More Than 700 Industry Leaders Attend Mega-Conference in Las Vegas

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  • Amy Maestras, Durango (Colo.) Herald executive editor, speaks to the audience during the Betting the Future on Newsroom Transformation panel.

The stakes were high at this year’s Key Executives Mega-Conference in Las Vegas Feb. 25-27. More than 700 news industry leaders attended the show, hosted by the Inland Press Association, Local Media Association, Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and News Media Alliance.

Now in its ninth year, the Mega-Conference program featured a variety of sessions focused on subscriptions, newsroom transformation, trust in news, podcasts and more. Anne Kornblut, director of new initiatives, news partnerships at Facebook, shared insights about the tech company’s $300 million investment in the news industry and its expansion of the Local Accelerator program. A Leaders in Transformation panel featured newsroom leaders who are adapting to the evolving media landscape. Keynote speaker Terry Egger, publisher and CEO of the Philadelphia Media Network, spoke about his company’s transformation, the importance of storytelling and why the local newspaper is needed for the good of the community.

“Failure is not an option,” he told the audience.

GateHouse Live won this year’s Mega-Innovation Award. Pictured with the award is Rebecca Capparelli (left), vice president of promotions at GateHouse Media, and Lyndsi Lane, vice president of GateHouse Live and virtual events at GateHouse Media.

The winner of this year’s Mega-Innovation award was also announced in Vegas. This year the honor went to GateHouse Live for its successful events and marketing division. In its first year, GateHouse Live generated $8 million; in 2018, revenue topped $42 million and is projected to grow to more than $60 million. In addition, the Austin American-Statesman’s Studio Sessions and the Buffalo News’s new paywall were both recognized as finalists this year.

“We received excellent reviews from attendees and sponsors alike,” said show producer Jay Horton. “None of the attendees are leaving what happened in Vegas and what they take back will help to grow their B2B and B2C businesses. There will only be a few days of rest before the Mega-Conference crew is back at it planning the 2020 conference…where we’ll continue to share industry best practices, highlighted by the massive opportunity with the 2020 election, and hear perspective from outside the industry.”

Next year’s Mega-Conference will take place in Fort Worth, Texas Feb. 17-19, 2020. For more information, visit mega-conference.com.

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