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Press Releases

Entries for July 2012

Event Marketing Now Represents a Huge Revenue Stream for the Times Free-Press

Jason Taylor photo
Jason Taylor

Event marketing is not new and many Local Media Association members do a fine job with this area of the business. What is new is the approach that Jason Taylor, President & Publisher of the Times Free-Press in Chattanooga, TN has taken. This approach has resulted in a major new revenue stream for his company and has elevated the Times Free-Press' brand in the marketplace. 

Taylor takes events to the next level and produces a wide variety of them from very small (think movie theatre previews and spelling bees) to very large (events centered on women, seniors, kids, prep sports and more). The event calendar continues to grow (they now produce over 18 events per year) as does the revenue. His company is enjoying a good year and he attributes much of their growth to events. 

In this high energy, inspirational session, Taylor will kick off the entire fall conference on the morning of September 12. For those that haven't seen him before, be prepared to witness one of the best presentations that you will ever see. He consistently ranks number one in evaluation forms when he is on a program and attendees ask to have him back over and over again. This session will likely provide enough ROI for the entire conference. 

Whether you are currently producing a lot of events or not, this session will deliver many ideas to grow this area of your business. It is definitely a not to be missed session!

Additional Conference Details  |  Program/Agenda

REGISTER ONLINE  |  Registration Form

Registration fees for Local Media Association members are $595 for the first attendee, $495 for the second attendee if paid by August 21, 2012.

Sheraton Atlanta Hotel
165 Courtland Street NE, Atlanta, GA

Reservation number: (800) 833-8624

Online Reservations: Click here
Hotel Website: Click here

The room rate is $159 (single/double occupancy) per night plus tax. When making your reservations, please reference the Local Media Association Fall Publishers' and Advertising Directors' Conference. Rooms will be offered at the quoted rate based on availability three (3) days before and (3) days after the conference. All conference attendees are encouraged to reserve their hotel rooms as early as possible.

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This six-day tour is scheduled for November 4 through November 9, 2012 and includes stops in Washington DC, New York City and Chicago, IL.

Local Media Association Members can register for this study tour at WAN-IFRA member rates.
Join media professionals from around the world as they visit some of the top digital innovators in the US and learn what platforms and technologies they are using and how they make money with digital.

Highlights include stops at The New York Times, Associated Press and The Daily in New York. You’ll experience Election Day first-hand in Washington D.C and be the guest of the sales team at the Washington Times. In addition, you’ll meet with Gordon Borrell, CEO, Borrell Associates and visit The Chicago Tribune and in Chicago.

Topics discussed along the way include:

  • Successful digital campaigns
  • Cross-media campaigns/packages
  • Platforms and products: what is offered and in what packages
  • Prices for digital advertising products
  • Process/workflow: cooperation with media agencies or direct sale?
  • How is the sales team organized: how companies make sure that they have the digital expertise

Complete program details are available on the WAN-IFRA web site at:

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The Economy & Mental Health – Top Action Items

By: Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association

During the final session, attendees split into four groups to discuss the top takeaways and action plans. The groups addressed immediate plans, story ideas, longer-term plans and ways to stay in touch, share and network. The following outlines their top takeaways: 10 stories we can do now:
  • Why can’t we link suicide rate to the economy?
  • How does health care reform affect our communities immediately?
  • First person blog, post or story about what we learned at SRI
  • Talk to employers about why they can’t continue same health care coverage given the health care reform law passage
  • With elections upcoming, ask candidates their views on mental health issues, funding, etc.
  • How are mental health professionals impacted by lower funding, clinics closing, etc.
  • We have a burgeoning mental health crisis. Who’s there to take care of us?
  • Talk to people who have received treatment
  • Q&A with mental health practitioners
  • Interview HR people on how they handle lay-offs, pay cuts – is there a safety net or do you just hand the employee a box and tell them to clear out their desk?

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Alex Richards, Staff Writer, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL

By: Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association

Numbers and Databases – How to Find Them, Use Them, Read Them & Interpret Them. Alex Richards, Staff Writer, Chicago Tribune

2 great tools from Google that he recommends:
  • Google "Refine" - great tool for dealing with dirty data (standardizing names/places). Works in web browser.
  • Google's "Fusion Tables" lowers the barrier to entry for data exploration/analysis. Map data/visualize in charts.

Economic data sources that can provide great information for local markets:
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis
  • PUMS- public use microdata sample

What to ask for:
Data that gets at the strain on families, the fiscal strife that is a source of emotional disruption – the effects of a weak economy.
  • Foreclosures, various liens, notices of default (local property assessor and/or recorder)
  • Bankruptcy filings (court system)
  • Migration patterns (IRS, census)
  • Unexcused absences, removals from school (local districts, state education agencies)
  • Utilization of public safety nets like SNAP, TANF, job retraining, shelters and food banks
  • Prevalence of suicide, where more recent information can come directly from your coroner or medical examiner

Other signs of a stuttering economy:
  • State/local sales tax revenues
  • New weekly unemployment claims (DOL, state)
  • Mass layoff trends in your state (DOL)
  • New business licenses, home starts

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Tom Koetting, Deputy Managing Editor, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI

By Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association

Managing Yourself & Your Newsroom - Thomas Koetting, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Start with a question you can't answer. Then start digging and see where it takes you. It can be small - actually small is often better. Don't write about nouns - prisons, hospitals, empty homes. And remember, as you mine data, use volume to tell broad stories, individual cases to give color and personal touch." 


  • Read the paper. Read web sites. Read bloggers. Read. Yes really.
  • Step back and ask the big questions, then narrow them.
  • Trust your life experiences.
  • Solicit from readers online. 

Launch Meetings:

  • Everyone from other departments involved
  • Show pre-reporting, sources
  • What is the nut graph? The point of view? The question that you are answering?
  • What is the worst case scenario of reporting? Is that good enough?
  • What CAR work is needed?
  • What multimedia ideas are possible?
  • What time is needed?
  • Presentation pitfalls - get out in front of them.

"Give yourself and others permission to have lousy ideas. Think counter-intuitively. Question the most obvious things. But most of all, come to some sense of agreement so that you can refer back to this meeting in the days ahead when people get lost or go astray. Think about developing two tracks of reporting - one for dailies, one for longer form work. Every week, see how the longer form work has progressed - if at all."

Thanks to the McCormick Foundation for sponsoring this two-day reporting symposium.


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By Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association

Steve Moore, Illinois Chapter Board Member, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Chicago, IL

Suicide & The Economic Downturn

Steve Moore, Board Member, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, delivered one of the most powerful presentations of the entire symposium. He shared intimate details about the death of his college-age son and urged reporters to be responsible when reporting on suicides in their communities. 

Moore shared some stats to start the session:

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By Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association

Community Stress - Budget Cuts & The Quality of Mental Health Services

Story ideas from Marian Frattarola-Saulino, Executive Director, Values Into Action:

  • Group homes have been a failure and now serve as "mini institutions". Find out what group homes exist in your community and start asking questions about the funding, success stories, problems, etc. 
  • Look to grassroots organizations for access to people that are affected by intellectual disabilities to tell their stories (they are far more likely to give you access - these might be autism or cerebral palsy support groups for example). Report on success stories in addition to problem areas.
  • Look at non-profits in your community that serve the mental health field and examine their financial reports. Red flags include: too much money being spent on administrative costs or assets like buildings (when the building becomes more important than the services that are being offered). 
  • 9 out of 10 people that experience intellectual disabilities experience abuse (usually from care givers). This is a story that needs to be told so that families can recognize the warning signs and be proactive. Much of the abuse goes unreported.

Saulino challenged the symposium attendees to help enact change in their communities by asking the tough questions, advocating for "people first" when it comes to government funding of mental health services and to forge relationships with a variety of providers in your community including grassroots organizations.

Thanks to the McCormick Foundation for sponsoring this two-day reporting symposium. 

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Kevin Orland, Deputy Leader, Bloomberg News U.S. Consumer Team, Chicago, IL, Tom Contiliano, Chief of Client Relations, Bloomberg News, Washington, DC; Bill Handy, Assistant Professor, Medill School, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL and Conrado “Sluggo” Rigor, Editor/Publisher, Filipino-American Bulletin, Seattle, WA

By Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association

Bloomberg - Cash Flow Tells the Story

Executives from Bloomberg News presented a session on the economy to SRI attendees in Chicago this morning (The Economy & Mental Health Symposium). Describing himself as a "forensic accountant", Tom Contiliano, chief of client relations for Bloomberg News, shared numerous examples of what to look for when covering companies of any kind (publicly-traded, government and non-profit). 

At the top of the list for Contiliano is cash flow. He encouraged attendees to scrutinize a company's cash flow and especially compare it to prior year. It often is one of the first indicators when something is wrong. Other areas to look at: leadership, revenue, balance sheet and P&L statements. For non-profits, the 990 is the form that should be reviewed (available at or through the company as they are required by law to make them available). 

The Bloomberg executives also encouraged attendees to start with the top five employers in their market and take a deep dive into their financials to better understand the big picture.

Thanks to the McCormick Foundation for sponsoring this two-day reporting symposium. 

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The Economy and Mental Health

Bill Handy photo
Bill Handy

By Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association
Thanks to a grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, 20 journalists were awarded scholarships to attend a two-day specialized reporting institute that takes place today and tomorrow in Chicago at the Sun-Times. The program is being led by Bill Handy, coordinator of Medill's Global Journalism Program (Northwestern University) and assistant  professor. 

The opening session featured feedback from the attendees about the state of mental health and social service programs in their communities. Most of the attendees are sharing stories of dramatic cuts in all areas including women's services, assistance for veterans, mental health programs and more. Attendees are looking forward to learning more during the two days about how to cover these stories in the most effective and ethical way in the communities that they serve. 

Stayed tuned for the key takeaways from this symposium posted live on the Local Media Association web site throughout the next two days.

Thanks to the McCormick Foundation for sponsoring this two-day reporting symposium.


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By Tanya Henderson, Local Media Association

NNA Postal Chair, Max Heath spoke yesterday afternoon to Local Media Association members on the “Negotiated Service Agreement” (NSA) that gives Valassis a range of discount pricing from 20-36% for new marriage mail packages.  This agreement is currently under review with the PRC (Postal Regulatory Commission).

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Register now for two half days of FREE sales training July 24 and 25

The Local Media Association virtual conference is two weeks away! Have your staff register now! We have contracted with some of North America's top sales and management trainers to conduct these sessions including:

  • Steve Waterhouse, President, Waterhouse Group & Predictive Results
  • Mike Blinder, President, Blinder Group
  • Kelly Wirges, President and CEO, ProMax Training and Consulting, Inc.
  • Debbi Holzkamp, President and Director of Sales Training, HDS Premier Consulting
  • Renee Ward, Executive Vice President and Director of Sales Training, HDS Premier Consulting
  • Gary Moore, President, Insight Edge, Inc. / Media Sales Pro
  • Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association
  • Shannon Kinney, President, Dream Local Digital

Don't miss this opportunity for free training for your sales executives and management team!

More Information  |  Register Online  |  Agenda

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