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Sunday, May 20
New York City

Host Hotel: Double Tree by Hilton NY Times Square South, 341 W. 36th St. New York

4:00 PM – 4:15 PM: Welcome, introductions, goals at host hotel

4:15 PM – 5:30 PM: Opening Kick-Off Session with Burt Herman, Director of Innovation Projects, Lenfest Institute for Journalism (Confirmed)

The Lenfest Institute for Journalism is the first-of-its-kind non-profit organization whose sole mission is to develop and support sustainable business models for great local journalism. The Institute was founded in 2016 by cable television entrepreneur H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest. Lenfest gifted to the Institute an initial endowment of $20 million, which has since been supplemented by other donors, for investment in innovative news initiatives, new technology, and new models for sustainable journalism. Lenfest also gifted his ownership of the Philadelphia Media Network (The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and philly.com, the Philadelphia region’s largest local news website) and these news properties now serve as a live lab for the Institute’s innovation efforts.

In this opening kick-off, participants will learn about the most promising experiments and case studies.

6:00 PM – 7:15 PM: Special Kick-off Happy Hour with former LMA Board Chair Cliff Richner at his home on the Upper West Side

7:45 PM: Dinner at Tonic Times Square

Monday, May 21
New York City

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Betaworks (Confirmed)

Betaworks is a start-up platform based in New York that focuses on the intersection of media and technology. Early products included Bitly, Chartbeat and Tweetdeck. Recent success stories are GIPHY, Dots and Poncho. During this visit we’ll get a first-hand look into the world of early-stage startups.

Spoken Layer (Confirmed)

SpokenLayer’s platform provides a turnkey pipeline for inexpensively creating daily audio content. Their professional voice artists narrate written content for top publishers like Time, Wired, and Slate to provide audio content for podcasts, tracks, radio stations, and in-home experiences on Alexa and Google Home.

Jeremy Mims and team will provide an overview of their products along with some case studies. Lunch will then take place on their fabulous rooftop. Read more about the Spoken Layer visit here.

10:00 AM: Take the subway to Brooklyn

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: NYC Media Lab: How AI is Changing Media Economics (Confirmed)

The media companies of today are fast adapting to a machine-driven economy, but are they adapting fast enough? What will keep them competitive in the future? The NYC Media Lab recently published a white paper that takes a detailed look at how AI is impacting the economics, revenue and organizational structure of the media business. The paper includes economic insights and interviews with leading data science researchers and executives. We’ll learn more about it during this visit.

1:30 PM – 4:30 PM:  Facebook news partnership team (Confirmed)

An experiential visit awaits IM participants! In addition to important updates from the Facebook news partnership team, attendees will take part in brainstorming and feedback sessions with product managers and engineers. These will focus on two Facebook products: groups and the recently launched “Today In” surface. It’s a rare opportunity to have your ideas heard and vetted at this level. More details to come soon.

4:45 PM – 5:45 PM: Happy Hour Hosted by SpokenLayer (to be held on the rooftop at SpokenLayer)

6:30 PM: Dinner at Raffaele (29 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014)

Chef Raffaele Ronca has appeared and won one of the most distinguished culinary competitions, “CHOPPED” featured on The Food Network.

Tuesday, May 22
New York City/Seattle

Bus ride to Hoboken, New Jersey

8:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Mercer Innovation Hub (Confirmed)

At Mercer, they are charged with reimagining the future work force. This global HR consulting firm works with 28,000 companies and their employees around the world to drive innovation and solutions in all areas relating to human capital.

Conceived as an innovation accelerator, the Mercer Innovation Hub adopts a focused, dedicated, and independent approach to disruptive innovation. The Hub is made up of a diverse group of Mercer colleagues from various businesses and regions, who use the power of their collective creativity, experiences, and skills to develop market-leading solutions. Ideo is one of their key partners in this venture.

This will be a very interactive visit. The Hub has some fascinating tools that will be made available to IM participants. The Mercer team will share some of their research and a group discussion will take place around some required reading. Finally, a two-hour design-thinking exercise will focus on an industry problem. The goal is to walk away with actionable ideas that can be implemented upon our return. Read more about this visit here.

4:05 PM United flight 2151 from Newark to Seattle

Host Hotel: Hilton Bellevue, 300 112th Ave SE, Bellevue

Wednesday, May 23

8:30 AM – 4:00 PM: Full day at Amazon (Confirmed)

One of the biggest disruptors of all time will host the LMA IM for a full, red carpet day.

Participants will receive a Kindle Fire that is pre-loaded with helpful apps and access to their own Amazon account manager. We’ll meet with seven different teams. Highlights of the visit include:

  • The AWS team is going to share what they are doing in the media/entertainment space (reinventing content pipelines, OTT, etc.). They are working with Graham, Cox, Turner, NBC Universal and more.
  • We’ll meet with the machine learning & AI team. They are working with media companies on the effectiveness of advertising and viewership which in turn allows the newsroom to concentrate on the news, not tedious tasks. Attendees will participate in a brainstorming session designed to identify other opportunity areas that can help their business. The Amazon team is prepared to listen. This represents a priceless opportunity to have your voice heard.
  • We provided the Alexa team with a list of wants/needs that were collected from LMA members. They are sending their customer-facing team to listen and hopefully make the appropriate changes that will allow media companies to leverage the Alexa platform in more meaningful ways (and monetize it!)
  • The Amazon channels team will cover OTT opportunities and share media company case studies
  • We’ll hear from the Amazon media group. They focus on the advertising side and will share opportunity areas for media companies
  • Voice of the customer – Turner Broadcasting will be on hand to share success stories with IM participants
  • We’ll learn about the culture of innovation at Amazon from a top director
  • We’ll also spend time with the Amazon team during happy hour and dinner.

4:00 – 6:00 PM: Happy hour with Amazon team – special location to be announced (Wow factor alert!)

6:00 PM: Dinner 

Thursday, May 24

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Sinclair Digital (Confirmed)

Sinclair Digital brings content to more than 40 million people, and that number is growing. They are building experiences that make content come alive wherever it’s delivered. They are also creating new technologies that help make media more connected. Participants will learn more about their work during this visit to the nation’s largest broadcasting company.

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM: Tegna (Confirmed)

Tegna’s King 5 in Seattle has been a poster child for innovation for many years. Now the company is launching an Innovation Lab at this location to step up their efforts even further. What a great visit to end the trip with – wow factor alert!!

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: The Seattle Times (Confirmed)

The Seattle Times is investing heavily in digital marketing services and audience growth strategies. We’ll hear all about it during this exciting visit.

4:00 PM – 6:30 PM: Debriefing and Sharing of Top Takeaways at host hotel

Always the favorite part of the trip, we’ll try to make sense of it all. What did we learn? What can we take back and act on immediately as a result of attending this trip? What were the biggest aha moments and what bothered us on this trip? We’ll cover it all. Participants will go home armed with a list of ideas and action plans.

7:00 PM: Dinner



The National Innovation Mission is $4,995 and is limited to only 25 participants, so reserve your spot today! Your registration fee includes five hotel nights, flight between NYC and Seattle and all meals.

A $2,000 deposit is required to hold your spot at this time.

If you’re serious about business transformation, new revenue models, and creating cultures of innovation, then this trip is for you!

Click here to make your reservations

Photo is of the group that attended the Boston Innovation Mission in June 2017.


“Attending Innovation Missions has provided amazing unique networking opportunities I wouldn’t have had anywhere else in my career. On two different Innovation Missions I was able to make lifelong professional and personal connections with a network of influential people that I have contacted over the years.”

— Liz White, EVP & Assistant Publisher Record-Journal