The ROUNDTABLE uniquely combines case studies, education, experience and research in tackling a diverse range of issues related to the media business model and industry transformation. This event puts an unparalleled emphasis on interaction. Unlike the traditional conference setting, The ROUNDTABLE is a series of discussions led by faculty members that have “been there, done that.” They will share their business challenges, their approaches to resolving those challenges, and the results they have achieved – followed by a conversation about whether or not it makes business sense for the rest of the folks in the room.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21
8:00: Optional Networking Activities (golf, hiking)
3:30: The ROUNDTABLE Case Study/Part I: The Reinvention of Kodak – The CEO Perspective
Dr. Paul Wang from Northwestern University and the Medill School of Journalism will lead participants in a discussion of a brand to which most publishers can readily relate. Kodak’s traditional businesses, like those of most local media companies, were severely “disintermediated” by digital transformation. Upon re-emergence from bankruptcy in 2014, new CEO Jeff Clarke was charged with reinventing an iconic brand that was but a shell of its former self.
Kodak’s decline from its peak market value of $30 billion in 1997 to Chapter 11 in 2011 spawned a redefinition of the “Kodak moment.” An expression that had been emblematic of the company’s market dominance for decades was now a catchphrase for describing how firms should NOT respond to technological change.
Part I of The ROUNDTABLE Case Study looks at the strategic challenges facing the CEO as he led the restructuring efforts and the introduction of new digital products. In Part II (Thursday morning), we’ll examine the perspective of marketing team and its mandate to re-energize the brand and nurture new audiences.
5:30: Welcome Reception
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22
8:00: Welcome & Introductions
9:00: The Strategic State of News Media Worldwide – Earl Wilkinson (Executive Director & CEO, INMA)
10:30: GNI Digital Subscriptions Lab – Early Takeaways – The Google News Initiative, along with partners Local Media Association and FTI Consulting, launched a Digital Subscriptions Lab earlier this year with 10 newspapers ranging from large (The Houston Chronicle) to small (The Southeast Missourian). The lab featured two-day onsite visits to all ten newspapers. These meetings focused on industry benchmarks, tech stack review, culture/leadership, UX experience, data analysis and much more.
In this session, LMA President Nancy Lane will share some of the high-level takeaways. She will be joined by four project partners who will share what they learned and how they are changing their strategy as a result of participating in the GNI Digital Subscription Lab.
- PJ Browning, The Post and Courier
- Mick Cohen, Hearst
- Ken Harding, FTI Consulting
- Nikhil Joshi, Google News Initiative
1:00: The C-Suite Roundtables
The CEO Roundtable has become a fixture at The ROUNDTABLE. Three forward-thinking leaders each share a major strategic initiative intended to shape the future of his or her respective company. These high-level presentations will be followed by a moderated panel discussion that helps participants uncover the drivers, the processes and, to the extent available, the results of these initiatives. Participants include:
- Michael Klingensmith, Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Judi Terzotis, The Advocate
- Lisa Hurm, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- Daniel Williams (Moderator), BlueVenn
The CRO Roundtable features two highly-respected architects of the revenue diversification strategies of prominent media enterprises:
- Dave Kennedy, Oahu Publications
- Matt Miller, Trib Total Media
Included is the high-level perspective of a leading innovator in the CTO community. Don’t fret…we won’t get into the bits and bytes. But given the role that technology is now playing in the execution of revenue strategies and creating operational efficiencies, we don’t want to ignore this crucial role.
- David Adkins, Buffalo News
FRIDAY, AUGUST 23
8:30: The ROUNDTABLE Case Study/Part II: The Rebirth of an Iconic Brand – The CMO Perspective
“Following its re-emergence from bankruptcy protection in 2014, the marketing team at Kodak has been charged with tripling brand value with consumers, with little marketing budget. The case focuses on the strategies used by senior Kodak marketers Steven Overman and Dany Atkins to leverage the brand’s heritage for innovation and creativity with existing and new audiences. With few resources other than heritage, Overman and Atkins have focused on making Kodak ‘cool’ through partnerships with a range of brands targeting younger users while also reinforcing the brand’s historic links with the motion picture industry and benefiting from the so-called ‘analog revival’. The case explores issues of cultural branding, focusing on how relevance can be built through connections to crowd cultures, communities and other brands to build a platform for growth and revitalization.”
Learning Objective: Leveraging a brand’s heritage to build cultural relevance through partnerships with other brands, influencers, and consumer communities.
10:30: Case Studies in Audience Innovations – Hear how three companies have introduce innovative approaches to creating new audiences, improving ROI and monetizing consumers. We’ll hear from:
- Eric Johnston, Adams Publishing Group: Newspaper Start-Up
- Jay Horton, WEHCO Media: iPad Initiative
- Robert Krasne, Steinman Communications: Digital Subscription Growth
1:00 The Acquisition Strategies of the Independent Media – Independent and family-owned publishers are not always the fish food for the conglomerates. For companies like Adams Publishing Group, Wick Communications and Ogden News Group, strategic acquisitions are an integral component of a sustainable future. We’ll hear more about those plans from three of the architects of those strategic initiatives.
- Mark Adams, Adams Publishing Group
- Francis Wick, Wick Communications
- Rick Rogers (Moderator), TownNews
3:00: The Evolving Media Environment and Its Impact on Marketing Strategy – Grzegorz (Greg) Piechota, media researcher at the University of Oxford, Harvard Business School and INMA, will lead an interactive discussion/workshop designed to help sharpen the consumer marketing strategy of media leaders.
4:30: The ROUNDTABLE Concludes
5:30: The ROUNDTABLE Dinner