Family Owners

Family Owners Conference

Friday & Saturday, September 7-8, 2018 in Chicago


See you in September at a conference exclusively for family owners

Join fellow family newspaper owners in Chicago for a gathering with an agenda created by family owners for family owners in a family atmosphere of sharing and learning together.

At its core, Inland's Family Owners and Next Generation Leadership Conference is about families helping families to help themselves. Hear the stories from owners just like you-stories of successes and challenges, hits and, sometimes, misses.

Expect deep-dive discussions from experts on topics you want to address, as well as conversations among the incumbent and next generation of newspaper leaders.

And, of course, there is no networking opportunity like an Inland gathering.

New revenue streams, foundation funding and property worth highlighted at Family Owners Conference

When the fall edition of the Family Owners & Next Generation Leadership Conference convenes Sept. 7 and 8 back in Chicago, family owners will gather in an environment both familiar and unknown.

The familiar by now include the continuing wave of sales and acquisitions by family owners, the challenges of transitioning to digital while retaining print revenues and the mandate to staff up, or down, smartly, efficiently and effectively.

Unknowns include the impacts from the massive tax code changes, the tariffs on Canadian newsprint—and doubts sown about the value and veracity of the free press itself.

As always, though, Inland provides in the Family Conference a safe, confidential place to explore all the options available to families—and always keeping in mind the unique dynamics of family businesses and the newspaper business itself.

Here’s the Family Owners & Next Generation Leadership Conference program:

Friday, September 7

6: 30 p.m. Welcome opening reception and dinner 
Seven Lions, a modern clubhouse, 130 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL

Saturday, September 8

8:00 a.m. Registration and light breakfast

8:15 a.m. Welcome and introductions  

8:30 a.m. Successors Generation Leadership Discussion

This session affords a unique opportunity for the next generation of family media owners to share their concerns, their successes and their expectations as they prepare to lead their businesses. What’s said in this session stays in this session, offering an atmosphere of candor and also of support.

Facilitated by Brandon Eyerly, Publisher, Press Enterprise Inc., Bloomsburg, Pa., and Francis Wick, President and CEO, Wick Communications.

8:30 a.m. Incumbent Generation Leadership Discussion

This session encourages confidential discussion exclusively for and among current family owners. The topics up for discussion are picked by the incumbent generation owners themselves, aided by a moderator who deeply understands the challenges facing family-owned newspapers as well as the strengths family ownership bring to a business.

10:45 a.m. Break

11:00 a.m. Your paper—in the eyes of out-of-town buyers

Publicly traded groups are showing renewed—and growing—interest in family-owned newspaper properties. This session, presented by top industry brokers, examines how they look at your paper, whether you are selling or not. They will lay out the Top Ten Things An Out-Of-Town Buyer Typically Does to Maximize ROI From Family-Owned Papers. They’ll look at outcomes affecting the newsroom, management, readers—and the community at large. You’ll get an eye-opening view of the real value of your newspaper.

Presented by Sara April, Vice President, Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, and Randy Cope, Managing Director, Cribb, Greene & Cope

Noon: Lunch

1 p.m. A firm foundation: Innovative new revenue streams

The Blethen family-owned The Seattle Times has developed a model for revenue that thinks outside the boxes of subscription and advertising. Learn how their journalism labs are creating new journalism initiatives—funded by philanthropic foundations, corporations and nonprofits. The gratifying results: A higher quality of news and art coverage, a real social impact—and the resources to hire more reporters.

Presented by Sharon Pian Chan, Vice President/Innovation, Product & Development, The Seattle Times

2:00 p.m. Break

2:15 p.m. Cross-ownership is gone—are the opportunities to move into broadcast gone, too?

This discussion looks at the fallout for family-owned newspaper companies from the end of the cross-ownership rules. Has the boat sailed to invest in broadcast—or has a new frontier of media opened up for newspaper owners? Hear from the experts about the media landscape after this regulatory earthquake. 

Presented by Joyce McCullough, Publisher, The News Tribune, LaSalle, IL; Jason Anderson, Vice President, Kalil & Co., Inc., Tucson, AZ; Mary Jo Villa, VP Strategic Operations, Bliss Communications, Janesville, WI

2:45 p.m. Break

3:00 p.m. The family way: Business strategies, innovation and monetization

No one has to tell participants at this conference that family-owned operations are different—and so, often, are the strategies they pursue. This facilitated discussion asks the urgent questions of family-owned newspapers: What strategies are you using to grow your revenue base?  Where do you want to be in five years, 10 years—or in the next generation? How are you investing for the future? What has revenue diversification done for your operation?

4:30 p.m. Wrap up and adjournment

Join the family, Chicago, September 7 and 8!