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Events for newspaper industry executives are clearly challenged right now. Today, I learned via Vin Crosbie’s Facebook thread that the World Association of Newspapers and the World Editors Forum had to “postpone” their annual conference, which was set for March 22 in Hyderabad, India.

It’s unfortunate. Isn’t there value in having like-minded executives get together and share tips for success? That’s still the agenda for the Newspaper Association of America’s newly rebranded mediaXchange show, which is slated for March 9-11 in Las Vegas. The NAA shows have a lot of value, and they’re a great place to pick up a true state of the industry.

An alternative approach is to slice and dice what’s good about newspapers and other local media and figure out how to reinvent them. That’s what Gannett is attempting by dividing papers such as The Cincinnati Enquirer into 200-plus vertical lines of businesses. I like that.

That’s our approach for Marketplaces 2009, which takes place March 16-18 in L.A. The show features a surprising (and coincidental) number of newspaper vets/alumni who are reinventing local marketing. They include Rob Curley and Chris Jennewein at Greenspun Media in Vegas; Tom Mohr at ResponseLogix; Chip Perry at AutoTrader; John Triplett at AH Belo; Tony Wills at; and Anna Zornosa at Cobalt’s Dealix.

We’ll also hear from two “shopper” execs who, from sheer nimbleness, may be a step or two ahead in reinventing their publications for the new age: Dan McCarthy at NCI (The Real Estate Book), and Rob Paterson at Friday Holdings.

BTW, can anyone name all the newspapers and/or newspaper companies these execs have worked at? Maybe we’ll have a door prize for anyone who gets the most “right answers.”

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