E INSID on
nti Conve ion at Inform -13! 10 Pages
Official publication of the Illinois Press Association www.illinoispress.org
plus Illinois Associated Press Media Editors Annual Awards Ceremony & Luncheon
Illinois PressLines / May 2014
Convention promises fresh ideas Speakers and sessions offer opportunity to recharge 2014 BOARD OF DIRECTORS - OFFICERS Karen Flax, President Tribune Company, Chicago Sam Fisher, Vice President Bureau County Republican, Princeton Sandy Macfarland, Treasurer Chicago Daily Law Bulletin John Galer, Immediate Past President The Journal-News, Hillsboro
DIRECTORS Todd Eschman Belleville News-Democrat Community Newspapers Kathy Farren Kendall County Record, Yorkville Beverly Joyce Danville Commercial-News Jim Kirk Sun-Times Media Wendy Martin Mason County Democrat, Havana Tony Scott Galesburg Register-Mail Caroll Stacklin GateHouse Media, Inc. L. Nicole Trottie West Suburban Journal, Maywood Dennis DeRossett, Executive Director 900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL 62703 Ph. 217-241-1300, Fax 217-241-1301 www.illinoispress.org
Illinois Barry J. Locher, Editor
ILLINOIS PRESSLINES (USPS 006-862) is published bimonthly for $30 per year for Illinois Press Association members by the Illinois Press Association, 900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL, 62703. ©Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Volume 21 – May 2014 Number 3 Date of Issue: 5/6/2014 POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to ILLINOIS PRESSLINES, 900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL 62703. Periodical postage paid at Springfield, Illinois and Peoria, Illinois. Illinois PressLines is printed and distributed courtesy of GateHouse Media, Inc. in Peoria and Springfield.
I just received an email from a colleague seeking ideas on leadership conferences as she admitted to a need to be “motivated and reinvigorated.” After what was a seemingly endless and harsh Illinois winter, I’m certain many of us find ourselves with that same need to be motivated and reenergized. My quick and first response was going to be telling her about the Illinois Press Association convention here in Springfield on June 11-12-13 and the great line up of speakers and sessions on the program. Due to travel distance, it’s probably not an option for her; but, for all IPA members, this year’s convention—just over six weeks away—is a really good and affordable opportunity to get “motivated and reinvigorated” about the great and challenging industry we all work in. The complete program line up can be found in the center of this edition of PressLines. A program brochure has also been mailed to all publishers, editors and advertising managers and, also, the convention website has been launched and can be found at convention.illinoispress.org. Barry Locher, foundation director, and Lynne Lance, director of member relations, have put a lot of work into finalizing this year’s convention program. The session topics are timely and will be very informative and edu-
IPA STAFF — PHONE 217-241-1300 FAX 217-241-1301 900 COMMUNITY DR., SPRINGFIELD, IL Dennis DeRossett, Executive Director Ext. 222 — firstname.lastname@example.org
EXECUTIVE REPORT Dennis DeRossett Executive Director
munities and continue the very important and special job each of you have with producing community newspapers across many platforms. Email or call us if you have any questions about convention or the registration process. Again, we look forward to seeing you at the IPA convention here in Springfield on June 11-12-13.
cational, and the speakers are industry experts. The information transcends all-sized newspaper markets and will “motivate and reinvigorate” attendees from the smallest weekly newspaper to the largest dailies. We urge you to register early to take advantage of the early-bird discount. Registration fees remain the same as last year and are structured in a way to make it more affordable for newspapers to bring several staff members to convention. This is helpful especially to those newspapers whose staff members have won multiple awards in the advertising and editorial contest. The annual convention also provides networking opportunities and the chance to meet long-time friends and colleagues. We hope to see you there and guarantee—yes, we guarantee—you will go away “motivated and reinvigorated” to return to your com-
Jeffrey Holman, Director of Advertising Ext. 248 — email@example.com
Barry Locher, Director of Foundation Ext. 223 — firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaking of conventions, following this year’s event will be a very, very special event in 2015—the 150th Anniversary of the Illinois Press Association. This Sesquicentennial Anniversary is a remarkable milestone and we will celebrate it in many ways throughout 2015 but, especially so at the 150th Annual IPA Convention on June 10-11-12, 2015. Mark your calendars now and plan in your 2015 budget for the full three-day event and, also, to bring more staff to celebrate a truly special event of the Illinois newspaper industry. Watch for more details to come.
Thank you for your membership and for your support of the Illinois Press Association and of the Illinois Press Foundation! email@example.com
Lynne Lance, Director of Member Relations Ext. 226 — firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh Sharp, Director of Government Relations Ext. 238 — email@example.com
May 2014 / Illinois PressLines
Scott appointed to IPA Board of Directors Tony Scott, publisher of the Galesburg Register-Mail and a regional executive for GateHouse Media, has been appointed to the IPA board of directors to replace Nick Monico. The appointment was made by IPA Board President Karen Flax of the Scott C h i c a g o Tribune. As the Senior Group PublisherIllinois Community Division for GateHouse, Scott has oversight responsibility for 15 daily newspapers, 31 weekly newspapers and 14 shopper publications throughout the state. Two of those newspapers, the Galesburg Register-Mail and Pekin Daily Times, placed first and third respectively in the IPA sweepstakes awards in 2013. He began his newspaper career in 1997 as an advertising sales representative for the Monmouth Daily Review Atlas. His first publishing opportunity was at the Aledo Times Record and Town Crier in 2004 before becoming publisher in Monmouth and then Galesburg.
IPA pleased to see backed legislation move forward The Illinois Legislature just returned from a two-week Easter break and now is in the final month of this year’s regular session, which is set to end on May 31st. At this juncture, we are very pleased to report that IPA-backed legislation, House Bill 4733, introduced to remedy issues arising from the management of independent contractors, has successfully passed the full House by a vote of 89-24. It now heads to the Senate for consideration. A big thanks goes out to IPA Board members Sam Fisher of Princeton and John Galer of Hillsboro for their help in securing sponsors for this bill; Rep. Frank Mautino (DSpring Valley) in the House and Sen. Andy Manar (D-Staunton) in the Senate are moving this measure on the IPA’s behalf. The IPA is very pleased to see the adoption of House Resolution 895, which calls for subject matter hearings into the administration and funding of high school athletics by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). On a vote of 55-51, HR 895 was adopted by the full House; it was sponsored by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (DAurora) who also serves as the
Josh Sharp Director of Government Relations
Chairwoman of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. This committee is specifically tasked with conducting the hearings called for in HR 895. There is yet no timeline or proposed locations for these hearings, but they will most likely begin sometime after the General Assembly’s scheduled adjournment date of May 31. We look forward to increased transparency and accountability as one of the results of these hearings; also, we will keep IPA members updated on dates and locations of the hearings. Taxes and general business issues remain a top priority for the IPA this session as well. While there has been no substantive leg-
islation introduced to date, earlier this session we heard talk about a possible attempt to legislatively eliminate the sales tax exemption on newsprint and ink. A few legislators who were asked earlier this year how they felt about this issue were mostly supportive of keeping the exemption on the books. However, one legislator that deserves special recognition is Rep. Dave McSweeney (RBarrington) who said, "I believe the sales tax exemption provided to the ink-on-paper news media deserves to remain in place. These publications still play a critical role in Illinois in keeping the public informed." The IPA is glad to have Rep. McSweeney on our side regarding this important industry issue. We will also be busy in May working to renew the Graphic Arts and Machinery Equipment sales tax exemption along with the accompanying Manufacturers Purchase Credit (MPC). These are important industry tax incentives that are supposed to sunset (i.e. be eliminated) on August 30, 2014. The IPA is hoping to extend these exemptions for at least another
See ‘Sharp’ on page 9
Associations support House Resolution 895 A resolution recently adopted by the full House of Representatives will cause the legislature to examine the practices of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). House Resolution 895 encourages the House Elementary and Secondary Education to hold hearings on the IHSA’s administration and funding of high school sports, the safety of
high school athletes, the costs and income associated with the administration of high school sports and to further examine the issues of transparency and accountability in relation to high school athletic and academic programs in Illinois. House Resolution 895 is sponsored by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and was officially adopted by the Illinois
House of Representative on April 7, by a vote of 55-51. “This resolution is about demanding transparency and accountability from an organization that oversees the health, safety and educational development of thousands of Illinois students,” said state Rep. Chapa LaVia. “Citizens throughout Illinois have been calling for more trans-
parency in government. With the General Assembly once again facing difficult budget decisions, it is reasonable for the taxpayers of this state to know how the IHSA is spending the funds it is bringing in. I applaud the Illinois Press Association for
See ‘Resolution’ on page 7
Illinois PressLines / May 2014
IPF sponsors Roosevelt University student as NNA Fellow Aaron Lee chosen to represent Illinois at Washington D.C. conference By Aaron Lee Roosevelt University It was an honor and pleasure to participate in the 2014 National Newspaper Association News Fellow program. Being the only student selected from the state of Illinois was a privilege and something I will cherish for a lifetime. Each Fellow was
chosen to cover, report and write about government surveillance. As a NNAF, this was my first opportunity to visit Washington, DC. It was also my first time flying on a plane and that was an experience in itself. Once I landed safely, the excitement of being in the nation’s capital hit me. On the very first day I was ready to take DC head on. I met the other Fellows and we headed straight to the National Security Agency museum, where I got to meet and ask members of the NSA questions. We also had a personal tour of the museum and learned about the history of the NSA. From there, the other Fellows and I were taken on a quick tour of the District of Columbia. It
Craven law office springfield, illinois Donald M. Craven • Esther Seitz — Phone 217-544-1777
LIBEL HOTLINE 217-544-1777 Free pre-publication advice for members of the Illinois Press Association.
Aaron Lee, 2014 NNA Fellow, and John Galer at the National Press Club. was amazing to see all of the historical attractions I had only read about. Day two was the most gratifying day of my life. That morning the Fellows and I had the opportunity to report on Capitol Hill. Each one of us met (or tried to meet) with our congressmen and senators from our respective states. Running from building to building trying to make each meeting made me feel like a “real” reporter. That afternoon, a tour of the Newseum was organized for us, and after that we went back to finish our interviews and meetings on Capitol Hill. However, the reporting wasn’t over just yet – our last stop for the day was going to the National Security Archive to speak with Director Tom Blanton. That evening was probably the best part of the program. The Fellows and I attended the NNA banquet at the prestigious National Press Club. At the dinner, I met Dennis DeRossett, executive director of the Illinois Press Association, and John Galer, publisher of the Journal-News in Hillsboro. These two gentlemen made me feel welcomed and a part of the newspaper family. I can’t thank them enough for their kind words and encouragement. In addition to meeting Dennis and John, I also got a chance to meet the legendary journalist Bob Schieffer, who was the evening’s keynote
speaker. Hearing him speak reassured me that I had chosen the right career path. (If it weren’t for Mr. DeRossett urging me on, I probably would not have gotten the chance to take a picture with Mr. Schieffer!) The last day included a visit to the famed polling company, Gallup, where we met Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton and his son Jon Clifton, who is the Managing Director. They spoke about how they take polls for private contractors all over the world, including our government. This information was vital for our final story. After that, the Fellows and I attended a concluding luncheon with the NNA family. We accepted our awards for being selected and were allowed to speak about our experience in Washington. Overall, it was a blessing to be selected and I would like to thank those from NNA, including Carol Pierce, Mark Magyar and Elizabeth Parker. Also I would like to thank my mentor throughout the program Walter Kaechele. I would also like to thank Dennis DeRossett and John Galer and last but not least, a special thank you to the Illinois Press Foundation, especially Barry Locher. Without Mr. Locher, my trip to Washington would not have been possible. Thank you for investing in my future career as a journalist!
May 2014 / Illinois PressLines
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Illinois PressLines / May 2014
75% advertising rule is snagging publishers as ROP declines, advertising inserts increase Reprinted from Publisher’s Auxiliary By Max Heath, NNA Postal Chair There’s been an uptick in recent years of newspapers found in violation of the 75 percent advertising rule, which prohibits Periodicals from running more than 75 percent advertising percentage in more than half the issues in a 12-month period. The exact wording of the rule is in DMM 707.6.1.3: “General publications primaHeath rily designed for advertising purposes do not qualify for Periodicals mailing privileges, including publications that: a. Contain more than 75 percent advertising in more than half of the issues published during any 12-month period.” National Newspaper Association members and others who join to get our assistance have been jarred by letters from the Pricing and Classification Service Center in NYC threatening loss of Periodicals mailing privileges for this violation. “The loss of Periodicals privileges would mean immediate rate increases for newspapers that would then have to be mailed at Standard rates. It could also mean a day or more of delay in service, as Standard mail is supposed to be a deferrable service when mail volume is high. For many newspapers, it also could lead to the loss of public notice advertising, because many state statutes require a
Periodicals permit for official newspaper eligibility. So the consequences of losing a permit can be severe, even life- threatening,” said NNA Chief Executive Officer Tonda Rush. I asked Chuck Tricamo, veteran Periodicals specialist now managing the PCSC, if the wording and tone of the letter had been made more severe recently. It has not, he said, but it is the same as ever. Will I lose my Periodicals Permit? Not if you take immediate and sustained action to get the advertising percentage at 75 percent or below in at least half the issues. Remember, you can be at 75 percent; you just can’t be more than 75 percent. Despite the strong language of the threat letter, PCSC staffers over the years have repeatedly assured me that they don’t want to take a Periodicals permit away from anyone if they can avoid it. They are just charged with enforcing the rules that come to their attention. But first you must immediately write a letter or e-mail (if you can discern who to send it to from the letter) to the PCSC within 15 days of receipt, as specified in the permit “revocation” letter, stating that you wish to appeal the decision and plan to take steps to get your issues into compliance. They will then send you an agreement to that effect, which you should sign, date, and return ASAP. The key is to keep the paid advertising percentage, insofar as possible, below 75 percent for enough straight weeks to get the 12-month moving average below half of the total issues during the time period. Then maybe add a few more issues for good measure. Once you’ve come back into com-
pliance on that 12-months worth of issues, rule, then you can resume smart management of the 75 percent rule. Simply, there will be some issues so heavy on preprinted advertising inserts (whose linage is counted as 100 percent advertising), say in November and December that have no chance of staying under 75 percent. That means that in lighter months, like a February or a July, rather than cutting back pages on a low-revenue issue, it might be better to fill those pages with editorial to get the numbers up.
It may not be in the best interest of Periodicals, a class that struggles to maintain its identity within USPS, to relax editorial standards too much. Then there are plenty of issues that just barely exceed 75 percent. Those provide a low-cost chance to add non-paid or editorial matter without expanding your paper by more than two pages. Those are the ideal target issues for you to keep in compliance. Why are more papers being caught? There are, of course, multiple reasons, including one competitor reporting another. I’ll give two more. The trend toward preprinted advertising supplements, or inserts, often accompanied by declining ROP in many advertising categories. Advertisers shift from ROP to
preprints to better control color, print quality, cost, etc. Newspapers must track their own compliance to avoid getting caught in violation. Despite NNA efforts, we have been unable to get this rule modified for paid publications like we did for Requester Periodicals (from 100 percent to 75 percent of issues). And because USPS does not average editions of an issue, a weight breakdown of one part of a mailing that exceeds 75 percent counts for that issue. Also, it may not be in the best interest of Periodicals, a class that struggles to maintain its identity within USPS, to relax the editorial standards too much. Looking more like Standard mail is a road that could lead to being charged and served like Standard mail. The PostalOne! business accounting system has built in checks of various functions, and the 75 percent rule is one of those. Reports of an increase in newspapers being caught via PostalOne! at the original entry office are increasing based on member calls and e-mails. It’s not automatic, but postal employees can run an advertising report to see how many issues are more than 75 percent for any 12-month period looking backwards. And they are likely audited on their diligence in running that report. How can I find more editorial material to add? There are many ways to increase editorial copy, and most of you know as much about this topic as I do. But because I’ve often been asked, I’ll give this my best shot. As a country editor at heart, and a group executive editor for 21 years, I
See ‘Heath’ on page 7
May 2014 / Illinois PressLines
continued from page 3 have a bias for increased local news. Many times, there are community events where photos exist for a page or two of photos, but space limits coverage to perhaps two or three shots. Being more than 75 percent may present opportunities to open up the paper a bit more. Secondly, if you are looking to add editorial matter on an ongoing basis, there may be local columnists you can recruit on subjects like gardening, health, new businesses, recipes or any number of topics that might make your paper more valuable to readers on an ongoing basis while opening up your news hole a bit. Syndicated matter is also another option. I found that crossword puzzles, horoscopes, and word puzzles are particularly appealing to a large segment of readers. I still believe in TV listings because loyal readers that skew older still prefer hardcopy and not electronic listings, same reason they prefer your print newspaper in the first place. The March Pub Aux reported on the value of syndicated material and many good vendors. As postal consultant for Athlon Media, I know that the company offers a wide variety of free content to those papers that run American Profile, Relish or Spry. It even offers a generic TV listing that can be localized by your staff each week. And I need to add that the magazines are measured on an advertising/editorial basis each issue, so they are not reported as 100 percent advertising like advertising supplements, which you are paid for. © Max Heath 2014 Max Heath, NNA postal chair, is a postal consultant for Athlon Media, publisher of Athlon Sports magazine, American Profile, Relish, and Spry newspaper supplements, and Landmark Community Newspapers LLC. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resolution continued from page 3
bringing this to my attention.” Dennis DeRossett, executive director of the Illinois Press Association, said “We thank Representative Chapa LaVia for introducing this resolution. It should be public knowledge how much revenue is being generated by these events and other exclusive arrangements, along with what percentage or amount of that revenue is being remitted back to local school districts.” He added, “The IHSA lacks full transparency and accountability to the taxpayers of Illinois and we are pleased to see this as one
of the area’s Rep. Chapa LaVia will address in the hearings.” In 2008, the IPA instituted litigation when the IHSA limited the rights of press photographers to state championship football games. In addition to instituting litigation, the IPA also filed legislation which impacted the IHSA. After much discussion, the parties entered a settlement agreement, by the terms of which the IHSA agreed not to limit press access. In recent years, however, the IHSA has limited the ability to live-stream the games, and is part of a movement to join a national high school sports authority. Dennis Lyle, President and CEO of the Illinois Broadcasters Association also praised Rep. Chapa
LaVia for introducing HR895 and said, “There exists today just too much confusion with both the public and those businesses associated with high school sports with respect to the IHSA’s role and limitations when it comes to high school athletics. The taxpayers of Illinois are the rightful owners of public high school athletics, just as they are of the gymnasiums and athletic fields where high school sports are played. Representative Chapa LaVia’s resolution simply sets the stage for seeking clarity to the blurred lines that clearly exist today in regards to the IHSA and high school athletics.” The hearings will take place later this spring or in the summer but no dates have yet been set.
National Newspaper Association Annual Dinner
IPA Immediate Past-President John Galer (L) and Executive Director Dennis DeRossett (R) pose with CBS News Anchor Bob Schieffer following the “We Believe in Newspapers” dinner in Washington, D.C., in March. Schieffer was the guest speaker. Galer and DeRossett were part of an Illinois delegation who attended the National Newspaper Association’s annual event, which included a day on Capitol Hill visiting Senator Durbin and members of the Illinois congressional delegation.
Chicago Police misconduct files must be public By Frank Main Tinley Park Southtown-Star The Chicago Police Department can no longer keep misconduct records secret, a state appeals court has ruled. The Illinois Freedom of Information Act doesn't exempt “CR files,” which consist of misconduct complaints against officers and documents created during the investigations, the court found. The appeals court also found that “RL” files are open to the public. Those files identify police officers who have accumulated the most misconduct complaints. At issue were two RL files that named officers with the most complaints between 2001-2006 and 2002-2008. Shannon Breymaier, a spokeswoman for the city’s law department, said the city plans to ask the Illinois Supreme Court to review the decision. Jamie Kalven, an independent journalist and community activist, had filed a Freedom of Information request asking the Chicago Police Department to provide him with the Repeater Lists (RL) files as well as Complaint Register (CR) files involving five officers, Futterman said. In 2009, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Kalven because the information he was seeking was part of a federal misconduct lawsuit. Third parties like Kalven don’t have legal standing to become involved in a lawsuit once the plaintiff and defendant settle the case and agree to seal the police misconduct files, the federal appeals court ruled. But the state appeals court said those files are a matter of public record under the state Freedom of In formation Act. The state appeals court returned Kalven’s request to a lower court to decide what information the police department can black out from the CR and RL files because of privacy concerns. Futterman said he doesn't have a problem with the department redacting person al information about officers and third parties such as telephone numbers, Social Security numbers and the like.
Illinois PressLines / May 2014
May 2014 / Illinois PressLines
Page 9 Editorial Commentary
Good riddance to eavesdropping law Illinois high court overturns overly broad state statute Champaign News-Gazette Illinois’ disgraceful and dangerous eavesdropping statute has gone the way of the dodo bird. Good riddance to bad rubbish. That is the most generous interpretation that can be given to the demise of a state eavesdropping statute that was used to harass honest citizens who ran afoul of aggrieved public employees. The Illinois Supreme Court in a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Rita Garman struck down Illinois’ eavesdropping law because it was so overly broad that it violated First Amendment guarantees of free speech. Drafted to prohibit one party in a telephone conversation from recording the conversation without the consent of the other party, the law mostly was used by prosecutors to criminalize a variety of public activities, including citizens who recorded interactions with police on their smartphones. It’s important to understand that the high court did not say that people should be free to record private telephone conversations without the knowledge and consent of the other party. It simply said that the statute that banned that behavior is overly broad and must be more narrowly tailored to address legitimate privacy interests. Now members of the Illinois House and Senate, many of whom are as ignorant as their forebears on First Amendment issues, must come up with a replacement statute. Some people, motivated by misplaced pri-
vacy concerns, may at first blush recoil from the high court’s decision. But there is no legitimate reason for concern. The old law was aimed at protecting private conversations. But how did that translate in the real world? Because it was so sloppily drafted, the eavesdropping statute made it illegal for cameras to record all manners of routine, if somewhat boisterous or con-
The statute became a tool by which public off icials sought to intimidate or punish those who recorded public behavior. tentious, conduct that is a part of daily life. Justice Garman wrote that the eavesdropping law “criminalizes a wide range of innocent conduct.” “The statute criminalizes the recording of conversations that cannot be deemed private: a loud argument on the street, a political debate on a college quad, yelling fans at an athletic event or any conversation loud enough that the speakers should expect to be heard by others. None of these examples implicates privacy interests, yet the statute makes it a felony to audio record each one,” Garman wrote. It’s no secret that controversy surrounding the eavesdropping statute has become more pronounced with the advent of smartphones and smaller cameras now widely available. It is the use of this type of equipment combined with an overly broad statute that brought public
officials sensitive to being recorded into conflict with citizens intent on documenting events. The statute became a tool by which public officials sought to intimidate or punish those who recorded public behavior. It’s a clear example of how socalled public servants can morph into public oppressors. In one of the cases the high court resolved, a citizen who recorded conversations with a public employee over disputed courtroom transcripts was charged with a felony offense. Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, whose office prosecuted the case, was at her most vindictive in seeking to use the eavesdropping statute as a club. After charging Annabel Melongo, prosecutors sought and received a six-figure bond clearly excessive given the facts of the case that Melongo could not meet. She spent two years in the Cook County Jail waiting for the case to come to trial. The judge in Melongo’s case ultimately found the eavesdropping law unconstitutional, the same finding a federal appeals court made in 2012. Nonetheless, Alvarez, who is no stranger to the abuse of power, appealed the state judge’s ruling, losing again before the Illinois Supreme Court. Alvarez’s conduct was no accident. Her conduct is identical to those of prosecutors across the country who continue to pursue and ultimately lose prosecutions related to the recording of public events by private citizens. Now at least Illinois has seen the last of this kind of abuse of authority by police and prosecutors who should have known better. It’s about time.
Sharp continued from page 3 two years. Finally, we are working to address the definition of what it means to “prevail” in litigation relating to FOIA. As many of you are aware, a lawsuit initiated by the IPA against Rockford public schools resulted in a ruling that held we were entitled to attorney’s fees in FOIA lawsuits only if we were successful in receiving a judicial order. Unfortunately, in Rockford, a judicial order became impossible as the Rockford public school system, after intentional delays that took many weeks, turned over the document in question mere days before the case was set to go in front of a judge – thus, we weren’t entitled to reimbursement for any fees or costs the court reasoned. We may have a chance to include our proposed changes to FOIA and alter the definition of “prevail” as part of a larger FOIA bill currently being considered in the Senate. The IPA expects to see a draft of that legislation in early May. The IPA is positioned well but there is still much work to be done in the final month of this legislative session. May remains a hugely important month; the General Assembly will be in session almost every day including weekends. It’s over these final weeks that we should get a much clearer picture on industry business issues and FOIA, while hopefully moving HB 4733 to the governor’s desk.
Illinois PressLines / May 2014
Convention 2014! Mark Horvit — Watchdog Reporting
Peter W. Wagner — A Sales Process That Generates Revenue
Mark Horvit is the executive director of Investigative Reporters & Editors. Horvit also is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, where he teaches investigative reporting. 2:15 p.m. Thursday, June 12
Peter W. Wagner is often referred to as the newspaper industry’s idea man. A regular presenter at newspaper conventions and conferences, Wagner is best known for his fast-paced presentation of fresh, easy-to-do advertising and circulation revenue ideas and his straight-tothe-point sales training seminars. 8:30 a.m. Thursday, June 12
Val Hoeppner — Digital Tools Val Hoeppner is a digital journalist, teacher, trainer and media strategist. Hoeppner spent 20 years in newsrooms as a photojournalist, newsroom leader and multimedia director. As CEO of Val Hoeppner Media and Consulting, LLC, Hoeppner travels to newsrooms, universities and media conferences to train journalists in mobile, social, video and multi-platform storytelling. 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 12: Short and Smart: Mobile Video Storytelling 8:45 a.m. Friday, June 13: Apps for Journalists Who Work and Publish in the Field
Penny Abernathy — Saving Community Journalism: A Path to Profitability
Introduction by Clark Bell, journalism program director, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Chicago
Newspapers are in an era of disruption. Communities still need the journalism and advertising so essential to nurturing local identity and connection among citizens. As newspaper publishing collides with the digital revolution, and as technology redeﬁnes consumer habits and the very notion of community, how can newspapers survive and thrive? In her new book, Saving Community Journalism, veteran media executive Penelope Muse Abernathy draws on cutting-edge research and analysis to reveal practical guidance for editors and publishers on how newspapers can build community online and identify new opportunities of revenue. 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 13
J. Tom Shaw Digital Sales in Any Sized Market J. Tom Shaw is Chief Digital Oﬃcer for Shaw Media, an innovative industry leader in capturing new revenues across digital platforms. Their strategies transcend all market sizes and you’ll learn how to successfully implement these in your local market.
10:20 a.m. Thursday, June 12 Mary Dedinsky - IAPME Keynote Speaker Mary Dedinsky, MSJ, is a long-time editor and reporter and was the ﬁrst woman to be named managing editor of a major U.S. newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times. At the Sun-Times, she was also an education reporter, investigative reporter, editorial writer, metropolitan editor, and director of editorial operations. IAPME Awards Ceremony & Luncheon Noon Thursday, June 12 Paul Camp - 5 Pitfalls of Native Advertising and How to Avoid Them Paul Camp is Chief Evangelistic Oﬃcer of his company, Content That Works. Native Advertising is the huge new trend in the industry. Learn the pitfalls of native ads and how to avoid them, plus see case histories showing what’s being done and what’s working. 2:15 Thursday, June 12
May 2014 / Illinois PressLines
Other important convention event times and dates IPF Board Meeting 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 11
IAPME Awards Luncheon Noon Thursday, June 12
Registration Desk Open 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 11 Opens 8 a.m. Thursday & Friday
IPA Board meeting 2:15 p.m. Thursday, June 12
IPF Poker Tournament 7 p.m. Thursday, June 12 (all proceeds beneﬁt the Illinois Press Foundation journalism scholarships)
IAPME Annual Meeting 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 12
IPA Annual Business Mtg. 7:30 a.m. Friday, June 13
President’s Reception 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 12
IPA Editorial Awards Noon Friday, June 13
Opening Reception 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 11 Advertising Awards 11:45 a.m. Thursday, June 12
Advertising Roundtables - 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 12 Join ﬁve industry veterans – Val Yazbec of the Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.; Tom Zalabak of the Champaign News-Gazette; Dawn Ferencak of The Austin Weekly News, Jennifer Baratta of Sauk Valley Media and Tim Evans of the News-Gazette Community Newspaper Group – as they lead you through a fast-paced and idea-ﬁlled session on great advertising initiatives you can use as soon as you get home! Annual dessert auction Bring your appetite and bring your wallet for the annual Illinois Press Foundation Dessert Auction. Pool your resources with others at your table to outbid other tables. Proceeds beneﬁt journalism scholarships.
IPF Poker Tournament Join us this year for the Illinois Press Foundation Poker Tournament, 7:00 p.m. Thursday, June 12. This is a professionally-run tournament as seen on t.v.! Chips provided have no redeemable value but the winner will walk away with a nice trophy and bragging rights!
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Illinois PressLines / May 2014
Newspapers and baseball Two great American institutions evolving By Caroline Little President and CEO, Newspaper Association of America & American Press Institute There are few aspects of American life that are the same today as they were 100 years ago. Two of them are newspapers and baseball. While spring officially starts in March, it doesn’t truly begin for many until Opening Day rolls around and ceremonial first pitches are thrown. Whether it’s at Wrigley
Field, Fenway Park or your local minor league stadium, it’s been that way for over a century and I imagine it will continue for at least another century. For the duration Little of baseball’s history, fans have turned to their local newspaper to keep tabs on their favorite teams and players. This has remained unchanged and continues today, as newspapers deliver special sections to preview the upcoming season, post daily box scores and deluge fans with coverage on a daily basis.
But baseball and newspapers have more in common than merely being a part of everyday American life. For both institutions, the reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. Baseball has been besieged with the notion that the sport is fading, overtaken by football and ignored by today’s youth. Quite the opposite is true – commissioner Bud Selig predicted his league would for 2014. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the newspaper industry has dealt with a similar perception problem, with the idea that the younger generation would completely eschew newspapers. This, of course, is not true. Of young adults ages 18 to 34,
more than half – 56 percent – during a typical week. Newspapers and baseball do not look like they did in 1914 and that’s why they remain essential in 2014. In 1914, it took only 19 home runs to lead the league – needless to say, that wouldn’t lead the league this year. Though the sport has the same rules, it has evolved and transformed. In 1914, you would read a newspaper in print and that was it. Today, you can read the newspaper in multiple platforms, choosing what works best for you. There are 161 million Americans that read newspaper content in print or online in any given
See ‘Little’ on page 15
May 2014 / Illinois PressLines
continued from page 14 month. As the newspaper industry guides the way forward, it is based upon a perfect blend of print, digital and mobile platforms to better serve our readers and our advertisers. It is worth noting that social media wasn’t an issue in 1914, or even 2004. But in the past decade, its influence has skyrocketed and changed how our world operates. Baseball has used this to engage fans, giving them a forum to connect directly with their favorite players. For newspapers, it means access for readers to follow their favorite newspaper or reporter. And there is confluence of the two, when a fan can follow his or her favorite baseball team by following the team’s newspaper beat writer. Despite facing the perception that
baseball is a sport for the older generation, a new generation of talent has infused MLB with excitement, whether that’s Mike Trout in Anaheim or Bryce Harper in Washington, D.C. The newspaper industry, likewise, has an excited, engaged group of college students and young reporters ready to make their mark. I saw this firsthand at NAA mediaXchange 2014. The youth movement for baseball is not limited to the diamond, just as it’s not limited to the newsroom for newspapers. Theo Epstein, at 28, was the youngest general manger in history when the Boston Red Sox hired him in 2002 and, two years later, the team had its first World Series in 86 years. Likewise, newspapers have become an incubator for innovation and change. At NAA mediaXchange, our inaugural Accelerator Pitch pro-
Page 15 gram with revolutionary ideas, from new mobile apps to improved social media use to re-defining how to sell classified ads. It opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities that exist for our industry as we move forward and expand our offerings across all platforms. Spring is a time for limitless possibilities, especially after this past brutal winter that battered much of the country with ice, snow and endless gray days. The clouds are parting, the temperature is rising and the sun is shining. By the time October rolls around, we will be crowning a new World Series champion. We will also be looking at a newspaper industry that has continued its evolution and growth, with new initiatives and ideas that will ensure its relevance for another 100 years.
Sheriff: Most of the people in my world hate the media Chicago Sun-Times Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart apparently takes a dim view of local journalists, whom he recently described as purveyors of Sheriff Tom Dart "trash," who fixate on including competing viewpoints in their work when "there is no other side" to be told. Dart, who regularly holds news conferences and generally enjoys favorable coverage, made the critical remarks to a group of student journalists at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting in the Loop in March. "Most of the people in my world hate the media," Dart said in a video. "I actually not only don't hate them, I feel sorry for them." At issue appears to be public appetite that craves sensationalism over substantive reporting, Dart told the students, during the 12-minute soliloquy that mixed personal gripes with media criticism. The school later posted the video to YouTube. "I know most of them really want to do something that really matters. Instead they are forced right now to churn out a lot of garbage," Dart said. "They're told right now, 'Well, the public wants to hear trash, so you go out and follow trash.'" When asked to explain the sheriff's remarks, spokeswoman Cara Smith said Dart is a "passionate guy" who only wanted to encourage budding journalists to focus on issues that matter…”
AROUND THE STATE — Three Illinois newspapers were honored by Editor & Publisher as part of its annual “Ten newspapers that do it right” feature. Both The Times of Ottawa and the Journal Star of Peoria were selected for two of the top ten spots, while The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights was recognized with an honorable mention.
Illinois PressLines / May 2014
Illinois newspapers honored by Editor & Publisher zine is put together by current staff members. A brand manager was hired to do marketing and sell ads in the magazine. It is published quarterly and has a distribution of 25,000. “In only one year, Starved Rock Country has blown past our digital operation in terms of revenue and will contribute at least double to the bottom-line, rivaling circulation’s contribution to the bottom-line,” Newby said. The Journal Star, Peoria Last May, the Journal Star launched a new series of monthly special sections called Extra. The section generated $75,000 per month in new circulation and advertising revenue, producing some of their best non-daily content written by staff members. Extra is inserted in the last Sunday
The Times, Ottawa The Times was chosen for the creation of “Starved Rock Country,” described as a “marketing nirvana” by Times publisher John Newby. Starved Rock Country is an extension of the paper’s brand, created to promote the community on a regional level and add tourism dollars to the area. Named after a popular state park in northern Illinois, Starved Rock Country is “all about collaboration and working with everyone in the region to create jobs and promote new tourism opportunities,” Newby said. The centerpiece of Starved Rock Country is a profitable magazine launched in 2012 and supported by local chambers, cities and towns, tourism boards and other regional government agencies as well as advertisers not typically seen in a community newspaper. The maga-
paper of each month. Currently, topics have included Historic Flood, coverage of the recent flooding in April that also shared dramatic personal stories and provided information for victims; Illinois Travel, a section focused on popular tourist locations throughout the state;
100-Year-Old Business, a profile of 17 of the 50-plus businesses in the region that are 100 years old or older; Caterpillar, a section focused on the construction and mining equipment company headquartered in Peoria; and Jim Thome, a celebration of the Peoria native and baseball player’s Hall of Fame career. Subscribers are charged a monthly $2 fee for Extra, which range from 24 to 48 pages per issue. Communication regarding the premium edition was channeled through direct mail, notification of subscriber renewal statements as well as the creation of a specific URL to outline the content of the Extra editions as well as a calendar of topics. Executive Editor Dennis Anderson said at first there was some pushback from read-
See ‘State’ on page 17
May 2014 / Illinois PressLines
continued from page 16 ers on the additional fee, but it only made them work harder to create top quality content for each section. “Once readers saw the sections, there hasn’t been any pushback,” he said. “Feedback has been very good and positive.” The Daily Herald, Arlington Heights The Daily Herald was recognized for its engagement journalism, which has created popular events such as the Cook of the Week Challenge, Get Your Summer On and numerous others. One event, Suburban Chicago's Got Talent, played to three sold-out shows, Editor & Publisher noted, while the popular Fittest Loser challenge has seen 21 contestants lose a total of 1,120 pounds so far. The Daily Herald was named to the inaugural list in 2000.
Business Ledger debuts improved website The Daily Herald Business Ledger recently unveiled a redesigned and updated website at dhbusinessledger. com. The new website is designed to provide online readers with timely local news, as well as provide the features and resources that business owners need to stay on tip of the suburban business scene. "We've redone the site to provide our readers with a more timely and interactive resource of suburban business news," said Richard R. Klicki, director of content development. "Our goal is to enhance the Business Ledger experience by providing the information and tools needed to be on top of the suburban business scene.”
Cameras, blogging in court approved Courtrooms in Peoria County are about to become a lot more familiar to
the average person as the state's Supreme Court has approved a plan to allow cameras and live blogging within those confines. Chief Justice Rita Garman announced the approval of the 10th Judicial Circuit's application into the program, filed earlier this year by Chief Circuit Judge Steve Kouri. The 10th Circuit is composed of Peoria, Tazewell, Marshall, Stark and Putnam counties. The other four counties within the 10th Circuit will join the program 60 days after Peoria County. The program started in January 2012 under then Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride. Since then, the court has allowed circuits in only after a review of their rules and their procedures. The focus always has been to preserve the integrity of the courtroom as well as protect a person's right to a fair trial. There are 40 counties in Illinois that allow cameras in courtrooms.
Shaw Media and Daily Herald launch Chicago Football Shaw Media and Daily Herald Media Group have announced the launch of Chicago Football, a print and digital sports media franchise covering high school, college and professional football. Veteran football analyst and Chicago-area sports personality Hub Arkush will spearhead the initiative. The first edition of Chicago Football magazine hit newsstands in early April. In print, Chicago Football will be a glossy magazine published weekly during the football season, and monthly in the offseason. The new site provides in-depth news and analysis of the Bears, along with extensive information about the NFC North division and coverage of all 32 NFL teams. In addition to Arkush, Chicago Football contributors include Shaw Media’s Kevin Fishbain and Tom Musick, and the Daily Herald's premier Bears expert Bob LeGere and fantasy football analyst John Dietz. Veteran designer and editor Bob
Peters – who previously worked with Arkush at Pro Football Weekly – has also joined the Chicago Football team.
Cost outlook improves for Lee At its annual stockholder meeting earlier this year, executives with Lee Enterprises Inc. offered an improved cost outlook as they outlined new digital news, sales and audience strategies, including the launch later this year of full-access subscriptions in more than half of its 50 newspaper markets. Lee hosted nearly 100 share holders at its downtown Davenport headquarters, including company officials, employees and retirees, for the annual meeting. “As we recently reported, Lee is off to a solid start in 2014,” Lee Chairwoman and CEO Mary Junck told those in attendance. “We grew digital revenue and audiences at a double-digit pace, continued to reduce expenses, again posted strong cash flow, reduced our debt further and announced a commitment for a favorable refinancing of our second lien debt. Those reasons reinforce our upbeat outlook.”
Newpaper files lawsuit against city of Carlinville The Macoupin County Enquirer Democrat newspaper filed a lawsuit
against the City of Carlinville for violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA). The newspaper alleges the Carlinville City Council held at least one illegal closed session to discuss matters pertaining to the Carlinville Plaza and the Tax Incentive Fund (TIF) district. The closed meeting and the discussions held during the meeting were reported in the March 6 issue of the newspaper and was the subject of an editorial in that same issue titled "Secret meetings do not benefit anyone when elected officials are involved.” In that editorial, the newspaper outlined the violations and demonstrated the reasons why the meeting was in violation of the OMA. The newspaper, through the editorial, requested the city release the recordings and minutes of the meeting. Following the publication of the story and accompanying editorial, the newspaper contacted Carlinville Mayor Deanna Demuzio and again requested the executive session tapes and minutes from that closed meeting be released. The mayor insisted those tapes would not be released until the city did its normal six month review of all closed executive sessions.
Tribune Co. puts voice to newspaper stories Tribune Digital Ventures, a technology unit of Chicago-based Tribune Co., has introduced a new mobile app to provide audio streaming of newspaper stories, enabling listeners to create customized news radio stations. The Newsbeat app aggregates content from hundreds of newspapers and websites, voicing about 7,000 national and local stories each day through announcers and text to speech technology. The format, available free for iOS and Android devices, includes local weather and traffic updates in real time.
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continued from page 17
News-Gazette sports section, website, writer get national honors Staff writer Marcus Jackson won a writing award and The Champaign News-Gazette was honored in section judging for the fourth consecutive year in the annual Associated Press Sports Editors' contest. Also, for Jackson the first time, the newspaper's website, IlliniHQ.com, was tabbed as one of the nation's best. Competing in the 30,000-75,000 circulation category, The NewsGazette's Sunday section was named honorable mention (top 20). It marked the 22nd time in the last 18 years the paper has been recognized in APSE voting for daily, Sunday or special sections. Jackson placed in the top 10 in feature writing for his story on former Illinois basketball player Tal Brody. The top five finalists in the writing categories will be announced later this month. Winners will receive their awards at the June APSE convention in Washington, D.C. Jackson, at The News-Gazette since 2005, took over the college basketball beat full time in 2012.
Sun-Times halts online commentary In a letter to readers, Chicago Sun-Times Managing Editor Craig Newman explained that the SunTimes and other titles in the SunTimes Media Group would be temporarily suspending comments on its online stories. “The world of Internet commenting offers a marvelous opportunity for discussion and the exchange
Illinois PressLines / May 2014 of ideas. But as anyone who has ever ventured into a comment thread can attest, these forums too often turn into a morass of negativity, racism, hate speech and general trollish behaviors that detract from the content,” Newman wrote. “In fact, the general tone and demeanor is one of the chief criticisms we hear in regard to the usability and quality of our websites and articles. Not only have we heard your criticisms, but we often find ourselves as frustrated as our readers are with the tone and quality of commentary on our pages. To that end, we are working on development of a new commenting system we hope will not only allow for free discussion, but encourage increased quality of the commentary and help us better police the worst elements of these threads.”
New scholarship established Jerry L. Reppert, publisher of Reppert Publications, Anna, has established a journalism scholarship in memory of the late James West Jr. Mr. West, who served as general manager with R e p p e r t Publications for more than 40 years, died in February. He was recognized for his West accomplishments in community journalism by being honored as a Master Editor by the Southern Illinois Editorial Association (SIEA). The scholarship is intended for a high school senior who has verbally committed to attending Southern Illinois University Carbondale to study journalism. West served as a past adviser to The Daily Egyptian, the campus newspaper at SIUC, and also was a past president of the SIEA. The scholarship will be administered by the Illinois Press Foundation, which West helped create in 1981.
Bechtel to lead Central Illinois Group Julie Bechtel has been named president and publisher of the Herald & Review and The Pantagraph. Bechtel will directly lead Lee Enterprises Inc.'s Bechtel Central Illinois Group, which includes Decatur, Bloomington and the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier in Mattoon/Charleston. In addition to those duties, Bechtel will serve as group publisher overseeing newspaper media operations in Nebraska and Illinois. She will also join Lee's executive team, helping guide the company's 50 daily print and digital operations in 22 states. Bechtel previously served as president and publisher of the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska. "I am excited by the opportunity in Central Illinois and I'm eager to begin meeting colleagues and customers as quickly as I can," said Bechtel, who will be based in Bloomington. "I'm also glad for the opportunity to stay connected with my many friends in Nebraska." Bechtel began her career in 1987 at the Des Moines Register.
Pfeifer named publisher of The Southern Illinoisian John Pfeifer has been named publisher of The S o u t h e r n Illinoisan. Pfeifer succeeds Bob Williams, who transferred to Provo, Utah, as publisher of The Daily Herald. Pfeifer Lee Enterprises
is the owner of both The Southern Illinoisan and The Daily Herald. Pfeifer previously served as a publisher for Lee in Twin Falls, Idaho; Elko, Nev.; DeKalb and Rhinelander, Wis. He also previously was advertising director for Lee's River Valley Newspaper Group, headquartered in La Crosse, Wis. He returns to Lee a year after leaving to become vice president of sales development and training for the Community Publication Division of GateHouse Media Inc. Pete Spitler has been named editor of the Randolph County Herald Tribune in Chester. He comes to the paper after eight years covering sports at The Spitler Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale. Spitler also spent four years coaching freshman football at Chester. It’s been a fast track to success for Mark Dolan within the National Press Photographers Association. The SIU assistant photojournalism professor was elected president of the Dolan National Press Photographers Association earlier this year. The NPPA is one of the largest photographer organizations in the world, with 6,500 members. “The newspaper industry is shrinking and, sadly, photographers are feeling the brunt of that," Dolan said. “The biggest problem is news organizations that have more concerns about the bottom line than the quality of the content they're delivering to readers and viewers.”
May 2014 / Illinois PressLines
PRESS PEOPLE Valerie Yazbec has been promoted to chief revenue officer and Kelly Johannes to multimedia advertising director for the Moline Dispatch Publishing Co. Yazbec Publisher Gerald Taylor wrote, “In her new role, Val will oversee niche publication development, print and digital advertising sales. She also is charged with growing revenue streams by creating new and enhancing existing events, community promotions and unique Johannes online features.” “Kelly will oversee the local media consultant staff, the classified sales staff and the outbound call center operation. Their appointments are designed to position us to capitalize upon their considerable skills and experience to counter the rapidly changing digital media sales landscape.” Robert “Bob” Beskow has joined the staff at The Carmi Times as sports editor. Beskow and his wife, Becky, have been dedicated to volunteerism and service to their communities, which led Beskow into his sports interests. "I ran a Beskow lot of golf tournaments, coached Little League and even served on the other side as an umpire. I've always had an interest in sports.” Each year, the Red Bud Chamber of Commerce presents its “Citizen of
Achievement” award. The winner of the 2013 honor was Victor Mohr, Sr., owner and publisher of the North County News. At the age of 88, he continues to work at the Mohr paper and is proud that it has served the area since 1959. “Mr. Mohr has always graciously supported every church, school, organization and fundraiser. He understands the importance of all businesses being successful in a small town,” said Jana Kueker, office manager and assistant editor. Rob West has joined The Navigator & Journal-Register in Albion. An experienced sports editor, West began working at the publication in February. His primary focus will be sports, though he will also provide some news coverage as well as feature writing in the Navigator's sister publication, The Prairie Post Dawn Ferencak has been promoted to associate publisher of Austin Weekly News in Oak Park, where she’s worked as a sales representative since 2010. “This title recognizes the Ferencak broad and powerful role that Dawn plays in representing the weekly across the West Side,” said Editor and Publisher Dan Haley. Nathan Woodside, 31, has joined The Alton Telegraph as assistant content manager/web and social media editor. He is a 2006 graduate of Western Illinois University who formerly was the managing editor of the Macomb Eagle Woodside
and Lincoln Courier in addition to writing for the McDonough County Voice and Washington Missourian. Jessica Dickinson has joined the reporting staff of The Fulton Democrat. A skilled writer, this is Dickinson's first foray into journalism. “We've known Jessica for a long Dickinson time, and had a lot of confidence in the quality of work she could produce. She is insightful and curious – wonderful traits that she brings to the Fulton Democrat,” said co-owner Wendy Martin.
Debi Hallam has joined the staff of The Navigator and Prairie Post as a sales representative. She will service accounts in the Albion, Mt. Carmel, Olney and Fairfield Hallam areas. Hallam brings 28 years of sales experience to the newspaper, and for several years worked with Auto-trader.com. Ryan Ledendecker is the new web editor of the Waterloo RepublicTimes. The paper’s website won the top award in IPA’s Excellence in News contest in 2012. He was a columnist for the newspaper for more than two years.
Illinois PressLines / May 2014
Industry Deaths Marion Marcellus Burson Marion Marcellus Burson, 98, of Evanston, a 33-year veteran of Capitol Hill, first as an Associated Press reporter and then as a senior congressional aide, died April 1. A native of Litchfield, Mr. Burson was the son of Elbert E. and Mary McElligott Burson, publishers of the Litchfield News Herald. He graduated Litchfield Community High School and attended the University of Illinois and Loyola University of Chicago. He began his reporting career with the Decatur Herald & Review and then spent eight years with the Chicago bureau of the Associated Press. In 1951, he took a position with the Associated Press in Washington, primarily covering the Illinois, Indiana and Michigan congressional delega-
tions. After covering congressional affairs for six years for AP, Mr. Burson served as administrative assistant to the late Rep. Peter F. Mack, Jr., a Democrat from Carlinville, from 1957 to 1962. A self-professed history buff, Mr. Burson assisted in the planning of the 1959 commemoration of the sesquicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. After Mack's defeat in a reapportioned district, he served for 10 years as Republican staff assistant on the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee. In 1973, he became the top aide to the late Rep. George O'Brien of Joliet, serving in that position until his retirement in 1984.
Stacey Creasy Stacey Creasy, editor of The Fulton Democrat, died February 23. Creasy,
55, joined the Fulton Democrat in March 2009. He had previously served as a reporter and editor of newspapers in Illinois and Indiana, including the Macomb Journal, Indianapolis Star and South Bend Tribune. His resume also included work Creasy in radio where he was news director for the website. “Stacey was a newsman's newsman. He understood the importance of community journalism, and there was nothing he loved better than getting the scoop on everybody,” said Democrat Executive Editor Wendy Martin. For most of his tenure with the Fulton Democrat, Creasy covered the
administration of Mayor Kevin Meade. “Stacey was one of the finest journalistic professionals that I have worked with. I found his reporting fair and accurate. He was not afraid to ask the tough questions or hold me accountable for my answers. At the same time I could always count on him to write a fair story,” said Meade.
James C. Dowdle James C. Dowdle, a Dowdle born salesman known for his flashy ties and sharp intuition about the television industry, died Feb. 17. He had played a key role in the transforma-
See Obits on page 21
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continued from page 20 tion of Tribune Co. into a major media conglomerate. In 1981, when Mr. Dowdle joined the company, Tribune was focused, as it had been for more than a century, on its newspaper holdings particularly its flagship Chicago Tribune. By the time Mr. Dowdle retired nearly 19 years later as the company's second-ranking executive, Tribune Co. owned 18 television stations, reached more than 75 percent of U.S. households, held a minority share in the WB network and was also aggressively involved in virtually every aspect of the information industry, including cable television, the Internet and new media. “Jim was truly a great leader who made tremendous acquisitions, entered into content partnerships and joint ventures, and brought in great talent," retired Tribune Co. CEO John Madigan said. “He led the way in making us a major player in the broadcasting business.”
George H. Fisk George H. Fisk, 83, died February 25. He was born July 9, 1930, in Chicago, and spent most of his life in Joliet. He graduated Joliet Township High School in 1948 and married Sally, his childhood sweetFisk heart, in 1951. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserves and worked at various jobs prior to his employment at the Joliet Herald News, where he filled multiple roles before being named editor and publisher in 1982. He also served on the board of directors of The Copley Press, Inc., which was the parent company of the Herald News and Fox Valley Press, of which he was president.
Donald Graham Donald Graham, 72, of Champaign died on March 2. Mr. Graham was born July 28, 1941, in Newton, Il. He married Mary Ann Brahana on Feb. 21, Graham 1970, in Urbana. She survives. Don worked for more than 30 years at The News-Gazette in display advertising. After retirement, he and his wife enjoyed spending much of their time with their family and just being outside walking and biking around Champaign and at their vacation home on Johns Island, S.C.
JoAnn Harju JoAnn “Jo” Lydia Harju, 55, of LaSalle died Feb. 7 in Peru. Jo was born in Hancock, Mich. She lived most of her life in the Illinois Valley area and grew up in Spring Valley. She attended Triton College in Chicago, where she studied the arts. Jo worked as a photojournalist for the Bureau County Review in Princeton and later for Riverstone Group in Utica as an office manager for many years.
Geneva A. Horn Geneva A. Horn, 90, died March 16 in Hartville, Mo. Geneva worked as a circulation department office manager at The News-Gazette in Champaign, where she retired in 1989.
David B. Kramer David B. Kramer, 85, of Monticello, formerly Gibson City, died Feb. 24 in Bloomington. He was born Aug. 12, 1928, in Keokuk, Iowa, son of Verle V. and Sybil M. Mershon Kramer. He married Normalee Izard on Aug. 21, 1949. She preceded him in death in 2004. Kramer was a retired second generation publisher of newspapers in Central Illinois located in Gibson City, Monticello, Bement, LeRoy, Lexington, Chenoa, Colfax and
Page 21 Saybrook. He grew up in the newspaper industry in Warsaw, where his father published newspapers in Warsaw and Dallas City. After graduating high school in Warsaw in 1946, he attended the University of Illinois, graduating in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in political science. He served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1951. He joined his father as a partner at the Gibson City Courier as advertising manager from 1952 to 1955 and editor from 1955 to 1983. Following his father's Kramer death in 1968, he became publisher and editor. Kramer Publishing Co. published the Gibson City Courier, Piatt County Journal-Republican in Monticello and the shopper Target plus six other smaller weekly newspapers. In February 1982, Kramer Publishing Co. was sold to Rantoul Press Inc. and renamed East Central Illinois Publications Inc. Under his leadership, the Gibson City Courier twice won the Loomis Trophy, the sweepstakes award which identifies its holder as outstanding weekly newspaper in the Illinois Press Association's annual newspaper contest. Kramer served as president of the Illinois Press Association in 19721973. Kramer’s son, Mike, is publisher of the Law Bulletin Publishing Co. in Chicago and sits on the board of the Illinois Press Foundation.
Joyce D. Michelich Joyce Dorotha Michelich, 82, of Auburn, died late last year. She was co-owner of South County Publications in Auburn, along with her husband, Joe. Joyce was born in Detroit, Michigan, on November 20, 1931. She married Joe Michelich, Jr. November 10, 1951, while he was serving in the U.S. Navy. They were
married 62 years, and Joe survives, along with their three children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, step-granddaughters and grandsons, and stepgreat-grandchildren. For most of her life, Joyce was a Michelich homemaker, especially when raising her three children. Over the years, she and Joe were very active in the Illinois Press Association.
Chuck Morris Chuck Morris, a former reporter and editor for the Rockford Morning Star and Rockford Register Star, died on Feb. 18. Charles Earl Morris was born March 22, 1936. He grew up in Sharon, Wis., attending Sharon schools and graduating Sharon Morris High School in 1953. He attended Marquette University for one year before joining the U.S. Air Force in 1954. He served with several Air Force intelligence agencies as a Russian linguist, then returned to school at the University of Wisconsin. Morris joined the Morning Star as a summer replacement reporter in 1960, graduated from Wisconsin in 1961 with a degree in journalism and returned to the Morning Star as a reporter. In January 1967, he was named assistant city editor and was later promoted to city editor (1970), assistant news editor (1971), Sunday editor (1972), news editor (1974), assistant managing editor (1976), managing editor (1977), head of news and editorial (1979) and executive editor (1980). He left the Register Star in 1988 to become president and publisher of the Danville Commercial News, where he ended his career.
See Obits on page 22
Illinois PressLines / May 2014
Thomas M. Sengstacke Picou
Susan Nelson died Feb. 26 in Chicago. She was 71. As a Chicago Tribune reporter, textbook editor and writing teacher, Ms. Nelson had a special talent with words, friends and colleagues say. “Words were the thing in the end,” said longtime friend and journalist Jim Tuohy, co-author of “Greylord: Justice, Chicago Style.” Nelson Written, but also spoken. She liked to listen to NPR. She had the radio on all the time.” Ms. Nelson had worked a stint as a reporter for the Indianapolis Times before joining the Chicago Tribune in the mid-1960s. At the time, most women were automatically relegated to features rather than hard news, recalled former Tribune colleague Pat Terry. Female Trib newcomers would be asked, “Would you like to be on society, fashion or cooking?” Terry said. In features, Ms. Nelson was an assistant fashion editor; entertainment writer; feature writer; and writer of offbeat columns. Then, she landed a promotion to the Sunday Chicago Tribune Magazine — a highly prestigious and plum assignment in those days. Ms. Nelson was one of the first women to work on the magazine, serving as both a writer and editor. Ms. Nelson also was a fearless traveler. In 1976, after leaving the Tribune, Ms. Nelson happened to be visiting Guatamala alone when an earthquake hit, killing 23,000 and injuring 76,000. She started taking notes and interviewing people in Spanish. Then she called the Trib —offering to cover the earthquake as a freelancer, but they turned her down. But Chicago Sun-Times editor and publisher James Hoge Jr. was interested. The Sun-Times ran four stories by Ms. Nelson out of Guatamala.
Thomas M. Sengstacke Picou died Feb. 8 in Inglewood, Ca. When as a teen he got his first job on the loading dock of the Chicago Defender, Mr. Sengstacke Picou could never have dreamed he'd one day own the storied newspaper that was Picou founded with 25 cents in 1905 by Robert Sengstacke Abbott. He had come from Los Angeles in the late 1950s to live with his father's sister, Myrtle Sengstacke, wife of then Defender Publisher John H. Sengstacke, after his mother died. His own father was estranged from his family. So the Defender publisher and his wife took him in as a son, and decades later, when the nation's oldest black owned newspaper went up for sale in the wake of John H. Sengstacke's death in 1997, Mr. Picou would lead the investment group, Real Times, Inc., that eventually bought the paper.
Herbert R. Pohl Herbert R. “Kip” Pohl died March 30. Born in 1942 and raised in LaGrange Park, Kip graduated Lyons Township High School in 1960. He went on to study journalism at Southern Illinois University before he returned to La Grange to take the helm of his familyowned shopper. Pohl Later, he founded and published The La Grange Sun Newspapers, which served the western suburbs. He eventually sold the Sun Newspapers to Copley Newspapers, Inc., and became head of acquisitions for the company. Later in his career, he was the president and chief executive officer of Homes International magazine, a
subsidiary of Coldwell Banker. The glossy, luxury lifestyle magazine was the first of its kind and paved the way for the multitude of real estate publications in circulation today. In retirement, he started Iowa City Entertainment Inc., a multi-business hospitality company. He was also an owner of Pancheros Mexican Grill, a chain of more than 65 restaurants.
Tim Sassone Tim Sassone, the longtime Blackhawks beat writer for the Daily Herald who covered the team during some of its most miserable years to its two recent Stanley Cup championships, died March 26. He was 58. “It's a sad day. Tim, we like to consider him a friend of everybody's …” Sassone Hawks winger Patrick Sharp said. “He was very fair, very honest. We could tell he had a passion for the Blackhawks and cared a lot about the players on the team.” Sassone, a resident of Lisle, graduated Northern Illinois in 1978 and was inducted into the Northern Star Hall of Fame in 2013. He began working at the Daily Herald in 1984 and took over the Blackhawks beat in 1988. Later in his life, he dealt with several health issues, including a stroke in 2012, but he continued to write about the Blackhawks despite his health.
Don H. Reuben Don H. Reuben, who died Feb. 3 at age 85, is remembered as a remarkable, brilliant man who became a legend in Illinois media law. “He was an Reuben absolutely remarkable individual, maybe the most dynamic and colorful person that
I've ever run across," recalled John Foreman, publisher of The Champaign News-Gazette. During his legal career spanning more than six decades, Mr. Reuben was counsel to the Tribune Company, representing its newspaper and broadcast properties; Time Inc.; the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago; and sports teams including the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs and White Sox. He also counseled such prominent people as Zsa Zsa Gabor, Bill Veeck and George Halas and represented such governmental bodies as the Illinois Congressional Delegation and the Illinois House and Senate. Foreman said Mr. Reuben was a "one of a kind" man with a brilliant mind. Steve Helle, a University of Illinois journalism professor emeritus, called Mr. Reuben a “legend in Illinois media law.” “He singlehandedly conceived of and convinced the Illinois Supreme Court to adopt the innocent construction rule,” Helle said. “That rule was pivotal in protecting both media and non-media defendants in almost 20 percent of all libel cases. No other state ever adopted the innocent construction rule, but that's because they didn't have Don Reuben.”
James F. Walsh James Francis Walsh of Sarasota, Fla., and Lake Geneva, Wis., died March 20. He graduated Michigan State University in 1959. Jim was a proud newspaper man. He began his Walsh career at the Chicago Tribune in 1960 where he excelled in the advertising department for 20 years. He then moved to the Daily Herald where he made his mark as the Vice President of Advertising for an additional 20 years.
May 2014 / Illinois PressLines
EIU mourns Journalism department chair Tidwell James A. Tidwell, chairman of the Journalism Department at Eastern Illinois University, died April 12 following a 19-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 65. A nationally recognized authority on the First Amendment and the student press, Dr. Tidwell taught communication law to hundreds of students in his 41-year career in higher education, including 27 years at Eastern. He was the author of Media Law in Illinois: A Reporter’s Handbook, among other works on the First Amendment and the press. Gregarious and outgoing, Dr. Tidwell possessed a keen sense of
humor. He was well known and liked at Eastern, where he was a past chairman of the Faculty Senate and the Council on Academic Affairs, and had been a board member of the faculty Tidwell union, the University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100, and had served on the administration’s collective bargaining negotiating team. Born July 6, 1948 in Oklahoma City, he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist
University. He earned his master’s in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a Juris Doctor cum laude from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. He joined the faculty at Eastern in 1987 where he taught every class offered by the journalism department during his tenure and served as legal adviser to student publications. He served as director of the Eastern Illinois High School Press Association (1988-2005) and as executive secretary of the Illinois Journalism Education Association (1989-2005.) His journalism career included
work as the editor of the Okmulgee (Oklahoma) Daily Times and as a sports writer and copy editor of the Oklahoma Journal, a daily newspaper in Oklahoma City. In addition, he worked at Seminole (Oklahoma) Junior College as publicity director and for the Moore (Oklahoma) Monitor as reporter and news editor. The College Media Association inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2011 and honored him with the Reid H. Montgomery Distinguished Service Award in 2010. The Illinois Journalism Education Association in 2005 honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
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