Fran Zankowski


Mission, Audience and Events

In this age of diversification successful events can help you promote you brand, create and deepen client relationships, develop your audience and bring new profits to your company. From smaller breakfasts and happy hours to food tastings and larger festivals, pairing your company’s audience and brand with an event is crucial to its success. Finding sponsors, venues, talent, staff, logistics is hard. Making sure everything meets your attendees expectations is hard. In this session we’ll discuss strategies and share ideas that have worked for other companies and how to make it all less hard and most profitable.


Fran Zankowski is a leading executive consultant and trainer for the alt-weekly publishing industry. In the past 20 years he has created events from small to very large, growing out of the missions of the papers and the needs of the communities.

Current associate publisher at Boulder Weekly the leading news organization in the market having won numerous journalism awards nationally and regionally.

Recently CEO of Colorado Springs Independent where we launched the successful Inclusion Awards Kkick-off event for Pride Fest, Indy GIVE! and the 800-plus invite only Best of Colorado Springs party. Concurrently also the CEO of the Colorado Springs Business Journal (each month we held an event: a leadership breakfast, Women of Influence lunch, Best of Business party, Young Professionals to Know event, etc.) and the Military Newspaper Group.

Previously CEO of New Mass Media, Inc., chain of six newspapers that covered Vermont to New York City, creating Grand Band Slam local music festival attended by over 25,000 and First Night Hartford, a New Year’s Eve event for families. And In North Carolina, he hosted Taste of Durham, Wellspring Criterium, American Dance Festival at Duke University, and more.

He has served and continues to serve on numerous boards: president, vice president and treasurer of Association of Alternative Newsmedia; member, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Board of Trustees; board of governors, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce/EDC; President of First Night Hartford; vice president of Greater Hartford Arts Council, press relations for GROW; president of Durham Chapter, American Dance Festival; director of NC Human Rights Foundation, freelance work as Publisher's Consultant, and lecturer, featured speaker at publisher conferences.

Specialties: Having worked in/within every newspaper department prior to becoming a publisher he is intimate with core processes and systems. Innovative approaches to maximizing ROI and esprit de corps. Consultant to numerous independent newspapers and magazine.

Developed custom publishing division specializing in glossy magazine and playbill formats and events and marketing departments to promote papers’ brands.