Get the 411 on Keith Cerny, NMC manger/ publisher PAGE 3
Official publication of the Colorado Press Association / coloradopressassociation.com / Vol. LXXXVI, No. 2
‘Significant’ increase will boost 2015 convention’s bottom line As you walk through the Foyer of the Westin Hotel, you might notice two things at the 137th Colorado Press Association Annual Convention. One, there seems to be a lot of sponsor booths, and two, there seems to be more people in attendance. And you would be right. Fifteen organizations helped sponsor this year’s convention, and helped generate nearly $30,000 toward the convention or CPA operating costs. “This is a significant increase,”
said Jerry Raehal, CEO of the Press Association. “From talking to other press association, it’s one of the better shows of support in the nation, and we’re very thankful for their support.” The sponsors’ support, Raehal said, is important. “The CPA has heavily subsidized the convention — between $35,000 to $50,000 a year — since the downturns in the economy,” he said. “It put us behind the proverbial eight ball. Even with the uptick See SPONSORS, Page 8
Book recounts legacy of Colorado newspapers By Cheryl Ghrist Contributing Editor The title of a new book on journalism in the state – “Colorado Newspapers: A History & Inventory, 1859-2000” – appears to say it all. Yet it can’t possibly state in just a few words how much time, effort and dedication went into this longawaited project. Or touch upon the wealth of educational and sometimes amusing content. A rival’s press stolen by moonlight, pre-press association meetings held in a cyclone cellar, newspapers with names such as the Headlight, Candle, Flume, Upstart, Granite Pay-Streak and Sharpshooter. A 25-year-old newspaperman poisoned to death from the type he routinely held in his mouth as he worked. And 500 Colorado towns and their newspapers This dying off as well – but their book lost numbers has being replaced by seemingly been endless and more optimistic new publications all than 35 the time. years The first germ of an idea for in the the book came making. decades ago, according to Wilbur former Colorado Flachman Press Association (CPA) President Wilbur Flachman. A 40-year Colorado journalist who founded newspapers in Northglenn, Thornton and Westminster, and also owned the Eagle Valley Enterprise, Flachman today is the founder and president of The Publishing House, which produces a number of performing arts publications in the state. “This book has been more than 35 years in the making,” said Flachman..”I was the 100th president of CPA in 1977, and the idea for the book came during a Past Presidents Breakfast at the close of the Centennial Year Celebration,” at the
SPONSORSHIPS, ATTENDANCE ON THE RISE
See BOOK, Page 7
colorado editor ISSN #162-0010 USPS # 0122-940 Vol. LXXXVI, Issue 2 February 2015 Colorado Editor is the official publication of the Colorado Press Association and is published monthly at 1120 Lincoln St., Suite 912 Denver, CO 80203 p: 303-571-5117 f: 303-571-1803 coloradopressassociation.com
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In the News Aspen Daily News is on the move
The Aspen Daily News is moving to a new office on Main Street. Owner Dave Danforth purchased the roughly 2000-square-foot space for about $2.4 million. It’s located in the building where the Stage 3 movie theater once stood, at 625 E. Main St. The building also includes ground-floor retail, penthouses and affordable housing units. Danforth sold the building he owned at 517 E. Hopkins Ave., which housed the News for 25 years, in June. Prior to the Hopkins location, the newspaper’s office was in what is now Eric’s Bar. As reported in the News, Danforth said he wanted to own, rather than rent space, as it “fits our objectives for adding security to our long-term integrity as a news organization,” avoiding “undue political interference on what is printed in the paper.” He added that, “Any uncertainty on leasing or rental rates is off the table. We do worry about that when you have wealthy landlords walking around town.”
Durango’s new sports editor 30-year veteran
The Durango Herald has hired Brian Peterson as its new sports editor. Peterson has 30 years of journalism experience, mostly in sports and outdoors, ranging from high school and college sports to professional golf and the NFL. He previously was design director for a regional design center in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he oversaw work on more than 20 newspapers. He was also sports editor for The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, and the St. Augustine Record in Florida, night sports editor for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and associate editor for Golfweek magazine in Orlando. Peterson was a designer for the Durango Herald in 2005-2006 before returning to his home state of Minnesota, where he was outdoors editor for the Brainerd Dispatch for six years.
Vintage Mancos Times press rolls again
The Cranston press is up and running. The historic press inside the Mancos Times Building – believed to be one of only three such presses left in the country – began to turn again in June for the first time in about 40 years. As reported in the Mancos Times: “The old press came to life again under the skillful hand of Matt Neff, who directs the University of Pennsylvania’s The Common Press project. The project brought together historical presses for students and artists to use for custom graphic design.” Dick Patrick, the last owner of the newspaper to operate the press, left in 1971, but the next owner never used it. The paper was
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bought by The Cortez Journal, which used a different press. The ultimate plan is for the press and the building to be used on an ongoing basis for students and artists. The Mancos Town Board last year approved a $1,000 grant to the Mancos Common Press, an organization “dedicated to restoring the historic Mancos Times-Tribune building,” reported the Mancos Times. The entire project is expected to cost approximately $248,000. A State Historical Fund grant was applied for to make upgrades to the building itself, “while the historic press inside the building will be put on display.” Locally, at least $12,000 has been raised. Goals are: “to contribute to the development of the arts and education locally, regionally and nationally and to promote cultural tourism for the town and region through the restoration of the … building as a new facility for students and graphic artists to live and work in Mancos.”
Cortez’s Rainbow Press makes last run
Five pressmen started up the Cortez Journal’s 120-ton, 35-year-old Goss Urbanite known as the “Rainbow Press” on Dec. 29 to print the last 2,400 newspapers in a lifetime of runs. The nickname is due to the nature of the press: it has 10 sections and two levels, each section a different color. It was also sometimes known as “Frankenstein,” as it ripped the shirts off a few pressmen and part of a thumb of another. The last edition printed was for the Free Press. The change came after a new deal was reached with The Daily Times in Farmington, New Mexico, to print five Colorado newspapers owned by Ballantine Communications – the Durango Herald, the Cortez Journal, the Mancos Times, Pine River Times and the Dolores Star. The partnership created 12 new jobs at the Farmington facility, said Daily Times Publisher John Elchert. The Daily Times invested approximately
$400,000 in its printing press and packaging equipment to accommodate the demands of printing six newspapers a week, Elchert added. The partnership extends for five years and can be renewed. Pressman Doug Riedeman remembered seeing the press when it was state-of-the-art 35 years ago in Fort Collins. “We called it the Rainbow Press; now we call it a dinosaur,” said Riedeman, who has been a pressman across the country since 1972, starting in a pressroom in Riverside, California, when he was 17, and moving on to jobs in South Dakota, San Diego, Alaska, Arizona and Chicago. In the latter, he was a “loaner,” hired during a strike in the mid-1990s. Now, he plans to retire after helping to dismantle the Rainbow Press, and spend more time with his grandchildren in Arizona.
Ballantine appointed to humanities board Richard G. Ballantine, board chairman of Ballantine Communications Inc., has been appointed to the board of Colorado Humanities, the only state nonprofit dedicated exclusively to supporting humanities education statewide. Ballantine, publisher of the Durango Herald for 30 years, was apBallantine pointed to the post by Gov. John Hickenlooper, along with two others. Three other new board members were elected to their posts. Ballantine also serves on several other boards, including Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and the Ballantine Family Fund. Colorado Humanities designs and implements school-based and community humanities education programs in the areas of literacy, poetry, history and more, tailoring them to specific communities.
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10 Questions with: Keith Cerny By Cheryl Ghrist Contributing Editor This issue, “10 Questions” checked in with Keith R. Cerny, division manager/publisher for News Media Corporation since 1988, currently overseeing eight newspapers in Colorado, including a daily, six weeklies and a shopper in the San Luis Valley (SLV). He is well-known as the publisher of the Valley Courier for Alamosa Newspapers Inc. He is also currently the vice president of the Colorado Press Association Board of Directors, having joined as a board member in 2009. This month, he will move up to the office of president of the CPA board. 1) You have two major industry titles. Can you explain the difference in everyday duties? As a division manager for the past 23 years, I have had management responsibility over newspapers in Wyoming, Oregon and Arizona. We later moved toward more local/regional management to save on travel costs. 2) You’re from Schuyler, Nebraska, and studied journalism in that state, graduating in 1976 from Central Nebraska Community College (Platte) in Columbus. How did you wind up in Alamosa and the field you're in? I started writing sports for my hometown weekly newspaper as a sophomore in high school. After a year and a half of college and an original pursuit of a radio career, I got bored and left school to become sports editor of the Keith County News in Ogallala. Six months later I went back to eastern Nebraska and was editor of the Wisner News-Chronicle for 10 years. Realizing I didn't have much opportunity to move up, I took a job as general manager of the Lusk (Wyoming) Herald. While there, I was elected to the Wyoming Press Association board and the newspaper was sold to News Media Corporation. Six months later, they moved me to southwest Wyoming with the acquisition of the twice-weekly Uinta County Herald in Evanston. Later I became a group publisher with the addition of weeklies in Kemmerer and Bridger Valley. In 1992, I moved to Colorado after we acquired the Valley Courier in Alamosa and six months later the group of weeklies and shopper based in Monte Vista, formerly owned and operated by past CPA president Steve Haynes. 3) What are the challenges of covering the southern part of the state and the San Luis Valley, with Alamosa fairly close to the state's I-25 corridor? Is your area economically or otherwise affected by that proximity, or are you a community unto yourselves? We cover an area that includes six counties and roughly 723 square miles with a population of nearly 48,000. Keeping tabs on more than a score of local governmental subdivisions and 13 school districts is a challenge in itself, not to mention a four-year university and a two-year junior college.
We are a community unto ourselves that largely depends on agriculture, tourism and government jobs and consider ourselves independent from the I-25 corridor. 4) Alamosa is home to Adams State University, a four-year school with undergrad and graduate programs. You're on the foundation board for that university, as well as former president of the Grizzly Club Board. What is the latter, how did you get involved with both boards, and what are one or two of your accomplishments? I was elected to both boards a number of years ago and served a two-year term as president of the Grizzly Club Board, the athletic booster club for ASU. Five of my six children have received some education at ASU and I feel it is important to give back. In 2000, I was voted the “Billy Adams Award” recipient for my efforts to promote ASU, named for the former Colorado governor and founder of the college. My wife Debbie, who also serves as my advertising manager, and I were honored as “Grizzly Club Members of the Year” in 2011. 5) You're obviously into community involvement. Can you talk about your work with the Alamosa Rotary, with which you recently helped put on a John Denver tribute
concert to fund scholarships for ASU and Trinidad State Junior College? I have been a member of Rotary for over 25 years and served as president 2012-2013 Rotary year. We recently had a concert featuring Chris Collins, a John Denver tribute musician who actually resides in the southern part of the SLV. We packed an auditorium at ASU and raised over $2,000 for our annual scholarship program for both institutions of higher education. I also serve on the Alamosa County Economic Development Corporation board of directors and the San Luis Valley Council for El Pomar Foundation, and am a past-president of the Alamosa County Chamber of Commerce. I was voted “Alamosa Citizen of the Year” by the chamber in 1996. I believe strongly in newspaper staff being involved in their communities. After all, that's who butters our bread. 6) The motto of Alamosa is "Gateway to the Great Sand Dunes." You posted a photo of a recent snowshoeing trip there. What other local recreation activities and sites do you manage to fit into your time away from the office? My wife and I enjoy anything and everything outdoors. We hunt, fish, hike, backpack, camp, snowshoe and just hang out. 7) Can you rank for us your top
ABOVE: Keith Cerny and wife Debbie Sowards-Cerny on Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Fire and Ice Bonfire at the annual Alamosa Ice Fest, with their newspaper’s sponsored ice block. AT TOP: The couple with Olaf in ice from Disney’s “Frozen” at the start of the Rio Frio 5k on Ice at the Ice Fest, a run/walk on the frozen Rio Grande. AT LEFT: The couple at Tu Casa’s annual Mardi Gras fundraiser last March; Tu Casa is the Valley’s domestic violence and sexual abuse nonprofit for which Debbie was president of the board for five years. three mentors and how they influenced you? Having just lost my dad last year, my parents are obviously my top mentors even though they had nothing to do with the newspaper industry. They supported and encouraged me with whatever I felt like pursuing, which was not their livelihood. After the farming crisis of the early 1970s I decided I didn't want to spend my life sitting on a tractor. Secondly, my high school wrestling coach, Mr. Barry. A retired Marine drill sergeant, he put us through the paces, but was like a second father. What work ethic I didn't learn on the family farm, I learned in wrestling. 8) Do you have a current, professional goal in mind? Survival. Just kidding. I really think we're past the worst of times in our industry, but we can't lose sight of the fact we need to be ever-vigilant and
lead the way not only in print, but web and social media. 9) Neat desk or not? It's a disaster and always has been, although not as bad as years ago. I finally learned that I spent more time looking for something lost on my desk than it took to take care of the situation. 10) What’s the next big thing on your horizon? I hope to retire in nine or 10 years and health permitting and the “creek don't rise,” retire to the mountain community of Creede. I served on the theatre board there for six years and have been asked to come back on, and I probably will in a few years. It's a beautiful area and the CRT (Creede Repertory Theatre) has been tabbed one of the top 10 in America to see theatre off-Broadway. It's the 50th anniversary this year and well worth the trip!
‘We succeeded in every challenge’
pproaching my last convention as a member of the Colorado Press Association and SYNC2 Media Board of Directors, I can’t help but reflect on my time served. The board members who I have had the privilege of serving with are a collection of brilliant newspaper minds of both daily and non-daily newspaper employees. It was truly a pleasure working with them as we worked toward common goals with different views. I also appreciate the tremendous work of our legal representatives and lobbyist. Throughout the years, numerous issues have arisen that could have inhibited our ability to gain access to records, keep our First Amendment rights at bay, or threaten our ability to publish legal notices in a financially viable manner. These folks are the best Bryce Jacobson in the country; I have no doubt that without them we would be in a world of hurt. CPA Board To the CPA and SYNC2 Chair Media staff: Words cannot express how lucky we are to have current and previous staff members. Through the years, they have served our member newspapers through advocacy, and on the advertising agency side, selling into our newspapers. The years I served were not always easy. We faced a changing landscape in advertising agency services, a recession that changed the amount of money businesses want to place in newspapers or on newspaper.com sites in Colorado. We faced challenges to both legal notices and public records. We had three executive directors/chief executive officers during this time. All in all, though, we succeeded in every chal-
lenge. We started with an aging building that, without hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs, was no longer a viable place to house employees or represent our organization. We sold the building and now have a long term plan to house our staff effectively. We had some really difficult financial years in both CPA and SYNC2 Media. We rebranded and rebuilt our previous ad agency, the Colorado Press Service, to create a new ad agency, SYNC2Media — that offers both digital and non-digital solutions for our advertisers to buy and our members to sell. We also have begun the difficult task of reassessing our membership standards and fees. We consistently faced challenges against the publication of legal notices in our newspapers. We launched a new website, www.publicnoticecolorado.com, that will assist greatly in our fight to keep newspapers as the third-party solution to legal notices being available to inform our communities of what their government is doing and spending. These are just a few of the things we worked on to accomplish great success. I look forward to watching both organizations grow and thrive in the years to come. I said at last year’s convention that we are no longer newspapers with a website, but that we are now media companies that happen to own newspapers. A great mentor of mine took exception to that. Yet, I still believe that our audiences are accessing our content (news and information) in a variety of ways today, and we must be vigilant in meeting them where it fits them best. If we don’t, … well let’s not talk about that. Lets just go, work hard and smart to serve our audiences effectively. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. I benefited from my time on the board immensely.
‘Significant increase’ More students to apply for CPA scholarships Staff report The number of high school and college students applying to the Colorado Press Association scholarship program should have “a significant increase” over recent years, said Jack Czarniecki of the Denver Foundation. Students were allowed to start applying for the CPA scholarships in January. The deadline to apply is March 2. Last year, 28 people submitted applications — a number that’s already been achieved this year with more than two weeks to go, said Czarniecki, an associate scholarship officer with the Denver Foundation. “My experience with those funds is that the app numbers spiked in the final stretch,” he said. “Since we’re still two and a half weeks out from the deadline for both programs, I think it is fair to say we should see a significant increase in applicants this year.” The Denver Foundation runs the scholarship program on the CPA’s behalf. Up to six $2,500 scholarship are given to college students, and up to three $1,500 scholarships can be awarded to high school students who will be attending a university in Colorado in spring 2015. Eligibility requirements for college students includes: • Will be a full-time junior or senior (minimum 12 credits/semes-
ter) at a four-year Colorado college or university in the fall of 2015 • Have declared a major in journalism or a media related field (e.g. multimedia, technical journalism, documentary filmmaking, media studies, mass communications, etc.) • Are planning to begin a journalism or media career after graduation • Application information can be found out at http://denverfoundation. academicworks.com/opportunities/11 Eligibility requirements for high school students includes: • Will graduate from a Colorado high school in the spring of 2015 • Have held at least one leadership position (e.g. editor, president, treasurer, etc.) in a student media organization like the high school newspaper, yearbook or media club during their senior year • Will attend an accredited fouryear college or university in Colorado in the fall of 2015 • Application information can be found out at http://denverfoundation. academicworks.com/opportunities/8
For more info Application can be found on The Denver Foundation’s website under the “Grants/ Scholarships” section. Questions can be directed to Jack Czarniecki, 303.996.7328 or email@example.com.
‘To re-establish trust’ Salazar bill would prohibit police from interfering with incidents recording By Jeffrey A. Roberts CFOIC Executive Director Recent excessive-force allegations involving Denver police have prompted a state legislator to draft a bill that prohibits law-enforcement officers from interfering with anyone who lawfully records incidents involving cops. The proposal would create a private right of action to sue a law-enforcement agency, possibly resulting in actual damages and a civil penalty, if an officer destroys or confiscates a legal recording of a police-involved incident. The same penalties could apply if an officer intentionally impedes a recording or retaliates against the person
making it. “This bill is a training tool,” said Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton. “It’s basically telling police officers that if you see someone recording you in public while you’re engaged in a police incident you cannot take (the recording) unless you have some type of reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot.” While the measure would have implications for journalists, Salazar’s idea is motivated by recent cases in which members of the public have captured – or have tried to capture – police behavior with their mobile devices. According to The Denver Post, a girl was told not to video record the scene right after Denver police shot and killed 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez on Jan. 26. “My mom told me to start filming, but when I took out my phone, the cop was like, ‘Don’t you dare!’” Brianna Diaz told the newspaper. Last November, Fox31 in Denver obtained video of a Denver police officer punching an unarmed man
in the face and tripping his pregnant girlfriend the previous August. The witness who recorded the arrest said police seized his tablet without his consent and later returned it to him with the video clip missing. The clip was still available, however, because it had been uploaded to the cloud. “I was pretty mortified by that,” said Salazar, a civil rights attorney. The police, he added, should have handled that situation no differently than if they wanted video taken by a convenience store’s outdoor cameras. “They should say, ‘Is it OK if we take your recording?’ Or they should go get a warrant.” Salazar hopes that his proposal will help “to re-establish trust between the community and law enforcement.” The proposed bill, expected to be introduced later this month or in early March, covers only those who “lawfully” record incidents involving police. While courts have upheld the First Amendment rights of citizens to tape law-enforcement officers in the discharge of their official duties,
an NBC News story last July cited a federal appellate court decision saying that “reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right to film may be imposed when the circumstances justify them.” “Courts across the nation have repeatedly recognized that the First Amendment protects the right of the public to videotape or photograph a police officer in discharging his or her official duties, so long as the photography does not physically interfere with the officer’s conduct,” said CFOIC President Steve Zansberg, a media-law attorney. Zansberg noted that the U.S. Department of Justice, in response to a 2010 case in which Baltimore police deleted the contents of a cell phone used to record an arrest, formally declared that law-enforcement officers “should be advised not to threaten, intimidate, or otherwise discourage an individual from recording police officer enforcement activities or intentionally block or obstruct cameras or recording devices.”
at the legislature House Judiciary Committee kills bill to make the state public defender’s office subject to CORA State lawmakers on Feb. 12 defeated a bill that would have made the State Public Defender’s Office subject to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), preferring to let the Colorado Judicial Branch write its own rules for releasing administrative records for that
marketplace A&E EDITOR The Durango Herald, a family owned, digital first news organization in spectacular Southwest Colorado seeks an innovative editor with strong multimedia skills who will shape online and print coverage of a lively regional arts and entertainment scene. We want an experienced editor with strong knowledge of music, film, art and theater. The ideal candidate will be comfortable handling coverage of everything from a reggae jam to an annual classical music festival. Thorough understanding of how to use videos, photos and social media to reach diverse audiences is essential, as is the ability to manage freelance contributors. Skill in writing and curating compelling copy for digital platforms and for print is a must. The entertainment editor orchestrates two weekly print sections and is responsible for making the website a robust, up-to-the-minute and visually riveting source of regional entertainment news and information. The job also offers the opportunity to learn and grow with the company’s fledgling online television channels.
It’s basically telling police officers that if you see someone recording you in public while you’re engaged in a police incident you cannot take (the recording) unless you have some type of reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot.”
– Rep. Joe Salazar
agency and other agencies under its control Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee argued that HB 15-1101 unfairly targeted two judicial branch offices – the public defender and the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel – that represent indigent people. Killing the measure on a 7-6 party-line vote, they noted that a judicial branch panel is working on new access rules for the entire judicial department, eventually to be approved by the Colorado Supreme Court. “These are the real experts…,” said Rep. Pete
Lee, D-Colorado Springs. “I’d be interested to have their studied, analytical look at it.” Even then, however, the public defender and the rest of the judicial branch will not have to abide by rules governing public records that now apply to other state agencies, rules written by the legislature and followed by the Colorado Attorney General and district attorneys’ offices around the state. That’s because the Colorado Court of Appeals in 2012 exempted the judicial department from CORA in Gleason v. Judicial Watch, affirming
a previous ruling by the state Supreme Court. “If open government is good government, then open government should be applied to all of government,” said Chief Deputy Attorney General David Blake, testifying in favor of HB 15-1101. At the heart of the matter, although barely mentioned by the bill’s bipartisan sponsors Thursday, are public spending records in the case against admitted Aurora movie theater
Durango is an educated, active community with a vibrant cultural life. Readers demand timely and thorough coverage of arts and entertainment across all platforms. The Herald enjoys a proud tradition of journalistic excellence and repeatedly has been honored as the best small daily in Colorado. A competitive salary commensurate with experience is complemented by a comprehensive benefits package. The Herald, an arm of Ballantine Communications Inc., is an equal opportunity employer. If interested, please email a resume, cover letter, several recent clips, social media handle and examples of multimedia work to Don Lindley, BCI editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls, please.
hard-working, well-organized candidate with great people skills to develop new business clients as well as support our existing clientele and help them grow their business through various marketing techniques. We offer continuous coaching and mentoring, tools to aid sales, and a professional work environment. Prior experience in commissioned sales, customer service and marketing is a plus but not necessary. Our training program will give you tools and knowledge to help you succeed. Qualified applicants must have a valid Colorado driver’s license, reliable transportation, and proof of insurance. Applications may be obtained in person at The Lamar Ledger, 310 S. 5th Street, Lamar, Colorado 81052 or by email with a request to publisher@ lamarledger.com Applicants may forward resumes to email@example.com or by mail to The Lamar Ledger, P. O. Box 1217, Lamar, CO. 81052. EOE
government, business, education and agriculture. While the primary responsibility will be writing articles for the daily print edition and website, the position also includes photography, some video and page design. The Fort Morgan editorial staff is small and works hard to provide news from throughout their rural, agricultural community. We are looking for someone who takes initiative, learns quickly and is comfortable with the evolving world of digital news. A Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism or related field is preferred. Previous experience in the field is a plus. Fort Morgan is a town of 12,000 in northeastern Colorado, 80 miles north east of Denver. The newspaper prints six days a week and maintains a website at fortmorgantimes.com and social media presence. We offer a competitive wage and excellent benefits, including a choice of medical plans, dental and vision insurance, life/AD&D, short- and long-term disability, a 401(k) investment savings plan and immediate eligibility for paid time off. Interested applicants may apply by emailing a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
MULTIMEDIA MARKETING CONSULTANT Are you looking for a fast-paced career opportunity with full benefit package and unlimited earning potential? The Lamar Ledger in southeastern Colorado has tremendous advertising products in print, online, mobile, social and email. We are seeking a
The Fort Morgan Times is seeking a general assignments reporter to cover Morgan County including features, local
See KILLED, Page 8
Publishers’ survey produces interesting anecdotes
n some parts of the world, people can tell spring is near by the longer days and signs of life. In my world, you can tell by the trips through airports and hours spent preparing and giving speeches. There’s no doubt that it is convention season. The crowds have been large and enthusiastic. In just a few weeks I’ve been from Nashville, Tennessee to Bloomington, Minnesota and Columbus, Ohio to Edmonton, Alberta. There are more publishers waiting to catch me after keynotes lately. When the last workshop is done, there are bigger lines wanting to talk. And what’s the question I get asked most often? “How can I get my hands on the results of your latest publisher survey?” Your wait is up. Well, part of it is. You might remember that I conducted Kevin a survey of 614 publishers Slimp throughout the U.S. and Canada back in October. The News The results were quite interGuru esting. Mostly, though, they led to more questions. In late January, I sent out Survey II. So far, after two weeks, more than 300 newspaper executives have responded to the survey. Most are publishers. The results are fascinating to a guy who loves numbers. In future columns, I’ll share some of my thoughts on the meanings of these numbers. For now, let’s take a look at some of the more interesting results. Respondents are from papers of all sizes and types. They pretty much fit the industry profile in North America. Several publishers of metros completed the survey, as did publishers of mid and small dailies. The largest number of respondents, as you might guess, were from weekly newspapers. That makes sense, since the
majority of newspapers are weekly. A paid newspaper is the primary product of 80 percent of respondents, and 20 percent indicated their primary products were free papers. These were broken down into free newspapers and shoppers. About one-fourth of the free papers classified themselves as “shoppers.” In future columns, I plan to break the results down in more detail, by size, type, etc. For this column, I will stick with the overall results. In general, newspaper advertising revenue seems to have dropped a little, but not much. Advertising revenue has decreased for 44 percent of respondents, with most of those indicating it has decreased “a little, but not drastically.” Advertising revenue has remained “relatively steady” for 26 percent of respondents over the past three years, while 30 percent report their ad revenue has increased. Over the past year, however, the number who say their ad revenue has decreased is much closer to those who indicate their revenue has increased. It’s almost an even split between decreased, remained steady and increased. According to 99 percent of respondents, print revenue is the key to profitability, while 9 percent added that, while print is the greatest source of revenue, digital sources make up a significant part of their revenue. 90 percent responded that digital revenue was “negligible.” It gets a little confusing in the next question. When asked to respond to the statement: “Over the next three years, my newspaper could survive as well without a digital (online) edition,” 70 percent said that was a true statement. While, in the previous question, only 9 percent indicated they get a significant share of their revenue from digital, 30 percent answered they would lose “a lot of revenue,” if they didn’t have a digital edition. Confusing, but true. We’ll look into that in more detail in a later column. There’s no doubt what the major source of revenue is at most newspapers. Without a print edition, 99 percent of respondents said they
didn’t believe they could make it. For further emphasis, 82 percent went so far as to answer, “That’s crazy. We’d never make it without a print edition.” When asked where the most revenue is generated on the digital platform, 21 percent respondents answered “up-selling print ads to our digital side.” Revenue from ads sold on the digital platform only has been the most advantageous for 14 percent of respondents, while another 11 percent answered, “Bundling print and digital subscriptions.” Alternately, 29 percent indicated that they have a digital presence, but do not generate any revenue from it, and 14 percent answered that they do not have a digital presence. We asked questions related to profitability. Responses from 90 percent of executives indicated that their newspapers are profitable and 55 percent added that they foresee profitability well into the future. Four percent reported record profits over the “past year or two.” That gives you some indication of the pulse of newspaper executives at the moment. While I only discussed roughly one-fifth of the survey questions in this brief treatise, I plan to share more in future columns. How can information like this affect your newspaper? While with a client in Virginia last week, I was asked for thoughts concerning future changes being discussed at their paper. I asked if they would like to look over the results of this survey, which they did. Afterwards, the publisher told me, “That is so helpful. I think we’ll hold off on some of the changes we were planning.” More information will come, but I’ve more than used my 800 words for this column.
By the numbers
Percent of respondents, who say print revenue is the key to profitability Percent who say digital sources make up a significant part of their revenue.
Percent who responded that digital revenue was “negligible.”
Percent of executives who indicated their newspapers are profitable
Percent of executives who added they see profitability well into the future.
Kevin Slimp is a favorite speaker and trainer in the publishing world. He can be reached at email@example.com.
obituaries J. Howard Crooks Former Journal-Advocate Editor
J. Howard Crooks, longtime editor of the Journal-Advocate in Sterling, died Dec. 28, 2014, in that city. He was 89. Crooks was born Dec. 23, 1925, in Fort Morgan. He graduated from Sterling High School in 1943, going on to enlist in the U.S. Marines during World War II. He served as a machine gunner in the Pacific until his discharge in 1946. He returned to Sterling, where he attended Northeastern Junior College for two years before joining the then-Sterling Daily Advocate in 1948. Two years later, he married Alberta M. Reedy. Crooks was called to active duty as a Marine combat journalist in Korea until 1952; in 1953 he returned home to become managing editor of the Sterling Journal-Advocate. Four years later he went to Alamosa, where he worked as sports editor of the Valley Courier before returning again to Sterling in 1960. At first a general assignment reporter, he worked his way up in management, eventually becoming editor emeritus in 1985. He officially retired from the Journal-Advocate
on Dec. 31, 1990. He was well-known for his integrity and love of the industry, as well as vocational and educational programs at Sterling-area schools including Northeastern Junior College. He personally mentored many a reporter and editor, taking the time to instill in them both journalistic values and technical skills.
Former Rocky Mountain News VP of Circulation Ron Myatt, former vice president of circulation and strategic planning at the Rocky Mountain News, died Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. He was 78. Myatt was the son of deaf parents, which many say contributed to his reputation as an effective communicator with others, having learned sign language at an early age. His mother lost her hearing after contracting rheumatic fever as an infant; his father’s loss came from a childhood accident. Myatt attended Texas Christian University, studying to be an artist. But after beginning work as an entry-level staff artist at the Fort Worth Press in 1956, he told friends he was learning more about art at
the newspaper than in school. He worked for the Press until it closed in 1975, moving on to the Rocky Mountain News, where he stayed until his retirement in 1994. Myatt led the circulation department during the rivalry years with the Denver Post. Myatt is survived by his wife; he was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Elizabeth, who died in 2013. A memorial service and celebration of his life took place at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Denver; memorial gifts may be made to the church or the Cancer League of Colorado, on whose corporate board Myatt served.
William Woestendiek Former Colorado Springs Sun Editor andPublisher
William Woestendiek, editor and publisher of the Colorado Springs Sun from 1970-1975, died Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, in a nursing facility in Mesa, Arizona, following a long illness. He was 90. Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1924, Woestendiek grew up in Saugerties, New York. Woestendiek served in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean War. He also graduated from the University of
North Carolina, where he was editor of the student newspaper. He went on to earn a master’s at Columbia University, and was a Neiman fellow at Harvard University from 1954-1955. He went on to have a long career as a prizewinning journalist and editor, working for Newsday in Long Island, the Houston Post and the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson (both of which won Pulitzer Prizes while he was editor), and as executive editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. In 1962 Woestendiek won the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Foreign Correspondence Award for reporting on the former Soviet Union. He also was editor of IBM’s “Think” magazine and a syndicated Sunday magazine titled “This Week,” and anchor and producer of “Newsroom,” a daily program on public television station WETA in Washington, D.C. After being fired in 1988 as editor of the Plain Dealer (where he often had disagreements with the owners concerning advertisers attempting to influence news coverage), he became director of the University of Southern California School of Journalism until his retirement in 1994. He was also an editor-in-residence at more than 20 journalism schools and is a member of the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame. Woestendiek’s survivors include his wife, Bonnie; a brother, Eugene; two sons and a daughter; four grandchildren; and three stepchildren, including Maurita Thomas, of Woodland Park.
Book Continued from Page 1 association’s annual convention. In excerpts from a 1977 column by Flachman, reprinted in the new book, he explained: “A key ingredient to the … Celebration in 1977 included solicitation for funds and materials for publishing this book. Subsequently, the laborious project became derailed when the contracted author relocated from Southern Colorado to France, carrying with him a plethora of data and substantial deposit retainers.” Not the best start, but true to the colorful history of newspapers in Colorado. In 1858, John Merrick acquired an old “Mormon” press in St. Joseph, Missouri, “intending to publish the first Denver newspaper,” wrote Flachman, until Merrick lost that race in 1859 to William Byers’ and his Rocky Mountain News. Merrick went on to start another newspaper out in Golden, and the flood of newspapers in the state officially began. “Altogether, an unbelievable list of more than 2,800 newspapers have started up at one time or place in Colorado between 1859 and 1979,” noted Flachman in that 1977 column. And yes, even more since then have come and gone. But true also to the initial spirit of the industry, the new book relied on the knowledge and enthusiasm of many people to get the job done. Dr. Thomas J. “Tom” Noel, professor of history and director of Public History, Preservation & Colorado Studies at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD), wrote the foreword for the book, explaining a CPA connection. “The project began with Jane C. Harper, a Colorado journalist and longtime employee (of CPA),” who was commissioned by CPA to compile a history of state newspapers. Harper graduated from the University of Minnesota with majors in journalism and political science. She then worked at several Colorado newspapers, was the editor for 12 years of the Colorado Republican Party’s weekly Colorado Trumpet, and had been president of Colorado Press Women prior to joining CPA in 1978 – where she produced six biennial legislative directories and worked in all departments prior to becoming assistant to the manger. She began her research and writing for the book in 1988, completing much of the work by the 1990s. She continued her work into the new century, but even after 55 chapters, and more than 2,000 single-spaced pages and 1 million words, it was not quite done. Years later, in 2009, “Harper’s dying wish to see her work get into print was answered by Robert F. ‘Bob’ Sweeney, who has operated some 50 different small-town newspapers,” wrote Noel. “He, like Jane, wanted the story of these papers told. So Bob, the Kenneth King Foundation and the Center for Colorado & the West (CC&W, at the Auraria Library in Denver, and for which Noel serves as co-director) got this project rolling. We engaged Craig W. Leavitt, a King fellow and CC&W fellow, to prune, edit and fact-check Jane’s magnum opus as his M.A. history thesis at UCD.” Leavitt eliminated much duplication and cut down a 700,000-word manuscript to around 275,000. The original manuscript is being donated to the Denver Public Library’s Western History and Genealogy Department in the Colorado Press Association collection. Leavitt, already a published author and editor, finished the work with some additional editing and fact-checking by Noel. The resulting book is “the first attempt to describe every last Colorado newspaper published before roughly 2000,” noted Noel, who himself is the author or co-author of 40 books, many articles and a Sunday history column for The Denver Post. Said Sweeney about the project: “Thanks go to many people for completing this task over
The front cover of the Book, “Colorado Newspapers.” three decades. Work began but was never completed. Trusty CPA staffer Jane Harper picked up the torch and carried it forward -- her last call to me was to save the manuscripts stored in the basement of the CPA building. The book has been a team effort over the last year. Samantha (Johnston, former executive director of Colorado Press Association) rescued the documents and we turned them over to The Center for Colorado and The Old West.” Johnston, now general manager of The Aspen Times, The Aspen Times Weekly and The Snowmass Sun, confirmed that the documents were kept safely at the former CPA office building on Glenarm Place in Denver for years. That changed in 2011 during a Past Presidents breakfast at the CPA annual convention, she said. “Percy Conarroe (former editor and publisher of The Lafayette News, Louisville Times and Erie Review), Wilbur Flachman and Bob Sweeney were discussing how worried they were that the history, notes and research would be lost forever if somebody didn’t do something to preserve the work that was done.” Sweeney told Johnston about the conversation and asked if she would take the lead on making the book happen. “Bob had a relationship with the people at Auraria, and they agreed, through the use of a graduate student, to do all of the compilation, editing and putting together of the final draft,” she said. Johnston met with Leavitt many times,
working through missing pieces of history, discussing edits to chapters, and deciding how much to alter the original work. Mary Somerville, co-director of the CC&W, and Sandy Birkey, a designer with The Publishing House, also offered input on the project. Leavitt wrote the introduction for “Colorado Newspapers: A History & Inventory, 18592000,” calling it “the final culmination of the vision and years of hard work of Jane C. Harper, a Colorado journalist and historian.” She planned on calling the book, “The Press Gang: A 138-Year History of Colorado Newspapers,” in which she would catalogue and chronicle the lifespan of every newspaper printed in the history of the state. She organized her work by county, “giving historical context for each city, town and hamlet, no matter how small,” wrote Leavitt. “She meticulously queried newspapers around the state for their versions of their own stories, while accessing many archival resources to give a complete and nuanced rendering of the lifecycles of Colorado newspapers and the communities with which they grew.” The end result of all of these collaborations is that the final manuscript “balances sensational, colorful and amusing anecdotes with an assertion – sometimes implied, sometimes explicit,” wrote Leavitt, “that frontier newspapers played a crucial role in the development of Colorado, by tying communities together, promoting and facilitating economic growth, developing pride of place, and creating collec-
At a glance • ‘Colorado Newspapers: History & Inventory’ opens for sale at the convention. • Co-author Craig W. Leavitt will be at the convention, signing books. • Money raised from the sales goes to the to the Colorado Press Association’s Foundation Funds, which are managed by the Denver Foundation. • Books cost $49.95. • If you would like to mail order a copy, send us a note and $54.95 ($5 for shipping and handling) to the CPA office, at 1120 Lincoln St., STE 912, Denver, CO, 80203. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
tive memory.” The book goes on sale for the first time at the 137th Colorado Press Association Annual Convention on Feb. 20-21 at the Westin Hotel. Author Craig Leavitt is scheduled to be at the convention Feb. 20-21, signing copies of the book. Cost of the book is $49.95, with proceeds going to the Denver Foundation, which operates the CPA’s foundation programs and scholarships.
Why they sponsor
Continued from Page 5 shooter James Holmes. Reporters such as KUSA-TV’s Chris Vanderveen have repeatedly asked Colorado Public Defender Doug Wilson for records showing how much his office has spent to keep Holmes from the death penalty. Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler, who is pursuing the death case against Holmes, has voluntarily released his expenditure records in the case. Wilson gave the judiciary committee three reasons why he has rejected multiple requests for information on Holmes case expenditures: 1) the Gleason decision, 2) a gag order that prohibits him from discussing the case and 3) ethical rules for lawyers that prohibit him from revealing client information. Because of those ethical rules, Wilson said, “If there was no Gleason case, if there was no gag order, if we were under CORA today, I would still be denying requests as they relate to individual cases.” Wilson added that subjecting his office to CORA would open it up to lawsuits over the denial of records, potentially costing “a lot of money if I’m wrong” and must pay requesters’ attorney fees. He noted that prosecutors, under the Colorado Criminal Justice Record Act, would have greater leeway to deny records. Visit CFOIC’s legislature page to track bills in the General Assembly that could affect the flow or availability of information in Colorado.
“Signature Offset continues to rely on the Colorado Press Association convention as a single point of contact for all the prominent publishers in Colorado. We utilize it as a way to determine our future plans and as a pulse to the future of the Colorado publishing community. Without it, we would be required to expend major investment in travel time and money to meet all the Publishers. We also enjoy the opportunity to just relax, interact and be a part of such a great Association. Out of the 15 conventions we attend each year, we are always excited to be present at the Colorado Press Association Convention.” — Erik Hall of Signature Offset, a gold level sponsor
tain News Media, a silver level sponsor “We’re honored to be a sponsor of CPA’s annual convention, and particularly the job fair. Our journalism program has a proud history of working with the industry. Now, at a time when journalism is changing fast, it’s a pleasure to introduce a new breed of interns and job-seekers, prepared to meet the challenges that face us all.” — Chris Braider, dean of CU-Boulder’s new College of Media, Communication and Information, the job fair sponsor
Gold level: Signature Offset Opening reception host: TownNews Innovation lunch host: CSU Journalism and Media Communication “As director of Colorado Mountain Job Fair host: CU College of MeNews Media’s printing operation, I dia, Communication and Information am excited to be involved in CPA this Silver level sponsor: Colorado year. Our printing division has added Mountain News Media capacity to our UV ink and gloss Breakfast-Break host: Great Outprinting capabilities, and I believe doors Colorado CPA can help me spread the word so Past Presidents breakfast host: we can help publishers around the Bob Rawlings of Pueblo Chieftain region. We believe our clean, modern, Bronze sponsors: centrally-located printing facility Creative Circle, can reduce publishers’ printing costs NewzGroup, without compromising high-quality Westin Denver International printing for magazines, gloss covers, Airport, brochures, guides and more. We are Lightbox Images Photography, honored to be one of the sponsors of Metropolitan State Journalism and this dynamic group of communicaTechnical Communication, tion business leaders and I am looking Clear the Air Foundation forward to meeting you all through Partner level sponsors: this partnership.” UNC Journalism, — Bill Walker of Colorado MounAthlon Media
Sponsors Continued from Page 1 in sponsorship, we’ll likely still subsidize this year’s convention; however, it should be a lot less.” Being present at the convention is important for the sponsors, too. Or so says Erik Hall of Signature Offset, this year’s biggest sponsor at the gold level. “Signature Offset continues to rely on the Colorado Press Association convention as a single point of contact for all the prominent publishers in Colorado,” he said. “We utilize it as a way to determine our future plans and as a pulse to the future of the Colorado publishing community. Without it, we would be required to expend major investment in travel time and money to meet all the Publishers. “We also enjoy the opportunity to just relax, interact and be a part of such a great Association. Out of the 15 conventions we attend each year, we are always excited to be present at the Colorado Press Association Convention.” Ten of the fifteen sponsors plan to have booths at the convention.
Uptick in attendance In addition to the increase of sponsorships, the number of people planning to attend the convention is expected to increase. Early numbers show about a 60-70 percent increase in attendance over 2014, closer to 2012 convention numbers. Raehal could not pin-point an exact reason for the increase, but noted a couple of reasons that could have contributed, including: • A change in schedule • A change in fee structures to attend • A barrage of communication to membership to attend “I also hope it’s because of the value people find in the convention, ranging from a great lineup of speakers and education, to a chance to celebrate our industry and view our papers’ hard work,” Raehal said. “I also think it’s a good sign of the industry as a whole when it places value on those aspects.” Even with those increases, it’s still not where attendance was 10 years ago. “But it’s a step in that direction,” Raehal said.
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