August 17, 2012

2012 KPS PLACEMENT TOTALS IN-HOUSE – $3,696,953.50


I share the whole email though it’s kinda long but Tuesday’s highlight was one from Charles Whitaker, 84 years old, or young, who’s the publisher/owner of the Letcher County Community News Press in Cromona. Honestly, brought tears to my eyes and I shared it with the staff, telling them notes like this make this job worthwhile for all of us.

Thanks David,

We really appreciate the favor of sending us the report concerning the Golden Years Rest Home in Jenkins. It’s definitely a report that we will make use of for our readers.

Our circulation is growing now. With all the side issues in taking up our time we regretfully have left the circulation and even the annual reports printed in the columns of the News-Press have not been carefully taken care of. The next one will have a personal audit from me. We had four new returns this past week of subscriptions taken directly from the solicitation that we run regularly asking for new subscriptions.

We are using a full color monthly magazine directed toward tourism each month as an insert and a newsprint monthly tabloid special that has really excited our readers around the courthouse. Since we are the only printing and newspaper business within about a hundred fifty mile radius that has a four color high quality Komori Press and computer to plate capability, we have a promising combination that works together for the promotion of both the News-Press and the printing business. Three generations of the Whitakers now work in our trade.

We are using the KPNS service and really think that it is a great addition to any of the member newspapers that use it. I know that it has helped us with much better variety of material and has enabled us to bring attention to what others in the state are doing news-wise toward recognizing and sharing knowledge that ordinarily would not be available to them. If you find the time, I would appreciate your comment on how we are processing the material and giving it to our readers.

Bobbie and I are talking about maybe coming to the spring meeting of KPA. I know that we have not been a part of the better newspapers that have had membership of about 53 years. My heart has been there, but the distance from the Bluegrass has kept us from being very active. I am approaching 84 years now and my health has not been great but the time spent around people that have played a part in Bobbie and my trade has been valued greatly. We look positively forward to the new experiences that the newspaper field will let play out for the years and months ahead.

Thank you for the good work you and your staff do for us.

Charles and Bobbie, and the rest of the Whitaker family


At Charles’ invitation, David Greer looked at how the Letcher Community News Press is using the stories from the Press News Service. David found typically it’s a two-page spread as a featured state news segment of the newspaper. And most recently the News Press asked its readers to comment on having state news in their local newspaper.

David’s asked Charles to share those reader comments so we’ll know what readers think of the expanded service.


Teresa gave a quote this week for some advertising for Kentucky newspapers and it looks like we’ll get to place it but the instructions from the agency said it would be placing some direct. Teresa asked why and the agency responded that one of the KPA/KPS members told the agency he’d give the agency a cheaper rate than whatever KPS quotes.

We don’t make up rates; we get those from the newspapers. This happens some around the state, but it’s typically ad sales reps that are going to lose commission if KPS places the ad. So to get that advertiser an ad rep will undercut us.

The same newspapers that we’re giving free services to for their dues, that we’re trying to help in every way possible, turn around and shoot us in the foot.

If we were making up rates, if we were doubling ad rates, I could understand. But when the rates we use come directly from the newspaper, there’s really no reason to undercut KPS. We don’t recommend newspapers for agencies or advertisers to use; we give them information about every newspaper in their market area. So we’re standing up for newspapers; it would nice for the newspapers to stand up for us.

And it should be okay for KPS to make money. After all, KPS has to pay rent to the journalism foundation to help fund the internships; we have one of the only, maybe the only, FREE Freedom of Information Hotlines for press association members, and it’s been that way since the inception in 1985; we’re providing a unique and valuable Kentucky Press News Service to our members at no cost and since all employees are paid by KPS, we use the money to fund that.

So to protect those and the many other free or discounted services, you should want us to make some profit. Don’t shoot us in the foot, please, because when you do, you’re only shooting yourself in the foot.


Having said that, this is a perfect spot to bring you up to date on advertising placement for 2012. We’re at $3.696 million for the year and roughly 92.33 percent of that will be paid to newspapers. So that shows we don’t jack up rates, double bill or do anything else when we bill clients.

August stands at $392,180, the fourth highest August in history. And it’s interesting to see going back through the reports to 1993, that until 2000, we reached $100,000 only in a couple of Augusts. Some monthly placements were little more than $60,000 or $70,000.

And that $3.696 million through three weeks in August is already higher than yearly totals placed in Kentucky newspapers for every year except 2008 and 2010. We won’t catch 2010’s almost $6 million but we will pass the $4.3 million annual amount for 2008.


David Greer, Teresa and I have been on a mission the last week or so, spanning part of the state to deliver ad contest plaques and certificates. David headed way east as far as Pikeville, Teresa went south to Somerset and Whitley City and yesterday I went to Lewis County, Greenup, Morehead and Ashland. At Lewis County, Bob Hendrickson, publisher of the Maysville Ledger Independent, joined Lewis County Herald owner/publisher Dennis Brown and me for a lengthy discussion about newspapers, KPA, business and what KPA can be doing for newspapers.

Teresa took some photos on her visits and posted them on the KPA Facebook Page.

And here’s the report on visitors and clicks on the KPA Facebook Page:

545 – Reach – the number of unique people who have seen the post

77 – Engaged Users – the number who have clicked on the post

10 – Talking About This – “Liked” or have made a comment

1.86% – Virality – The number of people who have created a story from the post as a percentage of the number of people who have seen it.

The next highest Virality rate was 1.67% on the story and photos of Max Heath and Jennifer Brown receiving the Al Smith Public Service Awards.

And speaking of Vanceburg, if you’re up in that area and head toward Ashland on the AA Highway, might as well turn your cell phone off. From Vanceburg to Greenup, it’ll read “No Service.”

Dennis Brown has some long days. Not only does he own the Lewis County Herald and as one of three full-time staff members, stays busy with that, but he also owns the radio station. He’s typically at the station at 4 a.m. to record any commercials needed for the day and the latest news, then heads down to the newspaper.


You responded pretty well to the begs and pleas to sign up the “Unleashed,” the Fall Chapter series that begins September 9. A week ago, we had 42 newspapers registered and with the late-week push, there are now 64 newspapers that will be running the 10-week series.

While it’s too late to sign up and have the scrapbooks given to you, it’s not too late to just sign up. We won’t have any scrapbooks for you but we’ll gladly get you the materials needed to get ready for Woody and Chloe.


From here at the office, David, David and David will be on a conference call at 2:30 today with the KPA News Editorial Division. We’re reviewing all the rules and categories for the Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers competition. With the electronic process now fully in place, there will be some changes in the wording of the Rules, but nothing major. Then we’re going to look at all the categories – 27 currently – and see if there’s any interest in adding, deleting or combining any categories.

We’ll be making all the contest material available to publishers and editors in about 10 days. The deadline to submit entries probably will be October 19.


We’re getting ready to judge the New Mexico Press Association news contest. We need about 15 people and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your office or home. It’s done electronically and you’ll have a couple of weeks to finish the categories you receive.

If you’ve never judged another state’s news contest, or if it’s been a while since you have, here’s a chance. It won’t take a lot of time and especially can let you see how newspapers in other states serve their public. So what say ye? Willing to judge without leaving your computer. Send me an email and give me names of other staffers who’d like to help out!

Thanx in advance. I know you’re all excited about this opportunity.


That’s the headline I’d like to give this story because just months after turning its back on newspapers, JC Penney is returning to print. The failed strategy of branding didn’t last long, and neither did the president who brought in those ideas. So now is it tries to salvage something from 2012, Penney announced this week that it’s refocusing its efforts and that means a return to newspaper preprints. In fact, some 30 are planned for between now and the end of the year.

In the wake of bleak second-quarter results, JC Penney says it is shifting its marketing from brand building to business building.

During a meeting with analysts to discuss second-quarter results, CEO Ron Johnson detailed the marketing shifts that have taken place since its chief marketer and merchandiser, President Michael Francis, abruptly departed after just eight months. JC Penney “went dark” in mid-June — the same time Mr. Francis departed — turning off TV ads, canceling the July catalog that was already printed and scrapping July newspaper inserts, Mr. Johnson said.

The upbeat, colorful marketing rolled out during Mr. Francis’ tenure made people rethink JC Penney and was entertaining, Mr. Johnson admitted, but it didn’t reach the core customer and didn’t build the business. Mr. Johnson also believes the brand was spending too much money on TV and not enough on print.

“In many ways we were trying to build the brand ahead of its time, when we really needed to build the business,” Mr. Johnson said.

Now, JC Penney is investing heavily in what Mr. Johnson calls “traditional traffic-driving means.” The retailer has 30 newspaper inserts planned for the back half, including eight in August alone. By comparison, it ran just 11 inserts during the spring season. To free up money for those investments, the retailer is cutting back on TV.


And does that in less than three years. That’s 17,000 stories from Kentucky newspapers that we’ve made available for other newspapers to use. Remarkable!! And of course we’ve expanded it now to include editorials.

Tuesday is normally the slowest day but this past Tuesday David posted more than 30 stories, a good increase over previous Tuesdays. And that number for the day approaches what he usually posts for Wednesdays.

We’re at 68 newspapers participating, meaning the 17,000 stories have come from those participating and only those 68 are eligible to use the stories.


Each year, we have the KPA newspaper and KPA Associates Division interns write a 300 to 400 word article on “What I Did This Summer.” The interns write about their experiences at newspapers or public relations companies, some of the assignments they had, what they learned and how they feel about a career in journalism.

I think 18 of the 23 have turned in their article and mugshot and as soon as the other five are received, we’ll be posting them on We’ll let you know what that happens so you can read about the interns and perhaps find an employee or two with some experience gained at a Kentucky newspaper or Associates member.


On my brief visit to the Ashland Independent yesterday, I spoke with Eddie Blakeley, Lisa Callahan, Nikki Clay and Mark Maynard. It was Mark who told me of Burl’s passing, with a question: “Where was his first newspaper job?”

Turns out the Jenkins native began his illustrious career at The Independent. He was the former chairman of the Associated Press and a Belo executive. Belo owned some Kentucky properties – buying the group formerly owned by Walt Dear, plus Owensboro and Madisonville. Belo then sold most of those properties to Paxton Media.


It’s really pretty easy to make $125, if not more. How many people walk in or call or even place online a classified ad with your newspaper? Quite a few obviously. And not all of those ads are for minor things – a baby bed or a lawnmower for sale, a babysitter or something that’s pretty much a community type situation.

Several of them will have appeal to a broader audience – a boat or RV for sale, help wanted, farm for sale, what have you. In those situations, think Statewide Classified. Get your staff to ask those classified users if they’d like a “Statewide Upgrade.” A 25-word ad, appearing in 70 newspapers across the state, for $250. And each word over 25 is $7 per word.

It’s really that simple. And of the basic charge and the extra word charge, your newspaper keeps half. For a 25-word ad, that’s $125. Simple, easy and painless.

Want information? Contact Autumn Glancy at or 800-264-5721. Then start making sales and watch the dollars roll in!! (But don’t contact her today; it’s her birthday and she took the day off.)


KPA Past President Bill Matthews, who helped start Newspapers, Inc., the predecessor to Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc., stopped by the KPA office Thursday. He’s starting to gather material for his memoirs and wanted to check back issues of the KPA directories, The Kentucky Press and anything else we had that dated back to the 1960s and 1970s. I was up in northeast Kentucky so didn’t get to visit with him but the staff had those publications spread out for him in the conference room.


Only the conference call at 2:30 is on today’s agenda and right now the week of August 20 is clear. Leigh Ann Thacker and I are trying to get a meeting with some other lobbyists to talk about worker’s compensation situations and our members’ interest in getting some changes made. We hope that’s sometime next week.

We are making some progress in that we’re trying to get involved with any coalition interested in worker’s comp and perhaps extending that to unemployment insurance. Both areas, of course, as they relate to newspaper carriers.

But other than that possibility, nothing on the schedule horizon for the coming week.

So I’ll leave it at that, short as this may be, and tell you to call, write, email, fax or visit if you have questions, comments, concerns, issues, clarifications, corrections, additions, deletions or anything else.

Otherwise thanx!!!



Ends August 24, 2012 – Judging Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Advertising Contest (electronically)

Currently Getting Started – Judging New Mexico Press Association News Content (electronically)

Friday, August 17, 2012 – Conference Call with KPA News Editorial Division to Preview Fall News Contest

Monday, September 3, 2012 – KPA Central Office Closed – Labor Day

October 7 – 13, 2012 – National Newspaper Week

Sunday-Monday-Tuesday, October 14-15-16, 2012 – 2012 Southeast Region Newspaper Association Managers Conference, Marriott RiverCenter, Covington

Thursday-Friday, October 18-19, 2012 – 2012 KPA Fall Board Retreat, Rough River State Park

October 19, 2012 – Probable Deadline for Entering Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers – 2012 Competition

December 2 – 4, 2012 – Newspaper Association Managers Legislative Conference, Keybridge Marriott, Arlington, VA

January 24 – 25, 2013 – 2013 KPA Winter Convention, The Brown Hotel, Louisville

August 6 – 9, 2012 – Newspaper Association Managers Annual Convention, Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia

January 23 – 24, 2014  – 2014 KPA Winter Convention, Hyatt Regency, Lexington

Sometime in 2017 – We’ve been asked to judge the Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Contest in 2017. Please hold the year open for further information on when, where and what media format Mississippi papers will be in that year.

Sometime in 2018 – Colorado judging KPA Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers Competition

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