December 28, 2012

Lots of material this week — more than 5,000 words worth including:

• KPA begins 2013 with 229 total members

• Dawson Springs Progress joins Kentucky New Era family

• KPNS surpasses 20,000 stories scraped from newspaper websites

• Dias re-elected Associates chair; Powers elected Ad Division chair

• Six-day delivery? Nothing’s settled yet

• 214-year-old weekly in New York goes totally digital

• Plus KPS ends 2012 at $4.681 million; website has 1.6 million hits; and the largest gathering of journalists in Kentucky’s history is just four weeks away. Are you registered? Have you reserved your rooms?

But first and foremost, to each of you:


WE ENTER 2013 WITH 186 + 43 = 229 MEMBERS!!

David Spencer’s getting the 2013 directory together and passed along this very good bit of information. As of today, KPA has 186 newspaper members. Then add to that 43 Associate Division members and we enter 2013 with 229 paying dues to KPA.

Here’s the breakdown:

Weekly Newspapers – 124

Daily Newspapers – 23

Associate Member Newspapers – 24

College/University Student Publications – 10

Online Publications – 5

Associate Division Members – 43

It’s especially pleasing to say that since 1993, every newspaper with a periodicals class mailing permit — meaning every newspaper you have to pay for by subscription and single copy price — is a member of KPA. That’s a statement only half-dozen or so states can say.

And we say, Thanks!!


The end of the year is when changes in newspaper ownership take place and 2012 is no different. The Dawson Springs Progress is now under the Kentucky New Era, Inc., ownership. The sale was announced Thursday on websites of The Progress and KNE’s three newspapers — the Kentucky New Era, Princeton Times Leader and the Eagle Post in Oak Grove.

Kentucky New Era Inc. — the Pennyrile region’s largest and oldest media group — announces today its acquisition of another weekly newspaper, The Dawson Springs Progress.

The acquisition expands the digital and print footprint of the Kentucky New Era media group and affords new opportunities for regional collaboration in content and advertising. The media group includes the Kentucky New Era, the Fort Campbell Courier, the Princeton Times Leader, The Eagle Post, and now The Dawson Springs Progress.

The owners of The Dawson Springs Progress have agreed to sell the newspaper to The Times Leader in Princeton, a subsidiary company owned by the New Era. The sale is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.

“The long-standing friendship of the Dillingham family with my family definitely makes this relationship something I am very comfortable with,” said Chip Hutcheson, publisher of the Times Leader. “(Publisher Scott Dillingham) and I have talked frequently over the years about situations that we both encounter and have sought each other’s advice on occasions. I believe we both have the same mind-set as to what a community newspaper should be, and we are committed to doing all we can to continue having a strong local newspaper for Dawson Springs.”

Both the Dillingham and the Hutcheson families have long histories in the newspaper business. The Princeton Leader had been owned by the Hutcheson family since 1949. It became The Times Leader in 1992 when it was purchased by The Kentucky New Era and merged with the Caldwell County Times.

“We are pleased to welcome the Dawson Springs Progress into the Kentucky New Era’s family of digital and print offerings across the Pennyrile region,” said Taylor Hayes, publisher and CEO of the New Era. “Our family has known and respected the fine work by the Dillinghams in making the Dawson Springs Progress a leader in its community. We will work hard to continue and extend their legacy.

“I am also pleased that Scott will be working with Chip, whose leadership at the Times Leader in Princeton has resulted in a greater audience and an expanded reach for its products in Caldwell and Lyon counties,” Hayes continued. “Together, we will secure the future of the Dawson Springs Progress and strengthen its role as Dawson Springs’ primary source of news and information.”

The Progress, established in August 1919 by W.T. Davis, was purchased by Niles O. Dillingham and Mack Sisk in 1946. Niles’ brother, Norris, later joined the paper by becoming part owner. The brothers bought Sisk out in 1971, and The Progress has been a family-run business since that time.

Niles’ sons, Jed and Scott, got an early taste of newspaper work, writing sports stories when they were growing up. Jed began writing for the paper officially in 1974 and later became the editor, a position he held until his death.

Scott became the advertising manager in 1985, after seven years with Bell South. He became editor and publisher when Jed died in 2007.

“The Dawson Springs Progress has been a part of me my entire life,” Scott said. “I never thought I would work here, much less be publisher, but after more than 27 years, it’s in my blood.”

Hutcheson said Scott will remain as the publisher with no changes in staff, and the Times Leader will handle other duties such as billing and circulation.


We’ll end 2012 with more than 20,000 stories posted on the Kentucky Press News Service and Editorial Service website for use among the 70 or so newspapers, public radio stations and KPA. When we ended Thursday, David Greer said the story count was 19,419 that had been scraped or written by him for KPNS use. The editorial sharing service that we started earlier this year has added 575 editorials to the tally, meaning we begin today with 19,994.


Some old (and I don’t mean by age), some new.

Monica Dias, KPA Associates Division, was re-elected to that position for two more years by the KPA Associates Board. We appreciate Monica’s willingness and interest in serving 2013-14 in the capacity. She was very complimentary to the KPA Board in telling the Associates Board how much serving has meant to her.

Helen Powers, ad director for Advocate Communications, has been named KPA Ad Division chair for 2013-14. Advocate Communications, of course, is the group of Kentucky newspapers that Scott Schurz Jr. publishes — Danville, Winchester, Nicholasville and Stanford.

And Loup Langton, director of the WKU Journalism School, will be serving his year as the western division member as Journalism Education Representative. These are typically two-year terms but he and Bob Adams agreed to represent Western for one year each. Bob, of course, served in 2012.

We also welcome to the 2013 Board, Sharon Burton, publisher of the Adair County Community Voice, who will be a State At-Large member, and Cathie Shaffer, GM at the Greenup County Times News, who was recently elected to a three-year term for District 9.

Welcome to them!!


David Spencer and I have used a couple of Census Bureau websites to get various demographic information for the directory. We’re focusing on 2011 population, number of households, number of females, median household income, 25+ with a high school diploma or higher, and total retail sales for 2011.

That way, we can update it each year from the two combo websites, though between now and the next census, a couple of the columns will be Census Bureau estimates.


I share the following from Tonda Rush, National Newspaper Association CEO and general counsel, on the USPS and Congress discussion on the future of six-day delivery:

The Postal Service continues to be required by Congress to provide Saturday mail delivery. The failure of Congress to reach agreement on a broad postal reform bill keeps 6-day mail intact for a while longer. But USPS continues to campaign to end it.

Here is what happened in the past few weeks:

Oversight committees trying to reach a deal to pass postal reform worked on a legislative package that would have ended Saturday mail after 1 year. Although the drafts were never made public, NNA has learned that one provision in the package was to grant NNA’s request for publisher access to the mailbox on any day in which mail was not delivered. This would have marked the first time since USPS was created that Congress specifically mandated even a small exception to USPS’s “mailbox” rule stating that no one but a USPS employee or contract carrier may put items in a mailbox. It would have been slim compensation for the loss of a delivery day, but still a significant step toward eventually opening the mailbox for newspaper carriers.

With no postal reform bill enacted, the prevailing law is the rider on USPS appropriations bill requiring 6-day mail. It must be re-enacted a year at a time, or in an environment like we have today where Congress does not pass actual appropriations bills but simply votes to continue status quo though continuing resolutions, it just gets carried forward with every government-wide spending bill.

During the postal reform fight, a group of letter carriers carried on a hunger strike at the Capitol. Such is the degree of controversy about this issue.

So Saturday delivery will be with us a while longer. It is vulnerable to elimination whenever Congress does finally pass a postal reform bill. But the strong union opposition to any of the reform bills so far proposed has kept the initiative bottled up.

Much now depends upon USPS’s rickety financial condition. It continues heavy losses on operations. The Congressional prefunding retiree health benefits requirement causes losses to mount. If USPS runs out of enough cash to meet payroll, emergency legislation may be needed.

Democratic leadership in the Senate promises to bring up postal reform “early” next year. But in Washington, that may mean April.

So we battle on, fighting for 6-day mail as well as a number of other concerns—like the USPS private contract with Valassis. Legislation on that also died with the reform package.

Please consider coming to Washington March 14 to join other publishers to take the battle to Capitol Hill. Your personal presence at such a volatile time will make a difference in how your Congressional delegation decides to vote. We hope to have at least 1 or 2 people from every state to make a *big* presence. Go to to check out details.

Let me know if you have questions.

Tonda Rush < — NNA CEO and general counsel


The KPA Ad Division committee met by conference call last week with one of the purposes being to address the electronic entry process for the Advertising Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers competition.

Previously, we required an ad be sold, conceived, designed, etc., by the newspaper. That was fine and dandy under previous composition setups where newspapers did their own layout and design. But more and more, we’re finding ad composition is done at another location — another newspaper, a graphic design office or even by independent contractor. So the “designed by” stipulation no longer existed. We’re going to say now that the ad must be sold by the newspaper ad staff but maybe designed off-site. Not eligible still will be ad agency submitted ads or ads sent in by a retailer.

We also discussed entry by ad size as opposed to circulation size. That would allow full pages be judged against other full pages; quarter pages against other quarter pages, etc. However, in checking with some of my press association colleagues who have this, they’ve redesigned their entire contest around that ad size basis. It will take us more time to discuss how to proceed on that.

We might, however, change a couple of categories in the contest and try one or two based on ad size and not circulation.

I hope to have the changes written and approved by the Ad Division in the next few days and then we’ll release the Advertising Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers – 2013 contest information. Deadline to enter will be the first week of March and it will ALL be done electronically. So instead of pulling tearsheets, start by finding where your pdfs are located. Full page pdfs will be required in each category.


Editor’s Note: I have no ownership to this information but I pass it along because it states the situation quite well. The author is Matt Sokoloff, a 2012-2013 Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow working on a project to help local independent websites and bloggers gain additional revenue opportunities. His background is in building digital products for media organizations.

For the complete article, go to:

How Press Association Ad Networks Can Help Newspapers Compete Online

The first local ad networks weren’t online, but instead were networks of local newspapers that worked together — usually through state press or newspaper associations — to allow larger advertisers to place ads on multiple publications. And to this day most such groups still offer an ad network for their member papers.

This setup is great for newspapers. They receive almost the same amount of revenue from an ad placed by the newspaper association as they do if one of their local sales reps had sold it — and in some cases they receive more because they are charging a national not a local rate.

One would think that the Internet would help these networks operate with even greater efficiency, but instead state and regional ad networks are still in the early stages online. The main reason for this is that online remnant providers got to the newspapers before the associations did. In the early days of newspaper websites, remnant networks began buying unsold inventory on the cheap. The remnant networks then resold the inventory for way below what the newspaper would typically sell it for. Over time national, regional, and, now even local advertisers began purchasing from these networks.

“The accumulation of user knowledge and audience access in the marketplace have created a commoditization of advertising inventory,” says Rob Wescott, VP of publisher solutions for North America at cXense, a company that works with publishing organizations to help them regain control of their ad inventory and audience data. “It has become all about reach: Advertisers can effectively buy commodity audiences on exchanges with limited perceived upside to premium publisher placements.”

State press associations have found it difficult to charge the newspaper rate card when ad networks are charging the same client far less. And because newspapers are used to charging the press associations their rate card fee, in some cases it would be cheaper for the press association to buy the newspapers’ inventory from an ad exchange than go directly to the newspaper.

But press associations aren’t there to sell ads to bring in revenue. They are nonprofits set up to help newspapers. These kinds of organizations can help increase CPMs and assist newspapers with ensuring that their ad inventory is always sold at a set value in two ways:

1. Advocate and educate member newspapers about how to properly deal with unsold inventory.
In an ideal world (for newspaper owners), all papers would agree to not sell any inventory on exchanges at a rate below a set CPM. There are two problems with this: 1) It’s never an easy task to get two newspapers to agree on, let alone all of them. 2) It’s highly illegal and would be considered price fixing.

Instead, there is room for helping with educating newspapers about the ramifications of putting all unsold inventory on exchanges without a floor. I’ve talked with a number of C level executives at large and small newspapers who had only a minimal understanding about how exchanges operate and the impact on their overall business.

Rob James, sales manager at the Nebraska Press Association and Advertising Services, explains this can be a key way for press associations to show their value: “We are approached frequently by member newspapers asking for online advice,” he says. “It’s obvious that monetizing their website is moving up the priority ladder for many of our member newspapers.”

2. Create a buying desk for state, regional, and national advertisers that offers products that other networks can’t.
Newspaper organizations should be focused on regaining control of inventory for their member newspapers. These organizations should contract with technology providers to create a buying desk that sells ads on the newspaper’s website as well as offering inventory from other exchanges.

“Press associations must first and foremost offer a product suite that engages with audiences across multimedia platforms to ensure relevance with agencies and national accounts,” says Samantha Johnston, executive director of the Colorado Press Association. “The key is offering scalable product portfolios based on membership.” The association is partnering with technology companies to not only offer products that will benefit their members but also extend those products to other press associations and newspaper groups.


Publishers — We’ve had a few proxies completed and sent back in for the KPA Business meeting. If you haven’t done that, look around your desk for a KPA envelope. In it will be a letter about the KPA Business meeting and a proxy for the one item on the Business Meeting agenda. That would be the election of Vice President of KPA for 2013. By proxy, you can direct your vote so that it’s included in the vote tally. The Business Meeting is required by KPA Bylaws and will be at 11:30 a.m./Eastern, on Thursday, January 24, 2013, at The Brown Hotel in Louisville.

The question on the proxy is the recommendation of the KPA Board of Directors that Rick Welch, publisher of The Madisonville Messenger, serve as Vice President of KPA for 2013. KPA Bylaws require the annual meeting of members and requires a quorum of those present. Your proxy returned to KPA will count toward the quorum and your vote will be counted.

The deadline to send your proxy back to KPA is January 21, 2013.


Happy Birthday today to KPA Board member Cheryle Walton. She turns “the speed limit” but while she won’t which speed limit, just figure it’s not the interstate speed limit.


A lot on your plate, a lot on your calendar and lots of other things you’ve been thinking about, so let me remind you once more — the deadline to reserve rooms at The Brown Hotel for the 2013 KPA/KIPA/KNPA/KHSJA Convention is Thursday, January 3.

Go to to access the online reservation form.


Have you registered yet? Remember, go to to find all the information about the largest gathering of in-training and professional journalists in Kentucky’s history. Really could be approaching 1000 over the three-day convention — January 24, 25 and 26.

By the way, David Greer’s high school journalism association convention day — January 24 — is holding at 391. He expects more when schools reopen next week!! 400 easily. 450 or 500 possible but I don’t know where we will put them if that many show up. Great problem to have.


Here’s an update from Jon Voket at the Newtown (CT) Bee, reaching out to the news media everywhere for the support shown the community:

Dear members of the newspaper community and to all our colleagues,

As I submit this update 12 days after Newtown suffered its most devastating tragedy, our community is still in a deep state of shock and grieving for those lost and the many others who will bear the burden of what they witnessed at the Sandy Hook School on December 14. But thanks to the increasing sensitivity of media outlets covering the story, our families, our own local and regional clergy and the world community that has wrapped Newtown in its collective arms – signs of healing are beginning to present.

On behalf of our Newtown Bee staff, I cannot thank you enough for listening to our request to respect the privacy of survivors, responders, school staff and others who may have been involved in the shooting or its aftermath. I have to believe that when and if these individuals are ready, they will reach out or open their doors to individual media attention.

In the meantime, my fellow staffers remain so very touched by the thoughts and wishes coming to us directly from colleagues across North America and around the globe. The Newtown Bee and our community continue to be awestruck by the outpouring of physical donations, and of monetary gifts to the primary benefit funds established following the event.

I am updating you today at the request of a group of Newtown officials including First Selectman Pat Llodra, Police Chief Michael Kehoe and School Superintendent Janet Robinson. Within a few days of the shooting, the deluge of goods – teddy bears, food, clothes, school supplies, blankets, toys, letters, cards, candles and artwork – quickly overwhelmed the community’s ability to receive, process, store and distribute what was arriving.

As of today, community leaders are pleading for the world media communicate to readers, listeners and viewers to temporarily halt any further dispatching of goods to the community, its schools, churches and nonprofit organizations. They are asking that any items already collected be distributed within the areas or communities of origin with Newtown’s deepest gratitude, and in memory of those we lost on December 14.

Once the community has sorted and processed the warehouses full of items already received, officials will reach out again clarifying the best ways to provide assistance and support. Please know that the immediate needs of the survivors, victims, school staff and responders are being met.

If any newspapers or partners in the media are inclined, they are invited to direct readers, viewers and listeners to for information on donating to a primary relief fund established shortly after the incident. Officials are assuring donors that proceeds from this fund will be used to help the Newtown/Sandy Hook community in their efforts to deal with this tragedy, and that a panel of community members is being organized to attend to its eventual distributions.

The funds co-organizer, United Way of Western Connecticut, is only applying external processing fees to donations received for this Sandy Hook School Support Fund by Internet, phone, or texting NEWTOWN to 80888. There will be no United Way or bank management fees attached to any donations to this Fund.

The Newtown Bee will continue to list the growing number of other efforts and funds that have, or will be established in the days ahead. And we invite you to look to our website and publication as a resource for the most immediate and accurate information about these efforts.


John Voket

Associate Editor

The Newtown Bee…since 1877

vm: 203-509-2246


Statewide Classified coordinator Autumn Glancy started her maternity leave Thursday, a few days early but under doctor’s order to get bed rest. She and husband Jacob are expecting their first child, Winston, in early January.

Until she returns, contact Teresa Revlett for any Statewide Classified questions or issues. We’ll makeshift the staff with Teresa coordinating, Sue getting the ads ready and David Spencer posting them for newspapers to access


Since this is the last working day of the year for KPA/KPS staff, it looks like we’ll end up with $4,681,230.16 in placement. And we have $29,775 in-house for 2013.


The Ballston Journal—the oldest weekly newspaper in New York state—published its last print edition Dec. 21.

Angela McFarland, who purchased the 214-year-old publication from The Hearst Corp. in 2009, said increasing production costs, shifts in readership and declining advertising revenue all played a part in her decision to convert to a digital-only format.

McFarland, who is 44, called the decision “heartbreaking” but unavoidable.


A letter from Al Cross at the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues:

Readers of The Rural Blog:

For more than eight years, the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues has been providing The Rural Blog free to rural journalists and others interested in rural issues and rural journalism. We’re supported by the University of Kentucky and an endowment, but have found it challenging to raise money for the endowment because of economic conditions, especially in the news business, and because few major contributors are interested in giving to journalism – unless that means some journalist is going to help them carry water or grind an ax. We don’t do that, because we treasure the principle of journalistic independence. So, we must seek the help of those who presumably place some value on our work.

Contributions to our endowment are long-term investments in the Institute, whose mission is to help rural journalists define the public agenda in their communities – through strong reporting and commentary, particularly on issues that have local impact but few if any good local sources. The Institute is a national leader in the effort to uphold the standards of good journalism at the community level even as they are being eroded by the decline of metropolitan media, a decline that has reduced rural coverage

To donate online, go to and scroll to the “Gift Information” section. On the pull-down menu for colleges, on the left, choose Communication and Information, then on the right pull-down menu choose the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues Endowed Fund for Excellence.

You can also contribute by check (made out to the University of Kentucky with “IRJCI” on the memo line), mailed to the address below. If you want your gift to have immediate impact, you can donate to the Institute’s operating account by writing “IRJCI operating” on the memo line. Both types of donations are tax-deductible.

Thanks for your help and your readership. We are especially grateful to those of you who have already given, without being asked.

Happy New Year,

Al Cross

Director, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues

Associate extension professor, School of Journalism and Telecommunications

122 Grehan Journalism Building, University of Kentucky

Lexington KY 40506-0042


Read The Rural Blog at


We have an advertiser/vendor interested in advertising in 2013 on the KPA website but before committing, the vendor wanted some numbers. How many visitors and hits have we had on

David Spencer ran some numbers and found January, 2012, and October, 2012, to be the biggest months. We surpassed 4000 unique visitors both months. The number of visits was pretty even through the year with October being the largest at 10,653 and six other months with more than 9000.

And for 2012, had 1.601 million hits. The largest months were January (197,550 — can you say convention?) and October (179,666 — had to be the KPA news contest). We had another 164,271 hits in September when the news contest information was first posted and that marked the start of the Fall Chapter Series, “Unleashed.


Another 60 percent week. The KPA Central Office will be closed Monday and Tuesday for New Years and we’ll reopen first thing Wednesday morning.

Thursday, I’m heading straight to The Brown to go over more particulars for the winter convention and should be in by noon. And then in all day Friday, I think.

Wow! Just over 5,100 words — I think that’s a record — and I didn’t expect this week’s to be more than a couple of pages, what with the short work week. So I’ll hold it at this, wish you each a very HAPPY NEW YEAR from the staff of your state press association and remind you that we’ll be closed from late this afternoon until Wednesday, January 2, about 8 a.m. Eastern.

Call, email even fax if you have questions, comments, concerns, issues, clarifications, corrections, additions, deletions or wish to say Happy New Year!

Otherwise, thanx!!


December 31, 2012 – January 1, 2013 – KPA Central Office Closed for New Year’s

January 8 – 11, 2013 – Kentucky General Assembly Organizational Session

January 13, 1869 – Not a year misprint, done intentionally. January 13 marks KPA’s 144th birthday, dating back to 1869

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

January 26, 2013 – Both the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association and Kentucky News Photographers Association finish up their 2013 Conventions at The Brown

February 5 – March 26 2013 – 2013 Kentucky General Assembly Session – Part Two

March 13 – 15, 2013 – National Newspaper Association’s “We Believe in Newspapers” Leadership Conference – Crystal City Marriott, Washington, D.C.

September 12 – 15, 2013 – 127th Annual National Newspaper Association Convention and Trade Show, Phoenix, AZ

August 6 – 9, 2013 – Newspaper Association Managers Annual Convention, Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia

November 3 – 5, 2013 – 2013 Southeast Region Newspaper Association Managers (SERNAM) Fall Conference, Park Vista Hotel, Gatlinburg

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

January 22 – 23, 2015 – 2015 KPA Winter Convention, Marriott East, Louisville

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


Registration generally is $35 and available at

Wednesday, January 16 – 12 noon/Eastern; 11 a.m./Central

Classified Outbound Calling, Revenue That Sticks!

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