November 9, 2012

Just some of the bits of information you’ll find in this Weekly Member Update. Enjoy!!

• In covering the election, some newspapers were singing, “We’re on the outside, looking in”

• Herald-Leader, Channel 18 put new twist in Open Records requests – Just how many people did attend the UK-Vandy game?

• Interested in which headline version would have the highest readership, value?

• One potential Senate candidate for Williams’ seat has familiar last name

• Blue Ribbon Tax Commission getting down to the nitty gritty



Congratulations to Charlie Mattingly, Reanna Smith-Hamblin and
torch-award-225x300the folks at the Better Business Bureau, a KPA Associate member. The BBB is celebrating its 100th anniversary and at its Torch Awards lunch Wednesday in Louisville, the BBB recognized its members who had been in business for 100 or more years.

KPA was among the honorees and we have a very nice award displayed in the front office now, commemorating our 143 years of service to Kentucky newspapers.

Thanx and Congrats, Charlie and Reanna!






Members of the Arkansas Press Association have their instructions and have started judging the Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers – 2012 competition. We’ve given them until November 27 to complete the assignment and return their judging process.

The winners will be announced Friday, January 25, 2013, at the KPA Winter Convention at The Brown Hotel in Louisville.


There were more than 31 million election-related tweets on Tuesday night, making Election Night “the most tweeted about event in U.S. political history,” said Twitter’s Rachael Horwitz. Between 6 p.m. and midnight, there were more than 23 million tweets.

And watching local results was quite interesting. Kept up with the races in Scott County through the News Graphic Facebook page. The staff was using HootSuite to post updates every other minute or so as results were announced. HootSuite allowed the News Graphic to post the results on its Facebook Page and Twitter at the same time. Made keeping up with who was doing what almost as instantaneous as being in the clerk’s office. You’ll have to ask editor Jerry Boggs or publisher Mike Scogin if it worked as well as they hoped. Though from the outside it certainly seemed seamless.

But that sure brought back memories of elections of yesteryear. The clerk announced the results and everyone was writing down vote tallies. Then at the News and Times we had a large sheet and had to handwrite in the vote totals. And that’s the way the tallies were presented to the readers. Handwritten numbers. WOW! What a change.


That’s about the way it went Tuesday, in fact, mirroring some of the experiences of the last several elections. I’ve asked Bill May, executive director of the County Clerks Association, to meet with me to discuss the fiasco. He said there would be some consistency this time because all of the clerks should have been on the same page after meeting with the State Board of Elections.

Well, they might all have been on the same page number, but they were reading different books.

Granted, some/a few newspapers reported no problems whatsoever. The clerks were gracious and allowed them to take pictures inside the polling place. Others didn’t even feel comfortable with the “below the knees” picture limitation, or told the newspapers they could have no access and couldn’t take pictures.

Thursday, we’re going to get to the heart of the problem with county clerks and their ultimate power of controlling the media in the polling place. Now some of you won’t understand this but believe me a lot of newspapers had problems during Tuesday’s election. Just ask Board members David Dixon and Jeff Jobe. We tried it legislatively in 2009 and didn’t succeed. This time, I’m going to ask the county clerks to adopt with our Board an understanding of how the protocol will be and that’ll save us all from having to go to the legislature. Leigh Ann Thacker, Gary White and I are meeting here at the office with Bill May, the new Frankfort mayor and executive director of the Kentucky County Clerks Association.

Working with the News Editorial Division, and this is still in draft form, but to offer language that should satisfy both sides. My thanx to John Nelson for helping rewrite it to:

(3) A representative of the news media may enter the voting room on Election Day for the limited purpose of filming the voting process for a reasonable amount of time and may be asked for proof of association with a recognized news outlet. The representative of the news media shall not interfere with the voting process or perform tasks deemed to be for the purpose of creating a check off list, in violation of subsection (2).


There are two Republicans interested in filling David Williams vacated 16th District Senate seat. One is current State Representative Sara Beth Gregory. The other is an Albany attorney named David Cross. And if the Cross name is familiar, yes that’s Al Cross’ brother.


I’ll give you the answer first – 18,885.

Now, got a text from my son-in-law at WLEX-TV. He told me that on Wednesday, Channel 18 filed an open records request for the number of tickets scanned at the UK-Vandy game on Saturday. While the stadium holds about 67,000 and the attendance was announced at about 44,000, all the media reports said the stadium was only about one-third full.

And those estimates weren’t far off.

WLEX’s public records request received a fairly quick response. And UK replied that it scanned 18,885. So figure that was close to the actual attendance, not counting freebies given to recruits, the band, the players and coaches.

The Lexington Herald-Leader went one step further and asked for actual attendance at all games in 2012. Jennifer Smith filed a report on that showed for each home game, the announced attendance was several thousand above the actual attendance. Jennifer said she asked UK for the totals and was told UK had never been asked that and didn’t have the information. Once she filed the open records request, she was given the announced attendance as well as the actual.

Haven’t heard of a use of the public records law like that but it was a legitimate request. In the future if you get attendance estimates that you think are far off, just file an open records request.


Since it began meeting a few months ago, Danny Slaton has been covering each meeting of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Tax Reform Commission. Danny is with Southern Strategy and getting these reports is part of the agreement with Southern Strategy on helping us lobby.

Here’s Danny’s report from this week’s meeting. I have more specifics in file formats. If you want to see those, just email me and I’ll send you more specifics on the discussions:

Attached are my notes from Thursday’s meeting of the Gov.’s Tax Reform Commission. The commission dealt with the Individual Income Tax, and began to discuss Sales and Excise Taxes.

The Commission chose to recommend a 15% Earned Income tax Credit, to disallow 75% of itemized deductions (including mortgages and charitable contributions), and to drop the retirement income exemption from $41k to $15k per individual. There was no final decision on going to a flat tax or sticking with a graduated income tax. Greg Harkenrider is going to score those options against the decisions they did make on individual income (EITC, deductions, etc.).

The Commission also decided on several Corporate Tax options to exclude from the final report.

The Commission began discussing extending the sales tax to selected services. They agreed that they will recommend the extension in their final report, but instead of recommending specific services, they decided to provide principles for the Governor and Legislators to use when choosing which services to tax. The principles included sticking to ‘luxury services’, household consumption services, inelastic services (services everyone needs at some point….i.e. funerals), and others.

Please refer to the Issue Briefing document from the previous meeting (attached) for number references from the Corporate tax section. 

The Commission is planning to meet 2 more times, but has yet to set the dates.

Danny Slaton


Interested in testing the readership likability of your headlines? Want to know what headlines might attract more readers, or make the story last longer? Well, Visual Revenue says it has the solution. It’s Instant Headline testing. Found this on my LinkedIn page this morning:

The Solution

Visual Revenue’s Instant Headline Testing feature provides editors with on-the-fly editorial control! A smart, easy-to-use solution that requires the editor to do nothing more than enter their alternative headline of choice and hit the test button – we take care of the rest. Once The Platform has enough data it’ll swap full-time to the most effective headline. All this is done without any need to integrate with a publishers CMS.

Run as many tests, on as many headlines and front pages as you want, there are no limitations! Instant Headline Testing couldn’t be easier – we’re sticking to our ethos that editors should be editors and not Analysts!

The Outcome

By utilizing Instant Headline Testing editors will:

– Increase CTR to a given story

– Decrease time to identify best headline for audience

– Never lose a valuable story to an off kilter headline

– Effectively prolong the promotion of a story
- Increase overall Homepage CTR

In short, identify the best possible headline for a story with minimal effort!


Indiana will have a new governor come January and to some his name might be familiar.

First, Mike Pence’s niece was a long-time co-anchor on WLEX-TV news until she went back to Indiana recently, perhaps in anticipation her uncle would win the election.

Mike was on the early lists as a potential Republican presidential nominee. And while he didn’t pursue that, look for him in the future.

But his name might be familiar because I’ve mentioned him in some stories in past years. As a U.S. Representative, Mike sponsored legislation to establish a federal Reporter’s Shield Law. He introduced that three or four times and we were able to garner some co-sponsors. And like Kentucky, many states already have Shield Laws in place. It would have been nice to have one at the federal level but it wasn’t a big priority for most states. Still, he so strongly believed in this that he kept it in front of his Congressional colleagues as something that was needed and that the media deserved.

Good to have friends in high places and I’m certain the Indiana media is glad to call him a friend.


LIVONIA, MI—Oct. 30 2012—Valassis, one of the nation’s leading media and marketing services companies, shared consumer insights from a recent survey conducted via social media that demonstrates favorable response to newspaper-delivered advertisements.

According to findings from a 2012 Valassis survey, conducted on Facebook, 30 percent of respondents said they searched online for more information about a product or service within 30 days of seeing a newspaper insert. This consumer behavior further demonstrates how the traditional path to purchase has evolved and is no longer linear. The survey also revealed that of respondents who use newspaper inserts:

• 76 percent said inserts are one of the main reasons they purchase the newspaper;

• 92 percent say that inserts save them money; and

• 65 percent said inserts save them time.

Nearly 60 percent of insert users bought a product or service in response to seeing a newspaper insert, according to the survey. These findings indicate one of the ways traditional print and digital media work together to drive consumers from awareness to action.

“These insights are interesting since they come from a survey conducted online among social networkers, yet demonstrate the strong influence of print, in this case, newspaper inserts,” said Larry Berg, Valassis vice president. “Newspaper inserts are an excellent conduit to online research and shopping. Marketers must consider how today’s consumer makes purchase decisions and build their plans to best reach their target consumer, in order to connect with them where they make those purchase decisions.”


It’s a mere $50. A measly $50. Yet it’s like investing in the future of journalism. Our high school journalism (newspapers, yearbooks, electronic media) classes are successful. Some are full of students interested in this business and thinking about majoring or minoring in communications in college. And what better way to encourage them than by helping their classes be a part of the Kentucky High School Journalism Association.

We’ve extended the deadline to join to November 19 and invite you to sponsor local, even regional high schools, in KHSJA. Here’s an email sent to all publishers by David Greer giving a little more information.

The deadline to sponsor your local high school(s) in KPA’s Kentucky High School Journalism Association for the current school year has been extended to Monday, Nov. 19. (If you’ve already sponsored your local schools in KHSJA, you can ignore this.)

Here’s a link to a sponsorship form —

It only costs $50 to sponsor a school in KHSJA for the entire school year. KHSJA holds an annual convention along with a very popular contest for high school newspapers, yearbooks and broadcast programs. Schools must be KHSJA members to enter the contest.

And you don’t even have to write us a check. We can bill you or you can have the amount deducted from your next KPS ad revenue check. Very convenient! And, yes, we take credit cards too.

For more information about KHSJA, now in its 16th year, drop me a line at or call me at 800-264-5721. We’re having the KHSJA state convention on Jan. 24 in Louisville and expect a turnout of several hundred students and teachers.

Kentucky’s newspaper industry has always been very supportive of scholastic journalism and we thank you.


We can only imagine what the Northeast is going through with the aftermath of Sandy till so prevalent in the news and as our fellow Americans try to get back to some normalcy in their lives.

Through it all, even hours after Sandy hit that part of the country, newspapers were covering the news as best they could, finding places with power so staff members could work, and finding printing plants no matter how far away that might be.

The New Jersey Press Association and its foundation have set up a fund to help its newspapers and their staffs who are suffering, all the while still trying to focus on their jobs and do what readers expect them to do. I got this email from my colleague George White at News Jersey Press and pass it along:

The New Jersey Press Association through its NJ Press Foundation has launched an initiative aiming to provide much needed financial assistance and moral support to NJPA members devastated in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The page created on NJPA’s website,, describes the basis for the effort in greater detail including a link for making a secure donation on-line. There is also a link providing a PDF of O’B’s cover letter also explaining the program.

Several members and their employees are really hurting here. Please the review materials and let O’B or me know if you have any questions. Please forward along however and to whomever you wish. Anything you and your members can do will be sincerely appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

George and O’B //

(609) 406-0600

Ext. 30 // Ext. 13

New Jersey Press Association/Foundation

840 Bear Tavern Road, Suite 305

West Trenton, NJ 08628


They just suffered through Hurricane Sandy and you know of that devastation. Now comes a Nor’easter and our friends in that part of the country continue suffering.

Here’s a report I received Wednesday from Michelle Rea with the (weekly newspapers) New York Newspapers Association:

Dear Fellow NAMers,

This morning I sent the letter below to Edward Van Horn, in response to an email he sent to me, offering to support any fund raising effort NYPA might mount. I am forwarding it to you, to update you on our situation and to thank all of you who have reached out to us. NYPA is not going to mount an out of state fundraising effort – all of your pockets are only so deep, and there is only so much money to go around. Watering down the effort will keep New Jersey from raising enough money to make a difference there.

New York has a lot more newspapers, a lot closer together, and we are working together, successfully, to help one another (believe it or not The Jewish Week, publisher of five weekly Jewish newspapers in Manhattan, has been housing the staff of the mighty NY Daily News, whose building is completely flooded, and competing newspapers in Queens and Brooklyn have been sharing space, staff and equipment – miracles, each). The newspapers are amazingly resilient – one of the papers in the Rockaways (see below) published a 16 page paper last week and the other kept their website updated, despite losing all of their equipment and having their building under five feet of water. Anyone who no longer believes in newspapers should see the emails that our publishers are receiving from their grateful readers.

One funny story – one of our larger publishing companies in Nassau County, Long Island, built a new, state-of-the-art plant several years ago, and the publisher built a shower in his office. The shower has never been used – until now. This week there is a steady stream of employees using the shower, blow-drying their hair, etc. Most popular employee perk around.

Today, more people are being evacuated in preparation for a Nor’easter that is predicted for this afternoon. Many of the trees that are still standing, still have leaves, so wet snow and high winds will not be good.

Our biggest problem might be the gas shortage. Our employees can’t get to work (public transportation still a nightmare), residents aren’t going shopping or out to dinner because they don’t have gas, generators are running out of gas, and now we’re going to need gas to power snow plows and sanders. Regrettably, looting is the next biggest problem.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings. In the meantime, thank you for your kind words and good wishes. Look forward to seeing you in December.


I forwarded this to our educators list serve but pass it along here as well.

Student newspaper wins First Amendment victory; 9th Circuit rules Oregon State University discriminated against conservative publication

By Catherine Roger

A conservative student newspaper in Oregon won a First Amendment victory last week in a case that reinforces the Constitutional mandate for viewpoint-neutral policies at public colleges.

In OSU Student Alliance v. Ray, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Oregon State University administrators could be held personally liable for discriminating against The Liberty, even though the school adopted an equal access policy as soon as the paper filed suit.

Toward the end of 2008, staff members at The Liberty, an independent, conservative alternative to the long-time OSU student newspaper The Daily Barometer, discovered the seven bins they used to distribute their paper around campus had disappeared.


Looks like it’s going to be busy but actually just a few things here and there to make it appear busy.

Penny Summers, who may be Dr. Penny Summers by now, is bringing her journalism class from Northern to Frankfort Monday morning. Amye Bensenhaver from the AG’s Office and I are going to talk with Penny’s class on everything about Open Government. That’s at 10 a.m. and I don’t expect to be back in the office until about 1:30. Penny was editor of the Georgetown News and Times when I was publisher there.

Wednesday at 10, Adam Edelen is having a press conference about his Taxing Districts project and in preparation for Thursday’s conference between with the Board, I’m going to attend the press conference. Should be back in the office around 11:15.

On Thursday, Leigh Ann Thacker, Gary White and I will be meeting with Bill May on the county clerks and polling situations, at 1 p.m., and then on a conference call with Adam Edelen and the KPA Board updating KPA on its endorsement of his taxing district project and press conference from the previous day.

2012 KPS PLACEMENT TOTALS IN-HOUSE – $4,327,292.67


November 9, 2012

1:30 – Meeting with Willie Sawyers on 2013 – His Year as President

Monday, November 12, 2012

10 a.m. – Northern Kentucky University Journalism Students visiting the Capitol – Discussion with AG’s Office and KPA on Open Government

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

10 a.m. – State Auditor’s Press Conference on Taxing Districts

Thursday, November 15, 2012

1 p.m. – Meeting with Bill May, Kentucky County Clerks Association; Leigh Ann Thacker, Southern Strategy/KAP Lobbyist; Gary White, Kentucky Broadcasters Association on polling access for the media

2:30/Eastern – KPA Board conference call with State Auditor Adam Edelen on Taxing Districts Project

Thursday – Friday, November 22-23

KPA Central Office Closed for Thanksgiving

December 2 – 4, 2012

Newspaper Association Managers Legislative Conference, Keybridge Marriott, Arlington, VA

December 24-25, 2013

KPA Central Office Closed for Christmas

December 31, 2012 – January 1, 2013

KPA Central Office Closed for New Year’s

January 24 – 25, 2013

2013 KPA Winter Convention, The Brown Hotel, Louisville

August 6 – 9, 2013

Newspaper Association Managers Annual Convention, Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia

January 23 – 24, 2014

2014 KPA Winter Convention, Hyatt Regency, Lexington

January 22 – 23, 2015

2015 KPA Winter Convention, Marriott East, Louisville

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


Registration generally is $35 and available at

Friday, November 9, 2012

WEBINAR – Reporting on Tough Issues: The Role of the Media in Suicide Education

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