Our 2020 Preliminary Agenda

    Updated Nov. 25, 2019

    Monday, March 9

    Conference starts at 8:30 am


    Opening remarks

    Speakers: Andrew Martin, Shari Donnermeyer, Nancy Lane

    Scene Setter: Welcome to the Roaring ‘20s

    Will the Amazon boogeyman get you? Have you joined the millions of others selling OTT yet? Are you watching out for the stupid money? As the decade begins, Gordon Borrell opens the conference with his view of the path ahead and how the conference program addresses the biggest concerns.

    Speaker: Gordon Borrell

    Watch Gordon Borrell talk about what to expect at the conference

    KEYNOTE: The ABCs of Marketing Don’t Apply to Gen Y and Z

    Those in their 20s and 30s account for more than one-third of consumers, and their spending power is growing fast. But how do you reach them? Youth marketing expert, best-selling author, and agency entrepreneur Matt Britton offers a fascinating, high-energy look at the reinvention of marketing beyond spots, dots, print, and banners. Is there opportunity at the local level to tap this rising bubble of young consumers?  You bet!

    Speaker: Matt Britton, CEO/founder, Suzy

    Watch Matt on stage in Amsterdam

    Hear Matt on our Jan. 7 Local Marketing Trends podcast

    Keynote: Tough Lessons from a CEO: Dismantling & Retooling for the Future

    If any CEO knows the difficulties in retooling a large, century-old media business for the digital future, it’s Joe Walsh.  In the past five years he’s restructured and rebuilt the nation’s largest yellow page company into a $1.5 billion digital powerhouse called Thryv, now serving more than 400,000 local businesses. As CEO, he’s had to make some tough decisions about people, products, what to invest in, and what to shut down.  He’ll discuss not only what it takes to retool for the future, but also the consequences companies face if they forestall those tough decisions.

    Speaker:  Joe Walsh, CEO of Thryv

    Watch YouTube interview with Joe Walsh

    Transforming the Sales Organization

    Today’s fiercely competitive world has turned transform into a necessity.  But is it as simple as running the sales staff through digital training?  Sales and growth guru Matt Bartels lays out the latest research showing that a combination of things lead to success – including leadership commitment, resource investment, talent, and sales compensation.  Yes, there is a formula to transform from short-term campaign-driven strategies to the new realm of value-driven customer success – and the results are remarkable.

    Speaker:  Matt Bartels, principal, Alexander Group

    Rapid-Fire Case Studies

    One of the highest-rated of any conference we’ve held, this session features eight “best of the best” industry partners presenting in rapid succession. Each delivers a dynamic case study showing the results clients are getting.

    Speakers from:  SiteImpact, iPublish, Simpli.fi, Adcellerant, Gimbal, OpsCo, AffinityX, TownNews

    Bracing for the 3rd Wave:  Amazon’s Advertising Play

    Google represented the first wave in the 2000s. Facebook was the second, dominating the 2010s. How will Amazon – already taking $10 billion in ad revenue — dominate the 2020s? In this session, ecommerce and digital marketing expert Will Margaritis outlines how marketers are taking advantage of Amazon advertising capabilities. How is Amazon mobilizing marketing technology companies and ad agencies, and how is it likely to affect other media?

    Speaker: Will Margaritis, SVP of E-Commerce & Digital Marketing, Sellwin Consulting/Dentsu Aegis

    LUNCH (12:30-1:30 PM)


    Three simultaneous tracks explore key growth opportunities in consumer revenue streams, podcasting and voice search. Each starts with a session on the basics – designed to get the audience up to speed and to offer graphics and other information suitable for marketing kits. Each track has three to four sessions.


    in partnership with:

     The Membership Economy – What Drives Consumers to Buy?

    Scene-setter:  Two-thirds of all growth in media will come from the end-user over the next four years. Are you prepared to capitalize? We’ll share fresh research and insights from focus groups and thousands of surveys commissioned by Local Media Association and executed by Magid Associates as part of Accelerate Local’s TV Membership Project.

    Speaker: Bill Day, Vice President, Magid

    Digital Subscriptions & Philanthropy Journalism: Seattle Times Is Leading the Way

    Reader revenue combined with philanthropic funding is a powerful and emerging trend. The Seattle Times is a front-runner in this space. They doubled down on digital subscriptions early on and are in the top five in the country in terms of number of subscribers. Last year they launched The Seattle Times Investigative Journalism Fund, collaborating with community funders and personal champions, to build a large, local team of investigative reporters.

    Speaker: Alan Fisco, President, The Seattle Times

    Are Subscriptions Sustainable in Small/Midsize Markets?

    Digital subscriptions may be a no-brainer for The New York Times and Top 10 metro dailies, but can small and midsize newspapers develop a sustainable business model in this space? Our panelists say absolutely yes, and they’ll make their case during this session.

    Speakers: Pete Doucette, Managing Director,Telecom, Media & Technology, FTI Consulting; Liz White, Publisher, The Record Journal; moderated by Nancy Lane, CEO, Local Media Association

    Consumer Revenue Strategies for Broadcasters

    Broadcasters are starting to invest heavily in consumer revenue strategies. This session will focus on some of the experiments and lessons learned from the Local Media Association’s TV Membership Project and other industry efforts.

    Speakers: Bill Day, Vice President, Frank N. Magid Associates; Catherine Badalamente, SVP/Chief Innovation Officer, Graham Media Group; moderated by Jed Williams, Chief Strategy Officer, LMA/Accelerate Local

     TRACK 2:  How to Weaponize All That Data You’ve Collected

    The Basics: What’s Available

    Scene Setter: No doubt about it – most of us are so overwhelmed with data that we don’t know what to do with it. You’re not alone: 61% of CMOs report difficulties extracting valuable insights from their data. This opening session provides a lively overview of the situation, as well as a checklist of which types of data are the most actionable, which ones fit nicely into marketing materials, and which ones can light up a clients’ eyes and help make the sale.

    Speakers: TBA

     How to Tap Generational Differences to Enhance Local Marketing

    Keying off Monday’s opening presentation on Youth Marketing, this session gets practical on how these trends ultimately impact marketing and channel optimization at the local level. What role does traditional forms of media play, and how can you implement a plan?  Panelist provide insights into key generational trends that are affecting local marketing to buck trends that increasingly favor online buying.

    Speakers:  TBA

     Maintaining Creativity in Today’s ‘Measurement Culture’

    According to the Global Marketing Alliance, 72% of in-house marketers view today’s culture of measurement as stifling to creativity. During this session we’ll discuss how marketers can find the right blend between being creative and leveraging the information available to them for greater insights and ultimately greater campaign performance. We’ll explore how one agency reduced the 400 hours they spent monthly on data aggregation by 80%, and how they are now able spend more time being creative and growing services to their clients.

    Speakers:  TBA


     Audio By The Numbers

    Get ready to take notes and capture pictures of the slides. Audio expert Steve Goldstein offers a scene-setting look at the latest stats on podcasting, voice search, smart speakers, and all the ways marketing and advertising has begun intertwining itself.

    Speaker:  Steve Goldstein, Amplifi Media

     How to Build a Podcasting Audience — and Make Money

    Sure, it’s called podcasting. But what it really amounts to is radio programming on demand. And demand has exploded. This session features those who’ve actually launched podcasts. Their experiences will help lift the veil on the emerging business model, the ROI of what can be a production-heavy program, and how advertisers value the audiences that podcasts are reaching.

    Speakers: Mike Orren, president, Belo Intelligence; Zak Rosen, director of podcasts, Graham Media Group

    Moderator: Steve Goldstein

    Find Your Voice (and $) With Smart Speakers and Voice Search

    In case you haven’t noticed, our very mobile society is finding it more and more convenient to bark commands to audio-ready devices instead of using their fingers. Advertisers understand the concept of “search.” So how can you tie them into this new audio environment?

    Speakers: Bret Kinsella, CEO/Founder, Voicebot.ai; Will Mayo, Chief Strategy Officer/Founder, Spoken Layer

    Moderator:  Steve Goldstein

     Networking Cocktail Reception (5-7 pm)

    Tuesday, March 10

    Conference starts at 8:30 am



     Scene-Setter: The Broad, Complex, Dynamic Marketing Environment (Demystified)

    This no-holds-barred session examines the latest trends on where audiences are turning and how it’s affecting local marketing budgets, with an eye toward where ad-buyers are seeing their greatest ROI.

    Speaker: Corey Elliott, EVP, Borrell Associates

    Watch Corey discuss his upcoming presentation

    KEYNOTE:  The Future According to Comscore

    When Comscore acquired Rentrak and put its CEO in charge of the merged company, it signaled a new focus on video screens.  CEO Bill Livek offers rich insights of how consumers move across more than 600 million screens, from theaters to living rooms to office desks to coffee shops. What does a “multiplatform future” look like, and how can marketers adapt to less-than-patient consumers who are more apt to “Skip Ad” than be patient?

    Speaker:  Bill Livek, CEO, Comscore

    What Hulu is Offering Local Ad Buyers

    Hulu is drawing stronger focus on local ad buyers, employing an army of ad sellers to tap key DMAs. This session, moderated by Gordon Borrell, features an interview with Jennifer Donohue, the former head of CBS Radio sales who now heads up Hulu’s local advertising efforts. The session also explores Hulu’s efforts in going direct to advertisers by unveiling a new offering in early 2020.

    Speaker: Jennifer Donohue, VP of Local & Regional Sales, Hulu
    Interviewer: Gordon Borrell, CEO, Borrell Associates

    The State of the Screens
    Could we possibly spend any MORE time watching video?  Well, yes, in fact, we could — and we are. Video consumption continues to rise, fomented by mobile devices, faster speeds, and an overflowing cornucopia of programming. In this session, we’ll interview video analyst and publisher Michael Beach to uncover insights on how the video marketplace is changing.  We’ll learn what’s happening with live TV, how younger generations consume video, and how advertising is taking on a different role in the new video-on-demand world.

    Speaker:  Michael Beach, publisher of State of the Screens and CEO/Founder of Cross Screen Media

    Interviewer:  Corey Elliott, EVP, Borrell Associates

    Why Google Is So Interested In News Partners’ Success
    Why is Google investing hundreds of millions in the local news industry?  The head of Google’s analytics and revenue optimization for the publishing industry lays out the strategy to drive profitability in new and innovative ways — and how you can participate.

     Rapid-Fire Case Studies

    Part Two! Like Monday’s case-study session, this features up to eight more “best of the best” industry partners presenting in rapid succession. Each delivers a dynamic case study showing the results that clients are getting.

    Speakers: TBA:

    LUNCH (12:30-1:30 PM)

     Channeling Local Advertisers

    Always the most popular session, a panel of local and regional advertisers reveal how they’re changing their buying patterns and how local media companies can help them. Here’s where the rubber meets the road.

    Panelists:  Gordon Borrell (moderator); panelists TBA


    Observations and Key Takeaways from 2 Days of Full Immersion

    With a lot of help from attendees, this session boils it all down. What was most interesting? What was BS? What are the biggest takeaways you’ll bring home?

    Panelists: Corey Elliott, Jim Brown, & the audience

    Conference Ends at 3:00 p.m.


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