Monday, April 15


*Times and dates are subject to change

7:30-8:30 a.m.
Breakfast in the Town Square (Valley of the Sun DE)
Sponsored by Compulse

8:30 a.m.
(Valley of the Sun ABC)

Welcome to Phoenix and Mega 2024
Francis Wick, President, Wick Communications

Greg Burton, VP of News and Execuive Editor, The Arizona Republic

Six Ways Supporting Local Journalism May Reduce Fine Lines & Wrinkles|
Mi-Ai Parrish, Managing Director, ASU Media Enterprise, CEO and Founder, MAP Strategies Group

9:15 a.m.
The AI Impact on Local News
AI is impacting the local news environment at a rapid speed. It's not just about content; it's also changing the way sales and operations will be run. Jeremy Gilbert, Professor and Knight Chair in Digital Media Strategy at Medill, Northwestern University

9:50 a.m.
Coffee break in the Town Square

10:20  a.m.

Current Trends in Lead-to-Cash: People, Process and Platforms
(Valley of the Sun ABC)
The Lead-to-Cash cycle is one of a media company’s most critical and complex processes, yet executives rarely pay any real attention to it. It is simply the collection of all activities — from receiving an order through processing it and getting paid — that relate to making a sale and realizing the revenues from it. In this session, we’ll talk about some of today’s most popular Lead-to-Cash solutions and the best practices that drive efficient operations across lead management, sales enablement, order processing, finance operations and enterprise reporting. Our panel will include real-life examples from publishers and their partners who help make it all happen.
Moderated by Christopher Prinos, Founder and CEO of Indigo Trigger, with: Brooke Zapata, SVP Sales Enablement, Gannett; Daryl Kern, Head of Global Pre Sales, Lineup Systems, Ltd; and Shalonda Lewis, Dir. Of Operations-Shared Services, Tribune Publishing Company

AI is for More Than Content! Using AI to Enhance Operations  (Ahwatukee)
While the focus in the media world has been on how AI can impact content, new AI-driven applications are being introduced every day that enhance other areas of the operation. This session will introduce how AI is being used to find efficiencies in distribution, operations, HR and more with real-world examples from inside and outside the media industry. With Rachel See, Senior Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP

11 a.m. 
Break to switch sessions

11:15  a.m.

Digital Product Development: Building a Lasting Book of Business  (Valley of the Sun ABC)
This session delves into the strategic approaches for creating and nurturing a sustainable book of business through digital products and offerings. We will explore the critical decision-making process between leveraging external vendors and internal development (in housing), evaluating their impacts on scalability, cost-effectiveness and innovation. Robert Young, GM, Advertising, The Advocate, NOLA, and Melissa Sheehan, CRO, AdCellerant

AI and the Future of Local Newspapers: How One Newspaper Group is Leveraging AI to Expand Hyperlocal Reach, Enhance Reader Engagement and Unlock New Advertising Opportunities  (Ahwatukee)
In 2024, Trib Total Media is exploring how to harness the power of AI, couple it with their core competencies, and come up with a strategy to address the fundamental challenges facing their business. Guiding imperatives were hyper-local audience development, improved engagement, accessing new advertisers, new revenue opportunities and little to no new headcount.  An endeavor that could create enormous implications for the future of their 18 printed newspapers and 35 hyper-local news sites. Moderated by Lloyd Armbrust, CEO, OwnLocal, with: Matt Miller, CRO of TTM, and Joe Lawrence, General Counsel of TTM and CEO of MeSearch

11:45 p.m.
Lunch in the Town Square
Sponsored by SCS

1:15-2:45 p.m.
Solutions Roundtables (Valley of the Sun ABC)
This fast-paced session provides attendees with the opportunity to meet in a no-pressure, small group environment with a variety of companies that will provide overviews of how their products tackle some of today’s challenges. This popular session — which is only open to newspaper attendees and the table hosts — will provide valuable information to develop strategic plans.  Check out the roundtable topics!

Table hosts are:


  • Audience
  • BellCornerstone
  • CitySpark
  • Column
  • Creative Circle Media Solutions
  • Elite Insights
  • Enghouse Interactive
  • Jobcase (formerly Recruitology)
  • King Features
  • Monster
  • NERUS Strategies
  • Newzware - ICANON
  • OnPremise Network
  • OwnLocal
  • Seyfarth
  • Spot-On

2:30 p.m.
Refreshment break in the Town Square

3 p.m.

GENERAL SESSION (Valley of the Sun ABC)

The Business of Growing Audience (Valley of the Sun ABC)
With third-party cookies crumbling and the social media landscape softening, it’s never been a more important time to own your own audience. This session delves into the business case for engagement and how to build a healthy funnel with first-party data no matter the size of your operation.  Learn valuable strategies in audience development to connect communities, enhance readership and build the business.  With Josh Awtry, Senior Vice President / Audience Development, Newsweek

3:40 p.m.
Break to switch sessions

3:50 p.m.

Three Executive Takes & Takeways in Uncovering & Developing All-Star Teams (Valley of the Sun ABC)
Best practices for finding and keeping great people. We'll tap into how media companies are recruiting, growing and incentivizing sales talent and executives. You’ll leave with inspirational stories, useful tools and simple best practices.
Moderated by Kelly Outlaw, CFO, Community Impact, with: Tess Coverman, VP, Sales & Marketing, Community Impact; and John Garrett, Founder and CEO, Community Impact

Politics 2024: Chaos or Clarity? (Ahwatukee)
Politics will dominate the media landscape at the national, state and local levels for the rest of the year. Here’s how one newsroom in a swing state with highly competitive races plans to engage audiences by showcasing truth, fostering trust and delivering clarity. Former President Donald Trump tried to flip the result of the presidential race in Arizona in 2020 and the effects of that challenge linger. Moderated by Kathleen Tulumello, News Director, The Arizona Republic, with four additional panelists from The Arizona Republic: Stacey Barchenger, State Politics Reporter; Ron Hansen, National Politics Reporter; Sasha Hupka, County and Elections Reporter; and Pat Poblete, State Politics and Issues Editor

4:30 p.m.
GENERAL SESSION (Valley of the Sun ABC)

Measuring Local Newspaper Ad Effectiveness
America’s Newspapers and Coda Ventures unveil the results of the 2024 Local Newspaper Ad Effectiveness Study.   Learn how local newspaper ads stack up against the competition across a wide variety of retail segments.  With Greg Watson, CMO, America’s Newspapers; Marianne Grogan, President, Coda Ventures; and Dee Evans, VP of Sales and Business Development, Advantage Newspaper Consultants

 4:45 p.m.  
Putting Local in Local Sales
This will be a fast-paced panel discussion with three industry leaders focusing on where their local sales success is coming from and how you can adopt their ideas into your local operation, today. Moderated by John Newby, Chief Revenue Officer, Editor & Publisher Magazine, with: Lee Bachlet, COO, CherryRoad Media; Allen Jones, President, Local Sales, Gannett | USA TODAY Network; and Mike Martoccia, VP, Digital Sales/Marketing, Adams Publishing Group

5:20 p.m.
Sessions End

5:30–6:30 p.m.

Reception in Town Square
Sponsored by Gannett

Dinner on Your Own