Welcome to the July edition of The Inlander. It’s summertime, so I hope you and yours are finally enjoying the warm weather and all the opportunities summer offers. For Inland, summer means it’s time for the board’s summer meeting and long-range strategic planning session.
The summer meeting was hosted by Lucy Brown, an Inland director and president and CEO of United Communications Corporation, based in Kenosha, Wis. (I’m fortunate to work for UCC and the Brown family.) The meeting was held in nearby Lake Geneva. In addition to its other properties, UCC publishes the weekly Lake Geneva Regional News and the niche tourism publication, The Resorter. Thanks to Lucy and UCC for their hospitality and generous support of the meeting. It was a pleasure to share such a beautiful location with board members and guests, giving them a taste of the area where legendary Inland stalwart and supporter, Howard Brown, walked and where he proudly published its local weekly newspaper.
Major outcomes and significant strategic takeaways from the summer meeting included, but were not limited to:
Membership: The Membership Committee will place a renewed focus on engaging, educating, onboarding, mentoring and retaining new and legacy members (and board members). Under Cory Bollinger’s leadership the committee has increased membership to record levels and has identified companies to be recruited in the coming year, building Inland membership, participation and engagement.
Programming: New Director Jason Taylor has taken on the leadership of the Program Committee. Future topics and plans include new programming for our weekly newspaper members, and continuing the popular Inland webinar training schedule. If you have ever attended one of Jason’s passion-filled presentations or programs, you know Jason is perfect for the assignment.
Marketing: The Marketing Committee continues to “work the plan,” outlined in the comprehensive marketing plan developed under the leadership of committee Chair Matt McMillan and the Inland Marketing Committee. The committee will continue to focus on email and social media marketing tools and strategies in order to improve member engagement and participation; increase member communications and information-sharing; reinforce the Inland Press Association brand; advance the value of the organization to members and the newspaper industry at large.
Financial Sustainability: Inland Foundation President Jeremy Halbreich and his committee continue to focus on long-range financial sustainability of the organization and maximizing the investments of the Inland Foundation. Jeremy is coordinating an exciting long-range financial initiative that will be unveiled in the coming months. Stay tuned for more word about that.
Unfortunately, Foundation Vice President Amy Glennon will be stepping away from her Inland leadership role. Amy, publisher of Cox Vertical Businesses, is departing the Cox organization in the coming weeks. All of us at Inland thank Amy for her many contributions, service, and loyalty to the Inland Press Association. We wish her all the best. Amy, you will be missed.
I’m happy to report that we just concluded a very successful revenue conference in Atlanta co-sponsored by SNPA and several state associations in the Southeast. Nearly 90 newspaper professionals and sponsors attended this event, including attendees from as far away as Honduras and South Africa (Inland is truly an international organization). This was an instant ROI winner for all those in attendance and the feedback from those attendees was truly outstanding. (See a more complete report about the conference on this page and page 8.) Thanks to all of our attendees, valued vendor partners and presenters for making the program such a success. The conference was also co-sponsored by Mike Blinder of The Blinder Group and Mike played a significant role in promoting, facilitating, branding, tweeting, championing, and making this an absolute home run. Thanks, Mike, you rock. Finally, special thanks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Amy Glennon, for graciously hosting the event.
Industry Consolidations and Mergers
As most of you are now aware, there have been a number of significant industry announcements regarding newspaper ownership change, divestitures, mergers and partnerships. Gray Television has purchased Raycom, owners of CNHI. CNHI subsequently has announced it is exploring buyers for the newspapers. On the heels of the Gray announcement, Lee Enterprises has entered into a management agreement for management and oversight of all BH Media newspapers with the exception of the Buffalo News and BH-owned television properties. CNHI and BH Media are valued members of the Inland Press Association and we will remain diligent in monitoring the situation and in providing whatever support or assistance possible.
Mark Your Calendars
Inland has a number of upcoming major meetings and conferences remaining this year that you don’t want to miss because they’ll provide an instant ROI for your participation.
Audience Development& Circulation Management Conference
August 8-9; Dallas, TX; Hosted by the Dallas Morning News.
133rd Inland Annual Meeting
September 9-11; Chicago, IL; JW Marriott
Executive Voices 2.0
(Limited Attendance): December 3-4; Chicago, Il; Hosted by Seyfarth-Shaw LLP; Willis Tower
In closing, thanks for everything you do to contribute and improve the Inland Press Association. See you at the Annual Meeting.