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The Official Publication of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association

December 2009

Happy Holidays


What’s Inside The Duncan Report .................................................... Page 2 QCNA Happenings .................................................... Page 3 Industry Highlights .................................................... Page 4 Marnie Owston - Advertising Tidbits ........................ Page 5 Links of Interest - BNC Info ...................................... Page 6 Tina Ongkeko - Canada Periodical Fund Update ...... Page 7

Kevin Slimp - Is Apple ready to change ............................................. Page 8 Kevin Slimp - Answers to PDF Questions........................................... Page 9 Peter Zollman - One weekly paper’s success ...................................... Page 10 Gary Sosniecki - Newspapers Dying?Not in most small towns ......... Page 11 John Foust - Ten Ways to Mess Up A Sales Presentation .................... Page 12 Ed Henninger - Make your publisher squirm ...................................... Page 13

QCNA Connector

The Duncan Report

by Greg Duncan Executive Director


December 2009


2010 - A Year To Rejuvenate!

companies, the key employees that via a conference call with publishers soon. s QCNA’s executive director I am they’ve retained in this recession have Watch your inboxes for this meeting alert. privileged to gain a broad view of not attended an industry conference We are pleased to announce that the our industry from a unique perspective. in years – or haven’t been exposed to QCNA Better Newspapers Competition In my travels, I often wish that more enough ideas and people to make a will be moving to an electronic and publishers and newspaper employees breakthrough difference back home. online submission and judging format for could attend some of the meetings and QCNA intends to provide you with 2011with SmallTownPapersr. Members events where I have learned much, while many such “rejuvenation” opportunities will be provided with an online preview educating whomever will listen about in 2010, whether by presenting online of the system well prior to the December the challenges faced by our community sessions that are often linked at the 2010 call for entries and staff will be newspapers. Through no fault of your QCNA website QCNA.ORG or by ready to assist along the way as always. own, most of you are far too busy in email alert, and by links through The Also, I have previewed a model the day-to-day processes of putting out Connector. Of course, we will be through Access Copyright (iCopyright) the newspaper to avail yourselves of providing you with quality educational to ensure that members protect their the many learning opportunities being sessions face to face as well. While valuable content online. iCopyright offered, or to attend events that can lead will be presented to to new thinking and the QCNA board of the sharing of ideas I was struck by comments on a recent blog by directors early next year about our industry. Executive Director, Earl J. Wilkinson, of the for consideration as a Fortunately, much International Newsmedia Marketing Association benefit to members. can be learned and Importantly on the 2010 innovative ideas (INMA) who stated: “One can’t innovate from agenda is the mobilization can be gained by a cave, though a few publishers are trying to of members to strongly attending online prove me wrong.” address the provincial education sessions government about a lack and by reviewing of provincial advertising newspaper industry the annual general meeting location in our newspapers. While your association sites regularly. Doing this from the and program is not yet confirmed, has made the case on numerous comfort of your office or home can lead we look forward to seeing you at our occasions, a coordinated approach to our to inspiration that just may transform yearly get-together for training sessions government relation’s strategy will see some of the things you do. Or, to some, and the newspaper awards gala this QCNA members actively participating much needed rejuvenation perhaps. spring. I can predict that sessions will in meetings with government leaders. In I was struck by comments on a continue to include a strong focus on addition, we will request the assistance of recent blog by Executive Director, online and digital strategies. Members our communities to support our efforts. Earl J. Wilkinson of the International have indicated that they need support It is my hope that this combined effort Newsmedia Marketing Association will serve to build stronger relationships (INMA) who stated: “One can’t innovate in establishing web ad pricing models between member newspapers and their from a cave, though a few publishers are as just one example. Early in the New Year we will be contacting publishers communities, while effectively changing trying to prove me wrong”. He went on about important files such as the Canada for the better what often appears to be our to mention a quote by Christie Hefner Periodical Fund (previously PAP biggest obstacle to date. As you can see, (former CEO of Playboy Enterprises) Publications Assistance Program). You 2010 promises to be busy and productive when she recently told an Inland Press will note an update from CCNA about already. Association convention audience the Canadian Periodical Fund later on in I wish you and your families a very that newspapers must decide whether this newsletter (page 7). QCNA has met happy holiday, and a prosperous New they are in the “railroad business” or with program directors recently and will Year. May the lineage continue to grow the “transportation business.” Earl deliver a summary and recommendations throughout your clan and in your pages. concludes that for many newspaper

QCNA Connector

December 2009


QCNA happenings The Eastern Door’s Tracey Deer Wins Two Gemini Awards Tracey Deer, co-publisher of The Eastern Door, received the prestigious Canada Award for her work on “Club Native” at the 24th Annual Gemini Awards held recently in Toronto. In addition to this award, “Club Native” won the award for Best Writing in a Documentary Program or Series for writer/director Tracey Deer. The Canada Award honors excellence in mainstream television programming which best reflects the racial and cultural diversity of Canada by fostering greater awareness among the Canadian public of the multicultural and multiracial nature of the country as well as promoting opportunities for ethnic and visible minority professionals within the broadcasting industry. “Club Native,” produced by Rezolution Pictures and co-produced by the NFB, is an affecting documentary that looks deeply into the history and present-day reality of Aboriginal identity. Through moving stories from a range of characters from her Kahnawake Reserve, Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer explores the divisive legacy of more than 100 years of discriminatory government policy and the ongoing challenges of belonging. “Club Native” has also racked up six other awards. Congratulations, Tracey.

The Westmount Examiner’s Larsen Book on Bestseller List Here’s a followup to the story that ran in the September 2009 issue of the Connector on Westmount Examiner’s editor, Wayne Larsen announcing the publication of his third book, “A. Y. Jackson: The Life of a Landscape Painter.” Larsen’s book made it on the Globe and

Mail’s October bestseller list. This weekly bestseller list is compiled by The Globe and Mail using sales figures provided by BookNet Canada’s national sales tracking service, BNC SalesData, and from bookstores across Canada. Congratulations, Wayne.

George Guzmas, have added a fifth newspaper to their roster with the recent launch of Mon Laval. The two Georges presently publish The Laval News, Park Extension News, The North Shore News and The Greek Canadian News.

The Nation’s Editor-In-Chief Got Married

Veteran West Quebec Post Writer Ernie Mahoney’s Memory Honored

Will Nicholls, editor-in-chief of The Nation, testified his love for another Nation colleague, journalist, Amy German. They married in September in Maine surrounded by many friends, family and co-workers. Congratulations, Will and Amy. And this news just in from Will Nicholls “All I want for Christmas, is my two front teeth, my two front teeth, my two front teeth” (la, la, la!) – His Christmas wish was granted – Congratulations on your “new, improved,” two front teeth, Will!

The Gleaner Has New General Manager & Reporter The Gleaner recently announced the appointment of Sheri Graham as its new General Manager. Congratulations, Sheri. And in early November Chantal Hortop joined The Gleaner team as its reporter. Chantal is a graduate of Concordia University’s journalism program. Welcome, Chantal.

The Chronicle West Island’s Mireille Kulisz Celebrates 30 Years of Service Mireille Kulisz, sales representative at The Chronicle West Island, recently celebrated 30 years of service at The Chronicle this last October. Congratulations to such longstanding dedication to the newspaper industry, Mireille.

Laval News Publishers Launch Fifth Newspaper Publishers, George Bakoyannis and

Photo: Lily Ryan

A plaque honouring the memory of the West Quebec Post’s Wakefield editor and writer, Ernie Mahoney, was installed on a bench outside Mr Mahoney’s former office in Wakefield. The bench faces Wakefield Bay on the Gatineau River, a view Ernie Mahoney admired daily. A large group of family, friends and colleagues gathered November 12 as the plaque was inaugurated by Fred Ryan, publisher of the Post. Newly elected Wakefield councillor Louis Rompré offered kind words on behalf of the La Pêche council. Pictured in the photo are Deborah McLaughlin, councillor Yves Doyon, Ernie’s daughterin-law, son Rob and granddaughter, Norma Geggie, John and Collette Trent, La Pêche councillor Louis Rompré, Pontiac Liberal candidate Cindy Duncan McMillan, Nathalie Coutou, West Quebec Post manager Lynne Lavery and others. Mr Mahoney received the CCNA’s Silver Quill award several years ago, and has had many articles nominated for the QCNA newspaper awards over the years. He was also a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. Mr Mahoney was the editor of the Post when it was still in Buckingham, and helped open the Post’s Wakefield office, which he then took as his own. Mr Mahoney died suddenly this spring of lung complications.

QCNA Connector

December 2009


Industry Highlights Mark Your Calendars CNA/CCNA’s Conference will be held next May 13 and 14, 2010 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto. For updates and more information go to: http://www.

Attend the CNA/CCNA Credit Conference May 19 & 20, 2010 The economy this past year has taken a toll on many newspapers, and credit departments are struggling to collect accounts. If your paper is facing difficulties in that area, consider attending the CNA/CCNA 2010 Credit Conference being held May 19 & 20, 2010 at the Novotel Toronto Centre, 45 The Esplanade, Toronto. The conference will be opened by John Hinds, President & CEO, CNA/CCNA. John will give an overview on how newspapers have fought the recession. Topics to be covered will include Dealing with Problem Agencies, Challenges in our Industry, sales department problems with Credit department, changes to the Bankruptcy Insolvency Act, on-line accounts and on-line products available to credit and collection. For more information and updates on this credit conference go to: cna-2010-credit-conference. Or contact Grace Bruce at 416-923-3567 ext 222, or

Kindle Available in Canada … Finally Inc’s popular digital book reader, Kindle, is now available in Canada. More than 90 top newspapers including The Globe and Mail, the National Post, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Le Monde (France), and the Daily Telegraph (UK) are currently available

for download. Most CanWest dailies will be available in the coming months. About 300,000 books, including bestsellers will be made available to Canadian readers. The device weighs less than the average paperback, has a screen that resembles the pages of real books and can download content wirelessly in less than 60 seconds. Amazon recently started offering a Kindle application for the iPhone, allowing users to download books directly to their phones without buying the Kindle itself. The Kindle costs $259 US and is available online through

Community Content Launches New Website CCNA’s Community Content service has revamped its website. The new and improved site (http://www. has more features for newspaper staff whether they’re looking for content to add to a special section or doing research for a story. Improved functionality makes the new site a more useful tool for editorial staff. Content has been categorized to help you find articles related to the topic of your choice and articles can be viewed by date, language, company and/or category. An advanced search option enables you to search by keyword or category. RSS feeds are available in English or French and content can be received in either HTML or text depending on the setting of the individual. For more information about the Community Content website or service, please visit or contact Katrina Santiago at content@ccna. ca.

Bid For Cossette Ad Firm Has Board’s Okay On November 30, Quebec City’s Cossette Inc. said that US equity fund Mill Road Capital LP had raised its offer for all of the advertising company’s shares from $7.87 to $8.10 a share in cash, equaling the

price proposed by rival Cosmos Capital Inc., if Cossette gives it access to strategic information. Rival Cosmos Capital Inc. has since pulled out of its offer completely. The new Mill Road bid has received the Cossette board’s blessing (with CEO Claude Lessard and director Pierre Delagrave abstaining). It would require two-thirds approval of the votes cast at a special shareholders’ meeting set for December 18 in Quebec City or a simple majority of votes cast by shareholders excluding senior management.

Industry Ads Available for Print & Web CNA in partnership with CCNA continues to provide a series of industry print and web ads to member newspapers. Ads can be downloaded at newspapercampaign/. Be sure to insert your newspaper logo in the space provided, where applicable. If you have any questions, please email Suzanne Raitt at

Canada Post Dumps Canvas Bags Citing handling efficiency and protection of the mailing, Canada Post is eliminating canvas bags for Unaddressed Admail in favor of Canada Post supplied reusable containers, brick-piling, Flexipacks (some conditions apply) and certain customersupplied containers. Canvas bags will no longer be available after December 31, 2009, and by January 11, 2010, postmasters will no longer accept mail dropped off in them. For more information, visit http://www.

QCNA Connector

Advertising Tidbits by Marnie Owston Advertising Coordinator, QCNA Reprinted from the Publisher, November 2009 By: W. Andrew Powell IT Manager, CCNA


here are a number of marketing tools and applications worth perusing to help you get the most out of your web property, but few match the capabilities of Google Analytics, especially since the tool is both free and remarkably full-featured. For the uninitiated, Google Analytics ( is a website that allows you to analyze the types of traffic that visits your website, or websites. Web publishers sign up for free accounts and then just have to install code on their sites to start receiving data. Once the tracking code is installed, you will start seeing traffic information the following day. Once you start looking at the information on the site, you can get a lot of details about your visitors in just a few pages. Want to know what pages are the most popular, or how people are finding your site? The software can do that, and it can even provide that data based on a single day, or looking at a number of weeks, months, or as long as you have been using the service. While much of what Google Analytics does require little explanation, there are some features that a lot of companies seem to ignore, despite the information they can provide. One of the more useful tools worth mentioning is the “Goals” tracker, which allows you to set up to four website destinations that you want to track, for a total of 20 different pages. For example, if you wanted to find out how many people visit your website, look at the subscriptions page, and then go through the subscription process, you could accomplish this using goals. Here are the step-by-step instructions: 1) Log into the Google Analytics site and click on the account name for the site you want to manage.

December 2009


Getting the Most Out Of 2) On the next screen, look for the name of the website you’re dealing with (if you have multiple websites) and click on the “Edit” link on the right side of the screen. 3) In the second box on the next screen you will see the word “Goals.” Click on “+ Add goal” to establish the parameters. 4) Give the goal a name, set “Active Goal” to be “On,” and decide what the goal parameters are under “Goal Type.” If you want to know how many people visit certain pages in a specific order choose “URL Destination,” otherwise you can track based on “Time on Site” or “Pages/Visit.” For this example choose “URL Destination.” 5) This is where things can get a little complicated. Under “Match Type” you need to choose how Google Analytics will match visitors to your goals. While I won’t get into the three types of matching, I would recommend that you or your webmaster look into it as you can track nearly any type of results on your site. For this example, choose “Exact Match” and in the “Goal URL” input area put the URL of your first “Goal” page. For example, if the page URL is “ thankyou.html” enter “/thankyou.html.” 6) Lastly, you can give the goal a value, and more importantly, set up a “Goal Funnel” to check whether the visitor went through specific pages to get to this page. Each step can also be marked as required, so that only visitors who follow these exact sequences of pages will be recorded in this Goal. If everything is setup correctly, meaning that you have set up the goals in a logical order, you should see results the following day, or as soon as the first visitors meet this new goal. To view the results go to the normal reports page and look for the “Goals” section on the left sidebar.

Custom Reporting Another versatile feature is the Custom Reporting area within the main Google Analytics page for individual sites. You can create very specialized reports in this area that will allow you to look at visitor data relating to different dimensions and metrics. For example, what kind of traffic is your site seeing during one day of the week in a specific city, language, or region? Other Tools With all of these features, you should be able to do quite a lot with Google Analytics, but there are lots of other tools out there that you should also consider. Google Analytics is nicely complemented by Google’s Webmaster Tools ( which allows webmasters to see how Google is indexing your site, any errors that the system has found, and helps you manage submitted sitemaps and feeds for your sites.

Family Literacy Day 2010 ABC Canada and Family Literacy Day (FLD) are pleased to announce that the 2010 Family Literacy Day will be on January 27, 2010, marking the 12th year of this celebration of reading and learning together as a family. Family Literacy Day is celebrated nationally at literacy-themed events in the weeks leading up to, and on, January 27. Quebec Community Newspapers Association (QCNA) has supported this initiative for several years by making FLD ads available to its member newspapers and by sending out a letter of support to all newspapers, encouraging them to publish the ads in the weeks leading up to this special day. Once again this year the FLD ads from ABC Canada will be available for download from the QCNA web site, in your Ad Transfer folder under Media Resources.

QCNA Connector

December 2009


QCNA’s Better Newspaper Competition


CNA’s Call For Entries for the better newspapers awards competition was emailed to all member publishers and editors in early December. The deadline to get your awards entries back to QCNA is Monday, January 18, 2010. Please be sure to follow the rules of entry carefully. You can also download the Call For Entries with info on all the awards categories and the rules of entry at QCNA’s website: http://

Be sure to nominate a deserving member from your newspaper for the Lindsay Crysler Award and for the Joan Durnin Outstanding Salesperson Award. The nomination forms went out with the Call for Entries in early December and are also available at QCNA’s website. For more info go to: html or call the QCNA office at 514-4536300. Good luck, everyone.


QCNA will be moving to an electronic format for its 2011 better newspaper competition with SmallTownPapersr. It will be much easier and quicker to use for the member newspapers, the judges and the QCNA staff. No more tearsheets! QCNA will keep the members informed and provide a demonstration prior to the 2011 better newspaper awards competition. And we’ll save trees in the process!

LOI - (Links Of Interest) Newspaper Obituaries valued by customers, worthy of investment newspapers-must-evolve-obits-says-jschool-study Who says newspapers can’t be fun?

Palin: I read all the news watch?v=9go38MgZ4w8 Michael Moore: Greed Killed the Newspapers watch?v=F9pYp2M4444

watch?v=bA0WYHGybGM Life after newspapers index.cfm?action=blog_detail&bid=87 Putting up pay walls perilous? index.cfm?action=blog_detail&bid=87 Mike Blinder on small newspapers online sales success watch?v=VHzkzeGhaa0

Canadian Libel Insurance - cnrie The Community Newspapers Reciprocal Insurance Exchange (CNRIE) provides media insurance to: community newspapers, small market dailies, magazines, academic journals and trade publications. CNRIE (also known as the “Reciprocal”) is a not-for-profit entity whose members include publications from across Canada. It is licensed by the regulator of financial institutions within each province or region it operates, adhering to the insurance

statutes within those regions. CNRIE’s office is based in Burlington, Ontario, and is governed by its own Advisory Board that is comprised of publishers and employees from its member publications. Summary of Services • Experienced legal counsel. You gain access to some of the best media lawyers across the country. • Immediate, direct access to legal advice, when you need it to check or “pre-clear” stories or articles before they run. • Affordable rates - CNRIE’s mandate is to make available affordable premiums to Canadian publications. As such, premiums are set to cover the cost of claims and operations. There is no motive for profit. • One-stop coverage for all in-house writers and correspondents for all of your publications, including web sites and vertical publications. • Toll-free telephone advice on related matters such as bans on publication, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, etc.

QCNA Connector

December 2009


Canada Periodical Fund update by Tina Ongkeko Managing Director, Community Media


anadian Community Newspapers Association staff met with Canadian Heritage officials on November 10 to discuss details of the upcoming Canada Periodical Fund. The new fund is set to replace the Publications Assistance Program and Canada Magazine Fund in April 2010. However, with few procedural details confirmed, CCNA staff raised concerns about the timeline, eligibility, application process, and payment schedule. Canadian Heritage officials confirmed that eligibility for funding will remain limited to paid-circulation non-daily newspapers and paid- or non-paid request-circulation magazines. CCNA has stated its position to government on numerous occasions—most recently the October 22 CCNA board lobbying day and the November 10 meeting— that the fund should be expanded to accommodate controlled-circulation newspapers. Citing strong readership of both paid- and controlled-circulation newspapers, CCNA representatives pointed out that Canadians rely heavily on their community newspaper, regardless of business model. Canadian Heritage officials indicated that although the paid-circulation requirement could be reconsidered at a future date, the requirement as at launch time has been set. Canadian Heritage officials also conveyed their concern about the current state of the magazine industry and the impact that even the proposed changes could have on individual titles. Given the tight timeframe, Canadian Heritage is looking to keep the application process simple and to send payments to publishers as soon as possible. CCNA emphasized that a quick turnaround is critical. Once the tie

between the Canada Periodical Fund and Canada Post is severed, publishers will see larger postage bills. Without swift payment from the Canada Periodical Fund, publishers could face serious cash flow difficulties. With that in mind, Canadian Heritage indicated that it is considering a fasttracking strategy for PAP participants that would give pre-approval based on a publication’s most recent PAP application. Additional information would be required to reconfirm eligibility and level of support, but the use of the last application would reduce paperwork and processing time. In addition to the application process, Canadian Heritage officials are examining procedural details such as queues and payment schedules. Scott Shortliffe, director of periodical publishing policy and programs at Canadian Heritage, acknowledged that a gap between submission of the application and receipt of payment is inevitable, but gave his assurance that Canada Periodical Fund staff will do everything they can, especially for small publications, to avoid undue financial hardship. Canadian Heritage is expected to announce further details about the Canada Periodical Fund this month. For more information, or if you have any questions or concerns, please visit or contact John Hinds, CCNA chief executive officer, at 1-877-305-2262 ext. 244 or For more details and updates on the Canada Periodical Fund Transition go to: index-eng.cfm Excerpted from - Industry News Monday, November 16, 2009

CCNA’s 2010 Better Newspapers Competition Launched Entries are now being accepted for the 2010 BNC. With 31 categories to choose from including best national editorial, best news story, best ad design and best spot photo coverage, every community paper gets a chance to enter their best work. Submit your entries by Wednesday, January 13, 2010 earlybird deadline for a chance to win a voucher worth up to $1,500 toward the cost of attending the 2010 national conference in Toronto. The final deadline for entries is Friday, January 22, 2010. For competition rules and forms visit

Be Part of CCNA’s Judging Panel

The Canadian Community Newspapers Association is seeking industry professionals to help judge the 2010 Better Newspapers Competition entries. Volunteer your time and enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of community newspapers in Canada. CCNA members are invited to nominate individuals they feel have related work experience and can provide contestants with fair and perceptive evaluations based on CCNA rules. To download the nomination form, please visit www.betternewspapers. ca. Fax it back to the CCNA office by Friday, December 18 at 416-4821908. For any questions regarding judging and the competition, please contact Magda Mroz at 1-877-3052262 ext. 270 or email awards@

QCNA Connector

December 2009


Is Apple ready to change the way we read newspapers? Kevin Slimp Institute of Newspaper Technology

Jeremy Horwitch, editorin-chief at, thinks it’s a done deal. Brian Lam of says he has sources from major newspapers and book publishers who have told him they’ve been in conversation with Apple about the new device. Daniel Lyons, in the October 15 issue of Newsweek, seems to think the new apparatus might warrant all the speculation, even though it’s yet to be released. Jason O’Grady, editor of PowerPage. org, wrote in July 2008 that Apple was working on an iTablet. He also predicted it would arrive around the end of 2008. And, to keep things in perspective, Stefan Constantinescue of seems to think there never will be an iTablet and

Where is Kevin? Jan 5-7: Sumter, South Carolina Jan 21: Lexington, Kentucky Feb 05: Des Moines, Iowa Feb 10-12: Nashville, Tennessee

Coming up in March & April: Syracuse NY, Saratoga Springs NY, Indiana Tour, Chicago IL, Des Moines IA, Regina SK To contact Kevin directly, email:

all the hype is just that: hype. What is an iTablet, you ask? Beats me. I don’t even know if there really is such a thing. Rumors have been swirling for years that Apple has been at work, secretly working on a tablet-style creation that does it all. Looking for constant access to the Internet, no matter where you are? Check. Want a device for reading newspapers and magazines? Check. Want to watch your favorite TV show while you sit on the park bench? Check. Well, maybe. Even though bloggers and writers are enamored with the idea of this new mechanism, no one outside of Apple seems to know if it really exists. Frankly, I’ve pretty much ignored all the hype. That is, until I read Daniel Lyons column in Newsweek. We’re not talking about some blog out in the stratosphere. We’re talking Newsweek. And if Daniel thinks this might be real, I’m willing to spend a few hours seeing what I can learn for myself. Since I couldn’t find anyone that knows for sure (I did email an old buddy at Apple, but got the response I expected: nothing), I decided to poll some folks who are in the know about this type of thing. After all these years of speaking, writing, teaching and working with software companies, I’ve gotten to know quite a few really smart people. People who know things. Surely at least one of them would have an inside track on the iTablet. What did I learn? Nothing. Everyone seemed to agree

Could a new iTablet from Apple replace printed newspapers and magazines as well as the Kindle and other e-readers? that it’s feasible Apple could be working on such a device. Although one wrote, “If it is real, it will probably be smaller than people expect, heavier, more expensive, or have a battery life of an hour.” And, possibly as a nudge to Apple, all of them volunteered that they would buy such a device as soon as it hit the market. But no one had any inside information. I’d make a lousy crime reporter. In his Newsweek column, Lyons wrote, “Now imagine a larger form factor, with a screen big enough to hold multiple panes of information. It has no lag time and lasts many hours on a battery charge. Here, then, is your morning newspaper, with videos next to stories and the ability to customize the panes to deliver what you want and leave out what you don’t. This device is your TV, your stereo, and probably your telephone too.” I’m sure that many of us are both excited and scared to death about this prospect. What will happen to our newspapers if this is true? Lyons writes, “In 10 years the print newspapers we have today will seem as quaint and primitive


as those old Uncle Miltie shows.” My friend Ken Blum and I have disagreed about the future of printed newspapers for some time. While he expects printed newspapers to disappear from the scene entirely over the next few years, I’ve always felt like the future will include newspapers in print as well as devices like the iTablet that will allow the reader to receive news electronically as easily as picking up the morning paper. If you wonder what this new device might look like, just go to Google and enter “iTablet.” Artists and techies are having a field day guessing what the iTablet might look like, if it exists at all. This brings me to a point I’ve written and spoken about for more than a decade. It’s imperative that newspapers keep abreast of new technology. Whether it’s the computer, the Kindle or some other new gadget, dismissing new technology is never a good idea. And, if the bloggers are right and Steve Jobs announces an iTablet in January, my suggestion would be to get one and figure out how to use it to your advantage. Do I think it’s real? I have no idea. But if it is, I’ll be the first in line to buy one.

QCNA Connector

December 2009


PDF questions ll Kevin’s inbox to the brim this month Kevin Slimp Institute of Newspaper Technology

It seems like I’m receiving more questions than usual this month. Maybe it’s the end of the year rush. Some have been real “head scratchers.” Let me share a few with you: From Shirley in Minnesota Hi Kevin, Just one question. I upgraded to Snow Leopard. I know ... bad decision. I can’t get my computer to communicate with my scanner. It’s a fairly new HP allin-one printer and works great. I reloaded the software with no luck. Any suggestions? Shirley, A lot of printers didn’t work with Snow Leopard when it was released. The problem is that their printer drivers didn’t work with the new operating system. HP has created compatible drivers for more than 60 of their

Where is Kevin? Jan 5-7: Sumter, South Carolina Jan 21: Lexington, Kentucky Feb 05: Des Moines, Iowa Feb 10-12: Nashville, Tennessee

Coming up in March & April: Syracuse NY, Saratoga Springs NY, Indiana Tour, Chicago IL, Des Moines IA, Regina SK To contact Kevin directly, email:

all-in-one printers. Take a look at and see if your printer is on the list. You can also find drivers for printers not on this list at From Rita in New York Dear Kevin, We are still using Freehand, along with QuarkXpress. We know Freehand will not be available when we upgrade to new computers in the near future. We have installed a copy of Adobe Creative Suite which includes InDesign CS3 to see if we can open these files. We are not able to copy and paste or import our Freehand files into InDesign to make changes to them. Is there a way to open these Freehand files when we get our new computers? Rita, Fortunately, Adobe Illustrator can open Freehand files up to version 9. If you’re using a newer version of Freehand, export your files back to version 8 or 9. This should allow you to open and edit your ads and other artwork created in Freehand. From Darren in Tennessee I know we’ve talked about this before, Kevin. I still have problems with ads that have lines through them after they’re converted to PDF. The ads are designed in InDesign. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I use the Distiller or export the files. I still get the lines. Any ideas? Darren, These lines occur when nontransparent objects (usually text) are placed near transparent objects (such as drop shadows) in InDesign. There are a couple of

Those lines in PDF les are totally avoidable. One way to prevent this problem is by using Smart Objects in Photoshop. things you can try to keep these lines from popping up in PDF files. One sure-fire way to prevent this is to: 1) Design the ad in InDesign 2) Select everything in the ad (using Edit>Select All) 3) Copy the selection 4) Create a new document in Photoshop (it will automatically be the same size as whatever you copied) 5) Paste the copied information onto the Photoshop document (Edit>Paste). This creates what is called a “Smart Object” in Photoshop. It will look exactly like what you designed in InDesign, with an “X” through it. Simply double-click on the X and the ad becomes a layer in Photoshop. Now, simply save the file as an EPS file. Once you have the EPS file, you can place it in your InDesign document or convert it to PDF using Acrobat Distiller. This sounds like a lot of work, but it is easy to master once you’ve done it a couple of times. I ofent use this technique when creating more elaborate designs in InDesign. From Chris in Saskatchewan Hi Kevin, After hearing you speak in Regina over the weekend I came back eager try some of the things I learned in your seminar. While working with the Ink Manager in Acrobat 7.0, I found that ev-

ery time I converted spot colors to CMYK, it appeared that it worked. However, when I would Preflight the file, a warning appeared saying spot colors were still present. Any ideas? I really enjoyed your classes. Thanks Chris, Yes, I have an idea. You forgot a step I taught in Regina. After converting the spot colors to process using Ink Manager, save the file as an EPS file. If you need a PDF file, then open your EPS file in Acrobat Distiller and it will be converted. And, yes, the spots will be gone. From Joyce in West Virginia Good Morning Mr. Slimp, I need assistance with some problems we’re having with PDF files. Our biggest issue is with black text being set in process colors. We get these from advertisers and others and I need to convert them back to a true black to go on the press. Can you help me with this? Glad to help, Joyce. There’s a Photoshop fix that has been used with this problem since PDFs were in the early stages. However, a much easier option for you would be to upgrade to Adobe Acrobat Pro 9. This latest version of Acrobat has a wonderful Color Conversion tool that does just what you’ve described, converting text that is on several plates to the black plate only.

QCNA Connector

December 2009


One weekly paper’s success: solid six figures on daily e-mail By Peter M. Zollman


ow’s a 15,000-circulation weekly paper in northern Alabama generating a solid six figures a year in revenue with just two e-mail newsletters? It’s simple. Well, no, it’s not so simple. But Shelby County Newspapers – “Local. Every day.” – has built an e-mail subscription list of 21,000 opt-in local subscribers to its two daily e-mail newsletters, and has turned them into a highly profitable revenue stream that would be the envy of just about every weekly newspaper we can think of, and a lot of dailies as well. The company publishes the Shelby County Reporter, the Alabaster Reporter and the Pelham Reporter. About half the e-mail recipients receive the flagship Reporter’s newsletters. Once a day, the company sends out an e-mail headline newsletter, typically by 6 a.m. And (here’s the great one), it sends out a separate e-mail newsletter at about 11 a.m. called “What’s for lunch?” highlighting specials and providing discount coupons for local merchants. “What’s for lunch?” brings in about half of the e-mail initiative’s incremental revenue, against a sales cost of about 8 percent. The daily headline newsletter brings in slightly less, against similar sales costs. Tim Prince, publisher and president of Shelby County Newspapers Inc. in Columbiana, Ala., said that at

first, a little more than a year ago, the newsletters got off to a slow start. When we first launched this, we did an abysmal job of selling it. We essentially didn’t sell it. Not intentionally; it’s just that we weren’t doing anything with them. “Then I remembered: A person I worked for years ago told me the most important thing at a newspaper is ‘whatever the publisher says is the most important.’ So I made it a priority. And now everyone sells it.” Ads are sold primarily in “consistency packages” – both online and print advertising, typically 13 weeks or more. “An advertiser can be a part of it for as low as $25 a day, which is a pretty inexpensive ride.” The papers’ general sales staff sells the newsletter packages; there’s no separate Internet team or interactive specialist involved. The newsletters have five or six ad positions; the lunchtime e-mail is exclusively advertising, offering coupons, discounts and information like “what’s on the buffet today.” At first, the sales team struggled a bit with the packages, but “they get it now. We’ve got a young, energetic sales staff, very digitally focused. … They didn’t get it when we launched it. Now they get it.” About half of the newsletter advertisers are new accounts, Prince said.

The newspapers use Constant Contact, a terrific, inexpensive, idiot-proof email management software to handle the outbound e-mails. (We used to use Constant Contact at the AIM Group, too; we think it’s extraordinary. And stunningly cheap for the service the company provides.) The software captures all of opt-in e-mails, and manages things like undeliverable e-mails, reports on the number of subscribers and opt-outs, open rates, and related functionality. Cost for Constant Contact is probably less than $200 a month. To build its list, the Reporter promotes the newsletters heavily in-paper, on its site and in ads in places like school journals and other community publications. Even more valuable than the profits, Prince said, is the fact that the 166year-old weekly newspaper is now able to reach its audience and deliver ads all the time. “The revenue side of it is great, but particularly for someone who doesn’t publish every day, the daily e-mail is a great way to give us a platform to deliver a daily news product.” Peter M. Zollman is founder of the AIM Group, which offers publishers “pay-for-performance” consulting that increases revenue. The AIM Group publishes Classified Intelligence Report. To buy its recent report about Craigslist, visit and click on publications. Zollman can be reached at pzollman@, 407-788-2780. Copyright 2009, Peter M. Zollman

QCNA Connector

December 2009


Newspapers Dying? Not in most small towns By Gary Sosniecki


im Waltner was an enthusiastic tour guide as we drove the streets of Freeman, S.D., population 1,317, on a cloudy Tuesday afternoon in late October. Waltner, longtime publisher of the Freeman Courier, one of the best weekly newspapers in his state if not the nation, proudly showed off the new public library next to his office and the new pharmacy across the street. We paused in front of an abandoned garment factory that has gained new life as professional offices. We drove partway around the Wildcat Manufacturing plant as Tim pointed out examples of the screening machinery the company makes. And we saw the beautiful Freeman Public Schools complex, where 375 students, kindergarten through high school, are taught in modern buildings that would make many larger communities jealous. Tim was typical of the small-town publishers I met with during a week visiting more than a dozen community newspapers in “east river” South Dakota, plus one each in Iowa and Nebraska. The largest was the 12,329-circulation Watertown Public Opinion, the only daily on my itinerary. The smallest were weeklies in the 1,000circulation range. The Timber Lake Topic, published by former schoolteachers Jim and Kathy Nelson, serves an isolated town of only 183 households but boasts a far-flung circulation of 1,332. Most publishers were proud of their communities and anxious to talk about the good things happening in them. Several showed off recent improvements to their buildings and equipment. Everyone talked about improving their Web sites or buying new ones, which, as a salesman of Web sites, was the purpose of my trip. Nobody bemoaned the supposed “death” of the newspaper industry, because in smalltown America, most newspapers are doing just fine, thank you. Everywhere I traveled, I asked, “How’s business?” “Not bad,” one publisher said. “OK,” said another. “Status quo,” said a third.

It isn’t that small-town newspapers are recession-proof. Those that relied heavily on real-estate and automotive advertising before the recession are getting by on less of it now. In the smaller towns, those car ads often came from dealers in bigger cities, dealers who cut fringe-market newspapers from their ad budgets as the economy tightened. In one town near the Minnesota border, the publisher of a 1,500-circulation weekly worried about the fate of a family-owned GM dealer on the edge of the town. Yet, even this town of 1,300 still has a Ford dealer downtown. The newspapers in America’s smallest towns – especially those towns too distant to be sucked into the economic woes of larger cities -- don’t suffer as much from the lows of a bad economy and don’t benefit as much from the highs of a good economy. Business generally is steady in good times and bad. In Onida, a 740-population county seat northeast of the state capital of Pierre, The Watchman launched a new Web site the day before my visit. Publisher Curt Olson and sales rep Amanda Fanger told me how all but one online ad position was sold before the launch, an incredible success story. The publishers I met with aren’t immune to thinking about the future of their industry, but it isn’t the first thing on their minds. In South Dakota, the big worry in late October was whether the farmers could get in the wet fields in time to save the soybean crop. (They did.) Other worries are more mundane, like how to cover two football games at the same time, or whether anyone is donating blood when the photographer shows up to take a picture. Yes, newspapers die in small towns when economies shrivel to nothing, but newspapers still start in small towns, too. The weekly Cooper County Voice debuted Nov. 10 in Boonville, Mo., population 8,200, in competition with the 90-year-old Boonville Daily News. Small-town newspapers have a couple of big advantages over their big-city brethren, the papers that are crying the blues the most. The first is that more small papers are family-owned, and even the small papers

that are group-owned tend to operate as if their ownership is local. The best publishers at group-owned newspapers in small markets are considered “owners” of their papers in the eyes of their readers. But the best advantage small newspapers have is their stature in the community. Through a century or more of positive service, both in the pages of their product and in personal volunteer work, most of them have earned the rare status of “community institution.” These small papers are so well-respected in their communities that citizens can’t imagine life without them. They are their papers. Just like a member of the family, these papers are cussed or loved depending on the week, but they can’t be ignored, and they won’t be allowed to die. They will continue to serve their communities for years to come regardless what the future holds for big-city dailies. Back in South Dakota, Tim Waltner showed me the new photo studio son Jeremy uses at the back of the Courier office. Publisher Larry Atkinson gave me a tour of the Mobridge Tribune’s beautiful new office, including its state-of-the-art commercial-printing equipment. Watertown publisher Mark Roby showed how the Public Opinion’s plant neatly utilizes a former Coca-Cola bottling plant. Kathy Nelson talked about her work with the Timber Lake Museum next door and, in particular, a 672-page town centennial book that will be released this month. Publisher Doug Card of The Britton Journal explained how his town, population 1,328, built a new swimming pool. Tribune & Register publisher Becky Tycz told me that most of the storefronts in Tyndall, population 1,239, are full. Life goes on in a world where newspapers have no intention of dying. Gary Sosniecki is a regional sales manager for specializing in weekly newspapers. He has owned three weekly newspapers and published a small daily in Missouri during a 34-year newspaper career. He may be reached at

QCNA Connector

by John Foust Raleigh, NC


re you making too many sales these days? Is business too good? If you’d like to cut back on those annoying new customers, try a couple of these field-tested, salesreducing techniques: 1. Don’t do advance research. It takes valuable time to learn about your prospect’s business, potential challenges, and competition. Why should you conduct an analysis of their past advertising expenditures? The only thing that matters is what you tell them today. 2. Don’t ask questions. And don’t make any effort to gain information during the appointment. Instead, do all of the talking. After all, you are an advertising expert. They are the ones who should be listening to you. 3. Give the same presentation to every prospect. In addition to cutting your preparation time, this will allow you to create a comfort zone for yourself. Why customize presentations to fit the individual needs of each prospect, when you can develop a one-size-fits-all approach? 4. Don’t bother to get to know the gatekeeper. That’s not the

December 2009


Ten ways to mess up a perfectly good sales presentation person you’re there to see. And even though the gatekeeper could be a good source of information, he or she is probably too busy to talk to you. If you have to sit in the waiting room, that’s a perfect time to read the magazines on their coffee table, or make a few phone calls. 5. Rely strictly on numbers. When you talk about the specifics of readership, don’t think of real life examples or other ways to make the numbers come to life. Statistics are important and should always stand on their own – with no explanation. 6. Criticize your competitors. Your prospect needs to know how bad they really are. If you know some juicy gossip about other papers or media outlets in your market, be sure to work that into the conversation. Your prospect will appreciate the information, and would never suspect that you will talk about them behind their back. 7. Don’t turn off your cell phone. You wouldn’t want to miss a call from a more important client or a friend. And be sure to check your e-mail a couple of times during the appointment. That’s a good way to

show your prospect that you are so heavily scheduled that they should feel fortunate you are taking time to meet with them. 8. Don’t talk about benefits. Focus your attention exclusively on the features of your advertising product, without connecting those dry, inanimate facts to potential benefits. Resist the temptation to mention any marketing problems which could be solved by advertising in your paper. 9. Don’t use exhibits. Your prospect should already be familiar with your paper. So there’s no need to weigh down your briefcase with the latest issue of your paper, an up-to-date copy of your media kit, or samples of the ads your creative department has produced. 10. Don’t follow up. You’re far too busy to send a handwritten note or an e-mail to thank your prospect for meeting with you. You can always write later – if you have time. (c) Copyright 2009 by John Foust. All rights reserved. E-mail John Foust for information about his training videos for ad departments:

QCNA Connector

December 2009

Make your publisher squirm

By Ed Henninger



hen I see a publisher squirm, I experience the joy of accomplishment. No, I’m no sadist. And I certainly derive no pleasure from a publisher’s discomfort. But when the publisher shifts a bit in his or her seat, I know we’ve reached a point-of-no-return during a redesign. It’s a make-or-break moment and the publisher is now entirely fixed on the direction of the project. It may be a discussion on taking all text to flush left. Or a major departure in the look of the nameplate. Perhaps it’s talk about the advantages of modular ad design. Regardless, when the publisher squirms, I know we’ve hit a critical point in the process. From that moment on, our meetings become more intense, more direct and more focused. You can develop that same intensity— and I encourage you to do so. Make your publisher squirm. Here are some changes you can suggest that are sure to get his/her attention:

PAGE STRUCTURE: What with the narrower web, how about taking section fronts—and other open pages—to five columns?

TRAINING: What can we do to get more training in design? How about that fourhour InDesign training session that wasn’t much help?

AD STACK: Why do the ads have to be stair-stepped? And why always up and to the right? How about modular placement? How about a valley stack?

These are just a few suggestions. I’m willing to bet you have some in your newsroom that are more pressing. If you press your publisher on these—and if you see the squirm—you’ll know you have your publisher’s attention.

MORE COLOR: How about rearranging pages so you can get more color photos— and ads—on inside pages? LESS COLOR: Why are we placing photos in tint blocks? And why do we continue to insist on color frames around certain features? SEQUENCING: Why can’t we fix that problem with comics in the A section? How about placing them after sports? NEW FONTS: You’re convinced that the Times New Roman you’re using for text is just not as readable as others that are available.

FREE DESIGN EVALUATION: Ed Henninger offers design evaluations—at no charge and with no obligation—to readers of this column. For more information, check the FREEBIE page on Ed’s webs site: http://www. ED HENNINGER is an independent newspaper consultant and the Director of Henninger Consulting. Offering comprehensive newspaper design services including redesigns, workshops, staff training and evaluations. E-mail: On the web: www. Phone: 803-327-3322.

QCNA STAFF GREG DUNCAN, Executive Director CAROLYN KITZANUK, Administrative Assistant MARNIE OWSTON, Advertising Coordinator & Bookkeeper

Mission Statement The Quebec Community Newspapers Association is dedicated to the professional and economic development of English community newspapers and their enterprises serving minority communities in Quebec.

Quebec Community Newspapers Association 400 Grand Boulevard, Suite 5 Ile Perrot, QC J7V 4X2 Tel. 514-453-6300 Fax 514-453-6330 Email: Website:

QCNA acknowledges the support of The Department of Canadian Heritage and Quebec’s Ministère de la Culture, Communications et Condition féminine.

Newsletter December 2009  

Newsletter December 2009

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