Mega-Conference Showed Innovation, Passion for Newspapers to Succeed

innovation award

The winner of the 2020 Mega-Innovation Award was the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for its iPad Strategy. Pictured with the award is Eliza Baines, VP of audience development at WEHCO Media Inc. (left), and publisher Walter E. Hussman Jr. (Photo by Nu Yang/Editor & Publisher magazine.)

With the shared goal of taking newspapers and websites into the next phase of a changing industry, more than 500 members of the publishing industry gathered Feb. 17-19 for the Key Executives Mega-Conference at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas.

A joint effort of newspaper media associations, including America’s Newspapers (formed from the merger of Inland Press Association and Southern Newspaper Publishers Association), Local Media Association and News Media Alliance, the Mega-Conference annually brings together allied members of the industry to share their enthusiasm and passion for local journalism.

I had the pleasure of representing Family Features at the conference to introduce representatives for a multitude of publications to our digital and print editorial content. Publishers and editors were excited to learn more about Family Features’ capabilities to enhance websites and create reader engagement through content widgets and recipe videos.

Ensuring Publishing's Future

AFCP Rising StarsRecently, I had the pleasure of attending the Association of Free Community Publications (AFCP) Conference and Trade Show in Las Vegas on behalf of Family Features. AFCP represents publishers of free community newspapers and magazines from coast-to-coast, reaching millions of homes on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.

Attending this conference was a real eye-opener, and a positive one at that. It closely resembled the excitement affiliated with a high school or college reunion with a unique sense of family, friendship and connections.

One might think this would consist of worn-out newspaper men and women trying to save their publications from demise. This was not the case, however.

Senior Publications – Alive and Well, and Reaching a Growing Demographic

SeniorsReadingEvery day, more members of the Baby Boomer generation turn 65 years old. By 2030, Census.gov projects there will be more than 70 million people in the U.S. age 65 or older. Because of its rapid growth, the senior demographic has become a strong, thriving market with expendable income.

Recently, the North American Mature Publishers Association (NAMPA) held its annual conference in Orlando, Florida. NAMPA members publish nearly 100 publications with a combined circulation of more than 4 million. Of these member publications, 23 were represented at the conference to exchange ideas with other publishing leaders.