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Entries for August 2012

New Category of Membership for Research & Development Partners Tops the List of Changes

A series of bylaws changes were recommended by the Local Media Association's board of directors recently and the membership voted unanimously to approve all of the changes.

Most of the changes that were recommended involved replacing outdated language and also changing language to reflect the new name (On January 1, 2012 the organization changed its name from Suburban Newspapers of America to Local Media Association). Other changes included the right for the immediate past chairman to be a voting member of the board (previously an ex-officio, non-voting member) and a quorum of 30% for future bylaws changes (the previous version did not establish a quorum).

The biggest and most exciting change was the creation of a new class of membership called R&D partners (Research & Development Partners). This class provides a higher level option for those that provide goods and services to the industry. The new class comes with voting rights and the ability to serve on the board of directors. The changes also allow two associate or R&D members to serve on the board at any given time as opposed to just one in the prior version.

"Our associate members have always been an important part of our membership" said Nancy Lane, president, Local Media Association. "Some of them want to play a bigger role with our association and we welcome that. This new level of membership will allow them to do that and will provide increased benefits to them. We especially like the term 'R&D partner' as this more accurately reflects their important role in the local media industry."

Gordon Borrell photo
Gordon Borrell

Matt Coen

Currently Gordon Borrell, CEO, Borrell Associates serves on the Local Media Association board and is in fact moving into the chairs and will eventually become chairman of the board in 2015. This fall Matt Coen, CEO, Second Street Media will join the board as the second associate/R&D member. "Gordon's contributions have been significant" said Lane, "He brings a different and welcomed perspective to our meetings and helps us in ways that are different from our newspaper board members. We think that Matt will also strengthen our board and help us in our efforts to innovate, educate and inspire the industry during this time of great transition."

Note that the bylaws changes did not include any revisions to membership requirements for newspaper members. The Local Media Association board of directors continues to meet with members and host two-way discussions to better understand their position. The board does expect to recommend further changes to at least address the treatment of online-only members and to possibly expand beyond that. The board welcomes the input of all members. Send comments to board chairman Jon Rust at jrust@semissourian.com.

For more information about the R&D class of membership, contact Al Cupo at (215) 256-6801 or al.cupo@localmedia.org, or Deanna Lewis at (207) 384-5022 or deanna.lewis@localmedia.org.

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Local Media Association’s highest individual honor salutes leadership, innovation and achievement.
Betty Carr photo
Betty Carr

From a humble start as a part timer in the classified department of Oshawa This Week, Betty Carr forged an outstandingly successful decades-long career in the community newspaper industry. Now, capping off her professional career from which she just recently retired, Carr has been selected to receive the Local Media Association 2012 Dean S. Lesher Award. In recognition of her outstanding contributions to her company, community and the local newspaper industry at large, Carr has been resoundingly chosen for this lifetime achievement award, LMA’s highest honor. It is bestowed annually on an individual who has enhanced the industry through leadership, innovation and achievement of excellence in both their company and community.

In honoring Carr, who retired from her position as vice president of Metroland Media Group’s Toronto division and publisher of Toronto Community News in the spring, LMA is saluting one of the industry’s finest. She has made a vast imprint on the local community newspaper industry, within her company and in her community. According to Peter Haggert, Editor in Chief of Toronto Community News, “(Betty is) someone who fought an uphill battle, took a one-paper publisher's job nobody wanted, and turned it into an incredibly successful franchise of community newspapers in Canada's largest city.”

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Opportunity with Consumer Surveys to be Shared
By Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association

One of the top takeaways from the recent West Coast Innovation Mission was the opportunity to implement Google's consumer surveys program. In fact, nearly every attendee has already signed a contract and started the program on many of their web sites. We are hearing great results about the revenue that is being generated from this program (Digital First Media expects to realize $4-$6 million in the first year company-wide).

Matt Villacarte, publisher relations director for Google's Consumer Surveys will showcase the program details on day one of the upcoming Local Media Fall Conference. His session will take place on Tuesday, September 11 in the afternoon.

Unlike other programs, this one is suitable for companies of all sizes and many of Local Media Association's smaller members are benefitting from this very cool opportunity. Be sure to attend this session to learn more. For those that already participate, note that Matt will share some best practice examples that may be helpful to you.

To register for the fall conference click here.

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