The Inlander

April 2018

Digital Edition of the Inland Press Association. Offering financial research, salary compensation survey, training for advertising, classifieds, editorial, circulation, social media, human resources, special sections and niche products.

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Mailed from Sterling, Ill. INL ANDER T H E Stay engaged. Find solutions. Move forward. A few minutes with... Observer Media Group's Emily Walsh FOCUS ON MEMBERS: PAGE 18 APRIL 2018 VOL. 33, NO. 4 AFTER MEGA-CONFERENCE, MEGA-GROWTH FOR INLAND I'm pleased to report that the just-completed Key Executives 2018 Mega-Conference was a huge success! It succeeded on almost every p e r f o r m a n c e i n d i c a t o r — revenue, attendance, positive f e e d b a ck , ve n d o r s u p p o r t , engagement, and a strong vibe and energy felt and experienced by our valued attendees. Revenue increased nearly 18% over 2017. Attendance also grew, to 739 this year, up 26% from 588 last year! Many thanks t o o u r M e g a - C o n f e r e n c e partners: SNPA, LMA, NMA, and the California News Publishers Association. We also want to recognize several others who played key roles in the success of the 2018 conference, including the Inland, SNPA, LMA and NMA staffs and conference producer Jay Horton. And don't forget, next year's Mega- Conference will be Feb. 25-27 in Las Vegas. I'm also happy to share great membership news. GateHouse Media has brought all its newspapers into membership, adding more than 300 titles to the Inland ranks. Our thanks go to New Media I nve s t m e n t G ro u p C E O M i ke Re e d fo r h i s commitment to Inland. And thanks to the hard work of Membership Committee Chair Cory Bollinger, Inland Director Ted McGrew, the Membership Committee, and to Patty Slusher for their efforts in securing the Gatehouse membership commitment. We're also pleased to report that Paxton News- papers will be bringing all its papers into membership. We send kudos to Paxton executive and Inland Director David Holgate for his efforts on behalf of Inland. With these additions, our membership is higher than it has been in over a decade, now totaling 2018 KEY EXECUTIVES MEGA-CONFERENCE FACEBOOK TO NEWSPAPERS: PLEASE US BY MARK FITZGERALD I'm from Facebook and I'm here to help. That was the message Alex Hardiman, Facebook's director, news product, delivered to a near-overflow— but skeptical—audience of newspaper executives on the second day of the Key Executives Mega-Conference in San Diego. Hardiman was addressing this gathering a little more than a month after Facebook announced that it was changing its News Feed algorithm to favor posts from family and friends over posts and pages from news publishers and other third parties. As the head of Facebook's News Feed team, Adam Mosseri, said at the time, that "means we'll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses." During her long and poised presentation, Hardiman portrayed—or, in the view of at least some at Mega- Conference—spun the changes as good news for the publishers in the audience. Her arguments: It's really all about quality over content—and you guys have great quality content, right? We're prioritizing local—and who's more local than you guys? Facebook's new MSI goal—seeking posts that attract "meaningful social interaction"—means that content will be judged, and ranked, according to how much it is informative, trustworthy and inclusive. "And for inclusive, local is really a bedrock part of that," Hardiman said. So, see just above, K? And, anyway, it's not a drastic diminution of local news, she argued. Before the algorithm change local news accounted for 5% of News Feed posts. In 2018, it'll be more like 4%. This "focus on quality over quantity" should be regarded by publishers as good news that will open up "better monetization opportunities," Hardiman argued. "You'll actually see that the pivot to quality is cause for optimism," she concluded. Under the new MSI-seeking formula, Facebook will be looking for "signals" to evaluate how meaningful PHOTO BY CHARLIE NEUMAN MEGA CROWD SETS RECORD Organizers of the 2018 Key Executives Mega-Conference announced a record-breaking attendance of more than 730 media executives at the eighth gathering co-sponsored by Inland, Local Media Association, News Media Alliance and Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. More photos and reports from the Mega-Conference are on pages 12-14. YUNT, CONTINUED ON PAGE 9 FACEBOOK, CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 REPORT FROM THE PRESIDENT TOM YUNT

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