By: Nu Yang
More than 1,000 newspaper executives and exhibitors attended this year’s annual Newspaper Association of America mediaXchange conference, April 14-17 in Orlando, Fla. According to event organizers, the event is designed to provide valuable ideas and insights to help newspaper professionals grow audience and revenue for their print and digital products.
Although the conference’s theme centered on newspapers in the digital age, immediate past NAA chairman and Dallas Morning News publisher and chief executive officer Jim Moroney predicted in his opening remarks that print newspapers will still be around 10 years from now.
Sessions ranged from publishers who are still investing in the print product to publishers sharing what is working with their digital subscription strategies. Speakers included Guardian News and Media editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, who told attendees open journalism should be the next stage after digital first; co-founder and chairman of marketing communications at advertising agency GSD&M Roy Spence, who encouraged the newspaper industry to play to its strengths and to “dream big;” and Macy’s, Inc. chairman, president, and chief executive officer Terry Lundgren, who addressed his company’s transformation (similar to newspapers) and advised newspapers to follow a customer-focused model.
The exhibit hall featured a diverse range of solutions for executives. Companies were on hand to talk revenue opportunities, whether it was providing niche content or mobile applications. “We had an excellent conference touching base with our existing customers and making contact with new prospects,” said exhibitor and Wave2 Media Solutions vice president of sales Brian Gorman. “It was a good forum for meaningful discussions with customers and prospects but also partners who were there as a sponsor. Overall, a worthwhile experience.”
The NAA also elected new officers and board members for 2013-2014. New NAA officers are Robert M. Nutting, president and chief executive officer of Wheeling, W.Va.-based Ogden Newspapers Inc., chairman; Robert Dickey, president of Gannett Co. Inc., U.S. Community Publishing, vice chairman; Donna Barrett, president and chief executive officer, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., secretary; and Stephen Hills, president and general manager of The Washington Post, treasurer.
Next year’s NAA mediaXchange is scheduled for March 16-19, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency in Denver. Visit mediaxchange.naa.org for more information.