November 8, 2013

• Convention begins with FREE Seminar on ‘Investigating the Business of Government’

• KPS surpasses half-mill for November, highest month in 2013!

• Lyles receives NNA Community Service Award

• Chief Justice Minton remembers 50 years ago today and something his father said that day

• Hmm. So TV stations change their tune? Can’t blast newspapers now for paid online content


It’s always great to start with tremendous news

And that’s what I’ll do this week, with a record November that’s now well past a half-million!! While we have another week in the month, I doubt there will be much placement since Thanksgiving is here and most all placements have been made.

Regardless, we stand at $539,895 for the month, and that’s $18,000 than any other month this year. And we already had an all-time November record a couple of weeks ago!

Now the challenge is on your end: Please make sure all ads scheduled from KPS get published as ordered.

Thanx in advance for that. Makes life for Teresa and Rachel and Holly, Bonnie and Buffy so much easier when you do.

Convention kicks off with FREE seminar

Figured that four-letter word would get your attention and it is free. Our thanks to the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and its executive director, Linda Austin, former editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The seminar will be Thursday, January 23, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Lexington. This will be the first session of the 2014 KPA Winter Convention.

Governments award millions of dollars in contracts and are often some of the largest employers in town. Yet journalists sometimes overlook the business stories in the workings of local and state government. The Watergate admonition to “follow the money” applies to investigations of government at all levels, down to the economic-development agency and library board.

If you dread analyzing the annual municipal budget for news and wonder how to tie government contracts to campaign-donor lists, come hone your skills at this Investigating the Business of Government workshop taught by investigative reporter John Cheves.

Learn to identify great local stories in the business of government. For more information about the seminar and a detailed agenda go to:

The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism presents this training.

Cheves, investigative reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader, offers tips for following the money in government budgets, contracts and taxes, with special attention to economic-development and quasi-governmental agencies.

Sign up here for this free workshop

Linda Austin and I both make ONE request — if you sign up, please make sure you attend. It’s more tempting to sign up for something free and decide not to attend (because you haven’t made any investment) than it is to pay to attend and think about whether you’re going to attend or not. We want you to attend and KPS is gracious to the Donald W. Reynolds Center and Linda for arranging this special training opportunity. So please sign up, mark your calendar and then make sure you make it.

Nelson receives Al Smith Award


John Nelson, left, with award namesake Al Smith. (Photo by Teresa Revlett)

John Nelson, left, with award namesake Al Smith. (Photo by Teresa Revlett)

Before joining the Danville newspaper as an editor, Nelson was editor and co-publisher of Pulaski Week, which was an award-winning weekly paper in Somerset. He began his career at The Citizen Voice and Times in Estill County.John Nelson, executive editor of Danville-based Advocate Communications, was honored November 16 as the 2013 Al Smith Award for public service through community journalism.

The Al Smith Award is named for the rural newspaper publisher who was founding producer and host of KET’s “Comment on Kentucky.” It is presented by the Bluegrass Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, part of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications.

Smith is a national SPJ Fellow and co-founder of the Institute, and chairman emeritus of its national advisory board.

Nelson, 61, is a native of Mayfield who grew up in Valley Station and earned a degree from Eastern Kentucky University.

The award culminates a trifecta for Nelson. In 2010, he received the James Madison Award from the Scripps-Howard Foundation First Amendment Center at UK and earlier this year was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.

50 Years ago today; more remember where they were, what they were doing     

Fifty years ago today, 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, to be precise, Americans were stunned by the news from Dallas that President Kennedy had been assassinated. And even a couple of days later, because people were glued to “snowy black and white TVs,” they watched as accused killer Lee Harvey Oswald was gunned down leaving the Dallas jail.

Here are more comments from friends and newspaper people about that day:

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton

David, I have three very clear memories of the day President Kennedy was killed.

Near the end of the school day in the afternoon on Friday, November 22, 1963, I was sitting at my desk in my 6th grade class at Western’s Training School in Bowling Green when our music teacher, Miss Gertrude Bale, interrupted the class to inform us that the President had been shot.

Three years earlier, on October 8, 1960, I was an 8 year-old in the crowd gathered in downtown Bowling Green as then-Senator John Kennedy, the Democratic Party’s candidate for President, spoke at the entrance to City Hall.  After the speaking ended and the Kennedy entourage left the platform, I was among members of the crowd who tore a piece from the corrugated cardboard and crepe paper decoration that had covered the wooden platform.  I kept that as a memento of that day.  A few weeks ago, I donated my memento to the Kentucky Building Museum and Library at WKU to be a part of their exhibit devoted to the day John Kennedy came to Bowling Green.

My Dad, Dr. John Minton, was teaching his American history class at WKU on the morning of the Kennedy assassination and mentioned the fact that if John Kennedy were superstitious he might be concerned about the ominous fact that at that point in our history the a president died in office every 20 years.  Kennedy was shot and killed later that afternoon.  For many years after that, I heard students recall with Dad his comment that became a sad prediction.

John D. Minton, Jr.

Chief Justice of Kentucky

Loyd Ford, The Lake News, KPA/KPS Treasurer

The President was shot and killed on November 22 the day before my birthday on November 23. I was in the sixth grade and our elementary school principal first announced that he had been shot on the school PA. Later Mrs. Magness my teacher told us he had been killed. My birthday has never been the same since. The day following the shooting was continuous coverage of the event and it continued through the weekend. I watched every bit of it on our snowy b&w TV. I couldn’t turn away.

Edmund Shelby, Beattyville Enterprise, KPA Past President

I was a sophomore at Corbin High School.  I was in French class when the radio broadcast came over the intercom.  School was immediately dismissed.  I was a delivery boy for the Corbin Times-Tribune, and went to the office.  We were told to come back later as they were having to re-work the paper.  I still remember that front page.

Follow up comments on last week’s segment about political advertising

This comes from Bob Atkins, former Tennessee newspaper publisher and now with Rowlett Advertising Services, who has access to like so many others.

To all my friends in the great state of Kentucky,

Chuck Henderson’s point about political advertising is on the mark.

But, direction from top management, including publishers, has to go to editorial and advertising departments to view elections as “events”, which they are. Then, look at campaigns in this light: pre-event is publicity, post event (the election results) is news. Campaign press releases will begin to be turned into ads as soon as editorial staffs recognize the “pre-event publicity”  contained in the campaign generated press releases and pass them on to the advertising staffs as ad leads.. Press releases are a good source of ad leads for campaigns as well as other events in town. Elections generate news during campaigns and news worthy issues should be covered, guided by good, common, editorial sense.

Just my thoughts on the subject and the rule that always served us well. It will you, also.

Bob Atkins

More papers sponsoring local schools for High School Journalism Association

Again this school year, Kentucky newspapers can sponsor their local high school(s) in the Kentucky High School Journalism Association. Sponsorship is just $50 per school per school year and allows schools to participate in the annual KHSJA contest and other activities. KPA founded KHSJA 17 years ago and ever since then the state’s newspapers have been very generous in sponsoring schools. Typically, KHSJA has about 100 member schools per year with about 70 percent of its members sponsored by one or more local newspapers. So far this year, we have 81 schools as members of KHSJA and 80 percent of those are sponsored by a Kentucky newspaper, publishing firm or individual. Here’s a list of so far of those who have sponsored schools in KHSJA for the 2013-2014 school year:

The Courier-Journal, 3 schools

The Lake News, 1 school

The Richmond Register, 3 schools

Georgetown News-Graphic, 1 school

Jamie Sizemore, 1 school

The News-Enterprise, 6 schools

The Sentinel-News, 2 schools

The Pioneer News, 3 schools

The Messenger, Madisonville, 4 schools

The Ledger Independent (Maysville), 5 schools

Jobe Publishing, 2 schools

The Kentucky Standard, 4 schools

The Daily News (Bowling Green), 3 schools

The Advocate-Messenger, 3 schools

The Winchester Sun, 1 school

The Jessamine Journal, 2 schools

The Interior Journal, 1 school

The Record (Grayson County), 1 school

Meade County Messenger, 1 school

Sebree Banner, 1 school

Sturgis News, 1 school

Kentucky New Era, 6 schools

Beech Tree News (Butler Co.), 1 school

Campbellsville University, 11 schools

Schools can be sponsored in KHSJA through Dec. 6. For a sponsorship form, click this link:

Sponsorship Form PDF

If you have questions, call David Greer at 800-264-5721.

New Kentucky State Police media contact

Sgt. Rick Saint-Blancard has been promoted to lieutenant and re-assigned from the KSP Public Affairs Branch in Frankfort to KSP Post 6 in Dry Ridge.

“I have enjoyed working with the news media throughout the state during my tenure at the KSP Public Affairs Branch,” says Saint-Blancard. “It has been a great learning experience and I hope I have been able to respond to media requests in a clear, concise and effective manner.”

Effective immediately, all media inquiries should be directed to Tpr. Paul Blanton, KSP Public Affairs Branch, at 502-782-1777 until further notice.

National Newspaper Association Disappointed with Court’s Ruling on Valassis NSA

National Newspaper Association Robert M. Williams Jr, expressed his disappointment today with a decision by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that affirmed the Postal Regulatory Commission’s (PRC) handling of the Valassis postage discounts last year.

“The Court did not say it agreed with the Postal Service’s decision to grant special discount rates to this large direct mailer. It simply said it would not disrupt the expertise of the PRC,” Williams said. “That is the posture federal courts normally take in regulatory matters. But we believed, and still believe, that the Commission’s analysis of the antitrust issues in this case was flawed.”

NNA joined the Newspaper Association of America last year in appealing the PRC’s grant of deeply discounted rates through a Negotiated Service Agreement (NSA) to Valassis for launching of a weekend direct mail program intended to pull advertising out of newspapers and into the direct mail stream. Vigorous industry protest against the decision resulted in heavy litigation at the PRC and the courts, and objections on Capitol Hill, where many members of Congress raised concerns about the deal.

The Postal Service has not yet provided a report to the PRC on the status of the Valassis NSA.

“We believe this unfair alliance will still not be successful,” said Williams, noting that plans by Valassis have not materialized as planned. “Valassis has long been one of the newspaper industry’s largest customers themselves and I believe they will find no better vehicle for retailers than newspapers.”

In an earnings call with investors in October, Valassis CEO Robert Mason declined to comment on the success of the weekend program, branded as Spree. He said “we have packages in markets… (W)e’ll make a determination where it goes in terms of rollout by the end of this year.”

Williams said the next step is up to Congress.

“Many members of Congress have told our member newspapers that they do not want the nation’s postal system to play off one private industry against another in the advertising marketplace,” he said. “NNA certainly believes USPS owes it to newspapers not to intentionally attack our businesses. We have maintained an effective partnership with the Postal Service for more than 100 years. This Valassis deal tarnished that relationship. We hope USPS now understands how deeply newspapers feel about fair play in the advertising markets.”

Lyles receives NNA Community Service Award

Jerry Lyles, right, thanks incoming NNA President Robert M. Williams Jr. for recognizing the efforts of Athlon Media in helping the association, during NNA’s 127th convention.

Jerry Lyles, right, thanks incoming NNA President Robert M. Williams Jr. for recognizing the efforts of Athlon Media in helping the association, during NNA’s 127th convention.

PHOENIX, AZ— Jerry Lyles, senior vice president newspaper relations for Athlon Media, received the National Newspaper Association Community Service Award for long-time support of NNA’s postal programs during the association’s 127th Annual Convention and Trade Show.

Lyles worked out the special sponsorship that allows Max Heath, NNA Postal Committee chair, to continue his work, helping NNA members.

Athlon, which recently purchased Publication Group of America, also sponsors events at NNA conventions. PGOA’s Steve Smith was also recognized for support from Publishing Group of America.

Lyles, former publisher of the Benton (KY) Tribune Courier, has served as chair of the KPA Advertising Division, on the KPA Board of Directors and was president of KPA in 1993.

Newspaper advertising to benefit from ‘Small Business Saturday’

According to the second annual Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express, with five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many small business owners say they’ll be pulling out all of the stops to get customers into stores during the critical holiday shopping season.

Of those small business owners incorporating Small Business Saturday into their holiday plans, 70% say the promotion will be helpful in attracting new customers. Of those who say they’ll rely primarily on paid advertising to promote Small Business Saturday, 67% will offer discounts to drive consumers to ‘Shop Small’ on November 30.

Now in its fourth year, Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and serves as the traditional kick off to the holiday season for independent retailers and restaurateurs. The day was created in response to small business owners’ most pressing need, more customers, and has since grown into an annual celebration of the independent businesses that help boost our local economies.

NFIB president and CEO, Dan Danner, says “… Small Business Saturday is a reminder of how important the small business sector is to our economy, and why it’s so important to Shop Small all year around.”

Even as social media and word of mouth remain the top methods for business owners to reach customers with their Small Business Saturday offerings, the number of business owners who say they’ll rely primarily on paid advertising (TV, radio and newspaper) to promote Small Business Saturday has doubled (18% vs. 9% in 2012). Discounts continue to be the top incentive used to encourage consumers to Shop Small, but more business owners are planning to reward customers by offering them a free gift with purchase (33%, up from 20% in 2012).

Transcendental typography



By Ed Henninger, Newspaper/Design Consultant


Every once in a while, a design calls for big type.

I don’t mean just “big type.”

I mean “B-I-G T-Y-P-E”! Huge. Ginormous. Humongous. Yeah…that kind of big.

When that happens, the type transcends (a word I learned in sophomore philosophy class and have loved ever since!) the realm of typography and becomes a form by itself. Sometimes it becomes the dominant element on the page.

As a result, we have to deal with it as a form, just as we deal with the dominant element of any other design.

We have to look at its shape, especially. Though it may have been born as type, what is it now?

Is it rectangular? Is it round? Is it more freeform?

Does it have a diagonal force? Vertical? Horizontal?

Do the descenders/ascenders work with nearby elements?

Are you using it in color? What color? Why?hennnger

Does it say what you want? Can you say that more briefly?

Does the font work with the rest of the page?

How about the space between letters? Inside the letters?

How about the space around it? Enough? Too tight? Too loose?

Lots of questions, each of them forcing you to take a long, close look at what you’ve created—and to appreciate that transcendent type isn’t just something you can toss on a page.

There are times when bighugeginormous type is just the look you need for that special feature page. When those times occur, ask yourself those questions listed above.

If you get a lot of the right answers, then go BIG! If you don’t, consider another approach. Your type will love you for it…and so will your readers.

WANT A FREE evaluation of your newspaper’s design? Just contact Ed: | 803-327-3322

IF THIS COLUMN has been helpful, you may be interested in Ed’s books: Henninger on Design and 101 Henninger Helpful Hints. With the help of Ed’s books, you’ll immediately have a better idea how to design for your readers. Find out more about Henninger on Design and 101 Henninger Helpful Hints by visiting Ed’s web site:

ED HENNINGER is an independent newspaper consultant and the Director of Henninger Consulting. Offering comprehensive newspaper design services including redesigns, workshops, staff training and evaluations. E-mail: On the web: Phone: 803-327-3322.

Newsrooms use Web metrics to evaluate staff, guide editorial decisions

Web metrics are in widespread use in U.S. newsrooms, and are being used by some in evaluating the performance of editors and reporters, a survey of top editors has found.

In a survey conducted among 114 members of the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) last year, one in five respondents reported that they use Web metrics as part of the performance evaluation of their employees.

The survey showed broad use of metrics in newsrooms across the country.


The majority of newsrooms participating in the survey use Web metrics not just to guide placement and presentation of stories on websites, but also in making decisions about news coverage and how reporters are assigned.

A look at some of the numbers

Web metrics were initially used to guide decisions on story selection and placement. For example, 72 percent said they use Web metrics to decide how prominently to display stories on the website while 62 percent said they use metrics to help them design the website.

But 73 percent said they use metrics information to decide “if we will assign additional stories or coverage.” Sixty-three percent said metrics were useful in helping “determine how to write the headline.”

In 51 percent of the newsrooms that participated in the survey, Web metrics reports are put together by the newsroom staff.

What are some of the key performance indicators that top-level editors monitor? What percentage of respondents said using Web analytics helped them serve their audience? How many said analytics made their organizations more profitable? Click here to find out the answers to these questions and others.

TV stations changing their tune on paid online content?

Well, well, well…TV stations are going to charge for online content. Wonder where they got that idea?

WLEX-TV in Lexington has long been running commercials about their online content being free and it was an obvious jab at the Lexington Herald-Leader, and perhaps other newspapers in Central Kentucky, for charging readers “for what should be free.”


I guess WCPO-TV in Cincinnati didn’t get that message or it’s realizing newspapers might be right after all. Beginning January 1, WCPO (Channel 9) will start charging a subscription fee for “viewers” to access

Welcome to the real world, WCPO. Let’s see if some of your other broadcast friends aren’t soon standing in line to get the same thing going.

A plea for comments on ‘PR Office Censorship’

Reporters, friends, news groups and openness organizations,

FYI, I will be speaking at a workshop at the National Academy of Sciences December 9 on what I call “PR Office Censorship,” the restrictions that block reporters from speaking to anyone in agencies or organizations unless the reporters are under the surveillance of public affairs offices. And all the manipulation and blockages that ensue.

I plan to say it is harsh censorship and plan to “lay it on the line” in other ways. (It’s time and more than time to do so.) The session will be webcast, but they are asking people to register:


My invite flowed out of the panel session we did at the National Press Club, August 12. URLs are below.

I would love to hear further discussion of the issue in the meantime. I’d also like to hear about instances of this kind of interference.

301 779 8239

Written presentations from the National Press Club panel:

This is the CSPAN II archive video:

Nominations being accepted for E&P’s ’10 Newspapers That Do It Right

E&P is accepting entries for the 2014, “10 Newspapers That Do It Right,” now through January 17, 2014. Each year, the list spotlights select newspapers that have earned a notable achievement in at least one area, carried out a successful innovation, implemented cost savings procedures or developed programs that have generated revenues or increased circulation. Learn more and submit your entry at

KPA closed Thursday/Friday for Thanksgiving

We’ll be in the office Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday but we’ll be closed Thursday and Friday, November 28-29. There will be a brief On Second Thought next week but it’s going to be reminders about some things you need to be getting to us. There are a lot of things to sign up for, fill out, get information to us on and we’re at crunch time now that the year is winding down.

In case you aren’t in the office next week, or On Second Thought comes too close to your holiday time, have a Safe and Great Happy Thanksgiving!!

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