July 6, 2012

This was delayed slightly because a release from the Governor’s Office just came across that 27 counties are being put on a water shortage alert list. If you haven’t gotten the release and are listed among the 27 counties (below), email me and I’ll forward it to you.

The following counties, listed by Drought Management Area (DMA), meet the criteria to be included in the water watch:

Barren River DMA – Monroe, Simpson, Warren

Buffalo Trace DMA – Fleming, Robertson

Bluegrass DMA – Anderson, Bourbon, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Nicholas, Scott, Woodford

Cumberland Valley DMA – Whitley

Green River DMA – Webster

Kentucky River DMA – Lee, Owsley

Northern Kentucky DMA – Owen, Pendleton

Pennyrile DMA – Crittenden

THIS IS NOT A RECORDING, CLICK, A RECORDING….          

I’ll start this Friday’s Email like last week.  WITH TEMPS NEARING 100, LET’S THINK ABOUT JANUARY!!

Naw, I won’t go there.

WE DIDN’T LOSE A WEEKLY AFTER ALL  

A couple of weeks ago I wrote in the Friday Email that we had lost two weekly newspapers – the Ballard Weekly, because of  the economy and Anita Bugg’s health, and the News Standard in Brandenburg.

I’m really glad to say we actually only lost the News Standard in Brandenburg. Dennis Richardson, who owns the Fulton Leader, Hickman Courier and Hickman County Gazette, has revived the Ballard Weekly. Dennis is a member of the Tennessee Press Association Board of Directors as well has having the now four Kentucky weeklies. They’re operating under Magic Valley Publishing Company.

Our thanks to Dennis for reviving a weekly newspaper to keep it going!!

THIS IS A REPEAT! DINNER HONORING MAX HEATH, JENNIFER BROWN DESERVES BETTER ATTENDANCE

I’m hoping the numbers for the Al Smith dinner are just from members of the Kentucky Procrastinators Association, waiting to the last minute (which is now!!) to make reservations. So I told Al Cross I’d make it a repeat plea today to get more people registered.

Thanx.

AL SMITH AWARD DINNER        

You should have received, or will soon be receiving an invitation to the Al Smith Award dinner. This is scheduled for Friday, July 20, reception at 6, dinner at 6:30 p.m. where we will be having the Board Meeting earlier that day. I know many of you want to get back home right after the meeting but one of the honorees is Max Heath and it would be great to have a nice crowd for Max’s honor. He’s done a tremendous amount of work, as well as tremendous work, for all Kentucky newspapers on the postal front.

The other honoree is Jennifer Brown, editorial page editor of the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville.

The Al Smith Award is presented for outstanding public service and while in different ways both have shown a great amount of public service.

In case you missed it earlier this week, here’s an email I sent (a) requesting letters of congratulations and (b) reminding publishers and circulation directors to make reservations for the awards dinner.

We’ve been fortunate the last 25 or more years to have a resource based here in Kentucky that makes us the envy of newspapers all across the U.S. That resource is Max Heath, former vice president with Landmark Community Newspapers, former president of KPA, and long-time (still) chairman of the National Newspaper Association Postal Committee. I’m willing to bet no USPS person knows as much about postal regulations for Periodicals Class Mailing permits as does Max.

On Friday, July 20, Max, along with Kentucky New Era editorial page editor Jennifer P. Brown, will receive the Al Smith Award for public service through community journalism. The award was established last year by the Bluegrass Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, and was first presented to Al Smith himself.

I’m collecting congratulatory and “thank you” letters for Max that will be presented to him during the dinner. I’ve already collected about 20 from other state press associations and some newspapers in other states but who has benefitted more from Max’s postal work than those newspapers here in his home state.

And please, if you know Jennifer, send a congratulatory letter to her and I’ll make sure she receives it.

You can write the letter(s) on your newspaper letterhead and send to me as a pdf, or in .doc or .docx format. We’re making an album of all the letters received.

And if you haven’t made your plans to attend the dinner, I can email you a reservation form. If you have questions, feel free to contact Al Cross at 859-257-3744.

If you wish to write a letter to Max to be included in the album, or one for Jennifer Brown, please email it to me in pdf, .doc or .docx format no later than July 17.

Thanx.

David T.

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME

There are some newspaper “purists” who don’t believe in front page ads. That discussion has taken place the last few years as newspapers look for premium space and what better place than the front page. Every newspaper reader has to see the front page, so many have taken advantage of that.

Chip Hutcheson notes that front page advertisers aren’t a new idea at all. And he wrote about it recently in his “Publisher’s Notebook” column in the Princeton Times Leader. Chip found a copy of the Princeton Banner, the inaugural issue of that newspaper, published November 16, 1871. And he notes the front page included four ads for attorneys, including the newspaper’s founder, C.T. Allen. And there were also ads for a variety of local businesses including dentists and groceries.

There were only two stories on the front page, neither of them local so neither of Princeton significance. Chip said he found the two stories, “Frankly….boring.” But newspapers, especially community weekly newspapers soon found that readers wanted local coverage and giving them that would drive newspaper sales.

Oh, when The Banner published its first issue the annual subscription rate was $2!!

WHAT’S WITH BRITISH DOCUMENTARIES AND NEWSPAPERS

Had a request a couple of months ago from the TV producer for a British company looking for an “investigative” reporter in Kentucky, focusing on Western Kentucky and particularly the Murray area. They were doing a story on people who had been brainwashed and coerced into doing things they normally would not have. Seemed aimed at a cult and the producer had a couple of names of people in the Murray area they wanted to interview for the show.

Then this week I’ve been communicating with a British producer looking to interview people with a family owned newspapers. In the producer’s words, they want to see why there’s a demise of the family newspaper in the U.S.

The request went first to Layne Bruce at Mississippi but he’s tied up with a mega conference of five Southeastern states so I volunteered to get in touch with the producer. Obviously, I took exception to her statement that family newspapers are dying quickly. Well, elsewhere maybe but in Kentucky they’re holding pretty strong.

I gave her some names of people to contact – including Taylor Hayes, a fifth-generation newspaper publisher, and Earl Kinner, with three newspapers and what he just went through with the April tornadoes.

GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING PROJECTS

Thanks to generous support of the Fund for Environmental Journalism (FEJ) by the Cornelius King Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, and many individuals, the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) is able to offer a third year of mini-grant opportunities for reporting projects and entrepreneurial journalism ventures related to the environment. In 2012 the deadlines for proposals will be July 15th and November 15th. Decisions are announced approximately 60 days after the deadline. Winning projects receive grants of $350 to $3,500.

These are challenging times for professional journalists and for communities that need and deserve great coverage of environmental issues. In response to these challenges, SEJ launched the Fund for Environmental Journalism in 2010 and began awarding small grants to both staff and freelance journalists, to cover costs of travel, lab testing, graphics development, website costs, and other budget items without which journalists might have been unable to produce and distribute specific timely stories about important environmental issues. Over the past two years, SEJ provided essential support for 31 projects in various media.

To learn more about the FEJ grant program, including applicant eligibility and submission guidelines, or to see information and links about past awards, please go to the Fund for Environmental Journalism web page.

Please contact Jeanne Scanlon with questions: (215) 884-8174.

TRAVEL SECTION MATERIALS: MORE THAN JUST STATE PARKS    

We’ve received stories and pictures from the Kentucky Standard and the State Journal and coupling those with releases and pictures from state parks, you have the makings for a travel section. And remember, send us stories about your community with some pictures and we’ll post them as well.

To see what stories and pictures are ready for your use, go to www.kypress.com/stateparks.  You’ll see a file for the state parks materials and then individual zip files for Bardstown and for Frankfort.  Thanx to Jamie for encouraging newspapers to provide travel section materials and to David Spencer for developing the website link and the zip files.

SEINFELD AND AREA CODES      

News came out yesterday that the Public Service Commission is looking at another area code for Kentucky and if it materializes, Kentucky would have five of those.

Seems the simplest might be to divide it geographically and apply the new area code to say all areas west of a line from Owensboro/Madisonville/Hopkinsville. But one of the options is to imbed the new area code into the existing 270 section as well. That would mean everyone would have to dial the area code with the number, including neighbors. Potentially.

Reminds me of a Seinfeld show where Elaine gets a new number and everyone’s required to dial her area code when they call. And you can imagine the confusion that caused. I’m fairly certain that’s the episode where a kid keeps calling Elaine, thinking it’s his “Gammy,” and after playing along for the kid for a few calls, she finally has to tell him his “Gammy” has died.

Kentucky has four area codes now with a population of 4.3 million. So check out www.50states.com and compare the number of area codes for similar size and surrounding states. The reason given for the additional area code is from the increase in cell phone usage. But you’d think comparing populations and the number of area codes would make everything about even.

Consider these figures (Kentucky has a population of about 4.369 million and 4 area codes): Alabama (4.802 million, 4 area codes); Colorado (5.116 and 4 area codes); Iowa (3.062 and 5 area codes); Oklahoma (3.791 and 3 area codes); Oregon (3.871 and 3 area codes); South Carolina (4.670 and 3 area codes); Kansas (2.871 and 3 area codes); Louisiana (4.574 and 5 area codes); Maryland (5.828 and 4 area codes); Wisconsin (5.711 and 5 area codes).

So take a state like Maryland with 1.2 million more population than the Bluegrass yet it survives with four area codes. Alabama and Colorado, both with more people and the same number of area codes. Then there’s Iowa with 1.3 million less and five area codes.

Of all the adjacent states, only West Virginia has fewer people (1.8 million) and yet it survives with ONE area code.

Not including the states with just one area code serving the entire population, if Kentucky goes to five area codes it will have one of the smallest averages of persons per area code. With our 4.369 people, Kentucky would have five area codes for an average of 873,000. Iowa, with 3.062 million and five area codes probably has the lowest ratio with 610,000 per AC followed by Kansas at 717,000 persons per average and Massachusetts at 731,000. Massachusetts has nine area codes serving 6.587 million. Currently, with our 4.369 million and 4 area codes, we’re about on par with most other states for the average number of people per area code.

SPEAKING OF 50STATES.COM    

That site has a wealth of information about state statistics and other information, including “State Newspapers.” Clicked on that link this a.m. and saw Kentucky Press Association listed first. And then numerous newspapers but there are obvious omissions on the list. I don’t know the criteria and haven’t searched it yet on how to submit information but I plan on sending the administrator a list of all Kentucky newspapers. That’s only fair, if it’s going to list “State Newspapers” that it be as up-to-date as possible.

Check out the site and “State Newspapers” and if you see your newspaper is not listed, and you can figure out how to submit information, send them the name of your publication.

ADVERTISING    

Well we won’t set an ad record this month but July, 2012, will go down as the second largest month in KPS’ history. We’re at $1.822 million, short of the $2.425 million from February, 2010, and about a million behind that record-setting year. But in these economic times, I’ll take it and the 95 newspapers benefitting from the placement will as well. For those newspapers with a Friday publication, we’re starting the third week of that required three-week placement. For the others, the third week is next week and Rachel tells me there are no screw-ups so far (meaning we don’t have any reports that a newspaper ran it once or twice and forgot the third placement). Let’s hope we can get through this placement without a snafu.

REQUEST FOR RECYCLED NEWSPAPER FIGURES 

By state law, a report is supposed to be filed annually with Natural Resources about the tonnage of newsprint used and the amount of recycled tonnage with that figure. KPA handled this report from 1993 to 2008 but it became obvious there was no interest on the part of the state because no one knew what to do with it when it was hand-delivered. The impetus for that law was from the hands of former State Representatives Mark Brown and Herbie Deskins. When both left the legislature, discussions on recycling subsided. But we kept giving the report to the cabinet on an annual basis until no one knew who should receive it.

So I stopped. And nary a word was said.

Thursday, I had a call from the Economic Cabinet. They had tried and tried to find information for a client wanting some recycled newspaper figures and no one knew where to turn. Finally, the cabinet called, said there were no reporting requirements (which I corrected them about) but someone at the state Chamber of Commerce suggested they might want to call KPA. I gave them figures for the latest report I filed (2008 for calendar year 2007).

If anyone asks about future reports, it won’t be hard to restart the survey of the state printing plants, in fact, it’ll be a little easier. Looking over the list of plants from 2006, there are several that are no longer printing. A quick scan showed 42 printing plants in the mid-2000s and I think nine of those no longer have printing facilities.

‘DERECHO’ STORM MISSES KENTUCKY BUT HITS OTHER PARTS HARD     

Al Cross emailed Gary White with the Kentucky Broadcasters Association and me earlier this week wanting any reports from our members about being down because of the devastating storms last week. I had heard nothing and neither had Gary from his radio and TV stations but beyond our eastern borders the stories were quite different. West Virginia and Virginia both got hit hard by ‘derecho,’ with widespread power outages. But the report is encouraging. While newspapers were without power, staffs found places with it to finish laying out the paper and getting it to plants unaffected. In all, most all got out close to their regular schedule. Perhaps a few hours late but they persevered. That’s just the way newspaper people are. We might be inconvenienced once in a while and we might have to adapt and do the best we can. But the mission is to get the newspaper out and somehow we’re going to find a way.

By the way, what is a ‘derecho’ storm?” Al’s IRJCI blog puts it this way:  It was a derecho, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s term for “a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms.”

Now ya know.

With that, I’ll stop for another week. Oh yeah, next week is Friday, July 13 in case you’re superstitious. Anyway, call if you have questions, comments, concerns, issues, additions, deletions, clarifications or corrections.

Otherwise, thanx!!

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