APSE Opening General Membership Meeting
4 p.m. Wednesday, June 22
The Omni, Charlotte, N.C.

Welcome. I’m Mary Byrne. Let’s get started.

Phil is Facebook Living opening meeting, so keep that in mind as we go forward.

Can I get a motion to open the meeting? Jeff Rosen, Kansas City

Second? Joe Schiefelbein, Baton Rouge

Joining me today are:

First vice president Tommy Deas

Third vice president John Bednarowski

Interim board member Dana Sulonen, who will be taking the minutes.

Executive director Jack Berninger

Former APSE president and current secretary/treasurer Bill Eichenberger

Let’s begin with a quick roll call:

Roll call:
Atlantic Coast: Dan Spears, Wilmington Star News
Great Lakes: Loren Nelson, sportngin.com

Great Plains: Chris Fickett, Kansas City Star

Mid Atlantic: Jim Reeser, The Citizens’ Voice
Northeast: Jason Murray, Syracuse Media Group

Northwest: Don Shelton, Seattle Times
Southeast: Chris White, Louisville Courier-Journal
Southwest: Mike Sherman, Oklahoman
West: Tom Moore (arrived late)

The Associated Press: Michael Giarusso

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

Glen Crevier, The Star Tribune of Minneapolis (2005)
Phil Kaplan, The News Sentinel of Knoxville (2010)
Gerry Ahern, USA Today Sports Group (2012)
Mike Sherman of The Oklahoman (2014)

Bill Eichenberger, Bleacher Report (2003)

Welcome to Charlotte, site of the 43rd APSE summer conference. I want to take a moment to address North Carolina General Assembly House Bill 2, a bill that was passed by the state to repeal a pro-LGBTQ ordinance approved by the Charlotte City Council. As an organization, APSE is committed to making sure all sports journalists are able to work freely regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Inclusiveness and diversity are core values and we will do whatever’s necessary to make sure everyone who participates in this week’s conference feels part of a safe, comfortable environment.

Hotel committed to making us feel welcome.

I especially want to thank everyone who reached out to me and challenged me to consider the ramifications of moving forward with the conference here. I strongly encourage everyone to attend our session _ LGBT Issues, Fighting for what’s right, led by Erik Hall. In this workshop you’ll learn methods to ensure your organization is inclusive in the way it covers lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes, coaches and issues.

That session is one of many fantastic sessions we have planned. And for the first time, you can find that lineup on your phone. As many of you know, we’ve just launched our redesigned website. (More on that later.) If you go to apsportseditors.com you will get the event schedule for the conference. You also can download an APSE conference app _ available for both Apple and Android. And of course, we’ll have bulletin boards at the registration area with the rundown as well. So, no excuses.

Of course, none of this is possible without 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.

During the conference, please take time to visit the mall of ideas and talk with the vendors. And we’ll start that discussion by welcoming each vendor now. We’ll start with The Associated Press. Michael?

The AP – Giarrusso

  • COMING UP: Rio. It will be a lot of same as past Olympics, and East Coast time zone helps. AP is really focusing on big four: Basketball, track, mens and womens gymnastics.
  • POST RIO: AP working on an 80th anniversary of the college football poll. Planning a big package and all-time poll.
  • Going to see some changes with pro and college football, more detail to come. Big picture is trying to get more content out quickly after and during game. Fewer artificial deadlines. AP just wants to give it all so you as an organization can figure out how to use on mobile platforms.
  • Other big thing partnerships. OneUp Sports is one. Automated insights (minor league baseball short stories);open to more ideas/more partnerships. Fantasy stats? More prep stuff? If have more thoughts, find Michael.

Bleacher Report — Dylan MacNamara or Eichenberger

NASCAR — Kurt Culbert

OneUp Sports — Sil Scaglioni

  • Used to be Cinesport, sold company in fall
  • What done is preserved our legacy sports video content creation company, added a couple of other services.
  • Built premium offering, taken original video content and amped that up; Can create a “studio in a box” very efficiently.
  • Have business models, both free and paid.

USA TODAY Sports Images — Bruce Odle

Secretary/Treasurer update (Bill)

  • Key numbers: APSE membership overall is down 13 percent from last year. That is reflected in member dues, came in $12,000 short of budgeted total.
  • Also organization becomes more and more dominated by smaller papers, growing in D and C, seem to be shrinking in A and B. Not enrolling as many secondary members.
  • Should really push and try to get back old members
  • Expenses: Pretty much came in on budget. Gave $6,000 scholarships, $10,000 on SJI; $2,000 AWSM scholarship
  • Plaques and judging pretty much on budget
  • Need more income. Need more members.

Executive Director update (Jack)

  • 102 paid attendees for conference.
  • Hospitality sponsored by OneUp in Pomodora Room
  • Old sections are in the Pine Room. If you want any, come by Saturday if you want any sections, first come first serve. Rest will be pitched.
  • Blue dots are first-time attendees so say hi to them


Conference: Jack on next summer in New Orleans. The Advocate will serve as conference host, and we’ll be staying at The Roosevelt for $179 (which Joe highly recommends). 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 would 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.

  • Winter meetings Feb. 22-26, Wednesday through Sunday. Doubletree Suites, Lake Buena Vista.

Commissioners (Jeff Rosen): Good turnout for meetings in April; little interesting with NFL at last minute. NFL wanted to go away from format; ended up being a off the record cocktail hour. Jeff (and Mary later agrees) that it thinks it had value. Talking to NFL/NBA, maybe next year making meeting off the record. Interested in looking at more, so sign up for committee if have ideas. Don’t know if it will be off the record across the board. Discussions aplenty to be had. Still looking for feedback.

Mary adds that want to inject talks of access for conversation going forward.

Contest (Tommy Deas/Dana):

Dana: Updated digital contest and how will transition John into knowing what’s going on and the Google Doc system

Tommy: Justin going to come in and help out and he and Tommy are going to work things out to help being easier to enter.

Diversity (Jorge Rojas): Expressing condolences/outreach to Pulse, including Telemundo journalist. Joey Chandler, Katie McInerny, Lynn Worthy and Erik Hall all here; Graham Watson-Ringo not here as just had baby; Jenny Creech here on Friday. Hoping for Knight Foundation stipend for year or two years, will hear on that in next month, but details still being worked out. Soon will have 21 graduates as fifth year of program wraps up. Would like to double number in next five years. Need to discuss in next few days partners for diversity weekend for future as Indianapolis is probably out. Maybe bring that up at closing meetings.


Phil: Difficult climate to raise money for event like Diversity Day. Still doing scholarships through Scripps/SJI. One intern in Baton Rouge, other with Tim at SportsManias. Would like to keep scholarships going.

Legal affairs (Gerry Ahern): Third straight year had liaisons with NCAA men’s basketball tournament venues; Liaisons were APSE members and worked with coordinating at venues. Program has been great success, every year fewer and fewer issues. Had virtually no issues this past year.

Discussed situation with UFC and Buffalo issue.

NCAA media advisory committee continue to meet monthly, drafted a letter to Division I football oversight committee for injury reporting at college football. Letter is drafted and submitted 7-10 days ago. Expect to get audience with committee.

Olympics: Tommy introduces new chair, Angel Rodriguez of L.A. Times. Has been/will be In touch with Jerry Micco.

Outreach (Phil Kaplan): Social media 14K followers. Twitter is great. If any news involving your shop, let Phil know and he will retweet/Facebook it.

Erik Hall suggested creating public/open Facebook page.

Red Smith Award (Joe Sullivan): Via Matt Pepin: Had tie/run-off, did determine winner. Any feedback on way process handled? If have any feedback, let Joe know.

Regions (Andi Petrini): N/A

Scholarship (Joe Sullivan): Via Pepin: 63 applications, all good ones to pick from. July 30 is date will be selected.

Student Chapters:

Tim Stephens, APSE Student Liaison Committee chair

Chapters at Oklahoma State and UAB hosted successful APSE region meetings, a model we should hope to replicate moving forward with all student chapters hosting at least one APSE event per year. This could include region meetings but could also include one-off, drive-in workshops around sports events on the campus or other similar events. Working with the chapters, we can provide speakers or coordinate our events around campus activities such as journalism/media roundtables, job fairs, Skype sessions to classrooms or student publications and more. Our goal with chapters should include building relationships with the universities, the student members and the students themselves in a way that sustains these chapters beyond their initial start-up phase.

Two chapters are currently dormant: Ohio University and Virginia Tech.

Ohio University has suspended its chapter due to a flagrant violation of its diversity policies by multiple students, including some members of the chapter. The university and the students have taken steps to remedy, including hosting a panel on diversity in sports journalism. It is our hope that the chapter will be reinstated for 2016-17. Our first chapter, OU had been a model for others to follow in terms of recruitment, organization and learning opportunities for students. We will work with leaders there to make this a learning opportunity as well.

Virginia Tech saw a large number of members graduate and has not successfully recruited enough students to maintain chapter requirements. We will work with them on ways to bring their numbers back to the required 10.

A database of contacts for more than 100 universities has been established and outreach begun with dozens on the list. If you have a specific contact/relationship with your alma mater or a university in your region, please bring this to Tim Stephens’ attention at tims@sportsmanias.com. Your assistance in establishing relationships and building excitement for our organization can be valuable in our efforts. Students at the University of Florida, University of Miami and Indiana University are among those recruiting now to apply for membership beginning in the fall. While we welcome chapters at any university that can support them, some targets we should look for in 2016 include: Penn State, Alabama, Auburn, Arizona State, Georgia, Northwestern, Missouri, North Carolina and Syracuse as well as any university with which we already have relationships for region meetings.

In outreach with students, a common question we get is, “what is in this for me?” Students have many options for organization membership, including others with journalism/media ties. I propose we create a section on the website that includes answers to this as well as video testimonial from student members and APSE members. We also want to encourage students to grown their own social media presence for their chapter. We should also consider collaboration with other organizations such as AWSM and NABJ, which have student chapters to consider opportunities to consolidate efforts rather than duplicate them.

Finally, we should consider having APSE representation in student media events and organizations such as the College Media Association. CMA (and others) host several drive-in workshops as well as a national convention. Details:http://www.collegemedia.org/ CMA also has an existing sports student-media contest. Perhaps APSE could provide judges in exchange for co-branding. Attending these events, providing speakers and judging contest could provide big benefits in terms of building relationships and solidifying our student outreach.

Phil: Tennessee is going to be joining and going to have a drive-in workshop.

Website: We’ll address this during old business.

Writers liaison (Mark Faller): Skip.

Writers membership (James Crepea): Writers fee down and writers specific fee, glad to have several writers here. Red Smith panel, want to continue to do for years to come. Writers’ Roundtable first step in a conversation on access. Want to expand writers at judging. Goal to have writer judge in every writing category. Wants to start monthly Q&As for the website, get help from Diversity fellows, students, other people.


Website: We began the transition this week from the old site, hosted by IUPUI, to our own independent site.  If you see things on site, please say something. Member password: 2016redsmith. Use that to access online directory. If information is not accurate, please send email apsecontest@gmail.com.

Photos: Not a lot of generic APSE art. We are photographers this week for the slideshow, send Mary of slideshow. Mary.E.Byrne@espn.com


Plaques: At the closing meeting in St. Petersburg, it was suggested that to save costs we reduce the number of plaques created. For example, if an organization wins a Grand Slam, instead of four plaques it would just be one plaque for the Grand Slam. Discussion?

$10,800 last year for plaques (cost up cause of added categories and small growth of cost)

Eliminate top 10 plaques, but get one plaque either saying Grand Slam or Triple Crown, would save $6,000.

Shipping right now is $1,400-1,500. Will probably save money when amount of plaques is reduced.

Other options, cut the size of plaques. Could save (estimated) $3,300.

Tommy Deas: If we were to vote in proposal, and can always bring them back when finances improve.

Mike Sherman: Any further discussion on ideas of ranking papers way we rank writers?

Jack Berninger: If we get 100 new members, would create additional revenue of $20,000. If we get that, it takes care of deficit and plaque conversation.

Dan Spears: Maybe each organization gets one plaque, but list the stuff you got?

Tommy Deas: People can order plaques if they want to. Cost just less than $40.

Jack Berninger: Can we take a survey and gauge interest at all levels? Futures and Glen Crevier going to help with that to send out.

Fanrag application for membership. Based in Phoenix, FanRagSports.com was created in 2012. It’s a series of sub-sites _ todaysknuckleball.com,todayspigskin.comtodaysslapshot.comtodaysu.comtodaysfastbreak.comtodaysknockout.comtodayscornerkick.com. Each sub-site has its own editor, and the hiring of editors is by FanRagSports, not the individual sites. FanRagSports.com has passed 1 million unique visitors per month. Content is originated by paid writers and all stories are edited before being published. FanRagSports has credentialed writers to cover events including the World Series, NLCS, Final Four and the college football playoff.

Before we adjourn, let’s quickly review tonight and tomorrow morning:

Opening Night Reception – 6:30-9 p.m. at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which is about eight blocks from here. Note: You MUST have your name badge with you. No badge, no entry.

Hospitality: Sponsored by OneUpSports, it runs from 10-midnight tonight in the Pomodoro room, which is here on the lobby level. Note: NO outside liquor.

Tomorrow: We start early – 8 a.m. Photoshop lab. Speaking of which, if you haven’t signed up and are interested in either the photoshop lab or one of the four Facebook sessions on Friday, come see me.

James: Brings up discussion of allowing writer members to have a vote and to run for region/office. Kami concurs, but suggests maybe one vote/representative voice. Tommy says as of right now writers can’t. James argues. Lots of discussion, nothing really finalized.

Erik Hall addresses APSE being conscience to hold conference in LGBT friendly places.

More conversation about broadcast members joining. Also proposed can we draft a letter of “Why you should join.”

Jack – anything to add?

Motion to adjourn? Gerry Ahern

Second? Don Shelton