APSE Closing General Membership Meeting

10 a.m. Saturday, June 25

The Omni, Charlotte, N.C.

Welcome. I’m Tommy Deas, and I am your new president. Let’s get to it.

Joining me today are:

First vice president Jeff Rosen

Second vice president John Bednarowski

Third Vice President is Robert Gagliardi

Executive director Jack Berninger

Former APSE president and current secretary/treasurer Bill Eichenberger

I would like to recognize former president Mary Byrne. She brought us into digital age. Thank you, Mary.

Let’s begin with a quick roll call:

Roll call:

Atlantic Coast: Steven Hemphill, Roanoke Times

Great Lakes: Emily Horos, Aberdeen American News

Great Plains: Chris Fickett, Kansas City Star

Mid Atlantic: Jim Reeser, The Citizens’ Voice

Northeast: Justin Pellitier, Sun Journal

Northwest: Don Shelton, Seattle Times

Southeast: Dana Sulonen, Opelika-Auburn News

Southwest: Absent

West: Tom Moore, L.A. News Group/Nathan Brown

AP: Absent

I’d also like to quickly recognize past presidents who are here with us:

Bill Eichenberger, Bleacher Report (2003)

Phil Kaplan, The Knoxville News Sentinel (2010)

Gerry Ahern, USA Today Sports Group (2012)

Mary Byrne, ESPN.com (2015)

I would also like to thank our sponsors. So we owe thanks to ESPN.com, USA TODAY Sports, The Associated Press, The Charlotte Observer/McClatchy Company, OneUpSports and USA TODAY Sports Images.

A reminder that there are still sections from the contest for the taking in the room down the hall. Please help yourself.

Now, I’d like to ask Jorge Rojas to introduce our diversity fellows:

Lynn Worthy

Erik Hall

Graham Watson

Katie McInerney

Jenny Dial Creech

Joey Chandler

Executive Director update (Jack)

Finished with 102 paid attendees to Charlotte conference. Last year in San Diego we had 99. Washington D.C. had 124 (2014).

We had 123 attendees for the Red Smith luncheon.

Secretary/Treasurer update (Bill)

Membership is key going forward.

Proposed dues for 2016-17 $61,000, 2015-16 actual $51,490

Will have another proposed transfer from the rainy-day fund for 2016-17.

Motion to accept 2016-17 budget – Don Shelton first, Scott Monserud second.

Budget passes.


Conference: Jack Berninger and Joe Schiefelbein on next summer in New Orleans. The Advocate will serve as conference host, and we’ll be staying at The Roosevelt for $179. We used the same hotel in 1993. Not to worry, it has been renovated. Best of all, it’s across the street from the French Quarter. In a change from previous years, the conference will run from Monday afternoon through a Thursday night awards banquet. The dates will be June 26-29. At this point, the format will stay the same – opening meeting late afternoon Monday, all-day sessions Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday morning sessions and closing meeting, Thursday night awards banquet, getaway day Friday.

Room rates will be available for three days prior to convention, but not after. A large event is following us in town.

Winter convention in Orlando. We will be back at the Doubletree.

We are working on future summer convention sites.

Commissioners (Jeff Rosen):

We are soliciting ideas for future meeting formats.

Working with someone to take over Commissioners while I’m serving as officer.

Target date for 2017 is end of April. We will have some on the record/some off the record sessions.

Will have an update in the fall.

Contest (Justin Pelletier):

Justin and Tommy will update directions of how to enter the contest. A video is being constructed.

Rosen says there are no drastic changes being considered for next year’s contest. Anyone that has ideas is welcomed to offer suggestions at jrosen@kcstar.com

Diversity (Jorge Rojas): We are completing fifth year. Diversity member Jenny Dial Creech from Houston has been named new president of AWSM.

Seventy Five percent of candidates have been promoted or changed jobs. Good definition of success.

Probably will not have diversity weekend in Indianapolis this year. Looking at Tampa/Poynter, Tenneseean. Looking at Georgia, Northwestern, Maryland down the road. Want to be in a place of academic enrichment.

Grass Roots (Robert Gagliardi):

Will be contacting folks for testimonials on APSE experience. Will be creating benefit list as to “Why join APSE?”

Futures (Tommy Deas): Glen Crevier is not here this morning, but we met yesterday. The Futures Committee will be polling the membership to try to get ideas of how we can better serve the membership, and that survey will include questions about plaques for the contest as discussed at the opening meeting. Expect to be getting an email sometime this fall asking for your participation.

Legal affairs (Gerry Ahern):

APSE is continuing to have liaisons at NCAA Tournament. Made progress with seating and there have been fewer credentialing issues.

If anyone has issues please contact Gerry or John Cherwa.

L.A. Times made recent stand after recent UFC issue with trying to ban reporters for life. Paper told UFC there would be no further coverage unless this was corrected.

APSE and APME also stepped in when Buffalo Bills tried to institute new coverage policies limiting what could be reported from practice. The Bills have said that many of the things originally in the policy would not be enforced.

APSE is preparing a letter suggesting an uniform injury report for Division I college football. APSE is supposed to get audience with the NCAA in the fall.

Olympics (Tommy Deas): Reminder that our new chair is Angel Rodriguez of the Los Angeles Times.

Outreach (Phil Kaplan):

Tommy Deas said his platform is membership. He is asking regions for a target list of news organizations for potential membership. We will approach TV/Radio websites for membership. Student membership is encouraged from alma maters and colleges within your coverage area.

Phil will get list from Bill Eichenberger of former members. Target is 50 new members.

Regions (Dana Sulonen):

Dana is currently making a map to determine where membership is. Making a map to see if realignment is necessary. Will have 3-4 options in the next few months. Will be contacting region chairs.

Will also be reviving “On the Move” as well as a quarterly newsletter.

Scholarship: Chair Joe Sullivan reports that he has begun reviewing scholarship applicants this week, and I think we’ll have final results on that no later than next month. He was also one of the three people who watched Phil Kaplan’s live feed from the opening meeting.

Student Chapters: From Tim Stephens, APSE Student Liaison Committee chair:

The Oklahoma State University chapter had 20 different students attend meetings this year, 15 paid members, and the OSU-APSE hosted the Great Plains regional, which had a number of professional attendees from papers in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Colorado. Michael Peters and Mike Sherman are the chapter’s professional advisers and officers have been elected for the 2016-17 academic year.

Website: Emily Horos and Loren Nelson will be chairing this committee, with Emily concentrating on content and Loren looking at the functionality and technical side.

Want to spotlight good journalism. Please email good breaking news, features, long form, investigations etc. to be shared on the website.

Writers: James Crepea:

There will be additional outreach to the writers associations to get them involved. To this point, leaders have been receptive to joining us.

Next year would like to focus on college football. Want to be able to offer both sides of arguments, will reach out to conferences. This is how we will make policy changes happen.

Tommy said there will be conversation of offering a discounted convention fee for writers. Also, people that recruit new members could receive discount.


We need to take an executive committee vote on FanRagSports.com’s application for membership.

Motion to accept: Phil Kaplan first,  Don Shelton second. Motion passes.


Greg Brownell suggests potential additions to bylaws – Add no individual should have more than one vote. This would eliminate potential issue of someone getting a vote as region chair, and potentially as an interim officer.

Also suggests adding an executive committee vote for the writers group.

Greg will draft proposal.

Dana Sulonen announced there will be a second Southeast Region Meeting held in Orlando the Tuesday before the winter judging conference.

Tentative subjects to include recruiting. Would like a cross-region panel for best of ideas.

Anyone attending judging is welcome and encouraged to come to SE Region meeting.

Phil Kaplan is organizing a drive-in session prior to the Alabama-Tennessee game this fall.

Tommy would like to encourage every region to have two region meetings to maximize participation.

Reminder that the banquet is tonight. The reception starts at 6 p.m. in the Cypress Room, and the banquet begins at 7 in the Poplar.

Motion to adjourn? Dana Sulonen

Second? Steve Hemphill

Meeting adjourned.

Members in attendance:

Tommy Deas, Tuscaloosa News

Jeff Rosen, Kansas City Star

John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal

Robert Gagliardi, Laramie Boomerang

Jack Berninger, Executive Director

Bill Eichenberger, APSE Sec/Treasurer, Bleacher Report

Jane Allison Harvy, Daily Record/Gannett NJ

Greg Brownell, The Post-Star

Hank Winnicki, Newsday

Gary Potosky, Philadelphia Inquirer

Joe Baird, Salt Lake Tribune

Dana Sulonen, O-A News

Matt Stephens, Fort Collins Coloradoan

Dan Spears, Wilmington StarNews

Chris White, Louisville Courier Journal

Nick Feely, The Villages Daily Sun

James Crepea, Alabama Media Group

Joey Chandler, The Tuscaloosa News

Katie McInerney, Tusla World

Jim Reeser, The Citizens Voice

Justin Pelletier, Sun Journal

Gerry Ahern, USA Today

Ron Fritz, Baltimore Sun

Loren Nelson, Minnesota Hockey Hub

Daniel Paulling, Jackson Clarion-Ledger

Tom Moore, Southern California News Group

Michael Sanserino, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mary Byrne, ESPN.com

Trey Simpson, Middle Georgia State University

James Simpson II, Macon Telegraph/Freelance Writer

Scott Monserud, The Denver Post

Emily Horos, Aberdeen American News

Steve Hemphill, The Roanoke Times

Chris Fickett, The Kansas City Star

Dave Ammenhauser, The Tennesean

Phil Kaplan, Knoxville News Sentinel

Jorge Rojas, Miami Herald