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Bailey announces retirement; Gaines to lead newsroom

APA Advertising Conference Registration Packet

Arkansas Press Association

Publisher Weekly Vol. 15 | No. 5 | Thursday, January 30, 2020 | Serving Press and State Since 1873

Speaker to bring big ideas to APA ad conference Bill Ostendorf has never met an ad he really likes.

“The reality is that the ads we put in our newspaper and on websites are terrible,” Ostendorf said. “They’re not generating business … like they should.

Ok, that may be too extreme a statement even for Ostendorf, the blunt-speaking strategic consultant, who will be the featured presenter at this year’s Arkansas Press Association Ad Conference.

“If I were a small newspaper publisher, I would do a better job at making sure my ads, my headlines and my stories are better. You shouldn’t waste a minute on podcasts or anything else until you get the ad content right.”

Ostendorf won’t shy away from truthtelling about how newspapers need to do a better job of ad creation and design, he said. In his presentations – he’s done thousands over the years in 48 states – he urges publishers and ad managers to get the basics right, first. “I usually say pretty outrageous things because newspapers need to hear things nobody will tell them,” Ostendorf said in a telephone interview this week. “I feel like the parent breaking the bad news.”

Bill Ostendorf

A self-described “highly critical optimist,” Ostendorf said fundamental design flaws and ineffective content are common in newspapers across the country.

Ostendorf will be the featured speaker for two sessions at the annual conference, scheduled for March 13 at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton. In his first session, he will focus on the principles of good ad design and how building better ads can generate additional revenue for newspapers. Continued on Page 2

Friday, January 31, is deadline for APA ad contest entries Arkansas Press Association members have one day left to enter now for the chance to earn recognition as among the best in the state in the APA’s annual Better Newspaper Advertising Contest. The contest honors the best ads in daily and weekly newspapers in a variety of categories. The deadline for entering is Friday, Jan. 31. Winners will be announced at the APA’s annual Ad Conference at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute near Morrilton on Friday, March 13.

To enter, and for more information on rules and instructions for entering, visit www. newspapercontest.com/arkansas. The contest will award the best advertising in several categories, with separate divisions for weekly and daily newspapers. Winning entries will be judged by members of the Kansas Press Association. Categories range from best single ad to best online ad. There is a separate category for special sections and one for best use of humor in an advertisement.

For more information or for questions about the contest or the online submission process, contact Terri Cobb at (501) 3741500 or email terri@arkansaspress.org. Please hurry to submit entries by Friday.

Speaker to bring big ideas to APA ad conference Continued from Page 1

In the other session, Ostendorf will discuss strategies for growing revenue through classified advertising, and he will provide some insights based on research conducted by his company, Creative Circle Media Solutions. He encouraged attendees to bring copies of newspapers with examples of their work to share and discuss during the workshops. He emphasized the importance of bringing copies of work product so that he can have a dialogue with attendees about ways to improve. Those recommendations will include encouraging ad designers to reconsider use of business logos, he added. “When it comes to advertising, first of all we tend to put logos in ads and often use them as artwork,” Ostendorf said. “Every ad should have a headline that tells me why this business is different, or better, or can help me.” He will show examples of “bad” ads from other newspapers. He noted that even some not-so-good ads have won advertising awards in the past. “When even our contests sometimes

reward weak stuff, it’s easy to pick up bad habits,” he said. “Most of the people in the room won’t have training on this, and I don’t blame the people in the room when sometimes the system is what’s wrong,” Ostendorf said. “Some people are offended at my workshops occasionally, and I get hate mail, but I try to make it fun. I give them solutions … I guarantee it will be fun and it will make them think. They’ll go home with lots of ways to be better at their jobs.” Ostendorf, of East Providence, Rhode Island, is president of Creative Circle. The company offers custom web design and programming for newspaper clients, and it hosts hundreds of media websites. Creative Circle launched a number of “firsts” in the software industry, including the first integrated paywall and the first user-contributed content platform in 2005. Ostendorf said the Arkansas DemocratGazette was one of Creative Circle’s initial clients. Ostendorf has helped redesign more than 650 print publications and 350 websites, and for the last decade he has assisted

newspapers in developing self-service advertising software and rethinking the structure and workflow of ad departments. He started his journalism career as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and Paddock Publications. He worked at newspapers in Idaho, Utah and Ohio before spending 13 years at The Providence Journal, where he was managing editor for visuals and new product development. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Register online for this year’s Ad Conference at www.arkansaspress. org/event/2020AdConference, or mail registration with payment by March 6 to Arkansas Press Association, 411 South Victory Street, Little Rock AR 72201. Cost is $125 for the full conference, including all meals, plus the room cost for one night at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute is $115. To register for Friday’s advertising awards luncheon only, the cost is $40 per person. For more information, email Terri Cobb at terri@arkansaspress.org

2020 APA press window decals ready to be distributed The 2020 Arkansas Press Association “PRESS” auto window  decals  are been distributed to newspapers this month. The window stickers are often used by APA members on their vehicles to identify the vehicle as being owned and operated by someone in the working press. The decals themselves do not offer any

INDUSTRY QUOTE “Journalism has changed tremendously because of the democratization of information. Anybody can put something up on the Internet. It’s harder and harder to find what the truth is.”

—Robert Redford Arkansas Publisher Weekly

specific privileges or protections, but they are a key way to signify to officials and others that an individual is a working member of the press.


Each APA newspaper will receive two 2020 decals. The decals are intended for publishers, editors, reporters and

Also, any APA member who wishes to renew his or her press ID cards issued by APA may email presscards@ arkansaspress.org. To request additional decals, email presscards@ arkansaspress.org as well.



Send your staffing changes to info@arkansaspress.org to be updated online and included in the Arkansas Publisher Weekly.

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January 30, 2020

Bailey announces retirement; Gaines to lead newsroom Gaines is currently vice president of audience development for WEHCO Media. She is also a member of the Arkansas Press Association Board of Directors. Gaines is the daughter of DemocratGazette Publisher Walter Hussman. She will be the newspaper’s first female managing editor.

David Bailey

She is the fourth generation of her family to be in newspapers. A former editor of the Sentinel-Record  in Hot Springs and travel reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, Gaines has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina.

Bailey started at the Democrat-Gazette as assistant city editor in 1993, according to the newspaper. He was named city editor in 1994 and took over as managing editor in late 1998. In 2012, when then-Executive Editor Griffin Smith Jr. retired, Bailey took over leadership of the newsroom. Bailey has twice earned the APA’s Freedom of Information Award for dedication to transparency and the tenets of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. Before moving to Little Rock, he worked for the Hattiesburg American, the Commercial Appeal and the Advocate in Baton Rouge.

Eliza Gaines

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette this week announced Eliza Gaines as its new managing editor. She replaces David Bailey, who will retire as managing editor on March 16.

Gaines addresses Democrat-Gazette employees after announcement earlier this week. (Photo by Staton Breidenthal, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

Paxton Media names Frank Leto new group publisher Frank Leto has been selected as publisher of six newspapers in Arkansas by Paxton Media Group. The company announced the hiring in its newspapers this week.

understands the vital role newspapers play in the markets we serve,” said David Holgate, group president for Paxton’s

Leto will oversee operations at the Log Cabin Democrat in Conway, The Courier in Russellville, the Daily Citizen  in Searcy, the  Batesville Daily Guard, the SunTimes in Heber Springs and the Van Buren County Democrat in Clinton.

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

Leto was group publisher at the Joplin Globe in Joplin, Missouri, most recently. Prior to that, he worked at the Daily Item and Danville News in Pennsylvania and at newspapers in New Mexico, Florida, Texas, Kentucky and Indiana. “I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Leto said. He will be based in Conway.

Leto succeeds David Meadows, who resigned in December to serve as a publisher for a WEHCO newspaper in Missouri. “Frank comes with a very solid reputation of building community relationships and

community news group, according to the company’s announcement.

“As you talk to people, you want to find out what the newspapers are doing well, where we can improve, what stories need more coverage…I value feedback from the community,” Leto is quoted as saying.

Frank Leto


January 30, 2020

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ends Tri-Lakes zoned edition, moves two other zoned editions to digital The  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has made changes to its three zoned editions: River Valley and Ozark, Three Rivers and Tri-Lakes, according to the editor of those editions. Editor Jennifer Ellis announced to readers last week that the River Valley & Ozark and the Three Rivers zoned publications will no longer be printed. Instead, those supplements to the Democrat-Gazette will only be available in digital format. In addition, the Tri-Lakes edition will be discontinued. In a statement, Ellis said

“the company could not find a way to make it a financially viable product.” The other two editions, which continue in digital form, reflect the DemocratGazette’s ongoing digital transition. Ellis told readers that the editions, when included in the digital version of the newspaper, will reach a statewide audience and should bring more attention to the communities they serve. She also cited other positive attributes of the digital version of the two products:

better photo quality, the ability to digitally “clip” favorite articles, easier ways to search for keywords, the possibility of changing the display view or using a zoom feature and 24/7 access to articles of interest. “As editor, there’s one thing that I can assure you,” Ellis told readers. “The (editions) will continue to bring you stories that reflect the interesting people, places and events that make our communities vibrant bright spots.”

Support the future of Arkansas journalism by giving to the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation. Your generous donations will ensure the continued funding for the next generation of Arkansas journalists. Ways to give: Estate planning, memorial and honor gifts and charitable donations. The Arkansas Newspaper Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information call APA at 501-374-1500 or email info@arkansaspress.org

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


January 30, 2020

Guest Column: The scoop of the century from a 27-year-old cub reporter By Caleb Slinkard Jan. 10 marked the two-year anniversary of the death of Clare Hollingworth, an English journalist and author. While Hollingworth isn’t a household name, she is widely considered to have reported the “scoop of the 20th century” when she reported about German troops invading Poland, the beginning of World War II. The young war correspondent (she was 27 at the time) had been hired by The Daily Telegraph less than a week before (that makes her a “cub reporter,” to use old school journalism parlance). Can you imagine that? Starting a job with a newspaper and then becoming the person to break the biggest story of the century? Hollingworth was already familiar with Poland, having worked in Warsaw assisting Czech refugees from Germany. Hollingworth lived to be 105 years old, one of the reasons her death in 2017 resonated with me so much — history is hard to wrap our minds around. If it didn’t happen in our lifetime, we have little context for a historical event. But to know that the reporter who broke the news about World War II only died a few years ago in many ways, for me, brought that conflict to life. Hollingworth’s life story is far more interesting than could fit into a few sentences here. She went on to report on wars in the Middle East, Africa and Asia and lived in Hong Kong for decades. A biography, “Of Fortunes and War: Clare Hollingworth, First of the Female War

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

Correspondents,” was published in 2016. If you have time, I suggest you read more about Clare. She sounds like quite the reporter.

I was some tough, amazing reporter, but simply because the people in that meeting knew I was there to report on what they did and said.

I can’t imagine breaking a story like that. While “scoops” are less important in my world of community journalism, I know how exciting it can be to work hard reporting a story and breaking it before any of your competitors. It’s probably something that journalists value more than our readers, to be honest — and, unfortunately, it often leads to poor decisions where stories are published before they’ve been properly vetted. Still, the motivation to be first AND correct is a good one.

I had one former state legislator in Oklahoma tell me once that before he made big decisions about legislation or conduct at the Capitol, he thought to himself what that decision would look like as a headline in the newspaper I ran.

Being a good journalist requires a natural curiosity and a fair amount of guts. Clare slipped over the German border in a diplomatic vehicle. I know journalists who are persistent, willing to ask tough questions in awkward situations. The journalists I really admire are the ones whose natural curiosity and courage make them irresistible, both in how they get their information and how they present it. While, like anything, this behavior taken to the extreme is unbearable, that curiosity and courage harnessed to provide accurate reporting can have a tremendously important impact on a community and the quality of those community members’ lives. I’ve walked into meetings (not here in Union County) where my entrance was followed with a sigh, a few furtive glances and whispers of “the newspaper’s here.” Not because


That’s not something to beat one’s chest about. It’s a responsibility, one that continues to become more challenging as the newspaper industry changes, readership habits evolve and companies like Google and Facebook continue to take huge bites out of newspaper revenue, but one that remains undeniably important just the same. Most journalists don’t get the scoop of the century, but we have an important responsibility to the communities we serve just the same.

(c) Copyright 2020 by Caleb Slinkard. All rights reserved. Caleb Slinkard is the managing editor of the El Dorado News-Times. He previously served as editor of two dailies and four weeklies in Oklahoma and Texas. To contact him, email cslinkard@ eldoradonews.com.

January 30, 2020

Arkansas Press Association

2020 Ad Conference March 12-13 Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Petit Jean Mountain

Conference Schedule THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 2020 1:00 PM 1:30 PM

Registration Opens Welcome, Introductions & Announcements Session One: Better Ad Design Will Drive Your Revenue

This session will review some principals of good ad design that need to be applied to print and web advertising, give you tips about how to get the right information from advertisers, explain the role of ad size, visuals and headlines in readership and conversion and address issues of ad layout in print and online. Presented by Bill Ostendorf

3:00 PM 3:30 PM


Session Two: Why Classifieds Could Be Newspapers’ Next Big Thing You will leave this session with a new perspective that will help you re-energize your classified revenue, both in print and online. We’ll show you new ways to make more money with classifieds. Presented by Bill Ostendorf

6:00 PM

Reception Lodge Great Room

7:00 PM

Group Dining River Rock Grill

8:30 PM

Group Gathering Lodge Great Room

FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2020 8:00 AM 8:30 AM 10:00 AM 10:15 AM NOON

Breakfast HOT Ideas! Break Panel Discussion 2020 Better Newspaper Advertising Awards Luncheon

Guest Speaker Bill Ostendorf is president and founder of Creative Circle Media Solutions, a network of talent he has been building for more than 30 years. An energetic and entertaining speaker, he has been featured at hundreds of industry conferences in 23 countries. He has a BSJ in magazine writing and an MSJ in newspaper reporting and management, from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and was trained as a reporter. He aspired to be a columnist, but quickly moved from reporting to editing to design. “My bosses kept asking me if I could take pictures, manage the photo department, design pages or redesign papers,” he said. “I kept saying ‘yes’ to these new assignments when I probably should have said ‘no.’ But I developed a passion for helping people avoid all the mistakes I had to suffer through learning on the job.” Bill has become an innovator in finding new ways for newspapers and other media companies to grow their revenues, especially online. He has led redesigns of more than 650 publications and more than 300 web sites. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fran.

Arkansas Press Association

2020 Ad Conference Sign Up Today!

Newspaper:________________________________________________________________________________ Mailing Address:_____________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip:_______________________________________________________________________________ Phone:_______________________ Fax:__________________________ Email: _________________________ Attendee Name: 1. _____________________________________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________________________________ 4. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Please list any additional names on a separate sheet.

Conference Fee ($125) Includes: Reception, Thursday Dinner, Breaks, Friday Breakfast, Awards Banquet, and all Conference Materials. Total Attendees: x $125 Full Conference Fee $ x $115 Hotel Room $ x $40 Awards (Lunch Only) $ TOTAL $

Room 1: Double / King

Person 1:

Payment Options: Check Enclosed Credit Card # Expiration Date

Person 2:

Bill Me

Circle One

Person 1: Person 2:

Room 2: Double / King

Room 3: Double / King

Circle One

Circle One

Person 1:


Person 2:

Please list any additional names on a separate sheet.

Register online at http://www.arkansaspress.org/event/2020AdConference or send registration and payment by Friday, March 6 to: Arkansas Press Association, 411 South Victory, Little Rock, AR 72201 or Fax 501.374.7509.

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: January 30, 2020  

The Arkansas Publisher Weekly is the only direct source for late-breaking news regarding Arkansas' newspapers and related industries. Publis...

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: January 30, 2020  

The Arkansas Publisher Weekly is the only direct source for late-breaking news regarding Arkansas' newspapers and related industries. Publis...