Page 4 Marisa Porto was elected president of the VPA/VPS Board of Directors
Boost Ad Sales
Daniel Grissom gives sales advice at VNA
Pages 7-16 See the top winners and scenes from the red carpet
Virginia Press Association 11529 Nuckols Road Glen Allen, VA 23059
Volume 102 • Number 2
As president, Bondurant helps solidify association’s financial future
Jay Bondurant, publisher of the Bedford Bulletin and outgoing president of the Virginia Press Association Board of Directors, presides over the association’s annual meeting in Roanoke.
Jay Bondurant’s year as president of the Virginia Press Association had a large focus on solidifying the financial future of the association. Amid declines in advertising revenues, Bondurant helped guide the board as it sought ways to stabilize VPA’s future. That examination, including a months-long strategic planning effort, looked at advertising rates, dues structure and other revenue streams compared with like-size associations. What ultimately wound up as a new revenue-producer for the association was finding a tenant to share VPA’s Glen Allen headquarters. “Being able to find a suitable tenant for the space in the building is going to be a great asset for us in the future, to help on the financial side, to be able to keep providing the services the association does,” said Bondurant, publisher of the weekly Bedford Bulletin. Yukon Group signed a five-year lease, ef-
fective April 1, to rent office space. Also during the past year, the newly formed Virginia Press Foundation received its 501(c)(3) status and is “open for business … to make sure we can get some donations into the foundation that can help tremendously in the future as well as to support the association and some of the educational efforts we try to continue to do for members,” Bondurant said. During his presidency, Bondurant was a constant presence at VPA functions, although he said he was not as involved as he would have liked to be. He attended many committee meetings, offering ideas and suggestions to improve the association’s efforts. “I think part of being president is being involved and know what is happening,” he said, noting that he gained a deeper understanding of Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act during his presidency. As he passes the president’s gavel to Marisa Porto, vice president of content with the Daily
Press in Newport News, he encourages her to be a presence in VPA matters. “It gives you a better sense of what’s going on overall in our industry,” he said. “We kind of get comfortable in the things we do, but it does help to get a feel for what other areas of the industry are doing.” Though his tenure on the board is almost complete – he’ll be the immediate past president on the 2015-16 board before rotating off – his contributions to the association’s wellbeing will not be. “Our association is still strong, vibrant and does a lot for its members,” He said. “I hope to be a part of helping the association continue doing that in the future.” Ginger Stanley, executive director of the association, lauded Bondurant for his service to VPA. “Jay’s leadership, guidance and support have been a valuable contribution to VPA,” she said.
Legislation likely to define if Supreme Court database is a public record Legislation is likely to be filed during the 2016 General Assembly session to address if digital databases are public records and subject to release under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act. The issue stems from a denial by the Office of the Secretary of the Supreme Court of a FOIA request from the Daily Press in Newport News seeking the court case status database. The Supreme Court agency refused to release compiled court records to the Daily Press, but instead required case-by-case requests. Using one assembled case-by-case by Code For America volunteers covering a single year, the Daily Press found indications of racial bias
in plea bargaining and in punishment for probation violations. “You can’t ask about gaps in the court system if you can’t look at the whole system,” said Daily Press reporter Dave Ress, who has asked the Supreme Court for its records. “Courts are too important for their records to be exempt from that great protection of our democracy, the right to know.” In an April 2015 opinion, Freedom of Information Advisory Council Executive Director Maria J.K. Everett wrote that the database requested by the Daily Press is a public record. The Council’s opinion is non-binding. “In our opinion, clearly it’s a public record,
if it’s owned, prepared or in the possession of government as it relates to the transaction of public business,” Everett said during a FOIA Council meeting in May. She noted during the briefing that more and more information is being kept in these online databases. Council Chairman Sen. Richard H. Stuart, R-Montross, said during the meeting he anticipates legislation in the upcoming session to address the issue. Everett said that was one of the recommendations she included in the opinion. “You need to classify those records and how you want them treated. If you say nothing, as in Continued on page 3
Three newspaper companies acquire more Va. publications The past few months have proven to be busy as several Virginia newspapers have new owners or partnerships. Northern Virginia Media Services was awarded the contract by the Department of Defense to publish two military newspapers – the Belvoir Eagle and the Quantico Sentry. The media company also acquired the weekly Stafford County Sun, which formerly was a property of Warren Buffett’s BH Media Group. BH Media also added to its portfolio with the purchase of the daily Martinsville Bulletin and the weekly Franklin News-Post in March.
Most recently, Farmville Newsmedia LLC, an affiliate of Boone Newspapers Inc., purchased The Farmville Herald, ending three generations of ownership of the newspapers by the Wall family. *** The Belvoir Eagle serves the Fort Belvoir Army installation in southeastern Fairfax County and is distributed for free every week to all the homes on the installation, as well as to most office buildings and public locations, a press release said. Distribution includes the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency headquarters and the Washington Headquarters Services at the Mark
Center in Alexandria. Similarly, the Quantico Sentry is distributed for free to homes and offices on Marine Corps Base Quantico, in southeastern Prince William County. Under the terms of the contracts, Northern Virginia Media Services provides editorial support, sells advertising, and prints and delivers the base newspapers. Content is generated under the auspices of the respective public affairs offices. “We’re delighted that the leaders of these large mili-
Continued on page 19
VPA Board of Directors Officers
Jay Bondurant The Bedford Bulletin
Anne Adams The Recorder, Monterey
Marisa Porto Daily Press, Newport News
Steve Weddle The Central Virginian, Louisa
Past President Lawrence McConnell The Roanoke Times Asst. Secretary/ Treasurer
Ginger Stanley VPA
Daniel Finnegan, Richmond Times-Dispatch Chad Harrison, The Star-Tribune, Chatham G.L. “Lynn” Hurst, Salem Times-Register Steven W. Kaylor, Danville Register & Bee Jay Kennedy, The Washington Post Maria Montgomery, The Winchester Star Cindy Morgan, The Progress-Index, Petersburg Matt Paxton, The News-Gazette, Lexington Bruce Potter, Leesburg Today Steve Stewart, The Tidewater News, Franklin Jenay Tate, The Coalfield Progress, Norton Kelly Till, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk
Ginger Stanley, Executive Director Kim Woodward, Assistant Director Diana Shaban, Advertising Director Jeremy Slayton, Editor Ron Clark, Accounting Manager Janet Madison, Member Services Manager Adriane Long, Advertising/Network Coordinator Diane Spencer, Tearsheet Coordinator How to reach us: Phone: (804) 521-7570 Fax: (804) 521-7590 or (800) 849-8717 Website: www.vpa.net VOLUME 102, Number 2 (USPS 621-640) VIRGINIA’S PRESS (ISSN 0887-5227), the official publication of the Virginia Press Association, is published four times a year. Subscriptions are $15 per year in Virginia, $20 per year out-of-state, by Virginia Press Association / Virginia Press Services Inc., 11529 Nuckols Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059 (804) 521-7570. Periodicals class postage paid at Glen Allen, VA, and additional post offices. POSTMASTER, please send change of address to: Virginia Press Association 11529 Nuckols Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059 Copyright 2015, Virginia Press Association
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
The mission of the Virginia Press Association is to support our membership through responsive services and resources. We champion the common interests of Virginia newspapers and the ideals of a free press in a democratic society.
We connect our members through valuable business services, effective representation, practical communication and information, and relevant education and recognition.
The values important to the work of the VPA are fairness, dedication, integrity and honesty.
Porto: Tell us your FOIA challenges Two weeks ago in a small town in Western Virginia, a Roanoke lawyer argued against the disclosure of evidence to the public because it might harm the investigation. “I represent the sheriff in this matter,” he told the circuit judge. “Our goal here is to disclose as little (information) as possible.” His quote is an example of a culture of secrecy in Virginia that too often denies the public access to information gathered at public expense and permeates government at all levels. The Daily Press Media Group in 2014 filed hundreds of requests under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act seeking access to public records in the Hampton Roads area. Some of those requests started as simMarisa Porto ple questions, but local officials demanded that our reporters file formal requests for records, then said they would charge hundreds of dollars for the information, fees they insisted were reasonable. That speaks to the attitude that’s a problem. Even more disturbing is what reporters across the state see every day: • Meetings of elected and appointed public bodies being closed without properly disclosing reasons why; • Requests for public records being refused, even when their release is supported by such groups as the Freedom of Information Advisory Council; • Public officials using FOIA to deny access when the law actually gives them an option to divulge it; • The death in the dark of 740 bills introduced in the 2014 session of the Virginia General Assembly without a single vote for or against; • Crack-of-dawn meetings of General As-
sembly subcommittees with less than a day’s notice, routinely adding or dropping bills. These and other public access challenges have changed daily life in our newsroom. Conversations about a response or lack of response to a public records access request have become a part of our work-a-day lives. On occasion, we are told that records will cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to obtain, giving rise to suspicions that agencies use the “reasonable fee” stipulation of FOIA to deny access. Reporters sometimes say requests aren’t promptly answered or that requests are denied for technical reasons unrelated to the law. And then, of course, there are meetings closed for questionable reasons and reasons that fail to meet the FOIA standard. As newspapers confront challenging economic times and government officials are more concerned with privacy than transparency, the lack of commitment to the state’s FOIA law seems all too commonplace. That’s why, when in April I was chosen presidentelect of the Virginia Press Association, I asked the VPA Board of Directors to renew their commitment to our role as the watchdog of local government agencies. Never has there been a more crucial time for that commitment. For the next two years, a statewide advisory council is meeting to discuss the FOIA and consider changes. Those who believe in government transparency beyond the political stump need to advocate for constructive change, change that will bring more, not less public access to citizens of the commonwealth. I recently attended one of the advisory council meetings with veteran Daily Press reporter Dave Ress, who has fought for records and access to meetings over the years. Open government advocates were represented at the meeting by a handful of folks, including VPA’s Executive Director Ginger Stanley and Megan Rhyne, the executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.
Others at the table were government officials from every imaginable agency, and the odds left me feeling more than a little concerned about the process. I returned to my newsroom feeling a little like I’d been asleep at the wheel, and wondered how I would live up to the challenge I delivered at the VPA board meeting in April. A few days later, I called a group of newsroom leaders together to discuss putting action behind my words. Here’s what we’re going to do: The Daily Press Media Group is committed to covering FOIA Advisory Council meetings. More importantly, we are willing to share those stories with every Virginia news organization that wants to publish them. Here’s what you can do: We want to hear your stories, what the government agencies you cover are doing to deny public access. We want you to share your public record and open meetings challenges with Dave Ress, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning (757) 247-4535 or (757) 8809194. He will share those concerns with advisory council members. At a recent meeting of the editorial board at the Daily Press, we were reminded by our guests that Virginia was the birthplace of this great nation. The preamble to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, which is posted on a wall in our newsroom, says it all: “The affairs of government are not intended to be conducted in an atmosphere of secrecy since at all times the public is to be the beneficiary of any action at any level of government.” Together, we can hold ourselves and public officials to that promise. Marisa Porto is the vice president of content for the Daily Press in Newport News. She will become president of the Virginia Press Association Board of Directors effective July 1. She is also a board member of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Don’t jump into the pause BY JOHN FOUST Raleigh, NC Brian has been selling advertising for his paper for many years. “One of the most important lessons I’ve learned was from my wife,” he told me. “One evening, when she was telling me about her day at work, she said, ‘Stop jumping into my pauses.’ She said it with a smile and a pat on my arm, but she was right. Every time she paused, I finished her sentence. “Like a lot of sales people,” Brian explained, “I get revved up when I’m in a conversation. When there’s a lull, I have a tendency to fill up the silence. She taught me the importance of allowing the other person to finish their thought on their own.” That lesson has helped Brian in his business relationships. His advertisers stay more engaged in conversations, and he learns more about what’s really on their minds. Here are some ways to deal with pauses: 1. Bite your tongue. When the other person pauses, the first thing to do is to resist the temptation to take over the conversation. Simply tell yourself, “This may not be easy, but stay quiet and give them a chance to collect their thoughts.”
2. Watch your facial expression. Body language is more powerful than words. Even if you’re silent, you’ll communicate a negative message if you frown or show impatience. Keep a pleasant expression and maintain comfortable, low intensity eye contact. 3. Nod slowly. If you’re listening carefully, it will be easy to nod your head. There’s no need to stay in constant motion like a bobblehead doll. Simply show the other person that you’re paying close attention. Think of it as patient eagerness. You’re looking forward to hearing what they’re going to say next – and you’re willing to give them the time they need. It will be natural to add a subtle “Uh hum.” This is a verbal nod, which means, “I’m with you. I’m paying attention. I care about your ideas.” 4. Lean forward. The best leaders are known to instinctively lean forward in their chairs when listening. It’s as if they want to cut the distance the other’s person’s words have to travel before reaching their ears. Again, this will come naturally if you’re in step with the other person. By leaning forward during a pause, you send another silent, non-interruptive signal that you are eager to hear what’s next. 5. Repeat the speaker’s last phrase as a
question. If the other person seems to be genuinely stuck in finding the right words, you can help them verbalize their thought with a simple questioning technique. Let’s say the other person expresses doubt by saying, “I’m concerned about (pause)…” If you jump in and ask, “What exactly are your concerned about?” that may be too abrupt. But if you repeat, “You’re concerned?” as a question, you can help them think it through. So the next time someone pauses in a conversation, put your high-energy sales personality aside. It’s better to ease into the pause than to jump into the pause. (c) Copyright 2015 by John Foust. All rights reserved. John Foust has conducted training programs for thousands of newspaper advertising professionals. Many ad departments are using his training videos to save time and get quick results from in-house training. E-mail for information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the Record
Minutes, VPA Board of Directors
The Virginia Press Association Board of Directors met at The Hotel Roanoke on April 17, 2015
Will Supreme Court database be a public record? Continued from page 1 the Supreme Court issue, there is nothing about who has the right of access,” Everett said. “Absent a specific exemption, it is subject to FOIA.” Even in the wake of the FOIA Council opinion, the Supreme Court continues to deny Daily Press requests for access to the database. “Government agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia do not get to randomly decide to take information once considered public out of the public’s purview because they no longer think it’s their job to share that information,” said Marisa Porto, vice president of content for the Daily Press. “We will continue to try to negotiate to get the information we think is important about our court system. In the meantime, we are considering our legal options.” Porto was elected president of the Virginia Press Association Board of Directors at the association’s annual meeting in April. According to the newspaper, Assistant Executive Secretary Edward Macon wrote the office would reject the Daily Press request because FOIA can’t be enforced against it, though he added that the office recognizes “the importance of the information you request.” However, in the FOIA Council opinion, Everett writes, “Denying access to the complete database while at the same time allowing access to individual case entries does not appear to serve any public purpose, but instead acts as an artificial impediment to access to public records, which stands in contradiction to the stated purposes of FOIA.”
prepare the headquarters for the tenants: a small wall with a door, carpet/tile cleaning and a fresh coat of paint being the most expensive items. President Bondurant inquired if the first month’s rent payment had been made? Ron Clark confirmed the April rent check was received and deposited in late March. Ginger Stanley added her entire staff had been extremely cooperative and positive with the changes. Ron Clark advised the funds balance was just over $1 million and a report from Craig Forbes with Alpha Omega was included at the back of tab 2. Ron added there have been no withdrawals from the funds as the operating bank accounts and money market accounts are adequate. Had approved withdrawals been pulled from the funds over the last five years the Fund balance would be under 750 thousand. Matt Paxton inquired why are we not receiving print advertising from Union First Market Bank since we have all of our cash deposited with them. Ginger Stanley explained the bank had changed advertising agencies. The new agency is heavier into TV and had won awards for two of their TV ads. She added the bank is still doing print ads but the new agency places those ads directly and not through the VPS ad service. There being no further questions or discussion, Steven Kaylor moved the Financial Reports be approved and Danny Finnegan seconded. The motion passed unanimously. President’s Report: President Jay Bondurant discussed the October strategic planning session, which centered around financials of the association. Concerns have surfaced in the past few years about the long-term financial health of the association given the state of the industry. This led to another discussion about revenue-generating opportunities at a finance committee meeting in Charlottesville later in the year. At that meeting, the committee reviewed other associations and found our advertising rates and dues in line. However, contest fees were raised from $7 to $8 for the 2014 contest year as part of the discussion. In addition, the Virginia Press Foundation received a 501C-3 status as of October 2013, which means all gifts are now tax deductible. The organization’s goal is to help the association keep itself on firm financial ground in the years to come. Work also has been completed on a project to adapt the headquarters for a tenant, which will provide the association with additional income in the next five years. In other news President Bondurant noted the executive director’s efforts to save public notices for another year. In addition, he thanked Ron Clark, the association’s accountant, for re-creating financial records after a computer crash. Finally, he honored Anne Adams, who was inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. Executive Director’s Report: Executive Director Ginger Stanley discussed the move of Yukon into the headquarters, a move that will generate revenue for the association. She explained that the conference was sold out of rooms for all three nights. About 400 people were registered for the event, which was less than the 628 that attended the previous year’s event in Richmond. A total of $4,000 in sponsorships was raised. She praised Randy Jessee, who always volunteers his time to put together the awards ceremony. In other news, she said three students – Melanie Arthur of Albemarle High, Jordan Latham and Fatima Rivera of Westfield High – were chosen to receive scholarships to JEA/NSPA. Among the many events she attended/ participated in: panelist in November for Administrative Law Conference to discuss FOIA study; VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture advisory board; Virginian of the Year judging; Daily Press open house. In addition, she attended the VPA co-sponsored AP Day at the Capital. Classified Committee: Met on October 30, 2014 at VPA Headquarters to plan the 2015 conference. Attendance included Chairman Terry Hall and members Katherine Ring, Kate Archer, Jennifer Cunnison, Diana Shaban, Ginger Stanley and Adriane Long. Discussion included: Whether the committee felt rates were satisfactory, which it did. The committee discussed sales incentives for the reps. Annual conference date was set for Monday June 8 from 9:30 to 4. Speakers were discussed as well as break out sessions. Chosen speakers were Kelly Wirges, ProMax Training and Consulting. Another ses-
sion will feature a session on Virginia Fair Housing Law. FOIA Committee: Met January 23, 2015 at VPA Headquarters. Attendance included Dick Hammerstrom, Dorothy Abernathy, Megan Schnabel, Megan Rhyne, Steve Weddle, Jay Bondurant, Jonathan Williams, Craig Merritt and Executive Director Ginger Stanley. Membership Committee: Michael Stowe, managing editor of the Roanoke Times, resigned to accept a job as Communications Director for Virginia Tech News. North of the James Magazine, The Crozet Gazette, The Whitetopper, Virginia Beach Sun applied for association membership and were accepted. Nominating Committee: Met by phone January 12, 2015. The slate of officers included: President Marisa Porto, PresidentElect Anne Adams; Vice President Cindy Morgan; Secretary Steve Weddle; Treasurer Steve Kaylor; Past President Jay Bondurant; Asst. Secretary/Treasurer Ginger Stanley. Roger Watson, publisher of the News Leader, was nominated to replace Michael Stowe. Jeff Poole, general manager, Orange County Review, was nominated to replace Matt Paxton; Stefan Babich, advertising director, The Roanoke Times, was nominated to replace Lawrence McConnell. Also Danny Finnegan and Steve Stewart were nominated for a second term on the board. Public Notice Task Force: Met March 13, 2015 at VPA Headquarters. In attendance: Matt Paxton, Tom Silvestri, Jay Bondurant, Lawrence McConnell. Matt Paxton provided an update from NAA of what other states are doing. Ginger Stanley recapped an overview of the fight for the last decade. Stanley cautioned that in 2015 all House and Senate seats are up for election and the General Assembly could have 10 to 20 new legislators, which would change the playing field. The committee decided to update the public’s right to know survey to use to testify. Lawrence McConnell suggested a relaunch of the public notice website. Other ideas discussed: a roundtable discussion to brainstorm ideas and a transparency summit to include the general public and government employees. Virginian of the Year: Estelle Avner is the 2015 Virginian of the Year. Legislative Report: Among the highlights: VPA’s lobbying efforts shot down four bills that would have made public notices discretionary in newspapers; Many legislators filed bills asking for exemptions to the FOIA law, and VPA requested they be sent to the FOIA study currently underway. Calendar of Events: June 8: Annual Sales Conference, VPA headquarters July 10-11: Executive Management Retreat, Hilton Garden Inn, Va Beach Fall: Board of Directors Meeting, Newport News. TBA. April 8-9, 2016: Board of Directors Meeting and annual conference, Hilton Richmond, Short Pump. STAFF REPORTS Advertising report: VPA’s gross advertising sales for October 2014 through March 2015 were slightly over $1.2 million. Some new and dormant advertisers were included in the numbers. A special deal of the month was created for the statewide networks and produced 7 new and 11 dormant clients. Contest report: News entries totaled 3,628, an increase from 3,543 in 2013. Advertising contest entries were 1,142 in 2013 and then 2014 in 1,278. Publications report: Among the highlights: Total Media Directory was produced and distributed in January. Winter 2014 and Spring 2015 newsletters were produced. Created advertising for VPA display and network advertising. Attended meetings of the FOIA Advisory Council studying the state’s law. Wrote a Sunshine Week column published by several Virginia news organizations. President Bondurant thanked past presidents Matt Paxton and Lawrence McConnell for their dedication to VPA, serving on the board of directors for a second tour of duty. Respectfully submitted: –Marisa J. Porto, secretary. 3
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
Board members in attendance: Jay Bondurant, Anne Adams, Marisa Porto, Steve Weddle, Lawrence McConnell, Ginger Stanley, Danny Finnegan, Chad Harrison, Lynn Hurst, Steve Kaylor, Jenay Tate, Jay Kennedy, Cindy Morgan, Maria Montgomery, Matt Paxton, Bruce Potter, Steve Stewart, and Kelly Till. President Bondurant called the meeting to order and noted the 100 percent attendance. Minutes: Minutes of the October 16, 2015 board meeting at VPA headquarters in Glen Allen were presented by Marisa Porto. Upon motion made by Steve Weddle, seconded by Steve Kaylor, the board approved the minutes as presented. Financial Report: Steve Weddle, Treasurer, presented the year to date Financial Statements through March 31, 2015: Display Advertising Revenue is 2% ahead of budget for the year. The network revenue, SCAN and 2x2, are -39% and -32% respectively below budget for the year. Ginger Stanley explained we had budgeted up because Diana Shaban would be allocating 25% of her time selling the networks but that did not yield the expected results. After some discussion it was a consensus the 2015/2016 budget should be more realistic considering industry trends. Employee benefits are over budget because the group medical insurance renewed on December 1, 2015 with an increase. Many in the room advised their organizations were experiencing similar increases. Payroll taxes are less than budget because the VA Unemployment rate dropped nearly 4% effective January 1, 2015. Computer Maintenance/Repair was over budget because both the accounting server and main server had crashed and were replaced. Ron Clark advised VPA email which had been residing on the Dell server had been migrated to the cloud. A new backup system had been installed and we now have triplicate backup protection: mirror drive in the server, the Datto backup device and a backup in the cloud that can be spun up virtually with only an internet connection should there be a catastrophe at headquarters. Building maintenance is over budget for the year because of work needed to
Member news Board approves four new members The Virginia Press Association Board of Directors approved four new members April 17 during its meeting at The Hotel Roanoke. Approved for membership were: The Crozet Gazette, North of the James Magazine, The Virginia Beach Sun and The Whitetopper. The Crozet Gazette is a 5,500-circulation monthly publication that was established March 20, 2006. Michael J. Marshall is the publisher. North of the James is a 12,000-circulation monthly magazine that was founded Nov. 10, 1994. Charles McGuigan is the publisher. The Virginia Beach Sun, founded on June 7, 2012, is a 10,000-circulation monthly publication. Gregory D. Goldfarb is the publisher. The Whitetopper, the student newspaper at Emory and Henry College, is an 850-circulation weekly publication. Kaylan Brickey is the publisher. Free Lance-Star Publishing launches new lifestyle magazine Free Lance-Star Publishing LLC has
launched a new lifestyle magazine called Impeccable Virginia. The magazine targets affluent homeowners in the Fredericksburg region. The first edition was mailed in mid-May to more than 17,000 homes in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania, Stafford, eastern Prince William, King George, Caroline, Culpeper and Orange counties. “This region is one of the wealthiest in the nation, and Impeccable Virginia is designed for select homeowners in that demographic,” Publisher Gene Carr said. “We believe it fills a valuable niche for homeowners and advertisers.” Carr said his initial plan is for the magazine to be published quarterly. Editor Hilary Kanter said the magazine will feature fine homes, shopping, dining and travel. Kanter, who also edits The Free LanceStar’s Food section, has more than a decade of experience editing magazines. FLS advertising director Bill Smith also directs advertising sales for Impeccable Virginia. C-Ville Weekly receives honor from Editor & Publisher C-Ville Weekly, a 22,000-circulation weekly in Charlottesville, was recognized in March
Marisa Porto elected president of VPA/VPS board YOU Can Make
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
Marisa Porto, vice president of content for the Daily Press in Newport News, was voted as president of the 2015-16 Virginia Press Association/Virginia Press Services Board of Directors during the association’s 132nd Annual Meeting on April 18 at The Ho-
tel Roanoke. After her successful election, Porto offered a hint at the message she hopes to spread during her year leading the association, a message of fighting to keep government functions transparent and sharing with the community why journalism matters. She told the assembled membership that all of the association’s efforts need to be on putting more teeth into Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act through the ongoing three-year study. She also wants Virginia newspapers to explain to their community why journalism is important. “All of you, every day, you go out there and you fight that battle to keep public records public and open meetings open,” she said. “Thank you, to all of you, for fighting that good fight at a time when it is so difficult to do every day.” Also elected to serve as officers and directors for the term beginning July 1: President-Elect: Anne Adams, The Recorder, Monterey Vice President: Cindy Morgan, The Progress Index, Petersburg Secretary: Steve Weddle, The Central
Continued on page 6
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by Editor & Publisher magazine as an honorable mention in the publication’s 10 Newspapers That Do It Right 2015. According to the magazine, C-Ville Weekly experienced revenue gains and Web site readership growth in 2014. “Not only did the C-Ville Weekly celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2014, the paper also saw big results with revenue strategies. The paper’s first bound magazine, Best of C-Ville, increased revenue by 20 percent (that’s an additional $26,000),” the magazine reported. “Its first annual guide to Charlottesville generated more than $28,000 in additional revenue. Web revenue grew by 20 percent and Web readership grew more than 40 percent.” C-Ville Weekly was the only newspaper from Virginia to be recognized. Charlottesville Tomorrow, Qork form mobile partnership Charlottesville Tomorrow is now on the map – your mobile map. The online publication announced in March a partnership with Qork, a technology startup which launched in January with a sleek mobile interface for exploring links to community news and events. Now users can find Charlottesville Tomorrow’s news and events near them.
Qork’s mobile application allows them to explore the publication’s content in a new and exciting way. Users can find important news, share what’s happening in a place, start conversations and engage the community. “Qork users can also create their own content, upvote or downvote items and determine which local stories go viral,” said Brian Wheeler, executive director of Charlottesville Tomorrow. Tidewater News, Suffolk News-Herald team to produce Windsor Weekly A few months ago, the Town of Windsor began receiving its own free newspaper. Windsor Weekly, which debuted on Saturday, March 28, features stories and photos on town and county issues, schools, civil and social clubs, businesses, sports and any other interests that concern the people. A cooperative effort of The Tidewater News and The Suffolk News-Herald, it’s a product that was in the making for the past few years. “A newspaper for the Windsor community is long overdue,” said Tony Clark, publisher of The Tidewater News and the newly formed Windsor Weekly. “Windsor is an absolutely terrific place, and we’re just so proud to be a part of bringing Windsor Weekly to life.”
Reporters learn about online accountability journalism If you know where to look, social media can be a treasure trove of information for investigative journalists. Ryan Kellett, the editor for audience and engagement at The Washington Post, said that journalists can use metadata to help uncover a person’s digital trail. “Everything you do online has some sort of digital trail, some way to say there are artifacts of what people have done online,” Kellett said in April during a Virginia Newspaper Academy training session. Kellett explained to the group how The Associated Press used metadata to uncover former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock’s use of public donations to fund private air travel, massages and to
Ryan Kellett, editor for audience and engagement at The Washington Post, discusses ways to use the Internet for accountability journalism during a Virginia Newspaper Academy in April.
attend several concerts, including a Katy Perry show. “One of the things that brought him down is his Instagram account,” Kellett said, noting that neither Schock nor his staffers turned off the social media app’s location settings. Schock’s Instagram posts were geotagged with a “location on this photograph that says ‘I am here,’” Kellett said. AP extracted location data from Schock’s photos and correlated that information with what Schock publically reported when the expenses were later billed for air travel against Schock’s office and campaign records, Kellett explained. “Very little thought goes into what’s on social media sites,” he said. Kellett demonstrated several online tools to check or verify information about photographs. Capture allows news media companies to get real-time, world-wide news coverage directly from smartphone cameras and social media networks. It matches Instagram and Twitter posts to location data, he said. Another tool to extract metadata from photos is Exif viewers, which will provide such information as caption, title and where the photo was taken, Kellett said. He added that any online image can be searched with Google Images, which is a good way to verify that images are real. The knowledge and Internet accountability tools shared by Kellett will pay off, said Bryan DeVasher, a multimedia producer with the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “The session clued me in to several tools that will be helpful in my reporting. As social media becomes a larger component of journalism, knowing how to cull those sources – and quickly verify them – should be required for every reporter and editor, whether they work in newspapers, TV or magazines,” said DeVasher. “Too often we see instances of a reporter being duped by improperly vetted sources on Twitter and Facebook. What I learned at the session gives me a big advantage over those who haven’t taken the time to learn how to ascertain whether a source is credible or not.”
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DOMINION LINEMAN JUSTIN WOEHRLE HELPS POWER THE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESSES POWERING VIRGINIA.
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
With the highest concentration of tech workers in the entire U.S., Northern Virginia has been called “the epicenter of the Internet.” In fact, more than 50 percent of the world’s Internet traffic passes through our state daily. At Dominion, we’re proud to help power this important sector—a major driver of Virginia’s economy. And with 5.2 million square feet of data center space today, and 10 million projected by 2020, Virginia likely will become the largest data center market in the country—making it all the more important for us to keep the lights on and the data flowing.
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Plan and review are the bookends to sales success Plan. Do. Review. These three simple steps can lead to successful sales performance, according to one of the nation’s leading sales consultants. “You plan your work; you work your plan, and then you slow down to reflect,” said Daniel Grissom, a world-class sales coach who has helped many organizations, such as Google, McDonald’s, and Bloomberg, improve their results. He noted during his presentation that a do, do, do mentality will lead to a lot of activity, but “in today’s market, it may not lead to a lot of achievement.” Grissom was the featured presenter during a Virginia Newspaper Academy in April at The Hotel Roanoke. This was his second training session to a Virginia Press Association audience. He was the main speaker during the association’s annual Sales Conference in June 2013. He said a successful sales strategy includes slowing down to speed up. “Slow down and do
a little bit more pre-call planning, do a little more post-call review,” he said. “Plan and review are the bookends of sales excellence; plan and review are the bookends of coaching excellence.” Grissom, whose book “STEP UP! – How to Win More and Lose Less in Business” was an Amazon #1 bestseller, suggested plan and review sessions be conducted before and after each call, daily in the morning and afternoon, or weekly on Mondays and Fridays. “How often are you weighing in on the scale of sales excellence? You have to get on that scale every day,” he said, noting that each sales associate should maintain a success journal for a “repository of all your good stuff.” Planning will also help sales reps develop a value proposition to current or future clients. “The purpose of planning is to organize your thinking. In the absence of a value interpretation, all sales calls degenerate into a conversation about price,” Grissom said.
Leading sales trainer Daniel Grissom discusses sales tactics during a Virginia Newspaper Academy at The Hotel Roanoke.
Daily Press pushes for narrowing FOIA’s open meeting exemption The Daily Press in Newport News, which in April was awarded the Virginia Press Association’s First Amendment Award, continues its push for transparency in government. Dave Ress, a reporter with the Daily Press, suggested in May during a meeting of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council’s Meetings Subcommittee the narrowing the open meeting exemption to discuss personnel matters. Ress proposed that the law be changed to say that discussions involving the job performance of or any disciplinary action against a chief executive officer of local governments and school divisions must be conducted in public. He said that currently, the only accountability for these highly-compensated, contract employees is happening in closed sessions. Current law states that public bodies can go into closed session to discuss or interview prospective candidates for employment or to discuss the performance, salaries or demotion of specific public employees. Two attorney general opinions have stat-
ed that the law needs to be read narrowly and only include personnel that the local governing body employees, such as the attorney, clerk, police chief and top administrator. Roger Wiley, an attorney who represented local governments, was against such a change in the law. “If you require public bodies to evaluate their employees in public, you will ensure that no candid evaluation ever takes place,” said Wiley, who noted that local government is comfortable with the ambiguity of the current law. “You will completely destroy the effectiveness of any evaluation because people will not discuss criticisms in public.” Kathleen Dooley, the city attorney for Fredericksburg and a member of the FOIA Council, said if governing bodies discuss a person’s job performance in public session, it can result in the employee filing a lawsuit against the locality. Ress explained that in other states, such as Alabama and Massachusetts, discussions involving job performance of the municipality’s
New officers, directors Continued from page 4
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
Virginian, Louisa Treasurer: Steve Kaylor, Danville Register & Bee Immediate Past President: Jay Bondurant, The Bedford Bulletin Assistant Secretary/Treasurer: Ginger Stanley, VPA Director Candidate (Second three-year
term): Danny Finnegan, Richmond TimesDispatch Director Candidate (Second three-year term): Steve Stewart, The Tidewater News Director Candidate (First three-year term): Stefan Babich, The Roanoke Times Director Candidate (First three-year term): Jeff Poole, Orange County Review Director Candidate (First three-year term): Roger Watson, The News Leader
Executive Management Retreat July 10-11, 2015, Hilton Garden Inn, Virginia Beach
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top official is conducted in public. In Alabama, disciplinary action against any public official, elected or appointed, must be done during open meetings. “There are other states that do this, and do it successfully,” he said. “We are talking about the chief executive of local government; we are talking about someone who has no other means
of accountability when he or she is removed from office ... with no explanation. “It leaves citizens of the community at a loss. We don’t know what happened and it’s just not appropriate.” The subcommittee took no action on the proposal and continued the discussion until its next meeting on June 17.
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D. Lathan Mims Award for Editorial Service to the Community John Edwards
The Smithfield Times
VPA Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service
The Recorder, Monterey
The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg
Outstanding Young Journalist
Katy Burnell Evans
The Daily Progress Charlottesville
The Virginian-Pilot Norfolk
Virginiaâ€™s Press â€˘ Summer 2015
VPA Outstanding Journalists Awards
Best in Show
The Commonwealth Times, VCU “Isis contradicts Islam”
Best in Show
Virginia Business Magazine, Richmond “Off the Pace”
The Washington Post “Don’t just sit there”
Sean Tubbs, Maggie Ambrose, Effie Nicholaou
Best in Show
C-Ville Weekly “From cancer center to courtroom”
The Washington Post “A Father’s Scars”
The Coalfield Progress, Norton “Columns”
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
Charlottesville Tomorrow “Budget Analysis”
The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk
Nelson County Times
ADVERTISING Specialty Hard Copy
Non-Daily Hard Copy
Daily Hard Copy
Kathy Sturgeon, Melissa Orendorff
Travis Wolfrey, Advertising Staff
Richmond Magazine “The Keys to Richmond”
The Virginia Gazette “Funny Classified Campaign”
The Progress-Index “Sports Fingers”
Daily 1 Electronic
Daily 2 Electronic
Daily 3 Electronic
Feletia Sharples, Michelle Burdette
Jane Henshaw, Amy VanHook
Cathy Wall, Patrice Byrd, Design Staff
Northern Virginia Daily, Strasburg Miller Auto “Score”
The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg Potomac Winery “Crab Fest”
Non-Daily 1 Electronic
Non-Daily 2 Electronic
Cindi Banach Linda York
Jeff Martin, Scott Matthew
The Warren Sentinel “Springtime Garden Center”
Courier-Record, Blackstone “Burger Night”
Daily Press, Newport News Hampton University “Respect All. Fear None”
Non-Daily 3 Electronic
Richmond Free Press Virginia Union University “Academic Excellence”
Style Weekly, Richmond RVA Burger Week “Saint Patty Days”
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
Best in Show
Best in Show
Erica Yoon The Roanoke Times “Two-alarm fire”
Joe Chandler The Gazette-Virginian, South Boston “Taking a Tumble”
Brian Wheeler Charlottesville Tomorrow “3D Printer”
Justin Ide C-Ville Weekly “Fire Line”
Best of the Best
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“The Keys to Richmond”
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
Style Weekly Richmond
The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk
GRAND SWEEPSTAKES Non-Daily 1
The Tidewater News, Franklin
The Breeze, James Madison University
The Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg
Northern Virginia Daily, Strasburg
The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg
The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
NEWS SWEEPSTAKES Non-Daily 2
Amherst New-Era Progress, Nelson County Times
Eastern Shore News, Accomac
Loudoun Times Mirror
Northern Virginia Daily, Strasburg
The Free-Lance Star, Fredericksburg
The Washington Post
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
NEWS SWEEPSTAKES Specialty
Style Weekly, Richmond
ADVERTISING SWEEPSTAKES Non-Daily 2
The Tidewater News, Franklin
The Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg
Northern Virginia Daily, Strasburg
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
ADVERTISING SWEEPSTAKES Daily 2
The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg
The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk
Style Weekly, Richmond
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
FIRST AMENDMENT AWARD
Daily Press, Newport News
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
Scenes From the Red Carpet
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
All about Media Pat Richardson, publisher of The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, received the Distinguished Service Award from the Maryland, Delaware, D.C. Press Association. Peggy Bellows, director of McClatchy Publishing Center-Charlotte and former managing editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was named editor of the Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg and the Tidewater Review in West Point. Dave Fairbank, who worked for more than 30 years at the Daily Press in Newport News, announced his retirement from journalism. Ken Woodley, editor of The Farmville Herald, announced his resignation to write a book recounting the triumphant 16-month crusade that saw the Virginia General Assembly create the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship program in 2004. Steven Gunn, editor of The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., was named the editor of The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk. Rhonda W. Mayberry returned to the Times-Virginian in Appomattox as the news-
paper’s new account executive. She will be responsible for all advertising accounts and marketing tasks. Daniel Puckette, a graduate of Longwood University, has been hired by the Times-Virginian in Appomattox as a reporter. He will cover government meetings, school-related stories and court updates. Ted Shockley, who began his journalism career with the Eastern Shore News in Accomac as a freelance stringer, has been named executive editor of Gannett’s Delmarva Media Group, which includes the Eastern Shore News. Paige Mudd, the managing editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, has been named the publication’s new editor, effective July 1. Danny Finnegan, editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, will assume a new position as vice president of news and digital audience with the Times-Dispatch. Rick Thornton, vice president of strategic initiatives with the Richmond TimesDispatch, has been named vice president of
Macy discusses her book ‘Factory Man’
What began as a three-part series in The Roanoke Times evolved into a national bestselling book that could become a HBO miniseries produced by Tom Hanks. That is the path former Roanoke Times reporter Beth Macy followed as reported and eventually published “Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local – and Helped Save an American Town.” Her debut book is about John Bassett III’s effort to keep his 700 factory worked employed at a time when more than 19,000 textile and furniture factory workers lost their jobs in Henry County and Martinsville due to globalization. “I had the permission to follow this story, which my editor [Carole Tarrant] thought was big; it was global,” Macy said during a workshop at the Virginia Press Association annual conference. “She gave me the time to figure out what the story was. This began as a threepart newspaper series that ran in 2012.” To get the full breadth of the story, Macy had to conduct a lot of legal reporting and business reporting and traveled around the
world. There were “juicy family fueds” and a deep, rich cultural history, she said. “It wasn’t just a business story; it was really a human story,” Macy said. She noted that good stories can be found anywhere, regardless of the size of a city or town. “There is good journalism everywhere. There is big journalism everywhere. You don’t have to be in a huge place to write a big story,” she said. A longtime journalist, Macy told the crowd that “Factory Man” was the “culmination of every hard story I ever wrote. Every story that ever made me bolt upright in the middle of the night worrying about fairness and facts and whether I had spelled somebody’s name wrong.” To get a good story, Macy’s advice is quite simple. “I tell young reporters, follow those flickers, the quotes that make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, the stories that move you to tears, the little puzzles that keep simmering in your brain,” she said.
People, events in the news marketing and strategy at the Omaha WorldHerald. John Carr, formerly the associate publisher of the Suffolk News-Herald since January, has been promoted to publisher and president of Suffolk Publications LLC. Jim Toler, formerly the metro news editor for The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, was named the publications editorial page editor. Dick Hammerstrom, who was the local news editor at The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, was named the publication’s assistant editorial page editor. Howard Owen, formerly the editorial page editor with The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, retired after 44 years in journalism. Walter T. Moody, who was most recently the sports editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa., was named the sports editor of The Winchester Star. Meredith Rigsby, a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and a former intern at Richmond Magazine’s R-Home magazine and Virginia Living Magazine, was name news editor of The Mechanicsville Local and The King William Local. Ned Oliver, a former reporter with Style Weekly, joined the Richmond Times-Dispatch metro desk to cover Chesterfield County. David Sager, a former page designer with
the Daily Press in Newport News, joined the Richmond Times-Dispatch as a designer. Robert E. MacPherson, a veteran newspaper executive, was appointed interim publisher of the Martinsville Bulletin. George Harris, who worked at the Martinsville Bulletin for 43 years, retired as the paper’s publisher. Marla McKenna, a former editor and reporter, was named the managing editor of the Culpeper Star-Exponent. John Hoke, formerly the metro editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was named the publication’s enterprise news editor. Tom Kapsidelis, formerly the breaking news editor with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was named the publication’s metro editor. Denis Finley, editor of The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk for 10 years, stepped down from the award-winning publication in March. Susan Worley, a reporter with the StarTribune in Chatham, retired after 35 years in the newspaper business. Bill Janus, previously the general manager and advertising director of the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J., was named the publisher and president of Gannett Co. Inc.’s Delmarva Media Group, which includes the Eastern Shore News in Accomac.
Legal Counsel from the Boardroom to the Newsroom
Beth Macy, a former reporter with The Roanoke Times and author of “Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local – And helped Save an American Town,” discusses how she did the reporting for the book.
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Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
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Strategies discussed to keep public notices in Va. newspapers Without fail, legislation to end the requirement that public bodies must publish public notices in newspapers is considered by Virginia’s General Assembly each year. During the past three sessions, 12 such bills have been defeated through lobbying efforts by the Virginia Press Association and its member Virginia Press Association Executive Director Ginger Stanley discusses methods used to fight legislation in the General Assembly that attempt to take public notices out of newspapers.
publications. And each subsequent year, many of the same bills are reintroduced. The association and its membership during the April annual conference devised new methods of attack to continue defeating these bills in future legislative sessions, with the ultimate goal of eradicating these bills altogether. Pat Richardson, publisher of The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, said a few years ago the Maryland, Delaware, D.C. Press Association ran a coordinated advertising campaign across its membership to drum up support from the community to keep public notices in newspapers. The message was simple: without public notices, government can make decisions that impact your community without you knowing about it. The ads included a 1-800 number
Obituaries Madge Wilson Madge Wilson, a longtime resident of Hampton, died May 4, 2015. Madge was a pioneer career woman, with over 30 years of reporting and writing beginning in the early 1950s. In 1962 she joined the Times Herald as an education reporter; later rising to the role of Assistant Editor at the Daily Press. During her years with the Daily Press, Madge covered four gubernatorial campaigns, three presidential, four U.S. Senate and six congressional, plus numerous local elections. Ben James Bowers Ben James Bowers, 82, of Greensboro, N.C., died at his home on April 15, 2015. In Greensboro, Ben served as vice-president and executive editor of the Greensboro News & Record until his retirement in 1993. Prior to living in Greensboro, Ben worked as vice-president and executive editor of the Roanoke Times for 10 years. He worked for newspapers in Petersburg and Norfolk as well.
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
John Waller Maloney John Waller Maloney, 50, died April 26, 2015 of a heart attack. He earned a B.A. from Hampden-Sydney College in 1988 and later a master’s in journalism in 1992 from VCU. John worked for the Winchester Star, the Richmond newspapers and Style Weekly. He switched careers to become a financial advisor and most recently worked at Wells Fargo.
Peter John Bacqué Peter John Bacqué, 67, of Richmond, passed away March 30, 2015 at home in his sleep. He served his country proudly in the U.S. Army from July 1969 to May 1971. His career in journalism began at The Daily Progress in Charlottesville in the early 1970s. In 1979, he joined the Richmond Times-Dispatch and covered a variety of beats during his tenure including aviation, utilities, transportation and the military. He had been a business reporter at the time of his death.
Charles Spurgeon Rowe Charles Spurgeon Rowe, editor and co-publisher of The Free Lance–Star for 48 years, died March 13, 2015, in Vero Beach, Fla. He served in the Pacific in World War II as combat information officer aboard the USS Stafford, a destroyer escort that participated in the Battle of Okinawa and the occupation of Japan. After active duty, he served in the Naval Reserve, retiring in 1975 with the rank of captain. After the war he 18 returned to Washington and Lee, where he was
president of the student body and managing editor of the student newspaper. Graduating with Phi Beta Kappa honors in 1947, he attended the university’s law school for two years until his father’s death in 1949, at which time he and his brother, Josiah P. Rowe III, assumed leadership roles at The Free Lance–Star — Charles as editor and co-publisher, Josiah as general manager and co-publisher. He spent many years working with national newspaper organizations, serving on the boards of directors of the Virginia Press Association, the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, the American Newspaper Publishers Association and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He was national president of the Associated Press Managing Editors Association and vice chairman of The Associated Press. His commitment to his profession resulted in his selection to the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame and recognition by the Society of Professional Journalists with its George Mason Award for service to Virginia journalism. Mike Stater Mike Stater, who has been a contributing writer for the Salem Times-Register since October 2013, died March 9, 2015. For the Salem newspaper, the 66-year-old Stater was most recognized for his coverage of the Salem School Board and public safety news, but was also willing to go above and beyond his freelancer role, even serving as interim editor of the newspaper for three weeks in May 2014. Before spending part of his “retirement” as a writer for the Salem Times-Register, Stater held a handful of other media and public relations positions. However, he began and ended his media career working in print media. A native of Welch, W.Va., and a graduate of Bluefield State College, Stater served as assistant city editor for the Charleston Daily Mail in Charleston, W.Va., and as editor of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Joseph Lawrence “Pete” Teglas Joseph Lawrence “Pete” Teglas, 87, of Big Stone Gap, died March 3, 2015, at his home. He served his country in both the United States Army and United States Air Force during World War II and the Korean Conflict. He retired from the Air Force in 1966 as a technical sergeant. Following his military service, Teglas worked for Westmoreland Coal Co. - Virginia Division, retiring in 1985 as a health and safety inspector. He spent his later years working in the distribution department of The Coalfield Progress, The Post and The Dickenson Star.
Pat Richardson, left, publisher of The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, and Kelly Till, advertising director of The Virginian-Pilot, listen during a discussion on public notices during a workshop at the Virginia Press Association annual conference.
for citizens to call if they were concerned about eliminating public notices in newspapers. “When we went to legislators, we said, ‘Here, by the way, these are your constituents that have a concern about it,’” Richardson said of that association’s lobby efforts to preserve public notices in newspapers. Another tactic to use is a weekly email of public notices – with a quick explainer to remove the legalese and make them easier to understand – that each newspaper can send to readers in the community. “We all understand we have to be digital with it,” said Danny Finnegan, editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and a member of the VPA Board of Directors. “If this is about really getting the message to the public … what can we do to really put it out there?” Ginger Stanley, executive director of the Virginia Press Association, has been fighting to keep public notices in newspapers for more than two decades. “You’ve got to have government’s actions or
proposed actions in the public domain just as we try to keep public records and public meetings open,” she said. “That is our role in the General Assembly.” But there are steps, she suggested, that Virginia newspapers can take to build relationships with local government and end this battle of public notices. When state legislators file bills that aim to remove the requirement that notices are published in newspapers, it’s usually at the behest of local government officials. “I’d much rather see a campaign for the members to work with local government folks … to show them value, that you are giving them the best deal,” Stanley said, suggesting such advertising ploys as frequency rates or value-added initiative. “We’re doing that for our advertisers. We’re working with them to keep them, doing what we can to entice them to use print newspapers. It will go a long way to solidify a better relationship with local government. “If we can get local government off the legislators backs, then they’ll get off our backs.”
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Newspaper companies expand Continued from page 1 tary bases have placed their faith in us to help communicate their missions, and we’re proud to serve the military in this way,” said Bruce Potter, chief operating officer of Leesburgbased Northern Virginia Media Services and a member of the Virginia Press Association Board of Directors. “In turn, these publications allow us to offer new print and digital marketing solutions to local businesses looking to extend their reach and grow their brands, especially with the military community and along the Interstate 95 corridor.”
Virginia Press Association Executive Director Ginger Stanley presents a Lifetime Achievement Award for the late Horton P. Beirne to his widow, Mary Anne Beirne during the association’s annual awards banquet in April. Horton Beirne, who was the editor and publisher of the Virginian Review in Covington at the time of his death, was called an “unapologetic cheerleader of the Virginia Press Association,” by his longtime friend John Edwards, editor and publisher of The Smithfield Times. Beirne died January 10, 2015 at the age of 67.
The Stafford County Sun, a weekly newspaper distributed in northern Stafford, also joined the Northern Virginia Media Services’ lineup in April. According to a press release, Northern Virginia Media Services now reaches nearly 200,000 households each week in Northern Virginia. *** BH Media Group, which operates more than 70 newspapers including the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Roanoke Times, purchased the 14,650-circulation Martinsville Bulletin and the 6,515-circulation Franklin
News-Post from Haskell Newspapers, privately owned by the Haskell family, which acquired the Martinsville newspaper in 1948. “We look forward to the opportunity to continue the tradition of community-minded journalism carried on by the Haskell family for nearly 70 years,” BH Media Group Chief Executive Officer Terry Kroeger said in a statement. “We also want to welcome the Martinsville and Rocky Mount employees to our company and are looking forward to working with them.” Terms of the deal were not announced. Bulletin Publisher George Harris, who re-
necessary for new and changing projects, initiatives and business processes. Maintenance 1) Supports reporting infrastructure and related processes, 2) Facilitates and maintains reporting requests through standardized change management systems so as to preserve report integrity and document change history, 3) Monitors performance of the reporting infrastructure and makes programmatic changes when appropriate, 4) Ensures continuity of reports between operating units and that corporate policies and business practices are adhered, 5) Interacts with end-users at all enterprise levels to ensure reporting and data needs are fulfilled, 6) Evaluates reporting requests to determine if issues are related to report logic and/or data entry - provides prompt answers and resolution. Required: Experienced with designing, creating, testing and implementing complex reports using Crystal Reports, SSRS or comparable report development tool. Fluent with relational database modeling and developing efficient SQL. Knowledge of MS Access, Excel, Visual Basic, VB Script and/or Java Script is a plus. Preferred: Analytical report writing experience Education: Bachelor or Associate’s degree in Business, Computer Science or related experience. At least 1 (one) year experience writing interactive, analytical reports utilizing Crystal Reports or comparable Report Development tool. PRE-EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS: (Must successfully pass) Criminal Background Investigation and Drug Screen. Our attractive compensation package includes: base salary, mileage reimbursement, comprehensive benefits (medical, dental, vision, PTO, wellness program options, life insurance, short & long-term disability insurance) and 401k with Company match. For immediate consideration, apply online at: https://bhmedia.silkroad.com/epostings/ or directly to job # HAN-05272015-3301 at http://bit. ly/1FG0W0X
tired in April after 43 years with the publication, said “BH Media is a company that understands the importance of local news content and the commitment a newspaper makes to the community it serves.” *** In May, Farmville Newsmedia announced its purchase of the 6,445-circulation Farmville Herald, which was purchased by J.B. Wall in 1921 and his grandson, Steve Wall, is the third-generation publisher of the newspaper. The Herald is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2015. “There is an incredible amount of new technology out there which we need to incorporate, and I’m too stubborn to embrace the digital platform,” Wall said. “Retail has changed and our community has changed. We need professionals like Boone and Carpenter to take The Herald to the next level.” Carpenter Newsmedia wholly owns Farmville Newsmedia and is an affiliate of Boone Newspapers, which has offices in Natchez, Miss. and Tuscaloosa, Ala. Boone Newspapers Vice President Steve Stewart succeeds Steve Wall as the publication’s publisher. Stewart, a member of the Virginia Press Association Board of Directors, leads Boone Newspaper’s East Coast Group, which includes the Suffolk News-Herald and The Tidewater News in Franklin. “We will work hard to honor the Wall family’s legacy and publish a first-rate newspaper and related print and digital products that are interesting to readers and thus provide good marketing solutions for local businesses,” Stewart said in a press release. “Farmville is a vibrant community with a rich history, and we look forward to chronicling its people, places 19 and institutions for many years to come.” Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
Editor: The Caroline Progress, an award-winning community newspaper that has provided community news for Caroline County and since 1919, is seeking a hands-on news leader to guide our skilled news team. Prospective candidates should be able to contribute content, manage both print and digital platforms and do page layout. Superior writing, editing and photography skills are a must. A degree in journalism or a related field is preferred. If you have a passion for news and delivering it via multiple platforms, then this job is for you. Email a cover letter, resume and writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org. PRESS OPERATOR (F/T 37.5 hrs.) and Packaging Operator (F/T 37.5 hrs): Print Innovators, the commercial print division of Free Lance–Star Publishing, LLC, located in the historic city of Fredericksburg, VA has an opening for an experienced Press Operator. We operate a high-speed publication print facility with state of the art offset printing equipment. The qualified candidate will have a balance of electronic, mechanical, computer and communication skills as well as experience in a highly automated production environment. Heatset print experience is a plus. PACKAGING OPERATOR (F/T 37.5 hrs.)Print Innovators is seeking a Packaging Operator. The successful candidate must have the mechanical ability necessary to help operate and maintain the inserting equipment in our packaging department. Additional duties include forklift operation as well as operation of various other production equipment. Previous packaging and bindery equipment operation a plus. Must have basic computer skills including knowledge of MS Office Word and Excel. This night shift position is approximately 6 p.m. to 3 a.m., Saturday through Wednesday. Hours for both of these positions may vary and include nights, weekends and holidays. We are a 365 day a year operation. Free Lance–Star Publishing offers a competi-
Newspapers are integral to their community Despite an increasing shift from print to digital, newspapers continue to play an integral role in their community, according to Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina. Scholars and market research illustrate her point. According to one-on-one research with newspaper subscribers conducted by Abernathy’s graduate students at UNC, loyal newspaper readers expect newspapers to identify the main issues in a community, help them live
Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina, discusses her book “Saving Community Journalism” during the Virginia Press Association annual conference.
better lives and provide them with a sense of social and political identity. Abernathy, author of the book “Saving Community Journalism,” pointed out economists say newspapers are important to the development of regional growth while political scientists say newspapers foster a sense of geographic identity. That’s why it’s important for newspapers to adapt to the digital age and her students work with newspaper leaders to do just that. “Who is going to save community journalism? It has to be you guys,” Abernathy told a room full of newspaper executives. “If those papers died, that community will die with them.” To help make the change from a print legacy product to a more digital, Abernathy’s research shows three things newspapers must do – shed the legacy cost associated with print, build communities of readers on multiple platforms and aggressively pursue new revenue opportunities. *** The Whiteville (N.C.) News Reporter, a 10,000-circulation twice weekly newspaper in the southeastern corner of North Carolina, is one of the newspapers studied by Abernathy’s students. The paper won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, along with the Tabor City Tribune, “for their successful campaign against the Ku Klux Klan, waged on their own doorstop at the risk of economic loss and personal danger, culminating in the conviction of over
one hundred Klansmen and an end to terrorism in their communities.” Even with its storied history, The News Reporter was not immune to the economic downturn of the late 2000s and decline of advertising revenue. Working with Abernathy’s students, the newspaper has evolved. Among the changes instituted by the newspaper is not filling a staff photographer vacancy, instead relying on several freelancers to take photos for print and online. Stuart High, a third-generation owner of the News Reporter, said the newspaper is no longer putting money into its printing press. “We’re thriving as long as we can; shredding that printing cost is going to happen sooner or later,” she said. The newspaper, with the help of Abernathy’s students, developed six communities of special interest to focus news content – and advertising dollars – in the print and online mediums. The six communities are: Sports of All Sorts, Plugged in Parents, Texting Teens, Front-Porch Neighbors, Home for the Holidays and Curious Citizen. High said the newspaper launched Sports of All Sorts to coincide with the start of football season and features a sponsored athlete of the week component in the print edition, while advertisers also sponsor the section online. When the community was launched, Web site traffic tripled, High said. “Sports are huge in our community. We were covering it in print, but we realized TV stations were really trying to capture that
Stuart High, director of special projects with The News Reporter in Whiteville, N.C., discusses steps the newspaper took to keep readers and generate new avenues of revenue during a workshop at the Virginia Press Association annual conference.
sports market,” she said. “We knew our readers had interest … and advertisers had interest. It allowed us to maintain that stake in our community to be who our readers looked to for sports.” The new sports focus allowed the newspaper to cover youth sport leagues in the paper and online. “Our community enjoys the extra coverage. It drives traffic to our website. We are able to cross promote to print online and online to print,” High said.
Publications set up paywalls differently
Virginia’s Press • Summer 2015
More and more newspapers in Virginia are implementing paywalls on their websites to charge for access to their digital content. Betty Snider, managing editor of The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, said that when the paper started a metered paywall earlier this year, there was some backlash, at first, but the publication didn’t see a “huge drop off ” in the people reading online. The Free Lance-Star, which was purchased last year at a bankruptcy auction, set up its paywall to allow visitors to its website access to 10 free articles during a 30-day period. Snider, who moderated a discussion about paywalls during a workshop at the Virginia Press Association annual conference at The Hotel Roanoke in April, said overall newspaper officials have been pleased with readers’ response to the change. The Bristol Herald-Courier, much like The Free Lance-Star, puts much of its news content behind a metered paywall. Non-subscribers to the paper’s All Access program can view 12 articles for free during a 30-day period. Herald-Courier representatives said all of
Betty Snider, managing editor of The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, leads a discussion on paywalls during a workshop at the Virginia Press Association annual conference.
its classifieds, obituaries and advertising is in front of the paywall. Also, All Access subscribers have increased incrementally since the program was instituted more than a year ago. But not all newspapers have switched to a paywall system to charge for online content. Steve Campbell, executive editor of the Prince William Times and the Fauquier Times, said that none of the four newspapers in Times Community Media have paywalls on their websites. He said the newspapers sell out the available online advertising space “all the time.” While many newspapers are instituting charges to access digital content to supplement advertising and subscriber revenue, television and radio stations are not following suit. Dave Sutton, a representative with TownNews.com – a content management system used by the Free Lance-Star, Herald-Courier, other Virginia newspapers and numerous television outlets, said that TV stations are not asking the company to set up paywalls on their respective websites.
Former Virginia Press Association President-Elect Michael Stowe presents Estelle Avner with the 2015 Virginian of the Year during a reception at The Hotel Roanoke in April. Avner retired last year after nearly 40 years as the executive director of the Bradley Free Clinic in Roanoke. During her career, she led the delivery of more than $65 million in value of healthcare services for uninsured patients. “I am accepting this award for the community which embraced this concept 40 years ago and really made it happen,” Avner said. She added that she loved helping people. Lauded for her ability to raise money and attract volunteers to the clinic, she said “Everyone has valuable gifts ready to be tapped. I expected people to say yes. I expected them to do everything they could for the free clinic.”