Schedule of Sessions and Events 2019

A new VIBE for local online news

We have a packed schedule of keynote speakers, panels, workshops and the unconference, along with our first annual LION Awards Show! Below is a preliminary schedule, subject to change. We will update this post as more speakers are confirmed so stay tuned. The LION Publishers summit is supported by the Knight Foundation, Google News Initiative, Facebook and other partners. Check out our Speakers Page to learn more about our speakers.

Venue: Music City Center, Nashville, Tennessee

Thursday October 24, 2019 (Day 1)

Workshops & Training on 3 tracks: Content | Business | Marketing

9:30 am – 10:30 am:

Instagram training, Nico Gendron, Instagram & Magdaline Duncan [Content]

Best Practices for Sponsored Content, Denise Lockwood (Racine County Eye) [Business]

Metrics 101, Katie Kutsko (American Press Institute) [Marketing]

10:30 am – 11:30 am:

Solutions Journalism training, Michael Davis (Solutions Journalism Network) (Content)

Sales Techniques for Publishers, Annette Batson (BaristaNet) & Kenny Katzgrau (Broadstreet Ads) [Business]

YouTube for Publishers, Maggie Farley & Ashley Edwards (Google) [Marketing]

11:30 am – 12:30 pm:

Data Scraping with Google Sheets: Maggie Farley & Ashley Edwards (Google) [Content]

Product Management for Newsroom Leaders, Becca Aaronson Davis (Chalkbeat) [Business]

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm: Boxed Lunch provided

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm:

Public Data Explorer & the 2020 Census: Maggie Farley & Ashley Edwards (Google) [Content]

Ad Tech for Local Newsrooms, by Joe Hyde (San Angelo LIVE!) [Business]

How to Grow New Audiences [Marketing], by Monica Guzman Preston (

2:30 – 3:30 pm:

How to Cover the 2020 Elections: Maggie Farley & Ashley Edwards (Google) [Content]

Managing and Retaining Freelancers, Teresa Wippel (My Edmonds News) [Business]

3:30 – 3:45 pm: Break

3:45 – 4:45 pm: Photography for Publishers, Howard Owens (The Batavian) [Content]

Exit Strategy: Selling Out or Partnering: Kelly Gilfillan (FW Publishing) [Business]

Boosting Brand Recognition in Your Market, Shereen Siewert (Wausau Pilot and Review) [Marketing]

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Kick-off reception, sponsored by Facebook Journalism Project

Friday October 25, 2019 (Day 2)

9:00 am: Light breakfast

9:30 am – 10:00 am: Keynote 1: Elizabeth Green (American Journalism Project + Chalkbeat), in conversation with LION Executive Director Chris Krewson

10:00 am – 10:40 am: State of Local News research, Michele McLellan (Michele’s List), Damian Radcliffe (University of Oregon)

10:40 am – 11:20 am: Facebook Membership Accelerator panel: Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside), Jay Allred (Richland Source), Phayvanh Luekhamhan (LION Publishers, formerly VT Digger)

11:20 am – 11:30 am: Break

11:30 am – 12:00 pm: Collaborate or Die panel: Sarah Stonbely (Center for Cooperative Media)

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm: Grant Opportunities for Publishers: Kevin D. Grant (Report for America), Karen Rundlet (Knight Foundation), Dorrine Mendoza (Facebook), Ashley Edwards (Google), Cheryl Thompson-Morton (Lenfest Institute for Journalism)

12:45 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch Break

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm: Lightning Talks by Innovators

Breakout Sessions

2:45 pm – 3:30 pm:

Texting the News panel: Kristen Hare (Poynter), Candice Fortman (Outlier Media), Madeleine Bair (El Timpano), David Cohn (Project Alpha)

Killer Content Strategies: Jonny Kaldor (Pugpig)

How Newspack by WordPress Helps Publishers: Steve Beatty, Automattic

3:30 pm – 3:45 pm: Break

3:45 pm – 4:30 pm:

Diversifying Revenue Streams panel: Alex Clark (PressPatron), Jessica Dalle Nogare (LaterPay), Jason Bade (Pico), Anika Anand (LION Publishers)

The News Revenue Hub Presents For-Profit Membership Success Stories: Mary Walter-Brown, News Revenue Hub

Lessons from a Bootstrapper: Kenny Katzgrau (Broadstreet Ads), Jiquanda Johnson (Flint Beat), Michael Shapiro (TAPinto)

4:30 pm – 5:15 pm:

How to Grow Your Business with Diverse Newsrooms: Manolia Charlotin (Press On)

Public Funding for Journalism: Madeleine Bair (Free Press), Simon Galperin (Community Information Cooperative)

One-on-One Meetings: Private one-on-one sessions between sponsors and publishers (invitation-only)

5:15 pm – 6:15 pm: Break

6:15 pm – 7:30 pm: Reception before LION Awards Show, presented by John S. Knight Fellowships

7:30 pm – 10:00 pm: LION Awards Show & Dinner

Saturday October 26, 2019 (Day 3)

9:00 am: Breakfast

9:30 am – 10:00 am: Keynote 2: Roxann Stafford (Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund), in conversation with LION Executive Director Chris Krewson

10:00 am – 10:45 am: What Metrics Manner, Ned Berke, Brooklyn Eagle

10:45 am – 11:15 am: Mandy Jenkins (The Compass Experiment)

11:15 am – 11:30 am: Break

11:30 am – 12:15 pm: A Very Civil LION panel; Shamus Toomey (Block Club Chicago), Dana Coffield (The Colorado Sun), and Max Siegelbaum (Documented NY), Aron Pilhofer (James B. Steele Professor of Innovation, Temple University)

12:15 pm – 12:45 pm: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes, led by Dylan Smith (Tucson Sentinel)

12:45 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch Break

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm: Pros and Cons of Paywalls panel: Bob Conrad (This is Reno), Maria Archangelo (Chalkbeat)

2:45 pm – 3:30 pm: Local News, Global Perspectives panel: David Maas (ICFJ), Taylor Mulcahey (ICFJ), Emma Meese (Cardiff University)

3:30 pm – 3:45 pm: Break

3:45 pm – 4:45 pm: Unconference Sessions 1

4:45 pm – 5:00 pm: Break

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Unconference Sessions 2

6:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Break

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Closing reception + Karaoke!

All programming subject to change