The Alexander Hotel, Indianapolis, Saturday, June 18, 2022

President Jorge Rojas calls the meeting to order at 12:33 p.m. and introduces First Vice-President Naila Meyers, Second Vice-President Dan Spears, Third Vice-President Ed Reed, and Conference Coordinator Glen Crevier. 

Past presidents in attendance

  • Gary Potosky, The Philadelphia Inquirer (2021-22)
  • Lisa Wilson, The Athletic (2020-21)
  • John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal (2018-19)
  • Tommy Deas, then Tuscaloosa News (2016-17)
  • Michael Anastasi, then Salt Lake Tribune (2011-12)
  • Phil Kaplan, Knoxville News-Sentinel (2010-11)
  • Glen Crevier, then The Star Tribune of Minneapolis (2005-06)
  • Paul Anger, Miami Herald (1994-95)

Region representatives

Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. (Jim Pignatiello)

Atlantic Coast: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, West Virginia (Justin Pelletier)

Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virgin Islands (Erik Hall)

Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin. (Naila Meyers)

Great Plains: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma.  (N/A)

Southwest: New Mexico, Texas. (Jeff Perkins)

Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming. (Ralph Walter)

West: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah. (Emily Horos) 

Representing the Associated Press: Barry Bedlan, Oscar Dixon 

Finances and budget update (Glen Crevier)

We’re at ~$69,000 in our total finances. We’ll be paying extra attention to number of people who get rooms in the future. The financial penalties for coming up short could be a problem. 

Conference update (Glen Crevier)

Sorry about all the transportation issues on Friday. Bus went to wrong hall in the morning and forgot to pick up attendees from reception in the evening.

2023 – Winter Feb. 19-22, Doubletree Suites, Lake Buena Vista, FL

2023 – Summer July 9-12, The Flamingo, Las Vegas 

Special thanks one final time to Malcolm Moran of IUPUI. He helped put on a tremendous conference as our person on the ground in Indianapolis.

Host (Malcolm Moran)

Thanks again to those who had faith in us to come to the city and IUPUI and those that have shared their knowledge and help this week.

Diversity (A. Sherrod Blakely)

Jorge recognizes the diversity fellows: Em Poertner, Mauro Diaz, JT Keith, Sarah Kelly, Maria McIlwain. They will graduate tonight at the awards ceremony.

Iliana Limon Romero – NABJ/NAHJ is having a joint conference. Wednesday is a Sports Task Summit along with other organizations. If you’re interested, there will be a panel and mixer.

AWSM had a limited window to move its convention and it’s at the same time (first week of August). They’ve also had trouble fundraising in the pandemic like anyone. If you’re a lapsed member, please reconsider. There are also opportunities around job fair representation, both virtual and in person/in kind. Anything you can do to assist is appreciated.

APSE Foundation (Michael Anastasi)

We have a goal to have 6 fellows for the 2022-23 class, please spread the word to your staff and others. This is a pathway to leadership for diverse members of our profession. Hope to get up to 8-10 fellows a year.

Committee Reports 

Membership Committee (Jason Murray)

Again, if you have a region meeting coming up, let us know so we can share out with all members.

Gary’s update: Brian Rosener of the Daily American Republic in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, has agreed to serve as Vice Chair of the Great Plains if asked. We’re still not there but we could be very close. We still need a Chair, and elections in that region are still preferable and possible.

Career advancement Committee (Lisa Wilson)

Thanks for participating in our morning session. New format that benefited students, as well as us experienced editors. We’ll hone that format for next year.

Iliana will now lead the student contest.

I have five mentees and mentors, but not confirmed connections. I’ll hopefully have that ready by the end of the week and story ready to publish on website.

Commissioners (Hank Winnicki)

No updates

Legal affairs and ethics (Gerry Ahern and John Cherwa)

No updates

Olympics (Roxanna Scott)

No updates

Red Smith (Rachel Crader)

No updates

Revenue (Tommy Deas)

Talked with Jorge, who has tasked me with outreach to traditional news organizations ahead of our 50th year and create levels of sponsorship from those that have been part of this from the beginning and build something to recognize that group next summer.

Thai Night Committee sub report: Great time was had by all, and Malcolm’s recommendation (Thai-tanium) was awesome.

Website/social (Naila Meyers)

Naila: I’ll be finishing my website duties through the end of June to get through this convention. I’ll be getting Dan a password (webmaster on vacation).

Thank you to Malcolm and the students for their stories and photos; a huge benefit from us being on campus this year. 

Jorge: I’ve asked Dan to help get us a true assessment of our website stability; we’ve been told we’re in trouble. What are the real ways to improve this? And what can we expand to/need to expand to?

Contest (Naila Meyers)

2022 Content Contest reaction will be in new business. I do have people who want to be on the committee or consultants (data, listeners) and I’ll appreciate any and all feedback and assistance in those ways.

Old business 

Bylaws changes proposed. Vote on change to section 3 E, paragraph 1. Removes the word “new,” changes to “the third Vice President.” 

Passed 15-0 at opening meeting. 

Other bylaw changes will be voted on by ballot.

Bylaw current, proposed change in bold:
The third vice president is elected for a two-year term in even-numbered years only by representatives of APSE’s smallest member organizations. The third vice president assumes office beginning with the Executive Committee meeting at the end of the summer convention in even-numbered years and serves for two years, continuing until the Executive Committee meeting at the end of the convention two years hence, except when the summer convention is canceled or not held, or the second executive committee meeting is not held during the convention, in which case a new [change to “the”] third vice president will assume office as outlined in the second paragraph of Section 3 (C).

→ 19 people in attendance that can vote. Bylaw change passes. 

New business:

Tommy Deas: I need APSE letterhead. Dan Spears will take care of this.

Bylaws →

Erik Hall: The new changes to 3 D 4 would limit the # of people that could nominate for Second VP. I think that’s a bad thing. Jorge: It prevents people not on the executive committee from doing that. Gary: That language wasn’t changed, but if we want to look at it. Erik: There is some archaic language that is being eliminated, but it appears that now only small papers, and not the executive committee, can nominate a 3rd VP.

Tommy Deas: There are a lot of things in this set of bylaw changes that need to be fixed. I am willing to work with Erik on this specific bylaw to make a change for the following year.

Gary Potosky (later): The language of this – that the executive committee can also nominate – remains. We have taken out language about 15 people as a petition, which was antiquated.

Next question: Is it 75% of the executive committee that has to vote yes, or 75% of those votes that are returned. We believe it’s the latter, but we’ll have to double check. Greg Brownell says it’s the latter as well.

Jorge – What are your thoughts on the convention this week?

Erik: Didn’t like pay going to “opening reception.” What should be welcoming shouldn’t have an additional fee.

Glen: A lot of people said they were going and hadn’t purchased tickets and sent a reminder. Were hoping the NCAA could host opening night but couldn’t, so we flipped order of the events. Us getting free tickets from the Fever was an ethics conundrum and I didn’t think we should have done that.

Iliana: Thanks for Glen and his wife. Y’all we’re running around all week.

Matt Stephens: More depth for our general and breakout sessions, feels he’s learning less. Repeating a lot of same topics. Talking more than showing examples and we can go further. Diversity we should do every year.

Jorge: We did have some things that we felt went well. 

Gary: All feedback is appreciated, positive and negative.

Iliana: Can we do more “how did they do it” sessions, especially on investigative and projects.

Naila: Yes, this would help get winners to the convention. We did that in 2021 and it was fantastic. That’s something we’re looking at. This year it was really hard to get panelists and winners. It was very expensive to get to Indy. 

Erik: Could APSE go back to some financial help for panelists? Travel? Hotel? I know it used to be both. That helps with better panels, too. Bill Bradley – That’s a hotel possibility in Vegas. Jorge: I could see panels involving winners and entertainers in our business in Las Vegas.

Tommy: We need more than 2 workshops. Too many general sessions and I understand that might be a cost thing. And we shouldn’t be repetitive for repetitive sake on workshops and sessions. Jorge – it’s a balancing act. I want (the upcoming summer convention) to be useful and also appreciative of our history for our 50th anniversary.

Emily: If you have something want to know or have a session. Speak up. Send an email out.

(Dan aside: In the survey, we need to ask the questions about panel topics that are repetitive or that you feel we’re missing)

Myer Lee, St. Augustine: Thanks for this (as a first-time participant). Very encouraging to see there’s a community to encourage growth.

Mike Niziolek, Roanoke: I’m a first time attendee, writer. But we don’t have a sports editor any more. Not just convention, but the organization in general: Career development wise, I don’t get much feedback and growth. How can people like me be helped? 

Dan: Mike’s editor believes in us, but there are executive editors who won’t be members. We are looking at regrowing our membership, we’ll need to reach out to that level of editor, too.

Mike: How would other writers in my place even know APSE exists? How could we continue to grow out to them.

Kevin Broadway: Don’t be afraid to reach out to other reporters

Lisa: We have a dormant writers committee. Is that a place that we could recreate things?

Tony Maluso: This is part of why attendance is down and mid-level shops are not here. Indiana, Ohio have so many places, but they’re not here. How are we appealing to them: critiques, workshops. We, somehow, are not showing value. 

Naila: I want to credit Lisa and Gary. She put her head into programming and building out career development via student chapters, today’s session. If we keep offering that, that will make us appealing. Gary wants to rebuild the regions. And to Matt’s point – better regions → better, new virtual programming. I have ideas that I could do virtually because they can’t travel here. Can you get experts? As you rebuild regions, create development this takes less pressure off everything being perfect at the summer convention.

Justin: time to think about some sort of hybrid in-person virtual and conferences paid. Streaming option of panels. Might not be able to fly but can send link to those who pay.

Iliana: A/V costs through the roof. (discussion on unions and publish rights). But we could replicate the in-person→virtual back to back that works with other organizations (AWSM).

Bill Bradley, Las Vegas: We should bring this up with the Flamingo. We’re gonna have to think ahead.

McClain Baxley, Athens GA: You pay a membership and contest/conference are the big perks. But what else? Is there more year-round availability/opportunity that is available?

Lisa: We have paid Zoom to create meetings, we have Slack. We need to use them. We have ideas.

Jorge: On our survey, we’ll ask a lot of questions from website, to numbers of attendees. Locked in to Vegas and Lake Buena Vista and we will have to do whatever we do we need to try to increase attendance at both events post COVID.

Going into 2024 with Naila, we have to make an assessment of how many people coming for summer and winter. What are the realistic options around attendance/streaming?

I understand your predicament, Mike … I always look at the writers: How can we truly connect with the writers? We’ve tried that and why would they want to hang out with us. But there could be an opening.

The hotel is a problem. This is a nice hotel, but more than half of our attendees are staying elsewhere on points or cheaper costs. Unfortunately that hurts our organization. We have to work with you: Answer the surveys. Would you rather have stayed at the Courtyard near IUPUI and give up the ballroom, or do we want to go to multiple hotels – But those hotels don’t have incentive for small blocks of rooms. 

Regions need strengthening. Gary’s on this. Could we have workshops? Job fairs? What if it wasn’t just a pandemic blip? What if judging is fully remote in 3-4-5 years? Should judging be wrapped into a region meeting? Gary’s going to look at this.

Answer that survey. We’re going to need your answers

Naila: Contests.

After this week, I’m gonna dig into contest entry rules and stats on number of entries. I hope and dream and plan to get changes out by early fall. My work on that starts now.

Feedback in any form great. Nothing is going to be decided today, however. We’ll listen and move on.

Bill: Upset in a couple of ways, but I think there are ways to help. Special sections that weren’t included … they are still viable, possible as an A & B. I don’t care if we do poorly, but we need to be judged. #2 the Triple Crown and Grand Slam were not communicated well. The way we’re going, I don’t know if there will be enough categories to fill them. I thought longform story as a category for that wasn’t good. It didn’t reflect on our staff. That’s why sections + website felt more reflective of us as a whole. If we look at events, I can see that. But longform is a writer, maybe 2 editors and a producer or two. Not indicative of us.

Phil: The whole reason Grand Slam was added was when we started website and we just wanted to continue to have a Grand Slam. Do we need four?

Jorge: I agree to an extent. I know that I got it out late: pandemic, I changed jobs. But we also need to serve notice that things are changing and it can’t be all print taking the marquee awards. That makes sense (Bill), that the Triple Crown reflects work of the staff. Event coverage feels like a good fit in some sense, but we don’t know that in Year 1. I also agree with Phil, we might not need a Grand Slam, but I don’t know that I picked the wrong thing. I think writing should be part of that. I think Naila’s gonna make tweaks and it’s gonna be fine. But this was a step toward “it’s not going to be all print.” A&B does good sections – and so do C&D. But not everyone’s gonna be happy. Are we moving that digital and print are 

Matt Stephens: I was vocal on Facebook about changes, and it was about the timing (so late in the year). We don’t think about APSE awards, but we know where things go. But these changes didn’t make it easier to win a Grand Slam. There were fewer this year. Making print a smaller part of the contest is the way to go. I respectfully disagree with Bill on that. We did daily and Sunday as 2 chances at grand slam. Projects are hard and winning a grand slam is hard. 

Jorge: The long feature, it was the writing category that had the most even playing field (in my mind) … Columns, breaking news can be reliant on staff sizes and opportunities. Projects, too few entered, even though it was merit based. 

Bill: The increase in projects might be because special sections were there. (hand count was at 3 in the room)

Paul Barrett: I would disagree on the long feature category. I think we’re at a disadvantage … we can’t put someone on a story for 6 months. Making that a TC/GS factor isn’t fair.

Jorge: Should the writing categories be pushed back? Maybe. But they have to be under consideration.

Tommy Deas: There are always going to be inequity.

Paul: I do agree with Bill Bradley that these should be team things.

Justin Pelletier: Bigger problem – smaller paper decline, the bigger things (projects and beat writing and daily sections) were down. 

Dan: I didn’t enter dailies because we weren’t a good fit for mandatories. I won’t waste a judge’s time 

Lisa: It’s time to go to a portfolio of your best work.

Jorge: There’s also places that can’t get to PDFs or e-editions. 

John B: Do you know how to get to your archive? 

Jorge: I have a request for everyone: Go back to your shop and figure out how to pull PDFs from your site. We need everyone to do that now. And then there are paywall issues. … It didn’t stop us from getting the work done, but it was a problem.

Ed: I’ve turned in sections that I knew I wasn’t going to win, especially when I have no control. 

Lisa: Do you enter “print” as one category of the grand slam, etc.

Iliana: The time is a big hurdle. How do I plan out, and there’s tech barriers. We need to unlock those tech guides we created. We need to continue to get those fixed. …. Print: Anyone can be good any day, but rewarding those who are good day in and day out. Do we look at quarterly mandatories? It meant a lot when we won those because it was a product of consistent excellence. 

Erik: If you throw out mandatories, you can’t give me all Saturdays or Mondays. Different days of the week?

Paul Anger: I think you’re going to work this out. Observations:

  • At Detroit: We made the decision to go to only 3 days of home delivery. There’s always been issues of unfairness/inequity. You go back, it was a space issue (Dave Smith at DMN). There will never be a level playing field. 
  • Should there be a step back: How are our audiences wanting to receive information now? How do they appreciate it? I’ve heard “we’re not newspapers, we’re news organizations,” now. Can all those different ways be represented? 
  • I think you’re doing a wonderful job. You will figure it out.

Tommy: Have we ever had a social media category? I propose Best Retweet (J/K). We arm our people to do it … but who does it well and how do we judge it.

Naila: Pick mandatory dates tonight at the banquet: With this discussion, should we have mandatories? … We will announce and tell those with archive issues that you might need these but that they might not need them later.


Erik: Did we decide on the 75%

Jorge: No. But we think Greg is right. We’ll read more and get back to you.

Naila: The bylaws have no distinction.

Jorge: We’ll go back and look for precedent and make that decision.

Motion to adjourn: Iliana Limon-Rimero

Second:. Tony Maluso

Meeting ends at 2:08 p.m.


Jorge Rojas, President

Naila-Jean Meyers, APSE First Vice-President

Dan Spears, APSE Second Vice-President

Ed Reed, APSE Third Vice-President

Glen Crevier, APSE conference coordinator


Malcolm Moran, Sports Capital Journalism Program, IUPUI

Paul Barrett, The Seattle Times

Ralph Walter, The Spokesman-Review

Donn Walden, The Lewiston Tribune

Em Poertner, USA TODAY South / The Tennessean

McClain Baxley, Athens Banner-Herald

Drew Schott, Northwestern APSE Student Chapter

Glenn Yoder, ESPN

Jason Murray, The Washington Post

Justin Pelletier, News & Observer

Matt Stephens, Charlotte Observer

Iliana Limon-Romero, Los Angeles Times

Maria McIlwain, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Jeffrey Perkins,

Jim Pignatiello, MassLive

Tony Maluso, Baltimore Sun Media Group

Emily Horos, The Arizona Republic

Mike Niziolek, The Roanoke Times

Greg Brownell, Glens Falls Post-Star

Myer Lee, St. Augustine Record

Erik Hall, USA TODAY South / The Tennessean

Bill Bradley, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Barry Bedlan, Associated Press