America East offers something for everyone at 2017 event

by Cara Neil, Communications Director | Feb 22, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 22, 2017 – The America East Media Business and Technology Conference, administered by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, welcomes more than 95 industry-leading presenters and moderators to the 2017 event. This year’s conference features a solid mix of both print and digitally-focused sessions for attendees.

Over the course of the two-and-a-half-day conference, America East will host more than 30 sessions, including a keynote presentation by Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post. Sullivan, who has worked as an editor, columnist, and reporter at The Buffalo News and The New York Times, will share her insight and commentary on issues and challenges facing the news media industry.

Print-focused session highlights include:

Leveraging the Legacy – Panelists will share how they are looking forward, rather than back, using existing audience and advertiser reach to build new products, reach new audiences, and find new advertisers.

 Keeping End-of-Life Equipment Going — Speakers from Philadelphia Media Network, the Houston Chronicle and the Hartford Courant will discuss how to keep presses and other equipment running long after their manufacturers have stopped making them or supplying replacement parts.

Commercial Printing at Traditional Newspaper Operations – William H. May, Jr., Vice President/Production, The Dallas Morning News and Ron Vodenichar, General Manager & Co-Publisher, The Butler Eagle, will share what it takes to secure available commercial contract work, as well as best practices and potential pitfalls along the way.

Health & Safety Update – Printing Industries of America’s Gary Jones will present attendees with ways to gain an understanding of key regulations and what steps your organization will need to take to become, and remain, compliant under OSHA’s new rules. 

Digital and technology session highlights include:

Product and Project Management – Jeff Sonderman, Deputy Director, API, will moderate a discussion between Robert York, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief at The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.), Eric Ulken, Managing Editor, Digital Operations, Philadelphia Media Network and Sarah Schmalbach, Senior Product Manager, Mobile Innovation Lab, Guardian News & Media. The panelists will review ways to develop and apply product and project management skills to existing products and projects, and how to quickly nurture and develop new products for audience and advertisers.

Recruiting for a Changing Industry – Mark Stencel, author of the Tow Center report “Superpowers: The Digital Skills Media Leaders Say Newsrooms Need Going Forward,” will break down the skills most needed when recruiting, including software development, social media, metrics analysis and video production.

Big Audio Dynamite: The Rise (or Return) of Podcasting – Anchored around a presentation on the Cincinnati Enquirer’s “The Accused,” by Enquirer Journalist Amber Hunt, this session touches on how to use podcasts for storytelling, how to market them, where revenue comes from, metrics, and more. Joining Hunt are WHYY’s COO Kyra McGrath, and LNP Media Group’s Kara Newhouse.

User Experience and Design – In this session, join some of the best thinkers in user experience and design talk about best practices in designing for user utility and about using scientific (and metrics) approaches to creating designs that maximize user engagement, traffic and revenue.

Technology Trends to Watch – Banjo’s Director of Media Innovation Victor Hernandez shares a wide-ranging discussion of new technologies such as chatbots, voice-controlled devices, virtual reality, wearables, and more.

America East also welcomes the Shark Tank Workshop this year. This entrepreneurial-based interactive workshop provides an opportunity for attendees to bring their best ideas for innovative new businesses and new products and put them through a one-day wringer that starts with the idea and ends with a business plan presentation to industry experts. Pre-registration is required, but no prior experience is necessary. Find the application on the America East website.

For a full listing of speakers and sessions, as well as registration information, visit www.america-east.com.

About PNA: The PNA, founded in 1925, is the nonprofit trade association for print and digital news media in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Its mission is to advance the business interests of Pennsylvania news media organizations and to promote a free and independent press. It has more than 300 newspaper and media-related members, including daily, weekly, and college newspapers and online publications