An Important Industry Discussion, Strategic Workshops, Free Cubs Tickets and More…

A unique program designed to inspire and provide actionable takeaways to help grow your business. View this truly transformative and interesting program.

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Tuesday, August 15

4-4:30 PM:  Best of the Innovation Mission

4:45-5:15 PM: Emerging Technology Showcase

Wednesday, August 16

11:00 – 12:00: Google & Sustainability of News Worldwide

12:45 PM – 3:45 PM: Blowing Up the Sales Model – Hiring, Training, Retaining & Structure

12:45 PM – 2:00 PM: Workshop – Developing a Comprehensive Video Strategy

2:25 PM – 3:45 PM: Workshop – Setting Up Innovation Teams or Centers

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM: Facebook: Best Content Strategies

Thursday, August 17

9:15-9:45: Digital Audio: Local Media’s Next Innovative Frontier


An Important Industry Discussion, Strategic Workshops, Free Cubs Tickets and more…

  • The keynote will be a moderated industry discussion (Dr. Paul Wang, Associate Professor, Medill IMC, Northwestern University) on disruptive innovation
  • The subject of the discussion will be Clay Christensen’s book, “Competing Against Luck”
  • The first 150 that register will receive a free copy of the book (sent in advance of the conference)
  • Jason White, head of news partnerships in the U.S. for Facebook, will conduct a 2-hour workshop customized for LMA (specifically developed for senior-level local media executives)
  • A 3-hour workshop will be dedicated to “Blowing Up the Sales Model”
  • Two 90-minute workshops will cover “Developing a Comprehensive Video Strategy” and “Setting Up Innovation Teams or Centers”
  • R&D partners will host 15-minute “speed dating” meetings on Tuesday
  • Media executives that sign up for five R&D “speed dating” meetings will save $150 off their registration fee
  • The first 135 to register will receive a ticket to the Cubs vs. Reds game on Wednesday night (ALL GONE!)

LMA Members – $895
LMA Media Association Partners – $945
Non-members – $995

You can save $150 on your registration. (Learn How)

 *There is a $100 fee for cancellations up to July 15, 2017.
After July 15, 2017, refunds are not available for this event.

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Chicago (Book Now)

Tuesday, August 15

8 AM – 1:30 PM: LMA Board of Directors Meeting

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM: R&D Showcase – Sign Up for Five Meetings and Save $150 Off Your Registration Fee (one discount per company)

NEW for 2017! Nineteen  progressive R&D partners will be conducting 15-minute meetings over the course of the afternoon. This is a terrific opportunity to pick five companies that can help you grow digital revenue or assist with your media transformation plans.

Simply choose the five that you want to meet with during the registration process. Times will be assigned within 48 hours and your schedule will be emailed to you. If you need to make changes, you will have the opportunity to go into the e-scheduler and do so. You will then receive a $150 discount to attend.

Note: One representative per company is eligible for the discount. Available to the first 51 media executives that register. See the “One-On-One Meetings” page for further rules and information about each company.

Participating companies:

  • LEAP Media
  • Camilyo
  • friends2follow
  • SalesFuel/AdMall
  • recruitology
  • Legacy
  • TruMeasure
  • AdPay
  • Media Staffing Network
  • iPublish
  • ppi
  • AffinityX
  • Whiz Technology
  • Guarantee Digital
  • Zenreach
  • Beyond Private Label
  • Verve
  • Vivial

2:00 – 3:00 PM: Office Hours

PILOT Innovation Challenge 

PILOT is calling on all creative thinkers, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to submit their ideas for accelerating broadcast innovation in its second annual PILOT Innovation Challenge. This year’s challenge question is “What is an unconventional way broadcasters and other local media could serve communities?” PILOT Executive Director John Clark will hold office hours to answer any  questions about the challenge. No presentations – just an informal discussion about the challenge, criteria and key dates to know.

LMA Chief Content Officer, David Arkin

Spend some time with LMA’s Chief Content Officer David Arkin – bring any newsroom challenge or opportunity, from structure to product ideas to newsroom management (ask David about his recent research on newsletter promotions and insights he’s gained from talking with a dozen members of the new Chief Content Club).

LMA Chief Innovation Officer, Jed Williams

Spend some time with LMA’s Chief Innovation Officer Jed Williams – come prepared to discuss new revenue ideas and opportunities at your company (ask Jed about his digital agency benchmarking and key learnings from leading Chief Digital Clubs with 70+ media executives)

LMA Director of Member Development, Jack Zavoral

Stop by and catch up with Jack to hear about his latest work with state broadcast associations, NAB’s Small Market Television Exchange, on-site training and sales calls, in-market merchant presentations, or any related digital sales training needs.


3:00 PM: R&D Innovation Showcase Opens

Announcing the R&D Innovation Showcase – an area for R&D partners to demo and share their latest technology, case studies and research.

We are reimagining the LMA exhibit hall. Goodbye pipe and drape, and hello new and modern. The new showcase will feature high-top cocktail tables and big screen monitors. We’re creating a hip and cool setting that is more inviting and engaging. Check it out and learn about the new and exciting products and services that are available to help you grow your business.

4-4:30 PM:  Best of the Innovation Mission – Presented by Jed Williams, Chief Innovation Officer and Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association


Didn’t make it on all three trips? No worries! We’ll cover the top visits from Austin, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley and Boston as voted on by the attendees. This fast-paced session will pack a lot of great information into 1 hour.

4:45-5:15 PM: Emerging Technology Showcase – Joel Fineman, Audience Development Lead, Roku


Streaming is the future of TV and presents a huge opportunity for content owners, especially local media. Roku pioneered streaming to the TV and is an industry leader. In this session, they will share streaming trends, industry leadership and how local media companies can leverage these tools and technologies.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Opening Happy Hour & Kick Off – R&D Innovation Showcase

Join us for food and fun as we kick off Media Transformation 2017!

7:00 PM: Champagne Dinner Cruise (Meet in the lobby at 6:00 for bus transportation)

Get on board Brainwork’s complimentary ride for a fun night out on their Tuesday Champagne Dinner Cruise that departs out of the historic Navy Pier.  Don’t miss out on this unforgettable night of great food, unlimited beer and wine, and music on their private deck on the beautiful Odyssey!  Cruising starts at 7:00 p.m. and lasts until 9:30 p.m. Limited seating so reserve yours by Aug. 11. Click here to RSVP.

Wednesday, August 16

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM: Light Breakfast & Coffee with Exhibitors/Sponsors. Sponsored by TownNews

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Disruptive Innovation: An industry discussion moderated by Dr. Paul Wang, Associate Professor, Medill IMC Program, Northwestern University

Reading Assignment: “Competing Against Luck” by Clay Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon and David S. Duncan.



“The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clay Christensen rocked the media industry’s world more than a decade ago. Terms such as “Jobs to be Done” and “Fail Fast; Fail Cheap” have become part of the industry’s vocabulary since the book was published.
Christensen’s latest book, “Competing Against Luck,” applies these principles to current-day disruptors such as Uber, Airbnb and Amazon.

In this opening session, the dynamic Dr. Wang will lead a very interactive group discussion. The goal is to help media companies identify the current-day “jobs to be done” and develop strategies around those jobs. A small-group exercise will also take place with LMA board members serving as table moderators.

All attendees are asked to read the book prior to this session.  Seats will be pre-assigned to ensure proper diversity and maximize the small-group exercise at each table. All attendees are welcome to participate. Please inform Lindsey Estes if you will not be participating in this session. Seats will be available in the back for those that did not read the book or can’t stay for the entire session.

10:20 AM – 11:00 AM: Don’t Punch the User in the Face – Moderated by Nancy Lane (l), President, Local Media Association. Speakers include Jason Jedlinski (r), VP Product Management, Gannett and Jim Brady (c), CEO, Spirited Media

The number one theme on this year’s Innovation Mission focused on a clean user-experience. Slow mobile load times, pop-up ads, pre-roll and more are turning consumers away. The disruptors would never run those kinds of ads on their sites. So, why do we? We’ll take an honest look at the problem and discuss how it can be fixed.

11:00 – 12:00: Google & Sustainability of News Worldwide, Presented by Chrissy Towle, Manager, Global Partnerships and Erica Anderson, Partnerships & Strategic Operations Google News Lab


Google has made a deep, company-wide commitment to empower and drive the sustainability of journalism. It’s so important that news was named one of their top goals for the year. The company launched the Google News Lab in 2015, and continues to devote resources to this effort. As digital consumption of news continues to change, they are striving to support the change, assist with data-driven journalism and provide opportunities to use their assets to facilitate storytelling. Learn more, including how local media companies are working with Google, during this important session.

12:00 AM – 12:45 PM: Lunch on your own – lots of nearby choices that are quick and convenient

12:45 PM – 3:45 PM: Choose from two options (one 3-hour workshop or two 90-minute workshops):

12:45 PM – 3:45 PM: Blowing Up the Sales Model – Hiring, Training, Retaining & Structure – a 3-Hour Workshop. Faculty to include: Shannon Allen (upper r), VP Digital Sales, Federated Media; Jenny Farrell (middle l), Senior Director of Sales Training, GateHouse Media; Chris Edwards (middle r), President, Fusion Farm and Catherine Badalamente (bottom r), VP, Digital Media, Graham Media Group and Mary Winters (top l), VP Interactive, Quincy Media. Moderated Jed Williams (bottom l), Chief Innovation Officer 


This workshop will take a deep dive into all aspects of the sales ecosystem including:

  • How to find top sales talent
  • Effectively training the sales team
  • Retaining top sales executives
  • Compensation plans that work
  • Finding the right structure
  • Competing sales teams – good idea or not
  • Making integrated sales teams work (or not)

Note: there will be a break at 2:00

12:45 PM – 2:00 PM: Workshop – Developing a Comprehensive Video Strategy. Faculty: Stephanie Slagle, Director of Digital, WBNS and Michael Krinzman (c),VP Video Revenue & Strategy, Gannett. Moderated by John Clark, Executive Director, PILOT/NAB.


This workshop will set you up to build and manage a best-in-class video strategy. Media companies are building out branded content studios, experimenting with VR/360, doubling down with social video, launching OTT channels and monetizing in meaningful ways. Our workshop leaders are all having great success in these areas. This is a get-in-the-weeds workshop that is perfect for teams from the same company to attend.

2:00 PM – 2:25 PM: Ice Cream Sundaes with Exhibitors/Sponsors. Sponsored by

2:25 PM – 3:45 PM: Workshop – Setting Up Innovation Teams or Centers. Faculty: Jeremy Gockel, Head of Innovation, The McClatchy Company and Rick Thornton, Chief Transformation Officer, BH Media. Moderated by Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association.


Serious about media transformation? A commitment to innovation is essential. Our three panelists are paving the way. Their work includes: conducting boot camps, overseeing accelerator programs, setting up innovation centers in their company and creating innovation teams. This workshop will explore a number of different strategies that have produced impressive results.

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM: Facebook: Best Content Strategies. Steve Baron, Head of Product (Digital) Tribune Broadcasting and Tom Sly, VP Business Development, E.W. Scripps Company. Moderated by David Arkin, Chief Content Officer, Local Media Association


Many media companies are having great success when it comes to growing audience and monetizing content on Facebook. In this session, we’ll hear from two of the industry leaders. They’ll share what is working and how they are monetizing.

4:15 PM – 4:45 PM: R&D Speed Dating with Cocktails

It’s back by popular demand! Sit through three 10-minute quick bites to learn more about the great products and services being offered by our R&D partners. Have a drink, relax and enjoy this no-pressure atmosphere. When the bell rings, it’s time to move on to the next table.

Borrell/Second Street/LMA Night at the Cubs Game – First 135 to Register Will Receive a Free Ticket! (ALL GONE!)

Game starts at 7:05 PM; meet in lobby at 5:30 PM

Borrell Associates, Second Street and LMA have teamed up to buy 135 tickets for the Cubs vs. Reds game. Join us to watch the World Series champions play at historic Wrigley Field. Our group will be seated together so register early to secure your seat!

The convenient Red Line is the best option to get you there. Allow 35-40 minutes for travel. A cab or Uber will take longer and cost a lot more, but it’s an option as well. For those that want to travel on the Red Line together, meet in the lobby at 5:30.

Gordon Borrell has served as Chairman of the LMA Board for the past 2 years. He will turn the gavel over to Matt Coen, President & Co-Founder, Second Street, during Media Transformation 2017. In honor of this occasion, they will host our group at the Cubs game. Thanks Gordon and Matt!!!

Thursday, August 17

8:00 AM – 8:45 AM: Light Breakfast & Coffee with Exhibitors/Sponsors

8:45 AM – 9:15 AM: Presentation – LMA Innovator of the Year and Election of Officers

It’s been a magical two years under the leadership of Gordon Borrell (l). We’ll hear from him and incoming chairman Matt Coen (r) on the progress of the association over the past year and goals/priorities for the coming year. LMA President Nancy Lane will oversee the election of officers and directors. Borrell will present the LMA Innovator of the Year award.

9:15-9:45: Digital Audio: Local Media’s Next Innovative Frontier — Jeremy Mims, SpokenLayer, head of Strategy and Partnerships; Brad Hill; President of RAIN


Digital audio is fast emerging as a major opportunity. In this session, we’ll hear from leaders in both voice assistants and podcasting, and learn how local media can get in the game.”

9:45 AM – 10:00 AM: Coffee Break with Exhibitors/Sponsors

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Facebook Executive-Level Workshop – conducted by Jason White, Head of News Partnerships/U.S., Facebook

A lot has changed since Jason White conducted the kickoff session at last year’s Innovation Conference. In this 2-hour workshop, Jason and the Facebook News Partnerships team will present updates on The Facebook Journalism Project, outline opportunities for publishers to drive value from Facebook, and host publishers on stage for conversations about how they’re leveraging Facebook to connect with their audiences in meaningful ways. Lila King from Instagram will also join the team to discuss ways publishers are using that platform to connect with younger audiences. There will be plenty of time for Q&A.

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM: LMA and LMF Board Luncheon

1:15 PM – 3:45 PM: Local Media Foundation Board of Directors Meeting

*There is a $100 fee for cancellations up to July 15, 2017.
After July 15, 2017, refunds are not available for this event.

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