Page 1

Volume 9, No. 4

INSIDE: Page 1: Publisher’s Perspective

Page 2: Shaun Higgins Newsroom Awards

Page 3: Sales/Marketing Changes

Page 4: Mobile Delivery Project Beauty Share Halloween Photos

Page 5: Kiss The Bride NW

Page 6: EAP Article

Page 7: No Paper Savings Bonds OTC & Flex Plan Info UMR Drug Coverage

Page 8: Payroll Reminder Year End Reminders Calendar of Events Birth Announcement Funny Photo

December 2010

Digital Content Task Force Recommendations Approved al pages that hold particular promise: The executive for example. This site group gave a green light to substantially all of our digital content task force’s recommendations last month. As part of our strategic planning process we identified digital content development as a critical Stacey Cowles – Publisher area of focus and asked a cross-departmental group to address ways that we could more quickly grow our digital audience and generate more revenue online. In a time when overall newspaper revenues continue to decline, digital revenues are growing at double-digit rates. Our online pageviews for the last 30 days are up 11% year over year on to 4.5 million a month. Yet a few newspapers have seen even more dramatic growth and our digital revenue adds up to less than 5% of total. Our analytics tell us we have 700,000 unique users a month, but our registered users total only about 20,000. It’s clear that we still have plenty of opportunity in this space. But it’s also clear that the competition is fierce since it ranges from bloggers to global behemoths like Google. We also need to move very quickly if we hope to grow our share of business to a significant size. Perhaps the key recommendation was “take what’s strong and make it stronger.” In other words, shift emphasis to maximizing existing products before we add new projects. We have had significant success selling banners and sponsorships on our sites, but we have plenty of available space that goes unsold. Digital marketing and advertising have been tasked with identifying strategies to get the empty spaces sold. Already we have signed on with a several new ad networks and we are developing new digital sales training and packages to help get the word out to local advertisers. The task force recommended focusing design updates and sales efforts around sever-

receives a huge amount of traffic from Gonzaga basketball fans during the season. We just launched an improved and ad-ready existing site called the Zags Report, with enhanced editorial coverage. We revised our high school preps page ( to make it more attractive and ad-friendly. Watch for enhancements of other sites like, and The task force also identified mobile as the most critical channel since increasingly, that screen is the first place people look for news. City Editor Addy Hatch chaired the task force which also included Senior Editor for Digital Media Ryan Pitts, Advertising Director Mike Dixon, Production Systems Manager Mike Hollingworth, Digital Sales Manager Steve McDonald and Lead Online Producer Andrew Zahler. The task force also identified social media as an important opportunity. So one new project that’s under way is development of a set of services we can provide to advertisers looking for a turn-key solution to managing Twitter and Facebook accounts as marketing tools. To make all of these projects easier to coordinate and to speed up execution, the task force proposed joining our digital news and marketing teams together as a new “S-R Digital” department reporting to the publisher. Whether or not consolidation occurs, management of the group as whole will be refined so that the group has clear focus on its priorities and can count on growing support from our traditional advertising and news departments. For example, we want to encourage -if not expect -- all reporters and editors to be able to post links, documents, photos and stories on our site. On the advertising side, we’d likewise expect all account executives ultimately to sell digital. The executive group turned down only one recommendation: that the site move away from having a paywall – which requires viewContinued on Page 2

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ers to subscribe. The task force recommended dropping the paywall because we currently have fewer than 500 subscribers paying for online-only access. But the reason we’ve preserved a paywall is not just to capture this circulation revenue but to keep the 2-3% of our print subscribers who would prefer reading us online for free. We value their subscription fees, but more importantly we value their receipt of preprints. Preprints represent about half the revenue we

receive per customer. Furthermore, our paywall does not appear to have hindered our position in the market: our pageviews rank favorably with free newspaper sites in comparable markets. Given the pace of change in the digital world and the difficulty of picking long term trends, we’re likely to want a digital task force assessment every year to keep our products well tuned to the market.

Shaun Higgins Announces Plans to Retire after 31 years Shaun O’L. Higgins, longtime sales and marketing director for The Spokesman-Review, announced recently that he’ll retire from the company in early January. Higgins, 62, who also gave popular economic forecasts for 25 years, plans to stay in Spokane and focus on other business interests, he said. He started at The SpokesmanReview in 1979 as executive sports Shaun Higgins editor and became assistant managing editor the next year. He moved to the business side of the operation, with roles in marketing, corporate communications and circulation. In 1988 he accepted his current position, where he has responsibility for the revenue-generating operations of the news company. He still remembers his reporting and editing days with fondness, he said Tuesday. Of his career highlights, “no question … it was the newsroom stuff,” he said. That included forming the investigative team that reported on the search for the South Hill rapist, later identified as Kevin Coe. In the days before newsroom computers, the team used index cards to compare traits among reported rapes and broke the story that the crime spree followed a well-used bus route, he said. But he also enjoyed his transition to the business side of the operation, saying he had more of a desire to write for enjoyment once he stopped reporting and editing. He wrote or co-wrote several books, including two about the Spokane region. Stacey Cowles, publisher of The Spokesman-Review, said

Higgins’ impact on the news company has been “huge.” From his work in the newsroom to devising new marketing techniques that are now used nationally, “I think the hallmark of Shaun has been his remarkable creativity,” Cowles said. Higgins said the industry’s well-publicized difficulties haven’t affected peoples’ appetite for news. “I think newspapers have problems, but I think the news business is alive and healthy,” he said. He believes some newspapers – perhaps many – won’t survive, and some ownership groups are threatened. But “I think the future of news is not threatened,” he said. Many business people are familiar with Higgins through his annual economic forecasts for the Spokane Ad Federation, as well as presentations to many other groups. The themed Ad Federation events featuring a costumed Higgins were “extremely popular,” said former federation president Bill Robinson, of Robinson Research. “An economic forecast from a local guy is a formula for nobody showing up. The fact that we had to use the biggest rooms of the convention center to house that certainly spoke highly of Shaun.” Robinson added that the forecasts were “quite specific and fairly accurate,” and Higgins always used his opening remarks to address predictions that didn’t pan out from the previous year. Higgins has been involved with numerous community, business and industry organizations, including the Spokane Area Economic Development Council, Spokane Symphony Orchestra, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, the International Newspaper Marketing Association, the World Association of Newspapers and the Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media.

Newsroom Receives Awards Six newsroom staffers recently received awards in the annual story and photo competitions sponsored by the Pacific Northwest News Association(PNNA). Kevin Graman, Sara Leaming and Jody Lawrence-Turner received a breaking news award for their coverage of the Eastern Hospital patient who escaped from the county fair last fall. Jody also received an award for her story that revealed the Spokane police spent $5.3 million on cars, travel, gasoline, weapons, training, clothing, electronics and office equipment over two decades, using a private account operated by the department’s Special Investigations Unit – outside of public scrutiny and in violation of city and state laws. Becky Kramer was honored for her story examining the serious health concerns of Northport residents living with the ripple effect of Teck Resources' lead smelter in Trail, B.C. Dan Pelle won two awards for his photos of Carissa Outen, the 18-year-old struggling with cancer. Dan won in the portrait category and the multiple photo category. Kathy Plonka won in the news category for her shot of Jacenta Bonagofski, who was grieving over the death of her mother. Jacenta is a member of the Bonner County family that we have written about.


Sales and Marketing Department Reshaped by Higgins’ Retirement Several promotions were recently announced following the announcement that longtime sales and marketing director, Shaun O’L. Higgins, will retire in early 2011. Daniel M. Johnson, who has headed the Company’s Distribution and Audience Development Department for the past five years, has been named the Company’s new Director of Sales and Marketing effective January 10, 2011. Johnson has also headed the Consumer Marketing Department, which handles private-party classified advertising and customer service Daniel M. Johnson for the newspaper. “As head of our circulation and consumer-marketing functions Dan has ably headed one of our three largest departments and managed about one-third of overall newspaper revenue,” Stacey Cowles said. “He has been instrumental in the marketing of new digital platforms such as our e-edition. These areas are at the forefront of change in our rapidly changing industry and Dan has consistently demonstrated the energy, flexibility and concern that uniquely qualify him for his new role.” Johnson is a veteran of newspaper companies in Denver and Phoenix, and grew up in a newspaper family (his father was a longtime features reporter for The Denver Post). Among Johnson’s achievements at The SpokesmanReview, Cowles noted that the incoming director had streamlined operations in the Distribution and Audience Development department, resulting in a 34% reduction in expenses and a 25% increase in department operating income. “Dan has also developed a subscriber acquisition and retention strategy that has generated more than 17,000 subscription starts per year, while reducing year-over-year permanent stops by 15 percent, “ Cowles said. “And for much of the past year, Dan has led our efforts to develop Sunday Pinch, a weekly feature package containing many of the inserts found in Sunday’s newspapers and delivered to non-subscribing homes on their request.” “Dan has also led our recent efforts surrounding our digital facsimile product, ‘The E’, and he negotiated a collaborative distribution agreement with The Lewiston Tribune, for joint deliveries of the two papers by the Tribune in the Moscow-Pullman area and points south,” Cowles said.

Tina Sanborn

Tina Sanborn has been appointed Director of Distribution and Audience Development. In this position, Tina becomes the first woman to hold the top circulation position in the Company. Tina, who is currently Home Delivery Manager, will now direct

all circulation functions of the newspaper, including sales of digital products and non-subscriber products such as Pinch and Sunday Pinch. Tina joined The Spokesman-Review Circulation Department in 1983 as an office clerk. Since then she has advanced regularly to positions of increasing responsibility. As a circulation district manager, she produced consistently excellent results in recruiting carriers, dealing with customers, and maintaining quality delivery service to thousands of subscribers. In 2007, she assumed responsibility for all Home Delivery Operations. New roles were also announced recently for Mike Dixon and Rolanda Webb. Mike Dixon, who had been our Major Accounts Manager, was promoted to Advertising Director , a position that has been vacant for several years. Mike started as an ad salesperson, calling on classified and small retail accounts in our then newly opened North Idaho office. Positions of increasing responsibility eventually put him in charge of our Major Mike Dixon Accounts (big-box retailers), Automotive and national advertising efforts. In recent months, Mike championed the development of Sunday PINCH, which has helped shore up our preprintadvertising revenue, and he has championed a computerbased rate calculation program that can be implemented in the field by our sales reps. The calculator makes it easy for clients and our account representatives to explore various placements and frequencies for advertising. Mike was also a key leader in the development of our state-of-the-art "Rate Card for the 21st Century" which will be featured in an upcoming NAA publication. Mike has been with the Company since 1983. Rolanda Webb assumed new duties as Marketing Budget, Training and Compensation Manager, with responsibility for developing and monitoring budgets for Advertising, Circulation, Marketing, Community Affairs and the Director of Marketing & Sales. She will also work with Circulation in preparation and submission of our ABC audits and Publisher's Statements. Rolanda Webb Rolanda began as a sales facilitator for the Sales Development Team. She was later promoted to Advertising Administrative Coordinator. Rolanda has been with the Company since 1989.


Mobile Delivery Options Grow By Joe Butler, Niche and Online Content Coordinator We sometimes kid about being attached to our phones, but these days, it’s getting to be less and less of a joke. More and more, we want, and actually need, our phones, be they smart or not as smart, on our person or at least within easy reach. So it’s a smart move to make The Spokesman-Review and its related sites easy to read by mobile device, whether we have time to browse the whole thing or just glance at recent headlines. That’s why much effort has gone into making – not to mention – much easier to read on a mobile platform. The main and pages automatically detect whether you’re looking at them from a PC or a mobile device, and adjusts to display the appropriate format. Early traffic from late summer and early fall shows S-R

mobile gaining in popularity and usage. Visitors to Spokesman mobile can sample the premium offerings for a short time, and then are prompted to subscribe for the low price of $19 for a full year. “Business travelers in particular should find this to be a great bargain,’’ said Kathleen Coleman, director of Digital Product Development. “It allows people who are on the go the ability to stay in touch with developments in the local market for a tax-deductible expense of only $19 a year.” Senior Editor for Digital Ryan Pitts has worked to optimize The Spokesman-Review’s main news and entertainment site for mobile in a way that’s clean, useful and easy to navigate. And, S-R mobile helps users find “News & Deals Near Me,” by entering search parameters. Watch for additional mobile offerings in the coming months.

Project Beauty Share The Company recently participated in “Project Beauty Share” and thanks to the employees who donated, we were the single biggest contributor to the annual drive for beauty supplies. Sarah Little, second from right Project Beauty Share is an opportunity to provide make-up to women who are seeking stability in their lives. Through the donations, women in need are provided with hygienic make-up, lotions, soaps and spray products that they would otherwise be unable to afford. These products help brighten the women's spirits and allow them to feel better about themselves. Many of the

Holloween Photos

recipients are going on job interviews or experiencing other important events and being able to feel good about their appearance is important. Local recipients include Women's Hearth (Transitions), Hope House- Emergency Women's Shelter, Our Sister's Closet (YWCA), St. Margaret's Shelter & CAPA (Catholic Charities), Crisis Shelter for Women & Children (Union Gospel Mission), Odyssey World International/East Central Community Center, and others. Our thanks to Sarah Little, Digital Sales Coordinator, for bringing the event to our attention. Special thanks to all the employees who so generously donated items.


Kiss The Bride NW By: Joe Butler, Niche and Online Content Coordinator Did you know that the average American wedding costs more than $23,000? While some eco-minded folks may gripe about all those wasted resources, the truth is that many of today’s brides and their families really don’t mind paying a price for a very special day with all the personalized trimmings.

But modern brides want more than trimmings; they also now look online for advice and for a place to share their excitement as their big day approaches. Brides are more eager now than ever before to share their success plus any recommendations to future brides on what to do or not do – and they do this online. That’s where, the newest online and print offering from our Digital Development team, enters the picture! “Weddings are a big deal, whether the guest list is four or 400,” said Kathleen Coleman, director of Digital Product Development, who came up with the idea of the site. “Newspapers have always recognized this, and with Kiss The Bride NW, we now have a fun and easier way to help brides share their news in their community's newspaper of record and for us to make some new revenue, too.” The site lets brides or brides-to-be create and write their own blogs, detailing their relationship history and wedding plans. They can post photos, sign each other’s guest books and even let people know where they’re registered. Site visitors can also brush up on their wedding etiquette, and get all sorts of questions answered, from basic budget strategies to specific tips on what wines go best with which entrée or how many attendants you should have. Info on the site is further enhanced with advice from area wedding professionals, profiles written by correspondent Cindy Hval about couples who have been married for 50plus years, and actual coverage of unique local weddings by columnist Cheryl-Anne Millsap. Brides can be part of the online wedding world by paying a small fee of $24.99 which gives them the blog account with unlimited posts and photos, plus an online and a print announcement. The print announcement is a “strong selling point” said Coleman.

The tradition in newspapers has been that brides were allowed only a certain number of words with limited ability to add extra personal details. Bridal listings typically ran when space was available, so sometimes it could take months to appear. Today’s brides want more. gives the modern bride what she most wants. It All. Now, both engagement and wedding announcements can be written in the bride or bride-to-be’s own words, and include all sorts of info like where they work, their education, favorite color, where the couple met, and more. Announcements will also run much more regularly on a special print page. Since the site kicked off Oct. 1, nearly 30 announcements have already appeared. is a perfect tie-in to the event rental options available at The Spokesman-Review. More and more couples are considering the Pavillion and other scenic parts of the building for their functions, and the site includes details and photos. From now until early January, brides-to-be can enter to win a cool wedding package valued at close to $7,000 that includes access to the Pavillion, DJ service, flowers, photography and more. The new wedding site will also be a good entry point for another new offering: our self-serve online ad program. Coleman said that the site is perfect for non-traditional advertisers like florists, DJs, limo services and other small businesses to gain a good entry point into the newspaper's family of digital and print products. In three easy steps they'll be able to create their ad, target it across several Spokesman-Review web sites and pay via credit card. So far, response has been very positive from the bridal community and, most importantly, area brides, who seem happy to find a new local resource. Creating the site also was done with input from and the support of several departments, including Advertising, Editorial, Circulation and Human Resources. And key to the site’s great functionality, beautiful look and elegant promotions were lead programmer Laura Morgan, digital designer Dan Cooley and senior graphic designer Don Walls. “We think we've got a real winner with Kiss the BrideNW – it’s the perfect marriage of old, print, and new, digital, with real-time, the rooftop Pavillion, thrown in,” Coleman said. “Because who doesn't love a good party?”

Kiss the Bride kick-off


Intimate Partner Abuse Intimate Partner Abuse can happen in any relationship regardless of social class, ethnicity, religion, gender, age group, or sexual orientation.

Intimate Partner Abuse is generally part of a continuing cycle—referred to as the cycle of violence—that is difficult to break. Without intervention, it often becomes more destructive over time. Learning to recognize signs of Intimate Partner Abuse may help identify if an intimate relationship is at risk of, or affected by it.

What to Watch For Intimate Partner Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological. It can include actual acts of violence, threats of violent actions, or other controlling behaviors. General warning signs of someone who is a victim of Intimate Partner Abuse may include, but are not limited to, the following. He or she may: • Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner. • Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner. • Be belittled or embarrassed by their partner. • Not have input with decisions. • Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness. • Have frequent “accidentalâ€? injuries, often wearing clothes to hide the injury. • Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation. • Be restricted from seeing family and friends, or rarely seen without their partner. • Have limited access to money, credit cards, the car or other resources. • Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident. • Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal. If abuse is acknowledged, the victim may act like it isn’t a big deal or their fault.

What You Can Do If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the characteristics listed above, your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help you with identifying the next step. If you feel there is immediate danger, call 911 or a local law enforcement agency.

Additional Resources • National Domestic Violence Hotline: available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). Spanish speakers are available. Provides referrals to resources, such as women’s shelters or crisis centers, and crisis intervention. • The National Women’s Health Information Center: visit or call 1-800-994-9662 for a list of state resources dealing with Intimate Partner Abuse.

)RUPRUHLQIRUPDWLRQRUWRVSHDNZLWKDQ($3SURIHVVLRQDO &DOO 1-800-999-1077 The contents of this article and referenced websites, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the site are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Reliance on any information provided by these websites is solely at your own risk. APS is not responsible for the contents of any “off-site� web page referenced from this server. Š APS Healthcaresm, Inc., White Plains, NY. All rights reserved.


DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY ELIMINATES PAPER SAVINGS BONDS To comply with the Department of Treasury’s move to stop To purchase, employees must register via TreasuryDirect issuing paper savings bonds, the Company can now only online and then complete a new direct deposit form with process payroll deductions to purchase electronic (paperless) payroll. savings bonds. For more information, please call DJ Jones or Tammy Fackler in payroll, 459-5250.

FLEX PLAN CHANGES TO OVER-THE-COUNTER (OTC) DRUGS EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2011 As of January 1, 2011 all Over-The-Counter (OTC) items deemed as a DRUG OR MEDICINE will now require a prescription to be reimbursed from your FSA plan. OTC drugs, medicines and items that are intended for the use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease or injury are eligible for reimbursement UNTIL December 31, 2010. After January 1, 2011, OTC Drugs and medicines must be accompanied by a prescription or letter of medical justification to be reimbursed from your FSA plan. This will apply even if you have funds remaining from your 2010 plan year. OTC items not classified as drug or medicine (i.e. bandages, crutches, insulin, etc.) are still eligible for reimbursement without prescription. Steps on how to be reimbursed effective 1/1/2011: 1. Get a prescription or letter of medical justification from your doctor for the OTC drug or medicine 2. Buy the OTC item off the counter- you do NOT need to have the drug or medicine filled at a pharmacy! 3. Submit a copy of the receipt and prescription/letter to Rehn & Associates along with a claim form 4. Rehn & Associates will keep the prescription/letter on file for the length of time the prescription/letter is valid. After this time, a new prescription/letter must be submitted. All prescriptions/letters will expire after 1 year unless otherwise stated by the doctor 5. Submit all future receipts for the approved drug or medicine and the claim will be processed Please feel free to contact Rehn & Associates with any questions. Phone: 509.534.0600 Toll Free: 800.872.8979

NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES ENROLLED IN UMR REGARDING PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE Effective November 19, 2010, Innoviant and Innoviant Mail Service Pharmacy has transitioned to Prescription Solutions (a United Health Group Company). If you have been a mail order pharmacy participant, you should have already received communications from Prescription Solutions on how to continue your mail order prescriptions. If you only utilize the retail pharmacy on a monthly or occasional basis, the pharmacy change should be seamless to you. Things you should know: Your prescription benefit plan is not affected by this transition. You can use your existing ID card when filling prescriptions at your pharmacy. You can continue using the same pharmacies. This does not change which medications are currently covered by our plan. Your out-of-pocket co-pay amounts are not affected. Current pre-authorizations will automatically transfer unless they are mail order prescriptions for a controlled substance or compound medication, you will need to get a new prescription to fill through Prescription Solutions. The Innoviant website has been discontinued. For more information on your pharmacy benefits, go to to register and discover the wealth of health tools and information available about your prescription benefits including claims forms to submit for reimbursement. Direct member reimbursements will be accepted by mail only and require a claim form. All documentation should be sent to: PS Claims, PO Box 29077, Hot Springs, AR 71903.


Payroll Reminder – Check Your Tax Withholding Individual taxpayers are encouraged to double check their federal withholding now to make sure they are having enough taxes taken out of their pay. The average refund for 2009 was $2,887, up 8 percent from 2008. Even though the Making Work Pay Tax Credit lowered tax withholding rates in 2009 and 2010 for millions of American households, some workers still need to take steps to be sure enough tax is being taken out of their checks. Those who should pay particular attention to their withholding include: • Married couples with two incomes • Individuals with multiple jobs • Some Social Security recipients who work The IRS withholding calculator on can help a taxpayer compute the proper tax withholding. For more information, feel free to call payroll at 459-5250.

Year End Reminders • Did you MOVE? Don’t forget to update your address in HR for your W-2 mailing! • Earned Income Tax Credit – If you qualify and want to take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit you must complete a NEW W-5 no later than December 31, 2010!

Calendar of Events: February Late Night with HR: Wednesday, February 16th 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm 5th Floor, Human Resources Media Movers Walk Program Begins Monday, February 21st Ends with Luncheon on April 28th

January Benefits Fair Wednesday, January 12th 10:00 am - 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm Production Facility, 2nd floor

March The Spokesman-Review’s Winter Blood Drive Thursday, March 10th 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm Main Lobby Late Night with HR: Wednesday, March 15th 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm 5th Floor, Human Resources

Birth Announcement Parents: Michael Dwyer (Online) & Jun Dwyer Baby Girl: Sophia Grace Dwyer Statistics: Born: October 8, 2010 Weight: 6 pounds, 1 ounce Length: 19 inches long

Funny Photo Send us your funny photo, if we use it we will send you a pizza!

PUBLISHED BY HUMAN RESOURCES QUESTIONS & COMMENTS Editor, Connie Bantz 459-5214 Assistant Editor, Elle Henderson 459-5226 HUMAN RESOURCES CONTACTS Benefits & Workers Comp . . . . . . . . . . . . 5212 Employment & Safety. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5214 Employee Activities & CTR. . . . . . . . . . . . 5226 Payroll. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5302/5250 Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5210

December 2010 Scoop  

2010 Scoop