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Hotel deadline extended for APA Advertising Conference

Ar kansas


Publisher Weekly

Arkansas SPJ announces awards competition

Vol. 14 | No. 8 | Thursday, February 21, 2019


Serving Press and State Since 1873

Daisy Bates’s legacy and impact on Arkansas lives on This week, on a day set aside to honor the memory of Arkansas civil rights icon Daisy Gatson Bates, the Arkansas Senate voted to commemorate Bates’s contributions to the state with a statue at the U.S. Capitol. As we recognize Black History Month, Arkansans recall the importance of Bates’s work as a newspaper publisher. Bates and her husband, L.C. Bates, published the groundbreaking Arkansas State Press. The State Press made a significant impact on the civil rights movement. The Arkansas State Press was the largest black-owned newspaper in the state in the 1950s.

on the third Monday of February every year with “Daisy Gatson Bates Day.” This year, the Arkansas General Assembly is

According to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, white advertisers began boycotting the State Press in 1957 after the Little Rock Central crisis. Threats and intimidation of black newspaper carriers also posed a problem, and the State Press was forced to close in 1959. “Unfortunately, they lost it in 1959 during the time they were working the hardest to make a difference for the state,” Kearney said. Daisy Bates restarted the Arkansas State Press in 1984. She sold it to Kearney in the late 1980s. Kearney served as publisher for five years before relocating to Washington to serve on President Clinton’s staff. The State Press published its last issue in 1997.

“The State Press meant so much to Arkansas and the South, and we are just so proud of what the Bateses did,” said Janis Kearney, who took over While there are publishing the State Press fewer black-owned from Daisy Bates. “They Then-Publisher Daisy Bates, left, with then-Managing Editor Janis F. Kearney, right, of the newspapers in Arkansas were recognized all over the Arkansas State Press. now, Kearney speculated country for being that niche, the reason why may be serving that niche so needed in the 1940s from a perceived lack of need. deciding whether to replace the state’s and ‘50s.” two existing statues at the Capitol in “For many years, especially during the Daisy Bates was a mentor to the Little Washington with statues of Bates and civil rights struggle, there were so many Rock Nine during the desegregation Arkansas native Johnny Cash. The African-American newspapers,” Kearney crisis of the 1950s, and her newspaper Senate approved the measure this week, said. “That need hasn’t completely gone advocated consistently for civil rights and it is currently being considered by the away, but of course after the civil rights struggle and integration, many of the and integration. Arkansas honors Bates House.

Daisy Bates’s legacy and impact on Arkansas lives on Continued from Page 1

things we felt we were fighting for, we attained, and people hadn’t seen the need that much to speak to communities of color.”

nobody ever asks us about our opinion. We need to have more involvement in the black community with the news.” Kearney noted that the same financial troubles that hit newspapers over the last decade are especially acute for minorityowned publications. There have been a number of start-up black newspapers that have folded, she said.

Currently, Arkansas has no newspapers affiliated with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the nationally recognized organization of the black press. Julius Larry said he publishes the Little Rock Sun to serve the central Arkansas black community, and he has plans to expand his brand into Arkansas Delta communities like Helena and West Memphis. Larry said he’s working with colleges in the region to develop internship programs and generate interest in journalism among black students. While Larry said he recognizes the economic issues that hinder Daisy Bates black-focused publications, he said he’s built a successful distribution model for his newspaper. He delivers to black-owned small businesses across Little Rock, and believes the model can and should be emulated.

“When the mainstream is having a problem, the minority is much worse, always,” she said.

“We don’t have enough black publications to get the word out, on zoning, on issues of concern to the black and minority community,” he said. “We have a perspective that’s a different perspective than in the mainstream media, except

The Lincoln Echo, a longtime staple in Fort Smith, last published in August 2018, said Denay Burris, the newspaper’s operations manager. She said the Echo hasn’t published in six months because she and other employees have had health problems. The newspaper also has trouble bringing in advertising revenue, she noted. “We see established businesses advertising in a lot of places, but they will not advertise with us,” Burris said. “I guess they don’t see very much value in advertising in a small paper or having diversity in your readership.”

Mitch Bettis buys Arkansas Business Publishing Group Arkansas Business Publishing Group (ABPG) announced on Feb. 18 that Mitch Bettis, its president, is buying the company from a limited partnership led by Olivia Myers Farrell.

APBG operates Arkansas Business Mitch Bettis and magazines Little Rock Soiree and Little Rock Family. The company also runs Flex360, which is a web development and digital marketing company. According to Arkansas Business, the sale is effective Feb. 28. Financial terms were not disclosed. Farrell has been CEO of ABPG and she will retire. Bettis will become the Arkansas Publisher Weekly

company’s president and CEO.

He has worked for the company since 2013, when he joined ABPG as general manager and publisher of Arkansas Business. Before that, Bettis was a regional publisher for GateHouse Media. According to Arkansas Business, Bettis oversaw GateHouse’s print and digital footprint in Arkansas and northern Louisiana. Bettis became ABPG’s president in 2014. According to Arkansas Business, the company had its fifth consecutive year of record revenue or profit in 2018. “It became my dream to own a publishing company when I was a paperboy for my hometown newspaper in seventh grade,” Bettis said in an Arkansas Business article on the purchase. “To be able to do that here with such an exceptional team and unique products is really a dream come true.” 2

According to the newspaper, Bettis will be the sole owner of ABPG under his new company, Five Legged Stool LLC. There will be no staffing changes, he said. Farrell concludes a 41-year career in publishing where she helped build two companies — Arkansas Times and Arkansas Business Publishing Group — into two of the state’s biggest independent multimedia firms, Arkansas Business reported. “I could not be more thrilled that Mitch Bettis will be taking over the reins of the company,” Farrell told the newspaper. “He is a uniquely talented leader and businessman and a tremendous asset to our community. This transition will benefit our readers and our staff, and I look forward to seeing the great things the company will accomplish under his direction.” ABPG has 65 employees. February 21, 2019

Hotel deadline extended to next Monday, February 25 for APA Advertising Conference Because of demand, the deadline to book a hotel room for the Arkansas Press Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper Advertising Contest has been extended to Monday, Feb. 25. The annual conference is scheduled for March 7-8 at the Embassy Suites, 1130 Financial Centre Parkway, in Little Rock. To reserve a room at the APA group rate, visit http://embassysuites. hilton.com/en/es/groups/ personalized/L/LITCPESAPA-20190307/index.jhtml or call the hotel at (501) 312-9000 and ask for the APA rate. In addition to the Feb. 25 hotel deadline, the deadline to register for the conference itself is March 1. The conference this year features keynote speaker Diana Ciotta. Her focus as a speaker is to help advertisers grow sales. Throughout her career, Ciotta has effectively motivated advertising sales professionals around the country to focus on their prospects’ needs rather than their own through her dynamic skills enhancement seminars. Ciotta emphasizes proven successful concepts and techniques for driving incremental revenue while improving

client retention.

Ciotta authored the book Shut-Up & Sell, focused on common-sense based success in sales. She also has published a children’s educational newspaper in her hometown in New Jersey.


Little Rock Ciotta’s sessions are Thursday, March 7. That day concludes with a reception and group dinner.

On Friday, March 8, ad conference attendees will participate in a Hot Ideas Roundtable and panel discussion on current, timely issues in advertising. The conference concludes with a luncheon Friday to recognize the winners of the 2019 Better Newspaper Advertising Contest. The ad contest winners will be selected from nearly 900 entries submitted for the annual event. Conference registration fees are $125. Tickets for the Friday awards luncheon only are $40 each. To register online, visit http:// www.arkansaspress.org/ event/2019AdConference. Several continuing education grants to help defray the costs of registration and hotel expenses are available to eligible APA members through the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation. Media groups are eligible for only one grant, with priority given to first-time attendees. For more information, and to apply for a grant, contact Terri Cobb at terri@arkansaspress.org or call (501) 374-1500.

Arkansas SPJ announces awards competition The Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is accepting entries for its 2019 Diamond Journalism Awards, which recognize excellence in journalism for professional and student journalists in Arkansas and surrounding states.

in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee. The journalists may enter

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

Entries will be judged by professional journalists who live outside the contest area. Entries will be accepted in a number of categories. In addition, awards are presented for Community Service, Outstanding New Journalist, and the Diamond Journalist of the Year. The Arkansas Pro Chapter of SPJ also presents the Robert McCord FOI Award.

To be eligible for an award, work must have been published or broadcast between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018. Entries are accepted at www. betternewspapercontest.com, and the entry deadline is March 15. The awards are open to professionals, students and freelance journalists

published or broadcast their work.

their own work or have entries submitted on their behalf by news organizations that 3

Entry fees are $10 per entry for SPJ members and $20 per entry for nonmembers. For students, the entry fee is $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. February 21, 2019

Some newspapers receiving payment for Sears ads

Some Arkansas Press Association member newspapers are reporting that payment has been received from the agency that placed Sears Hometown Outlet Stores preprints prior to the October 2018 bankruptcy filing by Sears. The newspapers have been paid in full for both the pre-bankruptcy and post-bankruptcy inserts that ran in their publications. Sears Hometown stores are independently owned and operated under license from Sears, Roebuck and Co. APA members should consider contacting the agency representative that placed the insertion orders for Sears Hometown Outlet Stores. Newspapers should be prepared to provide invoices for individual insertions that match the insertion orders for outstanding balances.

APA update on legislative policy

With the 92nd General Assembly now in its sixth week, the Arkansas Press Association is updating its members on its policy regarding positions on legislation. Generally, the APA will remain neutral on potential legislation that is not beneficial to all member newspapers. An example of such legislation is House Bill 1499, which amends public notice requirements for statutory foreclosures. The APA’s policy is to consider each bill

and its effects on member newspapers as a whole. If some members would support the legislation while others would oppose, the APA’s position will be neutral except in extremely rare circumstances. APA members are reminded that they are always free to contact legislators or speak for or against bills regardless of the APA’s official position, and all bills of interest to membership are listed in the weekly Legislative Report in the Arkansas Publisher Weekly.

Senate Education Committee passes college journalism bill

Let Us Know We want to know about your new hires, retires and promotions! Send your staffing changes to info@ arkansaspress.org to be updated online and included in our weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter.

Industry Quote of the Week “You can only blame fake news so many times before the truth starts to emerge from the newsprint.”

-Anthony Thincks

Let’s Get Social Follow Us on Facebook & Twitter



The Arkansas Senate Education Committee on Feb. 20 unanimously passed House Bill 1231, a bill to establish protections for student journalists at the state’s public institutions of higher education. The bill ensures the right of expression for journalists and student publications. The bill has already passed the House, and it moves to the Senate. Pictured are Rep. Mark Lowery, the bill’s sponsor (third from left); Arkansas Press Association Executive Director Ashley Wimberley (second from right), Professor Steven Listopad from Henderson State University (second from right) and three of Professor Listopad’s students.

Knight Foundation commits $300 million to local journalism

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced this week it would invest $300 million over the next five years in efforts to strengthen and build journalism at the local level. Its initial investments as part of the commitment will be to organizations that serve communities and have a commitment to “building new business models, strengthening investigative reporting, protecting press freedom, promoting news literacy, and connecting with audiences through civic engagement and technology,” the foundation said in a news release. Knight seeks to revive vigorous, local investigative reporting and accountability

journalism, the news release said. The foundation’s funding announcement demonstrated support of national organizations working in partnership with local groups. Some of the funding will go to groups like the American

Journalism Project, ProPublica, Report for America, NewsMatch, the News Literacy Project and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. For more information about the Knight Foundation’s local news initiative, visit kf.org/localnews.

Guest Column: Existing on small ads is not new By Peter Wagner

Smaller ads sold mostly to locallyowned businesses are a part of a community paper’s DNA. There weren’t any supermarkets, department stores or automobile dealerships when the majority of midwestern newspapers at the turn of the last century. I have a framed copy of the January 1, 1873, Sheldon Mail hanging on the wall of my office. What is most surprising is the largest display ad in the now 145-year-old publication is a one column by 3.5 inches. More importantly, all the ads in that first edition wouldn’t fill a half of a broadsheet page today. When my wife and I put out our first publication, The Golden Shopper, our largest ad was a half-page on the front page. Most of the remaining pages were filled with 2 x 3, 2 x 5 and occasional quarter page ads. The nationally controlled firms all felt they had to advertise in the much older, more established newspaper. We were thankful for those locally purchased small ads, however, and somehow we survived. In the boom times before corporate inserts, we regularly printed four process color broadside pages for our local Hy-Vee grocery store. That too, disappeared, and we still survived.

But, as long as papers have a commitment to providing solid local news and information to our community, newspapers and shoppers alike will find new opportunities to sell print advertising to an appreciative local market. Communities now are a local supplier of professionally written and edited information. Study after study has concluded communities need a printed publication to flourish. Without a competent local paper, communities suffer the eventual loss of everything from main street retail synergy to in-town grade and high schools to much needed sales and property tax revenues. A study by the North Carolina School of Media and Journalism found that more than 1,300 communities have completely lost their sources of local news. The local printed paper must continue to exist and it can through persistence, creativity and a commitment of the local ownership.

We were thankful for them when we had them, however, and we survived.

The secret of such success is “Telling your story!” For newspapers that means both sharing all the important local news of the community from the city chambers to the little league as well as the advertising and marketing services the publication offers. No business has ever succeeded in “saving itself out of financial difficultly.” Most successful business leaders turn a difficult corner by increasing the material and service delivered.

The truth is our publishing industry is changing in ways that is making it difficult to sustain and be profitable in both the paid circulation and free distribution publishing business. The same is true of most other forms of local business.

I was in Hawaii recently and saw an interesting large red poster in many windows on one island. It read: “Here is what you did by buying from us ...1. You contributed your dollars to local economy. 2. You celebrated the unique buying

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


opportunities of our community. 3. You helped create local employment. 4. You encouraged the building of a community. 5. You kept important tax dollars at home. 6. You benefited from our expertise. 7. You invested in local enterprise. 8. You made this community and all it offers a destination.” Everything promoted on that poster could also be said, with a bit of a twist in the wording, of the local paper. Our biggest failing as a publishing industry is we don’t tell our story strongly or often enough. If we don’t blow our own horn, who will? Michael Bugeja, author of Interpersonal Divide in the Age of the Machine recently wrote: “Don’t overlook newspapers. They are the lifeblood of the community. Subscribe to your hometown paper. Go farther and buy gift subscriptions for your relatives and friends. Discuss the news face to face at the dinner table instead of on Facebook. If you have children, let them see you pouring over the pages of the paper, pointing out stories about school, hobbies, and upcoming events you might attend. If you want to get rid of fake news support your local newspaper. It takes a village to save a local newspaper. But saving a village is worth the price of a subscription.

Peter W. Wagner is founder and publisher of the award winning N’West Iowa REVIEW and 13 additional publications. Wagner can be contacted by emailing pww@ iowainformation.com or calling his cell at (712) 348-3550.

February 21, 2019

92nd Arkansas General Assembly

Legislative Report

APA is monitoring the following filed bills of interest to our industry and the public: Bill No. / Author

Short Description

APA Position

Current Status

HB 1003 Rep. Gazaway

An act to add antibullying measures at schools, to allow school boards to meet in executive sessions for bullying investigations


Awaits initial hearing in House Education Committee (Rep. Gazaway has indicated he is re-filing the bill and withdrawing the executive session provision)

HB1015 Rep. Mayberry

Requires journalism to be offered as an elective course in public high schools


Awaits initial hearing in House Education Committee

HB 1041 Reps. Ladyman, Eads

Raises the threshold for municipalities to competitively bid projects from $20,000 to $50,000, thus abolishing public notice requirements for municipal expenses between $20,000 and $50,000


Passed the House; awaits hearing in Senate City, County and Local Affairs Committee

HB 1163 Rep. Capp

Allows municipalities to maintain three copies of revisions or codifications of ordinances available to the public in the clerk’s office rather than publish notice of the revisions or codification


Passed House and Senate

HB 1178 Rep. Wardlaw

Changes state procurement law for a variety of purposes, but adds a specific Freedom of Information Act exemption for requests for information from potential bidders


Passed House; passed Senate State Agencies Committee

HB 1231 Rep. Lowery

Establishes rights for student journalists at Arkansas higher education institutions


Passed House; passed Senate Education Committee; advanced to Senate

SB 3 Sen. Garner

Requires reporting from physicians and healthcare facilities requiring detailed information about abortion procedure complications and exempts the required report from the Freedom of Information Act


Awaits initial hearing in Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee

SB 118 Sen. Hammer

Requires educational institutions to provide students and faculty broad latitude to engage in free speech and prohibits individuals from suppressing free speech


Awaits initial hearing in Senate Education Committee

SB 76 Sen. Wallace

Amends the law concerning emergency temporary locations for meetings of a governing body; and to declare an emergency


Passed Senate and Houset

HB 1302 Rep. Cozart

Provides for rules that effect multiple state agencies to be grouped together for the purposes of providing notice, holding hearings, and advancing rules legislatively


Awaits initial hearing in Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee

HB 1343 Rep. Hawks, Rep. Mark Johnson

Requires a county’s annual financial report to be published on the county website as well as in the newspaper


Awaits initial hearing in House City, County and Local Affairs Committee

HB 1382 Rep. Sorvillo

Exempts lottery winners’ identities from the Freedom of Information Act


Awaits initial hearing in House Rules Committee

SB 230 Sen. Hammer

Creates a new civil action for invasion of privacy and allows a lawsuit against someone for intruding into private affairs or publicizing an individual in a false light


Awaits initial hearing in Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 231 Sen. Hammer

Expands the definition of “public records” in the Freedom of Information Act to include records of a private entity that spends a minimum of 20% of its time, resources and efforts supporting a government function


Awaits initial hearing in Senate State Agencies Committee

SB 233 Sen. Hammer, Rep. Lowery

Amends notice requirements for school elections


Awaits initial hearing in Senate Education Committee

SB 277 Sen. Hill, Rep. Cameron Cooper

Removes public notice requirement for internet sale of certain surplus county property


Awaits initial hearing in Senate City, County and Local Affairs Committee

HB 1404 Rep. Speaks

Allows for publication of a school district’s budget in a newspaper published in or with a bona fide circulation in the county or counties where the school district is located


Passed House; awaits hearing in Senate

HB 1417 Rep. Gray

Establishes a Freedom of Information Act exemption for the identities of confidential informants


Awaits initial hearing in House State Agencies Committee

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


February 21, 2019

Bill No. / Author

Short Description

APA Position

Current Status

HB 1432 Rep. Mayberry

Protects rights of high school student journalists and adds protections for student media advisors


Awaits initial hearing in House Education Committee

SB 306 Sen. Teague

Allows the winner of a Powerball or Mega Millions drawing to make his or her records with the Arkansas Lottery Commission confidential under the Freedom of Information Act


Awaits initial hearing in Senate State Agencies Committee

SB 319 Sen. Ballinger

Provides for additional public notice requirements in a local government taking of abandoned or blighted property


Awaits initial hearing in Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 1440 Rep. Ferguson

Establishes the Maternal Mortality Review Committee and exempts the committee from the Freedom of Information Act


Re-referred to the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee

HB 1441 Rep. Bentley

Establishes the Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes Quality Review Committee and exempts the committee from the Freedom of Information Act


Re-referred to the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee

HB 1499 Rep. Maddox

Changes public notice requirements for statutory foreclosures


Passed House Insurance and Commerce Committee; awaits House vote

HB 1500 Rep. Gazaway

Exempts cybersecurity threat assessments from disclosure under FOIA


Passed House State Agencies Committee; awaits House vote

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


February 21, 2019


Little Rock.

APA 2019 AD CONFERENCE March 7 & 8

Embassy Suites, Little Rock

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


February 21, 2019



1:00 PM

Registration Opens

1:30 PM

Welcome, Introductions & Annoucements Session One: Presented by Diane Ciotta

8:00 AM 9:00 AM

Building Strong Relationships by Understanding Needs •Having a ‘Business Development Specialist’ Focus •Identifying Prospects’ Business Needs vs “Advertising Wants” •Determining a Comfortable Program Investment Professionally

2:30 PM 3:00 PM

Break Session Two: Presented by Diane Ciotta

Need Fulfillment through Integrity Based Recommendations •Selecting & Supporting Appropriate Options with Benefits •Presenting Long Term Commitments with Confidence •Managing Unavoidable Challenges with Conviction

5:00 PM 6:00 PM


8:30 PM

Hospitality hour

Breakfast HOT Ideas!

Bring your best advertising ideas (and samples) to share with the group! Prize money will be awarded.

10:00 AM Break 10:15 AM Panel Discussion NOON

Public notices and other timely issues

2019 Better Newspaper Advertising Awards Luncheon

Group Dinner

at BRAVO! Promenade Shopping Center

GUEST SPEAKER Diane Ciotta | Training Classics/The Keynote Effect Diane has effectively motivated advertising sales professionals around the country to focus on their prospects’ needs vs. their own, through dynamic skills enhancement seminars. Her speciality in the publishing industry is based on personal experience and is portrayed with an incomparable ability to relate to her participants, which results in immeasurable return on investment. Diane concentrates on increasing confidence and uses Jersey sarcasm combined with Italian passion to emphasize proven successful concepts and techniques for driving incremental revenue while improving client retention. She understands all aspects of the business and has published a children’s educational newspaper in her hometown as well as authoring her book focused on common sense based success in sales entitled Shut-Up & Sell! Diane was born, raised and still happily resides in central Jersey. Arkansas Publisher Weekly


February 21, 2019



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: Thursday Dinner, Breaks, Breakfast, Awards Lunch, and all Conference Materials. Total Attendees:

_____x $125 Full Conference Fee


_____x $40

Awards (Lunch Only)




Payment Options: _____Bill Me Credit Card #________________________________________

_____Check Enclosed

Expiration Date ____________________ VCN#___________ Register online at http://www.arkansaspress.org/event/2019AdConference or send registration and payment by Friday, March 1 to: Arkansas Press Association, 411 South Victory, Little Rock, AR 72201 or Fax 501.374.7509. Reserve your hotel room at http://embassysuites.hilton.com/en/es/groups/personalized/L/LITCPES-APA-20190307/index.jhtml The deadline to reserve your room is February 12. Arkansas Publisher Weekly


February 21, 2019

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: February 21, 2019  

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

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: February 21, 2019  

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