience & Loyalty Mega Summit Central at the Marriott St. Louis Airport. For newspaper executives responsible for audience growth or circulation or branding, this conference is a must-attend.

And for those tasked with growing revenue—and really, isn’t that the job of everybody at a newspaper—Inland in June is bringing Mission One: Revenue 2019 to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The program is focused on all the opportunities now available to increase our top lines. Mark your calendar for June 11-13.

These conferences reflect how your association’s mission—Stay engaged. Find solutions. Move forward—is a year-round commitment.