Page 1

Spring 2008

Volume XCVII, No. 5

Journalists, lawmakers talk budget, term limits

Bill Brehm Jr., Brehm Communications Inc., right, with Assembly Member Ted Gaines, Auburn Journal reporter Jenna Nielsen and Journal Executive Editor Deric Rothe. The importance of communication was last year’s New Member Panel. Participants reinforced again when 158 editors and in the panel who returned were Assembly publishers from across the state filled the Members Kevin De León, Mike Duvall, Jean Magnolia Room at the Sheraton Grand Fuller, Ted Gaines and Fiona Ma. Sacramento on Jan. 23 for Governmental One attendee said it was fun to see the Affairs Day. differences a year had made in the attitudes This is the second year that CNPA and and thoughts of the lawmakers on varithe California Society of Newspaper Editors ous issues. Another said the panel “offered teamed up to help journalists and legislaa unique perspective different from the tors prepare for a year of governmental ‘established’ party leadership.” coverage. The event keeps Prop. 93 was an issue communication lines open that split the panelists. “Crisis creates the as the state’s top politiWhile some thought the cians speak and hold Q&A opportunity to do proposition would give sessions for the state’s them more time to get things differently.” – Roger Niello used to the lawmaking newspaper publishers and Assembly Budget process and not worry as editors. Committee vice-chairman much about re-election Highlights of the 2008 G.A. Day included a panel as often, others thought on the governor’s proposed budget and a the proposition would cater too much to discussion with a sophomore panel of legcareer politicians who had gotten used islators as well as an award presentation to to the temptations of power. Most of the Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley panelists on this panel have their own busiand a special interview with Gov. Arnold nesses back at home and didn’t seem to Schwarzenegger. “need” to be legislators as much as some of The one-day program kicked off with their counterparts on the veteran panel had Anthony York, Capitol Weekly co-publisher seemed a year earlier. Although the propoand editor, moderating a Sophomore Panel sition failed, the issue will probably come featuring legislators who participated in up again as the topic of redistricting is a

big reason why many people did not vote in favor of Prop. 93, and that issue has not been formally addressed on the ballot. The Sacramento Bee’s Dan Weintraub led the second panel discussion on the state’s $14 billion budget shortfall. Participating were four legislative leaders of the budget process: Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Denise Ducheny, Assembly Budget Committee Chairman John Laird, Vice-Chairman Roger Niello and Sen. George C. Runner Jr. When discussing budget issues, Niello said, “Crisis creates the opportunity to do things differently.” In the previous panel, Ma had said that based on her past experience with budget issues she thought that 10 percent cuts across the board were the best way to go. Some of the obstacles the panelists said they face with the budget include a revenue vs. spending problem, the amount of money going into the prison system and the revenue structure which, according to the panel, is not distributing the current funds to accommodate spending plans. At lunchtime, CNPA Board Member and Los Angeles Times attorney Karlene Goller presented a Freedom of Information award to Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley. He has reshaped the District Attorney’s Office with the most sweeping reorganization of the last 40 years, according to his nomination for the award. The most popular session of the day was a visit from Schwarzenegger, who spoke to the crowd about the state’s budget crisis before sitting

Revenue, content key topics of ’O8 summit The new format will replace CNPA’s annual convention.

Mindful of changes in the newspaper industry, CNPA has joined with the California Society of Newspaper Editors and the California Newspaper Advertising Executives Association to produce an annual event for California’s newspapers. Instead of the CNPA annual convention, this year’s event is called the 2008 California Press Summit: Embracing Radical Change. The event will focus on building new revenue streams and profit models, growing audiences and developing advertisers across platforms, said convention chairman and Petaluma ArgusCourier Publisher John Burns. One way to do this is to spotlight innovative initiatives that can be replicated in small or large markets. “With the many challenges facing our industry, we’re excited to see the groups merging for this first ever Press Summit, which will feature valuable insights on the most profitable and innovative initiatives currently underway among newspapers statewide and beyond,” Burns said. Online convergence is a central theme of the summit, and top interactive and online experts from CNPA-member newspapers across the state will showcase the latest, most innovative ideas for building audience and revenue online. CNAEA and CSNE-produced sessions will cover the latest revenue generation and content development initiatives, respectively. Another reason for the new partner-

See G.A. DAY Page 11

See SUMMIT Page 2


Part 2 of 4: A day in the life of a converged newsroom With this series, we spend a day in a converged California newsroom. The goal is to display different models for newsrooms that work in the digital/print age by interviewing reporters, editors, photographers, videographers, bloggers, etc., about a day in their lives.

Publisher Profile

The Desert Sun, Palm Springs


n the warmth of the Palm Springs sun, across from the Palm Springs Air Museum in the shadow of the San Jacinto Mountains is the headquarters of The Desert Sun. Marked by stylish southwestern décor, including Native American artwork and a pair of llama statues that greet visitors upon entry, the newspaper is a tribute to the desert’s rich history, but the modern statue of a family in front of the building illustrates The Desert Sun also thinks of its future. All journalists are looking for role models and best practices to

California Newspaper Publishers Association

ease the pains of the newspaper industry’s current transition. Last year, Gannett Company, Inc., one of the largest newspaper companies in the country, decided it wanted to change its Web strategy by creating “Information Centers,” The Desert Sun was chosen, according to Executive Editor Steve Silberman, because of its size – changes and innovations that they try can work at big and small newspapers. In an article by the Newspaper Association of America called “The Right Skills” about “Best See DESERT SUN Page 10

708 10th St., Sacramento CA 95814 (916) 288-6000

Pat Hampton Calistoga Tribune

Pg. 3

Legal Helpline ....... 2

Obituaries .... 9 People ......... 8

President’s Note ............. 2 Slimp reviews the Flip ......... 5

Cal Press honors news vets ..... 12 Tom Burke talks Web issues .. 13

NNA Report ... 6 CNPA Foundation .. 7

Fax (916) 288-6002

Allied Member Directory ...... 16

2 California Publisher Spring 2008

T H E C N PA M I S S I O N To champion the ideals of a free press in our democratic society and to promote the quality and economic health of California newspapers

This business is not for wimps SUMMIT


s I write this column, rainy January has given way to beautiful sunny February. I hope the weather is an omen of things to come in our business. For many of us, especially those of us in mid to large newspaFROM THE pers in California, 2007 PRESIDENT was one of the darkest Lynn Dickerson and rainiest years of our careers. Unfortunately, 2008 has begun just as badly as 2007 ended. The sluggish real estate market has hit California especially hard, and its ripple effect through the other sectors of the economy has made newspapering in California even more difficult than in other parts of the country. Add a national recession on top of that and it’s enough to cause the strongest of us to run for cover. Fortunately, community newspapers fared much better than larger dailies last year, but the real estate woes now seem to be impacting that segment of our industry as well. I have often said during my 28 years in this crazy business that being in the newspaper business is not for wimps. That has never been truer. But wimps we’re not. We’re smart and hard working and entrepreneurial and innovative. Whether we want it or not, we are tasked with leading our industry through an incredible transformation. As one of the publishers who reports to me said in a company memo in mid-February, “Many challenges lie ahead, but there are far more opportunities.

Our industry is undergoing what the experts call structural change. This has to do with the migration of some news, information and advertising to the Web. A significant amount of this transition has already occurred, but more changes are expected. These structural changes have impacted the newspaper business substantially.” Right he is on all counts. Change we must and quickly. This is a time for a heightened sense of urgency and innovative thinking. Doing it the old way doesn’t work any longer. All of us in our individual newspapers are working hard to reduce our cost structures while we figure out the new business model. Our revenue is declining on the print side, and while it is growing on the online side, it isn’t yet growing fast enough to replace the print losses. Until those lines cross, newspapers have no choice but to lower costs. CNPA is being asked to follow suit. Jack Bates and his team are reducing expenses at our press association. In the future, a much smaller group of CNPA staff members will travel to out of town board meetings. That means some committee meetings will now be held only twice per year when we meet in Sacramento. Conference-call meetings will be held as needed between the January and July meetings. As Dale Carnegie once said, “Flaming enthusiasm, backed by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.” We are an industry full of people with horse sense, enthusiasm and persistence. The work we do is important. There has never been a more important time for us to succeed. Now let’s get to it. CNPA President Lynn Dickerson is vice president of Operations at The McClatchy Company in Sacramento.

Dickerson (second from right) with husband Ron (far right) and CNPA Board member Jim & Barbara Webb.



Subscriptions are $15 per year. California Publisher is printed by Paradise Post Printing. Periodicals postage paid at Sacramento, CA.


Jack Bates Executive Director Kristen Lowrey Communications Director Joe Wirt Advertising Manager California Publisher USPN 084720 ISSN 0008-1434

Postmaster send address changes to: California Publisher 708 10th Street Sacramento, CA 95814-1803

About Newspaper Websites,” will discuss the results of 350,000 interviews of visitors to newspapers’ websites across all market sizes. Papert says that thanks to these interviews, Belden Associates has unique insights into what is happening and what visitors want. Papert will offer several basic recommendations of what Tony Allegretti, newspapers should do to keep these visipresident tors on the sites and keep them coming and CEO, back. Main Street In the next session, Carolyn McCullogh, Media, will advertising director at The Press be inducted Democrat in Santa Rosa, will be part of as CNPA a panel discussion on customer focus president at and partnerships. Other panelists will be the Press named later. Summit. Friday connews, advertising cludes with the and circulation “We encourage every newspaper popular, annual departments,” Rock PAPER in California to send as many Burns said. Scissors tourIn line with the participants as possible, including nament at the goal of making representatives from their online, reception and the event accesnews, advertising and circulation dinner. Saturday sible and affordhighlights include departments.” able, a contract sessions and the has been secured – John Burns annual Better with the Sheraton convention chairman and Newspapers Universal Hotel Petaluma Argus-Courier publisher Contest Awards in Universal City Show and for Oct. 23-25 Luncheon. with $169 room rates. Among the other conBusiness and board meetfirmed speakers is Los ings precede the Thursday Angeles Times Editor Russ afternoon opening session Stanton. A 10-year veteran followed by an appreciation of The Times, Stanton was reception in honor of the previously innovation ediSummit sponsors and ventor at The Times after movdors. Dinner and entertaining last year from business ment will wrap up Thursday Papert Stanton editor to the newly created evening. position. Before joining Friday features a full The Times, he worked at The Orange day of sessions including Sammy Papert, County Register for nine years and at the chairman/CEO for Belden Associates, Riverside Press-Enterprise and The Sun who is confirmed to speak from Oct. 24 at in San Bernardino County. He began his the general session following the Friday career as a business reporter at the Visalia luncheon. The session, titled “The Truth Times-Delta in the San Joaquin Valley. ships is to increase attendance. This event will be designed with all departments of newspapers in mind, and Burns says the demographic of attendees should reflect newspapers’ dedication to seeking new ways to be profitable and working together, across departments, to help the industry thrive again. “We encourage every newspaper in California to send as many participants as possible, including representatives from their online,

Schoolsite council meetings required to be open We are starting to investigate some questionable expenditures of our local Boys and Girls Club. One example is the executive director’s purchase of a large number of tickHELPLINE ets for several sporting Jim Ewert events and concerts CNPA Legal last year. Apparently, Counsel only a handful of the kids at the club went to each of the events, and there were a large number of tickets that we think might have been used by friends of the executive director and the board. The club is organized as a nonprofit with a 20-member board on which many community leaders serve. One of the long-time board members is a city councilman who every year without fail convinces his council colleagues to allocate a portion of the city’s grant money (between $5,000 and $8,000) to the club. As a director he has a full vote on all matters that come before the board. I want to make a California Public

Published quarterly by the California Newspaper Publishers Association 708 10th Street Sacramento, CA 95814 Spring, March 2008

From page 1

CNPA Allied Members ....................... 16-19 CNPA Foundation .................................. 5 Dirks, Van Essen & Murray............................. 12 First Day Story ........................................ 14 Gauger Media Service, Inc. ......................... 13

Records Act (CPRA) request for the club’s budget and documents associated with ticket purchases to see what I can learn about the transactions. Would the CPRA apply to the Boys and Girls Club board? Generally, the CPRA establishes the presumption that state and local agencies are required to publicly disclose records upon request unless an exemption applies. Local agency is broadly defined in California Government Code Section 6252(a) as including, “a county; city, whether general law or chartered; city and county; school district; municipal corporation; district; political subdivision; or any board, commission or agency thereof; other local public agency; or entities that are legislative bodies of a local agency pursuant to subdivisions (c) and (d) of Section 54952. (emphasis added) Subdivision (c) of Government Code Section 54952 (the Brown Act), includes a legislative body that is, “A board, commission, committee, or other multimember body that governs a private corporation, limited liability company or other entity that either: (A) Is created by the elected legislative


Graphic Communication Institute ................. 6 JP Media Partners ................................... 7 Kamen & Co. Group Services ..................... 14 Knowles Media Brokerage Services ............... 4 McGrann Paper Corp. ............................... 6

body in order to exercise authority that may lawfully be delegated by the elected governing body to a private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity. (B) Receives funds from a local agency and the membership of whose governing body includes a member of the legislative body of the local agency appointed to that governing body as a full voting member by the legislative body of the local agency. (emphasis added) The Boys and Girls Club board may be required to comply with your CPRA request if it meets the definition of “other entity” as set forth in Government Code Section 54952. It is clear that the club receives funds from the city and the council member sits with a full vote on the club board. However, it is uncertain whether the councilman was appointed to the board by the city council or if he became a director independent of his status as a city councilman. If the councilman was appointed by the city to the club’s board, then the club is subject to the requirements of the Brown Act and the CPRA. If not, then the Boys and Girls Club is a private entity to which neither the Brown Act nor the CPRA apply. See HELPLINE, Page 4

Newstravel.................................................... 15 NP Commercial Printing ......................... 4 Publishers Circulation Fulfilment Inc. .......... 9 ....................................... 11 The Ultimate Print Source ......................... 20

Spring 2008 California Publisher 3


Pat Hampton Calistoga Tribune What sparked your interest in journalism as a career? Mrs. Sue Bohnert, journalism teacher at Mark Keppel High School in 1966. I loved it all, the reporting, writing, print shop, reactions from teachers and peers. Who wouldn’t; it was the 1960s. What was your path to becoming a publisher? I had worked for Bill Brenner as the editor of The Weekly Calistogan for nine years, when the Brenner family sold their two weekly papers (The Weekly Calistogan and the St. Helena Star) to a financial investor who had no business running a newspaper. He said a newspaper was no different than a widget. I tried to tell him how personal a paper was to a small, rural community like Calistoga (population 4,500). He fired me after we butted heads for two months, and I left journalism for three years. It was great: no deadlines, no night meetings or weekend stories, no soccer games or city council meetings to cover. But he moved the paper out of town, started combining news from two papers into one, and the town went nuts. They weren’t getting good information about local government, sports, events, schools, etc., and they were angry, frustrated and rebellious. I was approached about starting a new paper, and I declined because it’s an insane thing to do. But 9/11 changed that, showing all of us that life is so fragile and dreams quickly gone, and I knew I had to get back into following my bliss. I acknowledged that I was born to be a newspaper reporter, went home and told my partner Ramona, an R.N., that I thought we should start a newspaper. She pulled out retirement money to start the ball rolling. We borrowed money from family, charged equipment on credit cards and found a small office to rent on the main street. People in Calistoga were so excited they stopped by to give us encouragement, brought pizza, chocolate and money for subscriptions. I called Hank Hustedt, ad man, to help a couple days a week, tapped Kim Beltran, experienced city editor from the local daily, and we started the Calistoga Tribune, named after the first paper published in this town in 1872. What’s the most important thing you learned along the way that prepared you to be a publisher? This has all been by the seat of our collective pants. All I had to go on was Bill Brenner’s comment one day that he tried to keep advertising and editorial content at 50 percent each in the editions of his papers. I set that as a goal in 2002 when we started The Tribune (totally unaware of how difficult it was going to be) and punted from there. We’re not there by any means, but it’s still our goal. I am a reporter first, businessperson second. It’s been hard staying out of the editorial office and focusing on advertising, subscriptions and long-term planning. My job is finding and bringing in the money to keep the newspaper going. Nothing prepared me; it was by default because the community needed a newspaper and asked me to provide one. They have been very supportive, but I don’t take that support for granted. If you don’t provide the content the readers want, they’ll drop you like a hot slug.

PERSONAL STATS Name: Pat Hampton Born: March 4, 1950 First job: High school intern for Eli Eisenberg on the Monterey Park Progress; spent a year on the High Plains Journal in Dodge City, Kansas under editor Ray Pierce; took a hiatus to work for Girl Scouts of the USA in Chico; then eventually The Weekly Calistogan and St. Helena Star in Napa Valley. Current job: Publisher, Calistoga Tribune, a 1,000-paid subscription weekly, comes out on Friday

Publisher Pat Hampton, center, and staff (l to r) reporter Michelle Wing, partner Ramona Asmus, photo coach Chick Harrity, ad director Ellen Smith, contributor Yvonne Henry and editor Kim Beltran when the Tribune won six BNC awards in 2003, the paper’s first eligible contest, including a second place in General Excellence. Who has inspired you? For the past 20 years, Peter Hickey has been my main mentor. He started as a photographer for the Associated Press, became publisher of the Ithaca, N.Y., paper along the way, later bought newsprint for Gannett, retired to Calistoga and walked into our small office and started giving me advice. Six years ago Chick Harrity, chief photographer for U.S. News & World Report, retired to Calistoga and became our photo coach and good friend. His sisterin-law, Diane Henry, past reporter and a copy editor for the New York Times, joined us last year as a part-time reporter. Kim Beltran, our editor, is my biggest inspiration because she’s so good at what she does and doesn’t get distracted from doing her best week after week. After three years, we petitioned the county court for status as a newspaper of general circulation, something that hadn’t been done in Napa for more than 50 years, and got it. We’ve won the city’s legal advertising for the past two years. Sometimes I just look around and smile at our good fortune. We’re still having fun and doing a good job for Calistoga.

and not on the driveway. But I’m just oldfashioned that way.

What excites you about this business? Knowing as much about everything going on in town as possible. I don’t have any answers to the big questions; I’m just a hometown newspaper publisher. I don’t have the knowledge to predict trends or analyze technology or to do anything other than put out a weekly newspaper that resounds with readers.

Tell us something about the communities your publications serve. Are they growing communities? Calistoga is a small tourist destination at the top of Napa Valley with a population of 5,000 independent souls. The school district and our circulation area straddle the line between Napa and Sonoma counties, so we don’t strongly identify with either. We have a high number of senior citizens, something like 28 percent, a growing Mexican-American population, and more families are moving here. We’re more bluecollar than our down-valley neighbors, and we take pride in being laid-back and kind of funky. No wine country snobbishness here, just mud and music. We publish a tall-tab, 16-page community newspaper each Friday. My promise is that The Tribune’s stories are about Calistoga, period. I think now it’s called hyper-local journalism; before that it was dubbed community journalism, but for us it’s always been about the people in one town. It’s kind of myopic, but it works. We also publish a free monthly tourist tab called the Mud City Weekender to tell tourists about the events, history and local features of Calistoga. It is purely a way to capture advertising from businesses that shy away from the weekly, like wineries and spas, which are tourist-oriented. Calistoga isn’t growing; it just kind of replenishes itself, limiting growth through the general plan at 1.35 percent a year. So finding new revenues is tricky, as is getting new subscribers.

What is your biggest concern about newspapers and their future? That generations growing up now are not being trained by their parents to read newspapers or other periodicals, and too soon the paper product will be a thing of the past. Newspapers will be on the Web

What are some of the challenges for the Calistoga Tribune in a technology-driven industry? I’ve dragged my feet on putting up a Web page because of the resources needed to keep it current and contemporary. We have a small staff, an editor and two part-time

Family: Life partner of 29 years, Ramona Asmus, R.N.; and son Noah Hampton-Asmus, 19, journalism student at Long Beach City College Education: A.A. in Journalism, East Los Angeles Community College; B.S. in Journalism, San Jose State Community involvement and diversions: Gardening, reading, a bit of stained glass, attending a million nonprofit fundraisers every year. Oh, and wine tasting …

reporters, and I can’t pull time and money away from them to put into an alwaysincreasing Web presence that, Borg-like, would consume more than it gives back to the business. I may have my head in the sand, but we are so small I don’t think the Web will miss us. I do think that eventually we will have to make the decision to go all Web and drop the printed product. With postage and printing costs consuming a fourth of our expenses, I can envision the day coming in the next 5 to 10 years that even small papers will be forced to make the jump from paper to plasma. That could be very exciting, using new tools and techniques to tell the week’s stories at half the cost. But I just don’t see a paper this size being good at both because of limited resources, and right now I’m focused on the print product. Let the big guys fight for the broadband; I’ll stick with newsprint for now. We’re not looking for a worldwide presence, just one from Calistogans. What can journalists do to keep newspapers alive? Do their job of writing interesting, relevant, accurate and timely stories on people and events of their community. Take and print good photos of local faces and landmarks. Peter Hickey once told me it was my job to get every resident’s face See HAMPTON Page 6

4 California Publisher Spring 2008

NEWS BRIEFS CalAware makes public records requests easier to access Anyone seeking access to public records from California state or local government can use a quick, inexpensive Internet service, starting March 20. Sacramento-based Californians Aware, a nonprofit open government advocacy group, is offering “SunScribe.” It can be accessed on CalAware’s website (www. and will automatically generate customized request letters developed by CalAware General Counsel and public records legal specialist Terry Francke. SunScribe will be the first public records request service of its kind in California, offering help that previously has been available only through attorneys. The service does not include legal representation or litigation, but attorneys who provide such service throughout the state are listed in CalAware’s lawyer directory. SunScribe is a service made possible by a grant from the law firm of Cooper, White & Cooper in San Francisco. SunScribe will offer users three levels of service. For more details, visit beginning on March 20.

Wikileaks decision reversed; bank drops lawsuit The Associated Press reported on Friday that a federal judge who shuttered the website reversed the decision Friday and allowed the site to reopen in the United States. In mid-February, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White issued an injunction against Wikileaks after the Zurich-based Bank Julius Baer accused the site of posting sensitive account information stolen by a disgruntled former employee. On Friday, the judge dropped the injunction that took the site offline, citing First Amendment concerns and questions about legal jurisdiction. At a

court hearing in San Francisco, White said he had “serious questions” about whether the legal measures sought by the bank “would be constitutionally appropriate” and whether they constituted prior restraint by the government. He also cited “possible violations of the First Amendment.” In addition, White said he questioned the “effectiveness” of blocking the site, an apparent reference to the fact that other websites quickly obtained and disseminated the information about the bank. Less than a week after the injunction was lifted against Wikileaks, the Swiss bank dropped its lawsuit. Julius Baer and Co. said it reserved the right to pursue its case at a later date in the same court or elsewhere.

Yee introduces bill to protect journalism teachers March 3 at the National College Newspaper Convention in San Francisco, Senator Leland Yee (DSan Francisco/San Mateo) announced legislation to protect high school and college teachers from retaliation by administrators as a result of student speech. Senate Bill 1370 follows a 2006 law authored by Yee, which prohibits censorship of college press by administrators and protects students from being disciplined for engaging in speech or press activities. Specifically, SB 1370 would prohibit an employee from being dismissed, suspended, disciplined, reassigned, transferred or otherwise retaliated against for acting to protect a student’s speech. The bill is expected to pass the State Legislature and be signed by the governor. SB 1370 will be considered by the Senate in March.

As major metros shrink, free dailies grow reports that the Tribune Co., which is cutting jobs at most of its papers, plans to launch a free daily in

CNPA produces a weekly electronic bulletin posted on and e-mailed to our members. To submit your news piece or subscribe to the newsletter, contact CNPA Communications Director Kristen Lowrey at

Baltimore on April 14. The Baltimore paper would be the third free daily to launch this year. In Salt Lake City, Dean Singleton’s paid daily started a free afternoon daily called The Buzz on Feb. 1. also reports that there are 67 free dailies in North America, compared to 1995 when there were five. The Bay Area is home to one of the earliest free dailies, the Palo Alto Daily News, founded in 1995. Others include the San Mateo Daily Journal (2000), the San Francisco Examiner (which went from paid to free in 2003), the San Francisco City Star (November 2006, held by Examiner owner Phil Anschutz) and the San Francisco Daily (May 2006).

Study: Young newspaper audiences are growing online A new analysis by Scarborough Research indicates newspaper websites are reaching younger readers. The Scarborough survey tracked 88 newspapers in the top 50 local markets from August 2004 to March 2007. The group of “Web exclusive” young adults ages 18-34, who visit the website but don’t read the print edition, increased 21 percent over the course of the study, with average weekly penetration of websites among non-newspaper readers ages 1834 increasing from 2.6 percent to 2.9 percent.

HELPLINE From page 2


We want to do a piece on the effectiveness of the drug rehabilitation program run by the county. As part of our investigation we want to track the number of people currently on parole for methamphetamine possession that have been convicted of the same crime. We submitted a CPRA request to our local district attorney for a computerized list of these repeat offenders and their convictions, among other things, so that we would know how many people are in this group and to contact a few of them to learn about their experiences in the system. The district attorney denied our request, citing California Penal Code Section 13300, which he said prohibits him from disclosing “summary criminal history information.” Does this law prohibit him from releasing the information we requested? Last year, CNPA and Steve Cooley, the Los Angeles County district attorney, successfully sponsored legislation to give discretion to district attorneys to publicly disclose summary criminal history or rapsheet information under certain circumstances.


Effective Jan. 1, 2008, SB 690, by Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Whittier), amended Penal Code Section 13300 to allow the release of information from a local summary criminal history, pursuant to a written request under the CPRA, if the person making the request declares under penalty of perjury that the request is made for a scholarly or journalistic purpose and the release of the information would enhance public safety, the interest in justice, or the public’s understanding of the justice system. The information you sought in your request is of the type that is covered by SB 690. Contact your district attorney, inform him of the change in the law and, provided you demonstrate that you are in compliance with the requirements for obtaining the requested information and the district attorney wants to release it, you should be able to access it fairly soon. Keep in mind however, that the discretion to disclose summary criminal history information rests entirely with the district attorney, and he may still withhold it for any reason. Have a legal question? Call Jim Ewert on the CNPA Legal Helpline at 916-2886013 or e-mail at


Spring 2008 California Publisher 5

Newspapers Flip over pocket-sized camcorder


asked a couple of buddies – one at a large metro paper, the other at a midsize daily – what camcorder they were sending with their reporters these days. I got the same answer from both, which led me to shell out a few dollars (yes, out of my own pocket!) for a Flip Ultra. The Flip Ultra is the latest version of Pure Digital’s bestselling video camera. From a variety of available colors, I chose the orange and white version, in honor of my beloved Tennessee Vols. After carrying the Flip Ultra in my pocket for the past two weeks, I’ve become quite attached to the addictive device. Listing for $179 (I found several online vendors selling the Ultra for $149), it is about the size of a pack of cigarettes. The 2 GB version, which I purchased, requires no tapes or additional memory cards to shoot up to 60 minutes of TV-quality video. And now for my favorite part: the Flip is equipped with a convenient USB arm that plugs directly into your computer, Mac or PC. The files are saved in AVI format, which easily opens in QuickTime thanks to the provided software. I was able

“I just thought I was having a to download the files to my comgood day when I went home and puter and import them into iMovie found an unexpected $2,500 in in a matter of seconds. the mailbox from some work I The Flip Ultra runs on two AA had done a while back. But then batteries and is ready to use out of I got to the office and read about the box. I dispensed of the manual being able to open the dreaded and was shooting videos within Microsoft Publisher files in seconds. System requirements InDesign. It was the whipped (to download and edit the videos) are Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later or NEWSPAPER cream and cherry on top of my Pentium 4, 2.0 GHz or faster. TECHNOLOGY day!” And that was the “whipped That’s it. Just about any computer Kevin Slimp cream and cherry” on top of my purchased in the past two years day. Thanks, Randy. should handle the Flip Ultra just fine. Kevin Slimp is director of the For more information and to see videos Institute for Newspaper Technology, recorded on Flip, visit a training program sponsored by the University of Tennessee and the In response to a previous column … Tennessee Press Association. Previous Allow me to share a note I received columns by Slimp can be viewed at from a reader in Texas after my review of Pub2ID, which allows InDesign users to open Microsoft Publisher files. Randy Keck, publisher of The Community News in Aledo, Texas, shared his feelings upon reading the column:

The Flip Ultra fits easily into a shirt or jacket pocket, making it easy for reporters and photographers to keep with them.

Association membership has its benefits By Kevin Slimp

A The Flip Ultra includes a built-in USB connection which fits directly into your computer.

This illustration from the Flip Ultra User’s Guide demonstrates how simple it is to shoot video.

funny thing happened to me the other day. Not “ha ha” funny – interesting funny. My wife, who directs a nonprofit counseling program here in Knoxville, called to say she had just learned that the organization that funds her program is sending several secretaries to an InDesign class being held at a downtown hotel next month. What struck me as funny, or maybe it was interesting, was the price they were paying to send each person: $650. Yes, $650 per secretary. She called me because she thought this was an awfully high price to charge for an InDesign class. Then she asked, “Do groups charge that much when you go to teach InDesign?” I suspect you already know the answer to that one. I asked her how many secretaries they were sending to the training event. She said, “Six that I know of. But there are probably a lot more than that.” Gang, I’m in the wrong business. A little calculating in my head led me to believe that her group was going to spend a minimum of $3,900 to attend that class. Just so you know, I told her that I’d be happy to take a day off and provide the secretaries a day of InDesign training. And they could keep their $3,900. The first thing that came to mind after I hung up the phone was all the training that newspaper associations and other groups provide for their members. A while back I tallied up the number of newspaper associations I’ve led training events for over the past few years. It came out to somewhere around 60 associations. Some were national, others regional or statewide. Some were in the United States. Some were in other countries. But it seems to me that all of them had one thing in common: the desire to offer quality, affordable training to members who were hungry to improve their papers. I hope newspapers never forget the value of their associations. Instead of spending $650 to attend a class that’s not even structured with newspapers in mind, association members find training through various regional and national associations for less than they’d spend taking the family to the movies (with some popcorn and drinks). OK. I got that off my chest.

6 California Publisher Spring 2008

NNA Report: A newspaper lesson in a surprising place HAMPTON By Sharon DiMauro NNA Region 11 Director and Fort Bragg Advocate-News and Mendocino Beacon Publisher


Ortega is now throwing money at the local television station in order to get his long-winded speeches on air and chastises the local papers for their unwillingness to publish a two-hour speech word for word. Our hopes for a meeting with Ortega were halted when the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, flew in for a visit with his pal. On their way back to the airport, the two presidents paid an unexpected visit to La Prensa. Since Ortega prefers La Prensa’s perspective on most of his political moves, Chávez decided to compliment them on an article he had just read, touting it as journalism at its best. Imagine his chagrin when he learned the story he referred to was actually in El Nuevo Diario. As he held up the rival paper, a photographer clicked away, and the picture appeared on the front page of that paper, above the fold, with a smiling Chávez the next day. We had the opportunity to sit down to breakfast with Eduardo Montealegre, the Brown University undergraduate, 1980 Harvard Business School graduate and leader of the ALN party, who finished second to Ortega in the last election, which Ortega won with only 38 percent of the vote. In Nicaragua, you need 35 percent to

win. Montealegre is contemplating a run for mayor of Managua and perhaps another try at the presidency when Ortega’s term is up. “We are in a constant fight to preserve the fundamental issue of public law, to keep the autonomy of separate branches of government,” Montealegre said. He added that Ortega controls the judiciary but not yet the legislature, making any kind of serious change in policy hard to achieve. He does give some credit to Ortega’s rule as a necessity in order for the country to overcome the political, societal and economical problems and to go from civil war to peace. One day we sat down for lunch with some investors and the minister of tourism. I was immediately struck by the fact the minister did not speak English and had to have his daughter translate. All were trying very hard to promote the beauty as well as safety of Nicaragua and stated that it was by far the safest of the surrounding countries in Central America. Yet they spend less than $2 million per year on tourism, while Costa Rica spends $20 million. They expounded on the development opportunities as well as the friendliness of the natives. Unfortunately, they said, people still equate Nicaragua with civil unrest and picture it, unjustly, as a dangerous place to visit. While in Nicaragua, we also went to Granada, the oldest city in Central America, visited a lake inside a volcano, and saw Lake Nicaragua, a huge and relatively unpolluted body of water. All in all, it was an informative and educational trip and made me truly grateful for the United States; with all her faults, there’s no place like home.

hen I first learned that NNA President Steve Haynes had decided on Managua, Nicaragua, as the meeting place for our Winter board meeting, I couldn’t believe he would choose a place so remote, with what I perceived as having no connection to the newspaper business. However, within a day of landing there, I had entirely different perspective of the country, its people and the changes that are taking place in that part of the world. We met Ambassador Paul A. Trivelli and the owners, publishers and editors of La Prensa. The newspaper is owned by the Chamorro family, and its rival daily, El Nuevo Diario, was started by a Chamorro brother who separated from his siblings in 1980 to begin publishing his own newspaper in favor of the leftist Sandinistas. The politics have since changed with both papers acknowledging the failure of the Sandinista government of the 1980s, but the newspapers continue to be run separately by different members of the same family. Both newspapers complained that President Daniel Ortega, while supposedly supporting free speech, has found many ways to make the publication of their papers more difficult. He has imposed taxes on most materials needed for their product and has been known to send auditors and tax officials in for marathon reviews of their books. Ironically, while El Nuevo Diario editors and publishers commented on the lack of government advertising that was now going to La Prensa, we This photo was taken by a reporter at El Nuevo Diario of the board, guests, heard the same lament a past president of NNA and some of the owners/publishers/editors of one from the editors and pubof the local papers. lishers of that paper.

Sharon DiMauro, publisher of the Fort Bragg Advocate-News and the Mendocino Beacon, was appointed to the NNA board of directors in 2007.

From page 3 into the paper at least once in their lives. I always keep that in mind. Write features on silversmiths, gardeners, dog walkers and soldiers back from the war. Print recipes, city budgets, Sudoku puzzles and love stories at Pat Hampton Valentine’s Day. And most of all, always ask friends and strangers what they like about the paper and what would they change. Look at other papers for new ideas. Don’t be afraid to try new things and run with them for as long as they work. Dump them when they don’t. What are you most proud of? That against all odds, with no experience and little capital, the Calistoga Tribune is celebrating its sixth anniversary in April. I’ve read CNPA stories about newspapers that have started and failed during the same timeframe that we have somehow survived, and I’ve been saddened to read about the demise of daily monarchs I consider standard-bearers. No matter how long the Calistoga Tribune lasts, six years, 60 years or 600, it is recording the events and lives of a great small town, and no one can ever erase the editions that have been printed and put into readers’ mailboxes each week. What are the top five websites you visit each day? The New York Times (for national and political news), The (Santa Rosa) PressDemocrat (for regional news), eBay (for Calistoga collectibles) and (to order coffee and supplies for the office). Where do you go to get your news? City hall, police and fire departments, the school district office, the hairdresser next door, the grocery store and the plumber down the street. And the hardware store and realty office, they are both very good sources.

Spring 2008 California Publisher 7

NIE gets regional focus


embers from the California Newspaper In Education Association recently met with representatives of CNPA to discuss changes in the newspaper industry and the impact they NEWSPAPER are having on newspa- IN EDUCATION per in education proDiane grams. The group met Kannenberg to discuss how best to adapt to the changes and still offer member newspapers continued support for NIE programs. Two serious CNIE concerns were evident from discussions at the meeting: declining membership and lack of attendance at the annual conference. While all agreed that these problems are not limited to CNIE – all other CNPA affiliates were experiencing the same problems – the focus was on how to keep CNIE “alive” during this time of change. CNIE President Terri Neece (The Salinas Californian) expressed concern that CNIE would simply “go away” and leave NIE programs in California with limited means of networking or communicating with other California newspapers. Neece also was troubled that CNIE, an organization that has been in existence since the 1980s, would cease to exist. As the group saw it there were four options for the CNIE organization: • To continue as in the past and hope something would change • To “shut down” temporarily • To disband entirely • To try and form a regional NIE group with neighboring states. After much discussion of each option the group came to the following conclusions. To continue on as in the past was going nowhere. An interest survey mailed with the 2008 membership letter received one response and only four membership checks. Attendance at the 2007 conference in Santa Barbara was dismal. Even newspapers in Southern California had a poor showing – the group hoped that having the confer-

ence in the southern portion of the state would allow more south-area newspapers to attend since many were unable to go to the 2006 conference that was held in Tacoma, Wash. But the result was just the opposite, with newspapers from all over the state staying away, despite the fact that the conference fee was waived for all. Vendors were disappointed since they almost outnumbered attendees. It was decided that the second option to shut down temporarily would not solve any problems and was dismissed. Everyone in attendance agreed that dissolving the organization was a bad idea and should only be considered as a last resort. The group agreed on the final option. CNIE would send out a letter to NIE programs in the 13 neighboring states to determine if there was any interest in forming a western states regional NIE group. The benefits of such a group would be that each state would maintain its own identity but would have a representative to the regional group. That group would be responsible for the annual conference. There would be no dues to the regional group; each state’s conference attendees would pay the conference fees, travel and other related costs as they do now. The conference would be held in one of the member states on a rotating basis. All regional group members would have input on the location, costs and sessions at the conference. It was decided that this would offer western states NIE programs the best option for maintaining a support network and conference. Group members could communicate on a listserv exclusive to the western region; the CNPA office would help with administration, mailings, etc. Many details will have to be worked out if the idea comes to fruition. The first step is to see if neighboring states are interested. That letter has gone out to every NIE program in 13 states. For questions, suggestions or concerns about this issue contact myself or Terri Neece at Diane Kannenberg is president of the California Newspaper In Education Association contact her at dmkannenberg@ or (209) 745-2845.

Who’s going to deliver?


abe Garcia was a fifth-grade paperboy. His afternoon delivery of The Fresno Bee to our house was what NIE meant to me. Our teacher directed us to pick a stock and follow it for a week in CNPA the newspaper’s stock OUTREACH tables. And I’d get the Joe Wirt paper when Gabe tossed it from his heavyweight Bee bike all that week to check out the financial pages. You can probably see where this is going. Paperboys only show up anymore in commercials and nostalgic movies. Stock pages now appear as abbreviated stock digests. And Newspaper In Education, perhaps a victim of its own success, is morphing from a beloved curriculum delivery method into a digital program with a generic e-mail address. I don’t know about yours, but our house wasn’t the information-bereft demographic that actually needed print-media enrichment: Pop took the daily paper along with the local weekly, kept up his hometown weekly’s mail subscription and turned me on to the Herb Caen/Sporting Green/Pink Datebook-era San Francisco Chronicle on Sundays. Anyway, for the school assignment, I followed the stock of Dad’s employer, and I learned before, during and after this the value of all corners of the paper, from weather ear to classified filler. NIE wasn’t what they called it at my school. It was called information. And citizenship. NIE the entity will still have a presence in our communities, somewhere over there in the ether. Classrooms with the right instruction and resources will adapt to a digital format. It’s the actual NIE coordinators – the ones who know how to reinvent the wheel, wear too many hats, think outside the box, push the envelope and take it to the next level – that K-12 teachers are going to miss. They’re some valuable ambassadors of the newspaper mission. Oh, and among The Bee’s content back in fifth grade was a house ad that sought newsboys in our town. I didn’t get Gabe’s route, but I picked one up a few neighborhoods over.

This is the first year since I signed on here in 1999 that CNPA has not offered its professional development road show. The success of the seminars hinged upon capacity participation, and numbers for recent programs just didn’t add up. In lieu of a programmed training series, my task this year is to highlight opportunities for training that’s high in quality and low in price. Some newsroom-related programs that I recommend for your rank-and-file staff members include: • National Writers Workshop, co-sponsored by the Poynter Institute, CSU Fullerton, Orange County Press Club and The Orange County Register, Saturday, April 26, CSU Fullerton. $50; includes lunch. sections/news/local/nww/ • News University courses at www.newsu. org. I signed up for Writing Headlines for the Web and found it helpful in determining how print headlines do and don’t translate to websites. Overcoming context errors and taking advantage of searchengine optimization were part of the hourlong, $19.95 program, presented by two Los Angeles Times editors. • Tech guru Kevin Slimp, who appears in each issue of California Publisher, teams with the animated Russell Viers for webinars on such topics as Photoshop, Illustrator, PDFs and InDesign. Cost is $69 per connection. Bring several viewers in to view the webinars, which you can find at Viers’ site,, has free

tutorials, cartoons and a blog on desktop production-related subjects. Along with these, APME’s NewsTrain (, Newsroom Leadership Group (www., Society of Professional Journalists ( and Society for News Design (www.snd. org) traveling seminars come through California regularly. All are usually under $100. I’ll keep you posted.

• • Both the state Journalism Association of Community Colleges and the local team hosting the national Journalism Education Association Convention have asked me to wrangle judges for on-site contests at their conventions. JACC is April 3-5 in downtown Los Angeles; JEA is April 17-20 in Anaheim. This year, though, the CNPA Better Newspapers Contest’s judging dates (which usually overlap the campus events) are in June, making it less burdensome to lend our friends a hand with their worthy task. So, when you get my pesky e-mail or that inevitable phone call, know that judging the campus contests is good boot camp for the CNPA judging. Keep that in mind for your greener newsroom staffers. • Postmark applications are due before April 18 for the CNPA Foundation’s Equipment Grants Program. In line with the Foundation mission’s 2007 revision, grants for hardware and software can include smaller, less pricey grants to benefit more newspaper programs on more campuses. Campus newspapers – high school, community college or university – must be CNPA members to apply for the grants. • The California Journalism Education Coalition, in its fifth year supporting the state’s journalism educators, will host the third Rethinking Journalism Education Summit on Friday, Oct. 10 at the Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley. Mark your calendar for this free event. Previous summits discussed the needs of hiring editors and publishers, and curricula that instructors are using to prepare students. Yell if you need anything. Joe Wirt is secretary-treasurer of the CNPA Foundation and oversees outreach to scholastic journalism programs. Contact him at or (916) 288-6021.

8 California Publisher Spring 2008

PEOPLE Top Positions: Board named SGVN GM, Hamilton named publisher and CEO of Inland Division Fred Board became general manager of a new Inland Division of Los Angeles Newspaper Group, publisher of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena StarNews and the Whittier Daily News. Board will report to Fred Hamilton, who was named publisher and chief executive officer of the Inland Division. Hamilton had been publisher and CEO of LANG’s Inland Empire newspapers, which include The Sun in San Bernardino, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and the Redlands Daily Facts. Board succeeds former publisher Larry Kline, who has left the company. Board is a veteran newspaper executive who had been president and general manager of The Daily Bulletin since 2007. Hamilton had been the top executive for The Sun, The Daily Bulletin and Redlands Daily Facts since 2007.

Butler succeeds Hutton at Mercury News David J. Butler was named editor of the San Jose Mercury News, succeeding Carol Leigh Hutton. Butler will retain his position as Butler vice president for news of Denver-based MediaNews. Before being named MediaNews vice president, Butler, 57, was editor and publisher of the Detroit News. Before that, he was editor of the Daily News-Los Angeles and executive vice president for news for MediaNews’ ninenewspaper Los Angeles Newspaper Group. He has been an editor or reporter at newspapers in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky and Illinois.

Ficarra to succeed Gaier as Daily Breeze publisher Mark Ficarra became publisher of the Daily Breeze in Torrance, part of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group. He succeeds Liz Gaier, who stepped down after 13 months Ficarra in the position. Ficarra has direct oversight of The Breeze’s sister publications the Beach Reporter, the Palos Verdes Peninsula News and Impacto USA. Ficarra has served as vice president of advertising for the East Valley Gaier Tribune in Phoenix, Ariz., general manager of Clipper Magazine and general manager of the Pennysaver, also in Phoenix. Ficarra also has held executive sales positions with Cox Communications, Thomson Newspapers and Freedom Communications. Gaier, senior vice president of new business development for MediaNews Group Inc. served as publisher of the Daily Breeze since it was bought by MediaNews in December 2006. Gaier will return to her corporate responsibilities.

Reneé Roaming Wind Hencey heads LANG new business development Editor & Publisher reports that Reneé Roaming Wind Hencey has been named director of new business development for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group. She succeeds Mark Stevens at LANG. Previously, she had been business development director for new revenue solutions.

Horton succeeds White at Union Democrat Ron Horton became publisher at The Union Democrat in Sonora, succeeding Geoff White, who retired after nine years as publisher. Horton had been publisher of The Observer in La Grande, Ore., and assisted The Hermiston Herald in eastern Oregon with business operations. Horton, 54, was born and raised in Indiana and received a degree in journalism and history at Indiana University. He spent almost 30 years at six different newspapers, including the St. Petersburg Times in Florida and the Skagit Valley Herald north of Seattle, Wash.

Los Angeles Times makes many changes, creates positions Los Angeles Times Publisher David Hiller named longtime circulation chief Jack Klunder to the newly created position of president, Los Angeles Times Newspaper, with responsibility for The Times’ core print business. Bob Bellack becomes president of development and digital media, overseeing development efforts, including acquisitions, partnerships and new mobile and digital growth arenas. In addition, he will head classified advertising. Rob Barrett takes the title of senior vice president of interactive, in charge of multimedia and online operations. Barrett will also continue in his role as general manager of,

White spent 19 years with Union Democrat owner Western Communications, first working at The Daily Triplicate in Crescent City.

Peter Kostes named as Nevada Appeal interim publisher Peter Kostes, Sierra Nevada Media Group regional editor and former Nevada Appeal associate publisher, has been named interim publisher of The Appeal. For the past year, Kostes has served a dual role as regional editor and lead for Swift Communications’ company-wide effort to integrate print and online newsgathering operations. He was Appeal associate publisher from 2003-07. Previously, Kostes was publisher at The Record-Courier in Gardnerville and the Sierra Sun in Truckee. Kostes replaces John DiMambro, who has left the company. DiMambro had been publisher since 2003. Kostes also served as Appeal associate publisher for one year and regional general manager from 2005-07.

McConnell named publisher of The Reporter in Vacaville Gregg McConnell became publisher of The Reporter in Vacaville when Steve Huddleston departed for a public affairs position at NorthBay Healthcare System. . McConnell has been a publisher for The Reporter’s sister newspapers in Lake County for three years. In addition to the Lake County Record-Bee, he has overseen the Clear Lake Observer-American, the Penny Slaver and the Willits News. McConnell, a Western Montana native, began his journalism career when he was a high school student. He went on to work as a reporter and photographer in the 1970s, moving on to publishing stints in the 1980s at the Daily Midway Driller in Taft and the Argus-Courier in Petaluma. Before Lake County, McConnell worked in Washington state as a division manager for Sound Publishing and as a publisher for Skagit Valley Publishing. He is a former president of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. McConnell also owned his own newspaper at one time, the Courier-Times in Sedro-Woolley, Wash., which he later sold. Huddleston, who had been with The Reporter since 1976, as staff writer, news editor, managing editor and assistant publisher, had been publisher since 2002.

Pfeiffer returns to LaJolla Light as publisher; Ruff named Pomerado Newspaper Group publisher Phyllis Pfeiffer was appointed publisher of the La Jolla Light, the Del Mar Pfeiffer Times, the Carmel Valley Leader, the Rancho Santa Fe Record and the Solana Beach Sun. Pfeiffer will also serve as vice president of sales and marketing for the newly formed group, San Diego Suburban Newspapers. Most recently, Pfeiffer was senior vice president of advertising for the San Francisco Chronicle. A graduate of Cornell University, Pfeiffer started her newspaper career at the

CNPA produces a weekly electronic bulletin posted on and e-mailed to our members. To submit your people item, or subscribe to the newsletter, contact CNPA Communications Director Kristen Lowrey at

reporting to Bellack. John O’Loughlin becomes president of targeted media. O’Loughlin also will continue to head the Los Angeles Times Media Group’s overall marketing, strategy, planning and research. Chris Avetisian, director of financial planning and analysis, succeeds Bellack as chief financial officer and will work with O’Loughlin to align budgetary and planning development. Gwen Murakami assumes the newly created position of senior vice president of administration, with oversight of human relations, employee communications, public affairs and legal. Hiller’s senior executive, Dave Murphy, general manager and executive vice president for ad sales, will be leaving the paper.

La Jolla Light in 1973 and served as its publisher from 1978 to 1987. She then became general manager of the San Diego County edition of the Los Angeles Times until The Times closed its San Diego operation in 1992. Pfeiffer also served as president and publisher of the Marin Independent Journal. Pfeiffer succeeds Brendan Ruff, who was appointed publisher of the three newspapers in the Pomerado Newspaper Group when MainStreet Media expanded its holdings in San Diego County. The three publications include the Poway News Chieftain, the Rancho Bernardo News and the Corridor News. Ruff will also continue in his role as regional vice president of MainStreet Media. Ruff, 38, moved to La Jolla from Sacramento News & Review, where he was the sales manager.

Jody Poe named third partner for Media Recruiters CNPA Allied member Media Recruiters – an executive search firm specializing in the newspaper industry – has announced as its third partner Jody Poe, who was most recently publisher of the Sierra Sun and Tahoe World newspapers, owned by Swift Newspapers. Poe joins Scott Little and Peter Starren, expanding the company to three offices – two in California and one in Nevada. Poe, named one of the Newspaper Association of America’s Top 20 Under 40 for 2006-07, started her newspaper career in 1995. She began at a startup niche weekly, covering the states of Nebraska and Wyoming. She spent the next 12 years working in community newspaper operations with Swift. She has held the positions of sales executive, general manager and publisher. As publisher, Poe converted The Sun and The World to free dailies, dramatically growing readership and advertising market share. She also launched and oversaw the development of continuous news and entertainment websites.

Riggs steps down as head of CNP George Riggs, former publisher of the Contra Costa Times and the San Jose Mercury News, resigned his post as top executive Riggs of California Newspapers Partnership, the three-company group that owns nearly all of the Bay Area’s daily papers. Riggs, 61, said in an interview with The Mercury News that he resigned from the position he held for 18 months to pursue other interests. Riggs has been succeeded by Steve Rossi, MediaNews executive vice president and COO. Riggs began his career in journalism 39 years ago selling advertising for the Hattiesburg American in Mississippi. He came to California in 1975 and was publisher of suburban newspapers in the Riverside-San Bernardino area. In 1985, Riggs started working for Dean Lesher, the late founder of the Contra Costa papers. Riggs was a vice president in charge of the company’s papers other than the Contra Costa Times. Riggs in 1991 was appointed president of the entire company. When Lesher died in 1993, Riggs became publisher and chief executive of Contra Costa Newspapers, whose ownership passed to Margaret Lesher. In 1995, Riggs guided the East Bay

papers to a purchase by Knight Ridder. In 2004, Riggs became publisher of The Mercury News. But in 2006, Knight Ridder was sold to McClatchy Newspapers, which later sold the Contra Costa papers and the Mercury News to Denver-based MediaNews Group. Late last year, Riggs received the Justus F. Craemer Newspaper Executive of the Year award from the California Press Association. He was CNPA president in 1999.

Robert Rosenthal named executive director of the Center for Investigative Reporting Robert J. Rosenthal, former managing editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, was named executive director at the Center for Investigative Reporting. CIR is the first and oldest nonprofit journalism organization in the world devoted to producing original investigative reporting. Rosenthal has worked for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer. In recent months, he has led the Chauncey Bailey Project, a group of reporters representing numerous Bay Area media organizations to investigate the assassination of the late editor of the Oakland Post.

Silva succeeds Frank as publisher of Beach Reporter Paul Silva became publisher of The Beach Reporter in Manhattan Beach, succeeding Richard Frank. Silva was hired as a reporter some 22 years ago; he eventually became managing editor and stayed with The Reporter until 1992 when he started a weekly newspaper in the West San Fernando Valley. Silva Eventually, Silva moved into a successful communications career at the corporate level, but he has remained a freelance writer for The Reporter over the last two decades. Silva is a graduate of UCLA. Frank was a co-founder of Frank the paper in 1977, sold it 14 years later and has acted as publisher/editor-in-chief for four sets of owners during a 30-year period. The Reporter is among the properties owned by Denver-based MediaNews Group.

Tully succeeds Kiel as Mercury News publisher Mac Tully, former publisher of the Kansas City Star, became publisher of the San Jose Mercury News. He replaces Jeff Kiel. Tully also becomes group vice president of the Bay Area News Group, a newly created position, which includes responsibility for The Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, The Oakland Tribune, Marin Independent Journal and The Sentinel in Santa Cruz. A veteran of Knight Ridder, the former parent company of The Mercury News, Tully rose through that company to become a corporate vice president before taking over as The Star’s publisher in 2005. He began his career at The Star in 1978 as a retail account executive. He later became vice president of advertising at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and was publisher of an edition of that paper, the Arlington Star-Telegram. In 1999, he became publisher of the Bradenton Herald in Florida. He became chief operating officer at Knight Ridder’s corporate headquarters in San Jose in 2004.

Newsroom: Bushee succeeds Bronstein as S.F. Chronicle editor Ward Bushee became executive vice president and editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, succeeding Phil Bronstein who became editor at large of Hearst’s newspaper division. Bushee, 58, had been editor and vice president of the Arizona Republic in Phoenix since 2002. Previously he was editor and vice president of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Bushee started his career at the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Early in his career, Bushee worked at the Gilroy Dispatch, The Salinas Californian and the Marin Independent Journal. He was a See PEOPLE, Page 9

Spring 2008 California Publisher 9

PEOPLE From page 8 founding editor of USA Today as its assistant content editor/sports in 1982. Before leading the Phoenix and Cincinnati papers, Bushee helmed two other Gannett papers, the Reno GazetteJournal and the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Argus Leader. Bushee, who grew up in Santa Cruz County, earned a history Bushee degree from San Diego State University in 1971. Bronstein will continue to represent The Chronicle in the community as a principal public face of the paper. Working with all departments, he will help shape the role of the paper and its website, in San Bronstein Francisco and the Bay Area. In addition, Bronstein will work with the newspapers division to oversee investigative projects that may involve multiple properties using resources throughout Hearst. Bronstein first became editor of the Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner in 1991. He then took over as Chronicle editor when the two newsrooms merged in 2000. He had been a reporter at The Examiner since 1980.

Farrell named editorial director for Vista magazine Allied CNPA Member Vista magazine, the country’s most widely distributed, ABC- audited Hispanic magazine, named Cathleen Farrell as editorial director. Farrell was most recently editorial director of Page One Media since 2002. Prior to Page One Media, she was based in Bogotá for 10 years, where she worked for TIME magazine, BBC, Bloomberg, The Economist Intelligence Unit, NBC radio, among others. A native of Montreal, Canada, Farrell began her career in London in 1983. She is a graduate of McGill University and holds a degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Ferguson named Record Searchlight managing editor Carole Ferguson became managing editor at the Record Searchlight in Redding. She had been news editor at The Ventura County Star for the past five years. Ferguson earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1991 from New York City’s School of Visual Arts. She began her journalism career at The Modesto Bee as a copy editor and page designer and has worked for several papers since, in various positions. Ferguson replaces Greg Clark, who left in September after 31 years to join the Redding city staff. He had been managing editor since 1996.

Garcia promoted as editor of Loomis News The Loomis News reports that longtime staff writer Martha Garcia has been promoted to editor. Garcia succeeds Susan Belknap, who became the head of the editorial staff at the Roseville Press-Tribune and Granite Bay Press-Tribune. Garcia began her career in journalism at her hometown paper, the Colfax Record, while attending college. She has worked for the Loomis News off and on for 25 years. In 2004, she became the office manager and staff writer for The Loomis News when it was purchased by Placer Community Newspapers/ Gold Country Media.

Gillies named editor of Tri-County Newspapers Tri-County Newspapers has named Amber Gillies as editor in charge of production of the Willows Journal, Orland Press-Register, Corning Observer and Colusa Gillies County Sun-Herald. Gillies has been with the Daily Press in Victorville for the past 10 years. Gillies has two Associate of Science degrees from Victorville Community College and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Phoenix. She worked at The Daily Press as assistant features editor for the past two years. She also spent three years as the assistant news editor and five years in copyediting and page design. Tri-County Newspapers had been without an editor overseeing production of all four newspapers since Freedom Communications purchased the newspapers from the Morris newspaper group in August. Former editor Bruce Jones left for a publishing position at a newspaper in his home state of Oklahoma.

OBITUARIES Hope Frazier, 60 Hope Frazier, a former executive editor of the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group, died Dec. 29, 2007, at her home in Ojai. The cause of death was colon cancer, said her husband, Doug Adrianson. She was 60. At the helm of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News and Whittier Daily News from 1992 to 1996, Frazier oversaw an expansion and restructuring of the papers. After earning her bachelor’s of science degree in communications at the University of Tennessee in 1971, Frazier was the first woman copy editor hired by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, where she worked as an editor and writer for eight years. She moved to the Miami Herald in 1979. In 1989, Frazier became assistant to the Herald’s executive editor and was responsible for special projects and strategic planning. In recent years, she worked as a filmmaker and artist in Ojai. Survivors include Adrianson; her son, Ben Pectol of Knoxville, Tenn.; and triplet grandchildren. Contributions in her memory can be made to The Ojai Foundation.

Bill Goodyear, 57

Herrera named Santa Monica Daily Press editor

Bill Goodyear, former editor of The Red Bluff Daily News, died Nov. 23, 2007, at his home in Weaverville after a 30-year career in Red Bluff. He was 57. Goodyear began his career as a 19-year-old Goodyear sports editor at the Willows Daily Journal. Joining The Daily News in 1972 after serving as a U.S. Forest Service firefighter, Goodyear was police, courts and government reporter for two years, then moved up to news editor for three years. He was promoted to editor in 1977 at age 26. Born Nov. 19, 1950, Goodyear earned an associate of arts degree from Shasta College and a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in public administration from California State University, Chico. Goodyear joined the Trinity County Department of Behavioral Services in 2002 and was later appointed administrative coordinator. Survivors include: his daughters Sophie Goodyear of Chico; Abbie Goodyear of Portland, Ore.; parents Hal and Dorothy Goodyear of Weaverville; brother Gene Goodyear of Weaverville; sisters Sophia Wixon of Yorba Linda; Jan Goodyear of Klamath Falls, Ore.; and Gail Goodyear of Weaverville. Donations may be made to the Trinity County Historical Society Building Fund, P.O. Box 333, Weaverville 96093 or St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, P.O. Box 1219, Weaverville 96093.

Longtime reporter Kevin Herrera became editor of the Santa Monica Daily Press,

Irene Martin, 93

Gullixson succeeds Golis as Press Democrat editorial director Paul Gullixson, assistant editorial director at The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa since 1998, succeeded Pete Golis as editorial director. Golis retired at the end of December from his director position, although he will continue to write a biweekly column for the newspaper. Before moving to Santa Rosa, Gullixson was Peninsula Bureau chief for the San Francisco Chronicle. Prior to that he was editor of the Palo Alto Weekly and editorial page editor of the Peninsula Times Tribune. For the past two years, he served as president of the California First Amendment Coalition, a statewide nonprofit that advocates for open government. He has been on the CFAC board since 2000 and was this year’s state coordinator for Sunshine Week.

See PEOPLE, Page 12

Irene M. Martin, co-founder of The Napa

Sentinel, died Nov. 25, 2007, from a heart attack, failed kidneys, hyperthermia, and fluid in her lungs. She was 93 years old. Irene was a graduate of Mission High School in San Francisco and lived in California all of her life. In 1936 she married Lorne P. Martin, a Canadian citizen. Their marriage lasted 66 years. She worked for Standard Oil in a gas station with her husband during World War II. After the war she became employed by Pacific Bell Telephone Company in San Francisco, and in 1974 transferred to the Napa office. She retired from Pacific Bell 28 years ago. She and her husband purchased a resort in Lake County on Cobb Mountain in 1966, and they were also co-owners with their son Harry Martin of a grocery store on the mountain. When the store was burned down in 1967, she took a job at the Lake County Record-Bee where her son wrote a newspaper column. In summer of 1985 Irene took out incorporation papers for the establishment of The Sentinel. She was a one-third stockholder in the company. She worked with the newspaper as the circulation director and in the accounting department for 18 years. She is survived by two sons and their wives, Dr. Merle Phillip Martin and his wife Dotty, and Harry V. Martin and his wife Mary; and nine greatgrandchildren. Her husband preceded her in death five years earlier.

Helen McGee, 83 The Union Democrat in Sonora reports that Helen M. McGee, co-owner of The Union Democrat for nearly 40 years, died Feb. 15 in Sacramento at age 83. She was born in Los Angeles and raised in Vallejo. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, but her college education was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. Helen McGee later took up flying and was known for delivering newspapers by airplane. She participated in the Powder Puff Derby, technically known as the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race, from 1968 to 1977, winning second-and-fourth place trophies. Helen and her husband, Harvey C. McGee, bought their first newspaper, The Folsom Telegraph, in 1950, followed by ownership of the Placerville Times from 1954 to 1958. In 1959, the McGees purchased The Union Democrat, which has been publishing continuously since July 1, 1854. The sale included the Tuolumne Prospector. The McGees also owned the Amador Dispatch for a short time, with Helen delivering the papers from Sonora to Jackson by airplane. After The Union Democrat was sold to its current owner, Western Communications, in 1998, Helen McGee dedicated herself to her family. Harvey McGee, CNPA president in 1985, died Jan. 1, 1998, at age 74. Helen McGee is survived by her children and their spouses – Susan Britton and her husband, Douglas, of Sacramento; Nancy Pothier and her husband, Sam, of Rexburg, Idaho; Laura Kvasnosky and her husband, John, of Seattle; Kate McGee of Eugene, Ore.; and Tim McGee and his wife, Alexis, of Sacramento – 14 grandchildren, including Zach Britton of Tuolumne, and 19 great-grandchildren.

Donald Norman Soldwedel, 83 Donald Norman Soldwedel, former board chairman and founder of Western Newspapers, Inc., died Feb. 20 in Tucson, Ariz. He was 83. Soldwedel, an advocate for journalism, a free press and education in Arizona for the past half-century, was inducted into the Arizona Newspapers Association Hall of Fame and received an Arizona Board of Regents award, both in 1998. Soldwedel was born on Aug. 21, 1924, in Pekin, Ill. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Business with a major in marketing. In 1953, Soldwedel and his wife moved to Yuma to run F.F. McNaughton’s Yuma newspaper, The Sun. In 1958 they bought The Prescott Courier, the inception of today’s Western Newspapers, Inc. He also was a member of the board of directors (1977-85) for the Newspaper Association of America and was chairman of its Foundation for two years. He also was chair of the World Association of Newspapers’ Newsprint Committee See OBITUARIES, Page 16

10 California Publisher Spring 2008

DESERT SUN From page 1 Practices for Recruiting and Retaining Newspaper Professionals” President and Publisher of The Desert Sun Michelle Krans credits the American Press Institute’s Newspaper Next training as providing the “jumpstart” The Desert Sun needed to shift the focus of its dayto-day interdepartmental interaction and collaboration. Gannett’s positive attitude towards this tranPublisher Michelle sitional time in the Krans industry is reflective at The Desert Sun.

Setting up “Mission Control” The Desert Sun’s “Mission Control” may look like many other newsrooms of its size, but two center rows of cubicles work as the brain of the newsroom. Here stories are assigned, edited and placed online. Mission Control also receives photos and text messages from reporters in the field and can put the information up on the website before the reporter even returns to the office. One reporter starts her day at 5 a.m. and one editor will also come in early, but editors and reporters can also update stories online from home to keep up with 24/7 deadlines. A number of large, flat-screen televisions to keep the focus on breaking news and the website loom over the cubicles that fill the newsroom. There are hardly any tall walls and few offices, which is conducive to keeping communication open, Silberman said. Moving satellite publications into the office and creating a central hub of news editors helped The Desert Sun staff make mental and physical changes to the way they produce news. Features and entertainment writers are now more likely to find their stories in multiple publications as opposed to just in The Desert Sun’s daily product. The changes are also ongoing, Silberman says, who is always looking for the next thing to be done. He understands that he can’t change the entire industry so he focuses on what he can do. Change is not an option, it’s a requirement “Change is not easy for anybody … even when you do want to change you still have a sense that it’s difficult; the familiar is very comfortable,” Silberman said. “We’ve been blessed we haven’t had a lot of resistance.” Silberman says that everyone agreed there were things that his staff could do individually to do a better job. Some of those most excited about the changes at The Desert Sun are the news veterans. That was clear when video of a fire from one reporter of 20 years ended up on CNN, ABC and all of the other major networks. This made Silberman realize that there are no longer physical limits to what the paper can do to produce news. “There’s no perfect organization or structure, and everything you do requires refining and requires a lot of communication but I think it’s a much better way to organize,” Silberman said. There’s not blueprint or instruction on how every newspaper would

Basic tips on developing an Information Center at any paper: (Based on interviews with Desert Sun Staff) Keep up appearances: The Desert Sun in July changed its website to a new format with new navigation and colors. Visual changes like this can keep your website fresh and indicate to readers that you’re giving them something new and exciting. The benefits outweigh the risks and chances are you’ll get more new readers than grumbles from current readers. Can-do attitude: Change the tasks of your staff. Some tasks take more time to complete than others. Assess what you can do rather than what you can’t do. Add it up: At The Desert Sun, staff do not spend all day on their dailies so they can do more for other products such as the website and community weeklies. Their structure was set up to put out a paper and they just kept adding on, but the structure was not efficient. deal with the Information Center, “It was acknowledging changes that had already happened, we were already thinking of ourselves as an information company.” “Media consumption is changing so we as an industry have to change. … The good news in all this is that more people are consuming more media than ever before,” Silberman said. “What I asked everybody is to think individually and for us collectively, ‘Are we capable of doing a better job?’ I think I’m capable of being a better editor whether I have more resources or don’t have more resources.”

Team development James Ku, photo editor and multimedia content editor, said oftentimes “as an industry we’re throwing darts.” In February 2007, Ku added multimedia to his duties by helping to launch and taking on a second department. From his dark office, that he shares with programmers, next to “Mission Control,” Ku has worked closely with the corporate office to balance the two departments. James Ku, Ku was a film major photo editor that worked at his college and multimedia paper, worked in the film content editor industry for awhile and then began freelancing for newspapers. “I love the fact that [newspapers] can make a difference in the community…I still think that’s one of the most important things that we do.” “There were definitely more technical aspects I had to learn. A lot of what I do is macro-management more than actually creating the projects,” Ku said. “It’s an extension of what I was already doing in the newsroom; we were already ‘hybridizing.’” Silberman said that its important to make sure that everyone is on “the team” and pulling in the right direction, “Time is not on our side and we have urgency. We have to make it clear that the risks of not changing and not moving quickly are far greater than changing.” “I think the hardest part is the initial shock, like, what does this mean?” said Ku. If you can make the changes “digestible”

Something to talk about: Have your staff, advertising or otherwise, talk to your advertisers and audiences. Find out what their needs are and develop your advertising plan for print and online around them, not the other way around. What’s in it for me?: Ask your staff how they consume information and to create products that would appeal to themselves. Placing their stories in more places give them more exposure and clips. If you present how the changes and addition of more assignments in more products will benefit them, they’re more likely to tackle the new tasks with enthusiasm. Urgency and optimism: Stay positive when communicating with your staff, but still emphasize the urgency required to make changes to keep the industry alive. The risks of not changing far outweigh the risks of taking risks. and show them how the changes all work together they are more accepting of the change, he explained. “You’ve got to be there at the beginning to help them through it, Ku said.”

Breaking down walls Employees are invited to present new ideas to the “Big Brain Panel” (which actually involves a cardboard brain hat). Ideas get a red, yellow or green light. Presenters consider monetization and feasibility as well as who would actually oversee the project. “One thing I’ve started doing is asking people to think about whatever they’re doing to think of doing it for several platforms,” Silberman said. These platforms could include the daily newspaper, community weeklies and the website. “We’re asking them to provide and convey news and information the way they would want to get it themselves.” The advertising department has roughly paralleled the information center to focus more on audiences and change the way they are selling, Silberman said. They have tried to understand the needs of businesses and figure out the best solution for all of the products that The Desert Sun has to offer. Dominique Shwe, director of Advertising, says breaking down the walls between departments is “absolutely essential” and considers Silberman and Managing Editor Rick Greene as her “partners in business.” “I value the editorial content and I understand that it’s what makes our product very valuable and I think they understand that what the advertisers say and do and feel are important can sometimes be a good pulse of what’s important in the market.” “It’s called the Information Center so you definitely need to share information,” added Richard Harshbarger, director of Marketing. Recently, the marketing and advertising departments worked with the Information Center to create a 30-second spot that would run on the website and local television stations to promote a story about a local infant with a rare form of cancer. “Even our reporters and writers and editors are also being aware that presentation is becoming more and more important,” Harshbarger said. “You’re hopefully reaching another audience and preserving the relationship you

have with your core,” Shwe said.

The ‘M’ word: Monetization When asked how to monetize the new products developed by the Information Center, Shwe said “you have to be strategic about it.” There is a way to be sensitive, but also have good business sense, have a conversation and dialogue about what is being sold. Harshbarger says the information center has “changed the way that we brand, we’re more about information in general” as opposed to just being a newspaper’s website. “We’re trying to, in our branding efforts, get the message out that if you’re not interested in breaking news and headlines and what’s going on locally, then there is still things that are available to you online as well,” such as blogs, opinions and entertainment. One example of broad marketing and advertising is contextual linking such as a “golf package” for advertising and marketing and a “breaking news package.” Engaging vs. informing Silberman said that despite the financial troubles of the economy and newspaper industry, journalists need to change how they serve audiences by asking readers what they want and paying attention to themselves and how they consume information. “I think people are confusing newspapers with the economy, the economy is having a tough time so I want to make that distinction,” Silberman said. “This transition would be a lot easier if the economy was going gangbusters right now.” “We have to engage people. … Our job in the past was to inform people and now it’s to engage people,” Silberman said. Engaging people in a variety of ways will help to build audiences and to reach people in the community. The Information Center is a much more efficient use of resources, revolving around seven primary jobs, or tasks, that need to be done, which, according to Silberman can be accomplished without additional resources. Two of these tasks brought up continuously by Silberman, were “public service” and “community conversation,” as he discussed what changes The Desert Sun has made and how the changes make their products more effective and efficient. “We’re touching about 80 percent of people who live here every week. Well, find me another business that’s doing that every week in a meaningful and personal way.”

Executive Editor Steve Silberman

Spring 2008 California Publisher 11

G.A. DAY From page 1 down for a Q&A session with Los Angeles Times Editorial Page Editor Jim Newton. Many attendees commented on the “star power” the governor brought to the event and also said the information during the session was useful information for followup questions with their specific legislators later. When asked who he would endorse as a presidential candidate, Schwarzenegger did not name names but replied, “I will go as far as saying that anyone, any candidate that writes a $14.5 billion check to the state

of California, I would endorse.” California’s lawmakers have a rough year ahead under the watchful eye of California’s newspapers. Governmental Affairs Day proves that the two groups can work together to bring government information to the people. One CNPA board member was pleased to see the increase in the number of legislators participating, particularly in the scheduled visits with the lawmakers. “Seeing the increasing participation by our elected representatives indicates to me that what is being done is working. It is a testament to both the CNPA G.A. Day committee efforts, work done on a regular basis and the usefulness of the day.”

(From right) Senators Denise Ducheny and George Runner and Assembly Members John Laird and Roger Niello discussed the state’s $14 billion budget shortfall.



Subscribe to California Publisher: Bryan Clark (916) 288-6001 Submit a story idea, letter or comment to California Publisher: Kristen Lowrey (916) 288-6016 Advertise in California Publisher: Diane Donohue (916) 288-6017 Change your address; update information: Bryan Clark (916) 288-6001 Order a CNPA book or directory: Terri Vanderveer (916) 288-6009 Be a convention sponsor: Diane Donohue (916) 288-6017 Get help with a legal issue: Jim Ewert (916) 288-6013 Legislative issues: Tom Newton (916) 288-6015 Place a recruitment ad in the Classified Job Bulletin: Terri Vanderveer (916) 288-6009 Better Newspapers Contest: Bryan Clark (916) 288-6001 bryan Membership Services: Bryan Clark (916) 288-6001 Donations to the CNPA Foundation: Joe Wirt (916) 288-6021 High School, College or Affiliate Relations: Joe Wirt (916) 288-6021

Chico Enterprise-Record Publisher Wolf Rosenberg and CNPA Executive Director Jack Bates.

Assembly Member Martin Garrick, CNPA Vice President Hal Fuson and Assembly Member Mark Leno.

CNPA General Counsel Tom Newton, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, CNPA Legal Counsel Jim Ewert and CNPA Board member and Los Angeles Times Attorney Karlene Goller.

Sophomore panel participants and California state Assembly Members Fiona Ma, Ted Gaines, Jean Fuller, Mike Duvall and Kevin De León.

12 California Publisher Spring 2008

Executive honors for four


California Press Association honors newspaper veterans, names new award for Bates

succeeding Michael Tittinger. Herrera. 27, joined The Daily Press in January 2006 as a staff writer and became senior staff write that October. After graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in print journalism and English in 2002, the Santa Monica native began his professional career as a news reporter at the Los Angeles Sentinel. A year later, he moved on to Equal Access Media, where he spent two years as a general assignment reporter and occasional entertain ment writer.

The California Press Association announced Dec. 7 during its Winter Meeting in San Francisco the recipients of its annual awards. George E. Riggs, former president and CEO of the California Newspapers Partnership and former publisher of the San Jose Mercury News, was named the Justus F. Craemer Newspaper Executive of the Year. John Armstrong, publisher of Contra Costa Newspapers and Hills Newspapers and head of the East Bay operations for MediaNews Group Inc., presented the award to Riggs. Riggs is the 42nd recipient of the award, which is given to publishers, editorsin-chief or equivalents who have involved themselves in the directions of the editorial and news side of their newspapers by showing exceptional editorial achievement. Riggs is an avid cyclist, and Armstrong, who has known Riggs for many years, commented that the news executive’s drive and competitiveness is much like the way he approaches his favorite activity. “He prepares himself mentally and physically for cycling, and for his work, like no one else I know,” Armstrong said. “He develops a game plan like no one else I know. Through sheer will and determination, he delivers an all-out performance every time.” Fred Weybret, chairman of the Lodi News-Sentinel and 1985 Cal Press Newspaper Executive of the Year, inducted the late Stanley T. Wilson into The California Newspaper Hall of Fame by presenting the award to Wilson’s sons, Dr. S. Roy Wilson, 4th district representative on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, and Prof. James R. Wilson of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at California State University, Fresno. The Hall of Fame honors deceased newspapermen and women whose outstanding devotion to their responsibilities resulted in substantial contributions to their regions and to the development of California. Jim Brock, former CPA president and former publisher of The Selma Enterprise, presented The Philip N. McCombs Achievement Award to longtime Silicon Valley publisher Mort Levine. This award honors distin-

George Riggs, left, with John Armstrong.

Stanley Wilson’s sons Dr. S. Roy Wilson, left, 4th district representative, Riverside County Board of Supervisors; and Prof. James R. Wilson, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, California State University, Fresno.

Mort Levine, left, and Jim Brock. guished publishers who are no longer fully active in the industry but have served their communities well for an extended period and have made lasting contributions to the newspaper industry.

Cal Press announces Jack Bates Award for Distinguished Service to craft CNPA Executive Director Jack Bates received a special award for Distinguished Service to the California Press. The award, presented by Frank Whittaker, vice president of operations for The McClatchy Company, honors Bates’ leadership of CNPA since 1991 and recognizes the growth of the organization under his guidance. Whittaker explained that Bates was presented with two honors. “The first is that he will receive a special, newly created award from Cal Press, recognizing his tremendous service to our industry and, in particular, his extraordinary leadership of CNPA for most of these last two decades,” Whittaker said. “The second honor is that the award Jack is receiving tonight will be permanently named the Jack Bates Award for Distinguished Service and in perpetuity will be given to other deserving recipients.” “Regardless of whatever else he may

Frank Whittaker, left, presents distinguished service award to Jack Bates.

accomplish on behalf of CNPA, I think Jack’s legacy will largely consist of three stunning achievements: Jack set out to make CNPA self sufficient, such that member dues would be a minor component of the revenues. He accomplished this through a variety of ways, but largely by launching advertising networks, which not only brought new revenues to California papers, but also created a new revenue stream for CNPA. “Secondly, Jack realized that to be an effective lobbying organization, we had to speak with one voice – daily and weeklies, free and paid, large and small, mainstream and alternate, English and Spanish. … The proof of Jack’s ability to get us to speak with one voice has been one of many major victories on both the journalism and business sides of our industry. “Thirdly, Jack was determined to expand member services … which included scholarship programs for budding journalists; improved hotlines for instant legal advice; marketing and circulation and, now, online services that are available free to members; and many more.” Lodi News-Sentinel Publisher and CNPA Board Member Marty Weybret said of Bates: “We’re a healthier industry because of Jack’s influence and direction.” Fellow honoree Riggs said of Bates, “He’s unquestionably been the driving force behind the successes of CNPA throughout his career. He was absolutely masterful and there’s no doubt in my mind that if he’d been doing all of this for himself – as he easily could have been rather than for CNPA – he would be a millionaire many times over.”

From page 9

Don Miller named editor of Santa Cruz Sentinel Don Miller, managing editor of The Sentinel since 1998, replaced Tom Honig, who resigned to join the Monterey-based Armanasco Public Relations firm. Miller, 59, has worked as a sports writer, news reporter, copy editor and city editor. Honig had been with The Sentinel since 1972. He was named editor in 1992, after spending much of the 1980s as city editor, in charge of local news. For much of his tenure as editor, he also served as chief editorial writer.

Negrete named managing editor for Sacramento Bee digital products Melanie Sill, editor and senior vice president of The Sacramento Bee, announced Feb. 15 that Assistant Managing Editor Tom Negrete has been promoted to managing editor for digital news content and production. Managing Editor Joyce Terhaar will oversee The Bee’s print content and production. In the coming months, Terhaar will oversee a major redesign of the newspaper, while Negrete will manage design changes and website development on and related editorial sites. Negrete first joined The Bee in 1984 as a newsroom aide while attending Sacramento City College. After earning a political science degree at

UC Berkeley and a master’s degree at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, Negrete worked for The Record in Stockton as a reporter and served as a copy editor at The New York Times. He rejoined The Bee in 1994, and has worked as assistant city editor, sports editor and assistant managing editor for sports and business. Terhaar joined The Bee in 1988 as a business reporter. Previously, she worked at the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa. Terhaar was named city editor at The Bee in 1993 and was named managing editor in 1999.

Stanton named editor of Los Angeles Times Russ Stanton was named editor of the Los Angeles Times. He replaces James O’Shea, who left the paper following a disagreement with Publisher David Hiller’s plan to shrink the newsroom budget. Stanton, 49, a 10-year veteran of The Times, had been innovation editor after serving as business editor. Stanton grew up in Tulare in the San Joaquin Valley, working on student newspapers from junior high school through college. Before joining The Times, he worked at The Orange County Register for nine years and at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside and The Sun in San Bernardino County. He began his career as a business reporter at the Visalia Times-Delta in the San Joaquin Valley.

Wiens begins duties as Daily Triplicate editor The Daily Triplicate in Crescent City hired Richard Wiens as its new editor. Wiens, who grew up in Salem, Ore., had been deputy city editor at The Gazette in Colorado Springs since 2004. Wiens graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1979. His first job as a reporter was at the Hillsboro Argus in Hillsboro, Ore. Wiens became managing editor there in 1983. After seven years with See PEOPLE, Page 18


Spring 2008 California Publisher 13

How to maintain the ‘voice’ of a newspaper’s website while encouraging readers to interact By Thomas R. Burke


nce upon a time – only a few years ago, actually – newspaper publishers exclusively controlled the “voice” of their publications. Like a lot of things, the Internet changed this. Readers now regularly contribute their thoughts on what they’ve read, offering information and personal experience. The comments of readers can provide wonderful insights, be woefully misinformed, polite and downright crude – and everything in between. Allowing readers the opportunity to provide commentary has created an exciting new way for readers to interact with each other. Yet, just as an uninvited guest can either spoil or energize a party, savvy online publishers must be seasoned online hosts. Armed with a little knowledge of the law and their options, publishers can still control the “voice” of their website and enjoy legal immunity for the defamatory remarks of others while encouraging readers to post comments. It’s almost quaint – that time not so long ago when the only way a reader could directly interact with a newspaper and other readers was to send a letter to the editor. Then – as now – letters to the editor that are published in a newspaper’s traditional paper format must be carefully vetted for potentially libelous remarks or invasions of privacy. If a letter to the editor includes a libelous remark or violates an individual’s privacy rights,

both the writer and the newspaper can be sued. However, since 1996 when Congress enacted Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, when the same content is posted by a reader to Thomas Burke the newspaper’s website, the website owner is immune from libel and privacy claims. This legal anomaly is often difficult for publishers to grasp, but Congress specifically created this special protection for online publishers to encourage free speech on the Internet. The immunity provided by Section 230 is the very reason that many website owners comfortably allow readers to routinely exchange caustic – and sometimes even libelous – remarks with little fear that they will be held legally responsible for publishing them. Under this immunity, even though a user’s libelous comments appear on the website, the website owner is not treated as the “publisher” of that third-party content, as it would otherwise be if the same remark was published in their traditional newspaper product. While the user who wrote the libelous remark may be sued and held personally liable (assuming they have any financial assets to collect), the website owner enjoys broad protection for providing the free speech forum.

[Readers of this column are aware that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon issue a new decision in a closely watched Section 230 case – Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v. Last year, the court issued a decision that severely departed from how the vast majority of previous decisions by California courts and courts around the country had broadly interpreted Section 230. When the court’s decision was widely criticized, the court granted a rehearing en banc, vacated its earlier decision and late last year heard new argument in the case. Because the case involves user-generated content (e.g., commentary as well as mixed-content submitted by users in response to questions created by the website owner), the court’s analysis is expected to explain how Section 230 is to be applied when a website features a mix of content submitted by users with content prepared by the owner of a website. We will report here on the Ninth Circuit’s decision as soon as it becomes available; a ruling is expected soon.] Although Section 230 has been available to website owners for over a decade, it is remarkable how few publishers understand the broad protection that this federal law provides to website owners. Relying on Section 230, websites may even remove portions of offensive or libelous third-party content – such as offensive or caustic commentary that is posted by a reader – and still retain the immunity against potential libel and


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privacy claims. In fact, this was the express congressional intent behind the creation of Section 230, which immunizes website owners when they, in good faith, restrict access or availability of material they consider obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable, even if such material is otherwise constitutionally protected. While Section 230 remains the most valuable legal protection for editing reader comments, publishers who remain weary of giving readers the reins to their website have additional tools available to them. Most web sites include a “Terms and Conditions” that includes language about how readers should conduct themselves online. Although most publishers would revolt if the government imposed such restrictions on them, online, this contractual arrangement can help ensure that users behave themselves. Typical language that may be included in a website’s Terms and Conditions includes: • You agree not to post or transmit through this website any material that violates or infringes in any way upon the rights of others, including any statements which may defame, abuse, harass, stalk or threaten others; • You agree not to post or transmit through this website any material that is grossly offensive to the online community, including blatant expressions of bigotry, racism, abusiveness, vulgarity or profanity; • You agree not to post or transmit through this website any material that contains or advocates pornography or pedophilia; • You agree not to post or transmit through this website any statements that advocate or provide instruction on illegal activity or discuss illegal activities with the intent to commit them; • You agree not to post or transmit through this website any material that infringes and/or violates any right of a third party or any law, engage in activity that would constitute a criminal offense or give rise to a civil liability. Another increasingly popular feature encourages readers to flag other readers’ posts if they find them to be offensive or harassing. Depending on how the internal settings for this feature are set (and the limitations can be customized by the website owner), multiple flags, from multiple readers, can cause a posting to be automatically deleted pending review by administrators at the website. This user-driven feature is often used to flag and immediately address users who are being overly aggressive or hostile toward other users of the site. Those who cannot effectively communicate without routinely offending others will obviously discourage readers from offering comments or even sticking around a website. Giving readers the ability to flag another’s posting can also create an intimacy with the website that, in turn, builds readership. Again, Section 230 should provide immunity for a website owner who uses such a “peer review” process, and no immunity should be lost if a post is edited, say, to remove offensive language. Most websites also can use screening technology that searches for particular words that are filtered out before a reader’s posting appears online. Fortunately, most of these settings can also be customized (taking in the norms of a community and reflecting the perspective of the publisher) so that a website owner can calibrate the level of “censorship” it imposes on users who use the website as a place to vent. Lastly, although users who post comments are typically required to go through a registration process of sorts before they post, everyone knows that a user’s true identity can be faked or intentionally kept anonymous. There are certainly situations in which protecting the anonymity of users is entirely appropriate. However, sometimes the mere fact that a user can remain anonymous can create a more aggressive See BURKE, Page 17

14 California Publisher Spring 2008

When winners feel like losers

Getting a good start

2. Do more than you are paid to do. The famed trainer and ast week I got a call from a motivator Zig Ziglar once said, “Do more than you are reporter for the magazine U.S. paid to do and eventually you’ll be paid more for what News & World Report. She was you do.” The flip side of that is the person who says doing a story about what people can something like, “If you paid me more, I’d work harder.” do to preserve their jobs during these Ever heard that? I have. And when I did, I knew that difficult times when a lot of people are employee was the prototype of what I didn’t need. losing theirs. She wanted some insight from national employment consultants 3. Don’t complain about getting all the work. It’s a truism and executive recruiters from all industhat the capable people get most of the work. Take that tries and disciplines. As part of that, NEWSPAPER as a compliment. Tackle every task with enthusiasm. she thought it appropriate to talk with MARKETING These are the kinds of people who are the first to be one of the country’s finest newspaper Scott Little promoted. recruiting companies, but they were all busy, so she ended up talking with me. 4. Volunteer for projects that will enhance your knowledge. My response to her was off the cuff and quite insightIf you see something going on that you want to be part of, ful – bordering on brilliant. It’s curious that she didn’t go to your boss and let them know that you want to learn use any quotes from me for the story. But – for what it’s and contribute and grow. Projects and initiatives that are worth – you’ll find my response below. I know this colonline-focused make particular sense. umn – and California Publisher for that matter – is aimed at management, and I responded wearing my newspaper 5. Understand the challenges facing the industry. These management hat. There is no doubt that there is a lot are tough economic times all around. of downsizing and restructuring Newspapers aren’t the only industry going on in the business. In fact, I facing declining revenues and profits. think it can be safely said that the Don’t join the grumblers. Try to put yourself in your bosses’ newspaper industry is facing the It’s a temptation to join shoes and understand how difficult it toughest time in its entire evoluin with the negative talk is to make the tough decisions. tion. Sometimes very good people are collateral damage in all that. But and actions going on all 6. Don’t join the grumblers. It’s it figures that it’s every employer’s around you. It’s the mark of a temptation to join in with the objective to keep the most produca future leader to look for negative talk and actions going on all tive people on board during the long around you. It’s the mark of a future process of righting the ship. the positive … see the big leader to look for the positive … see Who are those “most productive picture …and be among the the big picture …and be among the people” and what are the characoptimists. Besides, you’ll optimists. Besides, you’ll sleep better teristics that set them apart from sleep better at night. at night. the average? Below is the gist of my comments to that reporter. They are 7. If you don’t believe in – and have a aimed at the employee who wants passion for – the business you’re in, get out of it! You’re to be seen as exceptional and as an answer to the quesdoing damage to yourself, your family and your career tion, “What can I do to keep my job during these difficult and to the company you work for. times?

he year is young, so it’s worth getting a good start by looking at some of the issues that keep arising at the start of our stories. For instance, the “tin ear” lead resurfaced in several papers as I was on the road when 2008 began. Here’s one: Tornado Bus Co. Inc. driver Felix Badillo Tapia took a sip of his soft COMMON drink and began choking on something SENSE as his westbound bus crossed the JOURNALISM Interstate 40 median near Forrest City Doug Fisher and entered the eastbound lanes on Nov. 25, Tapia told authorities. When we hear a name in third person – “Tapia took” – we expect a different narrator. Violating that produces the old “Bob Dole says Bob Dole” construction comics love to ridicule. (The awkward headline reflected the lead: “He choked on drink, bus driver told police” instead of “Bus driver told police he choked on drink.”) We also can delete the stilted cop-speak and processoriented “entered the eastbound lanes” (it can be assumed when a westbound vehicle crosses a median and is hit by oncoming traffic, as the story explained). We can also simplify to “sipped”: Tornado Bus Co. Inc. driver Felix Badillo Tapia told authorities he sipped his soft drink and then began choking on something as his westbound bus crossed the Interstate 40 median near Forrest City on Nov. 25. A 43-word lead is now 36 words and less grating on the ear. The same crash led to an earlier “plugged” 45-word lead with too much detail: The driver of a commercial bus in a Nov. 25 crash on Interstate 40 near Forrest City that killed four was under the influence of amphetamines at the time of the accident and is now charged with four counts of negligent homicide, authorities said Thursday. Some questions: • Is Nov. 25 needed? The exact date probably makes you, if only briefly, turn a mental calendar. “November” is easier to grasp, and here the exact date was repeated in the fourth paragraph. (Contrast this with the first example, where the date made sense in the lead). • Is “commercial” needed? We’re not likely to mistake this for a school bus (because of the emotional interest, we’d probably specify that if it were one). If the distinction with, say, a charter bus is important, it probably can be


1. Get with the times. You are in a rapidly changing, mature industry working to reverse itself back to the future and become the most reliable and sought-after source for news and information for the new age. The industry is reshaping itself as in the information business and not just the newspaper business. The key component – once the printed word – is fast becoming the online component. Embrace that change rather than resist it.

Here’s the good news. These are challenging times for a challenged industry. But there has never been a more critical need for good people. If you like what you do and see the enormous opportunity ahead, you’re in the right place. Scott Little is president of Media Recruiters and an Allied member of CNPA. Contact him at slittle@mediarecruiters. com or (530) 342-6036


See FISHER Page 17

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Spring 2008 California Publisher 15

16 California Publisher Spring 2008

Front page models can help the editor in a hurry


ome quotes just make sense the moment you hear them. Here’s one I particularly like: “Rule #1: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule #2: It’s all small stuff.” That quote came to NEWSPAPER mind recently when the DESIGN editor of a client newsEd Henninger paper asked me what he could do to make his front pages appear different from week to week. My response was that he focus instead on the things that would make his front pages consistently better: 1. Larger photos. 2. Careful use of color. 3. Careful use of negative space. 4. Balance. 5. Focus. 6. Unity.

7. Strong typography. 8. Fewer jumps. 9. Good headline hierarchy. 10. Well-written heads. Readers don’t expect you to design your front page so it looks different from issue to issue. What do they expect instead? See the list in the previous paragraph. So, if every front can’t be strikingly different, what can we do to assure some variation in our look? One suggestion is to create a half-dozen models from which you can choose when you’re about to commit the act of designing Page 1. I don’t recommend this for those newspapers that have the advantage of a design editor because we don’t want the models to handcuff them. But front-page models are a benefit to editors at smaller newspapers. The models I usually build are three with a horizontal lead photo and three with a lead photo that’s vertical. The lead story may run across the top of the page or to the right of the photo. I also place a secondary photo on each model and block out headlines, stories and other elements. When we create our front page, there can be thousands of variations. But a half-dozen models offer the editor in a hurry a good

place to start. If this column has been helpful, you’ll find more help in Ed’s new book, Henninger on Design. With the help of Henninger on Design, you’ll become a better designer because you’ll become a thinking designer. Find out more about Henninger on Design by visiting Ed’s website:

Ed Henninger is an independent newspaper consultant and the Director of Henninger Consulting. Offering comprehensive newspaper design services including redesigns, workshops, training and evaluations. E-mail: edh@ On the web: Phone: (803) 327-3322.

IN MEMORIAM From page 9 for five years. He is survived by his wife of more than 61 years, Lou Edith (Luda McNaughton) Soldwedel; a daughter, Ann (Rick) Buxie; a son, Joe Soldwedel; and three grandchildren, Jill Buxie, Kelly Soldwedel and Brett Soldwedel.

Bert R. Tiffany, 81 Bert R. Tiffany, retired vice president of circulation for the Los Angeles Times whose innovative strategies helped drive the paper to record levels of readership, died of lung cancer Dec. 5, 2007, at his home in Bonsall. He was 81. Tiffany ran The Times’ circulation department for 24 years. Tiffany developed a zoned approach to building circulation and was instrumental in leading the newspaper industry away from independent dealer networks to use a system of contracted distributors. A native of Los Angeles, Tiffany was born Feb. 17, 1926. He graduated from Alhambra High School and served in the Army Air Forces at the end of World War II. As a boy, he delivered newspapers for the Alhambra Post-Advocate and returned to work there in the circulation department after the war. In 1954, he was named circulation manager of the Burbank Daily Review. Two years later, he joined The Times as a district manager in circulation and was promoted to circulation manager in 1964. In addition to his wife,

Betty, Tiffany is survived by two daughters from a previous marriage, Linda Diane Carr and Patricia Ann Keller; and four grandchildren.

Bertram E. Winrow, 81 Bertram E. Winrow, 81, former publisher of The Daily Breeze in Torrance, died Jan. 28 of cancer at his home in the San Diego neighborhood of Rancho Bernardo. He was 81. As publisher of Copley Los Angeles Newspapers, Winrow oversaw the consolidation of the flagship Daily Breeze in Torrance with the Outlook in Santa Monica and the News-Pilot in San Pedro. A drive to raise advertising revenue prompted Winrow to develop a consortium with other regional papers to sell national advertising. Winrow also expanded a printing plant in Torrance to include a now-defunct insert center and circulation department. He also initiated the use of color photographs on the cover of every section. Winrow, a native of Pittsburgh, moved to San Diego as a child. He worked in advertising for 14 years with the San Diego Independent and joined Copley Newspapers in 1963 as an advertising salesman for the Union-Tribune Publishing Co. in San Diego. Winrow was named publisher of the Breeze in 1984. He retired in 1993 and returned to San Diego.


CNPA Allied members specialize in the goods and services that California newspaper companies use most often. Newspaper managers who seek value and service know to consult an Allied member first. Allied members are online at

Spring 2008 California Publisher 17

CNPA’s 2007-2008 Board of Directors Officers:

Lynn Dickerson President The McClatchy Company

Harold W. Fuson, Jr. Vice President The Copley Press, Inc. La Jolla

Directors: 3 Years Remaining in Term

Bill Brehm, Brehm Communications Inc. Cheryl Brown, The Black Voice News, Riverside Becky Clark, Idyllwild Town Crier Paul Nyberg, Los Altos Town Crier Gary Omernick, The Monterey County Herald Amy Pack, Visalia Times-Delta Edward A. Verdugo, The Event News-Press, Cypress Marty Weybret, Lodi News-Sentinel John Wilcox, San Francisco Examiner Tony Allegretti Arnold York, The Malibu Times President-elect President & CEO, Main Street Media

Directors: 2 Years Remaining in Term

Ralph Alldredge SecretaryTreasurer Calaveras Enterprise San Andreas

Jerry Bean Past President The Century Group

Karlene Goller, Los Angeles Times Doug Hanes, Daily News-Los Angeles Tom Johnson, Times Community News Dave Kuta, Press-Telegram, Long Beach Gene Lieb, Los Banos Enterprise Melanie Polk, L.A. Watts Times Newspaper Judi Pollace, The Eureka Reporter Ronald Redfern, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside Wolf Rosenberg, Enterprise-Record, Chico Mike Taborski, Feather River Bulletin, Quincy

Directors: 1 Year Remaining in Term Terry Horne, The Orange County Register, Santa Ana John Burns, Petaluma Argus-Courier Dean Eckenroth, Coronado Eagle & Journal Debra Godshall, Half Moon Bay Review David Herburger, Galt Herald Bill Johnson, Palo Alto Weekly Cynthia Schur, Santa Maria Times Brenda Speth, The Napa Valley Register Frank Vega, San Francisco Chronicle Jim Webb, Mountain Democrat, Placerville

FISHER From page 14 explained later. And then we can shorten it further to “bus driver.” • Does “at the time of the accident” do any work? Recast to 35 words: The bus driver in a November crash that killed four on Interstate 40 near Forrest City was under the influence of amphetamines and is now charged with four counts of negligent homicide, authorities said Thursday. Finally, there is the classic space- and time-waster masquerading as a way to make a story more readable, like this wireservice lead: It’s the Holy Grail of rugged men in western dramas. It’s the glittery metal used in fancy jewelry. It’s the highest honor in the Olympics. And these days, gold’s appeal as a safe-haven investment has carried it to record prices. Forty words produce just a fuzzy idea of what the story is about. But there is hard news here, in the next paragraph: Gold futures surged above $880 yesterday to the highest level ever, not accounting for inflation, propelled by rising oil prices and a weak U.S. dollar. Making readers sort through several sentences of “What’s My Line?” wastes their

time without noticeably greater understanding. Get to the news using the second paragraph, slightly recast, as the lead: Gold futures surged above $880 yesterday to the highest level ever, not accounting for inflation, propelled by rising oil prices, a weak U.S. dollar and the metal’s appeal as a safe-haven investment. In 33 words you have all that most people need to know. Want to make it more reader-friendly? Instead of a mushy lead, move higher the information 10 grafs down that, despite rising jewelry prices, dealers do not see a run of people seeking to sell gold. Your reader is more likely to identify with this than with the Old West or Olympic medals. When our readers’ time is more valuable than ever, wasting it may be the bigger crime than to be a little bland in getting to the point. Let’s resolve to do better. Doug Fisher, a former AP news editor, teaches journalism at the University of South Carolina and can be reached at or (803) 777-3315. Past issues of Common Sense Journalism can be found at csj/index.html

BURKE From page 13 and less respectful online environment. Realizing this, websites are making it possible for users to include photographs of themselves alongside their comments. This feature tends to personalize the readers' comments, discourage abusive commentary and lead to more productive online discussions. The Internet has made it possible for newspaper readers to interact in ways that were unimaginable only a few years ago. Although we’ve come a long way since read-

ers could only pen a letter to the editor to express their personal views, a website owner can still set the “voice” of its website while allowing users to interact with each other. Publishers can roll with this change while still controlling the environment they desire for their online readers. Thomas R. Burke is a media attorney and a partner with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in San Francisco. Reach him at


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18 California Publisher Spring 2008

PEOPLE From page 12 the Argus, he took a job with the Daily News-Los Angeles starting as a copy editor and left as assistant news editor. His longest newspaper stint was at The SpokesmanReview in Spokane, Wash., Wiens where he worked for 14 years. There Wiens moved from the copy desk to assistant city editor and coordinated coverage of local and state government and politics.

Advertising/Marketing: Heltsley promoted to VP of advertising at SGVN Randy Heltsley has been promoted from advertising director to vice president of advertising for the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group. Heltsley, 45, will take on expanded responsibilities for

SGVN’s daily and weekly publications, online advertising, niche publications and commercial printing. Born and raised in Pasadena, Heltsley previously worked for the Los Angeles Times and The PressEnterprise in Riverside. During his 18-year tenure at The Times, he worked as a sales manager and later became a category manager, working with high-volume retail and national advertisers.

The Press-Enterprise names Kerr director of multimedia sales development, promotes Dresner and Precie John Kerr was hired as director of Multimedia Sales Development, a brand new and key position, for The Press-Enterprise and Kerr will develop and execute multimedia productselling strategies to grow revenue and increase penetration and market share in targeted local and national advertising categories. Kerr was previously the director of Custom Publishing Group for the Inland Empire Newspaper Group.

He has also held positions at Freedom Communications and the Tampa Tribune as sales and market development manager and retail sales trainer, respectively. Other changes at The PressEnterprise are the new responsibilities for Don Dresner and Sam Precie. Dresner is now the senior director of Production, while Precie will now be the director of Facilities, Maintenance and Capital Planning.

Record hires Perry as advertising sales manager Lisa C. Perry has joined The Record in Stockton as advertising sales manager. Perry, who holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Diego State University, has more than 15 years of newspaper experience. She has held various positions at The Sun in San Bernardino, The Los Angeles Herald Examiner and The Modesto Bee and was employed with The Record as an outside account executive from 1992 until

1996. Before rejoining The Record, Perry was employed as a real estate agent and worked with clients in the San Joaquin Valley and Bay Area.

Sheelar named innovation/marketing director at The Record Judy Sheelar joined The Record in Stockton in the newly created position of innovation/marketing director, responsible for the planning, development, coordination and marketing of all San Joaquin Media Group products. Sheelar, who joined The Record in December, comes from Mesa, Ariz., where she was marketing vice president for the East Valley/Scottsdale Tribune. Sheelar has 25 years of experience in the news industry, holding positions in marketing, human resources, market research and circulation sales with both Central and Freedom newspapers. A native of Medina, N.Y., outside Buffalo, she holds a master’s in business administration from State University of New York.


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Spring 2008 California Publisher 19


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CNPA Foundation .. 7 Pg. 3 – Roger Niello Assembly Budget Committee vice-chairman Legal Helpline ....... 2 Tom Burke talks Web issues .. 13...