January 3, 2014

• Retailer changes sales dates, newspapers adjust schedules

• KPA Past Presidents select 23 Host Newspapers for 2014 internship program

• 2014 KPA/KPS Executive Committee takes office

• KPA Facebook Page following convention has 16,000+ reach

• KPS begins 2014 with record January

• From editor to filmmaker; that’s Ralph Davis

• KPA needs news, ad judges for Maryland/Delaware/DC press contests (likes ours, it’s done online)

• About one-third through the session and legislation starting to pick up

Kroger ad schedule change makes newspapers adjust

The sign in the Georgetown Kroger caught my eye: “As of Wednesday, February 5, our sales will break on Wednesdays instead of Sundays.” Most people wouldn’t have given it a second thought but my first inclination was “How is this going to affect newspapers?”

Your might think it wouldn’t but it will for those with Kroger inserts and ads. Many newspapers have adjusted their delivery schedules especially for the TMC product to keep Kroger inserts. Used to be Kroger had its sales break on Wednesdays and you’d find a lot of shoppers and newspapers with the Kroger ads at mid-week.

Then Kroger went to its sales breaking on Sunday so many newspapers had to adjust. With the company leaning toward full-market publications, the TMC might have been moved to Friday or Saturday. Keep the customer happy.

So what’s the plan now? As you’d expect, many are reverting to the previous ad sales schedule and moving the publication or delivery date back to accommodate Kroger. In some cases, the new schedule means an adjustment of just a day or two in production/delivery of the TMC product.

Some comments from randomly selected newspapers:

• We are aware. A while back, we made some major changes to our TMC product to accommodate them. Now, they are going back where they used to be with us, and we’re changing again. We have had some conference calls, and they have indicated that they want to work with one representative of a company, so I guess that’s how things will go. We had changed our publication date of our shopper, but it will now go back to the old day.

• Yes, we’ve known about this since late last year. We’ve made the needed changes we have to make in order to keep Kroger. We’d bend over backwards for them. It’s sort of annoying. But, I get it. Our shopper will now be going out on Wednesdays to accommodate the switch. The same day as our paper.

• Yes, we are moving delivery of our TMC to Tuesday rather than Monday for Kroger. We’ve had several months notice. Not that big of a deal for us since our TMC is delivered on Tuesday every time the post office has a holiday anyway! Keeps Kroger running full run and doesn’t affect anyone else.

• We lost Kroger at one point. They went to Direct Mail.  On the plus side I picked up 3 pages per week from Krogers for February and March.  Said they would re-evaluate then.  We had moved our publish date from Tuesday to Wednesday several months ago and Kroger was thrilled.  Then they came back and said they didn’t want the Direct mail piece to be delivered the same day we came out.  No plans to change our publication dates again.

• Kroger originally planned to make the change last October but ran into computer issues and pushed it until after the holidays. A little history about our Kroger. We lost Kroger about six years ago when the company decided to only advertise in metro newspapers. Until then, Kroger was running a full page in our TMC and in the print edition. Its preprints were being distributed in the full market through ADVO. I stayed in touch with Kroger and when the Marketplace was announced I revisited Kroger. They expressed a desire to have their ads delivered on Sunday. Our TMC was delivered on Tuesday and the newspaper was delivered on Saturday, so we did not have a product that fit. I approached Kroger about creating a carrier delivered Sunday TMC and they liked the idea. So, in late August 2012 we launched The Sunday Shopper but we kept the Tuesday Shopper, which was distributed through racks and single copy outlets. Kroger pulled its preprints from ADVO as a result of our agreement. Because of this latest move, we discontinued The Sunday Shopper as of Jan. 26 and Kroger is moving its preprints to the midweek shopper. We have moved the distribution date from Tuesday to Wednesday and shopper will now be carrier delivered beginning on Feb. 5. Kroger is very important to us, and I recognized that we needed to be flexible in meeting Kroger’s needs.

• Because of this shift, we moved our TMC from Monday delivery to Wednesday delivery back in early November.  We did this at Kroger’s request because Kroger is the backbone of our TMC product.   Kroger’s plans with us include moving their preprints to Wednesday in the newspaper and their ROP to Sundays in the newspaper.  This is the opposite of what they were doing when they had Sunday as the ad sales break. We advertised the changes with “value added” ROP  and TMC ads so Kroger shoppers would not be confused by the changes.

Special Election in District 1

Loyd Ford’s election as vice president of KPA/KPS means the District 1 Board seat is vacant. And the Bylaws require a Special Election when that happens. We’re in the process now of having newspapers nominate individuals for that seat and if more than one person is nominated, then we’ll go through the election process. We should know in about two weeks who will be representing the district, which are counties in far Western Kentucky, nearest the Mississippi River. The person elected will complete Loyd’s term through January, 2015, and then an election will take place for a full three-year term.

Space to the right of this column is for sale in case any potential candidates wish to buy an ad. It’s cheap space and you don’t have to include a disclaimer about who’s paying for the ad.

So just who is your Executive Committee? And we welcome new Board members

If you missed the Changing of the Guard lunch at the convention and you haven’t seen a 2014 KPA Directory yet, then you might be asking that question.

So here’s the answer: Our 2014 KPA/KPS Executive Committee is Scott Schurz Jr., President, Advocate Communications; Rick Welch, President Elect, Madisonville Messenger; Willie Sawyers, Past President, London Sentinel Echo/Corbin Times Tribune; Loyd Ford, Vice President, The Lake News; Cheryle Walton, Treasurer, Beattyville Enterprise.

We have some new Board members as well: Regina Catlett, Sebree Banner/Sturgis News, District 3; Kim Woods, Lexington Herald-Leader, District 13; Jean Porter, The Courier-Journal, State At-Large; Linda Ireland, LaRue County Herald News, State At-Large; Cheryl Caulk Magers, Central Kentucky News Journal, Campbellsville, KPA Advertising chair; and Stan McKinney, Campbellsville University, Journalism Education Representative. Michele Day, Northern Kentucky University, will be filling in as a JER as well while Mary Cupito recovers from an illness.

Past Presidents select 23 Host Newspapers for Internship Program

A dozen KPA Past Presidents, who served from 1977 to 2013, met during the Winter Convention last week and selected the 23 Host Newspapers for the 2014 KPA internship program.

past-presidents-1024x680

KPA Past Presidents at the convention were, front, left to right, Willie Sawyers (2013), John Mura (2012), Taylor Hayes (2008), Teresa Revlett (2000), and John Nelson (2004). Back row, Kriss Johnson (2007), Tom Caudill (1999), Bill Matthews (1977) David Hawpe (1990), Jerry Lyles (1993), Chip Hutcheson (2010) and Celia McDonald (1991). The Past Presidents selected 23 newspapers to be hosts to the 2014 KPA internship program.

The 23 Host Newspapers for 2014 are the Louisville Courier-Journal, West Kentucky News, London Sentinel Echo, Henderson Gleaner, Casey County News, Adair County Community Voice, Ashland Daily Independent, Corbin News Journal, Corbin Times Tribune, Grant County News, Elizabethtown News Enterprise, Frankfort State Journal, Kentucky New Era, Lebanon Enterprise, Somerset Commonwealth Journal, Richmond Register, Mt. Sterling Advocate, Tompkinsville News, Georgetown News-Graphic, Cynthiana Democrat, LaRue County Herald News, Carrollton News Democrat and Princeton Times Leader.

Lots of students apply for KPA’s Newspaper and Associates internship program

Fifty-three and 21. Seventy-four total. That’s the number of college students applying for one of 23 newspaper internships and three scheduled for the KPA Associates. While the 53 wanting to intern at a newspaper isn’t a record, the 21 for the Public Relations program certainly is. Typically, we’re lucky to get a double-digit number applying for the PR internship. Now the total might drop very slightly as we go through the applications. All students applying have to have a Kentucky connection to be eligible: either be a graduate of a Kentucky high school or be attending a Kentucky college or university. There might be a couple who don’t meet those requirements and we’ll delete them from the list. But we did find a couple of new universities/colleges represented by the students. We have one from Moscow State University and one from Ferrum College. Neither are located in Kentucky.

Variety of student interests

Usually, students applying for a news intern spot (editorial side) far outnumber the ones interested in advertising, photography or even “online journalist.” Not so apparently in 2014. We have a large number (13) interested in advertising, about three times the normal; 21 willing to intern as a photographer, also about three times the normal number; and FORTY-THREE as online journalists. There are 45 willing to take a news/editorial spot.

Okay, you’re right, those figures add up to more than 53. But the students appear more willing to diversify in 2014 than in previous years. Perhaps they think their chances are better reaching out to various positions at newspapers rather than focusing on just news.

Regardless, it’s good to see that in three “news-related” spots — photography, online and editorial — there’s a variety of interests for the 23 Host Newspapers to consider. And maybe there’s getting to be more interest in advertising as well. That’s certainly something newspapers can benefit from — students getting a good education in the advertising side of the business. All too often, newspapers have had to hit the street to offer a position in sales. And the training is usually something like, “Here’s our rate card, this is a column inch size, now go sell a bunch of them.”

Floyd County Times editor also now a filmmaker; debuts February 7      

Ralph B. Davis

Ralph B. Davis

You might know the name Ralph B. Davis and connect him to the editor spot at the Floyd County Times in Prestonsburg. But Ralph is also a filmmaker and one of his films debuts Friday, February 7 in Louisville.

Here’s a blurb from the Courier-Journal about Ralph’s film:

The Clifton Center has screenings of a documentary and an independent film coming up.

“Appalachia 2050” will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7. This will mark the first public screening of this documentary that asks leading Appalachian residents their opinions about the successes and shortcomings of the War on Poverty, as well as their thoughts on how to win that war by the year 2050.

“Having lived and worked in Eastern Kentucky my entire life, it dawned on me one day that no one had ever asked me or anyone I know what we want to see Appalachia become,” said filmmaker Ralph B. Davis. “I found that unusual, considering there has been this half-century effort to ‘fix’ our region. With so much time and money spent looking for answers, I felt it would only be appropriate to ask the people who live in the region what result they want to see come out of all this. I started thinking, ‘Someone should film a documentary about this,’ and then I finally decided to do it myself.”

The film will be followed by a Q&A with Davis and some of the people who appear in the film. Admission is a requested $5 donation at the door to Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. The screening is sponsored by the Jefferson County Chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, as part of the group’s “Louisville Loves Mountains Week.”

We need YOU!! Help us judge MDDC advertising AND news contests

KPA will be judging the MDDC Press Association (that’s the Maryland, Delaware, DC group) starting in mid-February and we’ll be doing both its advertising and news contests.

And the best news is, you can do it in the comfort of your home or office because 99 percent of it will be done online.

So we’re reaching out. If you’ve never judged a contest then this is your opportunity to see exactly what judges in other states do when they judge our contests. And I know most of you old-timers love doing contest judges so here’s the opportunity again.

Drop me an email as soon as possible and let me know you’re interested. Maybe even get several to join with you, have a pizza party and do some judging!

KPA Facebook Page explodes after awards banquet

We can post pictures of staff birthdays or the staff visiting newspapers and we always see a spike in the KPA Facebook Page. Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/kypress

But when Teresa took photos of the convention and especially those getting awards, the Facebook total went off the page. The Reach was more than 16,000 on Saturday, the day the photos were posted. We had 9279 Post clicks with 1,155 People Engaged (defined as the unique number of people who liked, commented, shared or clicked on the Posts).

Of those visiting the site:

• 11.5% were women, age 25-34 (compared to 8% men that age)

• 14.2% were women, age 45-54 (compared to 11.8% men that age)

• 14.9% were women, age 35-44 (compared to 10.4% men that age)

• 3% were women over age 65 (compared to 3.1% men over age 65)

As to locations, Lexington was top, barely ahead of Louisville, then Georgetown and Frankfort. Of course, almost all visitors were from the USA but a number of foreign countries showed up as well.

And there were several languages represented on the report. I note that because one was identified as “Greek.” And that made me think it’s appropriate because all of these numbers and comparisons and charts and definitions are Greek to me.

January sets record for ad placement

I really thought January, 2014, would come in as maybe the second or third highest January in history. I thought the $2.425 million we started with in 2010 would be the milestone. But in checking the monthly ad totals this morning, the $2.425 million was in February, 2010.

And that means the $409,758.60 that KPS placed in January, 2014, is the new high for a January. In fact, it’s more than double what most previous Januarys have been. January and February have always been slow months in advertising sales. Retailers slow down their placement after the holidays and then wait for the warmer weather of March or April before the pace picks up.

Now looking ahead, we already have $91,028 in-house for February placement. And while that’s a nice start and encouraging, well just remember February, 2010, with $2.425 million. That mark may never be broken. I hope it is and a higher figure is placed in some month in the future. But for now, it’s safe and we all excited about the start to 2014.

McConnell-Sponsored Bill to Aid Families Adopting Children Internationally Signed Into Law

(Editor’s Note: I don’t include political news releases in On Second Thought but with the Kentucky newspaper tie to this article, I am making an exception.)

Washington, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has announced a bipartisan bill he cosponsored to make it easier for American families to adopt children was signed into law. The Accuracy for Adoptees

Last March, Senator McConnell met with Chip and Karen Hutcheson and their grandchildren in his office in the U.S. Capitol. Several years ago, Senator McConnell’s office assisted the Hutcheson family with the adoption of Lemlem and Kashiku from Ethiopia.
(Front, L-R: Lemlem and Kashiku Hutcheson. Back, L-R: Karen Hutcheson, Sen. McConnell, Chip Hutcheson)

Last March, Senator McConnell met with Chip and Karen Hutcheson and their grandchildren in his office in the U.S. Capitol. Several years ago, Senator McConnell’s office assisted the Hutcheson family with the adoption of Lemlem and Kashiku from Ethiopia.
(Front, L-R: Lemlem and Kashiku Hutcheson. Back, L-R: Karen Hutcheson, Sen. McConnell, Chip Hutcheson)

Act requires federal agencies to defer to and recognize state court orders amending a child’s name or date of birth on government issued documents. This law ensures that when a child applies for a driver’s license, a job, Social Security card, and passport, one date of birth is recognized and used.

“As a proud co-sponsor of this bipartisan legislation, I am pleased that the Accuracy for Adoptees Act is now law. I hear from many Kentuckians who are struggling to adopt children internationally and have requested assistance from my office. This measure will help many of those families by reducing the burdensome red tape and making it easier for them to receive the clarity they need when adopting children internationally,” Senator McConnell said.

One family that contacted Senator McConnell was Chip and Karen Hutcheson of Princeton, Kentucky. Last year, they, along with their two adopted grandchildren, met with Senator McConnell in his office in the United States Capitol. During the meeting, Hutcheson advocated for further assistance pertaining to reconciling federal and state documents with conflicting birth dates for children adopted abroad.

Upon hearing the news the measure was signed into law, Mr. Hutcheson, publisher of The Times Leader and president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said, “I will be forever grateful for Senator McConnell’s efforts in helping pass this bill. This is common sense pro-family legislation that relieves a tremendous burden on families who adopt internationally. Senator McConnell’s efforts will help make it easier to adopt a child from another country, benefitting not only American families but many orphans around the world. We have two grandchildren who were adopted from Ethiopia, and one of them has an error on his birth certificate from that country. Now all the red tape will be eliminated in rectifying that situation so that he will have an accurate record throughout his life.”

The bipartisan bill was introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). Other co-sponsors include: Sens. Landrieu (D-LA), Durbin (D-IL), Leahy (D-VT), Barrasso (R-WY), Enzi (R-WY), Vitter (R-LA), Rubio (R-FL), Flake (R-AZ), Boozman (R-AR), Inhofe (R-OK), and Kirk (R-IL). The legislation passed the House and Senate in December, 2013.

Last year, Senator McConnell met with Chip and Karen Hutcheson and their grandchildren in his office in the U.S. Capitol. Several years ago, Senator McConnell’s office assisted the Hutcheson family with the adoption of Lemlem and Kashiku from Ethiopia.
(Front, L-R: Lemlem and Kashiku Hutcheson. Back, L-R: Karen Hutcheson, Sen. McConnell, Chip Hutcheson)

It’s Legislative Season in the Bluegrass!

Senate Bill 105

(On the items below, I’m including a pdf link in case you want to read the entire bill).

SENATE BILL 105

We normally are defenisve minded when it comes to legislative activity, trying to protect Open Meetings, Open Records and Public Notice Advertising. It’s been some eight years since KPA filed legislation but we have one for 2014.

KRS 342 defines newspaper carriers as employees of newspapers even though the carriers are treated as independent contractors. Newspaper companies comply with all IRS strandards of determining if a carrier is an employee or independent contractor. And newspapers are the only business/industry specifically mentioned in existing law. It’s been that way since the 1970s when a Senator got mad at a newspaper and got the language passed.

Now there’s enough interest, enough need for us to pursue a change. Senate Bill 105 is one of the “simple pieces of legislation.” Simply all it does is delete that subsection of KRS 342.650 that states carriers are employees. Leigh Ann Thacker, Marc Wilson and Ashley Pack have worked diligently on this, lining up numerous officials to either support or “not oppose” our bill.

It’s being sponsored by Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, and we’re hoping to get Sen Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, to sign on as a co-sponsor. We’ll keep you posted and we will notify all newspapers with a member on the committee it gets assigned to in the Senate.

Senate Bill 101

SENATE BILL 101

This legislation would allow all government agencies to put public notices currently run in newspapers on the government’s website, with only a small ad in the newspaper directing folks to the URL where the information can be found.

We are opposed obviously but we’re also exploring any concessions or compromises that could be offered to make this palatable. There probably are none but it’s something those of us involved have to work on.

So the current message is this: KPA and the newspaper industry are strongly opposed to Senate Bill 101 as it currently reads. And we will remain opposed unless some agreements, changes, concessions or compromises come forth before it goes to the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

Stayed tuned on this one.

Almost one-third of the way through the 2014 General Assembly

It’s the end of January and the General Assembly just adjourned its 18th day. So we’re close to one-third of the way through the 60-day session.

Few things have moved through the process so far but expect the activity to start picking up now that the filing deadline has past and the governor has discussed his budget.

HOUSE BILL 5

HOUSE BILL 176

Two of the bills we’ve watched and worked on have gotten through the House by a total vote of 198-0. House Bill 5 was legislation pushed by State Auditor Adam Edelen that would require government agencies to notify anyone and everyone whenever there was a security breach that could result in release of personal information.

Our concern was that some public agencies, including some unnamed cabinets, could try to argue the language meant they would not have to release any kind of personal information to anyone. That wasn’t the case and we knew it but we wanted some protection to the Open Records Act.

When a committee substitute bill became necessary, the Auditor’s Office did include language that nothing in the new law would impact the Open Records Law. That should satisfy our concerns. The bill passed 100-0.

House Bill 176 was approved by a 98-0 vote in the House. This would allow transmitting the ‘Your Duty Under the Law’ publication, done by the AG and aimed at newly appointed and elected public officials to receive the publication by digital/electronic format instead of a hard copy. It also allows the cities to divide the cost of publishing the delinquent tax list costs among all names on the published list. Previously, the city could charge $5 per name to cover the publication costs. But with this legislation, the cities can divide the total cost among the number of names so that the entire publication costs is covered by those who are delinquent in paying their taxes.

2013 lobbying total reaches a new high

According to recently-filed reports, businesses, organizations, and legislative agents spent $16.4 million on Kentucky lobbying in 2013, a record amount for an odd-numbered year in which the legislative session lasts just 30 days.

The total is eight percent higher than the $15.1 million spent in the last odd-numbered year, and just $1.4 million less than the spending in 2012, when the session lasted 60 days.  Most of the spending total is compensation for lobbyists, who were paid $14.9 million during the year.

Out of 708 businesses and organizations that lobbied in 2013, the top five spenders accounted for over $1 million of spending.  Those top spenders are:  Altria Client Services ($291,379); Kentucky Chamber of Commerce ($289,824); Century Aluminum ($198,687); Kentucky Hospital Association ($172,421); and Kentucky Medical Association ($160,063).

The next highest spending employers are: Kentucky Justice Association ($128,895); Buffalo Trace Distillery ($120,000); Hewlett Packard ($120,000); Houchens Industries ($118,500); Kentucky Retail Federation ($112,300); AT&T ($108,847); Kentucky League of Cities ($92,793); Humana ($92,612); KentuckyOne Health ($91,885); and Home Builders Association of Kentucky ($91,422).

Other top spenders include:  Norton Healthcare ($90,411); Churchill Downs ($90,328); National Tobacco Co. ($90,000); Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities ($88,956); EQT Corp. ($88,217); Jefferson County Public Schools ($87,176); Kentucky Association of Manufacturers ($83,490); Kentucky Bankers Association ($81,397); Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation ($80,304); Kentucky Cable Telecommunications Association ($79,976); Dismas Charities ($79,202); Swedish Match North America($78,302); CSX Corp. ($77,387); Kentucky Beer Wholesalers Association ($75,397); LifePoint Hospitals($74,664); Bluegrass New Directions ($73,009); Toyota Motors North America ($72,572); Kentucky Optometric Association ($71,931); and Anheuser-Busch Co. ($70,199).

Compared to 2009, Altria’s lobbying spending increased by 15%; the Chamber of Commerce is up 21%; Kentucky Hospital Association is up 43%; Kentucky Medical Association is up four percent; Kentucky Justice Association is up 11%; while CSX is down 30%; and Kentucky Farm Bureau is down 26%.

peter-essick-1024x565

WKU, John B. Gaines Family Series to host photographer Peter Essick

Essick was recently named one of the top 40 most influential photographers in the world by Outdoor Photography Magazine. He is also a frequent contributor to National Geographic Magazine.

Gallery Show: Our Beautiful, Fragile World

January 27- March 21

Gallery and Atrium of Mass Media & Technology Hall on the campus of WKU
essick-1-300x280Gallery hours: Sundays 3-9 pm; Monday – Wednesday 9-9 pm; Tuesday and Friday 9-5 pm. Parking is freeing the Chestnut Street Lot after 4:30 pm weekdays and all day Sunday.

Reception: February 27, 6:30pm
essick-3-207x300

Gallery and Atrium of Mass Media & Technology Hall on the campus of WKU

Presentation: February 27, 7:30pm

Auditorium, Mass Media & Technology Hall on the campus of WKU

This event is made possible through the generosity of the John B. Gaines family.

The Show Features Images from Peter Essick’s recent book, Our Beautiful, Fragile World

Our Beautiful, Fragile World features a career-spanning look at the images of photojournalist Peter Essick taken while on assignment for National Geographic magazine. In this book, Essick showcases a diverse series of photographs from some of the most beautiful natural areas in the world and documents major contemporary environmental issues, such as climate change and nuclear waste.

Each photograph is accompanied by commentary on the design process of the image, Essick’s personal photographic experiences, and informative highlights from the research he completed for each story. Our Beautiful, Fragile Worldtakes the reader on a journey around the globe, from the Oulanka National Park near the Arctic Circle in Finland to the Adelie penguin breeding grounds in Antarctica.

Our Beautiful, Fragile World will interest photographers of all skill levels. It carries an important message about conservation, and the photographs provide a compelling look at our environment that will resonate with people of all ages who care about the state of the natural world.

Focus on Postal

Network Rationalization Phase II Postponed

This is good news for those mailing through Lexington.

The Postal Service has postponed moving forward with Phase II of Network Rationalization.

The Postal Service filed a Federal Register notice on Jan. 17 announcing the postponement of the implementation date for the revised service standards that were scheduled to take effect on Feb. 1, as part of Phase II of the Network Rationalization initiative.

The new implementation date will be announced by the Postal Service in the Federal Register at least 90 days before it takes effect.

The Postal Service will continue working with its mailers and customers on this issue to ensure a smooth transition and to give customers ample time to make changes.

NNA joins broad mailing industry to overturn postal service rate hike

Approval of rate increase was based on flawed, inaccurate studies on mail volume loss

WASHINGTON DC – National Newspaper Association today joined a broad coalition of postal customers and suppliers to ask the United States Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to overturn a December 24 decision of the Postal Regulatory Commission (“PRC”) approving a postage rate hike of six percent—more than triple the rate of inflation. The PRC justified the rate hike as an emergency measure to offset losses that the 2007-2009 recession supposedly inflicted on the United States Postal Service (“USPS”). The main cause of the Postal Service’s losses in recent years, however, is the public’s increased use of the Internet instead of mail. The law was designed to prevent the Postal Service from recovering this kind of loss through above-inflation rate increases.

The appeal is sponsored by a broad coalition of companies and mailer groups that represent every major class of mail, and the majority of mail volume, in the United States. The mail affected by the rate hike includes personal correspondence, bills and invoices, magazines and newspapers, catalogs and other advertising mail, and many kinds of parcel mail.

NNA President Robert M. Williams, Jr., publisher of the Blackshear (GA) Times, said NNA joined the appeal out of concern for the impact upon newspapers and other local businesses.

“The 2006 law gave us predictable and stable postal rates, and that was a very good thing through the Great Recession. Congress wrote in a clause to allow exigent—or emergency—increases when the Postal Service faced unforeseeable circumstances. Using that clause to hike postage rates so much beyond inflation now to deal with the inevitable adjustments needed because of digital diversion is the wrong way to go. This unfortunate increase harms our newspapers and other businesses that are critical to driving local economies. We think USPS and the PRC should take another look and we hope the court agrees,” he said.

The coalition joining the appeal includes: Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, American Catalog Mailers Association, Association for Postal Commerce, Association of Marketing Service Providers, Direct Marketing Association, Inc., The Envelope Manufacturers Association, Greeting Card Association, Major Mailers Association, MPA—The Association of Magazine Media, National Association of Presort Mailers, National Newspaper Association, National Postal Policy Council, Newspaper Association of America, Printing Industries of America, Quad/Graphics, Inc., Saturation Mailers Coalition, and Software & Information Industry Association/American Business Media.

Unlimited postal rate increases proposed by Senate

Sens. Thomas Carper, D-DE, and Tom Coburn, R-OK, are proposing new legislation that would remove rate regulation from the Postal Regulatory Commission and give the U.S. Postal Service’s own Board of Governors unlimited authority to adjust postage rates for mail within its mail monopoly.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee intends to review this bill for passage to the Senate floor on Jan. 29. NNA recommends that you urgently contact your senators to ask them to contact the committee and urge that this bill be suspended until proper rate regulation is included.

Background

Despite a postage rate increase that more than triple inflation rates for most Periodicals-mailed newspapers, the Postal Service continues to argue for more “flexibility” in setting rates. That flexibility could be manifested in higher Periodicals rates, lower saturation mail rates for newspaper competitors and other outcomes that affect mail distribution.

Now, the law limits postal increases to a common Consumer Price Index for each class of mail (e.g,.First Class, Periodicals, Standard), to be exceeded only with prior review of the PRC.

But the new proposal would let the presidentially-appointed Board of Governors, which includes two seats for postal management, decide to raise rates by the CPI index plus 1 percent as a total revenue figure for all monopoly mail. That means major adjustments for Periodicals mail, Standard mail or other classes used by newspapers could occur so long as all mail together produced revenue under the cap.

This provision could mean a chain of triple- or quadruple-inflation increases, without even PRC oversight, in the future.

The bill also includes modest language to rein in Negotiated Service Agreements, such as the one extended to Valassis Direct Mail Inc, last year. But this proposed language requiring the Postal Service to take into consideration the relative harms to mailers, would simply invite the PRC into regulating the advertising marketplace. It is not enough. Our industry needs tighter rules on NSAs.

ACTIONS:

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, is prepared to introduce an amendment to strike the rates section, Section 310, and leave the current law as is. If you have senators on the committee, please ask them to join her. But even if your senators are not on the committee, please contact them NOW and tell them:

The Postal Service remains a powerful government monopoly that must not be deregulated to this degree.

Setting a price cap at the total-mail level, rather than upon each mail class, invites price manipulation by USPS.

The Postal Service badly needs some other provisions in this bill, such as one to recalculate crippling burdens from employee benefit programs imposed by Congress in 2006. But while Section 310 remains, many who otherwise support postal reform, cannot promote the Carper-Coburn bill.

The Postal Service should not engage in NSAs for advertising. Its monopoly pricing powers distort the market and improperly put the Board of Governors and PRC into a role of advertising regulators.

Also, please join NNA on March 13 in Washington when publishers take their case to Capitol Hill. NNA is the voice in Washington for Community Newspapers. Postal Reform legislation is needed. Once completed, it will be in effect for years to come. Act now to protect your industry.

For more information contact NNA’s Postal and Government Relations Committees: Max Heath, maxheath@lcni.com; Deb McCaslin, dmccaslin@kdsi.net; OR Tonda Rush, NNA CEO, tonda@nna.org.

Washington Post stories about court challenges by USPS and mailing industry and one about the competing appeals

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/postal-rates-to-rise-monday-court-challenges-ahead/2014/01/26/3f3d1a5c-86c4-11e3-833c-33098f9e5267_story.html?wpisrc=nl_fed

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/01/24/competing-appeals-over-postal-services-upcoming-rate-hike/

we-believe-in-newspapers-day

NNA’s Leadership Summit

Mar 12, 2014 – Mar 13, 20The National Newspaper Association has its members travel to Capitol Hill to present community newspaper issues to congressional leaders.To register for the summit, go to https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1338179

Guests who wish to stay longer or arrive earlier on any of the contracted dates will be able to change the dates to their liking. Please note that guests who want to make reservations for any days other than 3/11 to 3/15/14 will not be able to use this link.

Reach out to the Marriott reservation coordinator, Sheena Gilliard, at 703-271-5233 or at sheena.n.gilliard@marriott.com.

Last day to book a room: Feb. 20, 2014

Marriott hotel(s) offering NNA a special group rate:

Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport for $179 USD  per night.

Book your group rate: NNA Leadership Summit 2014

February 14 Webinar: Story Organization, Defining the pieces, assembling the product

webinar-1

The Kentucky Press Association, Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and Online Media Campus are sponsoring a February 14 webinar on Story Organization. The webinar will be 2 to 3 pm. (Eastern time) and the cost is $35.

For more information and to register, go to  http://www.onlinemediacampus.com/2013/12/story-organization-defining-pieces-assembling-product/

Focus on Advertising

Leading by littles

By John Foust

Raleigh, NC

During one spring training season, the New York Yankees’ Nick Swisher asked baseball icon Yogi Berra for some hitting advice. Yogi told him to take a step toward the plate and a step toward the pitcher. “You’re letting the pitch break down on you too much. That’s why these guys are getting you out.”

“That’s it?” asked Swisher.

“That’s it,” Yogi said.

In his next time at bat – and against the same pitcher – Swisher took Yogi’s advice and hit a stand-up double. When he returned to the dugout, Yogi praised him and said, “You see? All you have to do is make contact with the baseball. Move up against a breaking-ball pitcher.”

Yogi had recognized the problem immediately. While Swisher could hit the fastball, it was the breaking pitch that bothered him. By moving up in the batter’s box, he could cut the pitch’s distance.

Today’s sales managers would be wise to follow Yogi’s example of leading by littles. That is, helping people grow one manageable step at a time. Here are some points to keep in mind:

1. Keep it simple. With 10 World Series championship rings and a plaque in baseball’s Hall of Fame, Yogi Berra is a walking encyclopedia of baseball. But it’s not his style to clutter a ballplayer’s mind with unnecessary information. One simple suggestion – one small thing that Swisher could do on his next at bat – was all that Yogi needed to mention.

Many managers make the mistake of overloading their staffs with too many instructions at one time. Do it this way, they say. And be sure to do that.  And don’t forget this other thing. And have it all done by tomorrow.

By seeing immediate results, Swisher boosted his confidence. Yogi knew that asking him to do everything at once would not produce a successful experience.

2. Pay attention. When Swisher asked for help, Yogi didn’t have to do an exhaustive analysis of his batting average, on-base percentages or his lifetime record against that particular pitcher. As a student of the game, Yogi had been watching each player carefully throughout spring training – so he could be ready with help at a moment’s notice.

Sales managers should do the same. By getting to know their people, by studying them from the corner of the dugout, they will be in a better position to offer do-able suggestions.

3. Celebrate success. The best sales managers recognize the accomplishments of their individual team members. While it’s not necessary to throw a party after a big sale (in reality, that strategy could backfire by discouraging those sales people who have not had a big sale lately), it is important to help successful sales people feel good about their successes. Words of praise can go a long way toward helping a manager accomplish the first order of business: building people.

Leadership is not a matter of changing everything at once. It’s simply changing one thing at a time – knowing that little changes add up to something bigger.

(c) Copyright 2014 by John Foust. All rights reserved.

John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. Email for information: john@johnfoust.com

Black Inkling

Tips for Hometown Papers

From Ken Blum

Are you overlooking a couple lucrative advertising categories?

Here are two types of clients increasing advertising in community papers, and it appears that ad reps at many papers haven’t thought about more actively soliciting them.

1. HELP WANTED, especially help wanted display ads. Some hometown papers run pages of them, others in similar markets run only a few, if any. In the latter case, I suspect the ad staff hasn’t been contacting employers who have simply overlooked the fact that the most effective way to recruit competent, local employees is via the hometown paper.

Remember to not only contact local businesses and industries, but those in adjoining markets that hire employees from your market. Scout the newspapers in these areas for businesses that should also be running those help wanted ads in your paper.

And don’t forget other employers such as fast food restaurants, convenience stores, child care service, the school district and community college, etc., etc.

We couldn’t say it a couple years ago but we can say it now – “Good help is hard to find these days.”

2. ASSISTED LIVING facilities are opening all over the country and probably have or are in your market. The boom is senior housing/assisted living facilities is at a sonic level right now. Construction in 2013 alone increased by 39 percent from the year-ago level.

The trend shows no end as baby boomers retire, downsize from their previous homes, and sometimes require help.

However, it’s one thing to build and offer these condos and comfy rooms, it’s another to keep them filled with golden agers. This is where your paper comes in as an advertising vehicle.

Many of the operations are running a steady stream of half to full page ads in hometown papers, often in process color.

Make sure your paper gets aboard the senior housing bus. If they haven’t contacted you, contact them. They have plenty to spend on advertising, and they need your newspaper.

Related tips:

. I believe in spec ads. If employers or assisted living operation in your market are not in the habit of advertising, prepare distinctive display spec ads, and sell them as a program, not a single run.

. Before contacting the new clients, prepare and practice key selling points.

For example, employment advertising:

1. The ______ is THE place to recruit LOCAL employees. No medium – including the Internet – will bring in more applicants.

2. The ads will also be placed at our website, which attracts _____ unique visitors every week.

3. Our creative team will prepare effective, attractive ads for you. Just supply the information and we’ll take it from there.

4. We offer generous discounts off our rates for running a program of help wanted advertising.

5. Just send along the copy, and I’ll prepare and email PDF copies of ads for your approval.

. Also – consider scheduling a special section for seniors or employment opportunities.  Or, devote a weekly page(s) in your paper – with a story and ads – themed for Employment Opportunities or Senior Living.

Anthony Shadid Award will recognize ethical journalism

MADISON, Wis.  – The University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Journalism Ethics seeks applications for the first national Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Shadid died in 2012 while crossing the Syrian border on a reporting assignment for the New York Times. He won two Pulitzer Prizes for his courageous and insightful foreign correspondence. Shadid sat on the ethics center’s advisory board and strongly supported its efforts to promote public interest journalism and to stimulate discussion about journalism ethics.

The center will award $1,000 to the journalist (or team) whose reporting on a specific story or series best exemplifies four key criteria: accountability, independence, reporting in search of truth and minimization of harm to subjects, sources and the public at large.

“In its first five years of awards, the ethics center emphasized its Wisconsin roots and sought nominations from the state,” says Robert Drechsel, the James E. Burgess chair in journalism ethics. “We now are expanding nationwide, proud to recognize Anthony’s deep and broad impact on journalism and its ethical practice.”

Nominations are due March 3, 2014, and self-nominations are welcomed. More information is available at ethics.journalism.wisc.edu

For additional information, contact Judy Frankel at qcfrankel@charter.net

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *