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ANF seeking golf hole sponsors for annual tourney Guest Column: Postal Q & A by Max Heath

ARKANSAS

Ar kansas

PRESS

Publisher Weekly

Vol. 14 | No. 17 | Thursday, April 25, 2019

ASSOCIATION

Serving Press and State Since 1873

New president named at Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette The Northwest Arkansas DemocratGazette has named Brent Powers as its president. Powers replaces, Todd Nelson who is retiring.

Powers had been director of advertising and marketing for the newspaper for the last two years, according to an article in the Northwest Arkansas DemocratGazette. He was hired by Nelson for that role and was selected by Nelson to be his successor. Powers, a native of Mississippi, had a degree in advertising and marketing from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has worked at newspapers in Mississippi, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri, and he also worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He and his wife, Kimlyn, have two children.

Brent Powers

Powers was quoted in the newspaper as saying: “Northwest Arkansas is such a special place. During the last two years

as director of advertising and marketing, I’ve seen our organization’s devotion and dedication first-hand. We work hard on telling the stories of our communities and with advertisers to grow their businesses through marketing and advertising. The employees that work in every department and each location represent this community and our brand, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. We are honored to live here, to contribute as residents and to serve this great community.” The newspaper is owned by WEHCO Media, which publishes newspapers in Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri. The Northwest Arkansas-Democrat Gazette is distributed in 12 counties in northwest Arkansas, and also publishes several weekly newspapers and operates a digital marketing firm.

The Sentinel-Record ad director reflects after 44 years of service In spite of the digital revolution that has transformed the newspaper industry over her 44 years in the business, Debe Johnson’s sales advice remains the same.

out and meet with people face to face and just talk to them about their business and helping their business grow.” It’s a tried-and-true philosophy she’s used since she was 24 years old and got her first ad sales job at The Sentinel-Record. That followed five years as a page diagrammer and office assistant. She’s been advertising director for the last nine years and was retail advertising manager for five years prior to that.

Johnson, who retires this month from her job as advertising and promotions director at The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs, said some sales professionals have become too reliant on text messaging and email to cultivate business. Her philosophy is the same one she’s used since she started at the newspaper decades ago. “I still believe in going out and calling on people,” said Johnson, who is retiring on May 1. “It still works. It’s effective to go

Debe Johnson at The Sentinel-Record in her office

She recalled the days of taking a long a pen and paper on sales visits, writing down ad copy then returning to the newspaper office to build the ad by hand. She’d then take the proof back to the Continued on Page 2


The Sentinel-Record ad director reflects after 44 years of service Continued from Page 1

customer. Computers, fax machines and cell phones have made that part easier, but she stresses that “you can’t build a relationship over email. You just can’t.” “They want to see a face,” she added. “They want to know that you want their business and you’re there to help them.”

blood, and it has for me. This business has been great to me.” Her colleagues at The Sentinel-Record and WEHCO Media, Inc., honored Johnson with a retirement reception last week.

Johnson actually surprised herself with such dedication to the job and to the newspaper. She’s a Hot Springs native and graduate of Hot Springs High School who started at The Sentinel-Record right after graduation. She expected only to work at the newspaper for a short time. What she thought would be a one- or two-year stint until she “found something better” turned into an unexpected passion.

Sentinel-Record “Debe has been an integral part of the success of The Sentinel-Record,” said Porter, according to the newspaper. “Her dedication and work ethic (have) been unmatched during her 44 years. We hope she thoroughly enjoys the next chapter in her life. She will be greatly missed.” Johnson and her husband, Rick, own a farm near Bonnerdale in Hot Spring County. The Johnsons want to spend more time on the farm and also do some traveling, she said. She quickly pointed out, however, that she’ll continue to read a newspaper every morning.

“It’s been a career for me “I was wrong, because 44 years Nat Lee, President and COO of WEHCO Media, and Harry Porter, General Manager and it’s been like my second later, here I am,” she said. “I just of The Sentinel-Record present a plaque to Debe Johnson upon her retirement. family,” she said. “The developed a passion for it as Among those recognizing Johnson for her ink will always be in my blood, and I will each day and week went by. You have to decades of work for the newspaper was always subscribe and read my newspaper have a passion. You have to have a drive. Harry Porter, general manager of The every morning.” There’s a saying that the ink gets in your

Longtime OBU professor Bill Downs dies

has died. He was 87.

William “Bill” Downs Jr., a former Ouachita Baptist University communications professor who played an instrumental role in the creation of the first Arkansas Student Publications Act,

A native of Calico Rock, Downs attended Batesville High School and was an Air Force veteran. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He worked for Ouachita Baptist University for 41 years, retiring in 2007 as professor emeritus of communications. At Ouachita, he served as director of public relations, professor and chairman of the Department Arkansas Publisher Weekly

of Communications, advisor to the Signal newspaper and Ouachitonian yearbook. Those publications received numerous awards while under Downs’s leadership. He was active in the creation of the Student Publications Act in 1995, ensuring that student journalists at Arkansas high schools are protected under state law. For 25 years, he was director of the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association. Downs served as president of the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce, director of Clark County United Way, and chairman of the Arkansas Educational Television Network Commission. He was a deacon and Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church in Arkadelphia.

Jean Estelle Downs. He is survived by his wife, Vera Prince Downs; sons Bill Downs III and Ben Downs, both of Bryant, and Bob Downs of Stafford, Virginia; and two grandchildren. A memorial service was held today, Thursday, April 25, in Arkadelphia. The family requests that memorials be made to the William D. Downs Endowed Scholarship at Ouachita Baptist University, 401 Ouachita St., Arkadelphia, or obu. edu/development/give

He received numerous awards during his illustrious career, including the Journalism Educator of the Year award from the Arkansas Press Association. He was also the author of two books. Downs was preceded in death by his wife, 2

April 25, 2019


—30­— Dwane Powell

Dwane Powell, 74, a retired editorial cartoonist and Arkansas native, died April 14. Powell, who grew up in McGehee, spent decades as a cartoonist at the Raleigh News and Observer in North Carolina.

APA Board of Directors nominee named Pine Bluff Commerical Publisher Jennifer Allen has been selected as the nominee to fill the vacant Arkansas Press Association board of directors position. Allen was chosen in March by the nominating committee and validated by the board of directors at its annual spring meeting at APA headquarters in Little Rock. This is the second of three required publications of the name of the nominee. Nominating committee members include the immediate past president, one sitting APA Board member and two at-large members. Those roles were filled this year by Byron Tate, Tom White, Britt Talent and Patti Sanders. Allen, along with five other current board

members will appear on the ballot in APA’s annual election to be held in May. This second publication of the nominee name means there is still a one-week window for at-large nominations. A letter of recommendation from three APA newspapers in good standing is required for an at-large nomination. The at-large nomination period ends May 2. Designated voter letters will be mailed this week, and the ballots for the annual APA election will be mailed on May 10. The newly elected APA board members will assume their seats on the board at the conclusion of the annual APA Convention to be held June 26-29 in Hot Springs.

He grew up near McGehee and attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He began drawing while in high school and sketched for his high school yearbook, as well as his college newspaper. Frank Jackson, then editor of the Advance-Monticellonian, asked him to draw cartoons for the newspaper. Many of those were re-printed by the Arkansas Gazette. Powell worked for The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs and the San Antonio Light before moving to Raleigh in 1975.

He has published four editorial cartoon collections and won national awards for his work. He was a distinguished alumnus of UAM. He is survived by his wife, Jan; a daughter, Devon Powell Penny of Williston, Vermont, and a grandson. Memorials may be made to the City of Raleigh Museum, 220 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, N.C., or the Southern Historical Archives, UNC Libraries, Attn: 575830-Powell, P.O. Box 309, Chapel Hill, N.C., 27514. Arkansas Publisher Weekly

Mark Your Calendar 2019 APA Convention June 26-29, Hotel Hot Springs 3

April 25, 2019


ANF seeking golf The Daily Citizen names new sales rep Daily Citizen in Searcy has named AT&T Yellow Pages, Searcy Uniform and hole sponsors for The Tony Forcier as a new advertising sales Mat, XMC, Kraft Food Services and Coffee representative. Forcier has 35 years Beanery/Shaw Services. annual tourney of sales experience, according to the The Annual Arkansas Press Association Golf Tournament, benefiting the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation will kick off this year’s APA annual convention on Wednesday, June 26 at the Hot Springs Country Club. The tournament will begin with a noon lunch followed by a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Trophies will be awarded on Friday, June 28, during a convention luncheon. To raise additional funds for ANF, the foundation is again seeking a sponsor for each golf hole. Sponsorships are $100 per hole. “This is a great way to support ANF’s educational efforts, and some are using it as a way to honor or pay tribute to those who have impacted our industry,” said ANF Board President Frank Fellone. For information about becoming a hole sponsor, email Frank Fellone at fjfellone@ gmail.com. Golf team registration packets will be mailed out in the coming weeks.

Entries sought for NNA contests

The annual National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Editorial and Better Newspaper Advertising contests are now accepting entries. The entry deadline is April 30. Members of NNA in good standing may enter the contest. The contest fee is $20 per entry. For a complete list of rules, information and the online submittal forms, visit https:// www.newspapercontest.com/Contests/ NationalNewspaperAssociation.aspx Arkansas Publisher Weekly

newspaper. He and his wife of 58 years, Rhonda, relocated to White County from Flint, Michigan, in the 1990s to be closer to his wife’s family, which is from Arkansas.

“I love building relationships and helping businesses to be successful,” Forcier said in The Daily Citizen’s announcement of his hiring.

He joins Regina Weeks and Teresa Mason on The Daily Citizen sales team, according to the newspaper. Before joining the newspaper, he owned a local business. He has worked for the

One week left for APA board at-large nominations There is one more week for at-large nominations to the Arkansas Press Association board of directors; the window closes May 2, as per the APA constitution and bylaws. Jennifer Allen, publisher of The Pine Bluff Commercial, has been selected by the nominating committee as the candidate for the vacant position on the APA Board of Directors.

Industry Quote of the Week Our democracy needs a robust press to hold our leaders accountable and cover the important issues facing our communities. The First Amendment belongs to all of us.

- Freepress.net

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APA members may nominate themselves or others to be included on the annual ballot. To make an at-large nomination, letters of recommendation from three APA member newspapers in good standing are required. At-large nomination letters need to be submitted to the APA by the May 2 deadline. Ballots in the annual election will be mailed May 10.

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 the Arkansas Publisher Weekly.

April 25, 2019


Guest Column:

Postal questions and answers By Max Heath One in a series of regular columns sharing some of the questions to the National Newspaper Association’s postal hotline and the responses that other NNA members might find useful. Q: We have a non-profit organization that wants to run advertising for a fundraising raffle. Some old timers here think that maybe raffle ads cannot be run in newspapers that use the postal system. Can you please enlighten us? A: Thanks to a ruling won by NNA from the legal department of USPS, you may run a nonprofit raffle ad (lottery, with prize, consideration and chance) so long as no state statutes prevent it. Tonda Rush, NNA director of public policy and general counsel, adds that, “If the nonprofit is legally recognized under state law, that helps under some state statutes.” Q: Is there any recourse to apply for a refund when mail is not delivered within the service standard? A: I wish there were, but no, unfortunately. USPS’ response legally is that standards are merely goals, and not guarantees. “The Postal Regulatory Commission has authority to sanction the Postal Service for repeated service failures but has declined to ever use that power,” adds Rush. Q. I wanted to ask you about a basic concept that I believe many if not most publishers use to get non-requester papers out into specific ZIP codes and pick up new subscribers through exposure of “free” papers. I recently heard a local publisher mention this in passing, and I wanted to find out more from you ... How I go about implementing this in a compliant way? A: A complete copy of a Periodical cannot be mailed via Standard Mail (now called Marketing Mail, which EDDM is). I understand that some postal workers

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

who might not know better and want to build EDDM business have allowed it. Only if you mailed a section with redone logo, such as second section, with no Periodical permit info included, would this be possible. This so-called “Tomahawk Plan” named for a weekly in the Wisconsin town by that name, was approved by USPS long ago, using the fact that an incomplete copy of a Periodical can be mailed to non-subscribers to provide Total Market Coverage for advertisers, especially preprint customers. But that doesn’t achieve subscription promotion as one might wish via sampling the whole paper. Periodical rules allow for mailing “sample copies” to up to 10 percent of your in-county subscriber copies in a calendar year using the lower in-county prices. More can be mailed, but at Regular (outside-county) prices. At any rate, one cannot violate the 50 percent paid rule over time, which dictates that not more than 50 percent of distributed copies (by all methods) can be free. Q: I heard some scuttlebutt from paper carriers that a change in postal software is making addresses using the # symbol undeliverable. We are actually seeing this, although we’re not for sure if it is showing up anywhere else. Some of the addresses we have with the # symbol that were formerly deliverable are now being returned. A: For years, I thought a # sign was not allowed in correct addresses. Then a few years back, I found an occasional address on ZIP Code Lookup at usps.com that did indeed include # signs. If it is a CASS-certified address to 9-digit ZIP with # sign, it should be good. And it should be deliverable, at least on the local level, where carrier knowledge is high, except for substitute carriers. Brad Hill, president of Interlink Software and a rep on the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, said the Address Management System

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that USPS licenses to software vendors does not return addresses with # or other punctuation in them. “We have always taken that to mean it wasn’t permissible, but apparently it is, albeit heavily discouraged,” he said. According to USPS Pub 28: “The pound sign (#) should not be used as a secondary unit designator if the correct designation, such as APT or STE, is known or is shown in the ZIP+4 file.” Q. I am reaching out with a concern regarding our shopper delivered by the local Post Office. We are hearing from customers they are not getting it as expected, but days later. We drop on Tuesday afternoon, with the expectation they deliver to PO customers Wednesday morning. Customers are receiving it as late as Thursday, which does not help our dated material. Our source tells us they aren’t even trying to get it out next day because it would force their carriers into overtime. What do you suggest as the best way to handle this? A: There is no guarantee for next–day delivery of Marketing Mail (formerly Standard Mail) used by shoppers. However, it is a courtesy often extended to weekly customers like you. I think you should meet with your postmaster and relay your request for next day distribution as being important to your business, which helps ensure your continued mail volume. Don’t use threats, but share your info about overtime being the limitation, and ask why that is different on Wednesday than Thursday. If conflicting Marketing Mail pieces are on Wednesday, ask if the 52-week local mailer (your shopper) could get preference. Max Heath, NNA Postal Committee, is a postal consultant for Landmark Community Newspapers LLC, and NNA members. His email address is maxheath@lcni.com.

April 25, 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 anti-bullying measures at schools, to allow school boards to meet in executive sessions for bullying investigations

Opposes

Died upon Sine Die Adjournment

HB 1015 Rep. Mayberry

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

Supports

Died upon Sine Die Adjournment

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

Opposes

Died upon Sine Die Adjournment

HB 1163 Rep. Capp

Allows municipalities to revise or codify ordinances and make the codification or revisions available at the city clerk’s office rather than publishing notice of the changes

Neutral

Signed by governor as Act 205

HB 1178 Rep. Wardlaw

Adds a Freedom of Information Act exemption in state procurement law for requests for information from certain potential bidders

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 419

HB 1231 Rep. Lowery

Establishes freedom-of-expression rights for student journalists at Arkansaas’s public colleges and universities

Supports

Signed by governor as Act 395

HB 1343 Rep. Hawks

Requires publication of a county’s annual financial report on a county’s website as well as in the newspaper

Neutral

Signed by governor as Act 564

HB 1382 Rep. Sorvillo

Exempts lottery winners’ identities from the Freedom of Information Act

Opposes

Died upon Sine Die Adjournment

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

Neutral

Signed by governor as Act 828

HB 1417 Rep. Gray

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

Neutral

Signed by governor as Act 1012

HB 1432 Rep. Mayberry

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

Supports

Signed by governor as Act 912

HB 1440 Rep. Ferguson

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

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 829

HB 1441 Rep. Bentley

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

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 1032

HB 1499 Rep. Maddox

Changes public notice requirements for statutory foreclosures

Neutral

Died upon Sine Die Adjournment

HB 1500 Rep. Gazaway

Exempts cybersecurity threat assessments from disclosure under FOIA

Neutral

Signed by governor as Act 599

HB 1551 Rep. Eubanks

Creates a FOIA exemption for school districts regarding the arrest or detention of a student

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 647

HB 1556 Rep. House

Creates a FOIA exemption for active, ongoing Alcoholic Beverage Control Division investigations

neutral

Signed by governor as Act 568

HB 1557 Rep. House

Establishes a FOIA exemptions for security plans and assessments of medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation facilities and labs

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 1034

HB 1559 Rep. Jean

Creates a FOIA exemption for division orders or declarations of interest submitted to county assessors regarding mineral rights

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 538

HB 1630 Rep. Lundstrum

Gives active and retired law enforcement officers the ability to keep personal contact information and tax records secret under FOIA

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 963

HB 1702 Rep. Speakes

Permits a school district to publish notice of bond sales in a newspaper published in or with a bona fide circulation in the county or counties where the school district is located

Neutral

Signed by governor as Act 848

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

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April 25, 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 1766 Rep. Collins

Increases the threshold amount for municipal sewer commission requirements for bidding from $20,000 to $35000 (companion bill SB516 in Senate is sponsored by Sen. Bond)

Opposes

Died upon Sine Die Adjournment

HB 1896 Rep. Mickey Gates

Changes public notice requirements for establishment of a municipal improvement district to require notice in a newspaper and on a website

Supports

Signed by governor as Act 1025

HB 1904 Rep. Della Rose

Calls for a study on the adequacy of public notice and public participation procedures for environmental permits

Neutral

Died upon Sine Die Adjournment

HB 1928 Rep. V. Flowers

Amends FOIA to require that all public meetings be audio recorded

Supports

Signed by governor as Act 1028

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.

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 620

SB 76 Sen. Wallace

Allows for governing bodies to create a temporary location for meeting within the same county in the event of an emergency

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 193

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

Opposes

Withdrawn by sponsor

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

Opposes

Withdrawn by sponsor

SB 233 Sen. Hammer

Amends notice requirements for school elections

Neutral

Signed by governor as Act 473

SB 277 Sen. Hill, Rep. Cameron Cooper

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

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 880

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

Neutral

Died upon Sine Die Adjournment

SB 409 Sen. Flippo

Gives cities, counties and schools an option to place bids on websites in addition to a newspaper

Supports

Signed by governor as Act 1075

SB 411 Sen. Stubblefield

Exempts from disclosure any investigations or reports related to whether a municipality is a sanctuary city; prohibits sanctuary city policies

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 1076

SB 441 Sen. Bledsoe

Restricts certain medical marijuana advertising

Neutral

Signed by governor as Act 928

SB 464 Sen. Hester

Exempts from disclosure under FOIA almost all information regarding lethal injection procedures; makes “reckless” release of information a Class D felony

Opposes

Signed by governor as Act 810

SB 521 Sen. Hammer

Expands the definition of public records in the Freedom of Information Act; protects identity of donors to private foundations

Opposes

Withdrawn by sponsor

SB 550 Sen. Stubblefield

Changes notice requirements for liquid livestock waste permits

Opposes

Referred to interim study

SB 560 Sen. Blake Johnson

Creates a Tax Appeals Commission but allows the commission to meet in closed session in some circumstances

Opposes

Referred to interim study

SB 681 Sen. Elliott

Requires charter schools and private schools htat receive state funding to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act

Pending

Died upon Sine Die Adjournment

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

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April 25, 2019

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: April 25, 2019  

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

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: April 25, 2019  

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