All Sessions

Please Note: Schedule is subject to change.

Thursday, July 10
10:30 am to 2:30 pm
In today's highly competitive media market, it's more important than ever to continue to sharpen our sales skills to retain and win new business from businesses in our market. SMBs are being bombarded by media reps and those who win the business are at the top of their game in understanding customer needs and demonstrating value and return on investment. This workshop will cover all the fundamentals of the sales process from prospecting to closing and everything in between. Amie Stein, director of training and development for the Local Media Association, and a veteran of the newspaper industry will lead this highly interactive session which will provide both sales executives and leaders with ways to further develop as sales professionals and successful sales teams.
Speaker: Amie Stein, Local Media Association

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

2 pm to 5 pm

Room: Capitol Ballroom 1/2/3

2 pm to 2:40 pm
What does it mean for your coverage on a daily basis to have been in the community for decades, how has the community changed, are you changing with it? Or remaining a truculent teenager?
Tags: Edit
Moderators: Debbie Michaud, Creative Loafing Atlanta and Nick Miller, Sacramento News & Review

Room: Davidson

A fast, highly interactive, trouble-shooting session on people management. We'll share practical tactics, based on a short list of fundamental principles for effective leadership. You'll leave the session armed with insights and ideas to expand energy - even among the weariest - and drive success.
Tags: Biz
Speaker: Laura Dell

Room: Meeting Suite 5

2:40 pm to 3 pm
Check out the list of companies that will be exhibiting at the AAN Convention and use this opportunity to visit their booths. Grab some refreshments and take a look at the newspaper display. All in the AAN Trade Show.

Room: Capitol Ballroom 1/2/3

3 pm to 4:30 pm
Join us as industry veterans talk about the process, products, support and training you will need when starting a digital agency. The panel will explore the options including creating the agency in-house and outsourcing to leading industry growth facilitators. They will also talk about important factors of consideration such as scaling, breadth of knowledge, fulfillment and account management.
Tags:
Panelists: Kelly Benish, Search Influence, Oliver Vidinovski, Google, Vince Graziano, Beyond Private Label and Jeremy Kagan, Pricing Engine

Room: Meeting Suite 6

3 pm to 3:45 pm
Meet fellow creative types at the start of the convention. More info and topics to follow.
Moderator: Jandos Rothstein, Washington City Paper

Room: Legislative Terrace

Meet fellow digital directors and web editors to talk about social media, analytics, CMS woes, and more.
Tags: Digital
Moderator: Ben Kubany, Willamette Week

Room: Legislative Terrace

Tags: Edit
Moderator: Chuck Strouse, Miami New Times
Panelists: Tyson Miller, Project for Improved Environmental Coverage and Jessica Estepa, E&E Publishing

Room: Davidson

Two alt-weekly ad veterans share real life examples of how you can rejuvenate your print and online classified sections.
Tags: Ad
Panelists: Jill Weigel, Boise Weekly and Blair Barna, Charleston City Paper

Room: Meeting Suite 5

4 pm to 4:45 pm
Review and discussion of Foundation features as well as scheduling one-to-one sessions throughout the convention.

Room: Davidson

Room: Meeting Suite 5

4 pm to 4:40 pm
Tags: Edit

Room: Legislative Terrace

Who's selling what? Are your reps using the tools/technology out there to effectively sell your products and to refine their presentation skills in a engaging way (Prezi, Slideshare, Linkedin, Email marketing, Videos)? Come show off your stuff! In this interactive session, give us your best pitch and then pick up on something new when your AAN colleagues give you their hard sell. Don't forget to bring your sales materials (one-sheets, swag, etc.) to share.
Moderator: Christine Oreskovich, The Coast

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

5 pm to 7 pm
First time attendees and those new to AAN are invited to share a libation and network with AAN veterans and board members at a local craft distillery. Shuttles to the distillery will be available from 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
7 pm to 9 pm
AAN attendees, Dollys, Jacks, Taylors and Willies -- all roads lead to Robert's Western World!

You're invited to a welcome reception at Robert's Western World, where you'll learn what that sparkle and twang is all about. Located in the heart of honky tonk row on Lower Broad, we locals love Robert's for the excellent live music (they only play real country here, folks), the friendly staff, the packed dance floor, the boot-lined walls and the famous fried bologna sandwich, which perfectly complements an ice-cold beer. But don't just take our word for it -- join us from 7 to 9 p.m. for drinks, food, music by The Don Kelley Band and whatever other shenanigans you want to get into this evening (because, the Sheraton is walkable from Robert's).

Friday, July 11
8:30 am to 5 pm
Light breakfast will be available at 8:30 a.m. Plenty of time to grab coffee and a bagel and get to the opening session by 9 a.m.

Room: Capitol Ballroom 1/2/3

9 am to 9:45 am
Welcome: Sally Freeman, AAN President; Mike Smith, Nashville Scene; Chris Ferrell, SouthComm
Introduction: Tiffany Shackelford, AAN

Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics Penny Muse Abernathy will discuss how newspapers can build community online and identify new opportunities to generate revenue. Abernathy, a former executive at the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, focuses her expertise on developing 21st-century economic models that will improve the ability of journalists to produce news in the public interest.
Tags: All
Speaker: Penny Muse Abernathy, UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

9:45 am to 10:15 am
Professor Abernathy will be be on hand to sign copies of her book, Saving Community Journalism, The Path to Profitability in the Trade Show immediately after her talk. Then be sure to visit our exhibitors (see list on the right side of this page) and learn about their products and services.
Tags: All

Room: Capitol Ballroom 1/2/3

10:15 am to 11 am
This isn't your father's alt-weekly any more. Dailies own alts in Chicago and in Baltimore. A former executive for an Ohio chemical manufacturer is the majority owner of several former Times Shamrock papers. And over the past few years, Nashville-based SouthComm has quietly become the second-largest chain of alt-weeklies in the U.S. What's their vision for the future of alt media?
Tags: Biz
Moderator: Sally Freeman, Boise Weekly
Panelists: Jennifer Marsh, Baltimore City Paper and Chris Ferrell, Southcomm

Room: Meeting Suite 5

Mobile device use is exploding. New interfaces, personalization and interaction within the content experience are at the forefront of growth now and in the years ahead. How can alternative media leverage mobile technologies to embrace, optimize and innovate in the space. We'll review current trends and research, then look forward into the future and think about how you should plan your mobile product strategies.
Tags: Digital, Ad
Moderator: Blair Barna, Charleston City Paper
Panelists: Justin Ellis, Nieman Journalism Lab and Wouter Vermeulen, Opera Mediaworks

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

Hear from Melissa Bell, who co-founded the explanatory journalism site Vox.com, and Laura Amico, founder and editor of Homicide Watch, an innovative platform for data-driven coverage of violent crime. These sites each filled a niche that was missing from traditional news coverage. In this session, Bell and Amico will explain how news orgs can reach new audiences by breaking the conventional news story format.
Tags: Edit
Panelists: Melissa Bell, Vox Media and Laura Amico, Homicide Watch

Room: Davidson

11 am to 12:45 pm
Optional event, pre-registration required.
Freedom Sings,® a program of the First Amendment Center, is a critically acclaimed multimedia experience with an all-star cast of musicians. The presentation features music that has been banned or censored or has sounded a call for social change, and it invites audiences to experience the First Amendment in a new way. Freedom Sings was written by Ken Paulson, president and chief executive officer, First Amendment Center.
Tags:
Host: Ken Paulson, College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University

Room: Legislative Terrace

11:15 am to 12:15 pm
Are your clients and prospects so consumed with their digital strategies it's hard to get a word in edgewise, much less present the power of your brand to bring new customers? Get in on the conversation with a platform and vendor agnostic primer that will quickly arm you and your reps to talk about digital services, even as you're still deciding if and which ones you want to offer, and tie that in with your current offerings. Any rep can have great free digital advice at their fingertips for any client in minutes. Get the appointment (damn near) every time. Send us one client you need to break through with and we'll include them in our conversation.
Tags: Ad, Biz, Digital
Moderator: John Heaston, The Reader
Panelists: Stuart Folb, Voice Media Group, Chris Robino, SearchRankings.Net, Kris Kluver, Social Media Contractors and David Walker, SouthComm

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

11:15 am to 12 pm
To stay ahead of the competition, it's vital that we constantly reinvent our businesses and ourselves, and the only way to accomplish this is by having an entrepreneurial mindset. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset is all about altering your perspective: No matter how long you've been in business, you're starting it anew today. In this session, Nashville Entrepreneur Center founder and CEO Michael Burcham will discuss key areas you can focus on to build your own entrepreneurial mindset.
Tags: Biz, Ad
Speaker: Michael Burcham, Nashville Entrepreneur Center

Room: Davidson

Everything you think you know about pageviews is wrong. A page view means that someone visited your site. And that’s about all it means. But how many visitors you had really doesn’t tell you much of anything about how successful your online content is and, in turn, how successful your online business model will be. The key is turning visitors into readers and readers into audience members. And that means starting from the end and identifying at metrics that matter, then working backward to make sure you are strategically acting to drive those metrics.
Tags: Digital
Panelists: Jerod Morris, Copyblogger and Kate O'Neill, KO Insights

Room: Meeting Suite 5

12 pm to 1 pm
1 pm to 1:45 pm
Introduction: Mark Zusman, Willamette Week

How will science and technology change journalism in the next 5-10 years? Come discuss with Gregg Pascal Zachary: how software "robots" are writing stories about sports, business and crime -- without human help; how editors are assembling networks of drones, or small satellites, to cover natural disasters war and crises; how massive sensor networks provide new data flows for journalists to analyze and report on; how Google "glasses" and other tiny video cameras create enormous opportunities for makers of video documentaries -- and how public "records" will be transformed by ubiquitous recording of the activities of police and other government employees.

In a world where devices are transforming the way reporting is done, -- and automating many essential functions -- what role will human journalists play? How will these science-based technologies change the way citizens and experts contribute to journalism - and consume it. Finally, what do all the changes mean for creators and consumers of alternative journalism? What is the alt-take on the future?

Speaker: Gregg Zachary, Cronkite School

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

AAN's lawyer, Kevin Goldberg will be available to discuss legal issues (but not give legal advice) free of charge; in the (unlikely) event that everyone is too shy to ask questions, Kevin has some issues at the ready to kick start the discussion.
Speaker: Kevin Goldberg, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth

Room: Meeting Suite 6

Time to flip the tables and take a look at the media landscape from the ad buyers' perspective. What trends are they seeing? And is your publication offering what today's ad buyers want?
Tags: Ad, Marketing
Panelists: David Crawford, SRDS and Tim Bingaman, Circulation Verification Council

Room: Davidson

2 pm to 2:45 pm
Vendasta’s Co-founder & VP Marketing Jeff Tomlin will talk about strategies of building revenue with traditional sales approaches, vs. building market share. He’ll help you work through the thought process and connect the dots with other successful digital success stories, examine why traditional media sales need digital foundations today, and connect the products with the sales strategy to create a 10X improvement of digital revenue growth.

Introduction by Molly Willmott, The Memphis Flyer
Tags: Digital, Biz, Ad
Speaker: Jeff Tomlin, VendAsta

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

Learn simple steps you can take to improve your website's search engine visibility before you shell out for expensive SEO (search engine optimization) services. The truth is, most of the stuff SEO companies charge for aren't that useful for local content trying to attract more local readers. Understanding what makes your content valuable/desirable to advertisers, your SEO strategy becomes clearer. This session will cover how SEO should fit within your overall digital strategy, how to conduct a basic digital self-diagnostic test, and practical tips to help your target audience find you.

Introduction by Fran Zankowski, Colorado Springs Independent
Tags: Digital, Biz
Speaker: Marc Shepard, Dig Boston

Room: Meeting Suite 5

Washington City Paper Creative Director Jandos Rothstein shares insights into how AAN editors and designers can create a more captivating user experience throughout the entire book -- and not just on covers and feature spreads. He'll also discuss strategies for transitioning into a more visually rich publication, including web/print integration and touching on the financial benefits of the City Paper approach.
Tags: Design, Edit
Speaker: Jandos Rothstein, Washington City Paper

Room: Davidson

The Hightower Lowdown will soon publish an in-depth profile of how:
· Amazon’s predatory and perhaps illegal tactics negatively impacts main street retail shops and small manufacturers
· Amazon avoids paying its fair share of taxes
· Amazon mistreats thousands of its employees
· Amazon unfairly uses loopholes and lobbying to tilt the playing field in its favor
Our hope is that some alt-weeklies will be interested in running all or part of the national package in print and/or on web, and then localize the national stories for your particular market.
Tags: Edit
Panelists: Jay Harris, American Prospect, John Weiss, Colorado Springs Independent and Jim Hightower

Room: Meeting Suite 6

2:45 pm to 3:15 pm
3:15 pm to 4 pm
Come battle it out and stretch your creative muscles in our Cover Design Cage Match! Open to designers or anyone who is curious about the brainstorming process. This will be a fast-paced, creative exercise session.
Moderators: Elizabeth Jones, Nashville Scene and Todd Bates, Creative Loafing (Tampa)

Room: Meeting Suite 7

How alts can collaborate with universities, non-profits, and other national partners on story projects.
Tags: Edit
Moderator: Hanaa Rifaey, Press Forward
Panelists: Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, The Media Consortium and Amy Kovac-Ashley, Georgetown University

Room: Davidson

Join us as we talk through the trials and triumphs of adding an event portfolio to your print brand. We'll cover everything from why to do events, how to get started and how to make money doing it. We'll also cover the important stuff, like selling sponsorships and activating those sponsorships to make your clients happy.
Tags: Biz, Marketing
Panelists: Christy Bryan, Events Hatched, Jamie Breitbach, Nashville Scene and Mike Smith, Nashville Scene

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

Who manages your social media internally? Is your overall strategy more focused on driving readership, growing fans, promoting specials, or making money on social? In this open forum, we'll find out how papers both large and small are spreading the social media workload and managing the inevitable tensions between the marketing and editorial sides. Come prepared to share!
Moderator: Molly Willmott

Room: Meeting Suite 5

4:15 pm to 5 pm
Federal News Radio web editor and It's All Journalism podcast producer Michael O'Connell offers tips and tricks on how to use audio to give your stories a voice.
Tags: Digital, Edit
Speaker: Michael O'Connell, Federal News Radio

Room: Meeting Suite 5

Newsroom staffing levels, freelance pay rates, page counts, social media burdens—this session is about the nitty gritty. In this editors-only session, attendees will discuss the results of the AAN Editorial Standards survey, which addresses various benchmarks, as well as queries about how editors deploy their resources. The survey will ultimately be available in the AAN Resource Library. The session will consist of a lively free-wheeling discussion about how editors are using their budgets and staffs, with the goal of generating new ideas and inspiration.
Tags: Edit
Moderator: Jimmy Boegle, Coachella Valley Independent

Room: Davidson

Last year Willamette Week, Monterey County Weekly and the Colorado Springs Independent’s Give! campaigns raised more than $4 million for about 250 mostly small, community-based, progressive non-profits via donations from more than 20,000 local donors. These end-of-year, multi-media, guerrilla grassroots Give! campaigns encourage everyone to give to back to local non-profits, with a particular emphasis on catalyzing philanthropy from younger adults. In 2013, of the 5,200+ donors who participated in Colorado Springs' Give! Campaign, more than 40 percent were under 36 years of age. A community paper in Lexington Kentucky utilized the Give! model to raise $2 million last year, in just their second Give! campaign. Join us to learn more.
Tags: Biz
Moderator: John Weiss, Colorado Springs Independent
Panelists: Richard Meeker, Willamette Week, Claire Swinford, Colorado Springs Independent, Carrie Simison-Bitz, Colorado Springs Independent, Chuck Creacy, Smiley Pete Publishing and Chris Eddie, Smiley Pete Publishing

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

Tags: Marketing
Moderator: Jeanne Foster, Gambit
Panelists: Leigh Anne Rehkopf, Creative Loafing Atlanta and Robby Robbins, Santa Barbara Independent

Room: Meeting Suite 6

5:15 pm to 5:45 pm
Overview and demo of Pricing Engine ordering and reporting systems, and hands on training and Q&A for pilot partners and those interested in learning more about adding SEM and Digital Ad Sales to their portfolio.
Tags: Ad, Biz, Digital
Speaker: Jeremy Kagan, Pricing Engine

Room: Meeting Suite 5

6 pm to 8 pm
Tonight's entertainment puts you in good company among the true legends of country music at the County Music Hall of Fame® and Museum. Take the Demonbreun entrance for a cocktail reception hosted by two of Nashville's finest, the imitable Doyle & Debbie. Enjoy drinks and light appetizers while Doyle and Debbie entertain you with their tribute to Music City, tongues firmly planted in cheeks. After the show, the Hall of Fame welcomes AAN attendees into The Bakersfield Sound exhibit, which celebrates the California country popularized by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. We'll also tour the new home of iconic letterpress shop, Hatch Show Print, which moved from Lower Broad to the Hall of Fame in 2013. Dinner on your own. Word to the wise -- expect to see a lot of security in the downtown area, since the National Governors Association is in Nashville at the same time. Keep your stash hidden.
Saturday, July 12
9 am to 3 pm
Light breakfast will be available at 9 a.m. Plenty of time to grab coffee and a bagel and get to the opening session by 9:30 a.m.

Room: Capitol Ballroom 1/2/3

9:30 am to 10:15 am
Introduction: Amy Austin, Washington City Paper

The America of the near future will look nothing like the America of the recent past. Huge generation gaps have opened up in our political and social values, our economic well-being, our family structure, our racial and ethnic identity, our gender norms, and how we consume media. Pew Research Center Executive Vice President Paul Taylor will discuss how U.S. demographics will change in the next 50 years, and what it means for the future of media.
Speaker: Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

10:15 am to 10:45 am
Paul Taylor is the executive vice president of special projects at the Pew Research Center, where he oversees demographic, social and generational research. He will be on hand to sign copies of The Next America, a new book examining generations and the country’s changing demographics. While you are in the Trade Show be sure to visit our exhibitors (see list on the right side of this page) and learn about their products and services.
Tags: All

Room: Capitol Ballroom 1/2/3

10:45 am to 11:30 am
Fresh off her year as a Knight Fellow at Stanford, former alt-weekly editor Alexa Schirtzinger will present the results of her fellowship research on innovation in local news. Expect some interesting case studies, an innovation toolkit, handy tips for freshening up your online presence, and free candy.
Tags: Digital, Edit, Biz

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

Introduction: Susan Harper, INDY Week

Facebook is on a mission to make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed newsworthy content and to connect people with stories and videos from news organizations. Jason White, who manages news partnerships for the social media giant, shares the latest collaborations, as well as tools every organization can use.
Speaker: Jason White, Facebook

Room: Davidson

Needs based? Consultative? Insight? How does selling with Multimedia and packages change?
Tags: Ad, Biz
Panelists: Kevin Hoppes, AdStrix, Michael Wagner, Euclid Media and Blair Barna, Charleston City Paper

Room: Meeting Suite 5

11:45 am to 12:30 pm
Michael Crystal will moderate discussion of this year's updated and different benchmarking survey. (Closed session, open only to AAN members who completed the longer version of the annual survey.)
Tags: Biz
Speaker: Michael Crystal

Room: Meeting Suite 5

Alt journalism veterans discuss the art of storytelling and how to write stories that capture the attention of the audience.
Tags: Edit
Moderator: Mark Zusman, Willamette Week
Panelists: Jim Ridley, Nashville Scene and Andy Van De Voorde, Voice Media Group

Room: Davidson

The Media Deserts Project takes a new approach to visualizing changes to the media landscape. Its goal is to map the emerging media ecosystem using big data visualization to understand the dynamics of the shifting media landscape at the zip code level. Community publishers are a vital part of this changing landscape and can help bring a perspective that is currently lacking.
Tags: Edit, Biz
Speaker: Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
On your own for lunch.
Tags: All
1:30 pm to 2:15 pm
Design thinking provides the tools for creative, human-centered problem solving that allows you to collaborate across disciplines and tackle big challenges. Many news organizations use design thinking to understand the needs of the audience (empathize), frame problems as opportunities for creative solutions (define), generate a range of possible solutions (ideate), communicatie the core elements of solutions (prototype) and learning what works and what doesn't (test). See how design thinking can change your approach to work.
Tags: Design, Edit, Biz
Speaker: Justin Ferrell, d.school at Stanford University

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

Now everyone thinks they are a food critic. So how do we compare to folks who don't have to follow any journalistic codes when it comes to praising or trashing a restaurant or bar, or how paid posts and freebie meals affect the perception of what we do compared to amateur bloggers? How do we make ourselves more relevant in the increasingly crowded critical space?
Tags: Edit
Panelists: Chris Chamberlain, Dale Levitski, Max Goldberg, Strategic Hospitality and Ben Jenkins, Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS)

Room: Meeting Suite 5

2 pm to 4 pm
Tags: All

Room: Davidson

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
What does community mean? Digital community, especially social media, garners a lot of buzz. But in some places, especially in the alt world, community can also mean print or in-person events. We explore the contours of community and look for listening lessons that will confirm what feels right to do for growth in your market.
Tags: Edit, Biz
Moderator: Hanaa Rifaey, Press Forward
Panelists: Rebekah Hardin, Arkansas Times, Ashley Toland Trice, Lagniappe, Carolyn Powers, Internews and Molly de Aguiar, Dodge Foundation

Room: Meeting Suite 5

3:45 pm to 4:30 pm
How can alternative publications convert print brand status into digital market share? In this session, we'll introduce open source tools that turn multimedia storytelling, native advertising, online voting, and community-sourced event calendars into increased traffic, revenue, and ad prices. Learn how the design of user interfaces impacts the way content is shared and consumed in digital ecosystems and how that affects your bottom line.
Moderator: Molly Willmott
Panelists: Ryan DeRose, Vibethink and Giles Morris, Vibethink

Room: Meeting Suite 5

4 pm to 4:30 pm
Tags: Edit
Moderators: Jimmy Boegle, Coachella Valley Independent and Dan Gibson

Room: Davidson

4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
AAN's annual bash to celebrate the best in alternative journalism. Come toast the winners of the 2014 AAN Awards, which recognize the most awesome, ass-kicking pieces of journalism to appear in alt publications across the U.S. and Canada. First-place winners will be honored with complimentary booze, bling, and the undying respect of their peers.
Tags: Edit
Host: Enrique Limón, Santa Fe Reporter

Room: Capitol Ballroom 4

6 pm to 11:59 pm
All Dollys, Jacks, Taylors and Willies: this is your chance to visit the spots you missed: go have some hot chicken, dine at one of Nashville's finer restaurant, or find some good listenin' in Music City.
Tags: All

Hosted By

Sponsors

A hearty thank you to all of our 2014 sponsors. Please show your support by visiting them & learning all you can.

Foundation
New Point Media Group
Pre1
Signature Offset
Uber
Distilled Spirits Council

Exhibitors

Jen Sorensen
Newspaper Manager
Quadro Frames
Data2Decision
The Media Audit
Circulation Verification Council
SecondStreet
Metro Creative Graphics
Snap Skout
Kidsville News
Press Reader
Saambaa
AdStrix
LaunchPad
Wehaa
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