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.

You are invited to stay apprised of updates for the 2019 event by joining The ROUNDTABLE @ Vail LinkedIn Group. Here’s what the agenda looked like in 2018:


8:00-2:00: Optional Networking Activities (golf, hiking)

3:30-5:15: The ROUNDTABLE Shark Tank – Greg Osberg, (CEO/Founder of Revlyst) will host four bleeding edge, under-the-radar technology companies that you need to know about. They’re not in the mainstream today, but you will likely find them there in the very near future. Get a jump on the competitive media by getting the inside scoop on these innovators in The ROUNDTABLE’s second-ever Shark Tank. Participating companies include:

  • Evvnt: A turn-key event marketing solution that converts event listings into significant revenue generators.
  • Responsive Ads: A creative management platform to convert digital display ads into engaging ads with improved monetization.
  • Spotible: A digital ad technology that populates throughout all screens and devices, engaging high margin video advertising.
  • TapOnIt: A leader in mobile database development, management and monetization through innovative digital platforms and direct to phone advertising, ultimately increasing traffic and sales to local businesses.

5:30-7:00: Welcome Reception


8:00: Welcome & Introductions

8:30: The Strategic State of News Media WorldwideEarl Wilkinson (Executive Director & CEO, INMA)

10:00: The Executive RoundtableKen Harding, Senior Managing Director of FTI Consulting, will moderate a panel of four media leaders who will share and discuss key strategic initiatives of their respective companies. Faculty participants include:

  • Maria Eugenia Ferre (Chairwoman, GFR Media): The impact of Hurricane Maria
  • Andrew Clurman (CEO, Active Interest Media): Revenue diversification through events, films, insurance and more
  • Jerry Ferrara (President, Investor’s Business Daily): New digital products and the transformation from print

12:00: Lunch

1:00-2:45: The Independent Media Company: Today/Tomorrow – How are independent and family-owned local media firms navigating the current media environment? Do the economics threaten their independence? What are the critical strategic considerations that will determine their future? Mary Elworth, a Board Member with the Observer Publishing Company, will moderate a panel of highly-respected owners and business managers who will share how they plan to succeed today and for the long-term. Panelists include:

  • Tom Shaw, VP/Group Publisher, Shaw Media Group
  • Jay Seaton, Publisher, Seaton Publishing Company
  • Cameron Nutting Williams, Regional Publisher, Ogden News Group

3:15-5:00: The LMA Perspective – Nancy Lane (President, Local Media Association) will lead discussions on two topics: consumer revenue strategies and Innovation Mission takeaways. She’ll be accompanied by industry experts who will share early results from the Facebook digital subscription accelerator as well as other promising models. IM attendees will specifically focus on what they learned during their 10.5 hour day with Amazon executives. Faculty participants include:

  • Jeff Moriarty, SVP/Digital, GateHouse Media
  • Dan Petty, Digital Director of Audience Development, Digital First Media
  • Matt Sandberg, Director/Marketing & Innovation, Swift Communications


8:00-10:00: The Strategy Behind Digital Transformation – Digital leaders responsible for developing and implementing a cohesive strategy for their respective companies will share the details of those efforts in a moderated panel discussion. Faculty participants include:

  • Matthew Ipsan – Moderator (EVP/Accudata)
  • Jeff Moriarty (SVP/Digital, GateHouse Media)
  • Edwin Ruis (Integrated Revenue Director, Swift Communications)

10:30-11:15: The Dynamics of a Mutually Beneficial Relationship – Jim Moroney (Chairman/President/CEO, AH Belo) and Sammy Papert (CEO, Wormhole). Frustrated with an industry partner? Chances are they’re frustrated with you, too! Jim and Sammy explore both sides of this dynamic with the goal of providing a few suggestions about how to create the best partnerships. Moroney served as publisher of the Dallas Morning News for 18 years before recently turning those reigns over to Grant Moise. Prior to that gig, Jim led multiple television stations after coming up the ranks on the sales side. Papert has been a newspaper partner since ’81 beginning in the national rep world, having spent ten years at Belden Associates. He now represents two revenue-generating platforms and consults.  Oh yeah, they were roommates in college so there’s no telling what they might share.

11:15-12:30: The ROUNDTABLE Case Study – In May, participants in the Local Media Association’s Innovation Mission spent a full day with Amazon Web Services in Seattle. A substantial part of that day was shared with the Alexa team discussing the future of “voice” – where it is headed and the potential it represents. It became quickly evident that voice technology represents a promising path for media companies to leverage their content and audiences into fertile partnerships for engagement and monetization.

Fleshing out this opportunity is the overriding objective of The ROUNDTABLE Case Study. Dr. Paul Wang, Associate Professor at Northwestern University, will lead participants through small and large group discussions, the purpose of which is to provide a roadmap for assessing and implementing profitable partnerships that leverage the synergies of voice technology, content and audiences.

12:30: Lunch

1:30-3:00: The ROUNDTABLE Case Study – Part II

3:30-4:00: The New Generation CRM: Adams Publishing Group – Customer Relationship Management is not just a software tool, it’s a strategy. APG has deployed a CRM strategy that has enabled them to improve the quality of each customer interaction and maximize the profitability of customer relationships. Using a 90% /10% model to project the likelihood of closing a sale, they have more accurate forecasts and simpler pipeline tools for their sales reps. APG is utilizing CRM technology that allows their reps to be 100% mobile—all forecasting activity, pipeline tracking, digital and print order entry, emailing and calendaring is done through the CRM, giving the reps more time in the field with their customers and prospects. David Fike  (President, APG Chesapeake) and Amy Lindquist (Business Systems Development Director)

4:00-4:30: The Digital Billboard NetworkAaron Kotarek (SVP/Audience & Operations, Oahu Publications Inc.) and James Avis (Managing Director/Oahu Media Group). The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Digital Billboard Network (DBN) has received multiple industry honors for its innovative approach to new revenue development. The Star-Advertiser deployed DBN technology to deliver an innovative, digital out-of-home advertising platform to its advertiser clients that is measurable, engages customers and creates awareness of their products and services. The result: $1.2 million in year one – with dramatic growth slated for the foreseeable future.

4:30-5:00:  Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive AnalyticsDaniel Williams (Managing Director, LEAP).  More than ever, newsmedia organizations are investing in sophisticated database technology and analytics solutions to leverage the vast amount of first party audience data captured through online and offline customer interactions.  In this session, Daniel will discuss the three different analytical approaches and the valuable role each plays in driving performance improvement, operational efficiency and marketing effectiveness.

6:00: The ROUNDTABLE Dinner