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March 2018 FOLLOW US ON






A Section




A Time for Transformation


America East 2018 returns March 12-14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 32

Are newspapers wrong in downplaying vulgar language in print? . . . . . . . . p. 15

10 Newspapers That Do It Right


New edition of the Data Journalism Handbook to be released later this year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 8


Tallahassee Democrat investigation leads to massive public records shift p. 9

SOARING OVER-THE-TOP acquires new video distribution technology from Calkins Digital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 12


News Media Alliance debuts ‘How To’ series aimed at helping news producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 13


How Innovation Media continues to help newspapers break the mold . p. 14

Recognizing success in pioneering newsrooms, advertising growth and community engagement . . . . . . . . . p. 34

Time to Clean Up Google’s new built-in ad blocker pushes publishers to create better ad experiences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 52

Members Only Taking cues from other digital platforms, newspapers are getting more creative with getting people to pay for news . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 60

How long can a viral story be, important revenue streams in 2018, how Americans feel about online platforms, consumers follow more closely national and local news . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 18

PRODUCTION Newspapers should partner with commercial customers to build revenue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 26

NEWSPEOPLE New hires, promotions and relocations across the industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 67

SHOPTALK If the Internet didn’t exist, where would newspapers be? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 74


Kenneth Song/Santa Barbara News-Press . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 16




Facebook change could push publishers into a real relationship with readers p. 20

Nine ways to regain your readers’ trust p. 22

Facebook is putting less emphasis on news stories. Now what? . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 24

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Awards Season


rom January to March, it’s awards season in Hollywood. Among them are the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Critics’ Choice Award, and the Oscars. But a new award “show” popped up this year: the Fake News Awards. Created by President Trump, the winners were announced in January. They included CNN, the New York Times, ABC, the Washington Post, Time and Newsweek. Many journalists saw these “awards” as an attack on the free press, something that would only add fuel to Trump’s antipress rhetoric. In response to Trump’s Fake News Awards, the Committee to Protect Journalists announced its Press Oppressors awards. Trump won for Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom and was named a runner-up for Most Thin-skinned. At the same time those awards were being handed out, E&P was going through the numerous submissions sent for our annual list of 10 Newspapers That Do It Right. This year, we received more than 100 entries. They came in all market sizes, from college campuses, Denmark, New York to California. We like to remind readers that our annual list is not meant to be a “10 best” list; it’s meant to highlight the strong work being done at newspapers around the world. In this day and age, where a sitting U.S. president can create something as outlandish as the Fake News Awards, I say a story profiling 10 newspapers that do it right (along with a couple more on our list of honorable mentions) is exactly what the news industry needs. Once again I’m going to hand over this editorial to some of the newspapers who made our list so that they can share their ideas on how newspapers can grow and prosper.—NY “More than ever, it’s vital news organizations produce unique and insightful content that hits home for readers. This means moving away from the traditional ‘news of 4 |

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CORPORATE OFFICES (949) 660-6150 FAX (949) 660-6172

record’ focus of our industry and instead drilling down on the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of issues that affect lives. When such a story can be made rich with humanity through street-level reporting and narrative storytelling, all the better. Whether it’s investigative work or social issues reporting or political reporting or explanatory reporting, we can use these approaches to break through the din of daily life and digital distractions to draw readers and build trust in our communities.” —Michael Kilian, The Cincinnati Enquirer “First and foremost, we need to continue to concentrate on our core First Amendment responsibility, which is to provide our readers with in-depth local news and informed opinion that they cannot get anywhere else. We’re not like any other business; the very fabric of America is attached to how we do our job. In this era of debate over ‘Fake News’ and partisan journalism, it’s more important than ever for us to stick to our mission of providing in-depth, objective local news so that readers can make informed decisions.” —Patrick Rice, Daytona Beach News-Journal “Innovation and creative thinking by newspaper parent companies are essential to creating new profit centers so that newspapers maintain market-share, diversify and grow. Harnessing existing in-house creative and media resources while augmenting their value with the latest advancements in technology.” —David Kennedy, Honolulu Star-Advertiser “It’s time to lower the white flag, hoist the battle flag and take back our audience. We must find the hyper niche audiences that we as publishers can uniquely deliver. Mastering the five or six areas that we can once again ‘own’ is essential. Newspapers have abdicated revenues to competitors, and we need to get them back through intelligently designed and executed digital platforms complemented by thoughtful video, social and print strategies.” —Kimberly Parker, Las Vegas Review-Journal


DUNCAN MCINTOSH CO. FOUNDED BY: PUBLISHER Duncan McIntosh Jr. CO-PUBLISHER Teresa Ybarra McIntosh (1942-2011)

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING MAILING ADDRESS 18475 Bandilier Circle, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 Editor & Publisher is printed in the U.S.A.

America’s Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry With which have been merged: The Journalist, established March 22, 1884; Newspaperdom, March 1892; The Fourth Estate, March 1, 1894; Editor & Publisher, June 29, 1901; Advertising, June 22, 1925.

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comments )))

Tweets are Not Journalism Here’s a radical thought: How about using old fashioned journalism? (“Digital Publishing: The Dark Side of Social Media,” January 2018) You can’t interview a tweet. Tweets don’t always convey the nuances needed to explain complex subjects. Rather than simple aggregation, how about getting on the phone—or better yet go meet the source—and interview him or her? Tweets are fine for pointing a reporter in the right direction, but they are insufficient to do complete reports on issues that require even a little digging. Aggregation is speedy, but lazy journalism. DWIGHT SHEPARD

Submitted on

Major Brands Becoming Obsolete I think the answer to when major brands boycott local media is to ask what we need “major brands for” anyway. (“Shoptalk: Major Brands Blacklisting Media is Detrimental to Publishers,” December 2017) Major brands are just about as obsolete as they think newspapers are. About 20 percent of all groceries purchased now are store brands, generic brands and at that, many people are now shopping in the Aldis and others that carry very, very few 6 |

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major brands because of their much higher prices… If major brands don’t need local newspapers, I would remind our readers they can save a lot of money and get basically the same quality in switching to store brands and generic brands. Major name brands are in enough trouble without trying to argue with the news media. WILLIAM

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Smart Readers Will Know When They Are Being Misled Trust is not a commodity that you can buy and sell. (“Dishonest Acts,” January 2018) Most mainstream media have been working tirelessly and for decades on pretending they are delivering news while all they have been delivering was their opinion. It must hurt the self-appointed elites to no end, but people are not stupid. They are—more often than not—smarter and more intelligent and more experienced than those self-appointed elites. PETER ADLER

Submitted on

Double Standards with Social Media I read your editorial “Antisocial media”

in the February 2018 edition and appreciated every word. I’m nearing my 25th year in newspapers, mainly working small-town weeklies, and am constantly astounded by what social media has done to the industry and society. I appreciate your honesty of explaining how you start the day with your phone. I try not to. I want a few minutes a day without the influence of that kind of technology. I turn on a radio to listen to the news from a competing station. I usually turn to my phone minutes before leaving for the office to check for important emails, breaking news or texts from staff members to prepare for the day. Here is what bothers me most about social media. A newspaper has a letter to the editor with several strong accusations against public officials. But none of the accusations can be confirmed. The newspaper runs an edited form of the letter removing all of the unfounded accusations only giving the letter the feel there are some problems with a public entity. The day the newspaper hit the stand, the letter writer, and those who know the author, were upset at the editorial decision. But, at the same time, they ran the letter in its entirety on their Facebook page with implications of how the newspaper was wrong. But if a newspaper ran a letter accusing those letter writers of some strong accusations, those people would be first in the newspaper office denying all of it and threatening libel. I see double standards as one problem created by social media. I do see the benefits of social media. But I treat social media like this: For the one good, honest, genuine thing social media creates, it also creates four things that are bad. JOHN VAN NOSTRAND Publisher Page County Newspapers Clarinda, Iowa Shenandoah Valley News Shenandoah, Iowa

Send us your comments “Comments,” Editor & Publisher, 18475 Bandilier Circle, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 Please include your name, title, city and state, and email address. Letters may be edited for all the usual reasons.

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Stronger the Press, Stronger the People Newspapers strive to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. We fear no one.

E&P is a staunch supporter of the newspaper industry and is dedicated to promoting its success and well-being in the years to come. From time to time, we will print full-page ads such as this, to inspire advertising and marketing ideas — touting the importance of ethical journalism and its value to democracy.

the A section VOLUME 151



> Look Ahead

Improving the News New edition of the Data Journalism Handbook to be released later this year By Jesus A. Ruiz


n an ever changing society that is constantly moving the goalpost for what a bona-fide fact looks like, one thing is for certain, the numbers don’t lie. This year, newsrooms will have a new and improved tool to add to their data arsenal when the second edition of the Data Journalism Handbook is released this fall. Technically, you won’t have to wait that long as the first chapters will be released sometime in the spring as an open access book. Then, later, the full text will be available online. In a blog post (, Dr. Jonathan Gray, one of the editors of the handbook, said, “The first section on ‘data journalism in context’ will review histories, geographies, economics and politics of data journalism—drawing on leading studies in these areas. The second section on ‘data journalism practices’ will look at a variety of practices for assembling data, working with data, making sense with data and organizing data journalism from around the world.” The new edition is intended as a “complement” to the first edition, which has been widely used in both newsrooms and classrooms and translated into more than 12 languages, accord-

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} The second of the edition of the Data Journalism Handbook is set for release this fall.

ing to Gray. The new second edition will be produced by the European Journalism Centre, in partnership with Google News Lab, and will be available in four languages. Included in the new edition will be a detailing of the state of data journalism. Since the first edition was released in 2012, the media landscape has changed drastically. There have been all sorts of data collaborations among journalists, for example the work done on The Panama Papers, and the handbook is

intended to build upon that, said Gray. “As well as providing a rich account of the state of the field, the book is also intended to inspire and inform ‘experiments in participation’ between journalists, researchers, civil society groups and their various publics,” he said. Journalists looking for new ways to deliver data they’ve collected beyond the usual graph or chart will find the innovation they’re looking for on the pages of the new handbook. “Through the book we thus aim to explore not only what data journalism initiatives do, but how they might be done differently in order to facilitate vital public debates about both the future of the data society as well as the significant global challenges that we currently face,” said Gray. For more information, visit

2/16/18 1:30 PM

the A section

Texting Bombshell

Tallahassee Democrat investigation leads to massive public records shift

} A text exchange between city manager Rick Fernandez and a lobbyist led to a landmark legal settlement with the city of Tallahassee that may be emulated by other cities in Florida.


fter its months long investigation resulted in the discovery that Tallahassee city manager Rick Fernandez deleted and lied about the existence of text messages soliciting football tickets that he sent to a lobbyist under investigation by the FBI, the Tallahassee Democrat, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, realized it had a much bigger story on its hands. It had also caught the city breaking the public records act by not preserv} William Hatfield, ing and retaining all text messages from } Jennifer Portman, Tallahassee Democrat Tallahassee Democrat its employees and elected officials. The news director editor newspaper knew this because when the Democrat filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the text messages in question, the city responded that none existed. “We learned that whenever you’re filing your FOIA requests you should cast your net wide to include text messages. Because when you get your documents and you don’t get

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texts, then you should ask why,” said William Hatfield, Democrat editor. The findings led to the downfall of Fernandez who eventually resigned, but more importantly it resulted in the Democrat filing a lawsuit against the city, which paved the way to modernizing how the city handles the preservation of text messages. The lawsuit alleged Fernandez deleted text messages that showed he asked for Florida State football game tickets. The paper argued that the text messages were public record and when the city failed to produce the texts requested, it violated the public records act. In January, the city agreed to settle the lawsuit and agreed it did violate Florida’s Public Records Act, which includes texts as public records, along with emails, faxes and other correspondence. “There is a huge takeaway for everyone in journalism that embraces that watchdog role,” Hatfield said. “In the news business it can be rare to find what is truly a ‘smoking gun’ but that’s exactly what investigative reporters Jeff Burlew and Jeff Schweers found as they sought records that should have been public but instead were hidden and destroyed.” As a result of the settlement, the city of Tallahassee has implemented new policies and procedures for preserving and retaining text messages. It also has invested in software to aide with archiving of texts. By bringing this information to light and correcting a flawed system, it reminds other newspapers this is the core of journalism. “It’s fundamental of why we exist and what we do—to make sure the community is informed about their city. It’s a responsibility, a duty and a privilege for us,” said Jennifer Portman, Democrat news director.—JR

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the A section From the Archive OF THE MONTH Most of us think about our Facebook feed or Netflix suggestions when we talk about tailormade user experiences. But what if your experience on your favorite news site could be groomed to your specific interests? That’s exactly what a UK-based newspaper is trying to do. With the help of a digital butler named JAMES, The Times & Sunday Times wants to better serve its readers with a custom-made online experience. Collaborating with Twipe, a software company specializing in online publishing, The Times received funding from the Google Digital News Initiative project to pursue its goal. What JAMES would do is track the online habits, interests, and preferences of The Times subscribers and based on that expose them to relevant content through the newspaper’s digital editions. The content would not be limited to only what was new but JAMES would also recommend old content that the reader’s might like but could’ve missed. “Our goal is to maintain one unique version of any given edition, but individualize the way we distribute the content to our readers by using self-learning algorithms and a bespoke artificial intelligence,” said Alan Hunter, head of digital news for The Times.—JR

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 This carriers’ caravan serves a double purpose for the Winnipeg Free Press. First, it helps promote the newspaper; second, it’s a clubhouse for carrier boys. District managers also use it for pep-talk meetings. The bus was bought from the surplus stock of the transit company and has a full-time driver. This photo originally appeared in the Oct. 26, 1957 issue of E&P.

> Wise Advice “What were some digital lessons you learned last year, and how should newspapers approach digital in 2018?” In 2017, it seemed that our industry and lots of other companies that built their revenue model based on digital advertising were rethinking their dependence on this source of revenue.  Jim Moroney Many companies are now recognizing that digital advertising will never be a sufficient source of revenue to rebuild a sustainably profitable business model. Frankly, this is good news. It’s past time for our industry to recognize that local and regional news publishers are never going to drive the scale of audi-

ence necessary to support their businesses through digital advertising revenue. Presently, there is no other way for publishers to more quickly build meaningful profitability than through digital subscriptions. The caveat: This opportunity will only be open to publishing companies that have not already so significantly downsized their newsrooms that they can no longer publish a sufficient amount of original and relevant local news and information each day that is needed to convert audiences to paid digital subscribers. I hope 2018 brings more examples of more ways publishers can learn from one another about ways to diversify their sources of revenue and get closer to getting ahead of the print related declines in revenue. Jim Moroney is the publisher and CEO of the Dallas Morning News.

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the A section


Tornoe’s Corner

The amount the smart audio devices market will grow in the next five years as revenue is estimated to rise from $2.5 billion in 2017 to over $10 billion in 2022.

LEGAL BRIEFS Des Moines Register Temporarily Blocked From Publishing Court Records According to the Associated Press, Des Moines Register and its investigative reporter Clark Kauffman were temporarily barred in December from publishing the contents of legally obtained court records by the Iowa Supreme Court. Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins gave the order, prohibiting the newspaper from publishing information from records relating to Jaysen McCleary, an attorney from Des Moines. The records were never intended to be public and were filed

inadvertently by one of his lawyers, argued McCleary. The records, which hold information about McCleary’s disabilities and finances, were submitted when he filed suit against the city of Des Moines for injuries suffered after a garbage container launched from a city truck landed on his head. The attorney representing the Register and Kauffman asked the court to vacate the order and argued in a filing that it was a prior restraint on press freedom.

News Companies Support Fayetteville Observer’s Appeal As reported by the Fayetteville Observer, the newspaper has appealed to a judge’s decision to seal court records of a civil case involving a suspected child molester. As a result, eight media companies (including the Associated Press, the Charlotte Observer, the News & Observer of Raleigh, and the Pilot newspaper of Southern Pines) and two nonprofits have voiced their support for the paper. The civil case involves Mike Lallier, a Fayetteville car dealer who was charged in September 2016 with molesting a 15-year-old boy at a

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NASCAR race event and whose criminal case is still pending. The Observer’s appeal argued that the court went too far in sealing the entire case. To help the cause, a lawyer for the other media organizations notified the court that his clients would be filing an amicus brief, which would state their views and concerns because they believe sealing the court documents constitutes an “unprecedented and unjustified affront to the public’s right to know” and violates the U.S. and state constitutions. MARCH 2018 | E & P

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the A section

Soaring Over-The-Top acquires new video distribution technology from Calkins Digital educated the industry about the potential of OTT over the last few years, partnering with huge names to improve and grow the technology,” he said. “Customers can expect to be not only educated on this product but to have a real avenue to enter this space with a company they trust and have history with.” The newly acquired video technology will provide a unique avenue for to service its customers: the ability to distribute video content through branded channels on Apple TV, Roku and  With the acquisition of Calkins Digital over-the-top (OTT) video technology, now has the ability to offer its Amazon Fire TV. clients video distribution through branded channels. “This is motivation for newspaper companies across the globe to fine-tune their video offerings and capture an ewspapers are constantly thinking of new and audience that until now have been out of their grasp,” Ward said. innovative ways to capture the attention of their audi“Where ‘TV’ has only been inclusive of broadcast companies and ences especially when it comes to video. Now, they have companies willing to invest in the infrastructure, the digital delivanother opportunity. ery of content to OTT platforms is anyone’s game.” Last December, made a move to stay at the Officially titled BLOX OTT, customers who work with Towncutting edge of video delivery with its acquisition of Calkins can expect the creation of a streaming channel app, that tal’s over-the-top (OTT) video technology suite. can be monetized through pre-roll ads and programmatic adver“OTT was just a buzzword several years ago. We have found tising, which can be fully tracked with analytics. that the demand for The company also expects to deliver a reach to untapped audiOTT products has ences. That’s what Ward says did with WEHCO gone from talk to acMedia, an Arkansas-based daily and weekly publishing company. tion,” said Brad Ward, “(WEHCO) ventured into the OTT space with a niche product CEO. focusing on Arkansas Razorback football,” Ward explained. “This Ward said they unique content idea captured an audience outside of ‘news’ and chose Calkins Digihas proven to be a success for the paper.” tal because it was a Grabbing the attention of a broadcast audience can be overfamiliar name in the looked by newspaper publishers, but it should be something that newspaper industry. they need think about as the popularity in streaming services is “Not only is the only increasing. technology fantastic, For more information, visit —JR (Calkins Digital OTT)  Brad Ward, CEO


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the A section

Advice Column News Media Alliance debuts ‘How To’ series aimed at helping news producers


his January, the News Media Alliance kicked off the new year with a “How To” series to inform publishers and reporters about interesting and innovative techniques that are being utilized.

The series, which can be found at, covers advertising topics such as how to create branded content, as well as how to use virtual reality and augmented reality  Jennifer Peters, News for ads. Readers can Media Alliance trends also expect posts on and insights reporter how to use Twitter to increase your digital presence and how to create a journalist’s personal brand. “I think the biggest difference between the Alliance how-to series and others out there is that I’m coming at this not only as

someone in the industry, but as someone who consumes news,” said Jennifer Peters, Alliance trends and insights reporter. “I’ve been reaching out to people across the industry—and outside of it, for our explainer series—and trying to get a diverse range of voices to tell me what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.” The series could last all year if readers submit topics they’d like to see covered, according to Peters “I’m hoping it can because that would be a lot of fun for me, personally, but we’ll see what happens,” she said. To submit ideas, email Peters at or tweet her at @editrixjen. —JR

Finishing 4.0

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the A section

Rethink Your Ink How Innovation Media continues to help newspapers break the mold

} Innovation Media helps newspapers make the transition to digital across all platforms as seen with the Sunday World newspaper in Ireland.


or 35 years, the media consultant group, Innovation Media, has helped newspapers and magazines across the world pave a path into the future under the mantra: “Good journalism is good business,” said Juan Señor, a London-based partner for the company. For Innovation Media, good journalism and business means helping newspapers transition to digital by rethinking everything about the operation, from the newsroom and production department to design and distribution model. Its mission is a complete transformation across all platforms, but the most important concept in the transition is to migrate the client’s business model from ad revenue to reader revenue, said Señor. “If in 2018 you’re not asking readers to pay with their data or with their wallet, you should not be in the publishing business,” he said. “This idea that you can build or rebuild a legacy brand through ad revenue is dead.” Señor said the mistake many newspapers have done is make cuts to the newsroom but the only way to make it in the digital age is to identify what your audience wants and deliver that. “The key is to be an inch wide and a mile deep,” he said. Take for example, the largest newspaper in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, O Globo, an operation that had been mainly in print for 90 years until Innovation Media came into the picture. They scrapped the business model based on ad revenue and a workflow centered on delivering a paper edition at the end of the day, and shifted the paper’s mission to digital. To compete with the web, they pushed the editorial team to publish online during five primetime slots (8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m., and 9 p.m.). They also noticed that their

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} Pictured is a rendering of a proposed O Globo newsroom remodel developed by Innovation Media.

subscription rate was low after readers hit the site’s paywall so they started publishing short, fast analytical pieces with breaking news in order to increase subscriptions. They also developed new digital products such as a newsletter, video programs, podcasts, and a mobile website. Most importantly, there was a cultural shift at the newspaper that no longer focused entirely on the print edition, but focused on delivering quality journalism around the clock on digital platforms. O Globo’s story is a prime example of what Juan Antonio Giner, the company’s founder and president, said he envisioned Innovation Media’s work will look like in the future: to “help media companies to become ‘multimedia information engines’ serving readers, advertisers and audiences in communities with high quality journalism content on both on and off-line platforms.” For more information, visit—JR

} Juan Antonio Giner, Innovation Media president and founder

} Juan Señor, Innovation Media partner

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critical thinking

If you have a question you would like to see addressed, please send it to

J-school students and industry vets tackle the tough questions

“When President Trump used the word ‘shithole’ recently, some newspapers decided not to run the word in print or used edited versions. Were newspapers wrong in downplaying the vulgarity?”


After the Washington Post reported that Donald Trump referred to African nations, Haiti and El Salvador as “shithole countries,” in a conversation with senators at the White House, another Trump-mediafirestorm began. Media outlets, both digital and broadcast, had to Kellie Chudzinski, 21 decide on publishing or broadcastjunior, Loyola Marymount Uniing Trump’s reported remarks, with versity (Los Angeles, Calif.) some abstaining. For organizations Chudzinski is editor-in-chief that chose to not use the word, a great at the Los Angeles Loyolan, disservice was done to readers. the student-run newspaper of Loyola Marymount UniverWhile I understand the concern sity and is a communications of editors not wanting to print unmajor. necessary vulgarity for their readers, ultimately, the reported comments are integral to understanding the situation and the views of the president. It does not benefit readers to sugarcoat real language and conversations. It shouldn’t be an editorial decision to report the president’s remarks, but rather how to use them and not to be careless with them and perpetuate a problem in itself. The words we use matter. The words used by the president of the United States in an Oval Office meeting, on immigration with senators, matters. Language is of the utmost importance in the immigration policy decisions and legislation he is discussing. News media has been tasked, especially recently, with not only reporting accurately and responsibly what is happening for record, but also of connecting what has happened to past and showing pattern of behavior and how that connects more broadly to society. It should always be the goal of journalists to inform unequivocally, there is no way to report accurately by abbreviating comments of this nature. Knowledge is power—to make informed decisions in our society being provided with the information available is crucial. To downplay the comments or only explain them in the context of a president using vulgarity is misleading because his views do play a larger role in the way in which he will move forward with legislation and policy. It is important not to get wrapped up in the turmoil from one comment coming from the president, but rather focus on the actual policy coming from the administration, and if and when it deserves scrutiny, then give it hell.

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Without question, newspapers that declined to spell out shithole erred in downplaying the vulgarity. It’s puzzling to see journalists scrubbing words of their impact. The president himself explicitly defines himself in contrast to other political figures, and his explicit language is part of that distinction. His Joel Christopher, 46 base’s loyalty is rooted in his fearlessexecutive editor, Louisville ness about speaking in a way unlike any (Ky.) Courier Journal other public official, so to enfeeble this Christopher has served as particular word runs counter to Donald executive editor in LouisTrump’s own carefully crafted message ville since December 2016, and persona. and in various editing roles in the USA TODAY This particular word, too, carried NETWORK since 2001. such a connotative shock to the conscience of some who heard the president use it that it derailed the immigration deal that was under discussion. The events that followed, including the government shutdown, demonstrated just how powerfully the word landed. To convey the full impact it’s important for the reader to experience it much like those in the room who heard it experienced it. This wasn’t George W. Bush calling Adam Clymer a “major We too often league asshole” in front of a hot underestimate mic. This wasn’t Joe Biden telling our readers and President Obama, also in range of an open mic, “This is a big fucking their tolerance for deal.” This was the president of absorbing profanity... the United States using derogatory language to characterize nations and peoples in an open conversation that included a high-ranking member of the opposition party. We too often underestimate our readers and their tolerance for absorbing profanity, vulgarity and obscenity that’s contextually presented. When you delve into the fracture points in our society, they are around issues and ideologies and values that often grind against one another over word choice. We owe it to our reverence for language and passion for truth in its full context to let words speak for themselves.  MARCH 2018 | E & P

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Send us your photos! E&P welcomes reader submissions for our Photo of the Month.

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photo of the month

ESCAPING TOGETHER ď ˝ Kenneth Song/Santa Barbara (Calif.) News-Press Firefighters and evacuated residents and dogs alike all struggle in knee-deep mud after Montecito, Calif. was hit with devastating mudslides on Jan. 9, 2018. Reports said at least 20 people were killed during the tragic event caused by torrential rain washing out hillsides, which were scorched bare by wildfires the month before.

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data page How Long Can a Viral Story Be? Number of Stories

Report based on the 100 most shared new stories; data based on the most engaged stories in December 2017


50 40 30








Word Count





Source: NewsWhip

How Americans Feel About Online Platforms

Important Revenue Streams for 2018

Based on a survey of 2,160 U.S. adults

Based on a survey of 162 digital leaders. When asked, “How important are the following digital revenue streams for your company in 2018?” More than one option could be selected.

Kill it and hope it dies

Fuel it to keep it alive





Snapchat Facebook






























11% 42%



Not familiar



30% 14%

32% 65%


16.5% 12.8%

19% 74% 70.6%

Source: Recode; The Harris Poll (conducted online between Dec. 19-Dec. 21, 2017)

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Video (ads or sponsored)


Branded or sponsored content


Display advertising

38% 23%








Membership E-commerce & Affiliate


Related Businesses


Donations Micropayment

7% 5%

Source: “Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions 2018,” Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

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News Consumers Oppose Partisanship in the Media Percentages based on global medians of 38 countries

It is _____ for a news organization to favor one political party over others when reporting news.

News organizations in our country are doing _____ at reporting the different positions on political issues fairly.

75% 52%

44% 20% Sometimes acceptable

Never acceptable

Not well


Source: “Publics Globally Want Unbiased News Coverage But Are Divided on Whether Their News Media Deliver,” Pew Research Center, January 2018

Consumers Follow More Closely National, Local News More Than International News Percentages based on global medians of 38 countries; Europe region excludes Russia National news Local news International news U.S. news


87% 78%

87% 78%

93% 80%


78% 78%


65% 51%



82% 58%


56% 53%


35% 32%

N/A Middle East




Latin America

United States

Source: “Publics Globally Want Unbiased News Coverage But Are Divided on Whether Their News Media Deliver,” Pew Research Center, January 2018

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industry insight

A Return to Audience Engagement Facebook change could push publishers into a real relationship with readers By Matt DeRienzo


et’s count the number of adjustments newsrooms have made over the past five years to improve their reach on Facebook. There were clickbait-style headlines, “You won’t believe what happened when…” Then specifically not using clickbait terminology. More standalone photos. Statuses without story links. Updates that played on readers’ “emotions.” Video. Video. More video. Then live video. Publishers even “pivoted to video,” laying off a bunch of talented text-based journalists, mostly because of Facebook. Now that Facebook has made its biggest algorithm change yet, threatening to take news out of the “News Feed” almost altogether, publishers are adjusting again. This time, accidentally perhaps, Facebook could be pushing newsrooms into an approach that would make sense even if Facebook didn’t exist or wasn’t so dominant in its influence on the audience. 20 |

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For a publisher’s post to achieve organic reach, Facebook says it will have to generate “meaningful interactions.” Simply clicking on a link and presumably reading a news story isn’t enough anymore. Sharing a story with friends, commenting, and having a significant back-and-forth with others in the comments will be the algorithm’s indication of “meaningful.” Facebook has also suggested that publishers invite its members to interact and be turned on to their work through Facebook groups. After basically tricking readers with clickbait and pushing into video because Facebook saw it as a significant revenue opportunity (not because readers were asking for video), publishers could be rewarded for engaging readers in conversation and actually listening to them. Granted, it’s hard to imagine an algorithm distinguishing between a healthy, civil and

productive conversation about the news, and what’s more typical of a lengthy back-andforth comment thread: trolls name-calling and raging against each other. Some publishers will probably do well under the new Facebook algorithm for the wrong reasons, while important news stories that are crucial to the well-being of local communities aren’t seen. Fake news stories can generate plenty of engagement and comments, for example, and in a test that Facebook ran overseas previewing this algorithm tweak, they thrived while legitimate news stories disappeared. But if the change prompts newsrooms to genuinely engage readers, to be part of a conversation with them and to listen, it could finally be a Facebook-driven adjustment that improves journalism. It could help the bottom line, too. Publishers’ scramble to grow reader revenue—in part driven by the advertising dominance

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Facebook has achieved with the help of publishers’ content—will depend heavily on the trust and engagement of readers. Hearken, a company that shows newsrooms how to involve the public in their journalism, has found that stories built on a foundation of genuinely listening to readers are far more likely to prompt paid subscriptions or memberships. The Coral Project, a Knight Foundationfunded effort by Mozilla, the New York Times and the Washington Post to reimagine online story comments and build related reader engagement tools, has found similar evidence of the value of listening. Newsrooms that don’t read the comments, don’t interact with readers, and treat social media like an RSS feed distribution (in some cases, quite literally) will fail at the new Facebook, and likely fail at reader revenue, too. The (relatively) abrupt and extreme nature of Facebook’s algorithm change

this time could be a blessing in disguise for publishers. A series of algorithm tweaks was already threatening publishers with greatly diminished reach on Facebook, but it was a frog in gradually boiling water type of effect. By very clearly signaling that news will take a backseat, Facebook is forcing publishers to take steps that they needed anyway if they were going to get serious about reader revenue. In addition to listening to and engaging readers (which could fix some of the Facebook reach problem as well), publishers need to know who their most loyal readers are, collect their email addresses and be able to surface content with them directly via email newsletter or mobile notification. Again, it was already true, just not fully acknowledged by media, but Facebook’s algorithm change also shifts the power to surface newsrooms’ content from publishers to readers. Having a relationship of trust and engagement with those “news junkies”

in a community who influence others will be important to a publisher’s reach. And building a user experience that makes readers feel good about sharing a story with their friends adds to the million other reasons publishers need to fix pressing issues with website and mobile site designs. A prominent “Email this to a friend or share it on Facebook” won’t hurt, either. Even better: “Sign up for our newsletter to get notice of more stories like this.” 

Matt DeRienzo is executive director of LION Publishers, an organization that supports local independent online news publishers from across the country. He is a longtime former newspaper reporter, editor, publisher and corporate director of news.

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business of news

Show Your Work Nine ways to regain your readers’ trust By Tim Gallagher


n my 12 years of parochial school education, I routinely earned B’s in math. They should have been A’s because I normally got the answer correct, but the teachers would dock me because “You didn’t show your work.” They didn’t believe me that I knew the answers. I could have been cheating because I did not show how I got the answer. This is one of the reasons for the everfading trust in journalism. We don’t show our work. Most of you have seen both “The Post” and “Spotlight.” In ancient times there was “All the President’s Men.” At the end of both current movies, the audience I was in cheered. These movies showed what it is to be a journalist. How carefully we craft articles after numerous interviews and resolving conflicting versions of the truth, often hidden by government officials or powerful people. Journalism is difficult. We work and work and work until we get the “best obtainable version of the truth” by 22 |

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deadline, Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein said in 1998. The trouble is the public thinks we make it up. They think we have our minds made up on how the story is going to appear before we have gathered the first fact. The vast space of the web, and our opportunities on social media, provide journalists with a chance to show the public how we work. We can regain their trust by pulling back the curtain. Here are nine ideas on how to do it:


Tell them how you did it. Jay Rosen wrote in a splendid column for PressThink ( that we ought to explain how we do what we do. He credited ProPublica for doing this well ( Take it a step further. On each web version of locally written stories, attach a note from the reporter detailing the sources used and the documents read. Attach links

to these sources and documents when appropriate.


Your editor is your best voice for explanation. I regret that only about one of every four columns I wrote at the newspaper dealt with how we practiced journalism. I should have done this weekly. You get to be editor not necessarily because you are a great columnist. You get to be editor because you know how to edit. The public wants to hear about how you and your staff do your jobs. (And for goodness sake, explain that reporters do not write the headlines. And then explain the difficulty of writing good headlines.)


Acknowledge that every article has a point of view, but your job is to be fair. Some people criticize it as “he said, she said,” some journalism. But the public respects journalists who try to fairly represent “the other side”

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with more than a single comment. An article that seems so one-sided might have the opposite effect and make the reader sympathetic to the other side.



Stop being so negative. Most of life is not what’s on the police blotter, or the school board members who can’t get along, or a politician saying there isn’t enough money. Yes, our job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, but even the afflicted and the comfortable have a sense of what’s right about the community. We lose credibility when we are constantly the community scold. You might think you do enough good news. Double what you do. Tell readers what you know and what you don’t know. Rosen also cited this idea in the column and you see it often on major breaking news

human beings like them. It is easier to trust that way.

stories. It ought to be added to the routine stories as well. We don’t know everything by deadline.


Explain it to me like I’m a 10-yearold. Too many articles assume the reader knows as much background as the reporter. They don’t. Articles on local government need extensive background. (Here is where your website is your friend.)


“You’re doing this just to sell newspapers.” Who hasn’t heard that chestnut? To the extent you possibly can, explain to your readers the economics of how a newspaper works.


Print biographies of the people doing this work. Run small bios in print and preserve them on the web. Make them personal so that your readers know this is a newspaper run by


Talk with us about how we produce the newspaper. A tech town hall is a great way to meet with 2,000 of your closest friends.

Show your work. You’ll likely get an A. 

Tim Gallagher is president of The 20/20 Network, a public relations and strategic communications firm. He is a former Pulitzer Prizewinning editor and publisher at The Albuquerque Tribune and the Ventura County Star newspapers. Reach him at

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digital publishing

More Disruption

Facebook is putting less emphasis on news stories. Now what? By Rob Tornoe


hen attempting to acquire new customers, some drug dealers have been known to give away their products for free. Once the customer is addicted, it becomes increasingly hard for them to stop returning for more, despite an every-increasing price tag being attached to an increasingly-weak product. Wait, did I say drug dealers? I meant Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s once charming social media network, which was the backbone that helped launch a bevy of digital newsrooms and once offered a lifeline to struggling legacy publishers, has once again made the decision to cut off the very journalists it has insisted all along it wanted to help. Think of Facebook less as the hotel concierge happy to send business your way and more as Darth Vader slowly force choking 24 |

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you as he plainly states, “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.” Back in January, Facebook once again made changes to the algorithm that powers its “News Feed,” the main way users are shown the content created by your newsroom. Basically, Facebook will be placing more emphasis on the content created by family and friends (which keeps users on Facebook), and less on the stories created by news organizations (which sends them away). This move really shouldn’t come as a surprise to most newsrooms, considering the dramatic decline in traffic Facebook sent to web publishers in 2017, forcing many to shell out money in order to promote posts. Then there is the experiment rolled out in six countries, such as Sri Lanka and Serbia, which saw posts created by media organizations placed in a separate “explore” feed. As a result, referral traffic to news organi-

zations in those countries plummeted as much as 60 percent, according to Facebook’s own analytics site CrowdTangle. “My country, Serbia, has become an unwilling laboratory for Facebook’s experiments on user behavior—and the independent, nonprofit investigative journalism organization where I am the editor-in-chief is one of the unfortunate lab rats,” Stevan Dojcinovic, the editor-in-chief of the Serbian news outlet KRIK, wrote in the New York Times. “Facebook allowed us to bypass mainstream channels and bring our stories to hundreds of thousands of readers. But now, even as the social network claims to be cracking down on ‘fake news,’ it is on the verge of ruining us.” This new change won’t be as dramatic as what those six countries experienced, but it will undoubtedly impact the traffic Facebook sends to all news publishers, especially digital outlets that overly rely on the

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network for a large majority of their traffic. Publishers, like Mashable and BuzzFeed, that have shifted resources to create the short videos that have performed well on Facebook will likely be among those most impacted by the changes. One thing the changes should do is finally wake all publishers up to the fact that Facebook doesn’t care about your web traffic. It doesn’t care about providing access to meaningful journalism. It doesn’t even really seem to care about Russian propaganda and fake news. All it cares about is getting users to spend more time on its own pages, whether it features your content or not. That being said, Facebook isn’t going anywhere, so there are moves newsrooms can consider in order to maximize the potentially-diminishing return that the social media network has to offer. First, tell your readers how to keep your stories in their News Feed. Most Facebook users are passive and don’t think to make many changes to the algorithm that automatically provides them with the content. But a simple post explaining the simple steps readers can take to keep your news organization’s content in their news feed (the Mercury News wrote a thorough explainer with the headline “How to keep important, local stories in your Facebook news feed”) could help keep your most passionate readers informed and clicking through. Next, experiment with Facebook groups, which the social media network opened up to Pages last year. The Boston Globe has uncovered a treasure trove of engagement with its Facebook group for subscribers, where more than 3,000 readers interact with the newsroom’s journalists about everything from typos that appeared in the paper to the return of a favored sudoku puzzle. Vox created a Facebook group for enrollees of Obamacare, which has generated new story ideas to reporter. The Wall Street Journal has a book club with more than 9,000 members. Another potential avenue for publishers is “Today In,” Facebook’s new experiment in local news that mixes local news, events and announcements. This mobile-only feature is currently being tested in six cities across the country: New Orleans, La.; Little Rock,

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Ark.; Billings, Mont.; Peoria, Ill.; Olympia, Wash.; and Binghamton, N.Y. The good news is all publishers that will appear in the feed must first be vetted and approved by the company’s News Partnership team, which works in the favor of local legacy publishers. Unfortunately, this isn’t Facebook’s News Feed, and the fact that users need to seek out this info themselves means the upside in terms of traffic is probably pretty low. “In the Facebook user experience, there is the News Feed and then there is everything else,” said Jeff Sonderman, the deputy executive director of the American Press Institute. “Facebook may be adding opportunities in the ‘everything else’ category like this new space for local news and creating groups—but if publishers are losing the News Feed, they’re losing overall.” Most importantly, try to focus on nonFacebook methods of audience engagement that include everything from events to newsletters to podcasts. Look into tools like the Coral Project and Viafoura that can help center the engagement on your own website rather than Mark Zuckerberg’s. And above all, keep doing what you already do best—writing engaging content that speaks to your core readership, and not to a nebulous horde you hope to hook with a snazzy headline or salacious image. “The biggest thing a publisher can do is focus on creating valuable content that readers have a reason to share—it’s helpful to them, it’s relevant, it’s emotionally moving, and so on,” Sonderman said. “This is a time to turn more readers into brand ambassadors by serving them better and listening to them more.” 

Rob Tornoe is a cartoonist and columnist for Editor and Publisher, where he writes about trends in digital media. He is also a digital editor for Reach him at


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Samples & pricing


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} Niche publications are once again in demand. TV booklets, once a thing of the past, are now attractive to readers. Puzzle booklets (tabs) are popular as well as enhanced Sunday comics. When these options are presented to commercial accounts, it can often mean turn into additional print revenue for your site.

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Newspapers should partner with commercial customers to build revenue

Photo courtesy of Jerry Simpkins


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s advertising revenues continue to be challenged, newsprint costs steadily rise, the cost of consumables increase, and digital options struggle to replace print revenue declines, we strive to add new revenue streams to remain profitable. I once worked for a very wise publisher who constantly reminded me that “we can’t cut our way to prosperity.” While we need to be frugal and manage operations aggressively, the path to success ultimately lies in creating new revenue streams and preserving the existing ones we’ve worked so hard to develop. Several properties have altered their publication cycle from small daily publications to weekly, dropping publication days and trimming staff along the way. Others have stopped printing altogether, going to all digital or shutting down presses and outsourcing printing to larger consolidated sites. It just doesn’t make sense anymore to shoulder the production expense for a small daily and run the press an hour or two a day while paying a full-time staff. It’s not economically sustainable. Enter commercial printing. Publishers and owners figured out a long time ago that to be profitable and maintain a print site it takes more than just a small local publication; there is strength in numbers and those numbers

come from outside printing revenue to supplement the daily print operation. Yet, I feel many of us have gotten lazy in our efforts. There are two primary aspects of commercial printing: selling the job and retaining the job. We put a tremendous amount of time and effort into selling the job. Sure, some accounts may actually call you and fall into your lap, but for the most part we put in months of sales efforts to secure each and every account. It’s not an easy business. The phone calls, emails, quoting and re-quoting, visiting the account, trial runs, and so on—it’s not an easy road. Then comes the challenge of keeping the account. There is always another printer out there that can do as good a job and possibly at a better price. That’s why it’s important to build relationships with your commercial customers. Something I call “partnering.” If you’re not experienced in sales, I’d recommend sitting down with your ad director or spending a little time with one of your paper’s top ad sales folks and watching how they interact with customers. You’ll observe the most successful salesperson pushing upsells on every call; marketing upcoming special sections, print and delivers, sticky note applications, full color printing, digital add-ons, pickup ads, spadias, cross publication advertising, and of course ad packages. Everything is about selling

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Photo courtesy of Jerry Simpkins } Quarter-Fold stitched booklets with enamel covers can be a great marketing tool to commercial accounts. Printing the “guts” inside and sending covers out to be printed then combining the two in your shop can contribute to your bottom line in commercial printing.

value to their accounts. Years ago ad sales often consisted of walking into the advertiser, picking up copy and running the ad. How well do you think that would work out for us today? Not very much, yet this is exactly how many of us continue to handle commercial printing. Our commercial customers often trudge along doing the same thing week after week—12 pages, color on the front and back, etc.—for a lot of us this is enough. The customer uploads their completed files, has a standard print order, a standard price, and the printer delivers a standard product; job after job. Sure this means revenue and can produce consistent dollars, which contributes to the bottom line. If you’re good with this, that’s fine, but if you look a little harder there is a better way—upsells. 28 |

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When is the last time you sat down with a commercial customer and tried to help them with their business? If you believe in your product (the services you provide), then upsell it. Don’t look at it as dragging more money out of the customer. Look at it as helping customers build their business and becoming a “partner” in their success. If you don’t see things this way, you’re looking at the whole thing wrong and probably shouldn’t plan on being successful in commercial printing long-term. Help your commercial accounts to stay ahead of the pack. They have many of the same challenges we do. Offer them options to outpace their competitors by providing products and services their competitors can’t offer to advertisers. I dare say that some of our commercial accounts aren’t as

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fortunate as we are in the newspaper industry. Many operate on shoestring budgets, survive week to week using family members for free labor, and squeak by earning just enough to pay their printing bill. Many of our commercial customers print as a labor of love for their communities and are proud to be the voice of their community. Every penny you can help them with keeps them that much longer as a customer and keeps the revenue stream open for your business. Their success means your success and everyone in your operation needs to look at it this way. I previously wrote for E&P an article about new revenue streams for our core publications and working with advertising departments to grow these revenues (, yet I neglected to focus on the opportunities that commercial accounts can find through these same approaches. Some of the non-revenue benefits that develop through partnering with commercial accounts are customer loyalty and sustainability. Customers can find a printer just about anywhere, but getting a printer who they regard as a partner is something quite different and a step above.

Print and Delivers

Many of our commercial accounts are in small to midsize communities. The advertisers in these communities don’t always have the resources that many of the big box stores we’re used to have. As a result, they may welcome their local newspaper offering onestop print, insert and deliver options. As a customer service, you can help your commercial account gain this advertising revenue by brokering the printing of their 8.5x11 work and inserting it for them. Both you and your customer will realize a revenue gain and it’s just another service that you can provide to retain existing commercial account loyalty. In the smaller markets, print and delivers don’t often come to mind for many of our commercial accounts.

Offer Variable Pricing It comes as no surprise that we’ve had several customers whose circulation has declined over the years. Many of these customers would love to print 2,500 papers one week and 1,800 the next, then jump up to 3,000 for a special event. While most of us can provide quotes upon request, it’s more convenient to the customer to provide an upfront sliding scale for printing that allows customers to plan accordingly without making constant requests for pricing. It’s a little extra work on the front-end but makes it easier on the customer in the long run. Providing this pricing scheme may seem like common sense to some, but how many of us actually do it?

Promoting Special Sections Many commercial customers don’t even consider special sections. Often customers have signature pages or full-page events in their paper, but don’t really know how to go about putting together a true special section. You can help them by making the

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THE LATEST FROM… Grimes, McGovern & Associates

Now that W.B. Grimes & Company has changed to Grimes, McGovern & Associates, what are some other changes taking place, and how will they redefine the company’s mission? Our stated mission is “to first help our clients grow and then help them exit their businesses successfully.” This won’t change under the new ownership with John McGovern, nor will our firm’s advantage in having a team of experienced, caring associates in the Newspapers Group who are positioned across the country. They have in-depth knowledge of the newspaper market and their regions. They will continue to serve our clients at a local level. Our Newspapers Group is an important part of the firm’s strategy. Our specialty is small to medium sized companies and we will be expanding that to include larger properties, all with our strong customer service philosophy. With the change in ownership we will have a whole new level of expertise and resources to offer support to our Newspaper Group’s associates, including financial analysts and other support staff at the company level. John McGovern’s track record in the global media, events and information services division of Grimes speaks for itself. That division has seen excellent growth through his unparalleled customer service and global thinking. We look forward to tapping into that for our newspaper clients, whether they be in acquisition mode or are looking for an exit strategy. Julie Bergman is vice president, Newspaper Group, of Grimes, McGovern & Associates. With roots dating back to 1959, the company is now based in New York City. It is a leading mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory firm serving the global media, newspaper, events and information services sectors. With representatives in 10 U.S. States, as well as Toronto, London and South America, GMA provides buy-side, sell-side and valuation services to a diverse group of global companies.

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suggestion in the first place and then offering up various options of paper stock, color, distribution avenues, etc. When commercial accounts see how reasonable it can be to produce a special section and you can guide them on the marketing and sales of that section, this becomes a real option for them. Much of the marketing and sales aspect comes from your experience on the newspaper side of things. How many special sections have you been a part of? Planning, putting things together with advertising, providing guidance to advertising as far as recommended page configurations, color positions, etc. Provide the same advice to your commercial accounts and you might be surprised how eager they are to launch a special section. I’ve successfully sold several customers on special holiday sections when they’ve never done one before. Again the benefits are many: I feel good about partnering with them, providing a service and helping them to grow their business (which grows our business). This also promotes loyalty from customers so they’re less likely to wander.

Unique Products Lately enhanced comic sections, puzzle booklets and TV tabs (yes, they’re back) have made a resurgence in many markets. Speak with your larger commercial clients to make sure they are aware and taking advantage of these revenue opportunities, help them to put together products that can grow their advertising and increase your print revenue. Sticky Notes: I’ll wager that 99 percent of commercial customers don’t have the slightest idea how to go about getting a sticky note printed and applied to their paper; additionally, it’s likely most of them don’t even give it a second thought. Would they consider it “partnering” and caring for their business if you showed them how to navigate those waters? You bet. Meet with your customers and let them know the benefits of applying sticky notes to their paper. You can use your existing contacts to have the printing done for them and apply notes in your shop, gaining additional revenue for both you and your customer. Another win-win. Spadias: As far as providing this to their customers, probably another thing that simply isn’t on your commercial account’s radar. Perhaps they don’t know how to market and sell a spadia, perhaps they don’t realize the value in it, or perhaps they just didn’t know it was an option for them with their printer. Throw it on the table for them; remember that as their business grows so does yours. The more options the better: half spadias, three-quarter spadias, gate-folds, whatever your facility can offer. Offer various paper grades, sizes and colors. Give your customer the full tool-belt to market to their clients so that everyone benefits in the end. Stitch and Trim Booklets: If you can provide any flexie products to your customer make sure to let them know what and actively help them, sell it to their customer. Provide the various 30 |

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sizes, glue and trim, stitch and trim options, paper stocks, mixing of cover stock and text stock, applying outside slick covers, etc. Whatever options you can offer to benefit your client and continue to build that relationship, take advantage of it now. Outside Printing/Glossy Stock, etc.: All of our operations have one or more physical limitations. Most of us can’t provide it all: heat-set, UV, variable web sizes, stitching, post-it note applications, etc. I have had several existing customers who can benefit from these services and we have the connections and experience necessary to assist our commercial customers with this part of the business. Regardless of if you broker this printing or at the very least help your customers make the right connections, it’s another way to build the loyalty of your customer and build solid long-term relationships. If you have an off-line stitcher-trimmer operation, you can assist your customer with one-stop shopping; sending their glossy printing to an outside printer of your choice and marrying that with your in-house text printing on your equipment, much the same as you would for your advertising department if they needed a booklet.

The Bottom Line Most of what we’ve learned in the publishing business and that we do on a daily basis is easily transferable to our commercial accounts. Don’t wait for the customer to call you, call the customer. Offer options that separate you from your competition and will help their business grow and chances are you’ll benefit from it as well. If you take away anything from this article, it’s don’t consider the customer just a customer, consider them a partner. Become a partner in their business not just someone who churns out their printing. If they fail, you fail; if they succeed, you succeed. Offer options that help them to grow and you will grow, accept the status quo and you’ll get just what you put out. Perhaps I need to apologize for my overuse of the word “partnering.” When I truly believe in something, I tend to push it to others. I’ve made it clear to anyone who has ever worked with me that just being a commercial printer and going through the motions doesn’t cut it. There are several commercial printers that can print as well as the shops I’ve ran, several printers who can match my pricing and all printers would welcome the revenue as much as I do. The easiest way to separate yourself from the competition is to provide superior customer service and build solid relationships with your clients. Practice what you preach, and treat customers as you’d expect to be treated and your client base will grow right along with your revenue.  Jerry Simpkins is vice president of the West Texas Printing Center, LLC in Lubbock, Texas. Contact him on or at

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Newspapers give you more than just information. They offer an in-depth, panoramic perspective of events, delivering a weird and wonderful diversity of arts, culture, sports, hobbies, and both local and world news. Newspapers don’t tell you what you want to know; they turn you on to the stories and topics you should know. They inspire you to think deeper, see further and dream bigger — newspapers are where knowledge comes to life.

Newspapers strive to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. We fear no one. E&P is a staunch supporter of the newspaper industry and is dedicated to promoting its success and well-being in the years to come. From time to time, we will print full-page ads such as this, to inspire advertising and marketing ideas — touting the importance of ethical journalism and its value to democracy.

A Time for Transformation America East 2018 returns March 12-14 By Nu Yang

highlight), so I have to say we have folks that will share ideas that are transferable to all size newspapers. A great balance of digital and print which is crucial for our industry in transformation. The conference will also be “shifting gears” with the keynote speaker this year, according to PNA vice president of association services Tricia Greyshock. “We’ll begin with Michael Klingensmith, Minneapolis Star-Tribune publisher and CEO and News Media Alliance chairman, who will give an overview of the state of the industry,” she said. “Then, we’ll transition to an interactive, candid discussion featuring a panel of publishers who will share their challenges and successes within the industry. It should be an informative and energizing session.” Greyshock continued, “This year, we’re creating even more opportunities for attendees and suppliers to network by offering one-on-one meeting discounts, an } The 2018 America East conference will take place at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. exhibit hall passport program, and more. One of the biggest advantages of attending his year’s America East Media Business and America East is the face time you get with folks committed to the Technology Conference returns March 12-14 to Hernews media industry—it’s a great opportunity to learn, collaborate shey, Pa. at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. and jump start ideas and initiatives that can be implemented back Administered by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, past shows have attracted close to 1,000 attendees from news media organizations, vendors and suppliers, and schools. The conference this year will focus on the theme of transformation. “This is an obvious reference on how our industry is responding to rapid change. The big pivot is on, and we wanted to reflect that in our agenda and speaker choices,” said PNA president Mark Cohen. The program includes a wide range of sessions centered on topics like best practices in digital design, the challenges of managing print circulation, artificial intelligence and the added value of commercial printing. “I think we did a great job of getting speakers who have implemented programs and ideas, and will share what they did to be successful and be honest enough to acknowledge what they missed } Washington Post managing editor of digital Emilio Garcia-Ruiz spoke last year on,” Cohen said. “It’s hard to pinpoint a session or speaker (to about the innovation taking place at his newspaper.


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ter interaction, higher visibility and a cleaner layout,” Greyshock explained. “We’re identifying exhibitors by category and strategically placing our networking stations, food and beverage breaks and show theater in a traffic pattern that’s conducive to exploration.” In an industry focused on revolution and transformation, America East continues to successfully attract newspaper professionals from all markets. “I think we are a perfect combination of being both a large and small conference,” Cohen said. “We are able to be small enough to integrate with vendors and see colleagues, but large enough to have world class speakers.” For more information, visit  } Muller Martini will be one of the exhibitors on the tradeshow floor this month. Pictured at last year’s show are Dan Cropley, product manager-newspaper division and Cathy Roberts, parts specialist.

at your own organization.” America East will also reveal a redesigned tradeshow floor this year. “After collecting feedback from both attendees and exhibitors, we took the time to redesign a tradeshow floor that allows for bet-

6ROG 1 Daily Newspaper The Ledger Independent

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Recognizing success in pioneering newsrooms, advertising growth and community engagement By Nu Yang and Jesus A. Ruiz


his year’s list of 10 Newspapers That Do It Right once again recognizes some of the biggest and brightest ideas taking place in our industry right now. These ideas range from successful digital innovations, strategies that helped cut costs, and revenue ideas that increased the bottom line. Despite any setbacks and challenges that come at them, these 10 newspapers and the ones listed in our honorable mentions are hopeful for a brighter and stronger future. We hope these ideas will also push your newsroom to growth and prosperity.

} Alexander City Outlook editor Mitch Sheed (left) talks with digital account representative Scott Hardy during an edition of TPI Talks. The sponsored talk show appears on a regular basis and features conversations with local newsmakers.

Alexander City Outlook Alexander City, Ala.

} Sneed (center) leads a daily budget meeting where web presence and traffic is part of the discussion. Sports editor Lizi Arbogast (left), reporter Donald Campbell and design editor Santana Wood all lay out plans for the day’s coverage. Last year owner Kenneth Boone installed flat screens to help track web traffic, what is posted on the paper’s websites and social media platforms.

Circulation: 3,000 daily (Tuesday-Saturday) Like the majority of small newspapers around the country, the Alexander City Outlook has struggled with digital, but the paper recently decided to move away from the “sky is falling” mentality and fully embrace the mission to become a total media company. Editor Mitch Sneed said although they were already experimenting with video and social media, it wasn’t until publisher Steve Baker joined in 2016 that their approach became more aggressive. Pages were added to the paper to utilize photos and visual content, and the five-person editorial team now produces about 12 stories per week. Digitally, live video on the paper’s website and social media pages brought breaking news to users immediately. City council meetings, parades and post-game interviews are broadcast live.

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Sponsors are secured for many of the paper’s regular video features like the sports talk show “Inside the Lines” and newsmaker interview piece “TPI Talk.” Live weather reports and interviews from news feature stories are also captured in both video and still images. The videos often draw tens of thousands of viewers and serve as teasers to the next print publication, according to Sneed. A digital sales specialist was also hired. Web ads, commercials and sponsored content resulted in a jump in digital ad revenue. In the final six months of 2017, the Outlook went from taking in no money on video advertising to averaging nearly $3,000 per month. Overall, digital advertising revenue climbed from $56,000 to $104,000—an 83.9 percent increase from 2016 to 2017. On the paper’s website, the total number of sessions jumped to MARCH 2018 | E & P

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} Sneed does a live social media news break from the entrance to the paper. The live video feeds, which are often sponsored by advertisers, give consumers immediate information but push viewers to the print product for the complete story.

2.3 million an increase of 10.71 percent over the previous year. First-time visits jumped 14.95 percent. Facebook follows jumped by almost 5,000 in a year, with more than 16,000 page likes. Average weekly reach in 2017 was 67,676. “In a town of a little more than 14,000 residents, that’s not too bad,” said Sneed. Instead of getting stuck in the cycle of doing the same thing over and over, the Outlook now abides by a “let’s try it” mantra. By allowing staff to think in different and creative ways, Sneed said it’s improved the newsroom culture and filled the building with excitement. “It always amazes me to see what a small staff can do with the right folks in place,” Baker said. “Our staff has reached well above the expected norm for a small daily newspaper. By embracing the new technology and the total media company concept, they use all the tools at their disposal to connect with our community and beyond.”

Arizona Daily Star Tucson, Ariz.

Circulation: 59,343 daily; 82,978 Sunday The Arizona Daily Star’s Innovation Lab is where “computer nerds and word nerds” come together to merge the principles of human-centered design with technology to create products and solutions that address customer needs. It all started with a digital vertical called #ThisIsTucson ( designed to reach millennial mothers between the ages of 18-35. “#ThisIsTucson is off-platform in that the website is not our main focus,” said editor Jill Jorden Spitz. “We know millennials bump into news on social platforms, smartphone apps and email—for example, they see something interesting on Facebook and click on it, or a breaking news alert pops up on the home screen of their mobile phone and they swipe to read it.” Jorden Spitz said the product was an immediate success. The Facebook page had 4,000 likes before it launched in September 2016. Today, it has more than 29,000 36 |

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} The Innovation Lab team: (left-right, standing) Rob Wisner, director of digital innovation; Irene McKisson, editor of #ThisIsTucson; John Kerr, senior director of digital and classified advertising; Kim Bergeron, community sales event manager; (seated) Becky Pallack, product manager, digital innovation; and Thomas Hruska, developer, digital innovation.

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followers. “In our first year, we reached 45 percent of the millennial women in the metro Tucson area, averaging 42,778 users a month,” Jorden Spitz said. It was the creation of #ThisIsTucson that sparked the idea of an Innovation Lab. Although it was Jorden Spitz who introduced the concept of design thinking to the newsroom, it was reporter Becky Pallack and social media editor Irene McKission who designed #ThisIsTucson. Both of them are now part of the Innovation Lab team. Launched in March 2017, the Lab brought together members of the news, production and advertising staffs to create a variety of innovative concepts. They include Ofertas, a chatbot created for the busy Mexican Christmas shopping season to reach consumers from the northern Mexican state of Sonora; two more bots tailored to parents looking to find the right school for their child and another to help them find the right summer camps; and The Wildcaster, a

sports app customized for University of Arizona Wildcats superfans and featuring a podcast and an interactive scoreboard. The Lab is also exploring ways that virtual assistant Alexa might help subscribers with customer service tasks or offer them interactive news and sports quizzes. They are experimenting with cellphone cameras and 360-degree cameras as storytelling tools, and they are testing Bluetooth low-energy beacons as avenues to connecting readers with geo-specific news or advertising content. When asked how other newsrooms can implement an Innovation Lab, Jorden Spitz said, “Find people in the newsroom with an affinity for this kind of stuff and carve out a space for them to think differently.” And know your audience, she added. “Start with them, then create the product. Build everything for your audience. Know all the platforms they use and know how they use those platforms are different.”


Fort Collins, Colo. Circulation: 11,156 daily; 15,348 Sunday In 2017, the Coloradoan continued to go all-in on an effort to help lead the local news industry’s digital transformation. As a result, the company has seen tremendous results in various places: year-over-year paid subscription growth (online and print) of 994 subscribers in early December 2017; continued year-over-year growth in page views, unique users, video views and various other online metrics; and increased social media followers across Facebook, Twitter Instagram and Snapchat from 97,727 in January 2017 to 115,845 in November 2017—an 18.5 percent increase. News director Eric Larsen credited his team for being unafraid to step up to the challenge. One of them was reporter Erin Udell who created a monthly podcast called “The Way It Is,” focused on the local history of Fort Collins. “Praise for the podcast has been positive, with both loyal Coloradoan listeners and people new to our brand,” Larsen said. “Listeners have tuned in to these stories more than 13,000 times. It’s clearly a creative storytelling format that people in our community crave.” This new digital mindset allowed the staff flexibility to build on ideas. For example, a rebranded weekly newsletter was launched,

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} Crowds and food trucks gathered for food, fun and music at the Coloradoan’s 2017 Food Truck Festi-

val last May. (Photo by Erika Moore/Coloradoan)

resulting in a 27 percent spike in new subscribers and a 4 percent growth in open and click rate. The paper is also experimenting with a new bot that interacts with people through Facebook Messenger, sending alerts and updates on news and entertainment. There are currently about 500 subscribers, according to Larsen. The paper also spent 2017 using a homegrown metrics tool to examine and elimi-

nate low-performing stories. “By reducing our reliance on low-impact commodity journalism to ‘fill the paper’ we’ve been able to free up reporters to pursue improved character-driven narratives, investigations and timely talkers that drive readership.” Larsen said. Hosting events—such as The Storytellers Project, Secret Suppers, Pop-Up Pairings and Brews & News—also gave the paper a MARCH 2018 | E & P

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} Coloradoan arts, entertainment and culture reporter Erin Udell tells her story during a recent Storytellers Project event. (Photo by Timothy Hurst/Coloradoan)

} Content coach Rebecca Powell leads a morning meeting of Coloradoan news staff. (Photo by Austin Humphreys/Coloradoan)

way to connect to the community. Larsen said events have generated more than $30,000 in ticket revenue (12 events have even sold out). He expects the paper to grow in this space. But looking ahead, digital will continue to play a big part in their strategies. “Local news organizations certainly can prosper if they are will-

ing to embrace the societal shift to an increasingly digital future,” Larsen said. “We have an opportunity to make community news a two-way street in ways that it never was when our focus was set on producing a single consumable good. We must make smart decisions to make news consumption a sustaining, social event that feels vital to our communities.”

Fayetteville Observer Fayetteville, N.C.

Circulation: 30,000 daily; 32,000 Sunday Doing more with less is not an easy task. Like most newspapers now-a-days, the Fayetteville Observer’s staff is considerably smaller than it was two years ago. Yet, its executive editor Matt Leclercq found a way to do more with less and grew the newspaper’s online page views to 63 million in 2017 with a change to its digital strategy. The growth developed out of necessity, really. It began a year ago after the Observer’s page production department moved to a design hub at its parent company, GateHouse Media. The move meant the loss of copy desk members that handled most of the web management. When that happened, Leclercq knew the newspaper’s old digital strategy “would no longer work” and something transformative was needed for his now 30-person newsroom. 38 |

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} Mariano Santillan worked primarily as a print graphic artist and web designer before he became part of the Fayetteville Observer’s digital team, where he now focuses on creating interactives, managing the website and developing unique digital content.

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10 who do it right at the Daily Star Left to right: Debbie Kornmiller, Senior Editor; Kim Bergeron, Community Sales Event Manager; Rob Wisner, Director of Digital Innovation; Becky Pallack, Product Manager, Digital Innovation; John Kerr, Senior Director of Advertising; Mark Lolwing, Director of Circulation and Consumer Innovation; Jill Jorden Spitz, Editor; John D’Orlando, President and Publisher; Hipolito Corella, Senior Editor; and Irene McKisson, Editor of #ThisIsTucson

Innovation-inspired enterprise Innovation at the Arizona Daily Star is not a department, it’s a culture. It’s a laboratory crafting products to meet users’ needs. It’s a newsroom creating a digital vertical for young moms in search of things to do with their kids. It’s a circulation department tailoring price-lock programs to its most cost-sensitive readers. It’s an ad staff managing not only clients’ local advertising, but their social media, national marketing and drone photography, too.

We’re proud to be one of the 10 That Do It Right…and first.

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Honolulu Star-Advertiser Honolulu, Hawaii

Circulation: 151,585 daily; 165,538 Sunday

} Fayetteville Observer digital content producer Hrisanthi Kroi (foreground) and digital editor Beth Hutson are constantly monitoring audience engagement using real-time analytics and social media reaction.

Leclercq started by implementing a digital team, which consists of a digital editor and two web managers/content producers, dedicated to producing original digital content, collaborating with reporters, and engaging with readers online. “What the formation of the digital team helped provide was orchestration, ownership and collaboration,” Leclercq said. “Now we could be focused on flow and display of content on the web, in conjunction with our constant conversations with audiences on social media, while providing digital firepower on breaking stories and enterprise.” Instead of just passively moving print content online, the Observer’s team crafts digital content aimed at engaging readers. “Some of our most popular digital content involves us directly interacting with our readers and social media followers,” said Beth Hutson, digital editor. She said the team utilizes Facebook to gather reader’s opinions on hot topics which are then crafted into stories for online and social media. “In some cases, we’ve then gone on to use those in print, turning the old print-first model on its head.” The team also actively collaborates with reporters on presentation for stories online as well as to brainstorm 20 ideas once a week for 20 minutes. Since they’ve started “20 in 20” Hutson said there has been more collaboration between the digital team and the rest of the newsroom, and reporters and photographers are coming up with great digital content not only for their own stories and projects but also standalone digital pieces. For publishers hesitant or not sure with how to start, Lecelercq encouraged them not to be afraid of investing in someone to be their digital leader. “Every newsroom needs a digital champion. Most of us aren’t able to pull a new position out of our hat, much less two or three new positions. But look around the room. You may already have someone who gets it.” 40 |

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When the Honolulu Star-Advertiser saw an opportunity in the market, it pounced. By creating the Digital Billboard Network last year, it’s now close to “achieving over $1 million in annual incremental revenue,” said Dave Kennedy, chief revenue officer. Last year, its parent company Oahu Publications Inc. set out to create a new profit center and the StarAdvertiser ran with the idea. After some digging, the team realized that with the decline of broadcast media audiences, many advertising clients in the area had insufficient channels to utilize commercials they’d created. } The Honolulu Star-Advertiser installed So, the Star-Advertiser digital screens on its existing news racks as leveraged that demand and part of its Digital Billboard Network. supplied an out-of-home digital broadcast system— the Digital Billboard Network—and now the newspaper is tapping into clientele it normally wouldn’t sell to. “We realized this and the fact that recent technology advances now allowed us to leverage our legacy strengths—desirable newspaper/online content and an existing network consisting of hundreds of distribution racks located in high- traffic consumer areas,” said Kennedy. “We then applied these realities to capitalize on the one popular media channel least affected by the digital age—out-ofhome—and enhanced it with the power of sight, sound and motion.” The Network now consists of 100 screens prominently positioned in busy retail centers across Honolulu and Oahu. Utilizing Wi-Fi, the screen is fed looping content consisting of news briefs, point of sale messaging and 15-second commercials from third-party advertisers. As a selling point, the Star-Advertiser employed facial detection technology called SiteView from Phoenix Vision Inc. and installed it into the screens. SiteView measures “the number of times content is actively viewed” by consumers and breaks down the data in terms of

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} Facial detection technology called SiteView tracks the number of consumers who view ads on the screen.

gender and age-bracket. “Advertisers are especially attracted to advertising vehicles that are measurable,” Kennedy said. It wasn’t hard for the newspaper to attract new clients. According to Kennedy, 45 clients were secured in less than six months and 85 percent of the $100,000 in monthly incremental revenue stems from non-traditional newspaper advertisers. Also, the Network has an audience that now rivals local radio stations and morning television shows, according to statistics Kennedy has seen. The attention has also rolled over to the print editions of the newspaper. “Honolulu Star-Advertiser single copy sales have increased significantly in the participating retail stores where DBN SiteView screens are broadcasting,” said Kennedy. There are plans to continue expanding the Network, which is absolutely necessary in today’s media world, Kennedy said. “Innovation and creation of new revenue products is the only way to not only survive, but thrive,” he explained.

Houston Chronicle Houston, Texas

Circulation: 186,538 daily; 292,650 Sunday Devastation and euphoria rippled through the Houston Chronicle’s coverage area last year—first in August with massive flooding from Hurricane Harvey, and then less than two months later, a World Series title. Throughout it all, the Chronicle didn’t skip a beat—thanks in part to extensive preparation and strategic thinking. “If you aren’t prepared, you cannot capitalize on those moments,” said Nancy Barnes, executive editor. Barnes spent the better part of 2016 training reporters from a string of newspapers newly- acquired by the Chronicle. She groomed the weekly staff to be the daily breaking news team in areas the Chronicle couldn’t reach. When Harvey hit in 2017, the training proved vital. “We had weekly reporters stationed in bureaus around the metro area…that were mostly closed off when the highways were flooded,” Barnes said. The weekly team coupled with the main newsroom worked around the clock updating two websites “with everything from useful information—which roads were passable—to constant breaking news about 42 |

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} The staff of the Houston Chronicle

newly flooded areas, shelters, rescue operations, fatalities (and) reservoir safety.” When the print edition could no longer be delivered, the Chronicle lifted its website’s paywall. As the roads cleared, they gave away the paper for seven days. All in the effort to better serve its community, which reaped great rewards—the website hit a record 21 million views in one day and received 98 million page views overall for all Harvey content.

“We believe that this built goodwill not only among our readers, but the broader community that may not frequent our websites on a regular basis,” Barnes said. Attention kept rolling weeks later when the Houston Astros delivered a World Series title (the first in franchise history) to a town very much in need of a victory. Again, the Chronicle made most of the opportunity. “It’s vital that our organizations be ready

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Hawaii’s LARGEST Media

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} Houston Astros fans filled the Houston Chronicle parking lot to purchase a copy of the newspaper after the team won the World Series.

} An Astros fan passionately displays a Houston Chronicle front page after the World Series win.

} The Houston Chronicle staff and contributors worked around the clock to provide updates to its readers when Hurricane Harvey flooded the area.

to serve consumers with the content and products they want, when they want them, and to monetize those opportunities,” Barnes said. And the Chronicle was more than ready. As readers filled their parking lot and lined up around the building, the Chronicle was there. In total, more than 750,000 newspapers were sold following the Astros’ World Series victory, 125,000 of which were printed in anticipation of the high demand. They also sold more than 100,000 memorabilia packages, which is an important lesson about the need to service your customers. “With creative thinking and planning, organizations can find revenue opportunities around…the big moments in life that consumers want to participate in and remember,” Barnes said.

Las Vegas Review-Journal Las Vegas, Nev.

Circulation: 231,443 daily; 164,976 Sunday As the “Best of Las Vegas” rolled into its 36th year, the Las Vegas Review-Journal knew it needed a new approach. Despite doubling its revenue in 2016, the “Best of” section struggled with profits. “In the past, as with most newspapers, we would spend three months, grab the money, run a newspaper section and then have to start all over again,” said Kimberly Parker, vice president of advertising. That wasn’t going to work in 2017, which is why the Review-Journal brought in NERUS Strategies LLC. That move would result in the 2017 “Best of Las Vegas” bringing in more than 1.3 million votes, $725,000 in revenue and an 84 percent revenue growth year-overyear. The NERUS team stepped in and helped the Review-Journal create twice-weekly feature editions for “Best of Las Vegas” and an all-new 120-page full color glossy magazine. In addition, it also created a digital platform which served both the readers (voters) 44 |

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} The Las Vegas Review-Journal created a year-round website for the 2017 “Best of Las Vegas” with the help of NERUS Strategies LLC.

and advertisers, optimizing voter engagement while providing our advertising staff with the ability to serve customers in a new and meaningful way, said Parker.

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WE’RE HONORED y da ber ws cri Ne bs e! A t Su usiv in cl Pr Ex



Thank you Editor & Publisher for naming Newsday as one of the 10 Newspapers That Do It Right. Newsday is proud to develop new and exciting products that keep our readers engaged.  We would also like to congratulate our team of innovative industry professionals who strive to provide the best possible experience to our customers — every day. 



Honorable Mentions The E&P staff thanks each paper that sent us a submission this year for 10 Newspapers That Do It Right. Every year, we’re impressed and encouraged by the good work being done at newspapers around the world. Narrowing down the list to just 10 papers is always a challenge, but we still want to recognize the ones that didn’t quite make the final cut this time.

Canton Repository Canton, Ohio

The Canton Repository produced a 28-page magazinestyle series called “Epidemic: Opioid & Heroin Awareness Toolkit” while forging partnerships with nine local nonprofit agencies to help produce 250,000 high-quality pieces. In addition, the sports department produced a popular 53-week series titled “Stark’s Greatest,” where writers looked back on the greatest teams in the county’s history. The paper also started a program called “Access Eats” that has been distributed to the rest of the properties in GateHouse Media Ohio. The program generated more than $35,000 in revenue.

Cincinnati Enquirer Cincinnati, Ohio

In July 2017, the Cincinnati Enquirer and its sister newspapers across Ohio sent a total of 60 journalists out on more than 120 assignments to chronicle the toll of heroin addiction in the state and around their communities. The result was a raw, yet often moving, chronological narrative called “Seven Days of Heroin: This is What an Epidemic Looks Like.” Published in September 2017, the coverage generated more than 1 million pageviews in just a few weeks.

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Daytona Beach NewsJournal Dayton Beach, Fla.

In 2017, the Daytona Beach News-Journal newsroom increased the “impact journalism” it delivered to its readers. Some of those stories include: a five-part series, “Tarnished Jewel,” focused on Daytona Beach’s struggling core neighborhood on the beach side, and “Rising Seas,” a collaboration with other GateHouse Florida Newspapers on a multi-part series explaining how rising sea level is impacting coastal communities across Florida. Digital traffic also increased 20 percent in 2017, to more than 76.4 million page views. Additionally, revenue from events more than tripled than from what it was three years ago, and promotions generated more than $750,000 last year.

Erie Times-News Erie, Pa.

Top newsroom leaders formed Erie Next as a way to move forward together with the community. The Erie Next commitment took a variety of forms, including scores of solutions-oriented news stories focused on community challenges and opportunities; editorials and other commentary challenging

} With the help of NERUS Strategies LLC, the Las Vegas Review-Journal built the “Best of Las Vegas” into a lifestyle experience.

Not only did NERUS simplify the voting process but it brought a new approach to the project, transforming both the advertiser and user experience, according to Parker. “Whether it was running marketing promotions, designing ads, making sales assist calls or writing content,” she said. “They provide whatever is needed in order to free up sales to do what they are paid to do: sell.” NERUS helped create a year} The Las Vegas Review-Journal round website with a self-serve created an all new 120-page glossy shopping cart function that gave magazine for the 2017 “Best of Las users and customers the freedom Vegas.” to browse at their leisure. “We often found customers logging on during the early morning hours or late in the evening as their own personal schedules allowed,” Parker said. An addition of an entertainment channel filled with ongoing news and events to the site helped boost page views for the ReviewJournal. “It allows us to sell digital solutions to a unique audience that is highly engaged in Las Vegas entertainment, news and travel information,” Parker said. “The website ( now has valuable content year-round.” Most of all, NERUS helped the Review-Journal change the “Best of” experience into a product line, said Parker, and they saved money on production, digital and marketing services. Parker said their partnership with NERUS would continue this year and offered three pieces of advice to other publications with “Best of” programs: “Have it managed outside the newsroom; let it be managed by professionals that know the space; and treat those professionals as partners, not vendors.”

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Congratulations Star-Advertiser for doing it right by revolutionizing the newspaper industry with the

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Glenn Zuehls, President - Digital Billboard Network

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the community and its people and calling its leaders to account; periodic front-page editorials on the community’s most critical issues; a series of public forums that brought community members together to brainstorm solutions and find common cause; and the formation of a Reader Advisory Board to offer counsel.

Globe and Mail

Toronto, Ontario, Canada As a 170-year-old legacy print organization, the Globe and Mail made a deliberate decision to invest in innovation by changing its culture, workflow, workforce and platforms. Some of these examples include building a custom in-house data analytics tool that provides real-time and historical information on what their online audience is reading; the creation of Lab 351 in partnership with Communitech, a nonprofit incubator accelerator; and partnering with the Washington Post’s Arc software, which led to more than 30 percent increased engagement and website page-load speed improving by almost 50 percent.

Herald & Review Decatur, Ill.

In January 2017, the Herald & Review started “Project Reset.” The result includes a reorganized newsroom dedicated to more local voices, stronger visuals and fresh features; improved visibility and public outreach; and an 87 percent jump in year-over-year pageviews in 2017. A podcast called “Voices” was created, featuring journalists discussing their work and how stories come together. 48 |

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There are new email newsletters summarizing the day’s news and sports, as well as regular Facebook Live posts. In addition, the Herald & Review app screenviews increased 228 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Press of Atlantic City Pleasantville, N.J.

The Press of Atlantic City launched Big Surf Media, a small, internal marketing agency to help local businesses build websites, optimize online content, and brand themselves through social media and other channels. All of the work is in house, and the small team consists of seven people from both the sales and editorial sides. The ad director and executive editor run the team, which includes two digitally-savvy sales managers, a web coder, an administrative assistant and a consultant. Only in existence for six months, it is the fastest growing piece of business.

Quad-City Times Davenport, Iowa

The staff at the Quad-City Times formed a team focused on virtual reality. With skills in visuals, editing and storytelling, the team created an app called QCT VR, available for Android and iPhone. The app’s content management system is designed for easy sharing and display of large VR videos. It launched last September with a multi-chapter VR story about the Quad-City Times Bix 7. Sponsors were also found for two of their stories. Looking ahead, the paper’s goal is to produce and publish one VR story a month.

Newsday Melville, N.Y.

Circulation: 277,834 daily; 312,161 Sunday To retain their current subscriber base, Newsday had one answer—give them more. According to Patrick Tornabene, vice president of audience development and analytics, they first experimented with opt-in products for an additional fee, but after seeing a low uptake and low retention numbers, they switched to a no-fee approach. “The results have been dramatic,” said Kim Como, Newsday communications manager. The first free opt-in product was a niche publication of games and puzzles called “Brain Benders Monthly,” a collection of crosswords, Sudoku, Jumbles, and kids’ pages. Launched in May 2016, the churn probability dropped an average of 12 percentage points, according to Tornabene, and in the first year, the publication yielded $3.5 million in retention revenue. In April 2017, a second optin product was released. Called “Classic Editions from The  After switching to a no-fee approach Newsday Vault,” the publicawith their opt-in products, Newsday saw a growth in their retention revenue. tion is a reprint of historical editions from the paper with a cover story that had significant meaning to the area. For example, the first classic edition in April was the opening day of the 1964 New York World’s Fair and a second edition in June was the 1979 Protest at Shoreham, where anti-nuclear protests took place. Tornabene said research showed that 43 percent of responders would be more likely to continue their Newsday subscription in order to keep receiving the Classic Editions. In late 2017, Newsday launched its third opt-in product for subscribers “Long Island Our Story.” Originally published in 1997-98, it documents Long Island from the Ice Age to the Space Age. The reprints are chapters from a book the newspaper published of the same name and it will be released over a series of months. Tornabene said there are currently 32,000 subscribers receiving the

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series. “To pull this off we truly had to involve every department throughout the organization,” said Frank Cutrone, vice president of production. “Departments brainstormed and invented new ways to overcome all the challenges we faced along the way. Together these targeted products are extremely valuable to our audience and exist by pure will and determination of our Newsday team.” And each opt-in product has showcased the value of having a Newsday subscription. Jack Millrod, assistant managing editor, features news desk, said, “The whole idea of the Newsday vault delivering both the Long Island history installments and blast-from-the-past Classic Editions gives us a wonderful way to connect with a past we share with longtime readers. They lived through so many other memorable stories we’ve covered. And for us, it’s like having a time machine that takes us back to a specific day from any time during the eight decades we’ve been covering Long Island.”

 Pictured are members of the Newsday team that worked on the various opt-in products. Members came from different departments, such as editorial, prepress, plate-room, pressroom, IT, machine and electrical.



ROANOKE RAPIDS (NC) DAILY HERALD 5,200 daily circulation

On this well-deserved honor in recognition of your innovation and commitment TO

PAXTON MEDIA GROUP We are pleased to have represented Wick Communications in this transaction.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray Santa Fe, NM

t: 505.820.2700

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Sarasota HeraldTribune Sarasota, Fla.

The Sarasota HeraldTribune continued to expand on its coverage despite shrinking resources. The newspaper took home more than 80 journalism awards during 2017, with the greatest recognition going to its “Bias on the Bench” series. That project explored the disparate sentences that black and white defendants received from the Florida court system. Last year also saw the newspaper launch “Catching Our Drift” series, a three-part that explored the economic crossroads at which Sarasota County and the broader region finds itself.

Sequoyah County Times Sallisaw, Okla.

The Sequoyah County Times designed a treasure chest contest with the goal to increase circulation and readership—but to also generate fun excitement throughout the community. The paper started by purchasing a treasure chest and keys from a promotional company. In the package, participants could order as many “dummy’ keys as they liked and as many “working keys as they chose. The paper sold advertising packages guaranteeing foot traffic into local businesses. The advertising packages were frequency agreements, whereas the advertisers agreed to run their ads throughout the promotion until the treasure chest was opened. 50 |

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State Journal-Register Springfield, Ill.

In May 2017, the state of Illinois was lurching through nearly two years without a state budget. As the capital city newspaper, the SJR editorial board felt an obligation to influence policymakers by helping get citizens engaged and informed, so they launched “Sounding the Alarm,” an ambitious 8-day series of editorials that highlighted the key problems facing the state. The project kicked off with a double-truck graphic highlighting vetted statistics showing how Illinois compared with its Midwestern neighbors on a number of key economic indicators. It then followed up with a series of six editorials making policy recommendations to improve the state’s long-term standing in several key areas. Lawmakers finally passed a budget in early July.

Virginian-Pilot Norfolk, Va.

The Virginian-Pilot introduced readers to Ginny, the paper’s homegrown Facebook bot. Readers could interact with her through Facebook Messenger, including news alerts, story searches, news tips and more. The paper also doubled digit percentage growth on its Facebook and Twitter accounts; shifted focus to local audience growth by joining the Metrics for News program; and put more effort into newsroom culture by cleaning out the old cluttered newsroom and putting an emphasis on training in the newsroom to build digital competency.

} The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram staff in their new newsroom. The space is called Gannett Hall (out of respect for the papers’ original family ownership, Guy Gannett Communications).

Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram Portland, Maine

Circulation: 32,300 daily; 46,600 Sunday Sometimes, a newspaper has to tear down something in order to rebuild. For the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, it was the removal of an old, three-story press. Commercial printing revenue was the fastest growing piece of business, and the company realized it was time to invest in a new press machine. “While our flexo-press served us well for close to 30 years, it was expensive to operate since the plates cost significantly more than plates for a traditional offset press,” said publisher and CEO Lisa DeSisto. “Since the new press is less expensive to operate, we were finally able to compete for commercial printing revenue and now print several titles we do not own. Making the decision to invest in a new press kept 60 jobs in Maine.” The new press—a DGM 850—was installed in December 2016. DeSisto credited the resilience and flexibility of the press operators during the entire transition. “They still had to meet a deadline to get the newspaper to subscribers’ doors by 6 a.m. and not let any of the changes impact deadlines with our commercial printing clients,” she said. In January 2017, the process to dismantle the old press started, which also presented a unique possibility for the newsroom. “This giant vacant space gave us the opportunity to move our newsroom out of the high-rent area in downtown Portland and get everyone together under one roof,” DeSisto said. “Since we also pay for employees parking having plenty of free parking at our printing plant also enabled us to save money. We transformed the former press hall into a beautiful, funky modern workspace (that) now holds the entire newsroom, marketing, circulation, IT, creative services, digital development, a video studio, a cafe space for the staff and company sponsored

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events.” By September, the entire newsroom had all moved into the new space, which is about six miles away from their former downtown location. DeSisto said there is more work that needs to be done to the building, but the new newsroom encourages more collaboration. Everyone occupies the same floor and sits out in the open area, even DeSisto. Only the editor and managing editor have offices. “We engaged the entire staff in the design of the new space as it was important for their ideas on creating a highly productive space helped shape some of our choices,” she said. “What started as a cost-savings measure has been a lift for morale and improved cross-department collaboration. We all love to hear the hum of the press—and with our commercial printing success—we are really humming.”

} Ilene Aleshire, Register-Guard associate editorial page editor (left), and Jack-

man Wilson, editorial page editor, speak at the homelessness forum in January.

Register-Guard Eugene, Ore.

Circulation: 43,575 daily; 47,310 Sunday The Register-Guard saw an under-served problem in its community and set out to raise awareness about an extremely visible sect of the Eugene population: the homeless. What they would go on to achieve brought attention to the issue and made a difference in the community’s approach to the homelessness problem. For editorial page editor Jackman Wilson and associate editorial page editor Ilene Aleshire, homelessness was an issue that could not be properly assessed in one column or even a 10-part series. They decided to tackle the problem over the span of a year. Packaged under the label “Focus on Homelessness,” the team wrote more than 50 editorials on the subject. Topics focused on what was being done to address the problem and showcase solutions that were within reach. “There’s a hunger for evidence that something is being done to deal with this problem,” Wilson said. “We found a lot of it.”

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} The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram recently opened their newsroom for an Instapot cooking contest, where subscribers were invited to come in and sample the food made by chefs.

One example was their coverage of “rest stops,” which are places where groups of homeless people can live such as in cars or primitive shelters without violating anti-camping ordinances. } More than 170 residents attended the Register“We described Guard’s homelessness forum. various aspects of how they work in several of our editorials, with the basic editorial point being that while rudimentary shelter cannot be considered adequate housing, rest stops are a big step up from the street,” Wilson said. “Our work in describing the rest stops and how they operate has led to some reduction in the difficulty of finding sites for them.” Throughout their series, which started in February 2017, the Register-Guard gained the attention of readers, government officials and even academics in the area. “Local government officials and people who work for agencies that work with the homeless population often told us they were pleased that the newspaper was examining the issue and that it gave them information they did not have before,” Wilson said. The Register-Guard wrapped up the series with a public forum this January. About 170 people attended the event, which sold out early, to discuss the series and the issues it raised. Wilson said nearly 25 people spoke, and all of them had something to say that was worth hearing. Although the editorial series officially ended Feb. 11, Wilson said the city’s homeless problem would still be on the paper’s radar. “By providing perspective and fostering ongoing conversations around important issues, local news companies are well suited to meet that need, and to serve local advertisers and benefactors who not only want to help fund the work but be a part of those solutions,” said publisher Logan Molen.  MARCH 2018 | E & P

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P U N A E L C Google’s new built-in ad blocker pushes publishers to create better ad experiences By Sharon Knolle


oodbye forever annoying autoplay videos and large sticky internet ads that take up the whole page. At least, in theory: Google Chrome launched its new built-in ad blocker on Feb. 15 in response to the Coalition for Better Ads’ 2017 Ad Experience Report. It’s part of an initiative to improve the user experience and reduce the number of “bad ads” across the web. But how much will this affect newspapers’ digital revenue? How drastically will they have to reconfigure their ads? And does this give Google too much power over what we see and don’t see when we log on?

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 Damian Radcliffe, professor in journalism at the University of Oregon

 Sean Blanchfield, PageFair CEO and cofounder

According to PageFair’s 2017 study, 11 percent of the global internet population is already blocking ads on the web, a figure that grew 30 percent in 2016. And according to StatCounter, as of January 2018, Chrome was the most popular browser with 56.3 percent of the market. PageFair also reported 21.7 percent of Chrome users already use an ad blocker. That means ad blocking—and Chrome—can’t be ignored.

“PASS OR FAIL” Although E&P went to press before the ad blocker launched, we talked to Google, the News Media Alliance and others about what Chrome’s built-in blocker might mean for news sites. Damian Radcliffe, professor in journalism at the University of Oregon, told E&P, “We know that ad-blocking is a growing trend around the world, and that ad-blockers are used across all demographics, including younger users. The inability to serve ads clearly costs publishers money, but this isn’t a trend that’s going to go away any time soon.” Radcliffe advised, “(Newspapers) need to improve the user experience for readers coming to their digital properties.” He cites an “overwhelming array of banner ads, pop-ups, or side bars full of garish-looking adverts” are often found on local news sites, the kind that make people want to use the most extreme ad blocker possible. “It’s an off-putting experience, which often leads to the content looking ‘buried’ and which does little to drive click-throughs or other forms of engagement,” he observed. Enter the Coalition for Better Ads’ new standards ( 54 |

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 Paul Boyle, News Media Alliance senior vice president of public policy

standards). “It was designed to be a voluntary, multi-stakeholder program, to clean up the digital advertising experience for consumers,” said Paul Boyle, senior vice president of public policy at the News Media Alliance. But now, with Chrome, Google is making these higher standards a commercial reality that publishers can’t avoid. According to a Google representative, Chrome will only filter ads on sites that have been reviewed by the Ad Experience Report, have a “failing” status, and have not been resolved within the 30-day notification period. If a publisher’s ads meet the new standards, then nothing, in theory, will be blocked. Scott Spencer, director of product management for sustainable advertising at Google, told Axios, “Our goal is to not filter anybody. Our goal to get rid of annoying ad experiences to make the internet better.” According to Axios, Google has been auditing sites since June 2017, and only 1 percent of publishers were “non-compliant” with the new ad standards. Of the more than 100,000 sites surveyed, Axios reported, only .5 percent were at the “warning” level of potentially being blocked, and only .9 percent were considered “failing” and would be blocked. Ad Age reported that the six-month grace period that the Coalition advised began in August 2017, when publishers began receiving notices of violations. Spencer told Axios in February 2018, “We’ve been working closely with publishers for months.” Axios also reported that publishers will need to have a 7.5 percent non-compliance threshold before their ads are blocked. And

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“Our goal is to not filter anybody. Our goal to get rid of annoying ad experiences to make the internet better.” that threshold is expected to fall to 2.5 percent as more publishers comply with the standards. Still, some bad ads might slip through and spoil an entire site. “Unfortunately, if a publisher is ‘non-compliant’ after an

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ment where sites contain bad ads above the threshold, all ads to the site—even ads compliant with the standards—would be blocked as it is impossible technologically to filter only the bad ads,” said Boyle. So, how will Chrome’s ad blocker be different than others? Sean Blanchfield, CEO and co-founder of PageFair, broke it down like this: “Adblock Plus, Adblock and the other ad blockers are ruthless in their blocking, and aim to block all ads of all kinds by default—with the exception of some simple ads that they will whitelist, normally in exchange for a cut of the revenue. Chrome ad filtering will only affect a minority of ads that Google and the Coalition for Better Ads have determined to be the worst offenders.” As for Google’s own ads, he surmises, “Most Google ads will not be included in this definition.” AdBlockPlus took it as a point of pride that they block more than Chrome intends to, referring to Chrome’s blocker as more of a “skimmer.” In a January 2018 post, the site said that in a test using the Acceptable Ads standard, Adblock Plus and other ad blockers blocked 92.7 percent of “bad ads,” while stating that “the new CBAendorsed ad skimmer (Chrome) will only block 16.4 percent of the ad types listed in its white paper.” According to Axios, house ads will not be blocked by Chrome, and Google informed E&P that users will still be able to “whitelist” specific ads.

GOOGLE’S DOMINANCE As rival AdBlockPlus observed in its January post about Chrome’s new ad blocker, “For some, Google’s double role as MARCH 2018 | E & P

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IQTEST.qxp_Layout 1 2/12/18 8:43 AM Page 1

IQ Test for Geniuses 1. What is meant by the phrase:

United we stand, divided we fall? (think carefully, you have 4 years to answer correctly)

Stronger the Press, Stronger the People Newspapers strive to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. We fear no one.

E&P is a staunch supporter of the newspaper industry and is dedicated to promoting its success and well-being in the years to come. From time to time, we will print full-page ads such as this, to inspire advertising and marketing ideas — touting the importance of ethical journalism and its value to democracy.



enforcer of CBA standards in Chrome and voting member for the CBA is a bit like the fox guarding the henhouse.” PageFair’s Blanchfield echoed that sentiment. “Google’s current intentions seem benign and focused on the sustainability of the web, but people’s fears about monopoly are understandable.” Given that many publishers are already using Google search, Google ads and maybe even Google hosting, Blanchfield noted, “Many feel that Google is already the gatekeeper of nearly every substantial aspect of their business. By now choosing to globally ban certain poor-quality ads (no doubt, mostly non-Google ads), Google’s immense power over the future of the web is suddenly explicit. Publishers are wondering if they are really independent at all, or just players in a virtual gig economy that helps Google monetize a Google audience with Google ads.” At the News Media Alliance, Boyle said, “While we believe that Google is trying—in good faith—to help clean up the ad experience for consumers and speed up load times—ad blocking within Chrome is deeply concerning to publishers. No publisher wants anyone from the outside to interfere with how their site is presented to the public.” He added, “Our preference would have been a voluntary, self-regulatory program, where all stakeholders in the digital ad ecosystem work to improve the digital ad experience. Under blocking within Chrome, the onus falls squarely on publishers. Because of technological limitations Google will have to block all ads to a site that is not compliant, even ads that meet the Better Ad Standards. This is another example of Google’s dominance as a platform where it can establish rules for publishers and others in the ecosystem.” According to Google, many publishers are voluntarily removing ads that might be filtered out. Prior to Chrome’s launch, a rep told E&P that, of the publishers they’d reviewed whose ads violated the new Better Ads Standards issues, 30 percent had already fixed the

“Google’s immense power over the future of the web is suddenly explicit. Publishers are wondering if they are really independent at all...”

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problem. The Google rep also pointed out that Chrome has always protected users from pop-up windows and warned them if they land on a malwareinfected page, so a built-in ad blocker is simply a natural evolution of the browser’s functionality. “Arguably, in this instance, what Apple and Google are doing is simply making it easier for consumers to do something that increasing numbers of readers are already doing: using ad-blockers.,” Boyle said. “Audiences are using these tools anyway, and will continue to do so, with or without any further assistance from some of the world’s tech giants…It’s too early to say what the impact of Google Chrome’s ad blocker will be, but it’s symptomatic of a wider issue that publishers need to address.”

A CHANGE OF HEART Publishers may be having a change of heart when it comes to ad blockers. Boyle said that News Media Alliance members are working to address consumers’ frustration with ads that disrupt their experience, interrupt content or slow down browsing. “Publishers, advertisers, ad agencies and ad tech must collectively improve the user experience for consumers to discourage the adoption of ad blocking,” he said. “Blocking all ads, however, is not a solution if one acknowledges that high-quality, journalistic content is expensive to produce and advertising revenue is critical for its sustainability in our democracy. I think publishers have done a better job of explaining why ads are needed, and the public generally understands, and would accept ads—as long as they are not disruptive and degrade the user experience.” PageFair’s latest study supports that view. While 74 percent of American ad blocker users say they immediately leave sites that put up a wall to ad blockers, 77 percent are willing to view some ad formats, with a preference for standard display ads. Google noted that the Coalition’s research gives companies data-driven insights for the first time about what constitutes a good ad experience—and what makes for a bad one. And that, despite the potential hassle of getting rid of annoying ads, publishers win if readers have a better experience on their site. What will this mean for digital advertising post ad-blocking? You’re likely to see ads that are less intrusive and much smaller, since some of the worst offenders are those obnoxious “large sticky ads” or ads that take up more than 30 percent of the screen. PageFair’s Blanchfield said, “Newspapers normally have professional ad operations teams focused on maximizing the revenue yield of the advertising they run. This can sometimes lead to heavy ad loads and a lot of tracking. “In contrast, many newspapers have done a great job of playing the long game by focusing on crafting a high-quality experience that will keep their audience returning every day, get rewarded with higher traffic from a loyal returning audience, and can then sell ads at higher prices to advertisers who care about the context their ads are viewed in.” He added, “Although programmatic ad buying can blur the lines between premium sites and less-than-premium experiences, Google’s move 58 |

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“The industry is now focusing on quality over quality again. Not all ad impressions are alike.”

will restrict the supply of low-quality ads, which should increase demand for the high-quality ads that premium publishers are running.” Blanchfield hopes these new standards will raise the quality of ads (and possibly also content) overall. “For years there has been a vicious circle of poor ads monetizing cheap content monetizing viral content. Google’s initiative probably won’t be enough to break us all out of that race to the bottom, but it will help,” he said. It might even help end clickbait. “Unfortunately, we’ve been in a prolonged phase where many publishers who work to build a healthy audience have been losing to lower-quality websites who focus on attracting traffic through click-bait and dubious traffic acquisition tactics,” Blanchfield said. “The industry is now focusing on quality over quality again. Not all ad impressions are alike. As ad spend begins to shift back to quality, so will the quality of our user experiences online.” Boyle agreed: “The mindset of advertising volume needs, in part, to be replaced by quality and relevance, alongside a wide drive to improve the user experience, particularly on mobile. Without these types of improvements, can we really be surprised that consumers are increasingly deploying ad-blockers?” 


STRONG No other profession in the world requires the stamina, strength, and intelligence of newspaper professionals. If newspaper professionals had extra time on their hands, Mount Everest

would be considered a day hike, The Incredible Hulk would be mincemeat, and “Jeopardy” would go broke. One tough crowd — and in today’s challenging world, it’s a good thing.

Editor & Publisher understands what it takes to stay competitive and has helped newspaper leaders stay one step ahead, tackling relevant and timely issues for 132 years.

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If you’re looking to stay on top of your game with comprehensive insight and global perspectives — look to E&P.

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Taking cues from other digital platforms, newspapers are getting more creative with getting people to pay for news By Gretchen A. Peck


or newspapers, the shift from centuries of print and tried-and-true distribution models to the digital field has been monumental. It’s not hyperbole to suggest that every facet of the news publishing organization has been impacted, including how publishers woo readers and earn their trust and loyalty. At the advent of the internet, the industry gave everything away. Newspapers got online the best way they knew how—by dangling free-content carrots before readers and putting their faith in the notion that advertisers would also remain loyal and follow them into the digital unknown. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. Despite the time and resources the industry has thrown at its digital endeavors, there still remains a great uncertainty about how best to compel readers to pay for the reading experience and the service of journalism.

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} Grzegorz Piechota, researcher at University of Oxford and Harvard Business School

SUBSCRIPTION A-LA-CARTE The New York Times just made news by announcing what feels like a significant and noteworthy change to its paywall structure—allowing non-subscribers access to only five free articles per month, instead of the 10 free articles it had been allowing since 2012. Early on, 10 seemed to be the de facto number that the big newspaper brands were willing to “give away” in the interest of compelling a subscriber, but that figure has fallen. “Surely, the New York Times made the decision based upon the analysis of behavior of their users and testing,” said Grzegorz Piechota, a Google digital news senior visiting research fellow with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. He’s also a research associate with Harvard Business School in Boston and will be speaking on “The State of Digital Subscriptions for News Media” at the INMA conference in London this year. “The modern metered paywalls are dynamic,” Piechota continued. “They open 62 |

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} Robbie Kellman Baxter, founder of Peninsula Strategies and author of The Membership Economy

and close pieces of content, adjusting in real time to attributes of individual users.” What that means is that the publisher can assign accessibility rules based on ifthen scenarios—the user’s history with the brand or platform, or whether breaking or public-interest news may warrant opening up access. With his broad, international perspective, Piechota is able to offer some insight into what kinds of modeling appear to generate the most consistent results and long-term reader relationships. “In general, I find that recurrent models, such as subscriptions, generate bigger revenue and are more profitable over time than pay-as-you-go models or iTunes-like a-la-carte models,” he said. “The publishers that enjoy the biggest success with digital subscriptions are those who have attracted loyal digital audience. By loyal, I mean users who directly access news websites or apps, and who established a habit to do it regularly. In most cases I’ve studied worldwide, direct access, frequency of visits and volume of usage are the most useful predictors of likelihood to subscribe.” Piechota said that e-newsletters have

} Gwen Vargo, American Press Institute director of reader revenue

been helpful in luring those habitual users, but there are other methods that are showing promise as well. He cited mobile notifications, daily 360 video stories and serial content, like a series on personal finances he’s been reading on the New York Times website. There is also much to be learned from digital audio and video. “In both industries, subscriptions have surpassed a-lacarte models in the total numbers of users and revenue,” Piechota said. “In many markets, it is perhaps video services such as Netflix, and music services such as Spotify, that teach consumers that quality content needs to be paid (for)…Netflix and Spotify also raise the bar for news publishers as they shape consumers’ expectations about guaranteed multi-platform access, slick design and user experience, broad selection of content, multiple payment options, and they seem to set reference prices in consumers’ minds.”


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“Other variables that we have found that resonate with consumers are being part of a community, as well as being an informed and engaged citizen.” } Peter Doucette, Boston Globe chief consumer revenue officer

based news organization built entirely on a digital platform and serving up an ad-free experience for its readers. By the end of 2016, the brand had amassed more than 52,000 paying members. A year later, it boasts more than 60,000. One of the ways in which De Correspondent may be a little different is that it messages its value proposition a little differently to its readers. With plain-reading, easy-to-digest infographics, they tell their paying members just how that money is being spent—how much goes to editorial staff, to paying for overhead, for technical development, office expenses, special events and marketing, taxes and other cost categories. In this way, readers not only have the visceral perception of appreciating the news they read, they can more easily appreciate all that goes into making it. Despite the member numbers, no one is resting on laurels at De Correspondent. Co-founder and CEO Ernst-Jan Pfauth promised that the company continues to reimagine its member campaign, and that some changes are bound for late 2018. The paywall at the Boston Globe has had a few iterations since the newspaper

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first announced it. Peter Doucette, chief consumer revenue officer, recounted its evolution: “The Boston Globe fundamentally believes that quality journalism is worth paying for, and has been an innovator in the digital subscription space since the launch of our premium website in 2011. was designed and implemented to provide a great reader experience and leverages a subscription-first business model. “It debuted as a hard paywall and over time has evolved to a meter-based approach. We have experimented with a number of models to drive subscriptions using levers, including the number of free articles and the duration of time for a reader to sample our content. The Globe does not allow exceptions to the meter, including from search, social media or private browsing,” he explained. Doucette credits “quality and engaging content” and price as essential subscription drivers; however, he noted that there are other influences, as well. “Other variables that we have found that resonate with consumers are being part of a community, as well as being an informed

and engaged citizen,” he said. Doucette has carefully observed other digital content brands and how they’ve inspired memberships. “I think quality and exclusive content that is relevant for your target customers is key,” he noted. “HBO is a great example here. Netflix has done a tremendous job in personalizing the experience, which drives customer engagement, as well as creating a binge-viewing behavior. Also, I think Spotify has done a great job with a simple and easy user experience that gets customers to access their content wherever it fits into their lives.” When asked about the recent change to the New York Times’ model, Doucette said he wasn’t surprised by the announcement. The Globe has already come to a similar juncture with its own metered model. “I think it makes a lot of sense,” Doucette said. “Many publishers have already begun to experiment with fewer free articles and are reporting digital subscriber growth. Last year, the Boston Globe lowered our number of free articles from five to two, and as a result saw our best year ever for digital subscriber growth.”

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ONLY BEHAVIORAL MODIFICATION One of the things that newspaper publishers may be missing is the distinction between “subscriptions” and “memberships,” said Robbie Kellman Baxter, founder of Peninsula Strategies, a marketing consultancy based in Menlo Park, Calif. Baxter is scheduled to deliver the keynote address, “Media Leaders: Move Your Mindset From Subscription to Membership,” at INMA 2018. “Subscription is more about pricing. You can use it as a tactic,” Baxter said. “And membership is about a mindset.” The goal with membership is to solve a problem for a customer forever, to create a long-term relationship rather than an anecdotal one based purely on a price. Baxter began formulating this idea of a “membership economy” when she was working with Netflix more than a decade ago, and subsequently authored a book based on her findings called The Membership Economy. “Newspapers have had subscriptions forever, but they don’t have a membership mindset,” she said. “They don’t put their members at the center of what they do, and in fact, a lot of news organizations actually have a real schism between the people who create the product, the journalists, the consumers and the readers. There’s even a sense that it’s a little dirty to care what your readers think.” That’s not to say that most journalists or publishers don’t care about their readers and how they’re communicating information to them, but in relationship to how they formally compel readers to take out their credit card and opt-in, there is some disconnect, Baxter explained. She offered an analogy. Think of bicycle manufacturers. Many of those products are made by bicycling enthusiasts themselves, who make the product for other people like themselves—serious bikers who appreciate how light a bike is, how sturdy, fast or tricked out it is. However, Baxter noted, the vast number of bike consumers are not those buyers. They’re mothers buying a bike for a child. They’re commuters who care more about safety or how to carry things with them on the bike. “There can be tremendous honor in making a great bike for a commuter or a great bike for a family that’s optimized for that type of client. It doesn’t have to be that all bikes are optimized for 45-year-old cycling enthusiasts,” she said. So, how can newspapers begin to think of subscribers as “members?” It starts with the mission, Baxter said. Though the platforms have multiplied, the mission for many newspapers has remained the same since they began printing to broadsheet, tossing papers on front porch steps or grabbing eyes from newsstands: To deliver invaluable information at a price. For newspapers, there’s always been a theory that “exclusive” content was the most valuable, or that well-written articles are like the news cream that rises to the top. Baxter thinks that’s all wrong 64 |

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“Some content is worth paying for, and other content is not. The quality of writing and the research does not determine the value, and I think that’s the first hurdle to get over...” in today’s digital landscape. “Some content is worth paying for, and other content is not. The quality of writing and the research does not determine the value, and I think that’s the first hurdle to get over,” she said. “Just because it’s well-written does not mean that I’m willing to pay for it. That’s complicated further by the amount of freely available news. “I have news clients say to me all the time, ‘But our coverage is better.’ But I think that many people will acknowledge that and think, ‘Well, yes, it’s better, but I don’t need better if I can find a source that’s accurate, timely and free.’ So the next thing to figure out is what content has value, and to be brave about dropping some of the stuff that you’ve always done but no one is willing to pay for anymore.” Baxter also noted she hears from journalists who frequently tell her that they have built “it”—great content, admirable journalism, invaluable to the community—and yet readers still aren’t willing to pay for “it.” Thus, this is the reason why so many non-profit news organizations launched in the past decade; they’re filling in that need without the constraints of needing to turn exponentially greater profits. For newspapers strapped with both tasks—putting out exceptional journalism and making a profit for publishers or shareholders—it may mean a lot more experimentation with newsroom focus, how information is communicated and delivered, what platforms they should be investing in, and how they’re going monetize

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the content in a way that builds those long-term relationships with readers. Baxter stressed that there’s a lot to learn about changing consumer behaviors from digital music and digital video. When we spoke for this article, both HBO and Netflix had just reported that 2017 had been a record-setting year, in terms of cross-platform subscriptions, meaning subscribers can watch from whatever devices they choose, whenever they choose. It’s important to give due credit to their content, including some award-winning, wildly popular brands. But it would also behoove publishers to pay close attention to how much of the credit should also be given to the clever ways in which these businesses have partnered with others—for example, rolling out special bundled incentives to consumers, much like cable companies have crafted introductory offers with free premium channels like HBO. “What they’re doing is looking for a new way to pay for it, so they’re all doing a land grab,” Baxter said. “With Spotify or Pandora, they’re trying to change the habit. Instead of having you listen to CDs or buy songs one at a time for 99 cents or whatever the cost, they want you to stop thinking about music in that way entirely. They want you to stop thinking of music as something you own, and start thinking about it as something you access. That’s a change in behavior… “I would argue that the New York Times was giving 10 articles a month away as a tactic to get people to change their behavior… It wasn’t about price point. It was about demonstrating value to the readers, who may think they’re not accessing the newspaper that often in an average month, but lo and behold, every month the reader bumps up against that paywall, until finally realizing, ‘I guess I am reading the New York Times online a lot.’ The justification to a ‘freemium model’ has always been to change the behavior and to drive subscriptions. Now, they’ll do it with five free articles.” In addition to keeping close tabs on what’s happening in digital video and audio, Baxter recommended publishers watch the Washington Post closely in the coming year, citing the “deep pockets” of Amazon and owner Jeff Bezos as giving that newspaper a leading edge and the luxury of membership experimentation. Before serving as the American Press Institute’s (API) director of reader revenue, Gwen Vargo worked in publishing, where audience was the daily focus. There, understanding print readers were far more complex; in fact, it was nearly opaque, Vargo recalled. Publishers were able to conduct surveys and host focus groups, but what they were able to glean was unsophisticated compared to the digital behavioral data of today. One of the continued struggles that newspaper publishers are facing is how to convert print subscribers to digital platforms. “As far as account activation campaigns go—moving readers from print to digital—I think there’s a lot of runway. There’s a lot of work still to do,” Vargo said. “The challenges that publishers are going to have moving forward is how to maintain print and have it

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“The challenges that publishers are going to have moving forward is how to maintain print and have it be profitable. I think it’s something that every publisher is wrestling with.” be profitable. I think it’s something that every publisher is wrestling with.” Comparing subscription modeling to a funnel, Vargo said that social media channels are “a great top to (it).” For example, social media posts can drive e-newsletter opt-ins, which can ultimately lead to subscription sign-ups. Vargo is bullish on the New York Times’ and others’ approach to metered content. “It makes sense to me,” she said of the reduction in free access. “The Times has been intentional about creating their subscriber-first strategy a few years ago, and I think this is part of that. Their digital subscriptions are outpacing print now, and it puts them in a position where they can create more demand around their paywall, more friction. When you’re lowering your meter, you are confident that more people will subscribe.” Vargo also spoke about the cultural shift over the past year, with readers more inclined to pay for digital news because they better understand its value and importance. When asked if this might be a “bubble” that will burst, leaving newspapers clamoring for digital readers anew, Vargo said it’s not likely. “I think (the upward trend) will continue, because there’s been a realization—especially with local newspapers—that newspapers are in a unique position to serve their communities, so I’m cautiously optimistic.”  Gretchen A. Peck is an independent journalist who has reported on publishing and printing for more than two decades. She has contributed to Editor & Publisher since 2010 and can be reached at MARCH 2018 | E & P

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Stronger the Press, Stronger the People Newspapers strive to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. We fear no one.

E&P is a staunch supporter of the newspaper industry and is dedicated to promoting its success and well-being in the years to come. From time to time, we will print full-page ads such as this, to inspire advertising and marketing ideas — touting the importance of ethical journalism and its value to democracy.

NewsPeople Mac Tully has resigned as publisher and CEO of the Denver Post after four years in the position. At the Post, Tully helped launch The Know, The Cannabist and Insights Lab. He spent a total of 40 years in the newspaper business, previously serving as publisher of the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News. Scott Stoddard has been named editor of the Grants Pass (Ore.) Daily Courier, where he was a sports reporter from 1990 to 1994. Previously, he was editor of The Issaquah (Wash.) Press. He has also worked in a variety of newsroom roles at the San Antonio Express-News, the Seattle PostIntelligencer, the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune and the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash. Laura Hollingsworth has resigned as president of the Tennessean in Nashville, Tenn. Hollingsworth leaves her post after 29 years with parent company Gannett. Prior to working for the Tennessean, Hollingsworth worked at the Des Moines Register as president and publisher and as a regional group president overseeing sites across the country. In 2016, when Gannett acquired the Memphis Commercial Appeal

By Jesus A. Ruiz

Terri Leifeste has been promoted to senior group publisher for GateHouse Media. Formerly, Leifeste was president of a group that operated the Jefferson City News Tribune and the Fulton Sun, both in Missouri. In her new role, she will oversee nine publications owned by GateHouse in central and north Missouri: the Hannibal Courier-Post, the Chillicothe News, the Kirksville Daily Express, the Linn County Leader, the Mexico Ledger, the Moberly Monitor-Index and the Boonville Daily News. She replaces Rustan Burton, who held the title of publisher since January 2017.

and the Knoxville News Sentinel, Hollingsworth’s responsibilities were focused on Tennessee. Kathy Jack-Romero has been promoted to communities vice president for the USA Today Network. JackRomero will oversee service of local advertising accounts across 50 community news organizations in the Network. Prior to her new role, Jack-Romero served as president and publisher since 2013 for the Coloradoan newspaper, which she joined in 2005. Kat Downs has been named director of product at the Washington Post, where she will lead teams focused on engagement and subscriptions. She will also be responsible for development and direction of the road map for, classic and rainbow apps, newsletters, video, story tools and subscriptions. Most recently,

Paul Fanlund has been named publisher of The Capital Times in Madison, Wis. Fanlund will continue to serve as editor as well as represent the Cap Times within the Capital Newspapers Inc. organization. He will also oversee, which is owned by the Cap Times. Fanlund began his career at the Cap Times in 2006 after holding the role of vice president for Capital Newspapers Inc. Before that, he was the editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.

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Downs was the director of graphics at the Post. She joined the paper in 2008 as a news designer, moved to graphics in 2012 as a deputy, and was named director eight months later. Fuller Cowell has retired as publisher of the Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner. Cowell will serve as a consultant before continuing as a member of the NewsMiner’s editorial board. Richard Harris, the publisher of the Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, has been named successor. Tara Klostreich has been named publisher of the Wahpeton (N.D.) Daily News. Klostreich will also serve as publisher of the News-Monitor, Southern Valley Living and Southern Valley Shopper. Previously, she served as general manager of the newspaper since 2016 and as advertising manager in 2015. She started her career at the Daily News as an advertising representative in 2006. Lisa Chappell has been named publisher of the Cleburne (Texas) Times-Review. She will continue to serve as publisher of the Weatherford Democrat, the Mineral Wells Index, the Gainesville Daily Register and the Greenville Herald-Banner. Chappell joined the Time-Review’s parent company, CNHI, as an advertising account executive for Herald-Banner Publications in 2003. She was promoted to advertising director in 2005 and publisher in 2007. In 2016, MARCH 2018 | E & P

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NewsPeople she was promoted to regional sales director for the North Texas group and then in 2017, she was named group publisher. Chappell succeeds Kay Helms, who has retired after 37 years. Rachel Glaser has been appointed to the New York Times Co. board of directors. Glaser is the chief financial officer at Etsy and also served in the CFO role at Leaf Group and Move Inc. Glaser began her career at the Walt Disney Co. where she served in a variety of roles including finance, operations and technology. Brandon Hughes has stepped down as publisher of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in Texas. He began his career at the AvalancheJournal in 1992 and was named publisher in 2015. Throughout his career, Hughes held several management positions including vice president of circulation at both the Avalanche-Journal and the Amarillo Globe-News. Miki King has been named vice president of marketing at the Washington Post. In her new role, all marketing functions outside of client solutions will now report to her. King joined the Post two years ago. Robyn Tomlin has been named a regional editor with McClatchy. She will oversee seven newsrooms in the Carolinas and will be based in Raleigh, N.C. In North Carolina, the newspapers include the News & Observer in Raleigh, the Charlotte Observer and the Herald Sun in Durham. The newspapers in South Carolina include the Island Packet in Hilton Head, the Beaufort Gazette, the Sun News in Myrtle Beach, The State in Columbia and the Herald in Rock Hill. Her previous role was as managing editor with the Dallas Morning News. 68 |

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ACQUISITIONS Outer Banks Newsmedia, LLC has completed its purchase of The Coastland Times in North Carolina from Times Printing Co. and its longtime owners, the Meekins family. The sale price was not disclosed. The granddaughter of the late Francis Meekins Jr., Theresa Schneider will be the newspaper’s general manager. Schneider previously held the title of editor and publisher until her grandfather’s death in 2010.Tony Clark, publisher of The Tidewater News in Franklin, Va. will serve as publisher of The Coastland Times. John Carr, publisher of the Suffolk (Va.) News-Herald, will also make a management contribution. Campbell Newspapers has purchased the Biloxi-D’Iberville Press, the Ocean Springs Record, and the Ocean Springs Gazette from James and Cindy Ricketts. The purchase price and the terms were not disclosed. The two Ocean Springs publications will be merged into the Ocean Springs Gazette & Record. Schneps Communications has acquired the Long Island Spanish-language weekly newspaper Noticia from the Diaz family.The family-run Schneps also owns the Long Island Press, Queens Courier, and another Spanish-language newspaper, El Correo. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Noticia started in Hempstead, N.Y. in 1991 by William and Vicky Diaz. Schneps owns and operates 24 publications and websites and half a dozen of which were acquired in the last three years. The Baker family has entered into an agreement to sell all of the assets of RG Media Company, which includes the Eugene Register-Guard, to GateHouse Media. The terms of the sale were not disclosed. The Register-Guard has a circulation of 46,000 and is the largest daily home delivery newspaper in Oregon. The Guard was founded in 1867 by J.B. Alexander. It went through several owners before it was acquired by Alton F. Baker in 1927. Three years later, Baker bought the competing Register and merged the two newspapers into the Eugene Register-Guard. North Forty News, based in Wellington, Colo., has completed the purchase of Scene magazine. The magazine’s name will change to The New Scene magazine and will focus on Northern Colorado’s arts and entertainment. Markus Feldenkirchen has been promoted to executive vice president for North America for Lineup Systems, a provider of advertising sales technology. Feldenkirchen brings 20-year of experience from roles that include developing and delivering technology solutions that help publishers monetize print and digital services. Lauren Gustus has been named a regional editor with McClatchy. She will be based in Sacramento, Calif. and responsible for five California newsrooms: the Sacramento Bee the Fresno Bee, the Modesto Bee, the Merced Sun-Star and the Tribune in San Luis Obispo, and the Idaho Statesman in

Boise. Gustus previously served as executive editor at the Star-Telegram in Forth Worth, Texas. Chris Powell has retired as managing editor of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Conn. Powell held that role since 1974 and joined the company in 1967 after graduating from high school. Before landing in the news department at the Inquirer, he worked in various areas of the company like the press and circulation desk. From 1974-1991, he was the editorial page editor for the newspaper. Ann Norman has been named editor of

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NewsPeople the Sun News in Cleveland, Ohio. She succeeds Linda Kinsey, who retired after working 34 years with the Sun News and Norman has worked in community news since 1985 and prior to her new role, she worked as the Sun News/ freelance reporter. Norman previously worked at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Lake County News-Herald and the Delaware Gazette. Tracy Grant has been named managing editor for staff development and standards at the Washington Post. Grant has worked for the Post for 25 years and has held various editorial roles including deputy managing editor, Weekend editor, KidsPost editor, and the newsroom’s first web editor. Nathan Edwards has resigned as president of the Clarion Ledger and Hattiesburg American, both in Mississippi. Edwards will relocate to North Carolina to take on a position overseeing regional promotions for GateHouse Media. He started at the company in 2015 when he assumed the role of general manager of the Hattiesburg American. Later that same year, he was named president. Longtime Connecticut sports journalists Jeff Jacobs and Paul Doyle have joined the Hearst Connecticut Media Group. Jacobs was named a columnist and Doyle is the sports enterprise editor. Jacobs is a 10-time Connecticut Sports Writer of the Year and worked for the Hartford Courant as a sports columnist for the past 22 years. Doyle began his career at the Courant in 1989 and in 2016 he was named the Connecticut Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. Kate Davey has been named vice president

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Zach Ahrens has been named general manager of Central Missouri Newspapers Inc. In his new role, Ahrens will oversee the day-to-day operation of the Jefferson City News Tribune, Fulton Sun, California Democrat newspapers, HER magazine, CMNI’s commercial printing facility and Flypaper digital marketing agency. Previously, Ahrens was the president and publisher of the Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal since 2015, and prior to that, he served in the same capacity for The Log Cabin in Conway, Ark.

of revenue strategy at the Washington Post. She joined the finance organization at the Post in 2002 as an intern. She progressively moved up the ladder to her most recent role as client solutions in the advertising department, which she began in 2010. Autumn Phillips has been named managing editor of the Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C. Most recently, she served as executive editor of the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa. Phillips began her career with the Times in 2015 and worked for its parent company, Lee Enterprises, since March 2012. Prior to the Times, Phillips was the editor of the Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale, Ill. Joe Kieta has been promoted to editor of The Fresno Bee. He succeeds Jim Boren, who has retired. Kieta’s previous role was editor of The Modesto Bee. He also will maintain his role overseeing the Merced Sun-Star newsroom. Les Simpson has stepped down as the publisher of the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News after serving for 15 years in that position. Before coming to the GlobeNews in 2002, he was the assistant general manager of the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle.

Ray Kisonas has been named interim editor of the Monroe (Mich.) News. Kisonas had been a reporter for the newspaper for 31 years. He replaces Jill Nevels-Haun, who has accepted a position in Texas. Cory Spiers has joined the Mitchell NewsJournal in Spruce Pine, N.C. as the paper’s general assignment and sports reporter. Spiers worked previously in various positions at the Hickory (N.C.) Daily Record and the Enquirer-Journal in Monroe, N.C. Derl McCrudden has been named deputy managing editor for digital and visual journalism at the Associated Press. In his new role, he will guide digital strategy and publish video news in both broadcast and digital mediums. McCrudden joined the AP in 2010 and served as head of international video since 2014. Prior to that, McCrudden worked in broadcast news for various organizations including ITN, Al Jazeera English and CNBC Asia. Jim Kirk has been named editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. He replaces Lewis D’Vorkin, who will now serve as chief content office of parent company, Tronc. Kirk, who joined Tronc in August, previously served as publisher and editor of the Chicago Sun-Times. Karen Miller Pensiero has been elected to the board of directors at the Dow Jones News Fund. Pensiero, managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, formerly worked for the Dow Jones News Service as copy editing intern in 1984. 

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THE 22 YEAR OLD leading newspaper in the Caribbean Island nation of St.Kitts And Nevis is for sale. It is the paper of record for the Caribbean paradise. The publication comes with it’s own printery, 22,000 square foot building with a 3,000 square foot apartment on the third floor with a view of the ocean .The facility is located on an acre of land.The newspaper produces good advertisement revenue with potential for much more. Serious inquires only to,

Help Wanted

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ADVERTISING/MARKETING DIRECTOR: The Cortland Standard is a 6,000 circulation independent, family-owned daily newspaper (Mon-Sat. p.m.) with a 150 year history and weekly TMC product in Cortland, N.Y., at the gateway to the Finger Lakes in Central New York. With the impending retirement of its longtime advertising director, the Cortland Standard is seeking a manager of print and digital advertising sales to pursue new revenue opportunities such as community events and market the company in innovative ways. Cortland is the county seat at the crossroads between Syracuse, Ithaca and Binghamton, home to a state university, a not-for-profit hospital, manufacturers and four ski resorts within a short drive. The picturesque area offers a variety of outdoor pursuits, and a vibrant cultural scene centered on a historic downtown that has seen tens of millions of dollars of investment recently. See more at this link: Salary is commensurate with experience. The Cortland Standard offers several health insurance options, life insurance and a 401(k) plan in addition to salary. Send resume, cover letter and references to: Cortland Standard, attn: Evan Geibel, Publisher, P.O Box 5548, Cortland, NY 13045 or email ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: Prescott Newspapers, Inc., a subsidiary of Western New&Info., Inc., is seeking an Advertising Director, a vibrant, forward thinking candidate who can provide a proven track record of advertising sales success to lead our sales team. The right applicant must be results driven, create and implement aggressive digital strategies, posses effective building of a cohesive team and provide continuous forecasting to ensure budget goals are met. The experienced candidate will posses solid leadership and advertising sales management in the print and digital media arena and assist the Publisher in new product development. Comprehensive benefit package, 401 (k) and Paid Time Off. EEOE, NSE. Please send resume to: ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: Privately held Hagadone Newspapers, North Idaho properties, is searching for a candidate to lead advertising sales for the Coeur d’Alene Press. Work with the best while living in the desirable Pacific Northwest. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho…a Lake City known for its Resort community, beautiful mountainous terrain, expansive lakes and an abundance of four-seasons outdoor activity. In this exciting role you will drive top-line revenue while leading an established sales team of Multimedia Account Executives and Facilitators. Reporting to the publisher and separate from heavy corporate oversight, you will demonstrate a history of driving sustainable results within a positive team atmosphere and with an ability to work independently while thinking and acting strategically. Lead in sales, lead in the community. As a senior executive, you will also spend quality time representing the newspaper while engaging with advertisers, community leaders, organizations and events. Qualifications: Experience introducing best-practices and creating a highly motivated sales team will be a top priority. Authentic ability to inspire and lead inside and outside sales teams. Proven success in newspaper-media sales leadership with +5 years’ experience and track record of developing budgets and growing revenue. Meaningful expertise leading digital sales preferred. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in marketing, advertising or related field. Strong skills in integrating analytics, market insights, strategies, account planning and other best practices to create and execute successful sales growth. Send cover letter and resume to Only applicants meeting the strict criteria outlined above will be contacted as part of the shortlisting process.

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COPY EDITOR: Paxton Media Group LLC has an opening for a copy editor in its Paducah, Ky., Page Design Center. The PDC produces 9 newspapers, associated weeklies and special sections.

PRESSROOM MANAGER: The Sacramento Bee has an immediate opening for a Pressroom Manager in its Production division. In this role, the Pressroom Manager directs and coordinates activities of Prepress, Pressroom and Maintenance departments in the manufacturing of 5 daily newspapers and associated runs. This entails performing the following duties personally or through subordinate supervisors. ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned. Plans and directs prepress and pressroom operations, establishing priorities and sequences for printing of the newspaper. Reviews production schedules to ascertain data such as quantities and specifications of the newspaper in order to plan department operations. Prepares operational schedules and coordinates prepress and pressroom activities to ensure production and quality of the newspaper meets specifications and established deadlines. Reviews production and operating reports and resolves operational, printing, and maintenance problems to ensure minimum costs and prevent operational delays. Prepares 5-year capital expense budget and recommends expenditures for acquisition of new equipment. Develops, administers and forecasts an operating expense budget, maintaining expense budget; plans, implements and negotiates purchases for various capital projects. Inspects presses and equipment to ensure specific operational performance, safe operation and optimum utilization; provides technical support for prepress and pressroom. Develops or revises standard operational and working practices and observes employees to ensure compliance with standards. Compiles, stores, and retrieves production data. SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES Manages four subordinate supervisors who supervise a total of 45 employees in the Prepress, Pressroom and Maintenance Departments. Is responsible for the overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of this unit. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems. QUALIFICATIONS To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS Bachelor’s degree (B. A.) from four-year college or university; or five to ten years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience. Computer skills, knowledge of graphic arts and management experience in a technically oriented field are essential for this position. To apply, email

Experience on a commercial newspaper copy desk is preferred. However, recent graduates with editing and design experience at college newspapers will also receive strong consideration. The open position involves the pagination of sports pages, although some shifting of duties could occur depending on the person hired. The Page Design Center uses Adobe In-Design CS-6 for pagination, so experience creating pages and paginating them with this software is a plus. Paxton Media Group LLC is the publisher of more than 30 daily newspapers in the South and Midwest. Paxton Media Group LLC offers a choice of health plans, 401(k) with company match and other attractive benefits. Please email resume and work samples to with “copy editor” in the subject line. EDITOR: The Adirondack Explorer, a non-profit newsmagazine devoted to the protection and enjoyment of the Adirondack Park, is looking for an outdoor-loving, top-notch editor to carry on this 20-year enterprise. The successful candidate will be an experienced journalist equally adept at writing and editing and who is comfortable posting digital content from a phone, laptop, or desktop computer to a variety of platforms. The Explorer is a print magazine (with a digital app) that comes out six times a year. It also publishes an Annual Outings Guide. The editor will be expected to write a few articles for each issue and assign other articles to a parttime reporter and a stable of freelance reporters, columnists, and photographers. The editor will edit stories closely for accuracy, completeness, readability, and grammar. In addition, the editor will work with the staff to produce and post digital content-including articles, photos, and videos-for the Adirondack Explorer and Adirondack Almanack websites and affiliated social media. The editor also will be asked to dream up new ways to use the content in the Explorer‘s rich archives for books and digital platforms. Candidates should have a keen interest in environmental issues and outdoor recreation. The Adirondack Park encompasses about six million acres, about half of them public land. You could spend a lifetime exploring its many mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers. Interested candidates should send a resume and letter of interest to Publisher Tracy Ormsbee at

INDUSTRIAL MAINTENANCE MECHANIC: To act as Industrial Maintenance Mechanic for the Sun-Sentinel Production Maintenance Department in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Responsible for mechanical maintenance and repair of production related equipment to ensure maximum availability, and reliability to the users. • To mechanically repair all production equipment related to the operation of the newspaper. • Must furnish all tools necessary to complete repairs and maintenance to production equipment. • To identify problems with processes or equipment requiring corrective action or maintenance and to communicate these to the Shift Supervisor. • To diagnose equipment malfunctions and determine the need for adjustment and repair to ensure maximum reliability to users. • To perform preventive maintenance functions according to department programs and within the specified time frame. • To maintain timely and accurate maintenance records and reports in order to track the reliability of preventative maintenance programs. • To recommend parts for repair of replacement and to help maintain current inventory levels. Having the ability to run a manual lathe, mill and welder are helpful to this position. To apply, email

The Paducah Sun located in Paducah, KY is a 6 night per week operation printing various other area web publications.

REPORTER: The Paducah Sun, located in Paducah, Kentucky, is seeking a talented reporter to handle a variety of news assignments and develop solid enterprise stories. The ideal candidate will have a college degree and at least a year of reporting experience. We hope to fill the position before the end of February. Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, references and no more than three stories to Executive Editor Steve Wilson at

EMPLOYMENT ADVERTISING SPECIAL! Up to 100 words in print for 1 one issue + an online ad of any length for 5 weeks

$125.00 Additional ad copy: $20.00 per 35 words

“I’m extremely pleased with the fantastic results we receive from advertising in E&P.” - Kevin B. Kamen, Kamen & Co. Group Services

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Call 800-887-1615 to place your ad today! MARCH 2018 | E & P

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shoptalk /commentary If the Internet Didn’t Exist, Where Would Newspapers Be? By Paul Fanlund


recently gave a podcast interview (bit. ly/2Ew9r2X) about the future of the newspaper industry and was asked how the business would be different if the internet had not been invented. I offered a two-part answer. First, the newspaper revenue model, especially the once-robust classified advertising business, would be considerably healthier. Sites such as Craigslist and changed everything. Other forms of print advertising have also been affected and, as years passed, fewer new readers assumed the ink-on-paper reading habit, opting for screens. That downward business pressure has resulted in fewer jobs in newspaper journalism. There were 41,400 people employed as reporters and editors in the newspaper industry in 2015, the latest figure available, a 37 percent decrease from 2004, according to the Pew Research Center. Editors do their best to serve readers with fewer journalists, notably by protecting frontline reporting positions at the expense of the layers of editing that used to be common. For example, when I freelanced for the New York Times in the 1980s, I might interact with three or four editors on a single story. In June, the Times eliminated its copyediting desk. Part two of my answer is that, internet or not, the newspaper business would still be much changed from the old days because much of society has split into ideological tribes affecting their media choices. With the advent of conservative Fox News on cable television about two decades ago, the mainstream media entered an era in which claims of bias often became the first line of defense against negative stories. Granted, the internet, with its ease of entry, has sped up this phenomenon. But it was cable television and its incessant appetite for “talking heads”—or perhaps “shouting

heads”—that set us on a path towards today’s bifurcated media ecosystems. Talk radio was also a cause, and it would also be flourishing without the internet. So, while the internet poses a massive challenge to the business of newspaper journalism, this liberal-conservative media split and quick-trigger claims of bias pose a challenge to the soul of newspaper journalism. I recall how Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, his vice president, tried mightily to discredit Watergate revelations by the Washington Post in the early 1970s by saying stories were concocted for ideological reasons. That claim never took hold. But times change. Donald Trump portrays the mainstream media as a more dangerous enemy than an avowed adversary like Russia. There is little doubt that Trump’s true believers discount most anything reported about him as trumped up. Michael Wagner, a journalism professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, wrote a recent essay for Vox about that phenomenon. Wagner cited a new survey by the Elections Research Center at UW-Madison which asked a sample of 2,000 Americans: “When the news media and politicians disagree about the facts of a situation, which one are you more likely to trust?” Seventy percent of the total sample chose the media, Wagner wrote, but of those who approved of Trump’s job performance— about 38 percent of the sample—80 percent said they had more trust in a politician. Other research suggests that Trump supporters continue to believe that only he can fix what ails us, whatever misstatements, White House upheaval, legislative defeats and investigations the media reports. Wagner concludes in his article: “One year after his unlikely victory, the president’s hold over Americans who are deeply skeptical of journalists who seek to check the accuracy of his claims and report the progress of the

big promises he makes remains the sharpest arrow in Donald Trump’s quiver.” I asked Wagner what most surprised him in the research. “I wasn’t surprised that Trump supporters had so little trust for the media, but I did a bit of a double-take when I saw that only 6 percent of Trump supporters trusted the people they elect to make political decisions,” he said. “What’s troubling is that one role of the news media is to inform the public when politicians are not telling the truth. The evidence here goes beyond the normal partisan reasoning that we often go through. Some of President Trump’s supporters appear to be willing to believe him over anything else, no matter what.” But let me pivot, more hopefully, to the overall sample, the 70 percent who would believe the press over politicians. In that podcast interview, I posed what to me is the central question: What motive would newspaper journalists possibly have to slant the news, or, even more unimaginably, invent the news? Journalism schools emphasize accuracy and fairness as top-line standards, just as integrity is central in medicine, accounting or law. Granted, some might argue that Fox News or HuffPost slant coverage and succeed. But they are, at their core, ideological brands, while the Capital Times and most newsrooms are about geography—delivering news and information important to a local market. That’s a big difference.  Paul Fanlund is editor and publisher of the Capital Times of Madison, Wis. He was a longtime Wisconsin State Journal reporter and editor and also served as vice president of Madison Newspapers Inc. He joined the Capital Times as editor in 2006.

Printed in the USA. Vol. 151, No 3, EDITOR & PUBLISHER (ISSN: 0013-094X, USPS: 168-120) is published 12 times a year. Regular issues are published monthly by Duncan McIntosh Co. Inc., 18475 Bandilier Circle, Fountain Valley, CA, 92708-7000; Editorial and Advertising (949) 660-6150. Periodicals postage paid at Fountain Valley, CA 92708, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Please send address changes to: EDITOR & PUBLISHER. P.O. Box 25859, Santa Ana, CA 92799-5859. Copyright 2018, Duncan McIntosh Co. Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Subscription Price: U.S. and its possessions, $99.00 per year, additional postage for Canada & foreign countries $20.00 per year. Single copy price $8.95 in the U.S. only; Back issues, $12.95 (in the U.S. only) includes postage and handling. Canada Post: Publication Mail Agreement No. 40612608. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 682. Subscriber Services (888) 732-7323; Customer Service Email:

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