Friday March 16, 2018
Saturday March 17, 2018

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Jen Madden 
S.C. Press Association 





































































You don't want to miss seeing more than 350 of your Palmetto State newspaper friends at the 2018 Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation, presented by AT&T, during the weekend of March 16-17, at The Spartanburg Marriott! The Annual Meeting will feature world-class training from the experts at GateHouse Media, parent company of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. In addition to the educational sessions and networking events, we'll present 800 awards at the Weekly & Associate Awards Luncheon and the Daily Awards Dinner. Educational sessions are free and open to all SCPA members. Tickets are only required for meal functions. We can't wait to see you in Sparkle City! 

Schedule of Events

Friday, March 16
3 p.m. – midnight News Contest Winners’ Exhibits Open
  Heritage Foyer, The Marriott
3 – 5 p.m. Executive Committee Meeting
  Daniel Morgan A, The Marriott
5:30 – 6:15 p.m.  Mix and Mingle with SCPA Executive Committee and Staff
  Marriott MESH Bar & Lounge

Grab a drink from the bar (dutch treat) and join your SCPA friends and staff for networking before we head out for the evening's festivities!  

6:30 p.m.

Group Dinner
The Silo at RJ Rockers

Located across the street from the Herald-Journal, The Silo at RJ Rockers offers a relaxed drinking and dining experience. Join SCPA staff for craft beer, Southern-inspired food and even a tour of this beloved local craft brewery. After dinner, guests can venture across the street to the AC Hotel’s rooftop bar or stick around RJ Rocker’s where the taproom will have live music and plenty of March Madness. 

Cost to attend: $30

Saturday, March 17

8:30 a.m.  Registration, Sponsor Tables and News Contest Winners’ Exhibits Open

Heritage Foyer, The Marriott

9 – 9:15 a.m.

SCPA Business Meeting & Election of Officers
includes presentation on newsprint tariffs with Susan Rowell, President of NNA and Publisher of The Lancaster News 

9:15 – 9:30 a.m. Update of The Palmetto Press: History of S.C. Newspapers
with author and historian Pat McNeely and contributor Michael Smith, former editor of Carolina Forest Chronicle and Aiken Standard
Heritage D, The Marriott

Books will be available for purchase at the Annual Meeting. Proceeds will benefit SCPA's FOI Fund.

9:30 – 10 a.m. Quick and Easy Content Ideas
with Tim Schmitt, Project Manager, GateHouse Media
  Heritage D, The Marriott


Looking for a few story ideas you can start working on immediately? Tim Schmitt of GateHouse Media offers up creative ideas in a session that will be fast-paced. The presentation will include references to the original stories as well as some great techniques to help you execute these stories in any size newsroom.

Tim Schmitt has spent decades in various newsrooms — some print, and some broadcast. He was a sports reporter, news reporter, and then managing editor of his hometown paper, the Tonawanda (N.Y.) News, where he led an award-winning editorial page. He's worked as an editor, staffer or longtime contributor with the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff, the Mesa Tribune, the Arizona Republic, the alt-weekly Buffalo Current, and the Niagara Falls Gazette, where he was executive sports editor over four dailies — spearheading coverage of the Buffalo Bills and Sabres. He also worked as a weekend anchor and reporter at Buffalo's ABC-TV affiliate, WKBW, and was the news director of WLVL-AM in the Buffalo market, where he hosted a daily two-hour talk show covering local politics and current events. He moved to Austin to join GateHouse in early 2015. 

10 – 10:30 a.m. Digital Next 2018
with Jean Hodges, Senior Director of Content, GateHouse Media
  Heritage D, The Marriott  

From how we can best serve our growing mobile audience to what to do about fickle Facebook, tune in to learn what you can actually do in these wild times to ensure your readers see your best work and engage with it.

As senior director of content, Jean Hodges develops strategy and works with newsroom leaders on digital transformation, from newsroom structure to using analytics to inform news decisions. As journalists face myriad challenges, the best are experimenting with new ways to draw readers in, while fearlessly tackling watchdog reporting and sticking up for the underdog. Hey, there's hope for us yet. 

10:45 – 11:45 a.m. How to Spring-Clean Your Newsroom
with Bill Church, Senior Vice President of News, GateHouse Media
  Heritage D, The Marriott

Bill Church, a longtime editor and GateHouse Media's senior vice president of news, mixes zen thinking, data nibbling and Southern cooking into a how-to guide on resurrecting your newsroom. You'll come away completely stymied ... or invigorated. This is a how-to session filled with why-nots.

Bill Church is GateHouse Media's Senior Vice President of News. He is a two-time Pulitzer jurist and joined GateHouse in 2013 as the executive editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He recently served as southeast regional editor for GateHouse. Church was named GateHouse Media’s 2014 national Editor of the Year. The Herald-Tribune has won numerous national awards during his tenure, including a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2016. 

Noon – 2:15 p.m.   Weekly Newspaper & Associate Member Awards Luncheon
  Heritage E-F, The Marriott
Cost to attend: $45 
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.   Counselors Off The Cuff
  Heritage D, The Marriott
  Join SCPA Executive Director Bill Rogers and SCPA Attorneys Taylor Smith and Jay Bender for a no-holds-barred discussion. All general or specific topics/questions are fair game, but of course we suspect the conversation will include at least some talk of open government and First Amendment issues. 
6 – 7:30 p.m.    President’s Reception honoring Mike Smith
hosted by the Herald-Journal
  Heritage Foyer, The Marriott
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.   Daily Newspaper Awards Dinner
  Heritage E-F, The Marriott
Cost to attend: $65 

Following the Daily Awards Dinner, the Marriott's MESH bar and patio will stay open for celebratory cocktails. Or venture out into downtown Spartanburg, where there are several bars and restaurants within walking distance of The Marriott.

Hotel Information

Book your stay at The Marriott in downtown Spartanburg by March 2 to receive SCPA's group rate of $135. Make your reservation here or by calling (864) 596-1211. Make sure to mention you are part of the S.C. Press Association group to receive discounted rate.  Limited rooms are available so if you're planning to stay, go ahead and secure your reservation today!

Apple Watch Raffle Foundation Fundraiser

The SCPA Foundation will be raffling off two Series 1 Apple Watches at the Annual Meeting to help raise money for our summer internship program. Purchase one ticket for $5 or five tickets for $20. Tickets purchased online will be put in your nametag at the meeting. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the Annual Meeting! One winner will be chosen at the Weekly & Associate Awards Luncheon and one will be chosen at the Daily Awards Dinner. Support the Foundation and enter to win!

Special thanks to our Annual Meeting Sponsors!
Sponsor the Annual Meeting


Dominion Energy

Associated Press
Century Printing & Packaging
Municipal Association of South Carolina
USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications 
Carl Muller, Attorney at Law, P.A.
Harrison, Radeker & Smith, P.A.  

Aiken Leader & Printing
City of Spartanburg
Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina
Mather Economics

Winthrop University
Wyche Law Firm


Wednesday, March 7, is the deadline to register!

If you have any questions, contact Jen Madden or Bill Rogers or call SCPA at (803) 750-9561.

We recommend using Chrome or Firefox to fill out registration. If you don't receive a confirmation page, email SCPA. Your registration might not be complete.