May 3, 2013

• Affordable Care Act could end KPA/KBA health insurance program for newspapers, broadcast outlets

• Intern positions 91.3 percent filled

• Sign up now for Fall Chapter Series – ‘Outstanding in his Field’

• Join the Rush!! Sign up for Inaugural Border War Golf Tournament

• Mobile drastically increases for news consumption

• Required Reflective Vests on Sale through May 6

•From Bradford to Bloggers – May 22 conference appropriately scheduled for John Bradford’s family home in Georgetown

It’s only 6061 words…or is that 6,061 and you’ll see why I put it that way.

EARLY AGAIN

I’m not making this a habit or changing publication days but by necessity, since I’ll be out of the office on Friday, May 3, I’m sending you this a day early for the second straight week. Thankfully, nothing on the agenda for Friday, May 10 so I’ll return to the regular schedule then.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK:

Really hadn’t had any questions to pass along in the last couple of weeks so there’s one now and I’ll let it be the lead story.

How do we go about ordering the emergency/safety vests?

It had been a while since that question was last asked and I originally wrote the answer. But Tuesday, the company we dealt with sent a promo link that offers the reflective vests at 15 percent off. Here’s an email I sent to publishers and editors and if you’re interested, just go to http://www.fullsource.com and look for the 15 percent off link. But do it now; the sale ends May 6.

You may recall that federal regulations require anyone (yes, including the news media) to wear reflective safety vests when working along a U.S. highway. That means in covering an accident, fire or any other reason a reporter/photographer is on a U.S. highway, the safety vest is required by federal regulation.

State transportation officials suggest the lime green (or yellow) vest be worn because the orange one can conflict with the orange highway barrels.

And Full Source, the company we used five years ago to order vests for newspapers, is having a sale, 15 percent off. Additionally, you can have the vest screen printed with PRESS or with the name of the newspaper for the additional screen print charge as shown.

If you’re in need of the reflective safety vests, I would suggest you contact FullSource at the telephone number provided at www.fullsource.com and order the vests. The sale ends May 6.

THE MOUSE WAS THE CULPRIT

And no not the kind of mouse you use with a computer.

Last Thursday, Teresa told Bonnie and me that she was having a lot of static on her phone line and wondered if anyone else was reporting the problem. I suggested with all the rain recently, it could be water in the line, a problem we’ve had before.

Well, Bonnie contacted the phone company and Friday morning they found the problem. A mouse had built a nest in the large phone box outside our building. The box holds all the lines for the nine buildings in this complex so perhaps others were having problems but just hadn’t reported it.

No report on what he did with the mouse or the nest. But the phone line is clear now.

TOP SPENDERS IN 2013 SESSION

The final spending reports for the 2013 General Assembly show that $6.2 million was spent on lobbying during the 30-day session, which began in early January and ended March 26. The leading spender for the session was Century Aluminum of Kentucky, which spent $108,687 lobbying on legislation to allow large industrial consumers of electricity (like Century Aluminum) to purchase electricity “off the grid” instead of from local retail electric suppliers.

Altria Client Services, representing Phillip Morris USA and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, was the second highest spending employer, reporting $107,353 for the session. The company spent about nine percent more than the $98,000 spent in the same period in 2011. Also, according to the Registry of Election Finance website, AltriaPAC, the company’s Washington, D.C.-based political action committee reported spending $12,800 on six Kentucky legislative campaigns in the 2012 election cycle.

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce spent $90,639 in the 2013 session, a 12 percent increase over the Chamber’s total of $79,479 spent in the 2011 session. The Kentucky Chamber PAC reported spending $35,000 by making contributions to 38 legislative campaign funds in the 2012 cycle.

The Kentucky Hospital Association spent $78,213 on lobbying in the session, a 34 percent increase over the $51,260 spent in 2011. The Association’s PAC, the Kentucky Hospitals’ Circle of Friends made 117 contributions totaling $70,750 to legislative campaigns in the 2012 cycle.

The Kentucky Medical Association spent $62,930 on 2013 lobbying, while KMA’s political action committee, Kentucky Physicians PAC, contributed $32,250 to 50 legislative campaign funds in the 2012 cycle.

Other top spending employers in the 2013 session include: Kentucky Retail Federation ($62,592, a 23 percent increase over 2011 session spending); Build Our New Bridge Now ($60,932); Kentucky Bankers Association ($54,240); AT&T ($49,655); Kentucky League of Cities ($44,570); Baptist Health ($44,144); Kentuckians for the Commonwealth ($43,329); Kentucky Justice Association ($42,254); Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities ($42,055); Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives ($41,816); and CSX ($40,814).

Among those top-spending employers with affiliated PACs, spending on legislative campaigns for the 2012 election cycle included: Kentucky Bankers Association PAC, which spent $124,000 by making 151 contributions to legislative campaigns; AT&T Kentucky PAC, which spent $34,450 by making 68 contributions; Kentucky Justice Association’s Attorneys Political Action Trust, which spent $52,500 by making 65 contributions; Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities PAC, which spent $88,750 by making 105 contributions; and the Electric Cooperatives’ PAC, Speak Up For Rural Electrification, which spent $33,400 by making 79 contributions.

INTERN POSITIONS 91.304 PERCENT FILLED

With the exception of two newspapers, who had commitments but the interns backed out, we’ve filled all the internships for the coming summer. That’s 18 of the 20 newspaper intern slots and all three KPA Associates positions for public relations.

And here’s a breakdown on where the students are attending college:

Eastern — all three PR interns are from Eastern plus five newspaper interns; 8 total

Murray State — four, all newspapers

Western — four, all newspapers

UK — three, all newspapers

Morehead State — two, both with newspapers

WE’VE MADE STUDENT APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE TO YOU NOW

Are you looking for an intern for the summer — paid or non-paid position? Or have a part-time or temporary full-time position you need to fill?

Here’s your opportunity! We’re opening the list of student applicants for you to peruse. If you see a green checkmark, that student is currently available. If you see a red X, the student is one of the interns filling a KPA internship this summer.

Go to www.kypress.com/interns

The User ID for newspapers is paper13 and the password is magenta:7744

The User ID for Associates for the PR interns is host13 and the password is 9933:sodium

The two newspapers without an intern had commitments but the interns backed out at the end. I can understand in a sense because both took full-time jobs with newspapers and having a chance at a full-time position is above getting an internship for 10 weeks. Hopefully both of those newspapers will be able to fill the internship slot for the coming summer. It will be difficult, being students are in final exams and may be hard to track down, but we’re hoping for the first time in about 20 years that all intern positions will be filled.

SIGNUP BEGINS FOR FALL CHAPTER SERIES

Woody and Chloe will be returning to the pages of newspapers across the Commonwealth in September, this time focusing on Kentucky agriculture. The 10-week series is titled ‘Outstanding in his Field’ and will begin the week of September 8.

More information and a signup form are available at www.kypress.com/nie and newspapers have until June 1 to get signed up and to ensure enough scrapbooks are available for each student to have one. Each year, there will be some stragglers trying to sign up the week the series begins and there’s really no reason other than procrastinating. So take a minute now, go to the site, sign up your newspaper and cross that chore off your bucket list.

CDs FOR WOODY SERIES TO BE AVAILABLE ONLINE

Rather than make the copies of the CDs for the Woody series and then sending them to participating newspapers, and then potentially finding a problem or two, David Spencer’s working on making the CD material available online.

There’s some savings in that approach but also if a mistake is discovered, and that’s happened before, we can just direct newspapers to the website and have them re-download the chapter.

David’s begged for this the last couple of years and we’ve finally relented. He’s going to set it up so it’s password protected, giving only newspapers that have registered to have access to it.

AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT WILL DESTROY KPA/KBA PROGRAM

It’s not like we have large numbers of newspapers, radio and TV stations contracted for the health insurance program offered by KPA and the Kentucky Broadcasters Associations. But for those we do serve — primarily smaller newspapers with few employees — the Affordable Health Care Act could mean the end to that offering.

The joint health insurance program offered for several years had lost a lot of contracts and so a few years ago, KPA and KBA moved its program to the Kentucky Retail Industry trust. That would give us some numbers that turn into clout and the ability to negotiate halfway decent monthly premiums and policy coverage.

But it appears that come July, that program will not be offered. One of the provisions is that an association program can only involve businesses or industries with like SIC numbers. So while the SIC numbers for even KPA and KBA members might differ some, those numbers will be foreign when put side-by-side with other Retail Industry businesses.

That will also become an income issue. While we don’t make a lot from the “Royalties” paid by the third party administrator, Administrative Services Group, we might get $5000 a year. And the agents, who have handled this program for us for 20-plus years, will be losing commissions.

Scott Snowden is one of two agents in the state who we have worked with for 20-plus years. Those of you in the western half of the state have met or talked with him when you’ve asked about KPA’s health insurance offerings.

Below is an email from Scott about this situation. And then below that, are a couple of questions I posed to him with his answers.

On Apr 30, 2013, at 3:48 PM, Scott Snowden wrote:

As you know from the various meetings over the past year regarding trade association plans and health care reform, the Department of Health & Humana Services has clearly defined guidelines that dictate how a program can survive going forward. One of these key issues is the new requirement that any trust or grouping of plans must have “like industries”. The SIC codes will be used to confirm that the groups are in the same line of work. Clearly, this is an issue when broadcasters and press groups are combined with a retail industry program. If we try to break your groups out, there is not a large enough enrolled population to maintain independent plans. For this reason, it is very likely that the KBA and KPA sponsored programs may sunset as we approach this July renewal. Anthem is looking into simply providing your participating groups with a renewal for Anthem’s non-association pool products so that there will be no disruption to the groups who are currently participating in your programs. Also, the groups would not have to go through underwriting or complete applications. From that point forward they would be in the traditional Anthem products instead of the association programs. They would still work with my agency or Brigg’s so there is no disruption in the service that they have on day-to-day administration of the plan.

You may have already been told all of this by Anthem and/or ASG, but I just wanted to bring you up to date just in case. Once their final analysis is completed, I am sure they will provide a more detailed explanation. In the meantime, feel free to call me with any questions.

Here are my questions with his responses:

David T. Oh great news, huh?? If they go into the pool, are the rates and policies comparable, more expensive, less expensive?

Scott S: Anthem commented that they are going to try and make the price very close to what they would have gotten this year in their July association renewal. I guess it will all depend on how they interpret “very close.”

David T. Is there no ‘grandfather’ clause? What if both parent organizations joined the Kentucky Retail Federation or is that just stretching the point?

Scott S: The key issue is the requirement from HHS that trade associations be considered Bona Fide in order to survive in the health care reform environment (if not Bona Fide then they terminate). In order to be Bona Fide all insured groups within the program must be in the same line of work. You cannot co-mingle retail shops, radio stations and newspapers since the “test” that they use is a strict list of SIC codes which are on file for each covered group at Dunn & Bradstreet. This leaves the question of moving KBA and KPA out on their own, but there are not enough participants in your programs for them to qualify under the large group requirements and not enough for Anthem to view it as a creditable program for rating purposes. This relates to Mark’s presentations to the association groups and the comments that the attorney, Joe Bevin added at those meetings.

It really is not an issue that Anthem or ASG has created or desires…it is simply a result of the complex compliance guidelines that trade association programs now face due to the health care reform law and its approach specifically toward association programs.

We would have loved for things to keep rolling on as they have in the past, but as with are seeing with this reform law, there are plenty of negative outcomes.

AND THAT GIVES REASON TO REMIND YOU

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce will have two seminars on Health Reform, and reporters covering one of the two seminars will not have to pay registrations. If you plan on attending, however, you need to contact Jessica Fletcher at the State Chamber office TODAY!!

The sessions are May 8 in Lexington, May 9 in Louisville.

Jessica Fletcher | Director of Communications

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Phone: 502-848-8731

Email: jfletcher@kychamber.com

UPDATED GOOGLE ANALYTICS

About a month ago, I told you we are now able to use Google Analytics to get updated “readership and usage” on the KPA Public Notice website.

That was in April and included about six weeks of analysis.

Now I have the stats for April and the results are pretty similar.

Here are the April figures — first — and the figures (in parentheses) from March to April 12. Remember the ones in parentheses cover almost a six-week time frame as opposed to the entire month of April.

Total visits – 675 (717)

Unique visits — 429 (445)

Page Views — 1,143 (1,181)

Countries — 630 from the U.S. (664); 29 from India (39).

Top States — Kentucky – 347 (362); Ohio, 89 (96); Tennessee, 36 (49).

Top Cities — Lexington, 107 (110); Hopkinsville 69 (74); Ashland 34 (37); Paducah 15 (17); Frankfort 7 (12); Louisville 10 (11).

Internet Explorer continues to be the most used browser but Firefox has moved ahead of Safari.

Roadrunner is still the top service provider of those accessing the website, followed by TW Telecom, Windstream and Insight.

CHANGES IN STYLE

Please forgive me if you see me not using “language style” the same as you, or the younger journalists. One in particular I’ve noticed recently concerns “thousands.”

I was taught throughout journalism school and newspaper policies that if you are using a figure of less than 10,000, you did that without commas. Thus it was 1000 or 5000 or 9999. Don’t know who came up with that journalistic style but that’s what was being taught in the late 60s to the mid 70s. Now I notice the practice is to use the comma in thousands so it’s 1,000 or 5,000 or 9,999.

I try to correct it but when something was pounded and pounded and pounded, you tend to remember it. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks as they say.

MOBILE DEVICES DRASTICALLY INCREASE FOR NEWS CONSUMPTION

A 2013 mobile news consumption survey indicated the most dramatic increase of mobile media users were over the age of 45. 
Researchers were most surprised by the rapid adoption of mobile media devices and their use for news in the past 12 months by people age 45 and older, especially among those who have been the most loyal subscribers to printed newspapers, said Roger Fidler, program director for digital publishing at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

This was just one of many findings in the second annual mobile news consumption survey conducted by the Reynolds Journalism Institute in collaboration with members of the Digital Publishing Alliance. The DPA is a member-supported initiative of the RJI at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Some of the findings:

• 55% of survey respondents indicated they were mobile news consumers in 2013 — up from 42% 2012.

• About 52% of newspaper subscribers also used a mobile device to read news, while 44% also used a desktop computer.

• About 12% of the mobile news consumers said they canceled their print subscriptions in the past 12 months.

For more information and results, go to: http://www.miniurl.com/4PLn

That miniurl is created because the original URL would take up three lines. When accessing it as written, it will redirect you to the RJI survey site.

AND THAT STUDY COINCIDES WITH ONE BY ENQUIRER MEDIA

I include this brief because it would include the Kentucky Enquirer and the Recorder Newspapers in Northern Kentucky. Drives home the point about digital,

Enquirer Media reaches more than 1 million people every week, or eight of every 10 adults in the region.

But more people are accessing Enquirer news and information on digital devices and fewer in the print newspaper, underscoring changing reader habits nationwide, a collection of new reports shows.

According to online analytics firm Omniture, in April:

• A record 4.3 million unique visitors accessed Enquirer Media on desktops, up from 3.9 million last September, before a new subscription plan took effect last October. Subscribers now pay for content in digital and print.

Unique visitors are the number of devices (computers, tablets, smartphones) that accessed content. An individual who accesses from multiple devices will count more than once. An individual who accesses multiple times from the same device will only be counted once.

• A record 250,000 unique visitors accessed Enquirer Media on mobile devices, up from 195,000 before the subscription plan launch.

• The Cincinnati.com mobile app has surpassed 55,000 all-time downloads. The Cincinnati Reds app topped 100,000 downloads.

• Video views are up 227 percent on the desktop year-over-year.

For more on the Enquirer’s study, go to http://nky.cincinnati.com/article/AB/20130502/BIZ/305020027/Enquirer-s-readership-continues-shift-digital

TWITTER WARNS JOURNALISTS: ATTACKS WILL CONTINUE

In a memo sent to news organizations, Twitter warns that it expects high profile account hijackings — like the one that took down the AP’s Twitter account last week — to continue.

“Please help us keep your accounts secure,” the memo pleads. It returns to a similar note: “Help us protect you.”
Some of the memo’s advice is advice any service would give its users: change your passwords, keep your email accounts secure, look out for suspicious activity — the company warns that hackers are using advanced “spear phishing” tactics.

But other sections reflect a scramble for a solution: “Designate one computer to use for Twitter,” the company recommends. “Don’t use this computer to read email or surf the web, to reduce the chances of malware infection.

Yes: Twitter is telling journalists to stay off the Internet on the computers they use for Twitter. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, in other words.

Twitter is currently working on a two-step authentication system to prevent future hacks, but hasn’t released it to the public yet. (One possible reason for the slow process: figuring out a two-step system for accounts that are often shared between many people is more complicated than developing one for, say, Gmail.) Until the tool is out, though, Twitter seems to be asking prominent users to go into a sort of wartime mode.

To read the full memo, go to http://www.miniurl.com/4PLo

IT’S TIME TO SIGN UP FOR INAUGURAL BORDER WAR GOLF TOURNAMENT

Tennessee has a jump on us with 38 people already committed to play for their state in the Inaugural Border War Golf Tournament. It’s scheduled for Monday, September 9, at Fairvue Plantation Country Club, one of Tennessee’s finest, in Gallatin, TN.

So now it’s time for Kentucky golfers to step to the tee and get registered. The following was part of a two-page pdf emailed earlier this week to every single email address I could think of. And so far, ONE person has said he’ll play, besides me, of course.

So let’s get with it. Find every golfer, duffer, weekend warrior, three times a year player, in your office and get them to sign up. It’s $75 and that includes everything, including claiming it as a tax deduction since the proceeds will go to the journalism foundations of both states.

Find that pdf, fill it out, return it and then get ready for a great day of fellowship and golf and camaraderie. I’ve found through those relationships that even if they wear orange during football and basketball seasons, they’re still pretty nice newspaper folks.

Kentucky Press Association vs. Tennessee Press Association – Members and Friends

Monday, September 9 – 12 Noon – Central Time

Fairvue Plantation Country Club – Gallatin, TN – one of Tennessee’s Top Country Clubs

$75 per player includes green fee, cart, range balls, beverage cart, lunch and awards reception. Fees are considered a donation to the newspaper foundations; most of the entry fee will be tax-deductible and are non-refundable.

Format: Scramble with foursomes of two players from each state. Team low score on each hole worth one point, ties earn 1/2 point, state with highest point total wins championship.

Shotgun start at 12 noon, Central Time. Awards presentation in dining room following tournament.

Venue: Fairvue Plantation Country Club, 981 Plantation Blvd., Gallatin, TN (halfway between Gallatin and Hendersonville on U.S. 31E). Phone: (615) 575-4300

Overnight accommodations: a limited number of cottages are available for Sunday night and/or Monday night at the Plantation on a first come, first served basis for $129 per night. Call Cindy or Connie at (615) 575-4306 for reservations. Or try these area hotels — • Hampton Inn (Gallatin)- 615-206-9595 • Holiday Inn Express (Hendersonville) 888-465-4329
• Hyatt Place (Hendersonville) 615-826-4301

Kentucky players register by e-mail to: David Thompson at dthompson@kypress.com, or call KPA at 502-223-8821 and mail registration fee and form below to Kentucky Press Association, 101 Consumer Lane, Frankfort, KY 40610. Make checks payable to Kentucky Journalism Foundation

To pay by credit card, complete the Credit Card Authorization Form attached and return with this form to KPA, 101 Consumer Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601, or FAX to KPA at (502) 226-3867.

Support your Kentucky Journalism Foundation, its internship program and other educational opportunities it offers by participating in the Border War golf tournament.

If you need the registration form or the credit card authorization form, just email me and I’ll send it right back.

JON FLEISCHAKER DOES CLE TRAINING FOR KENTUCKY BAR

Some 45 attorneys, including some in state government, attended a Continuing Legal Education seminar earlier this week at the Kentucky Bar Association. They were there to get required CLE credit but also to hear Jon Fleischaker discuss Open Records and Open Meeting.

Of course, as the co-author of the original laws in 1974 and 1976, no one knows more about what the laws say, what the laws mean and even what the intent of the language was and is, than Jon.

He discussed developing the original laws at a time where you got approval from the governor for legislation and if the governor gave the thumbs up, the law got passed. And then he reviewed the changes made with the 1992 rewrite that strengthened both laws and became model legislation for some other states. Jon also discussed a few cases that he had represented the news media on, including some that went as far as the Supreme Court.

SUPREME COURT BACKS RELEASE OF RECORDS

Speaking of Jon Fleischaker and the Supreme Court: It might have been a 3-3 tie, with one justice not voting, but that tie in the Kentucky Supreme Court meant it agrees that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services must produce the records relating to child fatalities and near fatalities. Few people in Kentucky haven’t heard about the ongoing battle with the cabinet by at least three Kentucky newspapers to get records produced that aren’t heavily redacted.

The court was hearing an appeal by the cabinet after the Court of Appeals agreed 2-to-1 with a circuit court judge who had ruled the cabinet had no basis for redacting so much information in the records. With the Supreme Court victory, the cabinet will have to follow the guidelines of Circuit Judge Philip Shepherd for what can be redacted. And on anything that it redacts, the cabinet must show justification for that redaction.

Judge Shepherd also ruled that the cabinet must pay attorney fees to the newspapers.

THE FUTURE OF THE WRITTEN WORD

The Center for the Written Word at Cardome in Georgetown is hosting a one-day conference, ‘Words in a Changing World: From Bradford to Bloggers’

Do we need newspapers? How has the written word shaped our world? What can we learn from the past?

These questions and more will be addressed Wednesday, May 22, with the Center’s focus on the written word. It’s an appropriate setting for the conference since Cardome was built by the Bradford family in 1821. And after the panel discussions are complete, the unveil an exhibit on Bradford, the inaugural exhibit of the Museum of the Written Word.

Keynote speaker John Carroll — who led the Los Angeles Times to 13 Pulitzer Prizes and the Lexington Herald-Leader to one when he was editor of those publications — will discuss why newspapers matter.

The conference kicks off with registration at 1 p.m., followed at 2 p.m. by a talk on pioneer printer John Bradford, publisher of the state’s first newspaper, the Kentucky Gazette. Panelists will discuss Bradford’s role in bringing civic literacy to Kentucky and how newspapers continue this today. Tom Eblen, columnist and former managing editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader, will discuss Bradford and moderate the panel, which also includes Al Cross, Director, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues Associate extension professor, School of Journalism and Telecommunications, University of Kentucky; Mike Farrell, professor of journalism at the University of Kentucky and director of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center; Liz Hansen, professor and chair of Eastern Kentucky University’s Department of Communications; Al Smith, veteran journalist, author and former host of the public affairs television program “Comment on Kentucky,” and Steve Vest, founder and editor-in-chief of Kentucky Monthly.

The second panel, “Print Journalism at the Crossroads,” begins at 4 p.m. Informed by Bradford and the history of newspapers in Kentucky, panelists will discuss the future of journalism. Where will we go next? To blogs and cyberspace? To a less-informed landscape than the one we inhabit now? Panelists include Peter Baniak, editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader; Laura Cullen Glasscock, editor of the Kentucky Gazette; John Nelson, editor of the Danville Advocate-Messenger; David Thompson, executive director of the Kentucky Press Association; and Richard Wilson, a retired news bureau chief and columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Following the panel discussions, the Center will unveil an exhibit on Bradford. It is the inaugural exhibit of the Museum of the Written Word, which is located on property once owned by the Bradford family.

The day concludes with cocktails, dinner and an address by keynote speaker John Carroll, former editor of the Los Angeles Times, Lexington Herald-Leader and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Afternoon panels are free of charge; there is a $50 fee for the reception and dinner. To register contact Debbie Hoskins, conference facilitator, 859.583.1716 or debrafhoskins@gmail.com or Center for the Written Word at Cardome, 502.863.1575, ext. 10 or cardomecenter@gmail.com

KENTUCKY DERBY: IS THE MEDIA NOW IRRELEVANT?

It’s the biggest horse race in the world, and weather-depending, could have upwards of 165,000 people. Some will be in the infield and if you’ve ever seen a Kentucky Derby from the infield, well, you actually don’t see the race. Too many people. You might catch a glimpse of some horses but that’ll be it.

And that might be the way the media views the Derby, with just the glimpse of a thoroughbred going by, thanks to the all-powerful dollar. Churchill Downs has done away with its press box. And where the media will be stationed could be a couple of football fields from the finish line. Or they’ll just watch it on TV.

The irony in this, as you will note in a comment by Rick Bozich, is that it was the media that built the Kentucky Derby into what it is. With the persistence of Colonel Matt Winn, the media took the reins, promoting Churchill Downs, its fastest two minutes in sports and the Kentucky Derby became the most famous horse race in the world.

Here’s part of the story from the Sherman Report and if you want to read the entire thing, go to http://www.shermanreport.com/booted-out-churchill-downs-eliminated-press-box-for-kentucky-derby-most-media-will-watch-on-tv/

Booted out: Churchill Downs eliminates press box for Kentucky Derby; Most media will watch on TV

by Ed Sherman

MAY 1, 2013

Rick Bozich notes there was a time when Churchill Downs couldn’t do enough for the media. Legendary track president Matt Winn, who made the Kentucky Derby what it is today, knew it was vital to get press coverage in the early 20th Century.

So when asked for his reaction about Churchill Downs eliminating the press box for this year’s Kentucky Derby, Bozich, the long-time Louisville columnist, thought of Winn.

“You don’t need a comment from me,” Bozich writes in an email. “You need one from Colonel. Matt Winn. His plan for turning the Derby into America’s horse race began with convincing the media that they were as important to this spectacle as a good 3-year-old. Well, we had a good run, Colonel”

Indeed, the “Who-Needs-the-Media” tour moves to Churchill Downs this week.

The fabled track actually one-upped the NCAA, which cut back 2/3s of the media floor seating for the basketball tournament. Churchill Down has done away with the whole idea of having a press box.

What had been the Joe Hirsch Media Center overlooking the track has been transformed into a high-rollers area renamed, “The Mansion at Churchill Downs.” The reason is simple: Money. According to Ray Paulick of Paulickreport.com, the track figures to haul in $8 million over three years with the new luxury seating.

“Like any casino company, Churchill Downs Inc. now thinks in terms of revenue per square foot,” Paulick writes in an email. “The press box generated zero actual revenue, although it could be argued good press is worth something.”

What becomes of the media?

To find out, read: http://www.shermanreport.com/booted-out-churchill-downs-eliminated-press-box-for-kentucky-derby-most-media-will-watch-on-tv/

SEVERAL GOOD WEBINARS COMING UP

Make note of these upcoming webinars, offered by KPA, the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and Online Media Campus.

Two for advertising, one for graphic design (Photoshop) and one for the newsroom (Collaborating and Competing). Specific information on each webinar is included with a link to Online Media Campus. The link also includes registration information for each webinar.

May 9 – Overcome Objections and Close More Sales – 2 pm/ Eastern; 1 pm/Central

Registration: $35
 To avoid late fee, register by May 6.

For more information and to register at Online Media Campus: http://www.onlinemediacampus.com/2013/03/objections/

May 10 – What You Could Be Missing in Photoshop – 2 pm/Eastern; 1 pm/Central

Registration: $35
 To avoid late fee, register by May 7.

For more information and to register at Online Media Campus: http://www.onlinemediacampus.com/2013/04/missing-photoshop/

May 23 – Collaborating & Competing: Newspaper Success Models – 2 pm/Eastern; 1 pm/Central

Registration: $35
 To avoid late fee, register by May 20.

For more information and to register at Online Media Campus: http://www.onlinemediacampus.com/2013/04/collaboratingcompeting

Starts June 6 – Print & Digital: Direct Response Advertising – 2 pm/Eastern; 1 pm/Central

June 6, June 20 and July 11 – Certificate Program: 3 sessions, each covers different topics

Registration: $35
 To avoid late fee, register by May 30.

For more information and to register at Online Media Campus http://www.onlinemediacampus.com/certificate-programs/advertising/

Well, for a short week, since I’ll be out on Friday, somehow came up with a lot of stuff to write about. Okay, a couple of items were contributed but still pertinent to the industry and hopefully will help you as you and your staff strive to publish the best newspaper/online publication possible.

As always, call or email — no first, get signed up for the Inaugural Border War golf tournament — and then call or email if you have questions, issues, concerns, clarifications, corrections, additions or anything else of note.

Otherwise, thanx!!

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