August 31, 2012

Friday Update to KPA Members

FROM:  David T. Thompson (

RE:  Various and Sundry Items

2012 KPS PLACEMENT TOTALS IN-HOUSE – $3,772,651.86


New way to disseminate the Weekly Member Update. Because our list serve company limits us to no more than 500 emails addresses in any hour, all of the previous weeks I’ve done this, I’ve had to send to publishers, editors and educators; then ad managers, circulation, nie and the Associates. With the number on each list serve, and working with 174 newspapers and about 75 Associates, I had to configure how this was sent with partial lists every hour. That is, if I remembered hourly to send another batch.

David Spencer came up with a format this week that allows me to send to the entire list at one time. That’ll make it easier on this ol’ man, and you’ll all get the email at one time.

So if you see something coming that doesn’t actually say it’s from don’t SPAM it.


Or just about. Let’s see Bonnie, David G. and Rachel are taking a vacation day today and David S. is traveling hither and yon delivering Woody scrapbooks. We’ve about got that process finished. It’ll end Tuesday when David G. goes to London, Irvine and Clay City.

David G. will be doing the Sunday KPNS then is off for Labor Day before heading out Tuesday. George Lewis is doing the KPNS today, Monday and Tuesday.


I don’t think KPA general counsel and Courier-Journal attorney Jon Fleischaker was all that certain he’d win the argument that a Jefferson Circuit Court proceeding, involving three juveniles in a recent sexual assault case, should be open. I think he believed some of the records would be open, since the female juvenile had already come forward with details, including naming the two boys involved, but as for more than that, Jon was hesitant to show optimism.

His call Tuesday showed his enthusiasm for what the judge ruled. While the ruling does not specifically state that the proceedings would be open, there’s a hint of that in one segment. Chief Judge Angela Bisig states that “to insure proper decorum that only one camera will be allowed and no photographs or filming of the minors involved in these proceedings in the courtroom.” You can go back and read and read and read to find previous language that she’s opening the proceedings but that language is not there. Just in the reference to a camera being allowed is there an inference to open court.

Wednesday, the judge confirmed, when an attorney for one of the juvenile boys decided not to appeal openness that the proceedings would be open, as well as the files associated with the case.

But of concern are some comments in a story in the Courier-Journal from the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. Basically, Rep. John Tilley, and Sen. Tom Jensen (who by the way will be leaving the Senate soon) both said that opening juvenile courts is not something favored by the legislature.

Let’s see – the judges themselves support it because some of them will push legislation; the public supports it; the press supports it. But it’s defeated before it even gets considered. I think you can thank the trial lawyers/attorneys for that. And you know which profession has more legislators than any other. Doesn’t take a mental heavyweight to figure all that out.


With the interest and support of several publishers and newspaper companies, we’re pursuing changes in the worker’s comp laws. It’s a costly endeavor for newspapers; well for most any business and changes will not come easy. Briefly, IRS regulations list only three criteria that determine whether someone is an independent contractor or an employee. And for most every newspaper, carriers are considered independent carriers and meet the three IRS criteria.

But the state sees otherwise, in both worker’s comp and unemployment insurance. By a court case, the state shows there are nine guidelines to determine the different, nine that are almost impossible to meet. So the state considers carriers employees not independent contractors.

To the group of publishers and newspaper companies, I sent the email below yesterday. And notice that I have a meeting at 2 p.m. today with the Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Businesses. Those are two of the many groups we’ve identified as ones wanting or considering changes in worker’s comp laws.

Wanted to keep you all in the loop on Workers’ Comp:

• Leigh Ann and I met with Carl Breeding, a lobbyist and representing the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, earlier this week. We picked his brain about strategy (it’s going to be very difficult to accomplish because the Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys seem to be the roadblock for every worker’s comp initiative) and about KPA getting involved with coalitions that attempt changes.

He was pleased that KPA is interested and would be involved, thinking getting the press’ support could give an edge to making changes. He identified a few other lobbyists and organizations for us to make contact with.

• two of those were, of course, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. I will be meeting with Chad Allen Harpole with the state chamber and Tom Underwood, who “is the voice” for small independent businesses, on Friday. I think the chamber has some planned legislation but whether or not it will be in a way we can ride piggyback or not, I don’t yet know. The title of the legislation has to align the subject and from there what’s appropriate/accepted/legal gets defined. Plus it would have be someway leaning toward the end result we would want.

I will keep you apprised of the progress and the process.


Mike Scogin and the Georgetown News-Graphic are one of the first weekly newspapers in the state, and one of the few overall, to have a Smartphone app. Mike announced the news in last Saturday’s column. Not only is the app new, the GNG website – — received a facelift as well.

The rejuvenated website is part of perhaps four or five generations of websites. The News-Graphic had one of the first websites in the state, starting back in 1995.


Those are the words Alan Gibson, publisher of the Clinton County News in Albany, to describe covering the 1972 Olympics basketball team celebration last weekend. Alan attended the Friday seminars and gathering in Georgetown and said even as a writer, he couldn’t come up with the words to describe how great it was.

Asked if that meant he enjoyed it, “Absolutely.”

One of the members of the team was Kenny Davis, former Wayne County and Georgetown College star who Alan idolized when Kenny was playing ball. But I think there was an underlying reason for him wanting to attend the seminar. And that was to confront C.M. Newton, former UK star and athletic director, on why C.M. chose Rick Pitino instead of Alan to coach UK when Eddie Sutton left. Don’t know Alan got, or ever will get, an answer to that.

Little did I know in 1964 I was standing next to a future Olympian. That’s the year I attended the Bob Davis basketball school at Georgetown College and one of the campers was Kenny Davis. After practice one day, a photographer staged a photo, picking out four campers for a picture eating watermelon. Wish I could find the picture but Kenny and I are standing next to each other acting like we’re enjoying the watermelon (had to act like it cause I hate watermelon.)


Alan ended up with a lengthy article. If you want to read it, it’s on the News’ website at . It’s behind a paywall but allows you to read three articles at no cost.

Alan had a blast and could have written another 750 words. And he included some video. Don’t know though if he ever found out why C.M. Newton chose Rick Pitino over him (Alan) to coach UK after Eddie Sutton crawled out of town.


We’ve posted stories from 20 of the 22 KPA interns from this summer and you’ll find them at and then by clicking on the Class of 2012. Seems like another great group of future journalists and PR folks. You can also check out the Class of 2011 or previous ones while there.

David Greer read through their articles soon after we posted them on Tuesday and filed this assessment:

Read over the KPA intern stories. Very interesting indeed. Seems like just about every one of them — except the two who interned at the Associates – got to write features about people turning 100. I suppose that’s an intern right of passage or something. And lots of people turning 100 every summer in Kentucky.

… in all, a great group of young people — many of whom came to realize that although they have nice journalism programs in college and award-winning student papers, there’s nothing like real-world experience.


We’d like to think one of the reasons newspapers and Associates are finding good interns is because of the Kentucky High School Journalism Association. As background, for about 10-12 years until 1996, Kentucky had no high school journalism group. It had been operated at UK earlier but funding caused reconsideration. And so for a while, high school students had no organization to be a part of.

Then along came KPA and established the KHSJA. Lisa Carnahan administered the association for us for the first four or five years and then David Greer came on staff to build on what we had started. I’ve dreamed of having 1000 high school students for a KHSJA convention and a couple of times we approached that number. Then the recession hit, schools put restrictions in place to curtail traveling and field trips, and attendance waned. With the KPA Board’s help, we decided to forego a statewide convention and promote regional workshops held at the universities.

KHSJA includes a successful contest that we’ve continued and since we’re going to be in Louisville for the January, 2013, KPA Convention, David’s going to have a one-day KHSJA convention. That will be on Thursday, January 24, also at The Brown.

Now here’s where you come in. Schools don’t have a lot of money to fund the membership, even though it’s not a lot of money to join. Dues are $50 per school year per journalism segment – student newspaper, school yearbook and student radio/TV classes, if they have them.

David Greer’s sending letters to all publishers, asking consideration of sponsoring local high schools for 2012-13 school year. It’s just $50 per segment per local high school. Have just one local high school – that’s $150 for all three – newspapers, yearbook, and radio/TV – to join.

There is a strong interest in journalism in the high schools, as witnessed by the 800 to 900 students who have typically attended a KHSJA Convention. And perhaps, just perhaps, it’s one of the reasons we’re seeing some good quality college students interning for our newspapers and Associates companies.


We did hear from the National Newspaper Association, as expected, about its position on the USPS/Valassis sweetheart deal. And several metro dailies across the U.S. took exception through their editorial pages to the Postal Rate Commission’s approval of the negotiated agreement.

Here’s a statement from NNA CEO Tonda Rush on what the National Newspaper Association is doing:

The National Newspaper Association entered its support for a stay in the Valassis Inc. postage discount deal with the U.S. Postal Service. We joined Newspaper Association of America in asking to have the progress of this deal suspended until a court review is completed.

We also are working on Capitol Hill to explain how damaging this deal is, not only to newspapers, but to our faith in the Postal Service. This case represents the first time USPS has directly targeted newspapers as competitors. It is not right and it is not fair. Setting a federal enterprise into direct competition with newspapers offends our most basic principles.

Many have asked for more detail about the Valassis Negotiated Service Agreement. Attached is a Q&A that addresses the most frequent questions. If you oppose this deal, please write your members of Congress.

Please stay tuned to the NNA News Alerts and Publishers’ Auxiliary for more as this situation develops.

We also are going to set up an interest list for newspaper members who want to follow the details of the legal and legislative responses most closely. If you want to be on the list, please e-mail me at

Many thanks for all of your support for NNA’s work on behalf of community newspapers.

Tonda Rush


Got this Thursday night from Max and Tonda Rush:

The PRC has just denied the motion for a stay of the Valassis NSA. Once again, they noted NNA’s filing, but ignored the small business arguments we made. Totally passed it by.  The only explanation I can come up with is that it doesn’t fit their goals and they don’t know what to do to dismiss the argument.  Since they don’t have anything concrete on the record about which markets will be affected, they can’t tell whether any of our members are harmed or not–nor can we.  And they continue to insist newspapers will be eligible for their own NSA, despite the fact that USPS said Valassis was the only one to fit this unique category of one.

So the battle rages. NAA has a motion also in federal court for a stay.


Add the Patriot News in Harrisburg, PA., and the Post-Standard in Syracuse to the list of newspapers going from seven days a week to three days. These announcements come on the heels of similar changes in New Orleans, Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville.

The announcement from the Patriot News said it knows how much readers value the daily newspaper and it will keep printing a newspaper three days a week but realizes it has to be innovative and responsive to the digital future.


Needless to say, the change for several newspapers from dailies to weeklies was a discussion point at the Newspaper Association Managers convention earlier this month. And it was interesting to hear how some states will approach the subject.

Just about every state press association defines a daily as being published four or more times per week; a weekly, then, being published up to three times a week. Without change, that would mean the Times Picayune with its 140,000-plus circulation, would be a huge weekly at three times a week. Same would go for Birmingham, Syracuse and many of the others that have changed frequency.

Tennessee Press already has addressed it in the contest, should a TPA member cutback. Their contest categories are not set up by frequency, but more by circulation times the number of publication days. The latter then becomes the qualifier.


I guess we were forewarned that Hurricane Isaac could affect oil production in the gulf and to expect a temporary rise in gas prices. Long before Isaac even reached that status, stations around Central Kentucky took advantage and jumped prices almost 30 cents a gallon.

Wednesday, I took off for Owenton, Carrollton/Bedford and Dry Ridge to visit newspapers and to also deliver the scrapbooks for the Woody series. I didn’t really need gas when I got near Carrollton. Getting off I-71 to head into town, prices were the same there as around here, $3.95 to $3.98.

But as I got downtown, I did a double take. $3.48 a gallon at a Speedway. Yep, drive 2.3 miles into Carrollton and find gas 50 cents a gallon cheaper. Had to sit in line for a few minutes and only needed half a tank but to save 50 cents a gallon it was worth the wait.

That reminds me of our KPA Associates friends, Stan Lampe. If you know Stan, you will believe this story. A few years ago I had gone to Bowling Green. Gas in that part of the state was substantially lower than in Georgetown and Lexington. So I asked Stan, when he was still with Ashland, Inc., what gives. Why were Bowling Greenians (?) {Greentonians doesn’t sound right either) getting such better gas prices.

He didn’t hesitate to explain. “Freshness. That’s the freshness factor,” Stan said. “You see gas leaves Ashland and gets to Lexington and it’s still pretty fresh. But by the time the tanker gets down I-65 and to Bowling Green, it’s not as fresh. So we sell it a little cheaper down there. Now isn’t it worth a few cents more a gallon to know that you’re getting the freshest gas possible.”

As I said, if you know Stanford Lampe, you can believe that story.


Currently, Teresa and the three Davids have been spreading out across the state to visit newspapers. There’s a purpose, of course, to deliver awards from the Ad Contest and to deliver the scrapbooks for the Woody series. The third purpose is pretty primary, too, resulting from our 2009 Strategic Plan that directs the staff to visit every Kentucky newspaper.

In 2010, we accomplished that and in subsequent years, we’ll be visiting every one every two or three years. And delivering plaques/certificates or the scrapbooks, gives us reason to go visiting.

Teresa spent part of her week traversing the I-65 corridor down to Bowling Green, then to Madisonville. Here’s her report:

The highlight of my week was getting to visit newspapers and hear employees talk about how proud they are to work in Kentucky. It is very encouraging to hear people remain positive even in this stressful environment.

The main purpose of my trip was to deliver scrapbooks for the fall N.I.E. series “Unleashed”. I also took plaques and awards to newspapers since we did not have a spring advertising seminar this year. It has been a lot of fun getting out and about visiting with everyone.

At Madisonville, I was happy to get to see Debbie Littlepage who recently made $212.50 for her paper when she sold a statewide classified ad for one of her clients. The client was searching for an employee and the Madisonville Messenger helped them get tons of resumes from qualified applicants. With one call, you can help your client place a 25-word classified ad in 80 newspapers throughout Kentucky. It is a win-win situation for both the client and your newspaper when you can sell into the network.

I love getting to meet all of the people who work at our member newspapers. I have threatened David T. that this will be my retirement job. I want to travel around and hear all of the stories from the different employees.

David Spencer will be out today (Friday) hitting papers along the Bluegrass Parkway and U.S. 60 west out of Louisville.

And Tuesday, David Greer will be headed south and east visiting London, Clay City and Irvine.


If you are NOT on the emailing list to receive news and updates from the Kentucky Department of Education, then pay attention! Here’s a note from Lisa Gross, mentioning that the department will soon be releasing some data about student/school assessments. And a note that if you want to make sure you get the material and aren’t currently getting information from KDE, here’s your chance to make sure you do:

Editors/KPA Newspapers –

In October, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) will release data related to the new Unbridled Learning accountability model for public schools. This information will be embargoed and shared with media outlets a few days before the embargo is lifted. We have not yet set a formal date for release; that will be determined as we get closer to October, and it is likely to be around the middle or end of the month.

The data will include many items related to school performance:

• data from the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) tests

• data about college and career readiness rates

• data about achievement gaps

• information about school and district classifications under the new system

KPA members who have covered assessment data releases in the past will know that KDE provides spreadsheets and PDF files that can be used to inform reporters’ stories, and this year will be no different. We expect multiple files of data to be produced, and we want to make sure that media outlets have access to those prior to the embargo being lifted.

I’m asking for KPA’s help in ensuring that any media outlet that is not currently on KDE’s media contact list has the opportunity to be added to the list. KPA members who do not currently receive news releases from me, Lisa Gross, via e-mail are most likely not on the list.

If any KPA members who are not on KDE’s media contact list would like to be added so that they have access to this upcoming data (and other items), please send a note to Thanks to KPA for helping KDE communicate more widely about the work we do.

Lisa Y. Gross – Director, Division of Communications

Kentucky Department of Education

6th Floor, 500 Mero St.

Frankfort KY 40601

Office: (502) 564-2015

Cell: (502) 330-5063

IT’S ALMOST TIME FOR WOODY, CHLOE AND ‘UNLEASHED’                                                                  

The 2012 Fall Chapter Series begins the week of September 9 so another week before it gets going.

If you want to publish the series and haven’t signed up, you have until Tuesday, September 4. And we’ll get you all the materials. However, it will be in a zip file and not a CD so we can have it to you on a moment’s notice.

And if you did not sign up in time to get the scrapbooks, don’t fret. We can send you the file and you can print your own, as many as you want. However, you must agree that all sponsorship logos will remain and that there will be NO changes, unless you add your newspaper’s name to the scrapbooks.

But let me know ASAP!!


From Kriss Johnson:

1. The illustrations for Chapter one and Chapter two are reversed.

FIX:  Use chapter two art for chapter one; use chapter one art for chapter two

2. If it appears that all of the quotations and apostrophes, along with other punctuation are being replaced with symbols like ,Äù.

FIX: Simply open the chapter text files in any text editor and save them in Rich Text Format. They should then import with all quotes correct.

3. Your newspaper hasn’t signed up for the UNLEASHED story. Chapter one begins the week of Sept. 9.

FIX: not too late. Go to


I’m going to try to update the webinar schedule in the calendar above and once in a while, give you a little rundown in this part. There are three upcoming webinars that would interest the newsrooms or advertising department.

Thursday, September 13, 2012 – How to pursue an investigative project while juggling other stories

Friday, September 14, 2012 – Digital Monetization: The Five Faces of a Multi-Media Salesperson

Thursday, September 27, 2012 – Mobile Sales Certificate Program: How to Find Success in This Key Digital Area – First of Three Sessions

Thursday, October 4, 2012 – Smartphones – Smart Journalism: Helping Journalists Report Faster and More Efficiently

Friday, October 12, 2012 – Mobile Sales Certificate Program: How to Find Success in This Key Digital Area – Second of Three Sessions

Thursday, November 8, 2012 – Mobile Sales Certificate Program; How to Find Success in This Key Digital Area – Third of Three Sessions


KPA and the Associated Press are petitioning the Supreme Court to allow the organizations to submit an amici curiae brief in a case involving the city of Fort Thomas v. the Cincinnati/Kentucky Enquirer. The brief, if accepted by the court, will argue in favor of the Court of Appeals’ holding that requires a law enforcement agency to meet its burden of proving the applicability of an exception to the Open Records law. And the amici is relevant to the case because of the concern for proper interpretation and application of the Open Records Act’s law enforcement exception.

KPNS NEARS 17,500           

Or it will be by the end of the week. Through Thursday, the total of stories scraped and shared by the Kentucky Press News Service was 17,419. Figuring a normal Friday and some articles posted Sunday, we should hit the 17,500 mark.

By the way, for you participating newspapers, David Greer is taking a vacation day today (Friday); he’ll do the Sunday budget; then has the Labor Day holiday off; and Tuesday, September 4 will be visiting newspapers. George Lewis will be handling the KPNS on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. David G. has sent you that information along with George’s email address. But if you have any problems or concerns, my email and my cell phone (859-608-2213) are available 24/7.


We begin September (tomorrow) with $3.772 million advertising placed in Kentucky newspapers. Just $228,000 more and we’ll hit the $4 million mark. And keeping the fingers crossed that the mark could be hit by the end of September.


Have the meeting at 2 p.m. here at the office on worker’s comp discussions and have to run to Lexington for a few. Otherwise, we’ll be here til 4:30 Eastern (or maybe 4:15, or maybe 4).

Just a reminder that the KPA Central Office will be closed Monday for Labor Day. If you need me for anything, I’ll be checking email through the long weekend and my cell phone is 859-608-2213.

We’ll be back in the office on Tuesday, September 4 and that reminds me to remind you that that is the very last day to signup for the Fall Chapter Series, “Unleashed,” with Woody and Chloe. It’s much too late to get scrapbooks but we can still send you the CD with the chapters, artwork and activities on it.


As always, call, email or drop by if you have corrections, additions, deletions, clarifications, questions, comments, concerns or issues.

Otherwise, thanx!!


Underway – Judging New Mexico Press Association News Content (electronically)

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

Thursday, September 13, 2012 – WEBINAR – How to pursue an investigative project while juggling other stories (Contact David T. for more information)

Friday, September 14, 2012 – WEBINAR – Digital Monetization: The Five Faces of a Multi-Media Salesperson (Contact David T. for more information)

Thursday, September 27, 2012 – WEBINAR — Mobile Sales Certificate Program: How to Find Success in This Key Digital Area – First of Three Sessions

Thursday, October 4, 2012 – WEBINAR Smartphones – Smart Journalism: Helping Journalists Report Faster and More Efficiently

Friday, October 12, 2012 – WEBINAR — Mobile Sales Certificate Program: How to Find Success in This Key Digital Area – Second of Three Sessions

Thursday, November 8, 2012 – WEBINAR — Mobile Sales Certificate Program; How to Find Success in This Key Digital Area – Third of Three Sessions

Thursday, October 4, 2012 – WEBINAR – Smartphones – Smart Journalism: Helping Journalists Report Faster and More Efficiently (Contact David T. for more information)

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 – Deadline for Entering Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers – 2012 Competition

November 7, 2012 – Better Business Bureau Luncheon Honoring Companies of 100-plus years (KPA will be 144 in January, 2013)

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, 2013 – 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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