Newspaper Fly-In Fall 2019

When: September 26 – 27, 2019

Where: 
Las Vegas Review-Journal 

1111 West Bonanza Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 

The MFM Newspaper Committee will again be hosting their Fall Fly-In Event in September. This year it will take place in sunny Las Vegas. The event will begin with a dinner on Thursday night, September 26, for those that can make it. Friday, September 27 will feature a full day of roundtable style discussion of items that are relevant to our newspaper members. We will also include some guest speakers for part of the session.

The event will be hosted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and is free for all MFM members. For non-members the cost to attend is just $250 and includes a one-year trial MFM membership.

If you are interested in attending this event please register by clicking here.  Please feel free to contact Newspaper Committee Co-chairs Mike Lavey ([email protected]) or Steve Hall ([email protected]) for additional information.

Agenda (subject to change without notice) 
[printable agenda]

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

8:00pm                 
Group Dinner for those that are available
Top of the World Restaurant (http://www.topoftheworldlv.com/),

2000 Las Vegas Blvd South – in the Stratosphere Hotel. 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

8:30am – 9:00am
Set-up and Light Breakfast Served 

9:00am – 11:00am
Introductions & Revenue Discussion

REVENUE TOPIC DISCUSSIONS:

  • Managing new revenue initiatives (Programmatic, Video, Premium products, etc.)
  • Digital subscription strategies, conversion funnel (e-newsletters, website, Facebook, mobile, etc.)
  • What are currently the best 1-2 funnels for attracting new digital subs?
  • Digital Circ – is anyone actively trying to convert print subscribers to digital only subscribers, or only upon print sub termination?
  • Ideas for converting "incognito" browsers to paid subscribers without completely blocking access to the website.
  • How much "free" content should you put in front of the wall in order to convert the "fly-by" readers into paid subs?
  • Events – strategies, profitability, operational efficiencies
  • Other non-traditional revenue ideas
  • Reducing frequency of publications – feedback from any that have done it, impact on revenue, both circ and adv
  • Premium products – lessons learned, what types work well, magazines, calendars, puzzles, etc. Built into rates or charged separately? Frequency of premiums.
  • How are sites organizing sales teams to go to market for digital ad revenue?
  • What is the ideal percentage of digital subs vs. print subs that is being targeted by the Circulation teams?
  • Any success stories on converting free weekly products to paid? Converting once per week products to monthly
  • Does anyone offer “premium” digital subscriptions, no ads, just sports, etc?
  • Anyone currently charging or thinking about charging for ad production, i.e. non-camera-ready ads incurring an upcharge?
  • Utilizing unoccupied space for small business workstations? Making IT virtual storage space available to outside parties?
  • Mather/Circ pricing in the current environment. How high can we go? Have we hit the ceiling?

11:00am – 11:15am
Break

11:15am – 12:00pm

Guest speakers from the Las Vegas Review-Journal

  • Publisher & Editor Keith Moyer and Executive Editor Glenn Cook discussing coverage of October 1st tragedy and other news related items
12:00pm – 12:45pm     

Lunch

12:45pm – 1:45pm
Discuss Miscellaneous Topics

REPORTING:

  • KPI’s – daily/weekly/monthly metrics that are most beneficial.  Anything in particular on digital?
  • KPI’s – outward facing metrics (# of digital subs, digital revenue, DSO, etc.) as well as internal finance metrics (# of JE’s processed, A/P transaction metrics, etc.)
  • Budgeting – timing / changes in process / thoughts around 2020 / recession planning?
  • Predictive analytics – anyone using systems like: Sisense, SAS Analytics, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Crystal Ball, etc.
SYSTEMS/TECHNOLOGY:
  • ASC 842 (lease) implementation. What systems are being used? What challenges experienced? Best practices tips?
  • GL/AP systems – which ones do folks like for transactions, financial reporting, budgeting/forecasting
  • Systems – NewsCycle (Naviga), new advertising/digital billing system
  • Robotics opportunity
  • Cybersecurity
  • Impact of new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and state rules. Does it apply to your company? If so, how are you implementing?
OTHER:
  • Employee morale – promoting a culture of optimism while navigating through industry challenges. Other ways to keep morale up: cross-training, mentorships, reviews, team building, etc. Work from home options?
  • Recruiting new employees – outlets used, any special incentives offered
  • Trends in health care coverage / any different benefits being offered
  • Auditor issues: proof of printing, delivery, preprints, etc.
1:45pm – 2:00pm

Break

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Final Discussion Topics

EXPENSES:
  • Managing real estate (Property tax opportunities, monetization opportunities, i.e. sales/leaseback, etc.)
  • Credit cards / PCards
  • Newsprint expense savings – coping with changes and pricing in 2020. Newsprint vendor consolidation.
  • Managing shared services
  • Expense savings – what ideas are out there?
  • Circulation/distribution expense strategies. How to optimize routes. Profitability by zip.
  • Eliminating products completely due to lack of inserts?
  • Bad Debt reserves / collections activities in general – any changes in trends with write-offs?
  • Carrier comp/keeping routes filled as minimum wages continue to rise and economy remains at or near full-employment
  • Daily frequency reduction, content/section eliminations
  • Any unforeseen pitfalls with centralizing copy desk or other functions?
  • Sales compensation
  • Managing change
3:00pm
Meeting adjourns for those that have flights. You are welcome to stay and continue discussions after 3:00 if there are still topics to be discussed.