By: Editorial Staff
Newspaper Association of America’s annual convention begins
this week with a heavy focus on marketing, newsprint ? and
a satellite session with Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
A FULL DAY of marketing sessions, featuring a luncheon address by a top executive of Sears Roebuck, one of the nation’s largest newspaper advertisers, will highlight this year’s annual convention of the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), to be held at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, April 23-26.
Arthur Martinez, chairman and CEO of Sears Merchandise Group, on April 25 is scheduled to discuss his repositioning of the company and the role newspapers have played in Sears’ recent success.
Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who has been critical of coverage he has received in a number of newspapers, is scheduled to address the convention via satellite at 8:15 a.m. on April 26 and will participate in a question-and-answer session with the audience.
Also scheduled to address the convention are Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin and Kemal Kurspahic, former editor in chief of Oelobodjenje in Sarajevo.
During the conference, Charles Brumback, chairman and CEO of Tribune Co. of Chicago, will turn over the reigns of NAA chairman to Uzal Martz, president and publisher of the Pottsville (Pa.) Republican.
More than 1,000 of the nation’s top newspaper publishers and executives are expected to attend the four-day conference.
For the first time, NAA will showcase its New Media Lab, which will give newspaper executives a chance to see firsthand what their colleagues are doing to capitalize on digital technology. Electronic versions of newspapers and newspaper pages on Internet’s World Wide Web will be displayed.
During the convention, NAA members will vote to fill six seats on the board of directors and will elect new officers. The new board nominees are Gene Bell, president and CEO of the San Diego Union-Tribune; Richard Harrington, president and CEO, Thomson Newspapers; Gregg Jones, vice president and co-publisher of the Greenville (Tenn.) Sun; Richard Myers, president and CEO, Ottaway Newspapers Inc.; Mary Schurz, vice president and secretary of Schurz Communications; and Richard Schlosberg, senior vice president of Times Mirror Co.
“The NAA convention provides a unique focal point for the industry to take stock in our accomplishments and tackle topics like the new media landscape, newsprint, advertising, diversity and public journalism,” said Cathleen Black, NAA president and CEO. “Last year marked a turning point for the industry, with advertising expenditures reaching a record high, and key economic indicators pointing to sustained growth for the future.”
Sunday, April 23
A special session, “Big Ideas for Small Newspapers,” will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the Hilton Riverside. Attendees will share ideas for generating revenue, containing costs and starting new products at newspapers with less than 75,000 circulation.
Monday, April 24
The “early bird” concurrent workshops, which in past years have begun at 7 a.m., will start at 7:30 each morning.
Early bird sessions will cover such topics as rising newsprint prices; circulation churn; real estate advertising; and postal issues.
A reception by Editor & Publisher magazine will be held at 7 a.m.
Outgoing chairman Brumback will address the convention at an 8:30 a.m. breakfast session. He will be followed by Black, who will report on the state of NAA. Also on the Monday morning program will be Kurspahic, who will offer a special perspective on the meaning of a free press.
The Associated Press annual meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and run until noon. White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta will be the AP luncheon speaker at 1 p.m.
A session, entitled “90 Ideas in 90 Minutes,” will begin at 2:30 p.m. Convention attendees will have the opportunity to share proven ideas in the areas of new revenue, cost savings challenges and strengths of newspapers in the new information era.
Tuesday, April 25
The entire day will be devoted to marketing of the newspaper.
Concurrent “early bird” workshops will begin at 7:30 a.m.
At 8:30 a.m. will be a general session on “The Power of Newsprint,” followed by a short presentation by the Newspaper National Network. A 9 a.m., a general session panel made up of retail, grocery, airline, film and automotive advertisers will discuss the benefits and results of using newspapers to reach their customers.
From 10:45 a.m. until noon will be round-table discussions at which convention participants will be able to talk directly with advertisers and newspaper marketing experts.
Martinez will address the luncheon, and, at 2:30 p.m., concurrent workshops on diversity, electronic classifieds, database marketing, and others will begin.
The NAA annual meeting will take place from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 26
The day will again begin with “early bird” workshops, followed by the Gingrich session, which begins at 8:15 a.m.
A panel discussion on public journalism will begin at 9:15 a.m., followed by a 10 a.m. session on the “New Media Marketplace.”
Levin will address the annual NAA luncheon, at which time the chairman’s gavel will be transferred to Martz.
?( Burbon Street will be filled with newspaper executives during this week’s Newspaper Association of America conventions.)[Photo & Caption]