HSPA leadership works to keep up the good fight


By Greg Morris
IBJ Media

As I take a moment to stop and look up from a daily schedule of controlled chaos in the media business, I realize my tenure as president of the HSPA board of directors ends this month.

Time sure flies when you’re having fun! It seems like just yesterday when my very capable predecessor, Tim Timmons, passed me the ceremonial gavel last April.

It’s been an honor to serve this organization, and I plan to continue serving in a lesser role for the foreseeable future.

I have to be honest. I’ve been a bit over-committed recently with my board work.

As a result, I’m never totally satisfied with the amount of time I’m able to devote to all my endeavors. However, I’m pleased with what has transpired here at HSPA this past year, and I’ve enjoyed the extra quality time I’ve been able to spend with Executive Director and General Counsel Steve Key and the entire staff.

This is truly a great organization that works hard on behalf of member newspapers. There are plenty of challenges for newspapers, and a lot of hard work lies ahead if we’re to not just survive but thrive.

As I run the day-to-day business of IBJ Media, it’s comforting to know that helpful guidance from HSPA is just a phone call away.

Key’s lobbying effort on behalf of our industry is worth far more than the dues any of us pay. And you get so much more than that with your membership. I ask for your continued financial support of HSPA, and please keep in touch and let us know how we can serve you better.

Preserving public notice

As this is my last column as president, I want to take one more opportunity to ask for your vigilance on the topic of public notice.

The future of public notice in newspapers continues to be at the top of my priority list. This year’s legislative attack is just the beginning of a protracted fight that will need your full attention and response.

Since my March column in The Publisher was devoted entirely to this topic, I won’t rehash everything here. But please, don’t let your guard down on this one.

Madam president

Now it’s my distinct honor to tell you about your incoming president of the board of HSPA.

Robyn McCloskey is senior vice president of CNHI and head of the group’s Midwest division. She’s also the regional publisher of the Kokomo Tribune and Pharos-Tribune (Logansport).

In addition to the papers in Kokomo and Logansport, Robyn’s responsibilities include overseeing the Times Sentinel (Zionsville), Lebanon Reporter, and Commercial News (Danville, Ill.).

McCloskey is a 23-year veteran of the newspaper industry and joined CNHI as an advertising telemarketer for the Pharos-Tribune in 1990. She became a regional advertising director under Thompson Newspapers in 1995.

In 2001, under CNHI’s ownership, Robyn was named publisher of the Pharos-Tribune. Her position expanded to include Kokomo in 2008. Last year, she was promoted to her current position with CNHI.

In her role as vice president of HSPA in the past year, one of Robyn’s most significant contributions was to chair HSPA’s Annual Meetings and Government Conference committee.

She revamped the program, and the result was an impressive agenda that attracted significantly larger attendance versus recent years. We received more positive comments from attendees regarding this year’s conference than in recent memory.

That’s who Robyn is. While she juggles her day job, which is really five or more full-time jobs rolled into one, she also finds time to excel at any task she decides to take on. And I know she will approach her role as president of the HSPA board in the same way.

Heck, I don’t mind admitting it – you all are getting a huge upgrade in Robyn McCloskey as your new HSPA president!

Thanks for your service, Robyn. As the late Leslie Nielsen said in the movie “Airplane!” – “Good luck. We’re all counting on you.”

That’s it for now. Thanks for your past support, and I wish everyone good health and much success in the future.

Greg Morris, HSPA board of directors president, is presi­­dent of IBJ Media and publisher of Indianapolis Business Journal.