All meetings and programming will take place at the Gleacher Center.

Tuesday, Aug. 1

Collaboration Day, sponsored by CitySpark

(Private meeting) 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.: Knight x LMA BloomLab cohorts 1-2 combined (includes lunch): Led by the BloomLab team of John Celestand, program director, Apryl Pilolli, technology director, and Robert Walker Smith, digital revenue director.

(Private meeting) 8:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: FIMS Lab (includes lunch): Led by the FIMS Lab team of Dorrine Mendoza, lead program director, Jay Small, program co-director; and Julia Campbell, program co-director.

(Private meeting) 8:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: News is Out (includes lunch): Led by Penny Riordan, director, business strategy and partnerships, LMA.

8:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: LMA Lab for Journalism Funding (includes lunch): Led by Frank Mungeam, chief innovation officer, LMA. All graduates of the lab, as well as the current cohort, are invited to attend this workshop that will feature case studies, Q&A with funders and much more. 

Noon-5 p.m.: One-on-one meetings with R&D partners: When completing your LMA Fest registration, check yes to participate in the one-on-one R&D meetings! You will then select which of the industry’s premier R&D partners you’d like to meet to learn about the newest products and services (with a focus on revenue growth). Learn more about all of the participating companies so far. Click here to select the companies you’d like to meet with while at LMA Fest.

All Day: One-on-one meetings with the Google News Initiative team. Sign up here.

Noon: Exhibitors begin setup and one-on-one meetings begin.

LMA Fest begins at 1 p.m. with opening day workshops

Jim Brady
Kathy Im
Toni Draper
Catherine Badalamente
Erica Smith
Shana Black

1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: C-Level Roundtable with Industry Thought Leaders

Philanthropy’s role in local news: A conversation with Jim Brady, vice president/journalism, Knight Foundation, and Kathy Im, director journalism and media, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Moderated by Dr. Toni Draper, chief executive officer, The AFRO. Q&A will follow.

Trust in local news: Why an industrywide effort is needed now. Led by Catherine Badalamente, chief executive officer, Graham Media Group and chair, LMA board of directors; Erica Smith, digital editor, The Times Union/Hearst and chair, LMF board of directors; and Shana Black, program manager for inclusive journalism, The Associated Press and founder, Black Girl Media.

Penny Riordan
Peter Lamb
Liz Hayes
Andrew Ramsammy
Julia Campbell

1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: Workshop: How to Sell Your Best Idea, sponsored by Guarantee Digital

This workshop is designed to help you present your ideas, proposals and packages in a captivating and persuasive manner. Our expert coaches will guide you through practical exercises and share tips and tricks on how to engage your audience, tell a compelling story, and deliver a persuasive presentation. You’ll also learn how to use visual aids to enhance your message and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

By the end of this workshop, you’ll have the confidence and tools to deliver a persuasive and memorable presentation that motivates your audience to take action. This workshop is perfect for anyone looking to improve presentation skills and learn how to sell ideas effectively. Register now and take the first step toward becoming a confident and persuasive presenter.

Panelists: Penny Riordan, director, business strategy and partnerships, LMA; Peter Lamb, owner, Lamb Consulting; Liz Hayes, director of strategy, The Branded Content Project; and Andrew Ramsammy, chief impact officer, Local Media Association. Moderator: Julia Campbell, chief business transformation officer, LMA.

2:30 p.m.-3 p.m.: Refreshments with R&D Partners

Frank Mungeam
Dorrine Mendoza
Aimee Rinehart

3 p.m.-4:45 p.m.: AI for Everyone: A Workshop Focused on Opportunities and Efficiencies, sponsored by AP

Artificial intelligence is about to change our world and the local media industry. There are implications and opportunities for everyone including those charged with revenue, operations, content and more. After a primer to review the basic tenets of AI, this workshop will be split into three key areas:

  • Revenue teams: Perfect for digital sales leaders looking to be more efficient through the use of AI.
  • C-level teams: Designed for senior-level executives who want to better understand the opportunities with AI.
  • Content applications: Applicable for both senior-level executives and those charged with content strategies.

A leader will work with each group to identify and explore the most promising opportunities, including those that can be immediately implemented upon your return. 

Workshop leader: Frank Mungeam, chief innovation officer, LMA. C-level group leader: Dorrine Mendoza, lead director, Family and Independent Media Sustainability Lab, LMA, and former Meta/CNN; Aimee Rinehart, local news AI program manager, The Associated Press; more to be announced.

5 p.m.-6 p.m.: Welcome Happy Hour at Lizzie McNeil’s Irish Pub, 400 N McClurg Court, Chicago. Sponsored by

Wednesday, Aug. 2

8:30 a.m.: Breakfast with R&D partners, sponsored by

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: Bonus breakfast session presented by SecondStreet

Learn how to build a $500k revenue plan over breakfast.  From your Citywide Best Of Ballot and revenue campaigns to your First Party Data strategy, Second Street is at the center of these initiatives and we’ll show you how to create a plan to generate significant revenue and quality audience in just 30 minutes!  We’ll focus on how to build the right plan, how to gather actionable data that you can use for engagement and revenue growth and how to get your team excited about all these important initiatives!  You’ll be ready to start the day energized and with a plan to lead you major revenue and database growth!  

Senior Executive track sponsored by

9 a.m.-10 a.m.: General Session

Catherine Badalamente
Mike Reed
Evan Smith
Tracy Brown

The Future of Local News 

Reinventing business models for local news has never been more important. Our panel of industry leaders will talk about what excites them, what keeps them up at night and where they are placing their bets. 

Panelists: Catherine Badalamente, chief executive officer, Graham Media Group; Mike Reed, chief executive officer, Gannett; Evan Smith, senior advisor, Emerson Collective, The Texas Tribune. Moderator: Tracy Brown, managing editor, WBEZ/Chicago Public Media.

10:15 a.m.-11 a.m.: Break-out sessions

Larry Lee
Terry Quinn

Breakout 1: Philanthropic Funding of Journalism: Three Must-see Case Studies

Three of the best case studies in the industry, Sacramento Observer, The Advocate and Texas Tribune, will be featured in this session. Top executives will share how they are funding a larger percentage of their newsroom through philanthropic funding. 

Panelists: Larry Lee, publisher, Sacramento Observer, Judi Terzotis, publisher, The Advocate; and Terry Quinn, chief development officer, Texas Tribune. Moderator: Frank Mungeam, Chief Innovation Officer, LMA.

Jeff Moriarty
Lisa Bishop
Sam Chassé
Jay Small

Breakout 2: Revenue Streams in Streaming

As audiences have shifted attention to OTT, Connected TV, YouTube and other video streaming platforms, so have digital advertising buyers and sellers. What’s the right streaming product mix to grow revenue? And how do local media outlets cash in on the rapid growth of video streaming – even if they’re not native to television? 

Panelists: Jeff Moriarty, executive vice president/chief product officer, Nexstar Digital; Lisa Bishop, chief digital officer, Allen Media Broadcasting; Sam Chassé, revenue lead, news partnerships, Google. Moderator: Jay Small, chief operating officer, LMA.

11:15 a.m.-noon: Breakout sessions

Matt Bartels
Quang Do

Breakout 1: Sales Management: Retention, Comp, Incentives, Recruiting

Retention of clients and employees is critical in this economy.  During this session, strategies will be shared about positioning sales resources, retention of clients and sales executives an explore sales compensation and incentives to drive success.

Panelists: Matt Bartels, principal, Alexander Group; Quang Do, principal, Alexander Group. Moderator: Robert Walker-Smith, digital revenue director, Knight x LMA BloomLab.

David Adkins

Breakout 2: C-level Roundtable: AI Threats and Opportunities

A thought leader in the AI space will host this off-the-record session that will challenge local media executives to think bigger and bolder, while avoiding the pitfalls. 

Presenter: David Adkins, senior engineering manager in Responsible AI, Meta.

Noon-1:30 p.m.: Networking Lunch and Local News Fund Update

Interested in sponsoring a table at the lunch? Contact today!

Learn more about Local Media Foundation’s 2023 Local News Fund, which helps news organizations raise funds for local journalism projects through tax-deductible contributions from their community.

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: Breakout sessions

Amalie Nash

Breakout 1: C-level Roundtable: Strategies to Grow Audience

Social media was a huge driver of audience growth over the past decade, but that is no longer the case. At the same time, news avoidance has become a global problem. Bottom line: it’s harder than ever before to grow and engage audiences. In this roundtable discussion led by Amalie Nash, we’ll share new and innovative strategies to grow audience and collect first-party data. Her background includes being a senior editor at the Detroit Free Press, executive editor of The Des Moines Register and SVP of local news and audience development at Gannett.

Thought Leader: Amalie Nash, audience and revenue strategist, FIMS Lab.

Melissa Sheehan

Breakout 2: Sales Training: Helping Our Sales Teams Become True Marketing Consultants

This session for sales managers will focus on helping sales teams become true marketing consultants. Our expert speakers will share practical strategies for sales approaches, collaborating with marketing teams, and understanding clients’ needs. Attendees will learn how to align sales and marketing efforts, craft compelling messages, and leverage data to measure campaign success. This session aims to elevate sales teams to trusted advisors for clients, and improve overall sales and marketing performance. 

Presenters: Melissa Sheehan, chief revenue officer, AdCellerant; Robert Young, vice president – digital solutions, The Advocate.

2:30 p.m.-3 p.m.: Refreshment break with R&D partners, sponsored by

3 p.m.-4 p.m.: Breakout sessions

Apryl Pilolli
Ned Berke
Toby Collodora

Breakout 1: Gimme Your Email: Strategies to Collect First-party and Monetize It — Revenue Opportunities at the Intersection of B2B and B2C First-party Data

In today’s digital landscape, collecting first-party data has become more critical than ever. As third-party cookies phase out, marketers and advertisers are turning to first-party data as a valuable resource to understand their customers and prospects better. In this session, we will provide actionable insights on how to leverage collect and leverage first-party data to drive revenue and improve customer engagement.

Panelists: Ned Berke, chief strategy officer, BlueLena; Toby Collodora, senior manager, engagement and retention, Star Tribune Media Company. Moderator: Apryl Pilolli, technology director, Knight x LMA BloomLab.

Elinor Tatum
Robin Gruen
Natalie Yancy
Julia Campbell

Breakout 2: Cause, Community and Purpose-driven Marketing: The Revenue Potential of Service Journalism and Corporate Social Responsibility 

Discover the secrets of building genuine connections with your audience and advertisers by aligning your brand values with the social causes that are important to them. In this session, we will delve into the power of community building through shared values, and how it can boost engagement and inspire loyalty. We will also explore the revenue potential of service journalism, which not only educates and informs your audience, but also showcases a brand’s dedication to social good. We will provide insightful case studies and best practices that highlight the advantages and opportunities of purpose-driven marketing.

Panelists: Robin Gruen, vice president, brand and content marketing, Lee Enterprises/BrandAve Studios; Elinor Tatum, publisher and editor-in-chief, New York Amsterdam News; Natalie Yancy, senior sales director, Medium Giant/Dallas Morning News. Moderator: Julia Campbell, chief business transformation officer, LMA.

4 p.m.-5 p.m.: General Session

Tina Xiao

Supercharge Your Content Monetization: Explore New Revenue Opportunities with Google News Initiative

Get ready to turbocharge your content monetization strategy with an informative session hosted by Tina Xiao, the Global Program Manager for Google News Initiative and Chealsea Wierbonski, Group Product Manager for Google. In this session, you’ll explore exciting new revenue services, products, and tools that can help media companies make more money from their content.

We’ll take a deep dive into the latest and greatest opportunities available, including Google’s Newsletter tools, AdSense, and the new Google Reader Revenue manager tool. You’ll learn best practices for monetizing your content and hear successful strategies on using these tools to increase your revenue streams, deepen audience engagement and convert subscribers or contributors.

Don’t miss this solution-focused session that will give you inside information on all the latest tools and monetization strategies from Google!

Presenters: Tina Xiao, Global Partners, Google; Chealsea Wierbonski, Group Product Manager, Google.

7:15 p.m.: Night Out at the Cubs Game, Courtesy of RevContent & BLOXDigital

Free tickets for the first 100 to register for LMA Fest. Don’t delay.

RevContent Local Reporting Award

Applications are now open for the RevContent Local Reporting Award. This $5,000 award recognizes local reporting projects or articles that have significantly impacted the local community. Applications are due on Friday, July 21. Winners will be announced at LMAfest in August 2023. Winner need not be present.


Learn more about all of our sponsors here.