From The Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, Sunday, July 9, 2023
President Jorge Rojas calls the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m. and introduces First Vice-President (and incoming president) Naila Meyers, Second Vice-President Dan Spears, Third Vice-President Ed Reed, Executive Director Bill Eichenberger 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)
- Mike Sherman, The Oklahoman (2014-15)
- Phil Kaplan, Knoxville News-Sentinel (2010-11)
- Jim Jenks, Philadelphia Inquirer (2006-07)
- Glen Crevier, then Star Tribune of Minneapolis (2005-06)
- Bill Eichenberger, Newsday (2003-04)
- John Cherwa, Tribune Co. (2002-03)
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 (Perryn Keys)
Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin. (Kyle Nabors)
Great Plains: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma. (Erik Hall)
Southwest: New Mexico, Texas. (N/A)
Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming. (Paul Barrett)
West: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah. (Chris Boan)
Representing the Associated Press: Barry Bedlan, Oscar Dixon
Finances and budget update (Bill Eichenberger)
We were right on budget for the year and no real surprises.
APSE membership – we have a lot of students, but their money goes straight to their chapter, so we don’t see that. 381 total members; 141 are students. We’ve lost some of our core membership.
Conference update (Glen Crevier)
We have a great week planned and we have 150 total people registered who will be attending at some point on the week. Encouraged by that turnout.
Mob Museum buses are at the East entrance, where the taxi and Uber/Lyft pickup is (and also the “Dog Relief” area). Buses leave at 6 p.m.; we have 2. Please wear your nametags and you will get a wristband when you arrive.
Everything for the next 3 days will be on this floor; Laughlin room is our general session room, meals are in the Mesquite room.
2024 – Winter Feb. 25-29, Doubletree Suites, Lake Buena Vista, FL
2024 – Summer June 20-22, Marriott South Park Hotel, Charlotte, NC
Special thanks to …
Host (Bill Eichenberger)
We wouldn’t have been able to pull this off without a lot of help from Bill Bradley. We’re excited to have everyone here, especially past presidents. They’re excited to come back and I know this is going to be special. Jorge has gone out of his way to bring them in.
Revenue (Tommy Deas)
Since I took on the duty of obtaining sponsorships as revenue officer in 2018, we have raised $294,000 in cash sponsorships and an estimated $78,000 in in-kind sponsorships (like a sponsor putting on a reception for us rather than giving us money to do one) for a total of $372,000 over those five conferences (with the 2020 gathering canceled).
This year, we have raised $58,500 in sponsorships, our highest total by far since COVID hit.
I’d like to recognize and thank our many sponsors for this year’s conference by their level of patronage:
Platinum: MLS, Associated Press, Showtime Boxing
Gold: PBR (Professional Bull Riders), ESPN, The Athletic, NHL
Silver: Temple University, the Philadelphia Inquirer, NASCAR, National Football Foundation
Bronze: MLB, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, APSE Foundation
Thai Night (Tommy Deas)
All are invited to join us for the 10th annual APSE Summer Conference Thai Night on Monday, July 10, at Ocha Thai, located at 1201 South Las Vegas Boulevard, at 8 p.m. This is the same place we went two years ago.
The restaurant is about a half-hour cab, Uber or limo ride away so we need to gather in the motor lobby at 7:15 p.m. to group up for transportation.
Thai Night Committee Chair Tommy Deas needs a head count. If you plan on attending, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Thai Night’ in the subject line.
Looking forward to food and fellowship with everyone.
Diversity (from A. Sherrod Blakely)
Student Chapters – One area to look at expanding our reach externally, and our connectivity as a diverse group internally, involves our APSE Student Chapters. Sherrod Blakely is in the process of creating an APSE Student Chapter at Boston University for the 2023-2024 academic year. It would be fitting for us to look at ramping up this component of our membership at this time considering it was a decade ago, under then-APSE President Tim Stephens (2013-2014), that the APSE Student Chapters as we know them now, came into existence. Sherrod, who can not be here in Las Vegas due to summer school teaching duties at BU, is seeking volunteers to help with this endeavor to not just improve our student chapters nationally but also to ensure that diversity is baked into the process in terms of members and leadership within the student chapters. If interested, email him at email@example.com, or call/text at 248.765.4517.
Diversity Pledge – The Diversity Pledge continues to be an important tool for us in our efforts to create a more diverse workforce at all levels of sports journalism. I am looking for volunteers to be part of a committee to seek ways in which the Diversity Pledge can have a bit more of a tangible, sustainable impact among news organizations. If interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call/text me at 248.765.4517. I have a few other ideas on how to potentially expand our imprint as it relates to the Diversity Pledge, but I would love to kick those ideas around with a few other folks whose thoughts, ideas, questions, etc., will add tremendous value. I am looking to establish monthly Zoom calls in August.
NABJ is Aug. 2-6 in Birmingham with walk-up registration allowed, but hotels are full.
NLGJA Sept. 6-9 in Philadelphia. Had their highest-attended conference ever in 2022.
AAJA is NEXT WEEK in Washington, DC. Naila will be attending Sports Task Force events.
NAHJ is THIS WEEK in Miami.
TIDES report (Jorge Rojas)
We ran into a delay, but sports editors will soon be receiving the survey for the APSE Report Card on Racial and Gender Hiring, which is published by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. In 2018, about 75 organizations filled out the survey. In 2021, more than 100 responded. Let’s please keep the momentum going. The results are expected to be released later this year.
Please don’t be discouraged if you are not where you would like to be regarding your diversity numbers. Only positive outcomes will be highlighted in the report and no one will be singled out for negatives. Obviously, it has been a challenging two years since the last report, and it is of great importance that we get a handle on where we stand on our racial and gender hiring practices.
In 2021, APSE received an overall grade of C, a racial hiring grade of B+ and a gender hiring grade of F.
APSE Foundation (Lisa Wilson)
Class XI of the APSE Diversity in Leadership Fellowship program is graduating at the end of the summer conference. We have six Fellows in our 11th class, and the total number of Fellows who will have successfully gone through the program will be 54.
The APSE Foundation, which is legally distinct from APSE, has its own board of directors. Its primary mission is to support the Diversity Fellowship program. Michael Anastasi is president and works closely with outgoing APSE president Jorge Rojas, who also has been involved since the fellowship’s inception.
Don Shelton is stepping back as executive director this summer due to his teaching responsibilities but will remain a member of the board. Lisa Wilson will be the new executive director. Two members of the Board, Graham Watson-Ringo and Larry Graham, resigned this year due to other professional commitments. They have been replaced by Gary Estwick and Erik Hall.
Jenni Carlson, a graduate, continues to serve on the board as secretary and is joined by board member Gary Potosky. Jorge Rojas will join the board as his APSE term ends. Tommy Deas works with the board in an advisory, nonvoting capacity.
Fellows from Class XI attended judging and received other assignments (such as newsletter), and are in Las Vegas in July for their crowning moment. The graduating class:
- Patrick Bernadeau, Pensacola News Journal
- Meredith Perri, MassLive / The Republican
- Zach Powell, Lock Haven Express
- Damon Sayles, The Athletic
- Alex Vejar, Salt Lake Tribune
- Kelly Ward, Seattle Times
Class XII will be chosen in September 2023.
Donn Walden Leadership Grant
Jorge Rojas introduces the first Donn Walden Leadership Grant recipient: Lee Horton of the Lewiston (Maine) Sun Journal: “We’re happy to have you, and it’s fitting that you are from a Lewiston, just like Donn.”
Membership (Jason Murray)
As hopefully everyone saw, Jake Adams was able to restart the newsletter last week with the help of Diversity Fellow Damon Sayles, who wrote up a nice Q&A with Erik Hall. The newsletter also featured five things to do in Vegas. The plan is to alter the schedule from monthly to maybe every 2-3 months. Many thanks to Jake and Jorge for getting that back on the road. If you aren’t on the distribution list and would like to be added, just hit up Jake or myself and we can make sure that gets taken care of.
One other item we’re going to try and discuss at the conference is something Naila brought: a welcome pack for new members. It was a great idea Jake had a couple of years ago that we weren’t able to get off the ground. I’m hoping to sit down with Naila, Jake and Lisa this week and see if we can hammer out some details. Anyone else is welcome to participate.
Also, the APSE Google calendar exists. It has what I know in there, but if you’d like to include events or just have yourself added to the calendar, let me know. Would also love a way to include the calendar on the website if possible.
Regions (Michael Kates, Gary Potosky)
The upcoming regions proposal is under new business.
Career Advancement (Lisa Wilson)
Mentorship: Six mentorship pairings were announced at the winter conference in February. Two additional pairings have been added since then to bring the 2023 class to eight:
— Mentor: Paul Barrett (Seattle Times). Mentee: Maxwell Donaldson (Alabama).
— Mentor: Jason Murray (Washington Post). Mentee: Wilton Jackson (Sports Illustrated).
— Mentor: Tyler Batiste (The Athletic). Mentee: Myer Turner (CT Insider).
— Mentor: Roxanna Scott (USA TODAY). Mentee: Alexis Cubit (Louisville Courier-Journal)
— Mentor: Tyler Batiste (The Athletic). Mentee: Myer Turner (St. Augustine Record)
— Mentor: Naila-Jean Meyers (Star Tribune). Mentee: Michael Niziolek (Cleveland.com)
— Mentor: Jim Pignatiello (MassLive/The Republican). Mentee: Nick Kelly (Tuscaloosa News)
— Mentor: John Murphy (Century Newspapers). Mentee: Jeff Perkins (San Antonio Express-News)
If anybody is interested in being paired with a mentor, or if you want to be a mentor, please email email@example.com
Student chapters: I’ll reach out to our current chapters in August to see which ones are returning and get a roster of their membership. The best way for members to help with student chapters is to recruit them, and that includes individual student members who can join for $25, find out what we have to offer and hopefully start chapters at their schools.
We had Q&As with Kalyn Kahler of The Athletic and Tyler Dunne of GoLong.com during the spring semester and I’ll work with incoming president Naila Meyers to program the coming year.
Tuesday’s session will need plenty of editors, I’ll likely ask you to help somewhere. We’ll also have a Q&A with Claire Smith by Leon Carter about her career path. End of session is the resume and other critiques. Reach out to me and let me know if you have anything.
Jorge – We have an application from Ohio State already and leads on about eight others.
Scholarships (Phil Kaplan)
The winners of the APSE student scholarship have been determined and we’re in the process of contacting them. Thanks to the committee for their work in determining the winners: Naila Meyers, Lisa Wilson, John Devine, Perryn Keys, Julie Jag, Jane Havsy, and Emily Horos.
Four are from traditional colleges and two from HBCUs. Each winner receives $1,250 and a yearly individual membership to APSE.
We’ll have a story soon on the website.
Commissioners (from Hank Winnicki)
We had a strong turnout for this April’s Commissioners Meetings with 26 editors from 16 different outlets attending some or all of the sessions. This was an encouraging showing and I want to thank everyone who was able to make the trip. I heard back from several of the leagues that it was good to see so many editors in attendance.
I am trying to add new leagues to the agenda and am open to any suggestions on that front.
Looking ahead, the plan is to again have the meetings in April, ideally before the NBA and NHL playoffs start. One thought would be to have the meetings around the WNBA draft, if the draft is again on a Monday evening in April in New York City. With so many big names in next year’s draft, it might be fun to attend as a group. More on that as it develops and I look forward to seeing another robust crowd for next year’s meetings.
Jorge – Congrats to Gary and Hank for reviving this after two years off from the pandemic. It was a great time and we had some important conversations, including with the NBA and WNBA.
Legal affairs and ethics (from Gerry Ahern and John Cherwa)
In a preemptive move ahead of the season, APSE, the Pro Basketball Writers and AWSM met with league and team officials to discuss locker room access. There had been reports of restrictions being considered by the commissioner.
After discussion, the NBA agreed to maintain pre-pandemic access standards. APSE supported a tiered system where working media covering the teams on a daily basis received the highest status and access.
It was a great example of getting ahead of an issue before it became a problem. PBWA then-president Josh Robbins deserves credit for his diligence.
The league closed locker rooms, citing limited media coverage as a key reason, but promises to make any player available upon request.
Members of APSE and AWSM met with league officials during our Commissioners Meetings in New York and voiced our displeasure, saying the move was counterintuitive and a disappointment, especially to women journalists who have fought for locker-room access, and a setback for Title IX as well. We asked for better communication in the future. The league said it would keep an open mind, and on the bright side, NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated that the NBA has every intention of keeping locker-room access open.
In March, APSE, the US Basketball Writers and AWSM joined forces in protest of the poor seating afforded to the media for the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament in Kansas City.
Media were placed at the top of the arena, in the hockey press box, unable to see the action on the court with horrible elevator access to the players and coaches postgame.
Conference commissioner Brett Yormark was dismissive of the concerns, so we drafted a letter to protest the substandard access. Special thanks to USBWA President Luke DeCock, USBWA executive director Malcolm Moran and AWSM president Iliana Limon Romero for collaborating on the response.
The media groups are planning to meet with Big 12 officials to discuss how we can improve the situation in the future. At the tournament, many lower-deck seats remained vacant.
In other items: The Big Ten kept locker rooms closed for its tournaments, citing a medical decision, but vowed to return to open locker rooms next year. The Pac-12 planned to close locker-room access for its men’s conference tournament but reconsidered after objections by USBWA, supported by APSE.
The California Horse Racing Board on Aug. 8 announced that media covering racing in the state would need to pay for and be licensed by the group to access stable areas at tracks.
APSE, led by John Cherwa, and the National Association of Turf Writers and Broadcasters immediately protested the move and drafted letters in opposition to the policy.
Two days later, the CHRB reversed its licensing policy.
James Crepea – Thanks to you directly Jorge for your efforts in the Pac-12 and Luke DeCock. Men’s locker room did get done, but the women’s tournament locker rooms were not open because it was only 2 days away. I don’t think it’s alone. Women’s basketball is as popular as it’s ever been and we (APSE, USBWA) need to be ahead of this. Let’s look at addressing this early in the season vs. the end.
Erik – Have we talked with MLS about their locker-room access? We get a couple of players, but not the whole locker room. Naila – That’s a soccer thing, yeah? Jane Havsy – But they had open locker rooms all the way until the pandemic. Jorge – That’s a good conversation for us to have; Dan and Lauren will be in attendance this week.
Olympics (Roxanna Scott)
It’s time to apply for your hotel room if you are going to Paris. If you did not get what you wanted in credentials, you might want to check back after there were returns.
Red Smith (from Rachel Crader)
Congratulations to Claire Smith for being this year’s recipient. It was great to have a strong field to choose from this year and an increase in voting. Sixty-six people voted this year compared to 55 last year.
After Claire, the top vote-getters were Bill Plaschke, Tom Boswell, Mark Whicker, Garry D. Howard and Bill Lyon. They will all be on the ballot next year. Anyone else will have to be nominated again when we start the process in February.
If someone believes they should be a voter but didn’t receive communication this year, please send APSE officers or me (firstname.lastname@example.org) the information, and I’ll update our database.
Website/social (Dan Spears)
Since we transitioned the website from GoDaddy to Pressable at the end of 2022, we’ve had far fewer breakdowns, although there’s a ghost in the machine that likes to change the site to mobile mode on your desktop. A massive amount of thanks to Andy Rhinehart of PolkSports.com for being our guide through that transition and continuing to be only an email away with any questions.
Phil and Erik, per usual, are the gold standard when it comes to getting items onto our Facebook and Twitter accounts, although who knows what that world will look like by the time we have our next conference in February.
Phil – Are we going to Threads? Do we even have an IG account? Dan – Good question. Let’s find out.
Contest (Naila-Jean Meyers/Dan Spears)
Naila: We had 147 news organizations enter this year’s contest: 36 in A, 33 in B, 30 in C and 48 in D. We gained a handful of new and long-absent members around contest deadline time, but we also had a few longtime entrants decide not to pay dues and enter this year.
We made some significant changes to the contest: we moved to a print portfolio rather than separate Daily and Sunday entries and 78 portfolios were entered; Special Sections came back for A/B after a one-year absence (We thought that would be a combined category, but we got so many entries – 38 – that we had to separate A and B); we experimented with video coming back as a part of the digital contest.
We had six Grand Slam winners and nine Triple Crown winners this year, with all four divisions being represented. And many of those editors or other representatives of those organizations are here this week. It’s likely that the chosen Grand Slam categories (Print Portfolio, Digital, Event Coverage and Projects) and the stipulation that a top 10 in ANY three led to so many top honors going out, but I don’t mind celebrating 15 news organizations this weekend.
Attendance at in-person judging was low. We had 41 in-person judges and 130 remote judges, including several first-time judges. We haven’t returned to pre-pandemic numbers for in-person judging, and I completely understand the financial and scheduling difficulties in getting away for two conferences a year. And it would be unrealistic to expect a return to pre-pandemic levels. But a larger group of in-person judges would help get results out more quickly. Remote judging took quite a long time. I was very lenient with remote judges, and that delayed the announcement of results (along with a few other life events).
If we don’t get more in-person judges, we need to continue to evolve remote judging to be more manageable. One way would be to adjust the contest to reduce judging workload. Or, and here’s a thought, have a hybrid judging system where nearly all of the judges are remote, and we ask for people’s time for judging, but don’t make them spend the money to travel somewhere.
I also wanted to shine a bigger spotlight on the contest winners at the conference this year. Wednesday’s events are largely focused on contest winners and I am happy with how many will be here for that.
I’ve given a lot of tips to Dan. I hope you will not be shy about sharing your thoughts as judges and entries as well. Over to Dan!
James – We have members who have not been judges, what are we doing to them?
Dan – it’s not a requirement to be a judge if you are a member; but we have some members who offers some of their writers to help.
Naila – We asked winners from a year ago to help us out and that got us some new people.
Student contest (from Iliana Limon Romero)
This year, we had 31 students enter the contest. The winner will be revealed during the awards banquet on Wednesday and hails from a different university than our previous winners.
It was challenging wrangling judges for this contest, giving me deeper appreciation for the work Erik has done in the past leading this effort. I’d like to ask whether the Diversity Fellows could participate in judging moving forward to facilitate turning around results more quickly.
If anyone wants to volunteer to judge next year’s contest, please email me or find me here at the convention. I am making an early list of volunteers. Contest judging starts in April and should run four to six weeks, giving ample time to review entries while working around your schedule.
I deeply appreciate ongoing efforts from everyone encouraging more students to enter the contest each year. It’s working.
Finally, when you see the top 10, please consider reaching out to the students on the list. It would mean the world to them, would show students getting a chance to communicate with sports editors is a benefit of entering this contest and will expose you to some outstanding student journalists.
Lisa – The Foundation thinks it would be great for the Diversity Fellows to help out with this.
Congratulations to Paul Barrett for becoming our new second vice president!
Thanks to everyone for your attendance – this is outstanding. It’s great to see such a big turnout.
Regions proposal (Michael Kates, Gary Potosky)
The Regions committee has proposed the consolidation of APSE’s regions, from eight to four regions.
There are many reasons for the proposal, but foremost among them are inactivity, greater ease of communication, travel constraints and changing priorities.
Proposal for needed changes to APSE Regions
In an effort to streamline regions, we propose reducing the number of regions from eight to four.
Currently, APSE has 8 Regions:
- Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.
- Atlantic Coast: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, West Virginia.
- Southeast: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee
- Great Lakes: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
- Great Plains: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma.
- Southwest: New Mexico, Texas.
- Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming.
- West: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah.
- **Canada: All provinces, and any other regions the Executive Committee may choose to include.
Proposal for 4 Regions
- Northeast (12 +D.C.): Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia.
- Southeast (12): Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia.
- Midwest (13): Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
- West (13): Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.
- ** It is at the discretion of the executive committee to add members outside the United States as part of a separate (fifth) region, or to include them with one of the four regions.
How the region year would operate
- Chairman of the Membership Committee (currently Jason Murray) or a member of that committee designated by the chair will operate a calendar that tracks Region, Commissioner and Student meetings. This is already currently in place.
- Meetings structure: The requirement for Region meetings will be once per year
- Region Chair will organize and build panels for Region meetings, with assistance from Vice Chair, as well as Regions Committee and Membership Committee leadership as needed.
- Although in-person, or hybrid (in-person with Zoom access for other members) are fine, we realistically expect virtual to be the rule and fully acceptable to APSE.
- Advance information for Region meetings will be posted on the APSE website and in the newsletter, shared via APSE’s branded social media accounts, and distributed via email to all Region members.
- A Region meeting should consist of:
- at least 2 panels/sessions
- Virtual meetings can take place over multiple days in order to lessen the burdens of members to take time off from work that they cannot negotiate with their supervisors. For example, session 1 can be Monday from 9 to 10:30 am, session 2 can then be Thursday from 2 to 3:30 pm. Or both sessions can be on the same day. Whatever works best for the members.
- Career development panel/session where young or rising journalists can trade ideas on advancement, state of the industry, and how they can help each other. The Vice Chair should play a leading role, and the Career Advancement Committee chair can help with this.
- A summary of the meeting will be written by Region leadership and shared with national officers, who will distribute through digital and social channels to all members.
- Membership lists: APSE will create a master list of members, with Region subsets, then add to that list notable newspapers not currently included. Region chairs and vice chairs will work with the Regions committee leadership (Michael Kates, Jason Murray and Gary Potosky) to reach out to non-members and former members to get them involved. So there will be a national list, and four Region lists.
- Region leadership: Each Region would have a Chair and a Vice Chair, and elections will function the same as the current format – two-year terms, ascension from Vice Chair to Chair.
- Elections for this new 4-Region model will take place after this model is adopted.
- The existing terms of Chairs and Vice Chairs in the 8-Region model will end on the same day
- Role of Region chair: Works directly with the Membership Committee chair on ..
- Building membership lists (also working with Regions committee chairs)
- Creating and running Region meetings
- Communicating regularly with universities and student chapters in the region
- Recruiting and enlisting new student chapters
- Keeping Membership Committee chair updated on meeting schedules
- Reporting summaries of Region meetings to national officers
- Role of Vice Chair: Works with Region chair on …
- Building member lists via direct outreach to members and non-members to encourage involvement
- Attending and assisting in the running of Region meetings
- Communicating regularly with universities and student chapters in the region
- Recruiting and enlisting new student chapters
- Leading sessions with young or rising journalists during Region meetings
- Preparing to ascend to Region chair
- Elections for this new 4-Region model will take place after this model is adopted.
Tommy Deas – We have simply had bad regional leadership that won’t set up the meetings, and now you’re asking fewer people to take on more responsibility. I don’t think the problem is that we’re asking too much.
Erik Hall – Should Missouri be in the Midwest instead of the Southeast? It aligns better with that group
Matt Pepin – Not much enthusiasm for regions, do we need them? Is force feeding meetings worth it?
Jorge – Chair and vice chairs are very important breeding ground for leadership in our organization. Don’t apply if you’re not going to be a leader. The job market is tough, keeping job priority, lot of demand. Web of national regions may not be the way we want to be going. This is playing if halfway. We need up and coming leaders to be chairs and vice chairs.
Jane Havsy – If you’re we’re trying to go to virtual meetings, why can’t we do that for everyone? Why not allow that? (You’re allowed to do that. Jane: Yeah, but people asked me ‘Why are you here?”)
Bill Bradley – Taking steps here, 8 to 4 big, why not on a trial basis? Schedule for a time period, do an evaluation. If it works, keep it, if not adjust. Give it 9 months to a year.
Gary Potosky – It is real complicated and all related to all the issues we’ve been discussing. Jason Murray, Michael Kates and I tried but people leave, don’t have time. Only one election in Northeast. We did not have 8 region meetings in the past year, only 5 or 6.
We don’t have the enthusiasm for 8 regions, related to membership level. More people don’t interact in person and are not connected to us at all. Finding people to jump into leadership more of a challenge. I don’t think 8 is realistic based on responses we were getting.
I agree region leadership is a funnel for future leadership as we look for the next generation with student chapters and diversity fellows and young members. Finding younger leaders is important and regions a good way because not a heavy lift.
We can’t find 2 people to run [against each other] for region leadership positions.
Emily Horos – I’ve been in region leadership in 9 of last 11 years. When I move to a new region I get a call, “Can you fill this spot.” I’ve gone from vice to chair in 3 months and as soon as I left on region I’ve been asked to be in another. I’ve been in one election. All others have been please do this. And the one time I was elected it was the Southeast. Everyone else, it’s been please do this. Better to have 4 strong leaders instead of 8 dragged along or just here.
Chris Boan – Speaking to people how disenchanted they are with APSE, it means less to them. I think there’s a disconnect people between 22 and 35. Maybe it was the pandemic but regions don’t mean much to younger people. I love APSE, been here 6 years but I can’t boil that down to someone. They ask what am I getting and it’s difficult. We have to find a way to bring back the original purpose. Not the end of the world going to 4.
Jorge – Chris, you’re the example I’m trying to show, about being here, getting into better jobs, coming at their own expense, showing commitment to how much they care. How do you tell people about this? Use yourself as an example.
Oskar Garcia – Whether 4 or 8, fewer, stronger leaders are better. Need a proposal to leaders what they are going to get out of it. You’re asking people who are already leaders in newsroom and navigate careers. You need to give them something intangible that will be a benefit to me and an immediate benefit out of this. People don’t all love this organization like some others do.
Matt Pepin – If 4 is better than 8 all of that, but what’s the real emphasis, what are we trying to do. Maybe get rid regional meetings.
Jorge – Naila mentioned, really 8 leaders instead of 16.
James – We know this is broken, batting at it for a decade. Something has to happen. Was the emphasis to balance regions on numbers? Bigger question is that a priority? What is the split of out 237 members? I don’t care about state split but members.
Bill Speros – This organization was founded 50 years ago, we’re trying to shoehorn everything into a 1973 shoebox. Instead of looking geographically, divide alphabetically. Develop leaders and oversee group of papers. All 4 leaders could be in Southeast. We all work remotely location doesn’t matter anymore.
Tommy – Wanted to ask Gary, what kind of answers people have when say not possible to put together a meeting? Why can’t someone say Big Ten is in Indy and get 5 people together. Isn’t that a meeting?
Gary – To James’ point, division of state is just a way to divide Regions. That wasn’t the point, where does Virginia or Missoiuri go? There’s an active region in the Southeast and don’t want to break that up to integrate into inactivity in other regions. I like that we need to emphasize what are you getting, I like that — the value of APSE beyond the contest. Tommy, we don’t have enough people to share the enthusiasm. They accept the position but too buried. We had a chair whose job got too bad and he was looking for another job, working nights and weekends, the last thing he was thinking about was the region. He was someone we would consider a really good member but we are all volunteers. Need to interplay with student chapters, rising people in the business, diversity fellows, social media, all of these things together. Reboot and re-explain it and communicate it. We haven’t been good at that and region get worse every year. What we are voting on is 8 to 4 regions and I’m open to how it operates and who does what.
Jorge – Times are changing. Winter judging, haven’t talked conferences, the future of in-person winter judging could be decided by Naila and Dan. Talked about smaller segment of people who can go. Why can’t have region meeting as part of judging.
Erik Hall – I dont think regions have been around that long. 20 to 25 years. Started as drive-up workshops. It’s not like they have been around for history of organization.
Bill Bradley – Been region chair 4 times. Southwest Region is hard. Tough as hell and that was in 2010, it was hard to find people. And the distance is too great for many people to go for meetings.
Jorge – Southeast stays strong but others fluctuate. Can we do a little side thing where we gat get 5-10-15 people in one place? Need to be there already. Can’t pay for Summer Conference and Winter Judging and add a region meeting on top. Times are changing and need to understand that.
James Crepea – What’s the political fallout of this with less members of the Executive Committee?
Phil Kaplan – Would region chairs still be allowed to run for second VP automatically at the edn of their term?
Tommy – Is there a calendar date for them, we don’t want to change all 4 at once.
Jorge – Yes region chairs would still be eligible; 2 chairs would rotate out each year (half, similar to our current setup)
Greg Brownell – Loss of 4 region chairs not on executive committee is significant. They represent dues-paying members. Past Presidents vote as well as chairs. Maybe add 2-4 at-large officers that represent the membership generally and help with convention planning, the internet. The national and appointed officers do a lot of work. Having extra officers get more people involved. And allow more people to get involved (including the ultra-participatory Southeast).
James – Past presidents would outweigh everyone else with the new setup. New region chair vote isn’t one but 2 or 3 to even off past presidents. Current executive committee and region chair votes count 3 and past presidents 1.
Jorge – Don’t think decision on region leadership requires a by-law change.
Executive committee vote today and have a membership vote again Wednesday.
Executive committee votes: Those for 19, opposed 0.
Dues survey (Naila / the officers)
It was just two years ago that Gary Potosky revamped our dues rates to better reflect the state of our industry, and based on how things broke down in contest divisions and conference payments, it seems we may need to make another adjustment. A survey has gone out to membership, which deals with, among other things, how we want to calculate dues and the metrics we use to set our tiers of membership. I expect any changes to the dues structure would be the first thing I do as president since we have a membership drive coming in the fall. I’d like everyone here to fill out that survey, but if there is feedback on this now, I’m listening. We can revisit at the closing meeting too.
Bylaws (Jorge Rojas)
I’d like to propose changing the “unemployment” bylaw to extend the time that an officer, region chair or committee chair can stay in their roles, pending Executive Committee vote, from six months to eight months. Jobs take time to fill and people are often in an arguably better position to carry out their responsibilities. It would still require an executive committee vote. I have seen good APSE leaders, most recently Steve Hemphill, who ran out of time, and see several solid APSE contributors who are currently free agents. I’d like to ease the pressure a little.
Under 3. OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, in bylaw G, Paragraphs 1 and 2, it reads:
G. Any officer, region chair or committee chair who involuntarily loses their full-time job may ask the Executive Committee for permission to continue in their role for up to six (6) months. A two-thirds majority of those voting shall decide the issue. The officer, region chair or committee chair in question will be ineligible to vote.
If said officer, region chair or committee chair is allowed to continue in their role by the Executive Committee, he or she may not work for an employer outside the scope of APSE membership under 2 (A) of these bylaws during the six-month period. If said officer, region chair or committee chair is not employed within the scope of APSE membership under 2 (A) of these bylaws by the end of the six-month period (said period to have started on the day the person became unemployed), that person’s position shall be considered vacant.
If the APSE president is the officer in question, the first vice president will assume the powers of the president for the purposes of conducting such a vote.
The new proposal would change paragraphs 1 and 2 to read:
G. Any officer, region chair or committee chair who involuntarily loses their full-time job may ask the Executive Committee for permission to continue in their role for up to eight (8) months. A two-thirds majority of those voting shall decide the issue. The officer, region chair or committee chair in question will be ineligible to vote.
If said officer, region chair or committee chair is allowed to continue in their role by the Executive Committee, he or she may not work for an employer outside the scope of APSE membership under 2 (A) of these bylaws during the eight-month period. If said officer, region chair or committee chair is not employed within the scope of APSE membership under 2 (A) of these bylaws by the end of the eight-month period (said period to have started on the day the person became unemployed), that person’s position shall be considered vacant.
If the APSE president is the officer in question, the first vice president will assume the powers of the president for the purposes of conducting such a vote.
Executive Committee vote on by-law change: 15 yes, 0 opposed. Four members left before the vote.
Naila: We tweaked these membership bylaws recently, but we need to go over them again to make sure we don’t need to adjust them in a way that is flexible with the direction the industry is moving so we don’t have to keep monitoring, say, the frequency of publication for various print organizations.
We have admitted three Substacks in the past year with little to no guidance on how to handle them in the bylaws. First, we need to decide whether section A2 under Membership applies to Substacks (“Sports websites”) or whether we need to specifically carve out something in the bylaws for newsletters in Section B instead. Article 2 (Membership), Section A, reads: The following are eligible to become member organizations, regardless of whether an organization is a member of The Associated Press … 2. Sports websites that apply generally accepted newsgathering practices, as defined by the executive committee, and are not operated by professional or amateur sports organizations.
There are also some things in Section B, which applies to “individual members,” that feel outdated. Part 6 seems to apply to Sports Illustrated and other magazines of the past and it may not even apply to SI anymore: Writers and editors employed by national sports publications that publish in print on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, or publish daily or regularly within a week on an affiliated website.
Part 7 of Section B also feels limiting to me. To be a member organization (Section A Part 1) you must be a newspaper that prints “no fewer than three days a week, and their associated websites,” but writers and editors “who work for newspapers that publish any number of times a week” (so, fewer than three days a week, but with no mention about affiliated websites that publish more regularly) can only be “individual members.”
I am not proposing a specific change yet, but I want to talk about what the point of these particular bylaws are in 2023. They seem to limit “full” membership at a time when we need to bolster our ranks. The application on our website does not ask for frequency of print publication, which seems to affect the TYPE of membership you can have in this organization. Are we in actuality dividing our members this way, or are editors on their honor when they sign up? The “Join APSE” page notes that “weekly newspapers” pay a D rate, but the bylaws only allow “weekly newspapers” to be “individual members.”
Motion to adjourn: Barry Bedlan
Second: Jim Pignatiello
Meeting ends at 5:16 p.m.
Jorge Rojas, Outgoing president
Naila Meyers, First Vice President and Incoming president
Dan Spears, Second Vice President
Ed Reed, Third Vice President
Bill Eichenberger, Executive Director
Glen Crevier, Conference Coordinator
Josh Barnett, The Buffalo News
Oscar Dixon, Associated Press
Barry Bedlan, Associated Press
Justin Pelletier, The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Greg Brownell, The Post-Star
Phil Marwell, National Football Foundation
Christopher Boan, Gambling.com Group
James Crepea, The Oregonian
Emily Horos, The Arizona Republic
Lauren Jennings, USA TODAY Network Center for Community Journalism, Visalia California
Michael Phillips, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Mike Szvetitz, Frontpage Bets
Erik Hall, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Bill Speros, Gambling.com Group
Matt Pepin, The Boston Globe
Paul Barrett, The Seattle Times
Kyle Nabors, Northwest Herald
Jane Allison Havsy, Daily Record
Jason Murray, Washington Post
Bill Bradley, APSE
John Riker, Northwestern University
Zach Cavanagh, Picket Fence Media
Roxanna Scott, USA TODAY
Tanya Ramirez, The Advocate / Times-Picayune
Perryn Keys, The Advocate / Times-Picayune
Oskar Garcia, The New York Times