Publisher’s Roundtables To Swap Ideas

New format for business-stream sessions

It is BYOI – Bring Your Own Ideas at this year’s reformatted “Publishers’ Roundtable.”

This year’s roundtable program will be broken into two discussion sessions, “Revenue-Generating Ideas” and “Cost-Saving Ideas.” Participants are required to bring one written-down idea to gain admittance to the closed-door program.

Instead of several small group discussions as organized in past roundtable programs, this year’s will be one, large, “town hall” discussion, and each participant will be called on at random by the moderator to share their written-down idea. The ideas collected from the meeting will be copied and distributed to all participating publishers.

AAN Executive Director Richard Karpel hopes the change in format will reinvigorate the annual convention’s business stream programming.

Arkansas Times Publisher Alan Leveritt suggested the idea for the new format after he attended a similar roundtable discussion at the City and Regional Magazine Association convention in January.

“It was interesting,” said Leveritt, a former president of CRMA. “You got to learn about each other’s company but most of all, you got to see some pretty cool ideas.”

Admittance is limited to only one participant per publication, and everyone has to be willing to share an idea.

“A lot depends on how much people bring to the roundtable, specifically if they’ve spent a few minutes thinking of their cost-saving or money-generating idea and preparing to talk about it,” said Chicago Reader Publisher Jane Levine, who is moderating the “Revenue-Generating” portion of the roundtable. “If people just show up and figure they’ll think of something, then it’ll be a dud.”

Ryan Fox is AAN’s summer editorial intern.