Monday, February 5 (all times Eastern)
2:00 p.m.: Innovation Mission kickoff
Attendees share their strategic priorities and goals for the trip
3:00-6:00 p.m.: McClatchy – Jeremy Gockel, Head of Innovation; Andrea Rowan, General Manager, excelerate Digital; Scott Manuel, Vice President, Digital Product & Technology
It’s far from just a newspaper company these days. McClatchy is introducing innovation across its properties, with new digital products and services, including its successful excelerate Digital agency. The company has also built a dedicated innovation team skilled in design thinking to reach human-centered development and drive change initiatives. Attendees will meet with the excelerate, innovation and product teams for a holistic look into the company’s transformation.
6:15 p.m.: Happy Hour with LEAP Media Solutions
LEAP partners with media companies to help them build, understand, and leverage their customer database to monetize audiences and create targeted advertiser programs. Generating direct consumer revenue through audience engagement and loyalty is one of the most critical areas that local media companies are focused on. LEAP has a unique expertise in this domain, and will share case study successes and best practices during this happy hour visit.
7:30 p.m.: Dinner in downtown Raleigh
Tuesday, February 6 (all times eastern)
8:00-10:00 a.m.: UNC Reese News Lab and Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media (CISLM) – Ryan Thornburg, Executive Director, Reese News Lab; Penny Abernathy, Knight Chair in Digital Media Economics
UNC-Chapel Hill is leading groundbreaking research on how community news can cultivate a sustainable and profitable future. Through the Reese News Lab, it is experimenting with and testing new forms of journalism, with a focus on design thinking as an innovation practice. Attendees will learn about UNC’s news deserts” research and immerse in its Reese News Lab, with an opportunity to discuss future partnership opportunities.
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: American Underground – Adam Klein, Executive Director
Billed as the “Startup Capital of the South,” American Underground supports nearly 300 startups and entrepreneurial projects. Capitol Broadcasting Company (WRAL’s parent company) has invested in American Underground’s launch and expansion. Their leadership team will discuss the cultures of innovation that exist in their startups, and what lures talent to these tech hubs.
12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.: WRAL – John Conway, General Manager, WRAL.com; Chris Weatherly, Director of Digital Sales & Operations
“Progressive” has been WRAL’s mantra for its entire 61-year existence. It was the first high-definition TV station, an early pioneer in live streaming, and continues to innovate at a rapid pace across digital platforms. These include OTT, mobile alerts, wearable technology (WRAL news on Apple Watch), and smart audio (integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Home). The company has also diversified its business with investments in real estate, startup technology, and other sectors. The local media industry sees WRAL as a beacon of innovation – find out why in this exclusive visit!
4:00-5:30 p.m.: IBM Design Studio and Watson Artificial Intelligence Team
Step inside IBM’s design studio to see how the company has transformed itself utilizing design thinking. Attendees will also learn how IBM’s customers are using “Internet of Things” applications and data to improve customer satisfaction and drive new revenues.
6:00 p.m.: Dinner in downtown Raleigh
Wednesday, February 7 (all times eastern)
[Fly to Atlanta]
10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.: Cox Media Group –Eric Myers, Multi-Market VP of Sales; Mark Medici, VP of Audience
In this signature visit, attendees will visit the Atlanta headquarters for a half day of strategy sessions and provocative discussions with the multimedia leader. Cox Media senior executives will go in-depth on their successful content verticals strategy, their industry-leading approach to digital audience development and subscriptions, their ongoing sales transformation, YouTube TV and OTT video initiatives, and much more. The visit will span Cox’s diversified portfolio: newspaper, TV and radio, as well as new digital franchises.
3:00-4:30 p.m.: Atlanta Tech Village – Meetings with Tech Village Founder David Cummings, GroundTruth (formerly xAd), and additional startups
Step inside America’s fourth largest technology incubator. The Atlanta Tech Village is building a thriving tech ecosystem, with a mission to support and inspire entrepreneurs to achieve success through a community that promotes faster connections between talent, ideas, and capital. Attendees will meet with several of the “Villager” startups, and also have a private meeting with Tech Village Founder David Cummings, who previously founded Pardot.
4:30-6:00 p.m.: Innovation Mission wrap-up
Attendees share their key takeaways and action items