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Two grants remain for annual ArkLaMiss conference State government reporting competition entries sought

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Publisher Weekly


Vol. 14 | No. 41 | Thursday, October 10, 2019

Serving Press and State Since 1873

Industry takes time to recognize newspaper carriers Today, like every other day before, newspaper subscribers will open their door to find their morning newspaper on the porch or in the driveway. Two generations ago, the newspaper might have been delivered on bicycle by youngsters like Warren Buffett, Martin Luther King Jr., or H. Ross Perot. In fact, Perot’s first job was as a delivery boy for the Arkansas Press Association member Texarkana Gazette.

and importance of good carriers.

“In some newspapers, it’s a 12-year-old kid, in others, it’s a husband and wife delivering a route, but whoever it may be, nothing happens unless that carrier performs his or her task,” said Larry Graham, vice president of circulation at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and circulation director at The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs.


“The most important function of publishing a newspaper is delivering to the subscriber. If that doesn’t happen, everything else that we’ve done – in the newsroom, in advertising, in the printing plant, everything – fails if we do not deliver the newspaper.”

Nowadays, paper boys have made way for dedicated, independent contractors who may count on carrier routes for extra income to send a child to college or invest toward retirement.

As the newspaper industry recognizes International Newspaper Carrier Day on Sunday, Oct. 13, the circulation head for Arkansas’s largest newspaper said we should never underestimate the reliability

Jason Parmenter, a circulation department district manager for the Times Record in Fort Smith, said most of that newspaper’s carriers have day jobs while Continued on Page 2

Fort Smith carrier remembered for dedication to job Debra Stevens – the “ideal carrier” – was right there for them.

Debbie Stevens

When other newspaper carriers in Fort Smith had a question or needed a hand,

Stevens delivered newspapers for the Times Record in Fort Smith for more than 20 years. She was killed in flash flooding in August when her car was swept away by flood waters while she was out on her delivery route. With International Newspaper Carrier Day being observed on Saturday, Stevens’s district manager at the Times Record this week praised Stevens and remembered her for her dedication and commitment to the job. “Debbie was the ideal carrier,” Jason Parmenter said. “She catered to her customers. She would put the paper

anywhere they wanted it, anywhere they requested it to be, and she would go out of her way to do that.” Stevens was remembered in a Times Record article as being committed, loving, kind and gentle. Neal Martin, a Fort Smith city director, attended church with her. The newspaper reported Martin as describing Stevens as: “A model of being a servant, doing what God called you to do, and serving your community and friends.” Stevens and her mother, Nancy Organ, were both preschool teachers at East Side Baptist Church in Fort Smith. Organ passed away in mid-September, just three weeks after her daughter died. A joint Continued on Page 2

Fort Smith Industry takes time to recognize carrier newspaper carriers remembered for dedication to job others are retirees who are trying to make Day advertisements free for use by Continued from Page 1

a few extra bucks.

Continued from Page 1

memorial service was held in Fort Smith on Sept. 21. Parmenter said Stevens delivered about 480 newspapers on her daily route, and, despite the workload, still was willing to help out other contractors if the district managers weren’t available. “Anything that anybody needed, she was there,” Parmenter said. “She directed you to the right person or helped you understand what you needed to do. With any new carriers that would come in, she would always talk to them about how they were liking the paper route and adjusting to the hours. She was just an all-around nice person.”

Parmenter commended carriers for their work ethic. In Fort Smith, the newspaper provides a location for its contractors to put together newspapers in bags or with rubber bands. The center opens at 1:30 a.m. and the day’s editions must be delivered no later than 6:30 a.m. More than 120 million adults read a daily or Sunday newspaper, almost all of which are delivered by carriers, according to the News Media Alliance, a national organization serving the newspaper industry. The News Media Alliance built special International Newspaper Carrier

newspapers at: newsmediaalliance.org/ international-newspaper-carrier-day-ad/

The advertisement is available in PDF or EPS format. It lauds carriers for delivering Americans “the most trusted source of news coverage” to their doorsteps. Graham said it was appropriate to recognize the newspaper carriers who sometimes work in adverse weather conditions just to make sure a newspaper is delivered. “In my mind they are the most important people in the newspaper,” he said. “Not the publisher, not the writer, not me. It’s the carrier.”

mark your calendar March 12 & 13, 2020 APA Advertising Conference Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Petit Jean Mountain

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


October 10, 2019

Judges needed Arkansas Press Women annual for North Carolina contest open for entries newspaper The annual Arkansas Press Women public information, business, education Communications Contest is now seeking and government. APW members work in contest entries. According to APW, Arkansas print, broadcast, and online. The Arkansas Press Association is seeking volunteers to help judge the North Carolina Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest. Newspaper professionals from North Carolina judged Arkansas’s contest earlier this year.

Journalists, photographers, advertising representatives and designers are all encouraged to help judge entries. Judging will take place in November and the process is entirely online. “This is an opportunity for us to return the favor to our counterparts in North Carolina who judged our contest earlier this year, and it’s a great opportunity for us here in Arkansas to take a look at some of the best work from another state,” said Ashley Wimberley, APA executive director. APA members and associate members may volunteer to judge. To sign up, visit www.arkansaspress.org/event/ SignupJudges or contact Terri Cobb at (501) 374-1500 or terri@arkansaspress. org.

mark your calendar APA will be closed on Thursday , Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

communicators can enter a diverse variety of work in the 2020 contest. Eligible entries are for work completed any time during the 2019 calendar year.

First-place winners from Arkansas are eligible to compete in the national contest, with those honorees being recognized during the 2020 National Federation of Press Women conference held in Little Rock in June. This marks the first time in three decades that Arkansas has hosted the national conference. For rules, categories and to submit entries, visit https://nfpwcontest.secure-platform. com/a/organizations/AR/home Founded in 1949 and open to both men and women, APW is an association of professional communicators in journalism,

Two grants remain for annual ArkLaMiss conference Arkansas Press Association members attending the annual ArkLaMiss Circulation, Marketing and Audience Development Conference should register now for the conference scheduled for Nov. 7-8 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The annual conference is intended to aid newspapers and their leadership teams in growing readership and in revenue.


ArkLaMiss conference is Gwen Vargo, director of reader revenue for the American Press Institute. Vargo will present in two sessions about how to understand types of readers and how to encourage them to subscribe. The event includes a roundtable for newspaper publishers and the alwayspopular Hot Ideas Exchange moderated by Dennis Dunn, vice president of operations for the Anniston Star in Anniston, Alabama.


The Arkansas Newspaper Foundation offers $200 grants to four APA members to assist in defraying registration and hotel costs. Two of those grants have already been awarded and two remain. Only one grant per media company is awarded and preference goes to first-time attendees. To apply for a grant or register for the conference, visit arkansaspress. org/2019Arklamiss The featured speaker for this year’s

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

APW members pay $20 for their first entry and $15 for each additional entry. The cost for nonmembers is $30 for the first entry and $20 for each additional entry. To avoid a late fee, all entries must be submitted by Jan. 28, 2020.

The conference is at the Ameristar Hotel and Casino in Vicksburg. To reserve a room at the ArkLaMiss’s special $74 room rate, call (601) 6381000 and mention code “SPAPER9.” The deadline to make a room reservation at the conference rate is Oct. 24. October 10, 2019


We know the landscape

GROWING AMBITION Each of our clients has access to market analysts specializing in a range of global issues. Our clients have the on-farm experience, we have the deep-sector knowledge to help the industry navigate the global marketplace. Knowledge stems from 85 RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness analysts worldwide who monitor and make sense of trends, events and developments that impact every food and agribusiness sector. For access to our agriculture and financial experts, please contact our Public Relations Director. Heather Stettner (308) 385-7968 Heather.Stettner@RaboAg.com

Access to Financing | Knowledge | Networks

Industry Quote of the Week “It was while making newspaper deliveries, trying to miss the bushes and hit the porch, that I first learned the importance of accuracy in journalism.”

- Charles Osgood Let’s Get Social Follow us on Facebook & Twitter



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. Arkansas Publisher Weekly

State government reporting competition entries sought The Collier Prize for State Government Accountability is now accepting entries for its $25,000 prize, one of the largest journalism prizes in the nation. The prize, established last April, recognizes the best reporting on state government accountability in any medium and on any platform. Entries will be judged on “how well they reflect excellence in accountability coverage of state government, with special attention paid to overcoming particular challenges or difficulties in reporting or publishing and any significant impact from the reporting.” The prize presented by the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications will be awarded starting next year at the annual White House

Correspondents’ Association dinner. The university and the correspondents’ association are working together to promote, administer and present the award. The award is funded by Nathan Collier, founder and chairman of The Collier Companies headquartered in Gainesville, Florida. Collier is a descendant of Peter Fenelon Collier, who in 1888 founded Collier’s, a weekly magazine focused on investigative journalism. every day.” For more information about the prize and how to enter, go to https://www.jou.ufl.edu/ collierprize or contact Randy Bennett at 352-273-1223, rbennett@jou.ufl.edu.

Program launches to aid potential newspaper buyers West Virginia University along with West Virginia Press Association have launched NewStart, a local news ownership initiative designed to recruit, train and support future newspaper owners and publishers in the United States.

The NewStart fellowship program will provide an ownership transition plan, matching buyers with publications seeking to sell. The prospective buyers will gain extensive training on how to manage, operate and grow media properties.

More than 90 percent of newspapers have a circulation of 50,000 or less, many of those family-owned, and they are economically viable because of extensive local coverage and commitment to their communities. Many owners of such outlets are currently seeking ways to leave the business and sell to new owners who will continue that type of community commitment.

The program will seek to build upon the long-established relationship between local residents and their hometown newspapers.

NewStart seeks to assist anyone that is purchasing a newspaper, whether it be a college student, journalists who want to operate their own publications, journalists who have been laid off and want to be their own bosses or entrepreneurs who recognize the importance of community journalism.

region of the United States participating in the program.


The program includes a one-year fellowship beginning in July 2020. To apply for a fellowship, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and should intend to purchase and operate a publication in a

Applications will be available soon, and interested parties are encouraged to follow @WVUNewStart on Twitter for updates. Applications must be submitted by Jan. 1, 2020. October 10, 2019

Guest Column:

Editor, advocate, politician and trail blazer By Tom Dillard Charlotte Tillar Schexnayder is one of my favorite people. Still mentally alert at 96, Charlotte was recently inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame. Along with her late husband, Melvin, Charlotte was editor and publisher of the Dumas Clarion, one of the finest weekly newspapers in Arkansas. I first heard of the Schexnayders and their feisty little paper when I was in high school in the 1960s. Frequently the Arkansas Gazette reprinted an editorial from the Clarion in its Sunday editorial pages--and though I was a kid at the time, I thought the clearly but forcefully written editorials were superb. I was awed by the editorials and the female editor with the unusual name who wrote them. I am still in awe of Charlotte Schexnayder.

Charlotte was born on Christmas day in 1923, the daughter of Jewell and Bertha Terry Tillar. Her paternal grandparents, Dr. Stephen O. Tillar and Fannie Harrell Tillar, were founders of the town of Tillar.

Dr. Tillar, who had served in the Confederate artillery during the Civil War, relocated his family from Drew County to Desha County when the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad laid tracks through the county in the early 1870s. Tillar built a large plantation, and a town named for him grew up near the farm.

Charlotte’s maternal ancestors included Edwin Bancroft, a Massachusetts native who was an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, Bancroft and his wife moved from Virginia to DeValls Bluff, in Prairie County, where he established a liberal Republican newspaper, the White River Journal. “Thus I always felt,” Charlotte wrote in her autobiography, “I had ink in the bloodlines.” However, she stressed, “I did not follow his example of staunch Republicanism.” Charlotte recalled in her autobiography, Salty Old Editor: An Adventure in Ink (Butler Books, 2012), that her early years were happy ones. “Tillar (population 267) offered an extended family,” she remembered. One of her clear childhood memories pertained to the Tillar telephone exchange: “We had wall-mounted phones and our number was 18. I could go to the phone and say, ‘Mrs. Hayes, will you get me Miss Caroline’s house?’ Her answer might be, ‘Honey, she’s out in her garden Arkansas Publisher Weekly

right now,’ or ‘She’s not at home. I heard her say she was going to McGehee.’”

The arrival of the Great Depression when Charlotte was a child brought great challenges to the Tillar family. In 1931, Charlotte’s father died of pneumonia, her grandfather died, and the family plantation was lost to creditors. Her mother provided for the family by teaching English in the public schools, serving as the school librarian, and offering music lessons. Charlotte discovered journalism when her seventh-grade English teacher recommended that she do a newspaper project. “I obtained a sheet of white butcher paper large enough to make a tabloid-size four-page paper. Using a daily newspaper as a pattern, I ruled off the columns, and writing longhand focused on local stories.” Years later Charlotte recalled: “In that project, I was forever marked.”

Following high school graduation, Charlotte attended Arkansas A&M College for two years before transferring to Louisiana State University to study journalism. Charlotte graduated from LSU in 1944, and two years later she married Melvin J. Schexnayder, who had also studied at LSU before joining the Army. “I had previously wondered how to pronounce Schexnayder, but I was to pronounce and spell it for others for my lifetime!”

For a while the newlyweds worked at the McGehee Semi-Weekly Times, but in March 1954, with the help of a few investors Charlotte and Melvin purchased the Dumas Clarion. From the start, Charlotte was in charge of the editorial page. Her editorials could be hard-hitting, such as when she condemned Gov. Orval Faubus for instigating the 1957 integration crisis.

of the National Federation of Press Women. Nineteen years after Melvin’s service as president of the Arkansas Press Association, Charlotte became the first female president of the group in 1981. She became the first female president of the National Newspaper Association in 1991, having previously served as its treasurer. All of these responsibilities resulted in an incredibly busy schedule. In one week during her tenure as president of the National Federation of Press Women, Charlotte traveled 7,000 miles.

Having grown up in a family of politically active Democrats, it was only natural that Charlotte would be interested in politics. Gov. Dale Bumpers appointed her to the Commission on the Status of Women, and Gov. David Pryor named her to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, believed to be the first woman to serve in that post. In 1984 Charlotte ran unopposed for the State House of Representatives. During her seven terms in the Legislature, she was a strong voice for reform. She also took care of her district. During the 1989 legislative session Charlotte fought toe to toe against a powerful local state senator to defeat a plan to dump garbage from eastern cities into a Desha County landfill. A strong supporter of education, Charlotte was also a reliable advocate for public libraries. Perhaps she most deserves recognition for her efforts to establish a state ethics commission.

Both of the Schexnayders were highenergy, active people. In addition to parenting three children, the couple was involved in many professional journalism and newspaper organizations. Melvin was elected president of the Arkansas Press Association in 1962.

It was a sad day in April 1998 when the Schexnayders sold the Clarion. In her autobiography, Charlotte wrote that she wept for weeks after selling the paper. However, in looking back over her 52 years as editor of the Clarion, the then 75-yearold summarized what kept her going all those years: “Offering our community a vision; stimulating public thought; listening to those with little hope and the mighty with agendas; question why people of good will can’t change age-old hatreds; offer consolation when needed; and find fun and challenge in every day.”

Four years later she was elected president

Tom Dillard is a historian and retired archivist living near Glen Rose in rural Hot Spring County. Email him at Arktopia.td@ gmail.com. This column first appeared in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and is reprinted with permission.

Charlotte became president of the Arkansas Press Women in 1955. She was the first woman elected to membership in the Little Rock chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, becoming chapter president in 1973. 6

October 10, 2019

ArkLaMiss CIRCULATION & MARKETING CONFERENCE Circulation & Audience Growth

ArkLaMiss Circulation & Marketing Conference

2019 Conference Agenda Nov. 7-8, 2019 | Vicksburg, Mississippi

ArkLaMiss Circulation & Marketing Conference

ArkLaMiss CIRCULATION & MARKETING CONFERENCE Circulation & Audience Growth

2019 Conference Agenda Thursday, November 7, 2019 8:30 AM 9:00 AM

Registration opens Publishers Roundtable Discussions Tips on newspaper management, revenue, expense controls, marketing & more

NOON 1:00 PM 1:15 PM

Lunch available in Heritage Buffet Welcome & opening remarks General Session: How to understand reader types and drive each type to subscribe

2:30 PM 3:00 PM

Break with Schermerhorn Bros. Co. General Session cont’d.: How to understand reader types and drive each type to subscribe

4:30 PM 5:30 PM 6:30 PM

Presented by Gwen Vargo, Director of Reader Revenue, American Press Institute The path from a casual reader to a paying subscriber isn’t a short one, but by understanding how audiences get from one place to another, you can begin to devise strategies to get more readers to complete that journey.

Presented by Gwen Vargo, Director of Reader Revenue, American Press Institute

Break for hotel check-ins Hospitality Hour with vendors Dinner on your own

Friday, November 8, 2019 8:00 AM 8:30 AM

Buffet breakfast Hot Ideas Exchange

9:30 AM 10:00 AM

Break Panel Discussion

11:00 AM

Open Mic & Wrap-up

Share your best ideas for success on revenue generation, expense controls, promotions marketing & more.

Hear cutting edge advice from marketing circulation & audience development directors from newpapers in Arkansas & Mississippi.

ArkLaMiss Circulation & Marketing Conference

ArkLaMiss CIRCULATION & MARKETING CONFERENCE Circulation & Audience Growth

Guest Speakers Gwen Vargo Gwen Vargo is Director of Reader Revenue for American Press Institute (API), where she works to support and accelerate the growth of subscriptions and user revenue at U.S. news organizations. She works directly with API’s partner news organizations to understand the path audiences take to subscription; gathers and spreads best practices; leads research efforts; and helps API’s partners develop innovative approaches to generating subscriptions through understanding audience data, marketing, communication, and content. Gwen specializes in helping media companies develop new models for user revenue, drawing on lessons she has learned over more than 25 years in audience development and marketing. Prior to API, she was at The Chronicle of Higher Education where she led cross functional team that included marketing, sales, circulation and market research and worked to develop sustainable revenue models for an array of digital products, including webinars, customized data, and events. While at Atlantic Media Company, Gwen oversaw marketing, sales, and client services for National Journal Group, and played a key leadership role in the strategic relaunch of the National Journal Group’s products and website. Previously, she managed marketing and operations efforts at organizations such as Euromoney Institutional Investor, PRIMEDIA, and American Lawyer Media.

Dennis Dunn Dennis Dunn is vice president of operations at the Anniston (AL) Star. He has been at The Star since 1997. He is responsible for printing, packaging and circulation for the Star, the Talladega Daily Home, the Cleburne News, the St. Clair Times and the the News Journal. He is a past president of the Southern Circulation Managers Association (2005). He began his career in 1979 at the Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer before moving to Anniston. Dennis has been involved in the Anniston Lions Clubs, the Anniston Runners Club, The Boys and Girls Clubs and the Opportunity Center. He is a graduate of Auburn University (1978). He is married to Debra and they have two daughters and three grandchildren.




Circulation & Marketing Conference

Circulation & Audience Growth


Newspaper/Company Name: Street Address: City, State, Zip: Phone:


Name: Check all that apply:

Email: [ ] Conference ($109)

[ ] Newspaper Management Roundtable (No Charge)

Name: Check all that apply:

Email: [ ] Conference ($109)

[ ] Newspaper Management Roundtable (No Charge)

Name: Check all that apply:

Email: [ ] Conference ($109)

[ ] Newspaper Management Roundtable (No Charge)

Sponsorship: $____________ Event: ___________________________________________ Total Registrants: __________ X $109 = $____________ Total Amount Due: $____________ Exhibit During the Conference?






Card #__________________________________________ Expiration Date ___________ VCN#___________ Signature ______________________________________

Deadline to Register: November 1, 2019 Return Form and Payment to: ArkLaMiss/APA, 411 S. Victory, Little Rock, AR 72201 or fax to (501) 374-7509 Questions? Call Terri Cobb at (501) 374-1500, 1-800-569-8762 or email to terri@arkansaspress.org

Ameristar Casion & Hotel, Vicksburg MS Call 601-638-1000 and Reference “SPAPER9” | Room Rate $74 Deadline: October 24, 2019

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: October 10, 2019  

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

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: October 10, 2019  

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