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Glenda Arnett honored by APA for 52 years of service

Guest Column:

Traditional network stations don’t usually report their lower viewership By Peter Wagner

Ar k ansas


Publisher Weekly


Vol. 14 | No. 44 | Thursday, October 31, 2019

Serving Press and State Since 1873

Rockwell’s publishing business continues to evolve, grow Five decades of growth and evolution for Corning Publishing Company boils down to three questions Steve Rockwell asks with every business decision:

to employ its commercial printing press in production of the Clay County Courier, which, along with the Pocahontas StarHerald, is owned by the Rockwell family.

“What are we doing?”

With newsprint costs dramatically increasing in early 2018 in the face of a tariff standoff with Canadian paper mills, Rockwell said it was financially better and it made more sense to shift the newspaper from newsprint to commercial printing paper.

“Why are we doing it this way?” “How can we do it better?”

“We were able to print on commercial paper and we could buy the paper cheaper than newsprint,” Rockwell said. Subscribers adapted quickly to the change. The transition to printing the newspaper on a four-color press earned rave reviews.

Steve Rockwell

The venerable Clay County printing business found what it believes is a way to “do it better” early last year when it opted

“We can’t get them to turn back,” he said. “It’s like watching black-and-white TV or color TV. Once you watch color you don’t want to go back. It’s been well-received and it’s been an interesting project.” Corning Publishing operates a Goss

Sunday 2000 high-speed press line, which produces products at a speed of 50,000 signatures per hour. It’s a significant advancement from JV Rockwell’s first printing operation in Corning, founded in 1966. Thelma Rockwell, JV’s widow, continues serving the company as president. Steve Rockwell is vice president. Initially, the business served local customers, making business cards and printing labels on envelopes on a small sheet-fed offset press. Now, Corning Publishing is an 80,000-square-foot facility that prints magazines and other publications in a 14-state region. Steve Rockwell said the company was also an innovator and early adopter of Apple products and Adobe software. As one of the first certified Apple Value Added Resellers in the 1980s, Corning Publishing sold some of the first Macintosh computers to Arkansas Press Association newspapers and even provided Apple computers and training for APA headquarters. For many years, the company was an Adobe Continued on Page 2

One ArkLaMiss conference grant still available for use A $200 grant remains available to an Arkansas Press Association member to help defray registration and hotel costs for next week’s ArkLaMiss Circulation, Marketing and Audience Development Conference in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

The Arkansas Newspaper Foundation provides grants to up to four APA members, with preference going to firsttime conference attendees. Only one grant is awarded per media organization. Three grants are already accounted for, but one grant is still available. To apply for the

grant, or for more information, email APA’s Terri Cobb at terri@arkansaspress.org or call (501) 374-1500. The conference will be held at the Ameristar Hotel and Casino on Thursday, Nov. 7, and Friday, Nov. 8. The annual event helps newspaper publishers and circulation and marketing professionals learn ways to grow readership and revenue at their newspapers. Gwen Vargo, director of reader revenue for the American Press Institute, is the

featured speaker for the conference. Vargo will give two presentations, one on how to understand readers and another offering ideas for how to get customers to subscribe to newspapers. Dennis Dunn, vice president of operations for the Anniston Star in Anniston, Alabama, will moderate the popular Hot Ideas Exchange, an annual event at the conference. To reserve a hotel room, call Ameristar at (601) 638-1000. To register for the conference, visit arklamissconference. wordpress.com.

First contest judges to earn rewards The Arkansas Press Association is seeking volunteer judges for the North Carolina Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest. Judges from North Carolina judged Arkansas’s entries earlier this year and the judging is part of a reciprocal agreement between the APA and the North Carolina association. The APA is seeking judges from the newspaper writing and editing, photography, design and advertising fields. Both members and associate members are asked to volunteer. Judging will take place in November and is entirely online. To encourage timely judging, the first five judges who complete their assignments will each receive a $25 Amazon gift card. 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.

Rockwell’s publishing business continues to evolve, grow Continued from Page 1

reseller. Corning Publishing developed software that allowed news organizations to download and capture information from the Associated Press and UPI wire services (with Macintosh computers). As his company has evolved as a vendor and printer, Rockwell said they are tending to a real need in the market as newspapers go through a similar evolution in efforts to remain financially stable. “There’s a migration out there toward niche market products,” he said. “That’s where things are going, to make up for the lack of ROP advertising.” He added: “I think small newspapers have to think in creative ways and apply a lot of creativity and critical thinking to what they’re doing.” Rockwell said newspapers must find a way to move past existing challenges since the medium is essential to the American democracy. He’s a keen observer of government and current events, having been an adjunct professor in American government at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

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“The value of professional journalism and a free press has never been more important,” he said. “We’re faced with a lot of challenges in how we produce and deliver newspapers. That’s going to evolve over time and the delivery vehicle may change, but the value there is going to be fact-based reporting and telling the stories of our communities in a professional way.” Rockwell is a graduate of Corning High School and attended college for two years before going to work full time for the family business in 1975. In 2006, he returned to earn his degree and later obtained a master’s degree in political science. He and his wife, Dana, have two daughters and six grandchildren.

Wright named editor and general manager of Helena World The Helena World has named Rick Wright as its editor and general manager, the owners and copublishers of the Phillips County newspaper have announced.

Texas, and a sports writer for the Dallas Morning News. He has received multiple journalism awards, and he is also a bull rider. He was named the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rookie of the Year and is a two-time qualifier for the National Finals Rodeo.

Wright has more than four decades of experience in community journalism, and he spent 18 months at the World from 2017 to earlier this year.

“The Helena World wanted a home run hire and we got one,” said Chuck Davis, co-publisher of the newspaper. “Rick brings wisdom and talent to the position and offers immediate credibility to our publication.”

“My wife Mitzi and I are very excited about returning to Helena-West Helena and surrounding communities,” Wright said in a news release announcing his hiring. “This feels like we’re coming home.”

After decades of corporate ownership, the World was recently acquired by Helena residents Davis and Andrew Bagley. They have returned the newspaper to weekly publication.

Wright has been managing editor of newspapers in Mena, Waldron, Dardanelle and Globe, Arizona. He’s been sports editor at a newspaper in Mesquite,

“I look forward to living the rest of my life in Phillips County and being involved in and a part of everything that happens here,” Wright said.

Rick Wright

Let’s Get Social

He cited two examples of how the Courier has helped affect change in Corning, from improving the town’s water quality to emphasizing the importance to economic development of a quality utility infrastructure.


October 31, 2019



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Malvern Daily Record celebrates 103 years of business The Malvern Daily Record, launched October 7, 1916, celebrated its 103rd anniversary with a picnic on Friday, October 4, at the newspaper’s offices.

Terry Bracy (standing at right) visits with guests at the Malvern Daily Record’s 103rd Anniversary Celebration.

Malvern Daily Record Publisher Kelly Freudensprung (left) visits with Helen Cobler and Louise White.

Glenda Arnett honored by APA for 52 years of service A large crowd of friends and family gathered for a reception at the Cottagemall & Cafe in Brinkley on Sept. 6 to honor Glenda Arnett of the Grand Prairie Herald. Arkansas Press Association staff traveled to present Arnett with a Golden 50 Service Award, commemorating her 52 years of service to the newspaper industry, as she had been unable to attend the Honors Banquet at the APA Convention. Hayden Taylor, owner and publisher of the Herald, said that Arnett began working more than 30 years before he was born, pointing out her seemingly endless supply of energy and her admirable commitment and ceaseless work ethic.

making sure everyone knows she has no such plans, and intends to work as long as she is needed. Managing Editor Beth

She has worked at the paper in almost every capacity, from photographer to reporter to clerk. She has called correspondents across the county to gather the latest news and activities, and has said that getting to call “the locals” to get the latest news is one of the highlights of her stable and successful career.

Back row, left to right: APA staff Elizabeth Hubbard, Terri Cobb, Aaron Sadler, Bridget Clay, Rebecca McGraw, Neil McConnell. Front row, left to right: Glenda Arnett, Publisher Hayden Taylor, APA Executive Director Ashley Wimberley

The event also marked Arnett’s 70th birthday, an age at which many have already retired. Arnett quickly corrected anyone wishing her a happy retirement,

Taylor commented, “Considering how highly she is valued at our newspaper, we need to start thinking about a Golden 100 award presentation.”

Industry Quote of the Week


Fall Back

“Great journalism will always attract readers. The words, pictures and graphics that are the stuff of journalism have to be brilliantly packaged; they must feed the mind and move the heart.”

Daylight savings ends on Saturday, November 2

- Rupert Murdoch Arkansas Publisher Weekly

Arnett began working at the then-Clifton Family-owned Brinkley Argus at the age of 17 as a linotype operator. Her next employers were Katie and Thomas Jacques, who owned the Brinkley Argus and the Monroe County Sun in Clarendon, which later merged into the Central Delta Argus-Sun. In January 2017, new owner Hayden Taylor relaunched the paper as the Monroe County Herald, and insisted that Arnett remain on staff, calling her “the newspaper’s most valuable asset”.


October 31, 2019

News Media Alliance airs concern over Facebook news tabs Facebook launched a news section on the extremely popular social media site last week, featuring content chosen by journalists from newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and USA Today. The news tab will also include articles from BuzzFeed and traditional broadcast news sources.

Though the News Media Alliance said it was “encouraged” by Facebook’s move to pay for and host journalistic content, News Media Alliance CEO David Chavern said the company could do more.

“We are encouraged by the creation of the Facebook News Tab and that Facebook is prioritizing – and paying for – quality journalism,” Chavern said in a statement. “However, participation so far is limited, and Facebook is only paying a few news publishers included in the News Tab. We are concerned that anything less than a fully comprehensive solution could put some publishers that are already struggling at a distinct disadvantage. So,

while it’s a good start, currently it is far from a comprehensive solution. We need this to be for the whole news ecosystem, not a piecemeal solution. We look forward to seeing how the News Tab works in practice to elevate news from reputable publications. We also hope that Google will follow suit and work to create a more comprehensive solution for news on its platform — instead of actively fighting news publishers around the world.”

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

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


October 31, 2019

Guest Column: Traditional network stations don’t usually report their lower viewership By Peter Wagner I’m amazed at how the traditional, overthe-air, television networks consistently report that “newspapers are dead.” Their anchors report that story time and again, but never report their own losses in viewership. The most recent example took place on the October 6, 2019, broadcast of CBS News Sunday Morning hosted by Jane Pauley. I usually enjoy the Sunday morning’s excellent reporting and off-the-wall feature stories. But I resent the network’s obsession with condemning the future of the printed newspaper. The specific comment on October 6 was part of a piece about a new HBO production honoring the importance of Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill in glory days of New York journalism. They were “deadline artists,” the cross-network promotion story stated, “in a time when newspapers were still king.” But the negative comments didn’t end there. In an attempt to hammer their point, the segment was introduced by Jane Pauley saying the “Newseum in Washington, DC, would be closing later this year as so many newspapers had over the last decade.

a comment made by a relative who manages a network TV station in a major metro market. “The total number of households watching the five network, over-the-air stations in his city,” the station manager shared, “did not even total the equal time viewership any one of the stations had ten years ago.” More importantly, TV Guide, which should be a positive spokesperson boosting the television industry, reported in its October 10 issue, that 2019’s fall premiere week attracted a smaller audience than last year, as it has year after year for the last five years. In 2015 the new season introduction week attracted 33.9 million viewers across America. In 2016 that number dropped to 29.9 million and in 2017 to 27.1 million. This fall, only 22 million viewers bothered to turn on their television sets to catch the new season of over-the-air network programing. That’s 13 million viewers, or over one-third less viewers, than five years ago. The networks are suffering a huge decline in their viewership and yet they continue to point a finger at print as being the only victim of one generation’s dependency on social media.

“Over 1,800 newspapers have recently closed, merged or reduced the number of days they’re printed,” Pauley said.

There is a difference in television and print and a major reason so many community newspapers are continuing to do so well.

She didn’t add that Gannett Company, the national newspaper publishing chain which includes USA Today, has been known for providing much of the Newseum’s funding, is entering a merger with GateHouse Media. GateHouse, which is reportedly assuming total management and the Gannett name, is known for running a much tighter financial operation.

That reason is easily summed up in the word local! Locally owned and published community newspapers still have a solid connection with all that is local.

But even more importantly, what Pauley didn’t report, and the network never reports, is that network and cable viewership is also greatly reduced. Especially over-theair network numbers.

Television stations are forced by economics to plant themselves in major markets. Their broadcast news departments have to cover huge geographic areas, sometimes crossing state lines, in their attempt to be all things to all viewers. That hit-andmiss reporting fails to create the loyalty and following desired and needed by small community and even many regional businesses.

An associate recently told me about

Local papers, in contrast, are able to

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


concentrate their coverage of their hometown and nearby rural area. They are both capable and committed to reporting the latest information about the town’s school district, from the city manager’s office and county courthouse, regarding the downtown business district and the local churches. They are stories alive with personality. That includes details from the weekend’s football games, the most recent meeting of the local Kiwanis club, a report of some honor given a local citizen and the upcoming events at the senior center. Time and again I have watched the Main Streets of small towns without a newspaper disappear. Community newspapers, produced by families invested in the town’s future, are that community’s guarantee they will continue to exist and prosper. Large town television stations have enough problems without using their time and energy taking potshots at newspapers. According to recent national reports younger Americans are disconnecting from cable and even their rooftop antenna at an alarming pace. Instead they are circumventing traditional broadcast distribution and turning to the many streaming services now being offered. Streaming services with no local news or consensus building local information. Newspapers have a great future and an important story to tell about their permanence and readership. But to make sure the community knows and understands the facts, the entire staff from publisher to news staff to sales team need to get out on the street and tell it. 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. October 31, 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 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 8:00 AM 8:30 AM

Buffet breakfast Hot Ideas Exchange

9:30 AM 10:00 AM

Break Panel Discussion

11:00 AM

Moderated by Dennis Dunn, Vice President of Operations, Anniston (AL) Star. 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.

Open Mic & Wrap-up

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 31, 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 31, 2019  

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