Highlights from the Great Plains regional meeting July 30-31 in Kansas City:
— The session was hosted at the new Livestrong Soccer stadium outside Kansas City as the 15 attendees got a taste of living it up in the owners' suite and a tour of the soccer/concert venue.
— Michael Peters, new to the region as sports editor of the Tulsa World, got the day started with a look at trends in special sections, primarily football. A large focus was on the success/lessons learned from the Albany Times Union and Houston Chronicle's work with producing a high school section that was sold separately from the newspaper. On the plus side, the new approached help re-invigorate the advertising department and produced a magazine-style issue. The key lesson learned, working with your paper's distribution department to get the product out and on the shelves.
— One of APSE's newest members, Loren Nelson of the Minnesota Hockey Hub, joined us with a look at how his website partners with the Star-Tribune and gathers high school stats, game reports and news. One interesting development was a program for mobile phones to input stats directly to the site (for use by registered coaches or stringers) and how that info can be translated to a web site's use, a print use, or mobile devices.
— Cameron Hollway of STLhighschoolsports.com also presented how the Post-Dispatch and its suburban weeklies had joined forces for a high school only web site that was actually starting to create revenue streams (a local Pizza chain sponsored weekly athletes of the week, for example, to run both in print and on-line) and new niche projects such as a clubsoccer website.
— The Kansas City Star shared some of the inside details on its reporting of the ticket broker scandal at the University of Kansas. Among the keys: a good tip from the paper's federal courthouse reporter, and diligent use of open-records requests.
— The AP introduced its new Kansas City writer, Dave Skretta who will be taking over for Doug Tucker.