Contact: Nancy Lane, Chief Executive Officer, Local Media Association

Sponsors and Partners

Title sponsors Facebook Journalism Project and Google News Initiative, and new partner LION Publishers, join LMA to expand learning and ROI for attendees; event is May 11-12 in Chicago

(February 14, 2020) — Local Media Association will bring its annual Digital Summit, with its most robust program ever, back to Chicago on May 11-12. Highlights include an all-new track focused on audience, a spotlight on innovative projects in media, and advice from major funders of business transformation and journalism for local media.

LMA expanded the scope of this event, formerly known as Digital Revenue Summit, with major assistance from its title sponsors, Facebook Journalism Project and Google News Initiative, and a new partnership with LION (Local Independent Online News) Publishers.

“We are excited to bring everyone in the local media ecosystem together for the purpose of networking, collaborating and sharing” said Nancy Lane, chief executive officer of LMA. “This is the only event that brings TV broadcasters, nonprofit and digital news sites, the funding community, newspapers, radio broadcasters, ethnic publishers, alternative news outlets, publishers of color, R&D partners and more together.  Collaboration is the future and we’re thrilled to be leading the way along with our valued partners. We’re especially excited to welcome LION Publishers to this event.”

“LION Publishers is proud to team up with the Local Media Association on this Digital Summit,” said Chris Krewson, executive director, LION Publishers. “We know our members value practical, actionable steps to improve their businesses, and LMA has an outstanding track record of programming around these solutions. The opportunity to work together on this kind of program — and the ability for our members to attend this event, for free — was a no-brainer. I’m excited for it, and the potential it shows for even more meaningful collaboration.”

Digital Summit agenda highlights include:

  • GNI Innovation Challenge Winners Share Plans: The GNI North American Innovation Challenge announced the funding of 34 projects in October 2019. During this opening session, we’ll get updates on three very exciting projects: Lookout Local (presented by Ken Doctor, president, Newsonomics), Graham Media Group’s TV Membership Program (presented by Catherine Badalamente, chief innovation officer at Graham and Frank Mungeam from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication), and Okayplayer (presented by Aaron Leaf, director of editorial operations, OkayAfrica/Okayplayer).
  • Funding Journalism and Business Transformation: Understanding the Opportunities: Media companies have benefited from philanthropic funding of all kinds: countless labs and accelerators; matching funds to hire journalists; investigative reporting funds; grant opportunities and more. In this session we’ll hear directly from the funding community, including Paul Cheung, director of journalism and technology innovation, Knight Foundation; Lea Trusty, program associate, Democracy Fund; a representative of Facebook Journalism Project; David Brooks, head of news and local media, global partnerships at Google; and more leaders invited from well-known funders. Panelists will share how decisions are being made, where the opportunities are for 2020 and where they are seeing the biggest ROI on their investments.
  • All-new audience track: This day of learning is designed for anyone working to develop a broader audience as well as cultivate deeper connections with existing readers, viewers, members and listeners. Sessions will explore how local news organizations leverage data to segment audiences across platforms, and take meaningful action that propels growth and bolsters revenue. Learn about the products and workflows that help connect media to their followers and best practices for conducting user research.
  • Latest strategies for consumer revenue, branded content: Two popular workshops, focused on consumer revenue and branded content, will return for the 2020 Digital Summit. The consumer revenue workshop will draw on insights from the GNI Subscriptions Lab and other industry initiatives aimed at acquisition and retention of digital subscribers, including the organizational characteristics needed for success. The branded content workshop will feature new work from both the alpha and beta participants of The Branded Content Project, a partnership of LMA, Local Media Consortium and Facebook Journalism Project.
  • Digital Sales Managers Bootcamp: Another popular Digital Summit track, this bootcamp returns to help digital sales leaders hone sales management skills and bring revenue-growing practices back home to their teams.

The LMA Digital Summit will be May 11-12 at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel in Chicago. Event information, including registration and agenda:

About Local Media Association/Local Media Foundation

Local Media Association ( is a thriving and innovative organization serving more than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, digital news sites, radio stations and research & development partners. LMA is the only industry trade organization that brings all local media together for the purpose of sharing, networking, collaborating and learning. The association’s focus is on reinventing business models for news. LMA’s innovation engine, Accelerate Local, launched six projects in 2019 with 50 different media partners. The Local Media Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable trust that supports the mission of LMA and the essential role of local news and information in a healthy democracy. 

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