Executive Development Program (SNPA/Poynter)

Executive Development Program (SNPA/Poynter)

DEADLINE: June 21, 2019
TEACHING DATE: July 29-Aug. 1, 2019
LOCATION: The Poynter Institute
COST: Free for accepted applicants

Mastering the inner game of news leadership: Find your voice and embrace the future for yourself and for your company

The Poynter Institute and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association have created a new leadership academy that offers both inspiration and practical skills to enhance the vision and strategic thinking of aspiring and current publishers.

Members of SNPA can now apply for the first Poynter/SNPA Executive Development Program. Accepted applicants will hone their approach to the constant and inevitable tumult in the news and information industry, and explore the creative rather than reactive techniques of performance-driven leadership that are helping transform media companies large and small.


Cheryl Carpenter
Leadership Faculty
The Poynter Institute

Neil Brown
The Poynter Institute

Rick Edmonds
Media Business Analyst
The Poynter Institute

Karen Andreas
Regional Publisher
North of Boston Media Group

Elliott Wiser
Here’s an Idea, Inc.

Bruce Faulmann
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Tampa Bay Times

Program details

The program will kick off with an opening dinner and keynote presentation, followed by two and a half days of intense training, conversation and deliberation.

Instructors include current and former news executives as well as Poynter faculty. Elite visiting instructors will help accepted participants explore leadership issues, and then focus on strategic approaches to management.

Later in the year, individual coaching and webinars will be available to help reinforce the philosophies and techniques discussed at the retreat.

What you will learn

The program will include a customized ViewPoynt 360 evaluation – an exclusive Poynter tool customized for publishers — to assess leadership styles, employ self-critiques, and examine feedback on your management profile from your own direct reports, peers and bosses.

With this personal context as a foundation, you will learn through small-group sessions:

  • How to reconcile your own view of how you lead versus how you are perceived by peers and co-workers
  • What your approach to leadership means for strategic thinking and your own goals
  • How to be ruthless in setting priorities for yourself and your company
  • Performance Driven Change – a combination of metric-driven accountability and the use of soft-skills to bring about more lasting change than top-down decisions
  • The keys to being the ultimate entrepreneur in your market
  • Tools for better understanding your audiences and your company’s potential to reach them
  • How to embrace imagination and possibility for yourself and for our industry


This schedule and speakers are tentative and subject to change.

“Lead, Don’t Lament”

4:00 p.m. — Gather at Poynter for opening presentation: The theme will be what one U.S. president called “the vision thing.” We’ll look at the difference between leaders who set a course for themselves and their companies, and those that careen from problem to problem.

6:00 p.m. — Drinks and dinner as a group w/keynote speaker

Finding your inner game — and voice as a leader

9:00 a.m. — Your ViewPoynt Feedback: Considering your own view of how you lead and understanding how others see your leadership.

10:30 a.m. — Break

10:45 a.m. — Leadership habits: What you need to know about changing yourself and your organization.  Exploring the “red zone” – reconciling the gap between where you want to go and where your team (and your company) may be headed.

12:30 p.m. — Working lunch and presentation: “Essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less” – a program to help you set priorities for yourself, rather than let others set them for you.

1:30 p.m. — Ethical Leadership; MeToo and Diversity: Presentations on some of the toughest issues that not only have to be made right, but will hold back your company if not addressed.

3:15 p.m. — Break

3:30 p.m. — Performance Driven Change Part I: The basics. A look at the principles behind the McKinsey consultants’ program on how leaders who set goals and then change behaviors find more lasting success on initiatives than those that start with top-down decision-driven directives.

5:15 p.m. — Wrap up and Adjourn (Evening free, dinner on your own.)

Be a creator — for your company and your market 

9:00 a.m. — Putting together teams that understand content, sales and marketing. What the experts say on coaching and recruiting.

10:45 a.m. — Group photo in the Great Hall, then Break

11:00 a.m. — The New Entrepreneur: Expand your company’s portfolio by creating enterprises within the larger fold. We’ll explore creative partnerships and best practices.

12:15 p.m. — Lunch

2:00 p.m. — Performance Driven Change Part II: The Challenge. Write a business challenge for your organization and consider strategies to go after it.

3:30 p.m. — Break

3:45 p.m. — Believe in a bigger future: the old days are over and we need to embrace new audiences. Case studies on those who have widened the field of vision on how to serve audiences with your great brand, but in new ways.

5:30 p.m. — Wrap up and Adjourn. We’ll have dinner together.

A new kind of leader for a new kind of company

9:00 a.m. — Setting strategic priorities for your company and yourself going forward. Scrub your “challenges” in small group workshops, led by faculty.

10:30 a.m. — Break

10:45 a.m. — The ultimate debrief: common lessons and a discussion about the future of media.

12:15 p.m. — Lunch and final thoughts.


This three-day workshop will take place at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. 


Tuition for this program is paid for by the SNPA Foundation. Participants are responsible for travel costs.

Who should apply

This workshop is intended to grow the leadership capacity of the next generation of local news leaders who are members of the SNPA. Publishers, general managers, or other news company executives on a leadership/succession track will benefit.

Application process

This is a small, exclusive workshop for aspiring leaders within the SNPA. Only 12 applicants will be accepted into the program.

The process to apply is straightforward and simple. Please be prepared to answer questions about your professional experience, areas of interests and basic demographic information.


Contact Cheryl Carpenter (ccarpenter@poynter.org) or Neil Brown (nbrown@poynter.org) for questions.  

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