APSE Executive Committee Opening Meeting

APSE Winter Conference

11 a.m. Thursday, February 28, 2019

The DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando/Disney Resort

Meeting called to order at 11 a.m.

President John Bednarowski introduces himself and:

First vice president Todd Adams

Second vice president Lisa Wilson

Third vice president Dan Spears

Executive Director Bill Eichenberger

Conference Coordinator Glen Crevier

Past presidents present:

Bill Eichenberger, now Bleacher Report then Newsday (2003)

Glen Crevier, The Star Tribune of Minneapolis (2005)

Mike Sherman, then Oklahoman, now Tampa Bay Times (2014)

Tommy Deas, The Tuscaloosa News (2016)

Jeff Rosen, Kansas City Star (2017)

Jim Jenks, then Philadelphia Inquirer, now MLB.com (2006)

Region representatives:

Atlantic Coast

Dave Ammenheuser

Great Lakes

Larry Graham

Great Plains

Jeff Rosen


Gary Potosky


Justin Pelletier


Mark Johnson


Joe Schiefelbein


Jay Lee


Chris Boan

Representing the Associated Press: Oscar Dixon

Finances and budget update (Bill Eichenberger)

Membership down 34

Dues raised $20 across board.

Circulation is dropped, organizations are paying less for dues. Something not taken into account during budget process. $16,000 shortfall. Difference made up by Tommy Deas’ fundraising efforts.

Conference update (Glen Crevier)

Update on 2019 Summer Conference: Atlanta.

Dates are June 16-19, 2019, at the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center.

Rates to come. Recommendations: Don’t bring a car, parking is expensive. Hotel is easy to get to via public transportation. Opening reception at College Football Hall of Fame. Braves host Mets that week.

2020 Winter Conference and judging:

Dates are Sat., Feb. 15 through Wed., Feb. 19, 2020, at the Hampton Inn in St. Petersburg.

Room rate $179

2020 Summer Conference: Indianapolis

Dates are June 24-27 at The Alexander Hotel.

2021 Summer Conference: checking on Las Vegas

Glen will initiate discussions for coming back to Doubletree at some point for winter judging. He also will reach out to papers to get images for the slide show and program for the summer conference.

Other committee reports:

Commissioners (Gary Potosky) –

The sessions will take place in New York City on Thursday, May 2, and Friday, May 3

The lineup will look like this:
MLS (lunch)
NFL (or Friday)

USOC (at AP downtown)
NCAA (at AP downtown)
NFL (or Thursday)
Email Gary Potosky at gpotosky@phillynews.com to tell me that you are going to attend, or if you have any questions. My cell number is 610-256-6677.

Rules of engagement:
At each session **except NFL** the commissioner/president opens with some comments on the record unless they want it off. Questions and answers throughout the session are on the record unless the commissioner/president declares the answer off the record before it is given. In each of the last two years under this plan, the off-the-record replies have been very small in number.
For the NFL session, it’s an off-the-record hour with no formal set-up. Goodell and his top people are there to talk to editors in the NFL café area, and refreshments are served

Contest (Justin Pelletier, Todd Adams) –

Todd thanked the 60 offsite judges. He thought it was great to be able to have all the offsite categories judged and completed by the time we arrived at the Doubletree.

Todd also thanked the onsite judges for being in Orlando. He thought the pacing was great and things went as smoothly as he could have hoped for.

Judges feedback:

–The load times for certain websites slowed down judging in the first year of just using links

–Some sites required judges to constantly log in

–There was dialogue on the beat category and what qualifies as multimedia. Also, should beat writing be changed to beat coverage? There will be discussion before the summer meetings. It was vague on purpose since it was the first year.

–Breaking news should have a cover letter required rather than just allowed.

Diversity (Larry Graham)

Diversity Fellows recognized:

— Diversity Fellowship

— General update

Jenni Carlson
Norma Catalina Gonzalez
Eric Jackson
Nicole Saavedra
James Williams

–We are proposing a Rooney Rule to bolster newsroom diversity. APSE has reached out to professional organizations including NABJ, AAJA, APME about that idea. Groups open to posting job listings for free.

–All Fellows have been assigned a mentor to help guide them through this year.

–Committee met during judging and discussed putting together a list of diverse candidates in the editing ranks.

Futures (Michael Peters) – NOT ABLE TO ATTEND

— We are in the initial stages of looking into journalism grants we can apply for once we become or create a 501-c-3 wing of the organization. If anyone wants to help in the effort or knows of places we should definitely have on our list, please have them email me.

Potential options to apply:
The Knight Foundation
Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation
Scripps Howard Foundation

SPJ Foundation
Gannett Foundation

Legal affairs and ethics (John Cherwa)

— Problem with the Houston Astros banning a Chronicle reporter

— Silence from USA Wrestling after our proposal

— How the NCAA is dealing with the elimination of Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and our participation in it. Hoping to get all of the leagues to issue injury reporting, trying to come up with a plan to make it work.

Olympics (Mark Faller) – NOT ABLE TO ATTEND

Tokyo Olympics

If anyone is looking to rent space in the Main Press Center, the deadline for that is Feb. 28.

The deadline for media accommodations request is May 25. Actually assigning names to credentials comes later, Oct. 21.

Outreach (Chris Fickett) – NOT ABLE TO ATTEND

Nothing new to report

Red Smith Award (Jack Berninger) –  NOT ABLE TO ATTEND

–Ballots are out. Deadline to vote is Monday, March 4 and announcement should be March 6. At this point only 30 of 150 eligible voters had cast ballots.

Regions ( Robert Gagliardi) –

–Chairs should get meetings set up so we can post on APSE site

–There was talk of getting a map of the regional breakdowns for Facebook so we can invite people to meetings.

Revenue (Tommy Deas) –

–$56,500 in revenue, $5,000 short of what we raised for last year’s convention.

Scholarship (Phil Kaplan) — NOT ABLE TO ATTEND

— APSE is again sponsoring four $1,500 scholarships for collegiate sports journalists.

Deadline is June 1. 

–In April, Phil will write an updated version to emphasize the deadline. That worked a year ago.

Student Liaison (Malcolm Moran, Tim Stephens)

Nothing new to report

Website (Lisa Wilson) –

–All contest results are posted and linked. Final results will be posted within the next couple of weeks.

–The Diversity Fellow Q&As will be posted next week

–The 2019 Digital contest will start before the summer conference. Lisa will recruit judges.

Writers (Joey Chandler) – NOT ABLE TO ATTEND

She is interested in maybe starting an APSE freelance database where if you are an APSE writer member you can get first dibs on stringer opportunities that may arise in your area. Good one.

Old business:

–Candidates for second VP, nominations at closing meeting. Those finishing a tour as region chair this year are eligible: Angel Rodriguez (John will reach out to him)

The executive committee is allowed to nominate up to four candidates:

Tommy Deas nominated Jorge Rojas. He accepted.

Dana Sulonen nominated Gary Potosky. He accepted.

Nominations are open until March 15. The election will start in mid-March.

–There is a proposal that the revenue committee is allowed to solicit sponsored programming in the form of sessions at future APSE conferences

As a reminder, this additional programming would be in addition to our current convention schedule. Nothing is mandatory for the members to attend.

The session is also an opportunity to put a newsmaker in front of us.

There was a lot of discussion at the opening meeting. There is no bylaw changes that need to be made.
In the idea of transparency, we will post all information on our website that we present to our sponsors.

We are looking for a simple, informal vote to determine whether to move forward:

All in favor: 45

Against: 0

–Proposal to create the APSE Foundation. John has been in contact with Greg Brownell. He said the creation of the foundation would not require a bylaw change, but just a vote by the executive committee. We had discussion about this at the opening meeting, John had some good discussion about it during the week.

In review, to create the foundation, there are three key things we need to do. We have to create a separate board of directors. We have to write governing bylaws, and we have to fill out the 1023 form for the IRS. Once the 1023 is filed, it will take approximately two months to receive approval. The cost is $4000, but we can begin applying for funds as soon as the 1023 is filed.

At this time, John tabled a motion that we create the APSE Foundation, a 501-c-3 organization, with primary purpose to promote diversity and education in sports journalism. We need a presentation of what it is, what it costs and where it goes. Outline the process then have a future executive committee vote. Need a separate board and separate bylaws, John will contact others for help. He wants to have it brought to a vote and ready to submit.

New business:

–A suggestion to redo the categories in the digital contest with less emphasis on display and navigation. Many sites are stuck with templates. Contest should be geared more toward content.

–Print sections should be weighted different because so many use print shops. There was a suggestion to get a group together and see what that criteria would look like.

–John thanked Andrea Bednarowski for a making her fabulous cookies for all to enjoy in contest central. He also thanked the 60 offsite judges.


Oscar Dixon, The Associated Press

Chris Carr, Star Tribune

James Williams, SoCal News Group

Naila-Jean Meyers, The New York Times

Tony Maluso, The Citizens Voice

Leah Vann, Steamboat Pilot

Jane McManus, Marist and New York Daily News

Gary Potosky, Philadelphia Inquirer

Jay Lee, Houston Chronicle

Christopher Boan, Tucson Local Media

Norma Gonzalez, Arizona Daily Star

Nicole Saavedia, USA Today Network Tennessee

Larry Graham, The Blade

Eric Jackson, Lake City Reporter

Paul Barrett, The Seattle Times

Kathy Laughin, Sun Sentinel

Micah Pollack, The Washington Post

Bill Stewart, Central Maine

Mike Sherman, Tampa Bay Times

Josh Barnett, The Buffalo News

Justin Pelletier, Boston Herald

Joe Battaglia, FloSports

Ben Brigandi

Robert Gagliardi, Laramie Boomerang

Kyle Nabors, Northwest Herald

Nick Feely, The Villages Daily Sun

Ryan Gregg, The Villages Daily Sun

Rachel Crader, Lee Enterprises

Jim Pignatello, MassLive

Joseph Schiefelbein

Perry Keys, The Advocate

Tommy Deas, The Tennessean

Dave Ammenheuser, USA Today

Daniel Paulling

Steve Hemphill The Roanoke Times

Jim Jenks, MLB Network

Bill Eichenberger, Bleacher Report

Glen Crevier

Mark Johnson, Eugene Register-Guard

Jeff Rosen, Kansas City Star

Jorge Rojas, The Athletic

Emily Horos, Arizona Republic

Dana Sulonen, Detroit Free Press

Marcus Vanderberg, Yahoo Sports

J.T. Keith, Roswell Daily Record

Erik Hall, USA Today

Motion by Tommy Deas to adjourn, Joe Schiefelbein seconded.

Meeting ended at 11:50 a.m.


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