Executive Committee and General Membership Meeting
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Radisson WorldGate Hotel, Kissimmee, Fla.

Called to order by First Vice President at 11:01 a.m. Motion to open meeting by Jerry Micco, seconded by John Cherwa.

Executive Committee roll call:
First Vice President Phil Kaplan
Second Vice President Michael Anastasi
Third Vice President Toby Carrig
Past Presidents John Cherwa, Jerry Micco and Glen Crevier
Executive Director Jack Berninger
Regions (Chairs, or the Vice Chair or other recognized representative in their absence):
Todd M. Adams, Atlantic Coast
Tom Maloney, Canada
Paul Skribina, Great Lakes
Josh Barnett, Mid-Atlantic
Mike Sherman, Great Plains
Joe Sullivan, Northeast
John Bednarowski, Southeast
John Turner, Southwest
Danyelle White, West
Absent: Northwest, President Garry D. Howard

General Membership:
Todd M. Adams, Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
Josh Barnett, Philadelphia Daily News
John Bednaroski, Marietta Daily Journal
Bob Berghaus, Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times
Jim Carlson, Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News
Mike Bambach, USA Today
Josh Barnett, Philadelphia Daily News
John Bednarowski, Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal
Bill Bowman, Sunbury (Pa.) Daily Item
Pat Obley, Charlotte Sun
John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times
Frank Corsoe, Toledo Blade
Glen Crevier, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Andrew Cutler, Rapid City (S.D.) Journal
Tommy Deas, Tuscaloosa News
Oscar Dixon, Associated Press
Brad Engel, Naperville (Ill.) Sun
Jeremy Felix, Williamsport (Pa.) Sun-Gazette
Barry Forbis, Orlando Sentinel
Steve Hemphill, Roanoke Times
Mike Humphrey, Orlando Sentinel
Johanna Huybers, Reno Gazette Journal
Tom Jolly, New York Times
Jeff Kuehn, Oakland (Mich.) Press
Andy Kuppers, Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger
Reid Laymance, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Jim Luttrell, New York Times
Ruben Luna, Detroit News
Kathy Laughlin, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel
Tom Maloney, The (Toronto) Globe and Mail
Colleen McDaniel, Virginian-Pilot
Shane Mettlen, Culpeper (Va.) Star-Exponent
Jerry Micco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Lee Nessel, Florida Today
 Michael Peters, Houston Chronicle
Greg Pogue, Daily News Journal
Mike Sherman, The Oklahoman
Paul Skrbina, Chicago Tribune
Tim Stephens, Orlando Sentinel
Jon Styf, The Daily Chronicle
Joe Sullivan, Boston Globe
Nick Talbot, Kileen (Texas) Daily Herald
John Turner, Kerrville Daily Times
Drew Van Esselstyn, Newark Star-Ledger
Bill Vilona, Pensacola News Journal
Danyelle White, Salt Lake Tribune
Bill Windler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Jason Wolf, Danville (Va.) Register & Bee

Also attending:
Andy Kent, Sports Media Exchange

Old Business

1. Financial report, Berninger.
Winter meetings will come in around budget.

2. Proposed change to amend contest categories, Kaplan.

Kaplan reports that feedback on proposed change to amend contest circulation categories is positive. Any change requires an Executive Committee vote.

Under current format, there are 156 news organizations in 40,000 and under category, 85 in 40,000-100,000, 63 in 100,000-250,000 and 24 in over 250,000.

Under new format, there would be 125 in under 30,000, 94 in 30,000-75,000, 61 in 75,000-175,000 and 48 in over 175,000.

Todd M. Adams makes motion to change circulation categories as indicated above. Paul Skribina seconds. Kaplan calls for Executive Committee vote. Motion passes unanimously by individual voice vote.
Anastasi points out that the change does not impact dues structure; the change is for the contest only. Dues structure continues under previous circulation guidelines pending further discussion in Salt Lake City.

3. Potential changes to amend contest rules, Anastasi.

Unlike contest circulation categories, contest rules can be amended by contest chair. Several proposals were discussed at opening meeting, and Anastasi asked for feedback. He said he heard from many individuals both in person at the meeting and via email. He reports strong support to continue Special Section category, particularly from small papers. He said he may consider a change impacting large papers, but there will be no change for small papers. He also said he heard strong support for continuing Explanatory category as editors feel that this is the type of reporting that is critical for print in the future. Anastasi said there will be no change.

As discussed in opening meeting, the Web category will expand to three categories based on monthly page views, up from the present two, Anastasi said. There also will be a multimedia category added. Anastasi said he would like to add a second random day of judging to the Web category this year, pending a discussion with Gerry Ahern, and that random dates will be set in December to judge Web sites the 2011 contest year.

Anastasi reported a number of suggestions to improve the contest and contest judging, including reducing the number of columns per entry from five to three and to limit the size of an entry for investigative and project reporting. Longtime members said column division was changed several years ago from three to five to require a greater breadth of work. Cherwa suggested investigative and project packages be limited to 10 stories.

Anastasi also reported that Bud Geracie of San Jose asked that the limit of one entry per writer per category be changed. Numerous editors argued in support, saying the idea of the contest is to honor the nation’s best work, period. Numerous editors argued against, saying the rule prevents papers from flooding a category with the work of just one talented writer and that it demonstrates the depth of a staff.

Two additional suggestions were having the breaking news category judged by the web judges and allowing work published on the web to be included with the breaking news entry. Various editors spoke in favor or against both proposals, and Anastasi said it seemed evident some sort of change was needed in that category.
Anastasi said he would prepare options for next year’s contest and publish ideas on the web site in advance of further discussion in Salt Lake City before he makes final decisions.

4. New members, Kaplan

According to the bylaws, general-interest sports web sites must be approved by Executive Committee vote for membership. As discussed in opening meeting, several web sites have expressed interest in joining APSE. Others haven’t, but Kaplan put forth all of the following as he believes they are key to membership growth.

The sites:
(AOL) FanHouse.

Todd M. Adams makes motion for vote on web sites, Paul Skribina seconds.

The votes:
(AOL) FanHouse. Yes, by show of hands, unanimous (Carrig abstains);
msbnc.com. Yes, by show of hands, unanimous (Carrig abstains);
SI.com. Yes, by show of hands, 9-3 (Carrig abstains);
FOXsports.com. Yes, by show of hands, unanimous (Carrig abstains);
Annarbor.com, Yes, by show of hands.

Kaplan said that under present bylaws, Ann Arbor must pay dues of largest category. He instructs bylaws guru Greg Brownell to prepare an amendment for consideration in Salt Lake City that would make sense in a case like Ann Arbor, a former newspaper in the smallest category that has gone online only. Perhaps it is to give officers discretion in cases such as this.

5. Nomination of new officers, Kaplan

Nominations for 2nd Vice President and 3rd Vice President are open. Region chairs whose two-year terms are expiring are automatically put forth as candidates for 2nd Vice President as is the 3rd Vice President when his/her two-year term expires.

Automatically put forth for nomination are:
Toby Carrig, Antelope Valley Press (Palmdale, Calif.), 3rd Vice President (expiring term)
Mike Sherman, The Oklahoman, Chair, Great Plains Region (expiring term)
Sean Barker, New Haven (Conn.) Register, Chair, Northeast Region (expiring term)
Don Shelton, Seattle Times, Chair, Northwest Region (expiring term)

Carrig accepts nomination. Sherman, Barker, Shelton decline.

Nominations accepted from the floor for 2nd Vice President; there is a limit of four from the floor.

Gerry Ahern of YahooSports is nominated by Todd M. Adams, Anastasi seconds.
Tim Stephens of the Orlando Sentinel is nominated by Mike Sherman, Ruben Luna seconds.
Reid Laymance of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is nominated by Jerry Micco, Glen Crevier seconds.
Josh Barnett of the Philadelphia Daily News is nominated by Phil Kaplan, Joe Sullivan seconds.

Nomination process opens for 3rd Vice President, who is an officer drawn from Under 40,000 newspapers and is especially charged with representing the interests of small papers. Per bylaws, a committee was charged with nominating three candidates. Committee, chaired by Carrig, nominated:

Ben Brigandi, Williamsport (Pa.) Sun-Gazette
John Bednarowski, Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal
Kevin Winters Morriss, Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau, Mo.)

In addition, Carrig nominated a fourth candidate from floor: Eric Olson of the Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, Ill.). Todd M. Adams seconded.

Bios of all candidates will be posted by April 1. The voting period runs from April 1 to June 1.

6. 2012 Winter Meetings, Berninger.

As discussed at opening meeting, a contract was prepared for a return to Radisson WorldGate Resort in Kissimmee in February 2012. Room rate is $99. Berninger endorses return.

Jerry Micco makes motion to sign contract to return to hotel in 2012 for Winter Meetings, Joe Sullivan seconds. Motion passes Executive Committee by show of hands unanimously.

7. Convention in Salt Lake City, Anastasi
Anastasi again announced that, in a change from past years, there is a single $200 registration fee for each news organization, not one per person.

New Business

8. Membership in 2011, Anastasi
Anastasi also announced that a news organization may increase its membership by one from this year’s number next year for free. A newspaper that had one this year may add a second next year for no additional fee, for example. A newspaper that had four may add a fifth, and so on.

9. Convention in Boston, 2011, Sullivan
Sullivan reports that he’s working to have the Red Sox at home during the convention period. The rate at the Boston Sheridan is $209, but very inexpensive for downtown Boston. He will work closely with editors to help with roommates. He’s looking to have the opening reception at the JFK Library. The hotel is located in the heart of downtown and there are ample transportation options.

10. Convention 2012, Berninger
Berninger reports he’s working on several options and expects to have an announcement in Salt Lake City.

11. Honoring Tim Wheatley, Kaplan
There have been a number of suggestions for a way for APSE to formally honor Tim Wheatley, the organization’s former 2nd Vice President who passed away last year. Kaplan announced he appointed Glen Crevier to chair a group to explore options. Something could take place in Salt Lake City if feasible or at least a recommendation should come by then.

Todd M. Adams said editors donated nearly $500 to a fund for the Wheatley family during the Winter Meetings. (President Garry D. Howard later announced that APSE would match the donation).

12. Web site, Anastasi
Anastasi asked three editors, two newcomers and one veteran, to write about their judging experiences for the web site. Andy Kent, John Turner and Ruben Luna volunteered.

Kaplan asks to close meeting. Ruben Luna makes motion, Joe Sullivan seconds. Meeting adjourned at 12:05 p.m.