APSE Executive Committee Meeting

4 p.m. Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Doubletree, Lake Buena Vista, Florida


President Tommy Deas introduces himself and:

First vice president Jeff Rosen

Second vice president John Bednarowski

Third vice president Robert Gagliardi

Secretary-Treasurer Bill Eichenberger

Welcome to Lake Buena Vista, home of our Winter Conference for judging the 2016 APSE contest.

Past presidents present:

John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times (2002)

Bill Eichenberger, now Bleacher Report then Newsday (2003)

Glen Crevier, The Star Tribune of Minneapolis (2005)

Lynn Hoppes (2008)

Phil Kaplan, The News Sentinel of Knoxville (2010)

Gerry Ahern, then USA Today Sports Group (2012), now USAT and Golfweek

Tim Stephens, then CBS Sports/Sportsmanias (2013)

Mike Sheman, then Oklahoman, now Tampa Bay Times (2015)

Region representatives

Atlantic Coast

Erik Hall

Great Lakes

Emily Horos

Great Plains

Matt L. Stephens


Glenn Yoder


Justin Pelletier


Paul Barrett, Seattle Times


Dana Sulonen


Mark Francescutti


Marcus Vandenburg

Executive Director update

Jack Berninger has informed us of his plans to retire following the 2017 Conference in New Orleans. Jack’s importance to APSE and his contribution could not be overstated.

At that point, Bill Eichenberger – who has served as secretary-treasurer, will move into the role of executive director. A search is underway to identify candidates to take over Jack’s responsibilities as conference coordinator. If you know of anyone qualified who would be interested in the job, please let one of the officers know.

Diversity Fellows recognized: Jane Allison Havsy, Stef Loh, Shauntel Lowe, Diana Nearhos

Committee updates:

Conference: Next year St. Petersburg at Poynter. VOTE NEEDED – passed unanimously



Hampton Inn, St, Petersburg, Fla.

February 24-28 (Sat. to Wed.)


Judging done at Poynter


If we juggle the dates, we can go back to the same hotel at the same rate as this year.


DoubleTree Inn and Suites, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Saturday – Thursday – March 2-7, 2019 – $155.00

Sunday – Friday – March 3-8, 2019 – $155.00

Catering minimum: $4,200 (same as this year)

Judging done at hotel

Finances and budget update (Bill Eichenberger) — $40,000 was moved from the APSE money market fund to cover late payments by sponsors following the summer convention in Charlotte. Once money was received, money returned to fund.

Shoutout to Jorge Rojas and Michael Anastasi for landing a $31,000 grant for the Diversity fund. They have also applied for another $10,000 grant from Gannett.

We have $1,000 in budget for region meetings – it often goes unused.

Update on 2018 Summer Conference

Dave Ammenhauser – We are trying to bring the convention to Nashville in 2018. We are looking into it, we have reached out to USA Today and it would be an effort from Team Tennessee to get it done.

Deas – We have left money on the table with not reaching out to possible vendors.

Commissioners (Gary Potosky)

April 20-21

Meetings almost set, still waiting on NFL. Talking about a late Thursday afternoon gathering with league.

Gerry Ahern – NCAA president Mark Emmert wants to attend.

AP can check with hotel room rates.

Genesis of commissioners meetings were off the record talks for editors to voice concerns about credentialing, seating, other issues to help us do our jobs better. The last 5-7 years it has moved away from that and has become more of a press conference.

We are returning to off the record, but will discuss with leagues that if commissioners break news, for the opportunity for on the record questions.

Editors only event.

Potential requirements for attendance: Go to either winter or summer conference to qualify for commissioner’s access.

Contest (Justin Pelletier):

After asking members to fill out a survey, the committee is putting together the data. There are some interesting answers to many of the survey questions.

The new video showing how to properly submit contest entries was quite helpful.

Diversity (Jorge Rojas):

This is the first time the Diversity fellows have had an opportunity to meet each other.

Diversity weekend will be in Nashville from March 31 to April 3.

Full itinerary set to include: Business side reinvention, women as newsroom leaders, digital coverage metrics along with First Amendment and Free Speech.

We are really happy about Knight Foundation grant. Hopefully it will allow us to bring two more Fellows to make six.

The next four days we are looking for mentors

Phil Kaplan – Scripps Scholarships, we’re working with Greg Lee to keep the scholarships alive with SJI. This year AL.com and CBSSports.com will have interns.

Legal affairs and ethics (Gerry Ahern and John Cherwa):

We continue to meet with NCAA. This is the fourth year meeting with them and the US Basketball Writers to monitor credentialing and seating at NCAA Tournament locations.

Since starting, we have had fewer issues the last few years.

We are supposed to get an audience with the Division I football committee on injury reports.

As things crop up, contact the right people so things don’t go nuclear.

Olympics (John Cherwa):

Credentials have been distributed for next year’s winter games in South Korea.

The main press center will be in the mountains. There are two sets of housing.

The first deadline for search of office space there is the end of February. Housing is the end of March.

Have not had meeting about Tokyo summer games yet.

Outreach (Tommy Deas): We are going to end up ahead of where we were. We have a lot of new members.

One issue is a lot of old members have ended up in organizations which are now consolidated.

Membership is an ongoing battle. Don’t forget how to fight.

There are many websites that have been approved for membership, but haven’t joined yet.

We are down judges here. Last time onsite here we had 90 judges. This year, 65. The offsite judges are up five from last year, but they are judging twice as much as in the past out of necessity.

At this rate, we may have no more onsite judging in 5 to 10 years.

Rojas—Could it be possible for APSE to send dues notice earlier? It may work better for many papers.

Red Smith Award (Joe Sullivan):

The ballot is out and voting will continue through March 3.

Scholarship (Joe Sullivan):

Last year we had approximately 70 candidates apply. The students usually enter at the end of the semester, which means most come in close to the deadline

Regions (Dana Sulonen):

Everybody is on track for region meetings.

Re-Regionizing: Being able to get to a region meeting can be a challenge. Current map based on membership is crazy. What is the best way to redraw region lines? Hopeful to have new potential new lines drawn by summer convention.

Southeast drive in region meeting at Full Sail was a success. Next meeting April 24 in Birmingham at UAB, SEC commissioner Sankey will be on the record again.

Ahern – Do we have ways to get more kids to region meetings?

Student Liaison (Tim Stephens)

ALSO: Reminder of president’s call for every member to sponsor a student.

Ohio University reinstated and active, partnering with sportsmanias on social media initiative. Oklahoma State is doing great work; UAB will host Southeast Region meeting in April.

Targeted universities in various states of progress: Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Penn State, Syracuse, Texas, Rutgers, Oklahoma, Northwestern, Florida, Miami, UCF, Georgia, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Pittsburgh, Marquette

We have built an email distribution list for contest information and outreach and will also work with College Media Institute, AWSM and other organizations to promote contest.

Dues are $100 for educators and $25 per student whether in chapter or not. Must be a paid member to enter contest. Student chapters keep their dues for the chapter. Apse collects dues for individual, non-chapter members.

Tom Moore of Southern California News Group posted on social asking for nominations of students to sponsor. I did it too. Challenge everyone go do that as it is a great way to get intros to good prospects as well as best writers.

Website (Emily Horos)

Everybody always says they want to help with the website, but when asked have said can you get back to me.

I’m looking for volunteers to get things jumpstarted.

Writers (James Crepea):

If we want more writers in the organization, they want to know if they can participate in the contest on their own.

Potential fee for contest entries – we need to survey people

Will reach out to Richard Deitch for potential Q&A

New business:

  1. For discussion and vote on final day: Awarding contest plaques for first place writing only and Grand Slam/Triple Crown only for sections/digital contest. Slate vote for meeting at the end of judging. Printable, framable certificates for everything else, which will be emailed.

Jim Luttrell – Has anyone looked into cost of cheaper plaques?

Sullivan – We have had to make hard decisions in all of our shops. I agree with this, it’s just five years too late.

Mike Sherman – Build an APSE top-10 logo that can put on each paper’s folio.

  1. For discussion and vote: Add into bylaws the following duties for officers (formalizing how we already do it so people know what they’re getting into if they run): President will run Off-Site Judging and Student Contest; Second VP will run Digital Contest (it’s already in the bylaws that First VP runs the on-site contest).

Vote: Sheman makes motion, Glen Crevier seconds, resolution passes unanimously

  1. Discuss changing Short Video to up to 5 minutes; adding the words “Entry must explain something” to explanatory; that projects must be conceived as a project and not just ongoing coverage of a topic; should we add anything (Jorge would like an ongoing coverage category).

  1. Vote will be taken on SkyBoat.com, a group that provides internships for students and veterans.

  1. We are developing a committee for alternative revenue streams, Deas to chair. Will begin looking at sponsorships. There are people that want to align with us.

Call for meeting to be adjourned. Sherman motion, Sulonen second.