Knight Chair Penny Abernathy to Keynote AAN Convention in Nashville

UNC School of Journalism professor Penny Muse Abernathy will be a keynote speaker at the 2014 AAN Convention in Nashville.

Abernathy, a former executive at the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, is the Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics. She focuses her expertise on developing 21st-century economic models that will improve the ability of journalists to produce news in the public interest. Her book, Saving Community Journalism: The Path to Profitability, shows how newspapers can build community online and identify new opportunities to generate revenue.

In 2012, she worked with UNC colleague Ryan Thornburg to develop a business model for the Rural Open Block project, which was awarded a Knight News Challenge grant that year. The business model gives newspapers a way to generate revenue to offset the cost of publishing public affairs reporting at the grassroots level.

Sales Fundamentals Workshop
Programming at this year’s convention will kick off at 10:30am on Thursday, July 10, with an all-day training session, Mastering Sales Fundamentals Workshop, led by Amie Stein of the Local Media Association. This interactive workshop will cover all the fundamentals of the sales process from prospecting to closing and everything in between.

Note that the Thursday morning start time is earlier than previous conferences, so sales and advertising staffers should keep that in mind when arranging travel. All other programming will begin at 1pm on Thursday.

The Basics
The member early registration rate is $225 per person. After June 13, the rate goes up to $350 per person. After a paper pays for four registrations, that paper may register additional staffers at no charge.

The deadline to apply for a scholarship or grant to attend the conference is June 6. Each scholarship/grant recipient will have their conference fee waived and will receive up to $500 reimbursement for travel to Nashville.

The convention will take place at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown. The AAN group rate is $179 per night for a single/double, and includes internet access. Use this link to book a room at the group rate.

So what are you waiting for? Click here to register for the Grand Ole AAN Convention of 2014.

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