Don’t miss the magic – register for the midwinter conference today

Register now for the Texas Press 2017 Midwinter Conference Jan. 19-21 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas Frisco Hotel Convention Center & Spa – when a full weekend of programs and activities is in store.

Registration forms are available online at http://texaspress.com/midwinter-conference. Members have the choice of registering online or downloading a registration form to complete and mail in. Remember, newspapers that have subscribed to and run the TexSCAN program for the past calendar year will receive one complimentary registration, which includes meals and hotel accommodations covering the nights of Thursday, Jan. 19, and Friday, Jan. 20.

Serving as one of the main draws of the conference is the 50-booth trade show in the hotel convention center’s Frisco Ballroom. Inside the trade show will be the popular Texas Newspaper Foundation Silent Auction, featuring donated items ranging from practical to unusual to luxurious.

The trade show opens with a reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19. Trade Show hours on Friday, Jan. 20, are 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. The silent auction ends at 11:45 a.m. when the lucky winners can make their donations to the foundation and pack up their prizes.

Attendees will also enjoy a stellar lineup of speakers, beginning with Jonathan Levit at the Friday, Jan. 20, luncheon. Levit, a film and television actor, is also a magician. He will perform while sharing valuable tips on newspaper content enhancement and workflow in his presentation, “The Magic of Design and Publishing.”

In a general session following the luncheon, attendees will be briefed on the association’s 2017 legislative program by TPA Legislative Advisory Committee Chairman Bill Patterson of the Denton Record-Chronicle and TPA Executive Vice President Donnis Baggett.

Following Patterson and Baggett will be wage and hour attorney Brian T. Farrington of the Cowles Thompson law firm in Dallas-Fort Worth, who will share critical, current information about changes the U.S. Department of Labor made last spring to overtime pay requirements. A recognized expert in Texas on a wide range of labor law topics, Farrington will finish his presentation with tried-and-true answers to real-world questions.

As the next program, Texas Press Advertising Director Joanna Weatherall will show members how to  “Stop Leaving Money on the Table.” She will share key information showing how classified and display advertising programs can bolster their newspapers financially.

Rounding out the programs on Friday will be “News Reporting & Editing Q&A” with Don R. Richards, senior named partner with the Lubbock law firm of Richards, Elder & Green, PLLC, and an award-winning community journalist. In addition to his work and extensive experience in telecommunications and utility matters, Richards serves as legal counsel to a number of west Texas media clients. He also serves as an advisory director and as a hotline attorney for the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas on questions about the Open Meetings Act and the Public Information Act. He is a frequent speaker on news media law, public utility issues, cooperative governance, and most recently, telecommunications application to the nation’s proposed modernized electric “Smart Grid.”

Friday evening, three outstanding individuals will be posthumously inducted into the Texas Newspaper Foundation Hall of Fame at the annual dinner. The inductees, Lowry Martin, longtime publisher of the Corsicana Daily Sun; legislative workhorse Milton Morin, third-generation publisher of the Houston Daily Court Review; and renowned Arlington publisher George Hawkes, will be remembered and honored in a ceremony following a speech by a lifelong newspaperman and World War II infantryman.

Morley Piper, retired director of the New England Newspaper Association and secretary of the Newspaper Association Managers of America, will recount his experiences in the June 6, 1944, assault on Normandy’s Omaha Beach. As a 19-year-old foot soldier, Piper worked his way through a maze of landmines and machine gun fire as fellow soldiers dropped around him. Being under fire then and in the following weeks and months stayed with him his entire career and continues to inform his attitude today.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, the general session program will resume, with nationally recognized news design expert Ed Henninger leading a presentation titled, “Getting Public Notices Noticed: Doing It By Design.”

Henninger will explore ways to pull more readers into public-notice pages. With some legislators constantly looking for reasons to eliminate public notice from newspapers, this session is critically important.

Following Henninger’s presentation, retired University of Texas at Austin journalism instructor Griff Singer will present “Does Your Newspaper Truly Reflect Life in Your Community?” Singer will show attendees how to do what he calls a “content audit” on their newspaper. He will ask attendees what names, faces and stories are missing from their pages. Singer says pages can reveal whether you and your staff are working hard or hardly working. “Would the chamber of commerce proudly use your newspaper to entice to a company to move to your city?” he asks.

The last event of the midwinter conference will be the traditional closing brunch, a hearty, well-stocked buffet to get attendees’ energy up for the trip home. Guest speaker for the brunch will be Bobby Rigues, an Aledo Independent School District trustee and a director with the Texas Association of School Boards. The title of his presentation is, “Today’s School Board Trustee – One Word – ENGAGEMENT.” In public education, Rigues says, “the spotlight on the locally elected volunteer known as the school board trustee has never been brighter. In the last two legislative sessions, a tide of suggested statutes focused on trustee accountability have surfaced. The stresses associated with the growing problems in school funding, student accountability, assessments, and the politics of privatization have created a paradigm shift in the role of the trustee.”

Please complete the conference registration process today. Remember, newspapers that have subscribed to and run the TexSCAN program for the past calendar year will receive one complimentary registration, which includes meals and hotel accommodations covering the nights of Thursday, Jan. 19, and Friday, Jan. 20.

For non-TexSCAN members, the TPA sleeping room rate is $129 per night.