Page 1


Annual Conference

Page 4-5 Workshops, awards banquet to be held

Slate of Officers VPA membership to vote on leadership

Page 3

Sunshine Week Let the sun shine on government activities

Virginia’s Press

Virginia Press Association 11529 Nuckols Road Glen Allen, VA 23059

Spring 2014

Page 3

Volume 101 • Number 1

Public Notice Bills Defeated

Senate committee kills legislation that would have taken public notices out of newspapers

House panel spikes bill that would have allowed notices to be posted on government websites

A Senate bill that would have taken public notices out of newspapers was killed in early February by the Senate Committee on Local Government. The committee voted 12-3 to “pass by indefinitely” Sen. Ralph K. Smith’s SB 472, which would have given localities the option to advertise legal notices on their website or on radio and television stations. Voting against passing the bill by indefinitely were Smith, Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr., R-Augusta; and Sen. Thomas A. Garrett, R-Louisa. Hanger and Garrett were not present for the end of the hearing, but voted by proxy. Smith said his bill would “remove the unfunded mandate on localities that they publish legal notices only in newspapers.” Sen. David W. Marsden, D-Fairfax, countered by saying that it would be beneficial to keep notices in one place where the public can count on finding them and that should “be the local newspaper.” Representatives from the Virginia Association of Counties, the town of Leesburg, Roanoke County and the cities of Portsmouth and Newport News spoke in favor of the bill. This is the second public notice bill defeated during the 2014 General Assembly session. There were no additional bills aimed at taking legal notices out of newspapers. Virginia Press Association led the charge in opposition of the bill. Association Executive Director Ginger Stanley was joined at the nearly 30-minute hearing by six newspaper publishers

A bill that would have taken public notices out of newspapers died in a House subcommittee on an early January morning. Virginia Press Association and its allies defeated HB 95, which would have allowed localities to publish public notices on their own websites rather than in newspapers. A subcommittee of the House Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns voted 7-3 against reporting the bill to the full committee. Dels. Christopher P. Stolle, R-Virginia Beach; Richard L. Morris, R-Isle of Wight; and Bill R. DeSteph Jr., R-Virginia Beach voted in favor of the bill.

– Terry Jamerson, Roanoke Times; Alton Brown, Lynchburg News & Advance; Lawrence McConnell, The Daily Progress; Greg Pearson, Chesterfield Observer; Matt Paxton, The News-Gazette; and Paul Fletcher, Virginia Lawyers Weekly. “The authenticity and permanence of a printed newspaper helps meet the essential obligation that public notices are legal documents in a court of law,” Stanley said. “This means that local control should not be an option when it comes to government information and the watchdog role that the press provides is essential Continued on page 6

James Maxwell, publisher of the Bristol Herald Courier, left, Steven W. Kaylor, publisher of the Danville Register & Bee and Ginger Stanley, executive director of the Virginia Press Association, discuss strategy during January’s VPA Day at the General Assembly.

During the nearly 30-minute discussion of HB 95, Stolle said citizens will always know where to go to find public notices if posted on a locality’s website. “From my perspective, this is transparency in government. It does help the citizens figure out where the notice is going to be,” he said. “I see this, right now, as a government-mandated subsidy of the newspapers. I don’t think we should be dealing with that.” This marks the third consecutive year that Del. Christopher T. Head, R-Botetourt, has filed the bill and it has been defeated. Head argued for the option to publish public notices online rather than newspapers because of struggles facing the newspaper industry. He said readership is declining, while use of the internet surges. At one point he declared: “Print media is absolutely dying,” and noted that the web is an alternate source to newspapers. “When fewer and fewer people are using that particular medium, as an area of transparency, versus the millions and millions of eyes that are available on the website, you’re asking to be transparent through a peephole or through a panoramic window,” Head said. His bill had the support of local government groups the Virginia Municipal League and the Virginia Association of Counties. Representatives of Leesburg and Prince William, Roanoke and Fairfax counties also spoke in Continued on page 2

McConnell, Hardy named to Virginia Communications Hall of Fame Lawrence McConnell, publisher of The Daily Progress in Charlottesville since 1995, will be one of six people to be inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame on April 10. He also serves as regional publisher of the Charlottesville Newspaper Group under BH Media. “I’m humbled and truly honored to be recognized in such a way,” McConnell, a past president of the Virginia Press Association and one of its Freedom of Information regional coordinators, said in a report. “It’s certainly not the reason I got into journalism and it’s not an honor I sought, but it’s a great honor to receive.” Others being inducted are Michael Hardy, a former staff writer with The Virginian-Pilot and the Richmond Times-Dispatch; Bill Bev-

ins, a veteran Richmond radio morning show host and talk show co-host at WTVR-CBS6; Regina Mobley, an anchor and reporter at WVEC-TV in Hampton Roads; Kelly O’Keefe, the chief creative strategic officer at PadillaCRT; and Don Richards, group vice president of Raycom Media. McConnell also has served as board president of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government and he is a member of the advisory board at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Washington and Lee. Hardy served as a reporter for The Virginian-Pilot and Rich-

Continued on page 6


VPA Board of Directors Officers President

Nick Cadwallender The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg


Jay Bondurant The Bedford Bulletin

Vice President

Michael Stowe The Roanoke Times


Anne Adams The Recorder, Monterey


Marisa Porto Daily Press, Newport News

Immediate Past President

Keith Stickley The Free Press, Woodstock

Asst. Secretary/ Treasurer

Ginger Stanley VPA

Directors Daniel Finnegan, Richmond Times-Dispatch Gail Harding, The Enterprise, Stuart Maria Hileman, The Winchester Star Steven Kaylor, Danville Register & Bee Jay Kennedy, The Washington Post Cindy Morgan, The Progress-Index, Petersburg Matt Paxton, The News-Gazette, Lexington Steve Stewart, The Tidewater News, Franklin Jenay Tate, The Coalfield Progress, Norton Steve Weddle, The Central Virginian, Louisa Chad Harrison, Womack Publishing, Chatham

VPA/VPS Staff 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:

VOLUME 101, Number 1 (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 2013, Virginia Press Association

Virginia’s Press • Spring 2014



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.

OUR PURPOSE We connect our members through valuable business services, effective representation, practical communication and information, and relevant education and recognition.

OUR VALUES The values important to the work of the VPA are fairness, dedication, integrity and honesty.

Happy Hour advertising regulations changed Restaurants and bars are now able to advertise the time span of their Happy Hour through newspapers and other media outlets. This regulation change by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control went into effect January 29. However, restaurants will still be banned from promoting specific drink specials in those advertisements, said Kathleen Shaw, a spokeswoman for ABC. She noted that restaurants can only advertise drink special inside their establishments. Shaw said the regulation change stems from discussions with the restaurant and business community and included two public comment periods. “In the very beginning, business owners were brought in to give their feedback about the regulations and what they’d like to see change,� she said.

Rewards disbursed to VPS advertising network members Virginia Press Association members who took part in both advertising networks for the 2013 calendar year recently received more than $1,000 in rewards. Network rewards checks were mailed in February to the publications that participated in either the statewide classified (SCAN) or 2x2 advertising networks last year. Publications that participated for the full calendar year in the classified network received $521.94 and publications that participated for the full calendar year in the 2x2 network received $502.32.  We are proud to announce that eight additional member publications joined one or both of the networks in 2013. If you are not participating in the network reward programs and would like to begin in March, or if you are only participating in one network and would like to participate in both, please contact Adriane Long, VPS networks coordinator, at (804) 521-7585 or

House subcommittee votes against public notice bill Continued from page 1 favor of the bill. Virginia Press Association Executive Director Ginger Stanley led the opposition to the bill, noting that newspapers are not dead because audience is up across all platforms. During her testimony, she continued to champion the public’s right to know as a main reason to keep notices in newspapers. “The legal advertisements let residents know ahead of time that their elected representatives will be making those decisions on their behalf and they have a right to show up, ask questions and express their opinions before it’s too late,� Stanley read from a Roanoke Times editorial published Jan. 22. “It’s a tried and true method of communication that has worked for generations.� Joining VPA in opposition of the bill were representatives of the Society of Professional Journalists, Virginia Pro Chapter; the Sierra Club and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia “We think it impacts the public’s right to know and to get information about what their government is doing. Newspapers are independent and provide a watchdog function,� said Paul Fletcher, immediate past president of the SPF Virginia Pro Chapter. “If you have localities placing notices on their own sites, you have a fox watching the henhouse.�



Happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. daily


Join us for happy hour drink special


We offer drink specials from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday – Friday


Offering the best happy hour in Chesapeake


Enjoy discounted margaritas from 4 to 7 p.m.

No. The word discounted may not be used; the only approved phrases are “happy hour� and “drink specials.� Also, the drink type may not be listed (margaritas).

Beer and wine specials from 5 to 9 p.m. daily

No. Drink types may not be listed (beer and wine).

$2 off highballs

No. Drink types may not be listed KLJKEDOOV $OVRVSHFLÂżFGLVFRXQWDPRXQWV may not be promoted.

Thirsty Thursday: beer specials from 4 to 8 p.m.

No. Drink types may not be listed (beer). In addition, “Thirsty Thursdays� or “Wet Wednesdays� or any other alcoholic beverage-related phrase cannot be promoted with the time frame.

2-for-1 rail drinks during happy hour

No. 2-for-1 drink specials are illegal anytime and any place

Valentine’s Day package: shared appetizer, pasta entrÊe, and dessert plus a bottle of Virginia-made wine for $50 per couple

Yes. Food and alcoholic drink package pairings may be promoted if an exact DPRXQWRIDOFRKROLVVSHFLÂżHG

Happy hour 6 to 10 p.m. daily

No. All happy hours and discounted drink offerings must end by 9 p.m.

New Year’s Eve package: One night at a hotel, dinner and brunch for two, and unlimited champagne for $175

No. Licensees may not offer unlimited alcoholic beverages

Introducing our new drink, The Pilot, featuring Bacardi Limon rum. Only $7

Yes. If The Pilot is always $7 (anytime on any day), the drink may be advertised with both the cost and alcoholic beverage included as long as no manufacturer or wholesaler money is involved in the retailer’s advertising

20 wings and pitcher of Bud Light for $15.99 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Yes. If the beer is regular menu price and the ad is not being paid for by a manufacturer or distributer, discounted food may be advertised

Source: Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

2014-15 slate of officers, directors presented Virginian, Louisa Immediate Past President: Nicholas J. Cadwallender, The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg; and Assistant Secretary/Treasurer: Ginger Stanley, Virginia Press Association, Glen Allen. Cycling off the board will be Keith Stickley of The Free Press in Woodstock and Gail Harding of The Enterprise in Stuart. Interim directors Jay Kennedy of The Washington Post and Chad Harrison of Womack Publishing have been nominated for three-year terms. Kennedy is the vice president, general counsel and labor at The Washington Post, a position he has held since April 1, 2013. He joined The Post in April 2004 as its labor and employment counsel. Harrison has been the director of opera-

Jay Bondurant

Marisa Porto

Michael Stowe

Anne Adams

Steve Weddle

N. Cadwallender Kelly Till

VPA announces 2013-14 College Contest Virginia Press Association is pleased to announce the 2013-14 VPA College Contest. New to the contest this year is the addition of advertising categories. The competition is open to all student staff members (full or part-time) at student-produced newspapers at any  Virginia  college or university. The work of members of the institution’s professional staff or faculty is not eligible.  All entries must have been published during the period January 1, 2013 through May 15, 2014. There is no entry fee for this contest. The entry deadline is Friday May 30, 2014 at 3 p.m.  All entries must be received at VPA

headquarters by this time. There will be no extension of the deadline. Complete rules can be found online at   Please send your entries to: ATTENTION: 2013-14 College Contest Virginia Press Association 11529 Nuckols Road Glen Allen, VA 23059   An awards presentation program and luncheon will be held at Virginia Press Association headquarters in Glen Allen in September 2014 to honor winners. If you have any questions you may reach Janet Madison at (804) 521-7570 or janetm@

Sunshine Week set for March 16-22  Sunshine Week, the annual national initiative focusing on open government, is scheduled for March 16-22 this year. The American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are national co-sponsors of Sunshine Week. The organizations are hosting the main website,, for information about freedom of information, free materials for participants to use, a calendar of events and a list of participants. “Anyone – not just media organizations – can utilize the resources, have their events listed or be included as participants,” ASNE’s First Amendment Programs and Partnerships Committee Co-Chairs Lucy Dalglish and Steve Engelberg said in a statement. “We’re always pleased to see the broad reach of this initiative. It shows us in a real way that government transparency isn’t just the concern of

tions and marketing for Womack Publishing for the last three years. Previously he was the editor and general manager of the Altavista Journal and a group regional director for Womack Publishing. Nominated to replace Stickley and Harding on the board are Bruce Potter, chief operating officer of Northern Virginia Media Services and G. L. “Lynn” Hurst, general manager of Montgomery Publishing in Salem. Potter joined Northern Virginia Media Services in April 2012 as regional vice president. He previously worked for Richmondbased Media General for 26 years in a variety of roles, including as a reporter, editor and regional publisher. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and received an MBA from the University of Richmond. Hurst joined Montgomery Publishing in September 2011 and was promoted to his

journalists; it’s for everyone.” Sunshine Week was launched by ASNE in 2005 and grew to a nationwide event celebrated by national and local news media on all publishing platforms; federal, state and local governments; grade schools and universities; libraries; archivists; scientists; nonprofit and civic organizations; and individual citizens. Reporters Committee, which has been a participant since the launch, officially joined ASNE as a leading partner in 2012. “We are excited to continue our work with ASNE as co-sponsors of the Sunshine Week initiative,” Reporters Committee Executive Director Bruce D. Brown said in a statement. “Together, we can ensure that Sunshine Week brings the best materials to the widest audience and that its legacy as one of the most effective annual open-government awareness projects endures.” 

Jay Kennedy

Chad Harrison

current position in May 2013. He oversees all business and advertising functions of the company. He previously served on the VPA board of directors in the early 2000s and has been active on several VPA committees. Kelly Warren Till, advertising director for The Virginian-Pilot since 2005, is also nominated for a three-year term. Previously she has held a variety of positions in the publication’s advertising department, including retail advertising manager, major accounts sales manager and training and development manager. Steve Kaylor, publisher of the Danville Register & Bee since 2006, has been nominated for a second term on the board. He previously was the editor of the Bristol Herald Courier. The annual meeting will be held on Saturday, April 5 at 8:30 a.m. at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa/Short Pump.

Bruce Potter

G. L. Hurst

Steve Kaylor


Mark your calendars for these professional development opportunities coming up this year.

ADVERTISING ROUNDTABLE With Cindy Morgan Publisher, The Progress-Index Co-sponsored by SNPA Thursday, May 1, 2014 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. VPA Headquarters WHAT MAKES AN EFFECTIVE DIGITAL OR PRINT AD? With Adam Cook Thursday, May 8, 2014 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. VPA Headquarters ENGAGING THE YOUNG AUDIENCE With Jenn Burleson Mackay Thursday, May 15, 2014 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.



2014 CONFERENCE SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Interested in being a sponsor for the 2014 Virginia Press Association Conference? Sponsorships remain for the annual conference, which will be held April 4 and 5. A full line up of activities and presenters can be found on pages 4-5. Sponsorship details can be found online at under the conferences tab. Gold Sponsor $3,000 Silver Sponsor $1,250 Bronze Sponsor $600

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Ginger Stanley VPA Executive Director (804) 521-7575 or

Virginia’s Press • Spring 2014

When the membership of the Virginia Press Association comes together in early April for its 131st meeting, it will vote on a new slate of leadership. The election of officers and directors of the Virginia Press Association/Virginia Press Services Board of Directors for the 2014-15 fiscal year is on the agenda. There are no proposed changes to the bylaws. The following slate of officers has been nominated for election: President: Jay Bondurant, Bedford Bulletin President-Elect: Michael Stowe, The Roanoke Times Vice President: Anne Adams, The Recorder, Monterey Secretary: Marisa Porto, Daily Press, Newport News Treasurer: Steve Weddle, The Central


VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE Presenters Brian Baer Brian Baer is the digital editor at The Free Lance-Star. He oversees the company’s digital content strategy for, and social media. He has worked at The Free Lance-Star since 1996, when he started as a copy editor. He also worked as a reporter. Jay Blankenship Jay Blankenship is the digital manager at BH Media Group’s The Press of Atlantic City, where he is responsible for all digital budgeting/revenue and development of integrated digital solutions. He also is the director of digital sales development at BH Media Group/World Media Enterprise. Prior to that, he was the director of digital sales development with BH Media in the Lynchburg/Danville Market. Prior to joining BH Media, he was a multimedia sales leader with Hibu (formally Yellowbook 360) serving the Roanoke Valley and South Central Virginia. Prior to that, he was a Senior Account Executive with Clear Channel Communications, Marketing Director at The YMCA of Central Virginia and Marketing Director/ General Manager of 15 Jackson Hewitt Franchises. Liz Crider Liz Crider is an affiliate success manager at Second Street. She works with partners to generate revenue with contests, deals and ballots. Prior to joining the Second Street team, Liz worked at two St. Louis broadcast stations

and was responsible for driving revenue with non-traditional marketing efforts. One project included launching the first deals program in the St. Louis market at KSDK in 2005. After leaving ad sales, she worked for four years in direct deal sales and training. Training with media teams included best practices for selling deals, sales tactics, choosing categories and prospecting. Bill Freehling Bill Freehling has worked at newspapers for 12 years following his 2002 graduation from the journalism and mass communication master’s program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He started at the Outer Banks Sentinel in Nags Head, N.C., before moving to the News & Advance in Lynchburg. Since 2004 he has been a staff reporter with The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg. With the FLS he has covered schools, police and courts, and most recently business. He started the Fredericksburg Business Insider e-newsletter in 2011 and continues to serve as the publication’s editor. Jacob Geiger Jacob Geiger is the director, reporter and networker of Work It, Richmond, a digital newsletter that is part of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Before joining the small-business world, he helped get off the ground at the Times-Dispatch. Geiger attended Washington and Lee University, majoring in European History and

journalism. Before coming to Richmond he covered insurance, credit card companies and the Federal Reserve for SNL Financial in Charlottesville. Kim Hanneman Kim Hanneman is the assistant director of career and industry advising at the University Career Center at Virginia Commonwealth University. After a 20-year career primarily in public and investor relations, she enrolled in VCU School of Education’s counselor education program in 2009.  She began her counseling career as a graduate intern in 2010 at the University Career Center at VCU.   Her cumulative experience in six sectors of the economy (small business, government, financial services, manufacturing, technology and higher education) contributes to the advising sessions with students in their career development and with alumni in their career management.  Doug Hiemstra Doug Hiemstra, the president and chief executive officer of World Media Enterprise, oversees the operation of the 28 daily and more than 30 weekly newspapers BH Media Group purchased from Media General last year. BH Media Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Hiemstra also is the chief operating officer of the Omaha World-Herald Co. An Omaha resident for 47 years, Hiemstra joined World Newspapers, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Omaha World

Schedule Friday, April 4 9 a.m., Henrico Ballroom VPA Contest Display Room Setup 11:00 a.m., Capital AB VPA/VPS Board Meeting/Lunch 2:00 – 4:30 p.m., Short Pump A Future for Revenue Matt Lindsay, Mather Economics LLC The changing sources and mix of revenue for the industry are discussed and approaches for growing profits through use of pricing strategies and tactics are described. Case studies from Newspapers will be used to provide examples of effective and profitable revenue growth strategies.

Virginia’s Press • Spring 2014

3 p.m., Henrico Ballroom VPA Contest Display Room Open


5:30 p.m., Room 832 Reception 6:30 – 11:00 p.m., Capital A-D VPA Virginian of the Year/AP Banquet Honoring Col. Porcher L. Taylor, Virginian of the Year

Saturday, april 5 8 a.m. – End of Awards Banquet, Henrico Ballroom VPA Contest Display Room Open

8:30 – 10 a.m., Capital BC Breakfast AP/VPA Business Meeting Speaker: Brian Scanlon, director of Associated Press’ Election services and business products 10 a.m. – noon, Short Pump Panel on Digital Best Practices Moderator: Marisa Porto, Daily Press, Newport News Panelists: Brian Baer and Bill Freehling, The Free Lance-Star; Jacob Geiger, BH Media Group; Karen Morgan, Daily Press How can you best use social media to build a virtual community hangout and drive traffic to your website? How can you generate new ad revenue by delivering content to targeted audiences via email? Hear from newspapers that have successful social media and email product strategies. 12 – 1:45 p.m., Capital BCD VPA Luncheon Speaker: Doug Hiemstra, BH Media Group; Presentation of Lifetime Achievement, Golden 50 and First Amendment Awards 2 – 2:45 p.m., Short Pump Online Promotions, Liz Crider, Secondstreet According to Borrell Associates, online promotions are expected to grow to an $80 billion industry by 2017, which is more than double its current level, while banner and other online advertising are stagnating. Learn how your paper can grab its share of this significant revenue opportunity. You’ll discover how you can build a plan to develop a sustainable revenue stream from contests, ballots, deals, and other promotional opportunities. 3 – 4 p.m. Concurrent Sessions Career Management: It’s Personal!, Capital D Kim Hanneman, Virginia Commonwealth University

Under conditions of uncertainty, there are many career-related issues facing individuals. In this session career management is explored as a personal investment. The session will bolster your awareness of plan B - the most personal career management plan of all. Learning outcomes will address these questions: • Do I need a self-assessment? Which assessments are the most helpful in mid-career? • How do I identify opportunities and developing conceptual pictures? • What does a plan B look like - can a storyboard help? • Resources - how do I take this plan B further? At the end of the session, each participant should be able to know which assessments are most helpful in mid-career, how to identify opportunities, storyboard a version of their own plan B, and know where to go to refine planning strategies. Advertising Online: Sales Basics, Short Pump Jay Blankenship, The Press of Atlantic City New to online advertising or having trouble making the transition from selling print? Then this class is for you! I’ll start with the basics: the lingo, the audience, the approach and then we’ll show you ways to sell more online/digital advertising. I’ll also share how further hone your selling audience vs. selling products skills and understand how to sell across multiple platforms and why it matters. 5 p.m., Capital Foyer Reception & Cash Bar 6 p.m., Capital Ballroom VPA News/Editorial and Advertising Awards Banquet 10 – 1 a.m., Henrico Foyer After Banquet Party Courtesy of the VPA Board of Directors

Matt Lindsay Matt Lindsay is the president of Mather Economics, an economics consultancy in Atlanta. He has worked as an economist for over nineteen years as an industry practitioner of applied economics and as an economic consultant. Prior to Mather Economics, Lindsay worked for Arthur Andersen Business Consulting and as an Economist for United Parcel Service. He has worked with over two hundred publishers, including 13 of the top 25, in the areas of circulation pricing, retention, and customer profitability, and his work has helped generate millions in incremental circulation revenue for his publishing clients. His clients have included several Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries. Karen Morgan Karen Morgan is the deputy assigning editor and digital editor at the Daily Press in Newport News. She has more than 20 years managing the production of a variety of content from news and features in print to websites, social media and online videos. Since moving into this position in August of 2013, she has worked to develop an online community calendar that takes advantage of Cloud technology, to create an online community of bloggers and print contributors at, to create a unified social media strategy, to develop a daily broadcast component known

as DPTV and to continue to help reporters and editors improve on their delivery of SEO-optimum content in the form of stories, photos, photo galleries, blog posts and video. Marisa Porto Veteran journalist and multimedia strategist Marisa Porto joined the Daily Press Media Group in Newport News as managing editor of its digital portfolio in 2009, and was named to the post of vice president of content in January 2011. Since then, she has been responsible for the collection and distribution of both staff-produced news and information and user-generated content across multiple media platforms, including the Daily Press newspaper and specialty print publications, and affiliated websites, mobile and broadcast. She is also a member of the Daily Press Editorial Board, which determines the newspaperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s editorial position on matters of community significance. She also has extensive experience in leadership positions with The News Journal in Wilmington, Del., where she was assistant

managing editor/content; the Ft. Myers, Fla., News-Press, as assistant managing editor/features; and the central Ohio-based Times Recorder and The Tribune, where she served as executive editor. Brian Scanlon Brian Scanlon is the director of APâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s election services and business products. He oversees the operations, sales and marketing for the APâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s elections group and manages the product support for the business and financial news offerings. He joined the AP in 2006 from Ipsos Public Affairs, the polling firm of record for the AP at the time. He has been with the AP for eight years and has more than 20 years of experience in elections and survey research. A graduate of Loyola University, Scanlon was a 2009 Punch Sulzberger Fellow at Columbia Journalism School. The program focuses on the use of journalism values and other critical approaches to help resolve challenges confronting their companies and create longterm performance and change within their organizations.

Sign up now for the Advertising & News Conference April 4-5 2014 VPA/ ASSOCIATED PRESS ADVERTISING & NEWS CONFERENCE

Conference Room Rate $136 Single/Double

Name of Newspaper:

Make your reservations early; contracted rooming block space is limited!

Contact Person:

NOTE: Registration with VPA DOES NOT take care of an overnight room with the hotel; room reservations must be made directly with the hotel by calling:

Email: Mailing Address:

Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa/Short Pump April 4-5, 2014

1 (800) 445-8667 or (804) 364-3600

City, State, Zip: Phone:

Be sure to ask for the VPA conference rate!








By 3/14/14

$55 (New Lower Rate!!) $70




















Conference Registration/ Hotel Reservation Deadline: 30210$5&+ Would you like to pre-order bottles of wine for your table on Saturday night? Contact Kim Woodward, or (804) 521-7574. Deadline to pre-order is March 14, 2014


Total Per Person

(Please print as name should appear on badge)




0DLOIRUPWR Virginia Press Association, 11529 Nuckols Road Glen Allen, VA 23059 Fax: (804) 726-1574

Deadline nears for annual conference early registration The early-registration deadline for the Virginia Press Association annual conference is just a few weeks away. VPA members have until 5 p.m. on March 14 to register for the conference for the new lower rate of $55. After March 14, the price increases to $70. Registration with VPA does not take care of an overnight room with the hotel;  room reservations must be made directly  with the hotel by calling: 1 (800) 445-8667 or (804) 364-3600. A special room rate will be available until March 14, or the group block is sold out. For those who want to be pampered, Aura Spa & Salon at the Richmond Hilton is offering special discount services to VPA members. Would you like to pre-order bottles of wine for your table during the awards banquet Saturday night? Deadline to pre-order is March 14, 2014 For more information, contact Kim Woodward at (804) 521-7574 5 or

Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Press â&#x20AC;˘ Spring 2014

Herald, in 1999 as chief financial officer. Prior to that, he was employed at ASARCO in various positions.

Senate advances bill to study FOIA exemptions A bill that directs the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council to review all 172 exemptions contained in Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act has advanced through both houses of the General Assembly. The Senate on Feb. 25 unanimously approved House Joint Resolution 96 from Del. James M. LeMunyon, R-Fairfax, several days after it received the unanimous support of the Senate Rules Committee. The legislation passed the House of Delegates 91-1 on Feb. 5. “[The resolution] is a directive to the FOIA Council to conduct a checkup on the health

and vitality of Virginia’s FOIA,” said LeMunyon, who also serves as vice-chairman of the FOIA Council. “The General Assembly has made a strong statement about the importance of government transparency and accountability, and the right of citizens and the news media to access government information.” The last substantive review of FOIA law dates back to a resolution passed in 1998, which led to the creation of the FOIA Council in 2000 and a rewrite of FOIA law. Since that review, 70 new exemptions have been written into the law. Virginia Press Association Executive Direc-

tor Ginger Stanley advocated to legislators that the FOIA exemptions needed to be studied and applauded the legislation’s approval. “This is our opportunity to examine each exemption, suggest changes, and work with all stakeholders to produce a more open and better organized law,” said Stanley, who participated in the previous two FOIA studies – one in 1988-89 and again in 1999-2000. Virginia Coalition for Open Government Executive Director Megan Rhyne also expressed support of the legislation. She said that the 2014 General Assembly will be known

«as the body that helped modernize the ethics law and passing this resolution, I think, you›ll also have the opportunity to put your mark on FOIA laws.» The study also instructs the FOIA Council to «examine the organizational structure of FOIA and make recommendations to improve readability and clarity of FOIA.» According to the resolution, the FOIA Council will be required to complete its work by Nov. 30, 2016 and report its findings no later than the first day of the 2017 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

2014 legislative resolutions honor VPA members A number of legislative resolutions honored and memorialized persons and organizations with Virginia Press Association connections: House Bill 364 (Del. Richard L. Anderson), Virginia Press Association House Joint Resolution 82 (Del. Margaret B. Ransone), Celebrating the life of Ruth Jones Herrink. House Joint Resolution 128 (Del. Jennifer L.

McClellan), Commending William C. Hall Jr. House Joint Resolution 223 (Del. David E. Yancey), Celebrating the life of Walter S. Segaloff. House Joint Resolution 265 (Del. Israel D. O’Quinn), Commending Larry Chambers. House Resolution 10 (Del. Richard P. Bell), Celebrating the life of Evarts Walton Opie Jr. House Resolution 12 (Del. Matthew James), Commending the 2014 inductees into the Vir-

ginia Sports Hall of Fame, including David Teel. House Resolution 133 (Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter), Commending Fauquier Times. Senate Joint Resolution 8 (Janet D. Howell), Celebrating the life of William Jarvie Nicoson. Senate Joint Resolution 39 (Sen. Bryce E. Reeves), Celebrating the life of Paul Edward Akers. Senate Joint Resolution 161 (Sen. Jill Holtzman

Virginia Supreme Court rules in favor of The Virginian-Pilot The Supreme Court of Virginia in January upheld a lower court’s ruling that struck down a $3 million libel verdict against Norfolk-based The Virginian-Pilot and is being hailed as a major win for newspapers and journalism. “The decision is a positive step forward for newspapers and should be extremely helpful in future defamation cases that are based on the question of whether the implication could reasonably be found in a news article or story,” said Ginger Stanley, executive director of the Virginia Press Association, which spearheaded a ‘friend of the court’ effort in support of The Pilot.   Phillip D. Webb sued The Pilot for a news article that appeared in 2009 reporting that his son, Kevin Webb, was not disciplined by the school system after an assault on a Chesapeake family. Webb is an assistant principal in the same public school system where his son attended high school. The elder Webb claimed that the article defamed him by suggesting his son re-

ceived little to no discipline because of his position in the school system. He won a $3 million jury verdict, but the presiding judge, Randall D. Smith, struck down the verdict four months later when he said Webb did not produce sufficient evidence to prove actual malice. Webb’s attorney appealed the decision to Virginia’s high court, which decided on Jan. 10 that Smith was correct to strike the verdict. “The article does not create a reasonable implication that Phillip solicited or procured the insinuated special treatment,” Justice William C. Mims wrote in the 10-page opinion. “It does not state or suggest that Phillip undertook any affirmative action to arrange or endorse the school system’s disciplinary response to the incidents.” Attorney Craig T. Merritt, who wrote the amicus brief on VPA’s behalf, said the nine organizations that joined in the effort “performed a real service to all Virginia media outfits.” “In recent years, defamation by implica-

tion claims had been proliferating in Virginia courts,” Merritt said. “The Supreme Court’s opinion gives clearer guidance to trial judges on circumstances where they are empowered to dismiss claims based on strained and implausible interpretations of published material.” Denis Finley, editor of The Pilot, said the Supreme Court’s decision affirms the newspaper’s approach to stories – “That is to put the facts in a story and let the facts speak for themselves.” “It is a decision that affects every journalist in Virginia. It helped clarify the boundaries for defamation by implication,” Finley said. “Obviously, I think it was a very good decision because without this decision it would have made our jobs much tougher.”

Vogel), Celebrating the life of Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr. Senate Resolution 1 (Sen. L. Louise Lucas), Commending the 2014 inductees into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, including David Teel. Senate Resolution 2 (Sen. John C. Miller), Celebrating the life of Walter S. Segaloff. Senate Resolution 39 (Sen. Lynwood W. Lewis Jr.), Celebrating the life of Scott Harper. Here are the Virginia newspapers and media organizations that joined the Virginia Press Association in the amicus brief on behalf of The Pilot: Virginia Press Association The Recorder, Monterey The Free Press, Woodstock LIN Television Corp. d/b/a/ WAVY-TV BH Media Group/Virginia Dailies Richmond Times-Dispatch Bristol Herald Courier The Daily Progress, Charlottesville Culpeper Star-Exponent Danville Register & Bee The News & Advance, Lynchburg Roanoke Times The News Virginian, Waynesboro The Washington Post Virginia Association of Broadcasters Media General Associated Press

Senate panel kills public notice bill Continued from page 1

Virginia’s Press • Spring 2014

to good and open government at all levels.” Paxton told the panel that current law does not prohibit localities from posting legal notices on their websites, or buying air time on radio or television. “This is a bill looking for a problem that doesn’t exist,” he said, noting that his paper’s legal advertisement rate is the lowest ad rate it has.

Sen. Stephen H. Martin, R-Chesterfield, was relentless in his opposition to the bill. He noted that in his district’s rural areas, some people don’t use email while newspapers are thriving. “You are talking about these things that are so very important for our citizens to know about – so important that we put it in law that localities give notice – then we’re going to say that the notice is sufficient to put on the Internet that most citizens don’t even have access to,” he said.

McConnell, Hardy into Hall of Fame Continued from page 1

mond Times-Dispatch for 37 years. He reported on 27 sessions of the General Assembly and was a winner of numerous state and national reporting awards. He traveled to 30 countries covering 15 gubernatorial trade missions to Asia, Africa, Europe and Central America. The Virginia Communications Hall of Fame recognizes communication professionals with exceptional careers in journalism, 6 public relations, advertising and other media

fields. George Crutchfield, founding director of the Robertson School of Media and Culture (formerly the School of Mass Communications) from 1978-1989, launched the organization in 1986. This year’s honorees will be inducted into the 27th anniversary of the Hall of Fame on April 10, 2014 at the John Marshall, bringing the total number of inductees to 151. Tickets are $100 each and can be reserved by calling Lauren Stewart at the Robertson School of Media and Culture at (804) 827-3761.

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MEMBER NEWS AP’s Richmond bureau to move in to Times-Dispatch building The Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Associated Press announced in February that the wire service’s Richmond bureau will move into the newspaper’s downtown headquarters May 1. The AP will occupy space on the first floor of the Times-Dispatch building at 300 E. Franklin St., a press release said. The AP bureau had been at 600 E. Main St. for 10 years. “We are delighted to be moving into the Richmond Times-Dispatch,” Virginia AP Bureau Chief Dorothy Abernathy said in a release. “It’s an attractive, efficient and secure space in a good location for us. And it will be nice to be in an office building with other communications companies.” According to the release, the AP’s move coincides with the Times-Dispatch’s initiative to add entrepreneurs as tenants in a collaborative work zone known as 1E, which is located near the AP’s new location. “Having our friends at the Associated Press move in makes a lot of sense from several angles,” Times-Dispatch Publisher Tom Silvestri said in the release. “Who knows how this will lead to future partnerships when it comes to news coverage.”

The Post’s Barton Gellman was one of four reporters honored with the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting for investigative stories based on top-secret documents disclosed by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. Eli Saslow of The Post received the award for national reporting for six stories exploring the lives of Americans who receive aid from the food stamp program. Rosalind Helderman, Laura Vozzella and Carol Leonnig received an award for political reporting for their work exposing the close relationship between former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and a wealthy businessman that led to calls for tighter disclosure laws and ethics reform in the state.  According to a press release, the George Polk Awards in Journalism are conferred annually to honor special achievement in journalism. The awards, which place a premium on investigative and enterprise reporting that gains attention and achieves results, were established in 1949 by LIU to commemorate George Polk, a CBS correspondent murdered in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war.  The awards will be presented at a luncheon at The Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan Friday, April 11.

Washington Post to make changes, add staff Hiring staff and a redesigned website are on the horizon for the Washington Post, Executive Editor Marty Baron wrote in a memo to newsroom staff that was posted on the newspaper’s website. The publication also will implement a breaking-news desk that will operate from 8 a.m. until midnight, which “will position us to jump on the most captivating stories of the day at lightning speed,” Baron wrote of initiatives coming to the paper this year. The redesigned website “should improve load speeds and navigation while enhancing the overall reader experience,” wrote Baron, who noted called 2014 a year “of impressive investment ... with the primary goals of growth and digital transformation.”

Printing facility at The Coalfield Progress shuts down The printing plant at The Coalfield Progress in Norton shut down in December. “In the end, we concluded that thriving local newspapers are more important than where they are printed,” Publisher and Editor Jenay Tate wrote in an editorial, noting that newspapers have been printed at the facility on Park Avenue since it was built in 1945. “This place has witnessed the days of hot lead, linotype and the flatbed press and the passing of those days into offset printing, film and aluminum press plates,” she wrote. The Coalfield Progress, The Post in Big Stone Gap and The Dickenson Star in Clintwood are now being printed by the Appalachian News-Express in Pikeville, Ky. The decision wasn’t an easy one, Tate noted. Shutting down the press and the mailroom meant losing nine members of the newspaper family, she said. “Despite the pain and sorrow of our loss, we see this move as positioning ourselves for opportunity and better service to our readers and customers,” Tate wrote. “It is shoring up

Washington Post journalists honored Five Washington Post journalists are among the 30 recipients from 15 news organizations to be recognized with George Polk Awards for work done in 2013, Long Island University announced in February.

weaknesses, not bowing to them in defiant resistance to change.” Cavalier Daily effort aims to enhance readers’ engagement with print The Cavalier Daily, the University of Virginia’s independent student newspaper, launched a five-week campaign to raise funds for new distribution boxes.  The 124-year-old publication  aimed to raise $8,000to purchase 75 distribution boxes for placement around the university’s Grounds and the Charlottesville community. Friends of the paper were able to donate money online. As of Feb. 20, the fundraising drive had generated $4,910. This investment will allow the paper, which has a print circulation of 10,000, to triple the number of outdoor locations where readers can find papers. “We know a considerable number of our readers want to read The Cavalier Daily in print,” Editor-in-Chief Kaz Komolafe said in the release. “The success of this campaign would allow us to give our readers what they want.” Fluvanna Review turns 35 The Fluvanna Review, a nearly 6,000-circulation weekly in Fluvanna County, is cele-

brating its 35th anniversary this year. Christina Dimeo Guseman writes in a series on the publication’s history that its beginnings can be traced to a one-page monthly  Residents’ Association News Bulletin that focused on matters of importance to residents of Lake Monticello. In the years since, the name changed several times, the size of the publication grew and the newspaper’s leaders extended the coverage area beyond the Lake Monticello community. In 1997, the publication was renamed the Fluvanna Review. In January 2010, Dave Ress, now a reporter with the Daily Press in Newport News and Carlos Santos, a former reporter with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, bought the Fluvanna Review. Since then, Santos, now the editor and publisher of the Fluvanna Review, developed a website, expanded the free circulation and doubled the number of color pages in the paper, which has won numerous news and ad design awards from the Virginia Press Association. “This is a good paper and I think we’re making it an even better paper for Fluvanna residents,” Santos said. “I don’t think people need to go anywhere else to find out what’s going on in the county.”

OBITUARIES noke Times and the World-News for 20 years. Edward Walsh Edward Walsh, a former Washington Post reporter who covered the Carter White House and served as Jerusalem bureau chief in the 1980s, died Feb. 14 at his home in Portland, Ore. at the age of 71. Walsh spent 33 years at The Post and covered a variety of beats from Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon by Israel. After he returned from Israel in 1985, Walsh reported on every presidential election until his retirement from the post in 2004.

Virginia’s Press • Spring 2014

Oakie Asbury Oakie Asbury, a police officer turned newspaper photographer, died in his sleep at the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Dec. 14. He was 90. Asbury, who grew up in Tazewell County, enlisted in the Coast Guard and served in the Navy as a gunner aboard landing craft during amphibious landings in the Pacific Theater during World War II. In 1958, he joined Times-World Corp. as a photographer and went on to photograph several historic news events in Roanoke, including appearances by President John F. Kennedy and President Richard M. Nixon. He was a staff photographer for The Roa-


ALL ABOUT MEDIA Veteran reporter Travis Fain, who previously covered state government for the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., joined the Daily Press in Newport News to cover state politics and other regional issues. Keely Byars, a veteran newspaper executive, was appointed general manager of The Daily Progress in Charlottesville. She previously served as the general manager of the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa. John Stang, a 2013 graduate of Roanoke College, joined the staff at the Smith Mountain Eagle as a staff writer and page designer. A Kansas native, Stang served as the editor at  Brackety-Ack, the student newspaper at Roanoke College, from 2010-2011. He also worked as a freelance political blogger, writing “Politics Not As Usual.” Bill Endean, a longtime American Hometown Publishing employee, was promoted to general manager of The Coalfield Progress, The Post and The Dickenson Star. The move will allow Editor and Publisher Jenay Tate to refocus her efforts on the editorial side of operations, while Endean will focus on the business side of the organization. Bruce Potter was promoted to chief operating officer of Northern Virginia Media Ser-

vices. He joined the company in April 2012 as regional vice president and previously worked for Richmond-based Media General Inc. for 26 years in a variety of roles. Jeff South, who is an associate professor and director of undergraduate studies at the Virginia Commonwealth University Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture, received a Fulbright grant to teach in China this year. He currently is teaching data journalism and social/mobile media journalism at Northeast Normal University in Changchun through July.  Paul Whelan was named editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch website, He joined the Times-Dispatch in 2000 as a page designer and has held numerous positions in the newsroom since that time, including Weekend section editor, deputy features editor, deputy presentation editor and design team leader. Brent Renken, most recently the director of retail sales at the Arkansas DemocratGazette in Little Rock, Ark., was named the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s director of advertising sales. He will be responsible for leading the company’s local sales teams. David Kirkman has been promoted to the

People, events in the news Richmond Media Group’s vice president of audience services. Previously the director of circulation and distribution, Kirkman also is responsible for distribution of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and numerous other publications, such as The Wall Street Journal. Rick Thornton, who was the vice president of audience and content development, was named Richmond Media Group’s leader for strategic initiatives. In his new role, Thornton will oversee the RMG Digital Group, which sets digital strategy and carries out plans aimed at increasing the organization’s audience and revenue. The digital team supports both and, as well as the Richmond Suburban News sites. Mike Harris, sports editor of The Washington Times, and David Teel, a sports columnist with the Daily Press in Newport News, were honored by the National Sportscaster and Sportswriters Association. Harris was named the organization’s District of Columbia Sportswriter of the Year, while Teel was named the Virginia Sportswriter of the Year. It is the first award for Harris and the seventh for Teel. Campbell “Pee Wee” Overton worked

his final shift at The Farmville Herald on New Year’s Eve, retiring after 60 years of employment with the twice-weekly publication. Overton, a member of the Virginia Press Association Golden 50 Club, directed the operation of the press for years as well as doing much of the paste-up of stories, photographs and other content onto the pages. The Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech hired Michelle Sutherland as its new advertising adviser.  She is a recent Virginia Tech graduate who has been with EMCVT in a variety of roles since 2011 and is the former director of advertising for College Media Solutions and editor-in-chief of the Collegiate Times. Ravi Nessman, who has covered and led award-winning news stories in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the United States, has been named The Associated Press’ deputy editor for the U.S. South region, overseeing coverage from 13 states, including Virginia, and the District of Columbia. He was the South Asia bureau chief from 2009 until 2013, when he left to become a Nieman fellow at Harvard University, where he has been studying the role of poverty and religion in modern society.

Free Lance-Star to continue operations during bankruptcy A federal judge ruled in January that Fredericksburg-based The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co. can continue its normal business operations as it restructures in bankruptcy court. The publishing company on Jan. 23 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Virginia. The next court hearing was scheduled for Feb. 27. Restructuring likely means the end of the company’s ownership by the Rowe family, which has operated the newspaper for more than a century. The Free Lance-Star traces its

roots to The Daily Star, which was first published in Fredericksburg in 1869, and The Free Lance newspaper, which was first published in 1885. The two publications merged in 1900 and continued to be published independently until 1926 when they were combined into a single, six-day-a-week newspaper: The Free Lance-Star. The company expanded into radio broadcast in the 1960s. Free Lance-Star reporter Bill Freehling reported that during a four-hour bankruptcy hearing on Jan. 24, the newspaper’s publisher,

Veteran reporter publishes first book

Virginia’s Press • Spring 2014

Joseph Macenka was looking for what he called a “worthwhile, redeeming book project.” He found it at the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center at McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in south Richmond.  Two years of work on the project resulted in “Hope Emerges,” which details the story of wounded soldiers and the staff members who help them heal at the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center.  “It puts a human face on some genuine heroes,” said Macenka, a cops and courts reporter with the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “We don’t often hear about what happens to our wounded service personnel when they return home, and we certainly don’t hear about the people who help them find a new normal.”  Macenka has more than 35 years of experience in the news business, including sixteen years working with the Associated Press. He has covered a wide variety of topics: from the world’s largest death-row prison escape, to the Virginia Tech mass shooting, to the Olympics and the NFL.  In 2009, Macenka’s three-part series about 8

the shooting death of a Virginia Commonwealth University student was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. The 370-page “Hope Emerges” was published Feb. 5 with  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform and is available for purchase on The book was listed on the online retailer’s “Hot New Releases” list.  One of the heroes readers will meet in “Hope Emerges” is Jon McHenry, who suffered multiple injuries when an improvised explosive device rocked the armored personnel vehicle he was driving in Afghanistan. Another is Ajit Pai, the director of the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center.  “The folks at McGuire’s polytrauma unit have a well-deserved reputation in the military healthcare system for taking the worst of the worst cases and working miracles with them,” Macenka said. “To be able to spend time with them, to chronicle their amazing feats, was truly humbling.”

Nicholas J. Cadwallender, told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin R. Huennekens that the company has been a key part of the local community for more than a century and said it was crucial for all parties involved that normal business operations continue. Cadwallender is also president of the Virginia Press Association board of directors. The bankruptcy filing stems from a $50.8 million loan the company took out from BB&T to build its new “state-of-the-art” printing press, Print Innovators, as part of a plan to diversify its business, according to court records. Newspaper officials point out in the filing that the building of the facility coincides with the worst recession since the Great Depression. The company continued to make payments on the debt but became non-compliant

with loan covenants due to the impact of declining advertising revenue. Efforts to become compliant with the loan covenants, including reductions in personnel, were not successful. The newspaper also attempted refinancing and sought buyers. In late June 2013, the loan was bought by Sandton Capital Partners. According to the filing, Sandton informed the newspaper that it wanted the Free LanceStar to file for bankruptcy. The Free LanceStar owes Sandton $38 million from that loan to build that printing facility. Virginia Press Association Executive Director Ginger Stanley is optimistic about the Free Lance-Star’s future. “The community needs that paper and I feel confident the paper will survive this,” she said.

(Above) Flynn Kern, left, and John Strader of BH Media’s Central Virginia Weekly Group begin to judge a category in the Georgia Press Association advertising contest. (Left) Steve Detwiler of The Journal Press in King George, left, and Billy Towler of the Daily Press in Newport News, judge a category in the Georgia Press Association advertising contest at Virginia Press Association Headquarters.

Virginia's Press, Spring 2014  
Virginia's Press, Spring 2014