NAA Publisher Confab Preview: Mike Bloomberg, Craig Newmark and Tom Friedman to Appear

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By: Jennifer Saba

The Newspaper Association of America is gearing up for its annual convention in New York City on May 6-9.

The past year has not been kind to the industry– advertising and circulation revenue continue to slide and shareholders and Wall Street are turning the screws on public companies. Perhaps in acknowledgement of this, the NAA booked Craig Newmark, founder of the mostly free classified site Craigslist and proxy for the plunge in newspaper classified revenue, to speak during Monday’s opening session.

Also scheduled to present during that time: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (the association generally snags the mayor of the host city to usher in the conference), TV host Charlie Rose and outgoing NAA Chairman Boisfeuillet Jones Jr. (publisher and CEO of The Washington Post).

Jones is expected to pass the torch to new NAA Chairman Susan Clark-Johnson, president of Gannett’s newspaper division.

Richard Wagoner Jr., chairman and CEO of General Motors — another industry in turmoil — is slated to speak during lunch on May 8 while New York Times foreign affairs columnist Tom Freidman will take the dais on the last day of the conference, May 9.

The NAA plans to address the elephant in the room this year with four major sessions that focus on an industry in flux: managing in transition, journalism in transition, audience in transition, and partnerships in transition.

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