June 29, 2012

Literally “HOT” Off the Press as Temps approach triple digits

Friday Update to KPA Members

FROM:  David T. Thompson (dthompson@kypress.com)

WITH TEMPS NEARING 100, LET’S THINK ABOUT JANUARY!!

And with January comes the 2013 KPA Winter Convention. We’ll be at The Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville, Thursday and Friday, January 24-25. And with the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association and Kentucky News Photographers Association meeting with us, there will be some programming on Saturday, January 26, for KNPA.

And it’s going to be even bigger in 2013 as we kick off Thursday, January 24, with some sessions designed for the Kentucky High School Journalism Association. Potentially, over the three days, we could be talking about 900 to 1200 people attending the convention!!

As a charter member of the Kentucky Procrastinators Association, I’ve seldom had a program done before November, often times even December. It just comes with the KPA charter membership to put off planning these things til the last minute.

Well, I didn’t pay the procrastinators association dues this year so I’m now chartered to get the winter convention program planned early. In fact, it’s still seven months away and if not all the speakers are lined up, at least all the program topics are.

Gone are the days of focusing just on the printed product – laying it out, selling print ads, building print circulation. Now it’s a combination – print and digital. And at the direction of the KPA Digital Committee, you’ll find the program leaning toward digital.

So here’s a look at some speakers and their topics, or just some topics and we’re looking for speakers:

Monica Dias, former Kentucky Post reporter turned attorney, who is chair of the KPA Associates Division this year. Monica did a presentation for the Texas Press Association in January and brought rave reviews. Here’s what she’ll be doing from the comments from TPA:  Monica reversed the trend of people leaving early. She held the audience like a champ and conducted Q&A throughout her 35-minute presentation.

She focused on the risks of reusing photos, Facebook postings, Twitter and re-Tweets. How often do newspapers disseminate content from unknown sources who may claim ownership of a photo or a paragraph of text? She thoroughly worked through the subjects of copyright / fair use doctrine and libel with no time wasted.

Max Heath – our own postal guru is going to talk about USPS, what else? And there’s a lot for Max to be talking about.

Peter Wagner — print edition circulation building program and a program specifically on finding, hiring and training employees.

Jim Mathis – his first session will be on general sales strategies and that session leads up to how to sell digital. From what I’ve heard from other press associations and even the Kentucky Broadcasters Association, there’s no better national speaker on selling digitally than Jim Mathis.

John Preston – Advocate (Schurz) Communications, Danville – using the internet to grow circulation.

Gary Rawlings, president, Louisville Web Company – UK grad, formerly with KET and a former writer at the Courier-Journal, Gary and his company focus on all aspects of social media. He’ll show you how important, and sometimes how easy it is, to do video, Facebook, Twitter…just the gamut of social media to bring your newspaper into the digital age.

David Stephenson, former photographer at the Lexington Herald-Leader, now at UK — Cell phone journalism. Some of the best multimedia journalism, no kidding, has been done on something as simple as an iPhone. David will give you a rundown on what some of the pros have done as well as show you some great newspaper work around the country. He’ll also give you a down and dirty demonstration on how to produce a good multimedia piece with your phone.

Topics we’ll cover (know a speaker? Let me know):

Juggling in the Jungle – It is a jungle out there and it’s definitely a juggling act what with Writing. Photography. Multimedia. Design. Reporters often have to juggle multiple disciplines on a given story. We’re working with Chris Poore and Jacque Day at UK to bring in a speaker who understands how to juggle those things and still put out good, quality journalism.

How to pull a graphic or centerpiece out of you’re a##. Chris Poore at UK and KIPA members are helping devise this program but demands the a## word be used in the program.

IS THAT ALL THERE IS?        

Absolutely not. We’re working with the Reynolds Journalism Institute on developing sessions on new revenue opportunities, mobile, social media and audience engagement.

So mark your calendar now and start planning for Thursday, Friday and even Saturday, January 24, 25 and 26 to be in downtown Louisville. It’s guaranteed (to be a lot cooler than it is today).

ADVERTISING IS HOT, TOO    

It’s not even July yet but we have $1.801 million in-house or already placed, making July, 2012, the second highest month in KPS history. It’s about $600,000 short of the February, 2010, record of $2.425 million. But we’re slowly moving toward that mark.

Included in the yearly totals, placement in Kentucky newspapers for the display service only is now $3.202 million.

Onward and upward!!!

BURN BANS

I have to give David Greer the credit for staying on top of the burn ban story and a list of counties where outdoor burning had already been banned by either city or county action. Tuesday afternoon, he went to the Division of Forestry website and found the information – both where bans have been put into place and where there are “active” fires – and did a story for the Kentucky Press News Service.

Wednesday, I gave him information from the governor’s office that there was no plan as of Wednesday morning to put out a statewide ban on outdoor burning. The governor is given that power by a state statute and that has to be advertised as a public notice. So I wanted the governor’s office to notify me as soon as a ban was issued so we could start working with the Secretary of State to get the notice out. That’s when I found out that as of Wednesday morning, there were no plans to issue the statewide or regional ban.

With the fireworks time coming up, and many of the displays scheduled for Saturday night, June 30, you’d think large fires could result.

And within a few minutes after posting the scoop, he found that six more counties had added bans.

NEW ROOF AND DIFFERENT ATTIRE

At no additional cost to KPA, we’re getting a new roof. Actually, it’s just new shingles being placed over the original shingles. We moved in here November 1, 1991, so it’s probably about time. But all nine buildings in this condo association are getting the new roofs and we’ve paid into the capital maintenance account with our monthly dues over the past 20 years. So I guess we paid for it but it was pre-paid with the dues. No additional cost to KPA now.

And if you come by the office today, come casual, very, very casual. With the heat, I’ve encouraged the staff to be comfortable and for the first time, I’m alloing bermudas (or shorts for you younger generation members) to be worn. As well as flip flops or sandals. No tank tops (can’t imagine David Greer or me in a tank top) or tube tops. But we’d be glad to have you stop by as long as you, too, are dressed comfortably.

LEGISLATIVE ETHICS CHANGES IN THE MAKING   

Got the quarterly newsletter from the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission this morning and the first item about recommendations being considered, is of interest:

Recommendation:           Require employers of lobbyists to report the cost of advertising which appears during a session of the General Assembly, and which supports or opposes legislation, if the cost is paid by an employer of lobbyists, or a person affiliated with an employer.

Not really sure what to make of this. At least it’s the lobbyist organizations that will have to report advertising expenditures but I’m not certain lobbyists always know what’s being placed and how much it’s costing. So many of them are “hired hands” without hands on the every day operation. I’d be one with the everyday hands-on, but a Terry McBrayer or John Cooper would be ones without a hand in the everyday operation of a business.

I say “at least” because remember with the Registry of Election Finance in gubernatorial races, the news media had to file all kinds of reports on campaign advertising.

MEETING WITH WORKERS COMPENSATION COMMISSION

A new schedule item has been added, July 25, 10 a.m., Leigh Ann Thacker and I will be meeting with Commissioner Lovan of the Kentucky Workers Compensation Commission. This is as a result of the law that’s been on the books since the mid-1970s that carriers are considered employees of newspapers. Even though the carriers themselves describe their status as independent contractors, and even though newspapers treat carriers as independent contractors, the state considers them employees and means newspapers are responsible for workers compensation coverage.

I seriously doubt we can get the law repealed as it is but there are some options, given me by some of the newspapers. Obviously, we’d like to repeal that one graph in the law about newspaper carriers but perhaps an amendment would be satisfactory

Leigh Ann will be at the July 20 Board meeting to discuss this with us so that she and I have a directive from you all on what to pursue.

COLORADO PAPER STAFFERS BEING TAXED COVERING DEVASTATING FIRES

My colleague from Colorado, Samantha Johnston, updated us with a report about the fire devastation out west and how newspapers are doing.

NAMers:Thank you to those of you who have reached out to CPA to ask if we are affected by the fires and how Colorado is faring. Below is a quick recap from today, where I spent much of the day in Pueblo and Colorado Springs:

It’s the worst I’ve seen with regard to drought and fire in my years in Colorado, to be sure.

The magnitude of the state’s priority fire near Colorado Springs – Waldo Canyon Fire – is unbelievable. More than 30,000 evacuations have occurred, including part of the Air Force Academy and many neighborhoods around the Colorado Springs Area. The photos are simply unbelievable. More than 800 firefighters are on the ground in Colorado Springs, and the military is using C-130s to dump slurry on the fire as fast and as furiously as they can. A cause has not yet been determined in this fire, but arson is not ruled out.

The High Park Fire in Fort Collins still blazes out of control at more than 87,000 acres and 65% containment. The fire has burned 257 homes and is the most destructive fire in Colorado history. Nearly 2,000 firefighters are on scene to control this fire.

The Governor announced this week that more than half of the entire nation’s wildland firefighters are in Colorado. Just to drive down I-25, you see fire apparatus from all over the country heading to fires all over the state.

All totaled, there are more than 14 significant fires burning in the state. Teller County is experiencing a rash of arson-set fires – 20 in total. None of them have blown up to be large-scale, but we feel like it’s only a matter of time.

While metro Denver isn’t on fire, we are socked in with smoke and surrounded by fire – the sky is a permanent haze of smoke and particles. We have reached record temperatures as high as 105 degrees today, and it’s windy and humid. Thunder cells continue to move in – no rain, just bolts of lightening. We pray that when we wake up tomorrow there are no new fires.

Our newspapers are taxed covering all of this, but they are doing a great job.

Thanks for asking and for the thoughts!

Sam (Samantha Johnston, Executive Director, Colorado Press Association)

OH THOSE SERIAL MEETINGS BY PUBLIC AGENCIES

An unfortunate ruling this week by the Alabama Supreme Court. It involves “serial meetings” – a series of meetings with say the mayor and one or two city council members, then the mayor meeting again with another small group.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled those serial meetings are LEGAL in Alabama. So I checked with my colleague, Felicia Mason at Alabama Press, and the Open Meetings law there addresses only electronic meetings. So face-to-face meetings in small groups would be permitted. Those same types of discussions done by phone or email are illegal.

As you know, Kentucky’s nearly 20-year-old second generation law addresses this and was the first to do so. It prohibits any kind of discussion among agency members when at the end of those “serial” meetings a quorum would have been involved. I can’t imagine Alabama overlooked the idea of face-to-face meetings and did not prohibit them under the same statute.

Another reason to be proud of Kentucky’s Open Meetings and Open Records laws, and especially the foresight in 1992 to address the myriad of situations that could develop.

NEARLY $2500 FOR COURIER PUBLISHING           

Back in March, the Kentucky Journalism Foundation, a subsidiary of KPA, notified Kentucky newspapers as well as colleagues at other state press associations about Earl Kinner’s Courier Publishing company headquarters being demolished by the March 2 tornadoes that hit West Liberty.

A few weeks ago, I delivered a $1235 check to the Kinners and this week we forwarded another $1201 that had come in since the first round of donations. That’s $2436 collected for Earl and his newspaper operation there. You might remember from stories that not only was the office destroyed, Earl’s house across the street was leveled as well.

I know Earl and his son Greg are putting the money to great use as they recover and rebuild and are most appreciative of their friends in the newspaper business.

AS POLITICAL AD SEASON APPROACHES

And in a couple of ways, too. Already we’ve had alcohol option elections in Pineville and Somerset and another is scheduled for Georgetown on July 31.

Then it will be time to focus on the November general elections. And in preparation for that, a couple of notes about “disclaimers” and what is a political ad.

Please NOTE: Disclaimers (those “Paid for by” agate type lines at the bottom of printed ads) are NOT required on any kind of social media advertising. Got a political ad for the website, or Facebook page? No disclaimer line needed. No problem.

And just to define “political ad” for you, it’s any ad for the support or defeat of a candidate. Candidate is the operative word here. Because of First Amendment concerns, for any kind of “issue” voting procedure or a local option election or other kind of vote that does not involve a “person” running for office, NO disclaimer is required. So if you have a local option election, you do NOT have to indicate at the bottom of the ad the person or group paying for that ad.      

CARD CARRYING MEDICARE RECIPIENT

Reaching 65, as I will soon, sure has some benefits. You aren’t there yet, well, maybe a few of you, but let me tell you what you’re in for.

Homestead Exemption – nice benefit from the Property Valuation Administrator. The amount is set by the state and for 2012 is $34,000. So that means the PVA subtracts that amount from your home’s assessed value and you pay property taxes on that lesser amount. So if your home is worth $100,000, instead of paying property taxes on that amount, you subtract the state mandated amounted ($34,000 for this year) and pay taxes only on the difference.

Nice.

Then three months before you turn 65 you apply for Medicare. No it doesn’t take the government that long to get everything together, just the requirement

TRAVEL SECTION STORIES AVAILABLE ONLINE      

It’s been a few weeks since I sent out the first email drawing your attention to some travel stories that we’d posted on www.kypress.com/stateparks and with Jamie Sizemore submitting a story yesterday, this gives me a chance to tell you again. This first went out on May 23. So have you checked out the site?

We’re adding a story about Bardstown, from the Kentucky Standard, and we’d like each of you to send us a story about your area and what tourists should plan to do while in the area.

If you’re planning on publishing special Travel Section for your newspaper, or just want some stories about state parks to use periodically, KPA has teamed with the Tourism Cabinet and Kentucky Department of Parks to provide stories and photographs about state parks. Use these in a travel section or as individual stories and feel free to contact sporting good stores, boat dealers, even RV dealers, or others involved in traveling to advertise as you promote vacationing in the Bluegrass.

The stories and photographs (identified by state park) are posted at kypress.com/stateparks and available now for you use.

In addition, if you do stories about your community, things to see and do, and have photographs we want you to share those stories and pictures with other newspapers. Send those to dthompson@kypress.com and we’ll make them available for other newspapers to use, with proper credit given to your newspaper and your staff.

HEALTH CARE SYNOPSIS           

This comes from the company that handles the insurance for KPS employees and also is involved in the Kentucky Communications Industry Trust, the group of associations – KPA, broadcasters, cable tv, retail federation – that have banded together to give our members more attractive rates and coverages.

This synopsis is about the Supreme Court’s decision on health care:

SUPREME COURT LARGELY UPHOLDS PPACA

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate and most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). As expected, it was a close decision — 5-4 — with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor agreeing that the individual mandate is a permissible tax. Because the individual mandate was found to be acceptable, most of the rest of the law (including the exchanges and the requirement that larger employers provide minimum coverage or pay penalties of their own) automatically stands.

Because PPACA has been upheld, employers need to move forward with implementing the changes required by the law. The most immediate requirements are:

All group health plans, regardless of size, must provide “summaries of benefits coverage” (SBC) with the first open enrollment beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2012. The content and format of these SBCs must meet strict guidelines, and the penalties for not providing them are high (up to $1,000 per failure). Insurers will be expected to provide the SBCs for fully insured plans, while self-funded plans will be responsible for preparing their own.

Employers that issued 250 or more W-2s in 2011 must report the total value of each employee’s medical coverage on their 2012 W-2 (which is to be issued in January 2013).

High income taxpayers (those with more than $250,000 in wages if married and filing jointly, or more than $200,00 if single) must pay additional Medicare tax, and employers will be responsible for deducting a part of the tax (an additional 0.9 percent on the employee’s wages in excess of $200,000) from the employee’s pay beginning in 2013.

The maximum employee contribution to a health flexible spending account (FSA) will be $2,500 beginning with the 2013 plan year.

The Patient Centered Outcomes fee (also called the comparative effectiveness fee) is due July 31, 2013. The fee is $1 per covered life for the 2012 year. Insurers will remit the fee on behalf of the plans they cover, while self-funded plans will pay the fee directly. Politically, while House Republicans have pledged to repeal PPACA, it is unlikely a repeal bill would pass the Senate, and it would be vetoed in any event by President Barack Obama. The fall elections, of course, could result in a change in control of Congress and/or the White House, and Republican victories would likely re-energize efforts to repeal PPACA or to discontinue funding needed to implement various parts of the law.

The opinion is long (193 pages) and complex, and we will provide additional details — through both written alerts and a webinar — once there has been more time to study the opinion.

WAITING FOR A NEWSPAPER-RELATED STORY    

The NAM group – Newspaper Association Managers – is trying to get a well-written, very comprehensive article on how the health care reform will affect newspapers. None of us have the resources (knowledge) to do that so we’re hoping someone, maybe at the national level, will be able to put it on a laymen’s terms so we can understand what it means to our members.

AND A THANK YOU FROM LEIGH ANNE FLORENCE

As I invited our members to do, I sent Leigh Anne a best wishes email. In response, here’s one I’m sharing with everyone because she thanks everyone.

“What a sweet email! I appreciate the kind thoughts and well wishes! Last week was a ruff week although the drug trial was very successful! Ruff in the fact I had a spinal headache and had to lay flat for so long. Worked this week and will go back in the hospital on Monday to have the implant (pain pump implant – not to be confused with other implants I need but can’t afford). Anywhoo – Woody and Chloe , uh, Chloe and Woody and all the wiener dog gang as well as my husband have done a fantastic job, terRUFFic, as Woody says, of taking care of me! I am confident the pump will give me ease and relief so I can spend the rest of my life doing what I love to do – and you know what that is!

“I have received so many emails and cards and letters from members of the KPA. I knew when I received an email from a lady named Kriss Johnson that it would be a great thing. I had no idea I would develop such wonderful friends, be so loved, or love you guys so much!

“Please send all my love and thanks to everyone and tell them I appreciate the well wishes. Keep the prayers coming and I will keep you posted on the implants, uh, drug implant!

“Hugs from Chloe to her Unkie David! Woody sends his love too!”

 

Okay, that’ll end it for another week. Remember we’ll be closed Wednesday, July 4, so it’s Monday and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

As always, let us know if you need anything, have questions or comments.

Otherwise, thanx!! AND STAY COOL!!!

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 – KPA Central Office Closed, Fourth of July

Saturday, July 14, 2012 – 20th Anniversary of Kentucky’s Current Open Meetings and Open Records Laws

July 20, 2012 – 12 Noon – KPA Board of Directors Meeting, Center for the Performing Arts, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond

6 p.m. –  IRJCI and Bluegrass Chapter of SPJ Dinner honoring Max Heath and Jennifer Brown with presentation of the Al Smith Award, Reception and Dinner at the Center for the Performing Arts, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond

Wednesday, July 25 – 10 a.m. – Leigh Ann Thacker and David T., meeting with Workers Compensation Insurance Commissioner Lovan

Friday, July 27 — 12 Noon – Site Visit, new Marriott East in Louisville, with Elizabeth Weimer

July 31 – August 4, 2012 – Newspaper Association Managers Convention, San Francisco, CA

Sometime in August – Judging Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Advertising Contest (electronically)

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

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

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

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

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

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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