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ANA Excellence in Advertising award winners announced On Friday, May 20, 2011, the Arizona Newspapers Association spring advertising workshop kicked off with a session on selling in a recession, presented by newspaper trainer Bob McInnis. Following the workshop, the 2011 Excellence in Advertising awards were presented at a happy hour reception. This year, a total of 34 newspapers submitted 592 entries in the ANA Excellence in Advertising competition. The competition consists of twelve categories that measure the overall quality of advertising in Arizona’s newspapers. ANA would like to especially thank the New York Press Association for judging the entries. A complete list of winners is available on the ANA website http://ananews.com. Now, get ready for the second part of the Newpaper of the Year awards! BNC packets are being mailed next week.
John Gibson, The Fountain Hills Times, Duke Kirkendoll, The Fountain Hills Times and Vic Porto, The Wickenburg Sun, enjoying a break from the morning’s advertising training session, which was presented by Bob McInnis.
SNA fall conference heading to Phoenix Suburban Newspapers of America is coming to Arizona. The biggest SNA conference of the year will convene Sept. 13-16 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix. This year the focus is on helping local media executives harness the powerful tools and ideology to support the seismic transformation in progress throughout our industry. The agenda inclides tactical strategies to help sales, marketing and operational areas.
One day prior to the conference, registrants are invited to participate in one-onone meetings with several prominent media buyers. ANA newspapers are invited to attend at the SNA member rate of $595 for the first attendee and $495 for and each additional attendee from the same company. The hotel room rate is $109 per night plus tax and resort fees. More information can be found online at http://www.suburban-news.org.
Internet ad revenue hits new high erin griffith, AdWeek Revenue from online advertising spiked to a new high in the first quarter of 2011, according to data released Thursday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Internet ads for the quarter brought in $7.3 billion, a 23% increase over the first quarter last year. The figure is a slight drop from the fourth quarter of 2011, which saw $7.45 billion in online ads. Still, the rise over Q1 2010 highlights the return of digital ad spending after the
recession, as well as the continued shift of ad dollars from print media to the Internet. Last year was already a record year for digital advertising, though market observers agree that digital spend has yet to cannibalize the $70 billion-plus TV ad market. In 2010, $26 billion was spent on Internet advertising. Search remains the most popular area for marketers, but sponsorships grew 88% last year, and display grew 24%.
“These numbers indicate that the interactive advertising field hasn’t simply bounced back since the recession; it’s growing with dynamic energy,” says David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. IAB’s survey, compiled directly from companies, takes into account revenues from websites, commercial online services, free e-mail providers, and all other companies selling online advertising.
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1. White Mountain Independent: Mark Ruiz, Joe Garguilo, a random party crasher, Tauni Newman, Lia Angelus 2. Pam Miller, Verde Valley Newspapers 3. Casa Grande Valley Newspapers: Zoe Cooper, Ruth Kramer and Kim Sumpter 4: Mark Daniels and Frank, Payson Roundup 5. The Arizona Republic: Anabella Lindh, Angelica Aceves and Chelsea Hyduke 6. John Naughton, Payson Roundup, speaking with Alan Cruikshank, The Fountain Hills Times. Page 2 | May 2011 â– ANAgrams
Green Valley News now broadcasting news videos Clay Lambert, Wick Communications Brian Williams and Diane Sawyer, eat your hearts out. Green Valley, Ariz., has Nick Prevenas and Regina Ford. The Green Valley News has begun to produce short television-style broadcasts of headlines to be found in the newspaper. It’s not a new idea. I believe other Wick newspapers have done something similar through the years, and there have been some really well-produced Web “broadcasts” on newspaper Web sites for years. Some newspapers have even provided video coverage of their staff meetings for anyone who is interested. Nonetheless, it’s a project that still takes print people out of their comfort zone, and that in and of itself is probably worthwhile. Green Valley News Editor Dan Shearer says he and his staff are
committed to producing two videos a week, none of them longer than three minutes. He says they get each one done in 20 minutes, including all the set up. A key part of the project is the 15second commercial one of the anchors reads to start the Webcast. That makes it not only a public service but a potential profit center as well. … Dan says you can’t simply “rip and read” as broadcast writing is a slightly different animal. I’d be interested in hearing more about that. He also takes care with the wording of the advertisement so that it doesn’t compromise Nick or Regina, who are reporters for the newspaper. Perhaps most important, it looks like fun. Congratulations, guys.
Gannett grant to strengthen visual journalism curriculum The University of Arizona School of Journalism has received a $19,200 grant from the Gannett Foundation for a three-course, two-semester sequence that will strengthen the publication design skills of students wishing to move into careers in visual journalism. The grant will strengthen a partnership between the School of Journalism and the Arizona Republic, which is adding several dozen visual journalists to its ranks. The Republic is establishing a design center in Phoenix that will serve Gannett publications in the western United States. Publication Design is an elective professional skills course taught by an adjunct instructor. It has traditionally been offered once a year, although demand for the class is high and it could be offered twice a year. Recent budget cuts have forced the school to restrict the number of elective courses. Some of the best students in the Publication Design class move into school media courses that produce two community newspapers with dedicated websites. The Tombstone Epitaph is published biweekly and serves residents of that historic city. El Independiente is published monthly in Spanish and
English for residents of the city of South Tucson. Students work on stories and photographs not only about day-to-day events, but also about political and economic issues. Staffers on both newspapers have won state and national awards. “Students who have taken the Publication Design class and one of the
school media courses make excellent candidates for entry-level hires in Gannett’s design studios,” said Jacqueline Sharkey, School of Journalism director. “The Gannett grant is crucial to the school’s efforts to continue improving undergraduate journalism education and training.” May 2011 ■ ANAgrams | Page 3
Teri Walker joins Tribune-News staff Teri Walker has joined the staff of The Tribune-News as a reporter. She has worked more than 20 years in the field of communications. Early in her career, she worked as a reporter for newspapers in Payson and southeastern Arizona. She later shifted her focus to public relations, working several years for the USDA Forest Service in Flagstaff and Williams, until moving to the private sector and eventually establishing her own public relations and marketing firm, True North Communications, in Gilbert. Walker served commercial, residential and land development, restaurant, retail, non-profit, engineering and govern-
mental clients during her tenure in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Walker and her family moved to Holbrook in 2007. She volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America and Holbrook youth sports, is active in her church and is a member of the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce. Born in Ohio, Walker attended elementary and junior high school in Holbrook, and graduated from Joseph City High School. She earned an associate’s degree in journalism from Eastern Arizona College and a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations from Northern Arizona University.
Ex-Citizen publisher’s new gig agrees with him Phil Villareal, Arizona Daily Star Moving from print to broadcast journalism is no easy feat, but you wouldn’t know it by watching Michael Chihak on KUAT’s “Arizona Week.” The show, which airs 8:30 p.m. Fridays and replaced the old “Arizona Illustrated” Friday round table, raised eyebrows late last year by tabbing the broadcast-inexperienced Chihak as its host. Management reasoned that Chihak was an appropriate choice because of his journalism experience. He had retired as publisher of the now-defunct Tucson Citizen in 2008, and sought the job when previous host Bill Buckmaster announced he was stepping down to start a radio career. KUAT’s gamble seems to have paid off, says Wendy Erica Werden in an email. She’s Arizona Public Media’s director of
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marketing and brand management. “He has a quiet, persistent way during his interviews to get to the heart of the topic in an unbiased way,” she said. Werden would not provide ratings numbers for the show, but says it’s on stable ground. “We are absolutely committed to continuing Arizona Week and are in fact very pleased with initial ratings,” she said. Chihak, 61, said he’s had to change his mindset and make adjustments on the fly to adapt to his new career. “It’s gotten better and better by the week. I’ve gotten more comfortable with the medium and am able to allow myself to focus more on journalism,” Chihak said. “It took me a while to realize the basic model here is a little different. In print, it’s research, report and write, but
here it’s research, write, and then reporting is publishing, because the interviews are what air. It isn’t me doing the filtering.” Chihak said hosting “Arizona Week” is a breath of fresh air, because he’s allowed to spend his days tracking down stories rather than dealing with administrative tasks. On the other hand, there is the awkwardness of having to put on makeup . “It seemed onerous at first, but it doesn’t take but five minutes to get ready,” Chihak said, noting he uses a little makeup to take the shine of the light off his forehead. “It’s not any big deal. I heard a lot of things about how HD is brutal, and I guess it is, but this is my face and it isn’t gonna be changed by another layer of makeup.” Chihak said he watches his broadcasts and has tried to improve his delivery. “I try to be a little more expressive. I realize this is a different medium than print. It isn’t just the writing. … Really, the focus is on what’s being said and the questions being asked and how they are being answered. I need to make sure my hair is combed neatly. People will notice things like that.” Chihak said the show has made him more recognizable, to a degree. “Sometimes one or two people will stop me at a grocery store, or on campus, but not in any big way,” he said.
White labels help generate daily deal green Kim McAvoy, NetNewsCheck
While local legacy media companies are eager to jump on the daily deals bandwagon, many don’t have the resources (or the expertise) to set up and manage such programs. So they turn to “white label” companies that can provide the necessary software and back-office support. Most white labels also help sell or “source” the deal — that is, find local businesses willing to discount their products or services for a quick jolt to the top line. Here’s a sourcebook of some white labels that have made inroads with prominent legacy media companies. With Groupon and LivingSocial providing extremely lucrative models and incentives, local legacy media companies are rushing to grab a piece of the daily deals business that is sucking billions of marketing dollars out of local markets. And with few exceptions, the media companies are opting to team with one of the long list of so-called white-label companies that can provide the necessary software and back-office support. By using white labels, the media companies can, if they wish, build their own local brands and develop their own revenue-producing assets. Some companies are considered pure white-label platforms because they have no brand of their own and primarily focus on providing solutions to their media clients. Others are viewed more as “hybrid” players because they maintain their own deal service and often form cobranded partnerships with clients. Most also help sell or “source” the deal — that is, find local businesses willing to discount their products or services for a quick jolt to the top line. White-label services can vary; typical deal points include revenue split, control of e-mail as well as start-up and maintenance fees. What follows here is a list (in alphabetical order) of white labels that seem to have made significant inroads with prominent legacy media companies. There are dozens more.
Analog Analytics Clients: Hearst, Post-Newsweek Stations, Freedom Communications and Newsday. Contact: Michael Tracy at 858-509-4796 or firstname.lastname@example.org BuyWithMe Clients: McGraw-Hill’s KGTV San Diego, New York magazine. Contact: Andrew Moss at 617-421-1900 or email@example.com ChompOn Clients: BlackBook magazine, KPIG-FM, North Jersey Media Group and campusfood.com Contact: Zack Arnold at 914 261 3228 or firstname.lastname@example.org Deal Co-op Clients: Not available Contact: Nate Schmidt at 205-433-9123 or email@example.com Deal Current Clients: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Buffalo News, KTUL Tulsa and Journal Broadcast Group. Contact: Kevin Beatty at 619 795-2993 or firstname.lastname@example.org Dealicio Clients: Missouri Life magazine, and In Hand Deals.com. Contact: Graham Clarke at 603-643-9955 or email@example.com
GreenLinks Networks Clients: Nexstar Broadcasting and Meredith TV stations in Las Vegas; Atlanta; Kansas City, Mo.; and Portland, Ore. Contact: Jon Agree at 484 -685-3899 or firstname.lastname@example.org Group Commerce Clients: New York Times, Meredith Corp’s Parents.com and Comcast’s DailyCandy. Contact: Joshua Neckes 917-715-0347 or email@example.com Groupigg Clients: Newport Television, Hoak Media and Nexstar Broadcasting. Contacts: T. J. Hodges at 630-882-9016 or firstname.lastname@example.org Matchbin Contact: Dennis Mulcahy at 801-2450887 or email@example.com Clients: Entravision, Journal Register Co., and The Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal. Media WebConnect Clients: Fisher Communications and Salem Communications. Contact: Andy Greenwald at 866-8750633 or firstname.lastname@example.org NimbleCommerce Clients: Seattle Times, Philly.com, Dow Jones and Cox Media Group. Contact: Kevin Wray at 408 641-1654 or email@example.com
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con’t from page 5: White label daily deal providers Second Street Media Solutions Clients: McClatchy, Washington Post, E.W. Scripps, Lee Enterprises and Gray Television. Contact: Matt Coen at 314-880-4902 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Offer Network Clients: Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant and MetroMix. com (Gannett and Tribune joint venture). Contact: Mark Kim at 312-320-9732 or email@example.com
Shoutback Concepts Clients: Denver Post, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Media General, Gatehouse Media and Morris Communications. Contact: Jon Paul at 440-337-9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ReachLocal Clients: Kiplinger and Parade. Contact: Rafael Cosentino at 908-7079200 or rafael.cosentino@reachlocal. com
Tippr Clients: Belo TV stations, NBCU Local Media TV stations and Fox’s WJBK Detroit. Contact: Brian Parks at 866 347-0752 or email@example.com TownHog Clients: CBS radio and TV stations, San Francisco Chronicle, Cumulus Radio, Citadel and LIN Media Contact: Lilia Martinez-Coburn at 415 349-5030 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The fundamental problem with newspaper paywalls Alfred Hermida, Huffington Post Canadians living in the bustling metropolis of Montreal and the picturesque city of Victoria are getting a taste of what some media executives hope may be the future -- paying for the news online. The Gazette in Montreal and the Victoria Times-Colonist on Vancouver Island have become the latest testbeds to see if people will pony up to get their local news on the web. From Wednesday, access to the newspaper websites was limited to the first 20 articles, before hitting a paywall. It is part of an experiment by PostMedia Network, Canada’s largest publisher of paid English language daily newspapers, in two relatively small markets for its papers. Like every newspaper group, PostMedia is trying to figure out how to manage the transition from a paid print circulation to a digital readership that is used to getting its news for free. Changing human behavior is a tall order. A recent survey that suggested that Canadians are overwhelmingly unwilling to part with their cash for the news It found that 92% of Canadians who get news online say they would find another free site if their favourite news site started charging for content. However, there is a more fundamental issue at play. People have never really paid for the news. By news, I mean the political infighting in city halls or the violence in faraway foreign places -- the news that is important and matters but can be challenging to make relevant to a broad audience. Readers were paying for the sport results, the lifestyle section, diversions like the crossword and horoscopes. The Page 6 | May 2011 ■ ANAgrams
cost of producing “the daily miracle” as Canadian playwright David Sherman put it was largely borne by advertising sales. The subsidy model worked when mass media was the dominant model for distributing the news. The business of newspapers was delivering large audiences to advertisers, and they were pretty good at it. For readers, in exchange for a few pennies, they could get a neatly packaged bundle of news and information in this easy to use and portable format we called the newspaper. And did you know that it also conveniently arrived on the doorstep in the morning. The daily newspaper worked because it was a product honed over centuries and met a fundamental need at a specific time in the history of the media. It managed to fit everything you needed to know into a bunch of pages. It provided a service, informing readers of events, in a convenient format. Print organisations were never in the business of selling news. They were selling something that people are willing to pay for -- service and convenience. The news itself was not a commercial product. The commercial product was the bundle of news, sport and entertainment in a delivery mechanism called the newspaper. Rather than investing in models that try to change audience behaviour, news organisations should be trying to find new ways that provide service and convenient in a digital media age. That’s something you can charge for.
Hard economic lessons for news Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine I continue to be astonished at the economic naiveté I hear in discussions of the business of news.
RULES FOR BUSINESS MODELS * Tradition is not a business model. The past is no longer a reliable guide to future success. * “Should” is not a business model. You can say that people “should” pay for your product but they will only if they find value in it. * “I want to” is not a business model. My entrepreneurial students often start with what they want to do. I tell them, no one — except possibly their mothers — gives a damn what they *want* to do. * Virtue is not a business model. Just because you do good does not mean you deserve to be paid for it. * Business models are not made of entitlements and emotions. They are made of hard economics. Money has no heart. * Begging is not a business model. It’s lazy to think that foundations and contributions can solve news’ problems. There isn’t enough money there. (Foundation friend to provide figures here.) * There is no free lunch. Government money comes with strings. * No one cares what you spent. Arguing that news costs a lot is irrelevant to the market. * The only thing that matters to the market is value. What is your service worth to the public? * Value is determined by need. What problem do you solve? * Disruption is the law of the jungle and the internet. If someone can do what you do cheaper, better, faster, they will. * The bottom line matters more than the top line. Plan for profitability over revenue, sustainability over size. REALITY CHECKS FOR NEWSPAPERS * Circulation will continue to decline. There can be no doubt. * Cutting costs will reduce product quality and value, which will further reduce circulation, which will further reduce ad revenue. A vicious, unstoppable cycle. * Low-cost competitors and abundance will continue to reduce the price of ad-
vertising. * Local retail will continue to consolidate, further reducing ad revenue. Blame Amazon. * Classified categories—real estate, auto, jobs, merchandise—will continue to become more self-sufficient. They will need market mediators less and less. * There’s a cliff coming: the end of a critical-mass of circulation needed to maintain inserts. That will have a big impact on newspapers’ P&Ls and will take away a primary justification for still printing and distributing paper. * Some readers are not worth saving. One newspaper killed its stock tables, saved $1 million, and lost 12 subs. That means it had been paying $83k/year to maintain those readers. In creating business plans, the net future value of readers should be calculated and maximized. * Once fixed costs are sliced to the bone, they will rise again. Cutting alone does not a business strategy make. DIGITAL RULES * Scaling local sales is the key challenge. Google will pick low-hanging fruit from the 6 million businesses that have claimed their Places pages. Facebook’s fruit will be businesses that use its free Deals. Each will use distant sales. Groupon and Patch will attack the challenge with the brute force of local sales staff. * You no longer control the market. You are a member of an ecosystem. Play well with others. * Abundance will drive down prices in digital even more than in print. That’s the lesson Google tries to teach media. * The question about pay walls is whether they are the *best* way to make the *most* money. It’s not a religious matter. It’s a practical question of whether circulation revenue will net more than equivalent advertising, whether one can afford to give up audience and growth, what the costs are to support pay. OPPORTUNITIES * Scaling local sales is the key opportunity. I think the answer will lie in productizing services for local merchants (across all these platforms — not just selling them space in a media site but also
helping them with Google Place pages and Foursquare and Facebook deals and Twitter specials) and establishing new, independent, entrepreneurial sales forces. The key challenge then will be holding down the cost of sale and production. * There is huge growth potential in increasing engagement. Facebook gets roughly 30 times the engagement of newspaper sites. If we are truly community services, then we must rethink our relationship with the public, becoming more a platform for our communities, and that will multiply engagement and, with it, audience, traffic, and data. We have not begun to extend and exploit the full potential of the value news organizations can have in relationships with their communities: more people, more value, more engagement equals more value to extract. * There are still efficiences to be found in infrastructure. If the presses and the distribution and sales arms of papers are not in and of themselves profit centers, they should be jettisoned and their tasks outsourced. If other tasks — including editorial tasks — can be consolidated, they should be. * Journalists should do only that which adds maximum value. That’s not telling the public what it already knows. It’s not exercising ego. It’s not production. It is reporting, vetting, curating, explaining, organizing, teaching…. Do what you do best and link to the rest. * There is growth to be found in networks. The more members there are in the ecosystem, the more content there is to link to (without having to go to the cost of creating it), the more opportunities there are for free promotion (links in), the more opportunities there are in aggregated and joint sales. See our work on new business models for news in the local ecosystem at CUNY. * There are other revenue streams worth exploring. Local bloggers are making considerable shares of their revenue in events. Newspapers are going into the real estate business and are also selling merchandise. * We have not begun to explore new definitions of news. May 2011 ■ ANAgrams | Page 7
Ongo aimed at old-school users who have migrated online, not digital natives Rick Edmonds, Poynter When Ongo launched four months ago, reviews from the tech press were frosty. Why would anyone pay $6.99 a month for a bunch of stories they could get elsewhere for free, the critics asked. Now, having sampled Ongo and talked to CEO Alex Kazim, I get the potential appeal — though Ongo is clearly a product for old-school news consumers who have migrated online rather than for digital natives. The site is backed by $12 million in startup capital from The New York Times, The Washington Post and Gannett. It also displays material from the Associated Press, Reuters, the Financial Times and other papers (most of those for an added fee). I asked Kazim in a phone interview: Couldn’t someone view all that content, and more, with an RSS reader? “That assumes that they know what an RSS [reader] is and that they know how to set it up,” he replied. “That’s a superadvanced thing for many people.” Ongo has two market segments in mind, Kazim continued: 25- to 45-yearolds who now do most of their news reading online, and older readers who prefer print but supplement that with a mix of websites. The value is twofold. Stories are displayed in a readable format and without advertising. Given the clutter and high irritation factor of sites crowded with ads that drop down and move across the page, the reading experience is distinctly more pleasant. Then there is the selection. Ongo’s content is determined by a combination of algorithm and a small cadre of editors. Readers get a sampling of a half-dozen or more quality sources without the labor of hunting through individual sites. On my first visit (with a free day pass) I came upon a lyrical Thomas Boswell column from The Washington Post on the return of the U.S. Open to Congressional Country Club next month. The lead lifestyle piece was a clear-eyed look Page 8 | May 2011 ■ ANAgrams
at the limitations and embarrassments of living with Parkinson’s disease, by retired Post restaurant critic Phyllis Richman. Another day the serendipity was a long takeout by USA Today on misleading online resort promos. A different morning I was attracted to Reuters stories about diplomats’ sexual abuse of “the help” and a business story on Angry Birds, based on a conference presentation in Paris. Several of these stories were featured on Ongo’s section fronts, for lack of a better term. Even if I were more of a custom-news, Daily Me kind of guy, I doubt I would have come across any of these stories. Most days, I don’t find time to scan the USA Today or Washington Post sites for stories that interest me. The Ongo home page and news pages are updated through the day, though not as frequently, as a typical newspaper site or an aggregator like Google or Yahoo News. There is sparing use of blogs and video, and no commenting feature on stories. While social media enhancements and further personalization are available (some free, some at an added price), Kazim told me, “The majority [of users] do not take any add-ons, and we do not hard-sell them on that.” Will Ongo find enough takers to make it as a business? Kazim is not releasing any numbers yet, and I have no idea how big the market is. But suppose 100,000 people subscribe at the $84 annual rate. That amounts to $8.4 million in annual revenue – more than pocket change, but once you divide it six ways, a modest contribution given the scale of the participating companies. Ongo is probably better understood as publishers’ attempt to have an entry of their own in the explosively growing roster of attractive, personalized aggregation products. Flipboard has been one of the clear winners among iPad apps, presenting a user with individually tailored content, presented in a well-
designed format that is suited for the touch-screen. More recent entries like Zite and Sulia, as New York Times digital chief Martin Nisenholtz put it in a March presentation, “feel a lot like a newspaper, right? And where does it [the content] come from? A lot is from the newspaper industry.” The news industry has found it hard to coordinate collective industry ventures over the years. There have been successes, such as the copycat CareerBuilder counter to Monster, which is now a big and profitable business for co-owners Gannett, Tribune and McClatchy. Nisenholtz observed in March that the Ongo founders “have a lot of wood to chop” before the venture can succeed and that the service “is one attempt, but not the only one” for legacy media to get proactive in aggregation. Indeed, in recent months we’ve also seen a cease-and-desist demand to Zite to stop displaying full stories from several of the Ongo participants. (In response, Zite released a new version of its iPad app that changes how it displays stories.) Both the New York Times and Washington Post are involved in their own personalized online/iPad products (News.me and Trove). Ongo may make more sense for more people a year or two down the road if paywalls block full access to much of this content, and if it offers unique material that other aggregators don’t license. The Week magazine has proved that a well-curated (pardon the expression) sampling of news from varied sources is inexpensive to produce and can attract an audience. Ongo is not, and won’t be, for everybody. But in sitting out the battle of uniques and page views meant to impress advertisers, it could find a critical mass of followers without spending a fortune.
Two Papers. Same Philosophy Two States. Two Regions. Two Types of Newspapers. Kevin Slimp Institute of Newspaper Technology email@example.com
There are moments in late winter and spring when I have trouble remembering what city I’m in. From mid January to mid May, there are conventions and training events everywhere. Why people don’t schedule them in warmer months is beyond me. You might find me in Nashville, Toronto, Oregon, Minneapolis, Tampa, South Dakota, Winnipeg or a few dozen points in between. By the time April arrives, I generally have a backlog of newspapers who have patiently waited for me to find time to work with their staffs on-site. Between conventions in Des Moines and Louisiana, I found a few days in late April to visit two newspapers that, at first glance, seem to have little in common. One is a daily. The other, a non-daily. One is in the Midwest, the other in Texas. However, I found a trait that binds these papers together. Their insistence on serving their communities and providing quality products took me by surprise.
The Herald: Jasper, Indiana When John Rumback, Co-Publisher and Editor, first contacted me via email, I received the following marching orders: “We need help in three areas: improving photo and color quality, fixing problems with PDFs and assessing our current editorial and advertising production systems in preparation for an upgrade.” The job seemed easy enough. Upon arriving at John’s office and taking a glance at some recent issues of the paper, I was immediately surprised by the size of the publication. A daily paper, in a town of 14,000, which looked like it averaged around 30 pages per day. Sometimes the paper in my hometown of Knoxville, Tenn. doesn’t run that many pages. As I glanced through the pages, I was struck by the quality of the photos and coverage of local events. I was surprised to learn that this small town newspaper consistently wins national awards, beating out some of the biggest names in the industry, in the area of photojournalism. On my final day at The Herald, I met an intern, Rachel Mummey, and learned she was named the 2010 College Photographer of the Year. Before visiting The Herald, I would probably have asked why the college photographer
of the year was interning at a small paper in Indiana. After two days with The Herald staff, I wasn’t surprised.
Wise County Messenger: Decatur, Texas I met Phil Major, publisher of the Messenger, after speaking at the winter convention of Texas Press Association. Phil, like John Rumbach in Indiana, was preparing for a major upgrade of the Messenger’s workflow system. That’s where the two papers’ similarities ended. At least, that’s what I thought at the time. Leaving Knoxville ten minutes before the biggest storm in years, I made it to DFW in time to get off the plane and make the hour drive from Dallas to Decatur. Returning to DFW, during rush hour, would take almost three hours. Almost as if I’d returned to Jasper, I picked up a copy of Wise County Messenger in Phil’s office and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Lots of community news, balanced by incredible photography. Joe Duty, photographer at the Messenger, spent the afternoon showing me how he works out of his two studios. They’d even converted a large garage in the newspaper building into a third studio. I loved it when Joe told me how children line up around the block to get their picture taken for an annual Halloween costume contest. One wall of the studio is covered with photos and signatures of celebrities and locals who have dropped by to have their pictures taken. While I was there, word spread throughout the newsroom that Bret Michaels’ tour bus was filling up at a gas station in Decatur. Joe was gone. If a celebrity was in town, he was getting the picture. Phil showed me the newly remodeled building, introduced me to his staff and hosted several meetings during the two days I was in Decatur. We met for an hour with the advertising staff to discuss how to increase the sales of online advertising. It was a great conversation. We met with the editors and designers to look at options for new editorial and classified workflow systems. He even showed me where he eventually planned to put a pool table and pinball machine. “I want this to be someplace that people enjoy working,” Phil told me. Upon leaving Decatur to head toward DFW and the Louisiana Press Association Convention, I realized that I had been privileged to visit two newspapers with hearts for their communities and a passion for creating quality products. Both
are making major investments in equipment and training. Both are winning more awards than they can fit on their walls. The next time someone tells me that newspapers are dying, I’m going to point them toward Indiana and Texas.
Sign Up Now for the Institute of Newspaper Technology For the 14th year, I will direct the Institute of Newspaper Technology in Knoxville, Tennessee, September 29 - October 1. The top names in training in the publishing world will be on hand to lead classes for everyone from the novice designer to the most experienced paginator and IT professional. For more information, visit newspaperinstitute.com.
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Help Joplin newspeople devastated by tornado
Photo by David DeHetre/Flickr
In an effort to assist Missouri newspaper employees impacted by the May 22 Joplin tornado, the Missouri Press Association has established a disaster fund within the Missouri Press Foundation. In addition to the 26 employees at the Joplin Globe that lost their homes or suffered serious damage, the fund will also help other newspaper employees. GateHouse Media’s Big Nickel operation in Joplin was completely destroyed and their
employees that work in Carthage and Neosho, Missouri, and Pittsburg, Kansas, were also affected, as many live and work in the Joplin area. This will be a long recovery for this town and the newspaper employees. Please consider a donation today. Tax-deductible donations may be sent to the Missouri Press Foundation, 802 Locust Street, Columbia, MO 65201 or made online at http://www.mopress.com.
Cannon threeMemorial Day page for kids sided carrier carts Vicki Whiting, the creator of Kid Scoop, is offering a free page to help for sale celebrate Memorial Day. Rarely used carts for sale. This highly functional, 250 lb capacity utility cart is ideal for the transport of newspapers. Large durable 16” diameter tires, 2 swivel casters and a functional cargo retention angle ensure that product stays put. Constructed with 16 gauge steel tubing and finished with a zinc plated lacquer dip. 1-5 .....$175 each 5-10....$150 each 10-20...$125 each 20-33.....$100 each Buyer responsible for shipping. Delivery available for a separate fee. Contact 602614-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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To download your free page please go to http://ineedagreatstory.com and register (there is no charge to register). Then you’ll be able to download the .PDF version of the Memorial Day page.
Upcoming Webinars New MultiMedia Revenue Models WHEN: Thursday, June 16 | 3-4 p.m. EDT DESCRIPTION: From CPM to membership pricing to revenue share to performance based programs…newspaper companies continue to adapt to new technology. Through a series of case studies, we’ll review companies that are capitalizing on new revenue opportunities. PRESENTER: Classified Avenue | Suburban Newspapers of America COST: $59 MORE INFO: http://www.suburban-news.org/
Going Mobile 101: Engaging Audience and Advertisers WHEN: Wednesday, June 22 | 10:30 a.m. Central DESCRIPTION: Everyone is talking about “going mobile,” but what does this really mean for your business? Maybe you have a WAP site, but want to go APP? Maybe you really don’t know what that means! That’s OK, as this Inland Webinar takes a look at some of the basics, including terminology, trends and getting started. It will also showcase how community events, user-generated content and classified verticals can be leveraged to involve your mobile audience and to help you make more money. Learn proven methods to target advertisers and to leverage mobile features such as QR readers as part of this introduction to mobile session. Everyone needs to get started. This is a good place to begin. PRESENTER: Deborah Dreyfuss-Tuchman, executive vice president of sales, AdPay.com | Inland Press COST: $75 MORE INFO: 847-795-0380 | email@example.com
Taking Your Newspaper Online…The Easy and Affordable Way! WHEN: Thursday, June 23 | 2-3 p.m. EDT DESCRIPTION: There are a number of newspapers across the country that don’t have a viable web presence still today. As technology continues to change at an accelerated rate, a website can become the cornerstone of editorial workflow while offering new, old and former readers the opportunity to stay connected to your publication. This two-part webinar will cover why WordPress is an excellent tool to begin building a web presence and show step-by-step how to organize and assemble all of the components of a self-hosted WordPress website. PRESENTER: Charlie Weaver, Digital Media & Design Director, Iowa State Daily | Online Media Campus COST: $35 MORE INFO: http://www.onlinemediacampus.com/
Taking on Hyperlocal: Lessons Learned From a High-Profile Start-Up WHEN: Wednesday, June 8 | 2 p.m. EDT DESCRIPTION: any eyes were on TBD as it ramped up for launch in August 2010. It was funded by the same company that started Politico and was led by some well-known web news veterans. TBD was the new local news site to the Washington, D.C., region that relied on aggregation, geolocation and community engagement through social media and outreach to local bloggers. Despite strotng initial traffic and buzz, its general manager left three months after launch. Three months later, TBD was reorganized and half of the staff was laid off. Why did the promised three- to five-year runway not materialize? Why did the site struggle to make money? Hear the lessons learned from one of the key players. PRESENTER: Former TBD general manager Jim Brady | Poynter.org COST: $27.95 MORE INFO: http://www.newsu.org/
Looking for more webinars? Check out the ANA training calendar at: