by: Adreana Young
The sound of country music filled the Omni Nashville Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. for the Newspaper Association of America’s annual mediaXchange conference on March 15-18.
This year’s event hosted more than 1,000 attendees and 44 exhibit booths, according to Sean O’Leary, NAA director of communications.
The conference hosted sessions ranging from successful newspaper retention programs, to how to reach millennials, social media topics, data journalism and more. In addition to the informative sessions, mediaXchange showcased its second annual accelerator pitch program in which seven start-up companies pitched their business model solutions for newspapers to an audience.
The NAA also took advantage of Music City and invited country music stars, Justin Adams, Mickey Guyton, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, The Doyle and Debbie Show, Caroline Kole and Professor of Bluegrass to perform for attendees.
At the end of the conference, former NAA chairman Robert Dickey passed the gavel onto Donna Barrett, president and CEO of Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. In addition, four people were elected for a two-year term on the NAA Board of Directors; Mark Contreras, CEO of Calkins Media; Michael Christman, president and CEO of Fort Wayne Newspapers; Gordon McLeod, publisher for Newsday Media Group; and Laura Hollingsworth, president and publisher of the Tennessean.
Next year’s mediaXchange conference will be April 17-20 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington D.C.