Texas Regional Innovation Mission

The inaugural regional Local Media Innovation Mission headed to Texas last month and met with executives at 11 dynamic companies from the media and tech sectors. Participants were blown away by the depth and breadth of the companies visited and the intelligence gleaned.


Top takeaways focused on culture, data, digital agencies and purpose-driven work and these topics are explored in-depth in the report. The trip included visits to four of the country’s most progressive local media companies: Dallas Morning News, Advocate Digital Media, LIN Digital/Nexstar Broadcasting and Incite/Emmis Communications. They all serve as role models for our industry. Other visits included: The Texas Tribune, UnderArmour Connected Fitness, Umbel, University of Texas at Austin – Engaging News Project, OwnLocal, Simpli.fi and Tiger Pistol.

“LMA’s first regional Innovation Mission in Texas was worth the investment in time and dollars…what an incredible experience,” said Meg Boyer, publisher, Summit Daily News & Sky-Hi News. “The Texas mini-Innovation tour was anything but small in its scale of new ideas shared,” commented Gary W. Rust, director, rustmedia.

Read in-depth on the road takeaways from Texas IM participants.

“It is almost always the unexpected that sticks. And the Texas mini-Innovation tour was anything but small in its scale of new ideas shared. More than one thing, the cause-marketing, purpose-driven, “do good” approach to ROI were genuine. My takeaways – were inspired by the non-profit generating honest revenue of the Texas Tribune, Incite and its cause marketing, and UT Austin research relevant to digital media. There is a path. Owning big data to the engagement of users and advertisers on a micro level with smaller media companies also settled. We must own it. Sure, you can read a lot online. And I encourage all to visit the homepage of each visit. But actual sharing the room, discussing the takeaways with co-workers, all make the innovation mission the ongoing success it is. Thank you LMA and its organizers Jed, Nancy and team.” – Gary W.Rust, director, rustmedia

Subsequent Regional IMs


LMA’s next regional Innovation Mission is headed to Boston June 26-28! We’ll spend 3 days in this dynamic city meeting with progressive media companies that are transforming their businesses and disruptive technology companies that are shaking things up. The trip is perfect for media executives looking to experience innovation in action and empower growth at their companies. This premium experience is all about ROI!

Visits to include –

  • Boston Globe: Private Dinner with CEO 
  • GateHouse Media / Propel Marketing: half-day strategy session
  • HubSpot
  • Entercom
  • Brightcove
  • WGBH Public Radio/TV
  • Bonus! Red Sox game + Fenway Park private tour 

Special Bonus! Be one of the first 12 to register and receive tickets to a Red Sox game, plus a private tour of Fenway Park!

More information and a complete agenda can be found here.

“LMA’s first regional Innovation Mission in Texas was worth the investment in time and dollars. What an incredible experience. It was all so well-planned, and there were certainly lessons to be learned from every stop along the way, as well as from the other participants. The list of takeaways could be a mile long, but I’d like to prioritize data, search and culture:

  • We need to be strategic in compiling data about our readers and advertisers and, more importantly, we need to be sure that that data is actionable.
  • With 50% of digital marketing dollars going to search, SEO and SEM should be the foundation of every digital campaign we sell.
  • At nearly every innovative company we visited, it was obvious that an emphasis was placed on culture. It’s important that we share why we do the work we do. I can’t say enough about the Innovation Mission. I’m grateful for the experience and better for it! “ -Meg Boyer, publisher, Summit Daily News & Sky-Hi News

“This IM was critical to understanding trends and technology that is available as it relates to our industry. The fast-paced boot-camp approach was really ideal and fostered collaboration and real conversation between participants to create everlasting connections and future partnerships. The schedule was well thought out, with overarching themes with the companies we visited and the three-day window was very workable for the busy executive running a digital business. As for my takeaways, I have a few: The importance of culture in the digital industry, innovation comes from the team that is committed and allowed to fail fast; and data is the newest currency, in that both clients, technology, and vendors are becoming smarter in how they benchmark and deliver data. Owning snackable and actionable data is more valuable than the quantity of data in your warehouse. Using data to drive cultural change and future strategy being linked to success was apparent.” – Nerissa Brooke, vice president, operations Nexstar TV