The Alexander Hotel, Indianapolis, Wednesday, June 15, 2022
President Gary Potosky calls the meeting to order at 2:12 p.m and introduces First Vice-President Jorge Rojas, Second Vice-President Naila Meyers, Third Vice-President Ed Reed, and Conference Coordinator Glen Crevier. Executive Director Bill Eichenberger is hiking the Appalachians, so he could not be here. We’ll see him in Orlando in February.
- Lisa Wilson, The Athletic (2020-21)
- Glen Crevier, then The Star Tribune of Minneapolis (2005-06)
- John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal (2018-19)
- Tommy Deas, then Tuscaloosa News (2016-17)
- Phil Kaplan, Knoxville News-Sentinel (2010-11)
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 (Dan Spears)
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.
Southwest: New Mexico, Texas. (Jeff Perkins)
Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming. (Paul Barrett)
West: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah.
Representing the Associated Press: (Ricardo Zuniga,) Barry Bedlan, Oscar Dixon
From Bill Eichenberger
Yesterday somewhere in North Carolina, Bill Eichenberger sent along some thoughts about this week, and I will read them now for the record, and for your enjoyment:
Much thanks to Gary for allowing me to spend two months hiking the Appalachian Trail and to Glen for handling my executive director duties in my absence. I’m 334 miles into my hike.
Here’s my hearty congratulations to Leon Carter for winning the Red Smith Award. While the contribution to diversity made by the Sports Journalism Institute he and Sandy spearheaded has changed the face of our profession, it would be an oversight not to also recognize the superb sports section Leon led at the New York Daily News.
I’m also happy former APSE president and Miami Herald sports editor Paul Anger has been asked to explain to newer members the impact Ed Storin had on APSE. His pivotal role should never be forgotten.
I’m back from my once-in-a-lifetime adventure on July 5 and will take back my APSE duties then. Never forget the positive impact APSE has made and will continue to make on our profession.
Finances and budget update (Glen Crevier)
It’s mostly good news. We have $36,000 in our checking account, about $22,000 in a mutual fund. We are in good shape to pay the bill for this conference.
Attendance at the summer conference is down. That is something we will have to address. For the most part, I feel good about where we are.
Conference update (Glen Crevier)
Please wear your badges throughout the conference, particularly at NCAA.
Transportation: This is a little different conference. Today and Saturday are at the hotel. Thursday and Friday are at the IUPUI; it’s not walkable. Tonight’s opening reception is at the WNBA game. The bus is at 4:30 pm from the hotel. Tomorrow we will busing people to the university. Please see Glen for parking passes if you drive on your own. First bus leaves at 8:10 and second at 8:40. Seats 55 people. First breakout session is at 9. Buses make two trips back to the hotel.
You should have received a program in your email. You will get a daily schedule email every day.
Tomorrow night there is a reception at the NCAA Hall of Champions with drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Bus will depart at 6:40 pm.
Hospitality open 10-midnight in Ralston room on the sixth floor.
AP meeting and reception on Friday night at IUPUI. Bus leaves at 6:30 and another at 7:45 back to the hotel.
Saturday night awards dinner in the ballroom with cocktail reception before and after.
Everyone should have gotten breakfast vouchers at check-in. See Glen if you didn’t.
After this conference, we are going to come up with a survey about the winter and summer conferences. We are concerned about attendance. Expect it in early or mid July.
We’re still deciding on the 2024 summer conference. As we come out of the pandemic, there’s a great deal to consider before settling on a site.
Host (Malcolm Moran)
It’s an honor to be the first campus to host this event. We’ve done our best to make it as convenient and relevant as possible, while leveraging what we have here in Indianapolis. Transformation committee meeting this week and giving us a progress report. It’s all on the record.
We’ve gotten great cooperation from the school. Signage will tell you where to go. There’s a great collection of sports photography in the hall, traces back to the 1996 Olympics and ended up at IUPUI.
This is not on the official schedule, but on Friday afternoon there will be an open house at the Red Smith Hall of Fame room.
Diversity (A. Sherrod Blakely)
Gary recognizes the diversity fellows: Em Poertner (present), Mauro Diaz, JT Keith, Sarah Kelly, Maria McIlwain (present).
From Diversity Committee chair Sherrod Blakeley:
We have had nine organizations that have taken the APSE Diversity Pledge in 2022, some of whom are repeat customers.
In conversations with them, all agree that they see value in taking the pledge. Most point to a slight uptick in the number of diverse candidates, which makes for a more robust hiring cycle.
But they also point out a couple of areas that are very much works in progress that could be improved upon.
● Quicker access to candidates
● More front-end information on candidates
○ Some markets are harder to recruit candidates to seriously consider. Having more intel as to who might have ties to a specific market, may help the process.
In conversations with diverse candidates who applied for jobs and eventually landed jobs in which the APSE Diversity Pledge was taken, they pointed to a couple of factors that organizations taking thePledge should give additional thought to in the future.
● Incentives beyond salary
○ We all want money, but news organizations need to be more creative with how to attract candidates beyond more money if that’s not a viable option.
● Development workshops (i.e., Poynter Institute; NABJ; NAHJ, AAJA; AWSM)
● Flex/hybrid schedule (i.e., work remotely when possible)
● Perks from partners (Pass along some of the perks that ad folks get for our content, to the folks who are directly involved in helping package/create/distribute said content)
● Establish Growth Plan
○ Too often, diverse candidates feel they are hired for a very specific job with no real plan beyond that particular role.
● In-house mentoring
○ This is something diverse candidates I spoke with understand isn’t always possible. But it should be something that a prospective employer should give some thought to, particularly if they are bringing in a diverse candidate to a work force that’s significantly lacking in terms of diversity. There are a number of groups (NABJ; NAHJ; AWSM; etc.) that can assist news organizations with this.
APSE Foundation (John Bednarowski)
No official report. But Michael Anastasi is giving a panel on Friday morning and will be available for questions. Gary Potosky will join the board next week.
Tommy Deas: Thai Night committee report.
Membership Committee (Jason Murray)
- Grassroots (Ed Reed). I am taking volunteers to form a working group to discuss what small papers need and want from our organization as members. I’d like to build this advisory committee from small paper members across the country to brainstorm on how best can we serve smaller papers through outreach, the contest, networking, or brainstorming. If we can make the organization more accessible to those who can’t travel or for those who didn’t think we had anything to offer we should see a growth in membership and engagement.
- Newsletter (from Jake Adams): The next newsletter will be a Q&A on surge of anti-trans bills across the country. Moving toward a more Q&A focused newsletter. Needs help doing those interviews. Let Jake or Jason know. Try to get linked to website; about 150 subscribers.
- Regions (Michael Kates): Four regions had meetings already, the rest will meet later. Southeast and West in person, the rest virtual. We are still trying to fill ranks for chairs and vice chairs. There are five openings, but Great Plains has no candidates for two.
Gary’s subsequent comments on Regions: Gary will join Jason and Mike in digging into regions more after his presidency. We are trying to get people more engaged in the regions, not just for leadership. Gary wanted to have at least two candidates for each election, but in most cases only able to recruit one. But we don’t have more time to recruit. We need to get people interested in what we are doing and we are trying to get regions strong again.
Career advancement Committee (Lisa Wilson)
We had Indiana join since winter conferences, so we now have 11. We did a joint resume critique in May. It lasted 2 hours 45 minutes. In August, I will do a schedule for the year. Going to try to do them once a month. Internship one was also popular.
We had 26 applicants for the APSE scholarship, two will go to HBCU students.
Lia Assimakapolos was the student contest winner from 27 applicants.
I will announce a mentorship class at the end of the conference. If you are interested, see me.
Career development session on Saturday will have tables, not panels. Resume critique will be part of that along with interviewing tips and job hunting tables.
Two student chapter representatives in attendance at the meeting, from Northwestern and Alabama.
Commissioners (Hank Winnicki)
First off, I would like to thank the previous chairs – Jeff Rosen and Gary Potosky – for all of their hard work in the past and for helping me get started in this new role.
The Commissioners Meetings returned after a three-year absence on May 10 and 11 in New York City.
Much of the discussion centered on locker room access, a crucial issue facing the industry. It was vital for APSE to re-establish our relationships with these leagues as they deal with media access in the age of COVID.
Among the highlights of the event was the addition of the National Women’s Soccer League and new commissioner Jessica Berman, who discussed the league’s plans for expansion and the importance of better media access.
The plan for next year is to return the meetings to early April, before the NHL and NBA playoffs and the NFL draft. We missed that window this year because of COVID and the baseball lockout, which pushed the meetings into May, a busy time for everyone.
I’m also considering making more additions to next year’s agenda. If anyone has any suggestions on a league and/or commissioner we should consider, please reach out to let me know.
Legal affairs and ethics (Gerry Ahern and John Cherwa)
We met with the Pro Basketball Writers back in March over concerns about continued shrinking/lacking locker room access in the NBA. We stressed that APSE is willing to work with the PBWA (and potentially other groups) to stress to league leadership the importance of maintaining regular pre- and postgame locker room access.
At the Commissioners meeting with Adam Silver and his team, the NBA decided not to change any protocols for the rest of the season, but left open the chance to return to pre-pandemic access for next season. We expect more information later this summer.
In other news, Erik Christianson has left the NCAA for a position with COSida. Erik helped us establish the NCAA Media Advisory Committee about a decade ago to discuss issues of access, championships and protocol for college sports. As of now it’s unclear who will replace Erik at the NCAA and if the committee will continue. I would expect some updates post summer.
Olympics (Roxanna Scott)
From Roxanna, who will be here tomorrow:
In July, the IOC will inform the USOPC (US Olympic and Paralympic Committee) of the number of credentials U.S. media will be allotted for Paris 2024.
Jon Mason, sr. director of communications of the USOPC, will send an advisory out to sports editors in late July/early August informing media of the next steps to apply for credentials.
He expects demand will be high because it’s Paris(!), and the pandemic restrictions that limited access in Tokyo and Beijing will hopefully be a non-factor in 2024.
Our credential committee would likely gather in spring 2023 to go through the process that we skipped for Beijing due to the pandemic. During that meeting, the committee works with the USOPC to decide how many credentials each outlet receives.
The World Press Briefing in Paris is Oct. 18-21 of this year. For those of you who haven’t attended in the past, it includes tours of the venues and presentations on hotels, transportation and the logistics of covering the Games on the ground. You’ll get a good sense of how much it will cost to send a staffer to cover the Games, how far apart the venues are, etc.
For more information on dates and the types of credentials we are eligible to request, check out this link:
Jon is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red Smith (Rachel Crader)
Gary’s remarks: We created new workflows for nominating and voting lists, and voting. However, we are still missing names and correct contact information for significant APSE figures who should be eligible to nominate and vote for the Red Smith and did NOT receive a ballot this year. On behalf of Rachel, and incoming APSE President Jorge Rojas, I am asking everyone to reach out to longtime members who you suspect may have changed their email addresses – the primary method of communicating award details. We had at least one very big miss in this area, and that’s just one we know about. Longtime APSE members deserve to participate in this prestigious award selection process.
Rachel’s remarks: ·
- Leon Carter is of course this year’s deserving winner. Congratulations to him!· The next five in voting who will automatically be on the ballot next year are Bill Plaschke, Tom Boswell, Mark Whicker, Dan Shaughnessy and Bill Lyon
- Information about how to make additional nominations for next year’s award will go out in January, per usual.
- Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations and voted using the new online process. It’s helpful in keeping track of all of the entries and I hope others found it efficient.
- Contact Rachel with any questions: email@example.com
Revenue (Tommy Deas)
Thanks to Glen for reaching out to local organizations. Raised $36,500. In-kind contributions for hosting and meeting space from the Fever, IUPUI, NCAA are above $60,000 in value.
Gold: AP, The Athletic, ESPN
Silver: Indiana Fever, MLB, NCAA
Bronze: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, MLS, USA Today Sports, IUPUI
We do need to start earlier. One ask for Hank is to have commissioners meetings earlier to meet sponsorship deadlines. Some organizations who have been sponsors in the past aren’t back. 50th anniversary is an opportunity.
Thai night committee report: Going to Thai-tanium on Friday at 7:30. Can only accommodate 20 people. First come, first serve. Email Tommy to RSVP by email: TDeas@nashvill.gannett.com.
Website/social (Naila Meyers)
I’ve said this before at these meetings: our website is a mess. It needs to be fixed. It costs a lot of money to fix, so we haven’t fixed it.
Before I hand off the website to Dan Spears, I want to establish a few more pages to make information easier to find. One of those is integrating the newsletter better into the website.
Thank you, Phil Kaplan and Erik Hall, for handling most of the social media. We can discuss whether that system should stay or whether we need to spread out those responsibilities.
Contest (Jorge Rojas)
Three months after the fact, I am happy with how the contest turned out. I’m not sure I got it right (in fact, I’m pretty certain I didn’t) but I do know the officers are confident the judges got it right. That’s a credit to remote and onsite judges’ hard work and dedication, and to their skill in determining the very best entries in what appeared to be a strong field — especially coming out of a two-year pandemic. The results spoke for themselves, with a slew of top honorees. Gary Potosky, Naila-Jean Meyers and Ed Reed were excellent at helping throughout the judging process, assigning, cross-checking, linking and auditing. A big shout-out to Lisa Wilson, who was my secret weapon and instrumental in that meeting room in Orlando, and who did end up rescuing me down the stretch.
I recognize that switching up the Triple Crown/Grand Slam was a curveball, and I’m sorry if some folks feel like they got burned on the Traditional Triple or a Slam, but I and the others who were consulted in the months leading into the contest felt changes were needed as a mid-step toward integrating more digital work into our marquee awards. Were they the right changes? Surely not for some, but we learned from them and moved in the more digital direction we wanted (and served notice of that direction for next year). Naila got a good look at what worked and what didn’t, and I know she’s in a good position to make some necessary tweaks and improvements. I’m totally confident she will succeed and we’ll be in a good place at this time next year. In the meantime, I don’t think you can’t argue with the actual results — just maybe the format, which is an admitted work in progress.
Some thoughts: In hindsight, the new Event Coverage category seemed to be well-received and is a “team award” that could become one of those marquee categories. However, it would have been a REALLY radical move to just immediately implement it as a marquee category and it would have come on short notice. … Likewise, it felt unfair (and late in the year) to pull the rug on daily sections. … A good argument can be made for bringing back Special Sections in the larger categories in some form, but that argument wasn’t being made before the contest — in fact, it was just the opposite. Of 17 people contacted, no one favored keeping special sections in the big categories. They were deemed to be dying, shrinking both in size and in the number being published. But there’s no denying the work that goes into Specials is indeed special. … Overall, I was happy with the writing category of Long Features as a Triple Crown qualifier, based on the quality of work and the “fairness factor.” It can be argued that some publications (with columnists and larger staffs) have would have advantages in Columns, Projects and even Breaking News and Beat Writer. Nevertheless, I think writing categories could be rotated, or one become the Top 10 element to complete the Grand Slam, or they can be eliminated from the marquee entirely.
— Projects were included as the Slam category this year in an effort to both reward high-end work and spark the number of entries, but while the numbers increased a little bit, the category is still relatively weak overall entry-wise and probably was not the right choice. It’s also a bear to judge, and there has been discussion about reducing the number of entries (currently 10, plus supplemental material). The same goes for the number of entries in other categories, such as Beat Writing, Event Coverage and Columns. All suggestions are welcome.
— Possibly the biggest issue, I feel, coming from this year’s contest was the lack of overall entries in the C and D divisions, especially in the section categories. It might have been because of technological challenges in getting them entered, or lacking access to them in a remote environment during a pandemic, or consolidation by news chains, but it’s worth monitoring and working to encourage our small-circulation members to enter more categories and receive more recognition. I felt the A and B division entries were as strong as ever in most categories (though print section entries were fewer and digital entries were about the same), but the smaller-publication entries were soft in several categories. Digital, Daily, Sunday, Special Sections, Columns, Event Coverage and Projects were all lighter than we would have liked. There were some Top 10s left on the table.
— As for the actual judging … Going forward, I think a hybrid model with about 65-70 judges working remotely and 65-70 others onsite would be ideal, but we needed about 15-20 more onsite this time around. Of course, there was a pandemic and lots of life complications this year, but there’s no substitute for having judges in attendance. We all need to work harder to make that happen in order for the winter conference to thrive, and for APSE to maximize its value (which is considerable).
— We are working to expedite the award winners’ certificates and hope to have them mailed out ASAP this summer. Thanks.
Naila’s remarks: I am in the process of collecting feedback from the last contest. If you were judges in certain categories, like event coverage and print, you either have already received an email from me or will soon.The big questions ahead of us will be what to do about the print part of the contest and what the Triple Crown/Grand Slam categories will be. They will not be the same as last year. My goal is to get the new rules and contest changes out much earlier than last year, when they came out late in the year and didn’t give enough time to adjust. So after this conference, I will be digging into the rules and forming a contest committee. If you have any feedback or ideas for the contest, just come talk to me during the conference or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tommy Deas: Gatehouse/Gannett merger caused a problem with getting PDFs for sections
In-person attendance for the winter conference in Orlando was lower than we expected and need it to be going forward. Some ideas to incentivize a boost in attendance included creating an APSE Sports Editors Hall of Fame, separate from the Red Smith Award; have an opening night beyond the reception; move the Berninger Award to winter; have a mentor night for young editors and writers. We are committed to Orlando for the next two Februaries. We need to get people to recognize something of value from this experience.
Barry Bedlan: A lot of the same people come every year. The question is why aren’t other folks coming in. That should be who you target. I suspect that has a lot to do with budget situations.
Mike Kates: Any discussion about cutting down the time commitment?
Gary: Yes, that has been discussed. All feedback will be considered.
Oskar Garcia: Do you have a sense of how the Olympics affected attendance?
Jorge: It affected a handful of people.
Gary: I’d be happy to learn that the Olympics affected it greatly.
Jorge: We could have used six more committees of three.
Several bylaws changes were proposed via email and on the website, but voting by ballot will have to wait until Bill Eichenberger returns. Erik Hall proposed removing the word “new” from Section 3E, paragraph 1. Executive committee members or their representatives present voted in favor of the change 15-0. The proposal will be voted on again at the closing meeting.
E. 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 third vice president will assume office as outlined in the second paragraph of Section 3 (C).
Motion to adjourn: Justin Pelletier
Second: John Bednarowski
Meeting ends at 3:46 p.m.
Gary Potosky, APSE President
Jorge Rojas, APSE First Vice-President
Naila-Jean Meyers, APSE Second Vice-President
Ed Reed, APSE Third Vice-President
Glen Crevier, APSE conference coordinator
Dan Spears, Wilmington StarNews
Lisa Wilson, The Athletic
Malcolm Moran, IUPUI
Jim Pignatiello, MassLive
Erik Hall, USA Today Network
Paul Barrett, Seattle Times
Oscar Dixon, Associated Press
Jason Murray, The Washington Post
Justin Pelletier, News & Observer
John Bednarowski, Marietta Daily Journal
Maxwell Donaldson, University of Alabama
Tommy Deas, USA Today Network South Region
Greg Brownell, Glens Falls Post-Star
Oskar Garcia, The New York TImes
Barry Bedlan, Associated Press
Glenn Yoder, ESPN
Jeffrey Perkins, Patch Media
Maria McElwain, Philadelphia Inquirer/Diversity Fellow
Donn Walden, Lewiston (Idaho) Tribune
Drew Schott, Northwestern student chapter
Anthony Maluso, Baltimore Sun Media Group
Phil Kaplan, USA Today Network South Region
Michael Kates, Gambling.com
Em Poertner, USA Today Network/Diversity Fellow
Matt Stephens, Charlotte Observer
Jake Adams, Louisville Courier Journal