LION Publishers to host 2024 Independent News Sustainability Summit in Chicago

The national event aims to gather 500 independent news publishers and their supporters for three days of learning and connection.

November 28, 2023 by Anika Anand

Riverwalk along the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA at night
Photo by benedek via iStock

We’re thrilled to officially announce a revived Independent News Sustainability Summit in Chicago from September 5–7, 2024.

Since it was founded in 2012, one of LION’s greatest values for independent news entrepreneurs is the community it brings together –– publishers craving expert advice and supportive camaraderie to help them build sustainable news businesses. 

After LION took a two-year hiatus on its conferences due to COVID-19, we re-imagined what we wanted our gatherings to look like and launched the Independent News Sustainability Summit in 2022. In partnership with the News Revenue Hub and Texas Tribune’s RevLab, we hosted 500 attendees in Austin to facilitate three days of inspiring conversations and energizing connections. We learned just how eager our members and other supporters of independent news are for in-person moments together.

We then spent 2023 experimenting with two regional meetups –– one primarily designed by our members in the Deep South and another primarily designed by us that incorporated our annual LION Awards Ceremony in the Southeast. At these events, we discovered the value of connecting our members based on geography and their identities.

For 2024, we’re taking all those learnings and hosting another national Summit that will gather independent news publishers, industry experts, and supporters of independent news to share expert knowledge, hard-won lessons, and actionable advice on running a news business while being in community with people who care deeply about strengthening the local news ecosystem.

A special thanks to our host partner and LION member Block Club Chicago, who will support the event with their local expertise.

Our schedule will include:

  • Keynotes from industry leaders
  • Dozens of sessions on financial health, operational resilience, and journalistic impact –– LION’s pillars of sustainability
  • Facilitated networking opportunities
  • The sixth annual LION Awards Ceremony and Dinner

We’ll host this event at the Westin Chicago River North at 320 N Dearborn St. in Chicago, home to one of LION’s earliest conferences. 

We’ll have a hotel block available at the Westin, and Summit tickets will be available for purchase in February 2024. We’ll also ask our LION member community to share their ideas for session topics, speakers, and facilitated networking moments.

We look forward to sharing more details about the event soon.

Until then, please reach out to:

Executive Director Chris Krewson ([email protected]) if you’re interested in sponsorship opportunities.

Deputy Director Anika Anand ([email protected]) if you’re interested in partnership opportunities.

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