2017 Speakers

Rich Brest

Owner, Subscriber Promotions

Ask the Experts

Rich Brest has been working in the newspaper industry for more than 24 years. He joined the Tribune Chronicle after getting out of the US Army in 1992. From his district manager job there, he moved up through the circulation division from district manager to circulation director. In 2008 he started a new business called Subscriber Promotions that offered newspapers exclusive content for their readers. Customer have access to deals and discounts not available to non-subscribers. He recently launched Save Here Today- National Coupon Network, an app and program that has allowed him to expand his membership discount model to more industries.

Jason Goldberg

Circulation Sales Engineer, Newscycle Solutions

Ask the Experts

Jason has worked at Newscycle Solutions in various rolls for 14 years. As a Senior Solutions Implementations Specialist he has worked with both large corporate and single site implementations. He is currently a Commerce Sales Engineer. Jason also serves on the Newscycle SaaS best practices committee and conducts on-site Business System Reviews.

Michael Keever

SVP/CMO, NTVB Media, Inc.

Ask the Experts

Michael Keever has been working with newspapers for more than 25 years in different capacities. Previously he has worked for companies like Gannett and Portland Newspapers. He is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for NTVB Media. In this role, he handles lead formation, development and expansion of marketing and distribution partnerships for all NTVB Media owned magazines and websites now reaching 20,000,000 readers daily. NTVB Media also recently launched a widget for newspapers to use on their websites called TV Nut highlighting the top 8 shows for that night.

Bill Truett

Executive Vice President, Inka Solutions, Inc.

Ask the Experts

Bill Truett joined Inka Solutions in 2012 and currently serves as Vice President. He has more than 30 years of experience working in the newspaper industry.  In his current role for Inka Solutions, Bill provides consultation and guidance to help newspapers gain customer insight, improve marketing efficiency, and tailor products and services to customers. 


Previously, Bill was the Marketing Director with the New York Times Regional Media Group (NYTRMG) from 2000 until his departure in 2012.  Bill  directed the  strategic audience data and analytical teams for circulation, advertising, and consumer marketing.


Before joining NYTRMG, he served as Vice President/Director of Media Research for American Opinion Research from 1997 through 2000.   Clients included The Sacramento Bee, Newsday, The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA), The Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), the New York Times Regional Media Group, and the Journal Register Company to mention a few.   


In 1996, Bill established Truett Research & Associates, a market research firm focusing on the research needs of smaller and medium size newspapers. His career began at KPC Research (Charlotte Observer), a well-respected media research firm in Charlotte, NC from 1982 to 1995.

Steven Q. Edwards

Commercial Manager, Cox Media Group

Welcome to Atlanta

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University where he majored in sales marketing and business management.  He has over 36 years of major newspaper experience. Began his newspaper career in 1981 as a district representative for the Dayton (OH) Daily News and Journal Herald, where he worked in single copy and customer billing.  In 1983, transferred to the advertising division as an account representative.  Two years later, became a district sales manager for The Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette.  Four years later, was named total market manager responsible for both the newspapers’ non-subscriber product.  In 1995, he became an area circulation manager responsible for subscriber home delivery in Phoenix.  In 1997, was selected as regional operations manager for the Arizona Republic responsible for home delivery day to day operations. He was promoted to State Circulation manager in 2001. In 2003 was promoted to Metro Single Copy Manager. In September 2005 was hired by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as Sr Marketing Manager for Cox Media Group, responsible for Kiosk, Crew, Retention and Single copy sales.  Noveember 2016 was selected as the Commercial Manager for Cox Media Group. 100 Blackman of Atlanta 2016 Celebration Bowl Chairman.

Mark Medici

Cox Media Group Multi Market Vice President, Audience

Transformational Leadership

Mark Medici is a 3rd generation Media Executive.  Fred Stickel, Mark’s Grandfather, was the Publisher of the Oregonian from 1975-2008.  Before leading the Oregonian and after serving in WWII Fred worked for his Uncle (Joseph Dear) at the Jersey Journal prior to the Journal being acquired by SI Newhouse/Advanced Publications in 1945 who Fred worked for until the age of 88.


Mark is a strategic business intelligence, portfolio, delivery systems, content strategy and consumer sales leader across print and digital platforms for Cox Media Group Newspapers.   At Cox Media Group Newspapers Mark has P&L responsibility for $146mm in print and digital consumer revenue and $60mm of print home delivery and single copy distribution expense.


In addition to overseeing print consumer revenue Mark leads CMG Newspapers premium digital and free audience digital strategies in Atlanta, Austin, Dayton and West Palm Beach for the core brands.


Mark Previously led the business and development teams at the Dallas Morning News, launching the Dallas Morning News' pricing and digital subscriber content initiatives resulting in TDMN becoming among the top grossing consumer revenue newspapers and only a handful (at the time) of Publishers in the United States to allow it's print and digital subscribers unfettered access across all print, interactive and digital platforms. The Dallas Morning News was the first local metropolitan newspaper to limit access to content across interactive and native applications.


Mark and Annalee reside in Milton, GA and have two children, Eva (13) and Blake (8), 2 dogs and a cat!  Mark sits on the Newspaper Association of America Liaison Committee is a community outreach spokesman for the United Way. 


Mark is a graduate of the University of Washington and is a passionate Husky and Seattle sports fan.  When not cheering on the Hawks or Husky’s you’ll find Mark coaching Blake’s soccer team, sitting at Eva’s swim meet or riding his road bike where he recently “hung up” his racing shoes.

John Murray

VP of Audience Development, News Media Alliance

State of the Industry: The Alliance of Media

Prior to joining NMA as vice president of circulation marketing, a dozen years ago, John was Director of Circulation at Fort Wayne Newspapers for seven years and also served as Director of Marketing for five years and had assignments in the advertising division.


John started his newspaper career in 1979 Columbus, Ga. and was a participant in Knight Ridder's Circulation Management Development Program after graduating from Louisiana State University as a marketing and economics major.


At NMA John is responsible for the audience development initiatives and on going activities related to the industry’s audience metrics.  He serves as a resource for NMA member circulation executives and publishers.  This includes facilitating discussion of key issues facing the industry and collecting and sharing the best thinking on readership and marketing solutions.  He also serves as a resource to our advertising customers on questions regarding newspaper circulation and readership.


At NMA he is responsible for the many publications addressing both operational and audience developmental topics ranging from NMA Single-Copy Buyer Studies, to studies on the relationship between the paid for newspapers and reader engagement. John’s best known for his work on NMA’s biennial circulation industry study and subsequent publications “Circulation, Facts, Figures and Logic”.

Mark Hunt

King & Ballow

Legal Panel - Overtime Laws and Unionization


Mark E. Hunt is the partner in charge of King & Ballow’s Circulation/Distribution Section in Nashville, Tennessee.


The law firm of King & Ballow serves as General Counsel to SCMA.


Mark has focused his practice almost exclusively on legal issues which confront newspaper companies.  He has provided consultation and litigation services to many of the over 300 newspapers King & Ballow has represented.  Over the years, he has dealt with the broad range of legal problems confronting newspaper publishers.  He has authored numerous publications which address those legal issues.


Mark is a frequent speaker at legal seminars and circulation trade association meetings. 

Michael Zinser

The Zinser Law Firm

Legal Panel - Overtime Laws and Unionization

L. Michael Zinser is the founder of The Zinser Law Firm, P.C. He received his Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1975 and is an honors graduate of the University of Cincinnati. For over four decades, Michael has focused his practice on representing communications companies and industry trade associations – in particular, labor/employee relations and newspaper circulation legal issues.

Michael has served as on-site labor counsel during strikes and collective bargaining with unions at publications across the country. He was Lead Counsel in St. Joseph News-Press – the leading precedent at the National Labor Relations Board proving that home delivery, single copy, and bundle haulers are independent contractors not eligible for unionization.

During Michael’s career, he has defended independent contractor status for newspapers in 40 of the 50 states. He has also counseled newspapers and press associations seeking togain statutory language changes to protect independent contractor status.

Michael is General Counsel to the following newspaper trade associations: Texas Circulation Management Association; Inter-State Circulation Managers’ Association; Mid-Atlantic Circulation Managers Association; Midwest Circulation Management Association; Central States Circulation Managers’ Association; Cal-Western Circulation Managers’ Association; and Northwest International Circulation Executives. For over 25 years, he was General Counsel to OCMA, and he was the 1993 recipient of the OCMA Presidential Award.

In January 2014, Circulation Ideas Service inducted Michael into the National Circulation Director Hall of Fame. He is the first non-Circulation Director recipient of this honor.

Michael is a member of the Antitrust, Labor Law, and Litigation Sections of the American Bar Association (ABA). He is the Management Co-Chair of Region XIII of the ABA Committee on Practice & Procedure under the National Labor Relations Act.

Michael is listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers for Labor and Employment Law. Martindale’s highest attorney rating is “AV.” Only 7% of all lawyers nationwide are rated AV. Only 3% of AV rated lawyers are listed in the Bar Register.

Nikhil Hunshikatti

Director of Marketing and Research, Columbus Dispatch

Audience Acquisition and Retention Strategies

Nikhil Hunshikatti is vice president of marketing at the Dispatch Media Group, a post he has held since September 2015.  Prior to that, he had been serving as the director of marketing and research at The Columbus Dispatch.

Nikhil joined the Dispatch in January, 2009 after more than four years at the Chicago Tribune as marketing manager after earning his MBA in Marketing Management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to entering graduate school, Nikhil was senior research associate at The Nielsen Company.

Nikhil also serves on the Columbus Zoo Association Board and the Marketing Development Board of A Kid Again.

He is a resident of Dublin, OH with his wife, Charuta, and their two children.

Bernie Kosanke

Director Audience Development – Distribution Services Southeast Region The McClatchy Co.

Alternative Revenue Sources

Regional Director Audience Development – Single Distribution Services, Bernie is responsible for McClatchy Newspaper’s home delivery and single copy distribution in the Southeast region – focusing on improving service, migrating to large distributorship and our distribution partnerships for the Southeast Region. The Southeast Region includes the Biloxi Sun-Herald, Bradenton Herald, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Macon Telegraph, Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. Additionally, he has local responsibilities in Miami as the audience director onsite.


He brings more than 30 years of circulation experience serving in numerous positions spanning home delivery and single copy sales, distribution, retention, and customer service.


Key benchmarks in his timeline at the Herald include:


  • Stepping in to lead Miami Herald’s home delivery recovery post-hurricane Andrew.

  • Launching Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald’s digital editions.

  • Converting Newspaper in Education from print to digital.

  • Traveling to Manila, Philippines to establish an overseas customer service call center.

  • Converting the Miami Herald distribution operation from employee based district managers to large distributors.


Bernie is a past president of the Southern Circulation Manager’s Association as Director at Large.


He has bachelor degrees in both Marketing and Management from Florida State University.  Bernie is married with three children and living in Miami.

Bill Huffine

Multi Media Executive

The Audience Executive's Playbook

Bill Huffine is a veteran of the newspaper industry since 1995 and has served in various roles of circulation leadership, on an editorial board as an occasional columnist and editorial writer, interactive co-director, and as a classifieds sales director with experience spanning five different newspapers owned by large national companies such as Gannett, Knight-Ridder, and McClatchy as well as privately owned Morris Communications, Miller Group Media, and Journal, Inc.

Bill currently serves as the corporate Director of Audience Development for Journal, Inc. in Tupelo, MS with circulation and audience responsibilities for one daily newspaper, several weeklies throughout Northern Mississippi and Southwest Tennessee, and ten metered websites. He is also the founder and president of Audience 360 Solutions, formed in 2014 with the goal of providing newspaper publishers, and audience development and circulation professionals with on-site, off-site, and live online training sessions to improve audience growth, customer service standards, operating cash flow, and leadership.

Don Bailey

Publisher, The Telegraph, Macon, GA

Publisher's Forum

Don, who grew up in Thomaston and Macon, received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Georgia, and a master's in business administration from Georgia College and State University.


In 1984, he joined the Telegraph as an intern in the advertising department. He spent eight years at The Telegraph before joining The Augusta Chronicle. He said when he left Macon that it was his dream to come back as Telegraph publisher.  But first there would be the years working in a variety of management and leadership positions for Morris Communications in Augusta and Savannah. He was president of The Augusta Chronicle from 2004 until 2011. In January 2012 he moved to the Times, a Gannett property, in Shreveport, Louisiana as President, Publisher and CEO.  He rejoined the Telegraph in April 2013 as President and Publisher.

Mark Zieman, McClatchy's vice president for operations, called Don "a talented and creative publisher and the best person for the job -- someone who knows the community and who can appreciate and celebrate the many things happening here."

He is invested in this community personally as well as professionally.  His mother, sister and aunts all live in Middle Georgia. He and his wife Chelle, a Mercer graduate, have three children, two of whom were born in Macon. Their oldest some is married and living in Baxley, Ga.  His daughter graduated from Georgia College and State University and his youngest son is a student at UGA.

Don was active in a number of charitable, nonprofit and civic boards in Shreveport, Augusta and Savannah. In Macon he is on the boards of the Georgia Press Association, Cherry Blossom Festival, Harriet Tubman Museum, United Way of Central Georgia, and a member of Rotary.

Scott Brown

Director of Operations, Tennessee Valley Media Co., Inc.

Publisher Forum

Scott was President and Publisher for Gannett Co Inc. for nearly 18 years and was the past President and Publisher for the Montgomery (AL) Advertiser, The Jackson (TN) Sun and the Valley News Dispatch (PA) to name only a few.. Scott is well known for his leadership, mentoring and knowledge of the media industry. Scott is known for his superb vision and considered a great motivator by many who have had the pleasure of working with him. Scott Brown is currently the Director of Operations for the Tennessee Valley Media Co. Inc. located in Decatur Alabama. Scott manages the day-to-day functions of the Decatur (AL) Daily, a 14K daily, 16K Sunday; direct seven regional niche websites, seven newspaper websites and a billboard company.   He oversees publishers and general managers at Times Daily in Shoals AL, a 16K daily, 18K Sunday; Courier Journal (Shoals AL), a 70,000 mailed weekly and five other weeklies including a military publication.  TVM distributes more than 200,000 newspapers weekly.

Scot Morrissey

Publisher, OnlineAthens.com and the Athens Banner-Herald

Publisher's Forum

Scot Morrissey is the Publisher of OnlineAthens.com and the Athens Banner-Herald in Athens, Georgia. He has a long history in the newspaper industry working in many capacities for newspapers such as The Examiner-Independence in Blue Springs, MO, Western Slope Publishing Group and the Log Cabin Democrat in Conway, Arkansas. He is known as a cheerleader and team builder by others in the industry. Scot enjoys the challenge the newspaper industry as a whole faces and is eager to build our media companies as premier sources of information for the communities we serve.  He surrounds himself with others who share his “never give up” philosophy and leads them in the ever changing landscape of newspapers. Scot is also a community leader, working with organizations such as United Way, the Athens Area Community Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce. In his down time, Scot enjoys fly fishing.

Kevin Shields

Publisher, The Clayton Tribune

Publisher's Forum

Shields’ career in newspapers and magazines began in 2000 with the Athens Banner Herald.
“I got my start just before Sept. 11, 2001,” he said. “That was kind of a defining moment.”
He remained with the Herald for three years before moving onto the Gwinnett Daily Post to manage circulation sales and customer service departments. His extensive background in circulation and marketing includes positions with The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, the Burlington Free Press in Burlington, Vermont, Circulation Promotions Unlimited in Dallas, TX as a vendor for newspapers across the county, and most recently returning home as the publisher of The Clayton Tribune in Rabun County, GA.

Stephen Wade

President, Chronicle Media and The Augusta Chronicle

Publisher's Forum

Wade’s career spans more than 25 years in the newspaper industry, including roles as regional publisher for BH Media Group in Florence, S.C., the senior group publisher for Gatehouse Media in Independence, Mo., the editor and publisher of The Morning Sun in Pittsburg, Kan., and the director of operations for the Topeka Capital-Journal in Topeka, Kan. Wade has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, University of Kansas; Master of Business Administration, Florida Institute of Technology and has served in leadership roles in a variety of community organizations including chambers of commerce and the United Way.

Michelle Kerr

Senior Manager of Outbound Audience Development, Cox Media Group

Audience Engagement through Email Marketing and Social Media

As senior manager of outbound audience development for Cox Media Group Newspapers, Michelle works to diversify and develop audiences across numerous digital platforms, including social, email and SMS. She joined the AJC in 2013 as social media manager, where she developed a program that increased visits from social by 383 percent and in 2017 was tapped to lead similar strategies across all four newspaper properties. She previously worked in advertising – where she led social strategy for clients such as the United States Marine Corps, Pennzoil and Quaker State – and in public relations.

Debbie Tolman

Senior Manager of Audience Engagement, Cox Media Group

Audience Engagement through Email Marketing and Social Media


Debbie Tolman is a 24 year veteran of Cox Media Group.  Her roles have spanned distribution, NIE, state marketing and sales, single copy and retail sales development, consumer marketing and audience engagement.  The last 3 years have focused on transforming our print centric subscriber base to a drive digital product adoption and consumption.  These efforts have resulted in 77% of CMG Newspaper subscribers being digitally active with at least one of the premium digital products included with their subscription.

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