4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020

Hampton Inn and Suites, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Meeting called to order at 4 p.m.

Officers introduction by President Todd Adams: 

  • President Todd Adams of the Raleigh News & Observer introduces himself
  • First vice president Lisa Wilson of The Athletic
  • Second vice president Gary Potosky of The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Third vice president Dan Spears of the Wilmington Star-News
  • Executive Director Bill Eichenberger of the Las Vegas Review-Journal
  • Conference Coordinator Glen Crevier, retired from the Star Tribune in Minneapolis

Past presidents present: 

  • Bill Eichenberger, Newsday (2003)
  • Glen Crevier, The Star Tribune of Minneapolis (2005)
  • Jim Jenks, MLB.com (2006)
  • Phil Kaplan, Knoxville News Sentinel (2010)
  • Lynn Hoppes, Orlando Sentinel (2008)
  • Mike Sherman, Tampa Bay Times (2014)
  • Tommy Deas, The Tennessean (2016)
  • Jeff Rosen, Kansas City Star (2017)
  • John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal (2018)

Region representatives: 

  • Atlantic Coast: Steve Hemphill, Roanoke Times
  • Great Lakes: Rachel Crader, Lee Enterprises
  • Great Plains: Michael Peters, Tulsa World
  • Mid-Atlantic: Tony Maluso
  • Northeast: Justin Pelletier, Boston Herald
  • Northwest: Paul Barrett, Seattle Times
  • Southeast: Perryn Keys, The Advocate
  • Southwest: Maria McIlwain, Houston Chronicle
  • West: Joe Baird, Salt Lake Tribune
  • Associated Press: Barry Bedlan

Finances and budget update

From Executive Director Bill Eichenberger: 

  • Raising sponsorship money, with Tommy Deas running it, has us in a good situation financially, an idea first brought forward by Jeff Rosen. 
  • Line by line we’re pretty much on budget. 
  • We didn’t have to dip into the mutual fund this year, the first time that’s happened in about four years. 
  • We’re down 36 members (376 to 340), reflecting the industry, and despite efforts of Chris Fickett (KC) in his committee.

Conference update

From Conference Coordinator Glen Crevier:

  • Summer conference will be in Indianapolis June 24-27
  • Hotel deadline (rate $189/night) in May, they won’t extend the rate

Announcement from John Bednwarowski on APSE foundation.  

  • Last week I got a letter from the IRS that we have been approved as 501 C3 — we have an official foundation. I found four prospective grants to apply for — SJI, Gannett, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism, Scripps Howard, which open next month.

Announcement from Jane McManus from Marist on her project.

  • Sports Media Landscape survey: looking at the last 20 years of the sports media industry to quantify where jobs were lost and gained, in numbers, demographics and salary structure. The goal is to do for sports what has been done in other industries and the overall business, with opportunities for storytelling once we have the numbers.

Announcement from Mike Kates about a KAX Media survey.

  • Proposing a summer conference panel on issues surrounding how we cover sports betting.
  • Survey for editors at judging, looking for something specific we want to address, shape into summer conference for issues we’ll be facing in the years ahead.

Committee reports:

From APSE President Todd Adams:

  • One of the things I wanted to do when I took over in June was to make sure that we were doing a great job of keeping up with former APSE presidents as well as other prominent former APSE members, to make sure they were well informed of everything that is going on with the organization and to make sure that they felt welcome to still participate. So I reached out to former presidents and introduced myself. And I also formed a new committee to make sure former APSE members have a point of contact after I left. 
  • I put Jim Jenks in charge of that committee, and I’m thrilled to say that he has taken my little idea and is running with it. We are calling this committee the APSE Alumni committee..


From chairperson Jim Jenks: 

  • Looking to create a presidential scholarship, which would hopefully have more dollar value than the scholarships that we currently have. Strictly donations from past presidents. AWSM scholarship program amazingly rewarding — scholarship in Jenks family name. Winner gets money and an internship. Alumni can get invested in the organization that way, work on developing the next generation.


From chairperson Jeff Rosen: 

  • Working on trying to nail down dates. May be able to do 16-17 of April. Hope to before the week is out. 


Jorge Rojas introduces this year’s diversity class: 

  • Rachel Lenzi, Buffalo News
  • Thomas Scott, Beaumont Enterprise
  • Michelle Martinelli, USA Today
  • Marquel Slaughter, Utica Observer Dispatch

Notes from chairperson Larry Graham (unable to attend): 

  • This morning (Saturday 2/15/20) we kicked off the first Sports Task Force Team-Up with AAJA, NABJ and NAHJ during NBA All-Star Game weekend in Chicago. Rob Zizzo (USA Today Network — Wisconsin) spoke on one of the panels aimed at addressing the challenges facing diverse sports journalists. The panels featured reporters like ESPN’S Michele Steele and CNBC’S Jabari Young sharing tips on how to get hired, developing sources and more.
  • This event couldn’t have been done without AAJA’s Michael Huang, NABJ’s Sherrod Blakely, and NAHJ’s Iliana Ramon, with funding from ESPN and The Athletic. We’ve already received a positive response, and are working on making this first-of-it’s-kind collaboration a yearly event that’s featured on the NBA’s media list of events.
  • We’ve taken steps to improve relationships with student chapters to discuss diversity programming opportunities. Zizzo and Tyler Batiste (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) have started a dialogue with Marquette, UWM, UW, and Penn State, to name a few. We’d like a better understanding of who’s coming out of the college ranks, and we’re using it as an opportunity to promote the APSE scholarship.
  • Lindsey Smith (Colorado Spring Gazette) has done a fantastic job of creating social media videos to promote the APSE scholarship. We’ll kick those off in mid March.
  • We’re working on a collaboration with AAJA and NABJ when it comes to region meetings. It could expose us to some  journalists that a lot of us wouldn’t normally have much access to and there’s some job fair potential there.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Sports Consortium was established as a partnership among diversity and inclusion practitioners from the largest sports organizations (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and many more). ESPN is the only media entity involved with the organization. 
  • We’ve been exploring diversity synergies with NASCAR’s multicultural development manager, and we hope to earn an invite to the symposium, but an official introduction at the very least to the group. Thanks to Iliana, we shared our APSE Foundation one-sheet at September’s symposium and we hope it leads to fundraising opportunities.
  • In April we’ll kick off the Diversity Spotlight, quarterly profiles of diverse sports journalists for the website. This is an opportunity for outreach to nonmembers and a chance to recognize potential future editors.
  • The Diversity Pledge offers a free job ad on the APSE website with a social media promotion to anyone who pledges to interview at least one diverse candidate when they have a job opening. Not only has the Diversity Pledge resulted in jobs for multiple diverse candidates, but it has also helped expand the diversity sports journalists database. For now, access to the database remains limited to APSE leadership, and the Sports Task Force leaders for AAJA, NABJ and NAHJ. Our goal is to share it with sports leadership at large media companies like Gannett, Hearst, McClatchy and others.


  • From chairperson Steve Hemphill: Members of the committee will meet here this week and have a report at the closing of the conference. 


Notes from co-chairs Gerry Ahern and John Cherwa (unable to attend):

  • NCAA Tournament: The NCAA Media Advisory Committee met on a teleconference Feb. 12. It was agreed that the NCAA, APSE and the USBWAA will again work together during the 2020 NCAA Tournament. APSE sports editors in cities hosting the tournament will assist NCAA media site coordinators on site in the following areas:
    • Reviewing that seat assignments are within NCAA guidelines to ensure a deserving entity doesn’t get overlooked. APSE and USBWA recommend full consideration is given to a publication/website that is committed to covering the sport or a team throughout the season. (APSE liaisons are serving as consultants only. The NCAA makes the final call on all seat assignments. If the liaison sees an issue, he or she should contact the media coordinator immediately.)
    • Liaisons should do a brief walkthrough with the media coordinator at their assigned site. Among the things to look for: plenty of power outlets to handle all the reporters in the workroom and courtside; access routes to and from the court, locker rooms, etc.; gender-equitable restroom access.
    • Liaisons should monitor the postgame cooling-off periods after games to assure that time limits are adhered to.
    • The USBWA will continue to appoint pool reporters at each site, drawing primarily from officers, board members and past presidents. 
    • Gerry Ahern of APSE will set up a teleconference with the APSE liaisons a few days before the tournament to review points of emphasis and answer any questions.
    • Host cities for 2020 are: Dayton, Albany, Spokane, St. Louis, Tampa, Greensboro, Omaha, Sacramento, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Houston, New York, Atlanta 
  • Dave Worlock of the NCAA reminds editors that credential requests for entities looking to cover the Final Four in Atlanta are due March 1. Also the First Four in Dayton. Go to https://www.ncaa.com/media-center/credentials
  • ASTROS ISSUE WITH DETROIT FREE PRESS: In late August, Gerry and Todd had a call with MLB Chief Communications Officer Pat Courtney in the wake of an incident where Astros communications staff stopped Detroit Free Press beat writer Anthony Fenech from entering their clubhouse postgame after a Justin Verlander start. Free Press sports editor Chris Thomas requested we get involved. The Baseball Writers Association of America joined APSE in objecting to the Astros’ actions. Courtney acknowledged it was unacceptable for a credentialed reporter to suffer such a restriction. We also brought up concern over the team’s defiant statement in the wake of the incident. Courtney agreed the Astros’ actions were wholly inappropriate and pledged to address the issue in league-wide fashion during the Winter Meetings. Chris followed up with Courtney as well and wrote a column.  


  • The program is designed to help small-organization sports editors by pairing them with large-organization SEs in a mentorship situation.

From Mike Harris:

  • The inaugural APSE Mentorship Program is off to a fast start.  
    • We ended up with a great group of mentors in Paul Barrett, Scott Monserud, Jeff Rosen and Mike Szvetitz, and with their charges (in order) Sierra Webster, JT Keith, Ryan Black and Jake Adams.
      • Paul and Sierra have talked a number of times and Paul says “I’m working with her to help solve some of the challenges she’s facing right now.” They’re at judging and will be able to converse face-to-face there.
      • Scott says he and JT are talking weekly and he’s put JT in touch with several members of his staff as well.
      • Mike and Jake are already planning to get together in person in April. In the meantime, they’re communicating regularly by phone and email.
      • Jeff and Ryan are our closest pairing in terms of distance.
    • We ended up with more interest on both sides than we had spots available. We’ve created a Facebook page for the group but anyone in APSE is welcome to join and take part in those discussions. They are more general in nature and all input is welcome. Reach out to Mike Harris if you’d like to join.


  • Mark Faller (Arizona Republic) was the Olympics committee chair, and he led us through the credentialing process for the 2020) summer games. Mark is stepping down from this position. APSE President Todd Adams and the rest of the executive committee would like to vigorously thank Mark for his hard work chairing this committee during the past year and a half. It’s a lot of work and he did a great job. If you get a chance, please reach out to Mark and thank him for everything he did.
  • Second, the executive committee is currently in the process of filling this position. We’ve made some initial inquiries and will have it filled very soon. But if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions feel free to pass them along to Lisa and I.


Notes from chairperson Chris Fickett (unable to attend)

  • We held another membership drive leading into this year’s contest. Tremendous work by Larry Graham, Phil Kaplan, Gary Potosky, Chris Boan, Paul Barrett, Tony Maluso and Donn Walden to contact current and lapsed members. 
  • If you know of a new sports editor who should become an APSE member or an outlet that has lost a sports editor and needs to be contacted so that they remain a member, let us know.”


  • We launched a new website called redsmithaward.com last week. This is something that I personally have been working on for a while. I’ve had a lot of people help me out by writing stories about a lot of the early winners, about whom we previously didn’t have anything on the website. And there are still a few stories that need to be done. So if you are interested or know anyone who is interested, please let me know.
  • This website is far from a completed product. It is something I hope to continue to update and improve after my term as an APSE officer is completed. So if you have anything you’d like to contribute — pictures, videos, or stories from previous winners, feel free to do that. Or, if you have suggestions on how to improve the look of the site, anything like that, I’m open to it.

From chairperson Jack Berninger (unable to attend):

  • Ballots for the 2020 Red Smith Award were emailed Feb. 12 and are due back March 2. Thirteen are on the ballot.
  • Ballots were sent to 151 known eligible voters and a reminder email was sent by the executive director a couple of days ago.
  • Only 40 percent — 62 of 155 — of eligible voters voted in 2019. That has been the trend since we opened the voting to  APSE national officers, 10-year APSE members and alumni members who belonged to APSE for at least 15 years as well as previous Red Smith Award winners and APSE past presidents.
  • Voting for the Red Smith Award is not only a privilege, it should be an obligation, especially for those who are office holders, including region chairs.
    • Former president Michael Anastasi recently suggested that the executive committee should consider “pruning the roles.” For instance, if someone doesn’t vote for 3 years or 4 years, they are removed as an eligible voter. Perhaps a letter each year from the president to voters stressing the importance of their votes should be SOP.


Chairperson Mike Kates: 

  • All but two regions held meetings last year. Goal is 100 percent of regions hold meetings. I can help facilitate meetings. 
  • Good mix between newspapers and universities hosting meetings. 
  • Important to invite student journalists, express the importance of what we do. Invite SEs from non member newspapers and sites to try to recruit them.
  • Barry Bedlan and AP would like to have someone from AP at all of them if possible
  • Able to fill in most of the departures of vice chairs. Need help in Great Lakes. 


Chairperson Tommy Deas:

  • Around 2 years ago that Jeff Rosen tasked me to raise sponsorship funds for our summer conferences.
  • We’ve raised about $209K in the two years.
  • For this year, right now we are above 45K for this year’s conference (just under 100K last year), and we expect some more.


Chairperson Phil Kaplan:

  • APSE has four $1,500 scholarships for college students. Deadline to apply is May 1, moved up from last year (June). By making the deadline May 1 we can invite the scholarship winners to awards night. 


From co-chair Nicole Saavedra (co-chair Jenni Carlson unable to attend):

  • Reaching out to student chapters that were active in 2018, next step to work with guidelines and resources for those chapters.


From chairperson Erik Hall (unable to attend):

  • The student contest is progressing toward a deadline in April. The exact deadline will be finalized this week, but I’m looking at early April.
  • I’ve reached out to schools that submitted entries last year, and I heard back from several that are eager to enter again this year.
  • The following people have committed to being judges in this year’s contest:
    • Mikkel Christensen, Butler University journalism professor
    • Joe Gisondi, Eastern Illinois University journalism professor
    • Sean Morrison, ESPN
    • Mark Selig, The Washington Post
    • Lynn Worthy, Kansas City Star 
  • If anyone else is interested in being a judge this year, please let me know. 


Chairperson Gary Potosky:

  • Larry Graham took over for Chris White as the webmaster for apsportseditors.com late last year and has helped modernize the software on the site to make it more user and reader friendly. I talked to Chris during this handoff process and thanked him for his endless work on spec to not only set up this site overhaul on the user-friendly word press system, but has continued to answer questions and address bugs and issues even since leaving APSE after he took an analytics position at the Courier Journal.
  • Before a new second VP takes over the site this summer, I’d like to have a mission reboot for the site so that it’s clear where we are and where we are headed in terms of what we publish, how we publish it, who the targeted audience is for our website content, and how to be sure we are satisfying that audience.
  • For organizations posting job openings on our site, we will request you attach a photo of your newspaper or website to your job posting email so that we can best illustrate our content, rather than defaulting to the contest plaques as often as we sometimes do.


From chairperson Joey Chandler (unable to attend):

  • No report


From Todd Adams:

  • We will be taking nominations for elections for 2nd vice president during the closing meeting on Thursday. We have several folks who are automatically nominated for various reasons and I’ll be checking over the next few days to see if they accept. This is also an election year for 3rd vice president, which represents APSE’s smaller news organizations and is voted on by organizations with a circulation below 40,000. The position must be held by someone from an under-40,000 circulation group as well. 
  • An issue came to light during one of the region vice chair votes this year that I want to address. Specifically, the situation arose where there is a single sports editor who was in charge of several APSE member papers in the region and cast votes for all those papers. This is also how the situation has been handled in the recent past.
    • Todd suggests having one person vote for multiple properties goes against the spirit of voting process, but that every dues paying organization should have its own vote. Calls it a “tricky situation”
    • Discussion included whether larger chains have more power than other paper;  that some papers have very small staffs with no assigned editors; that even though one person may vote on behalf of multiple properties that that person has their best interests included in the vote.
    • Issue is tabled pending further discussion


  • Chairperson Lisa Wilson announces judging assignments for all categories judged on site.

Motion to adjourn — 5:10 p.m. 


  • Mike Sherman, Tampa Bay Times
  • Jim Jenks, MLB
  • Lynn Hoppes, past president
  • Phil Kaplan, USA Today Network — Tennessee
  • Jim Pignatiello, MassLIve
  • Jane McManus, Marist U/NY Daily News
  • Nick Feely, Villages Daily Sun
  • Hank Winnicki, Newsday
  • Justin Pelletier, Boston Herald
  • Chris Kwiecinski, The Spectrum
  • Sienna Webster, Herald and News
  • Alexis Cubit, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
  • Barry Bedlan, AP
  • Oskar Garcia, AP
  • Jeff Perkins, The Bryant-College Station Eagles
  • Maria McIlwain, Houston Chronicle
  • Tommy Deas, the Tennessean
  • Ed Reed, the News-Press/Florida Gannett
  • Steve Hemphill, The Roanoke Times
  • Tony Maluso, Citizens Voice
  • Christopher Boan, East Valley Tribune
  • Naila Mayers, Star Tribune
  • Michael Peters, Tulsa World
  • Perryn Keys, The Advocate/Times-Picayune
  • Donovan Dooley, The Undefeated
  • Rachel Crader, Lee Enterprises
  • John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal
  • Jorge Rojas, The Athletic
  • Michael Kates, Gambling.com
  • Greg Auman, The Athletic
  • Paul Barrett, Seattle Times
  • Jeff Rosen, Kansas City Star
  • Kyle Nabors, Northwest Herald
  • Micah Pollack, Washington Post
  • Rachel Lenzi, Buffalo News
  • Thomas Scott, Beaumont Enterprise
  • Joe Baird, Salt Lake Tribune
  • Joe Battaglia, FloSports
  • Jeremy Johnson, Oconee Enterprise
  • Bill Bootz, Villages Daily Sun
  • President Todd Adams of the Raleigh News & Observer 
  • First vice president Lisa Wilson of The Athletic
  • Second vice president Gary Potosky of the Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Third vice president Dan Spears of the Wilmington Star-News 
  • Executive Director Bill Eichenberger or the Las Vegas Review-Journal 
  • Conference Coordinator Glen Crevier, retired from the Star Tribune in Minneapolis