Feb. 9-10, 2011
Hilton Columbus at Polaris Fashion Place

Registration Deadline: Feb. 4
Hotel Deadline: Feb. 3

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The Ohio Newspaper Association is pleased to unveil a new venue for the 2011 ONA Convention. We’re moving to the Hilton Columbus at Polaris Fashion Place and we have a program that’s easy on your schedule and your budget!

Our special ONA group rate for rooms at the Hilton Columbus is $144 single or double Our Wednesday/Thursday format maintains a registration fee of $150 for members and $200 for non-members

Just a one-night stay brings you the entire convention program with a valuable opportunity to learn from industry experts and network with your Ohio newspaper colleagues. With the lowered pricing you can bring key staffers. For more on Polaris go to polarisfashionplace.com.


The special ONA group rate is $144 single or double. Make room reservations online here or by calling the Hilton at (614) 885-1600 Be sure to reference the ONA group rate. The cutoff date is Jan. 20. Please note that rooms at the ONA rate are limited and may sellout before the cutoff date. After that, rooms are subject to availability and quoted rates may be higher.


Exhibits: Come early and check out the display of our newspaper contest entries and the offerings of our sponsoring vendors.

10:30 a.m.
Ohio League of Home Dailies Meeting

2 p.m.
ONA Board of Trustees Meeting

5 – 7 p.m.
Welcome Reception
Join us in the Hilton ballroom foyer for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and musical entertainment while connecting with friends and colleagues. Following the reception, enjoy the many fine restaurants, attractions and shopping in the Polaris area.


8 – 9:30 a.m.
“Kickoff” Breakfast with Chris Spielman, ESPN Analyst & Former NFL Player
Following our buffet breakfast, we’ll be joined by Chris Spielman, former All-American linebacker at Ohio State and standout with the NFL Detroit Lions. Chris is currently a college football analyst for ESPN, and co-host of The Big Show on 97.1 The Fan radio, Columbus. Spielman and his wife Stefanie established The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research after Stefanie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998.  Over the years, more than $7.3 million has been raised to fight cancer and assist its victims. Sadly, Stefanie’s fight with breast cancer ended in November, 2009. Chris continues their work as volunteer advocate for breast cancer research.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Panel Discussion: “Evolution of Content: Integrating Print with Online”
The discussion will include trends & best practices for news content as well as strategies for the newspaper role as a community website.  The panelists are: Kate Marymont (pictured right), vice president/news of the U.S. Community Publishing Division of Gannett Co.; John Kroll, director of training & digital development, The Plain Dealer, who will review coverage of the Cuyahoga County government scandal; and  Tracey Elson, digital sales manager at the Sandusky Register.

10:45 – 11:30 a.m.
Breakout Session: Weekly Newspaper Roundtable
Led by chairman Jeff Donahue, ThisWeek Newspapers, and members of the ONA Weekly Newspaper Committee, this session is an open forum for our weekly newspaper members to trade ideas and best practices in such areas as news coverage, advertising, circulation, technology and the Internet.

Breakout Session: “Reshaping Classifieds”
Rhonda Barlow, director of sales, Columbus Dispatch, will detail her newspaper’s introduction of free classifieds and results of the program thus far. Dave Frisch, regional publisher for Wheeling (WV)-based Ogden Newspapers, will review the strategies being utilized in this group of small-market dailies, including several in Ohio.

11:30 – 12:15 p.m.
“Thinking Ahead”
Mark Contreras, senior vice president/newspapers for Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps Co. and current chairman of the Newspaper Association of America, will focus on branding and a view into the future as newspapers deal with the innovations that are necessary to ensure success. Contreras oversees the day-to-day operation and strategic direction of the Scripps newspaper division, which includes daily newspapers and related businesses in 13 markets.

12:15 – 1:45 p.m.
Luncheon & Address by Governor John Kasich
Elected on a campaign theme of “Fix Ohio,” Republican John Kasich will be rolling out an
aggressive agenda that includes balancing the state budget, reshaping the development department and other job-creation ideas. His ONA address promises to be timely and insightful.

1:45 – 2 p.m.
Annual Meeting & Election

2 – 2:45 p.m.
Breakout Session: Hooper & Collegiate Newspaper Awards
Once again we honor the winners in all categories of the Hooper Newspaper Awards for ONA member weekly newspapers. The session will include announcement of the winners in 12 classes and presentation of General Excellence Awards plus the winners in our Collegiate Newspaper Competition.

Breakout Session: “The Future of Circulation”
John Murray, vice president, audience development, for the Newspaper Association of America, will take a look at the direction of print delivery systems and traditional sales and circulation models. At NAA, Murray is responsible for activities related to audience metrics, collecting and sharing the best thinking on readership and marketing solutions, as well as readership and pricing studies.

3 – 3:45 p.m.
JobsOhio: Transparency vs. Confidentiality
Our speaker, Mark Kvamme, is a prominent and successful Silicon Valley venture capitalist brought to Ohio by Gov. John Kasich to head the Ohio Department of Development and the governor’s proposed “JobsOhio” agency that would take on the state’s economic development initiatives. Proposed legislation carves out exceptions to the state’s sunshine laws while setting specific requirements for what will be open. Proponents say greater confidentiality is essential to success as the new agency negotiates with businesses.

3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
Our Advertisers: “Newspapers Still Deliver”
With websites added to print, newspapers are powerful in attracting customers as we’ll hear from Kim Knopf (pictured right), owner of Innovative Mattress Solutions dba as Mattress Warehouse and Sleep Outfitters, and Jeff Piper of JPIPERmedia. Knopf’s company has 90 retail locations in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana. JPIPERmedia exclusively handles remnant space for more than 200 newspapers in the U.S., including the Wall Street Journal, The Columbus Dispatch and Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

4:30 p.m.