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THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER Vol. 97, No. 9 September 2012

Journal of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington •

For the 125th time: Plan to make history

Members to gather in Yakima to toast history, shape future


ashington Newspaper Publishers Association’s 125th Annual Convention, a celebration of Washington newspapers and all the people who have produced them every week, 52 weeks a year, is just four weeks away. We’ll toast our founding members and distribute the WNPA 125th anniversary publication at

Thursday’s opening reception at Gilbert Cellars, 5-7 p.m. in downtown Yakima. Plan to meet and mingle with colleagues, convention sponsors and candidates for statewide office. At the Red Lion Hotel-Yakima Center, Friday’s annual membership breakfast will be followed by Rick Farrell’s keynote address on strengthening customer relationships throughout your community. Farrell, president of Tangent Knowledge See WNPA, page 5


Sept. 6: Early bird registration closes Sept. 13: Final registrations due Opening reception registration due Hotel reservation deadline, call (800) 733-5466 or (509) 248-5900 Sept 21: Deadline to reserve ONAC appt. time Sept 27-29: 125th Annual WNPA Convention Registration details at


Denny Waller

Christine Fossett

Laframboise CEO Waller plans to retire

Chronicle publisher promoted as firm’s president and COO The Chronicle, Centralia


ennis Waller, the CEO and president of Lafromboise Communications Inc., has announced he will retire at the end of August. “I don’t look at this as a retirement from life — it’s just a change of careers,” said Waller, 69, who has written a memoir and will become a full-time author. “I don’t believe retirement is healthy. I think you have to go from one passion to another.” Waller grew up in a newspaper family and later went on to manage five different newspapers, so much of his life has been consumed by the written word. “What I didn’t realize was how much I enjoy writing when it’s for me,” he said. “Now I’m going to write for myself.” Twenty years ago Waller was recruited to work as the publisher of the Chronicle. Last year he was promoted to president and CEO and, along with the Chronicle, also oversees the Nisqually Valley News, the Battleground Reflector, the See WALLER, page 2

On the first day of school at Methow Valley Elementary, kindergartner Eligh Lane of Twisp, already engrossed in coloring, says one last goodbye to his little brother, Landyn, who is reluctant to go home without him. The photo earned a second place award in the 2011 Better Newspaper Contest in the Color Feature Photo category, circulation Group II, for Sue Misao and the Methow Valley News, Twisp. Winners in the 2012 contest will be announced at the Sept. 28 awards dinner during the WNPA convention at Red Lion Hotel-Yakima Center.

Sue Misao/ Methow Valley News, Twisp

Postal commission approves Valassis deal Newspaper Association of America


he Newspaper Association of America was stunned by the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission’s decision Aug. 23 to approve an anti-competitive and damaging negotiated services agreement (or special contract rate) between the U.S. Postal Service and Valassis Direct Mail. “NAA believes this decision is contrary to law, and will challenge it immediately and

vigorously in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,” said NAA Chairman James M. Moroney III, CEO and publisher of the Dallas Morning News. Prior to the decision, NAA and its members called on Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe to acknowledge the overwhelming opposition expressed by the newspaper industry and others in the mailing community during this proceeding, and urged him to withdraw this special deal that

benefits only one mailer. As NAA’s comments filed with the PRC noted, granting this special rate to one major competitor in the mailing business will cause significant financial harm to newspapers throughout the country, and will not improve the financial condition of the nation’s postal system. “In reaching this decision, the Postal Regulatory Commission ignored the many compelling comments it received objecting to a pro-

foundly anti-competitive proposal,” said Caroline H. Little, NAA president and CEO. “In fact, the Public Representative appointed by the Commission itself to represent the views of the general public pointed out that this is the ‘first NSA that is designed to manipulate prices and to alter the balance of market forces.’ The Public Representative also said that ‘this NSA as currently structured is a lose-lose proposition

See POSTAL, page 2




Don’t ask me to leave when I’m representing the public


’m more likely to attend a government meeting when someone announces that it will be closed to the public. Like in mid-August when a working group of the Pierce County Council was planning to meet in secret with county Sheriff Paul Pastor. There seemed to be no reason to close it except that the three council members wanted to have a frank discussion with Pastor about rising jail overtime costs and delays in hiring new street deputies. I agree that it would be easier, and maybe more productive, to talk with Pastor in secret. But democracy isn’t supposed to be easy or convenient for the elected officials. It is supposed to be available for the residents and taxpayers to watch. Oftentimes, those residents and taxpayers are busy, so we watch for them. I showed up a few minutes before the meeting was to start. Pastor was there, as was Undersheriff Eileen Bisson.

County budget officials were invited, as was a representative of County Executive Pat McCarthy. But when the three members of the task force Peter arrived, I was Callaghan The News asked to leave. Tribune I did. Tacoma Eventually. But first I wanted to know why they thought they could close the meeting and why they would want to – elected sheriff, elected council members, important issues of interest to the public. Pastor has blamed the increased overtime on more mentally ill inmates at the jail. Council members say residents are demanding more street deputies. Councilmen Roger Bush and Dan Roach both said they thought the meeting could be closed because its three members make up less than a quorum

of the seven-member council. It should be closed, Bush said, to foster communication between the council and sheriff. Before I left, I asked the third task force member, Rick Talbert, if he thought the meeting should be closed. He didn’t and left in protest. The size of the work group, appointed by council Chairwoman Joyce McDonald, appears designed so as not to trigger the open meetings requirement. Roach’s regular committee – Public Safety and Human Services, which is subject to open meetings rules – already covers the subject matter assigned to the work group. Roach said that committee meets quarterly with the sheriff, and he thought more frequent and less formal meetings would be helpful. Later, in a phone conversation, Roach said he thought an open meeting would not be productive, comparing it to a reality TV show in which everyone starts acting for the cameras.

Free from such temptations, Roach said Pastor explained the difficulties in hiring qualified deputies. And the sheriff told the council members that he was concerned about hiring new deputies when the county is facing another round of cuts. Roach said he tried to assure Pastor that the council would “have his back” on those issues and that Pastor left the meeting more comfortable with committing to new hires. All that could have been said in an open meeting. And the council members are misinformed if they think they can form a smaller group and escape requirements of openness. The state open meetings law covers the council as a whole as well as “any committee thereof when the committee acts on behalf of the governing body, conducts hearings, or takes testimony or public comment.” A quorum of such a subgroup is a majority of the members of the subgroup, not a majority of the entire council.

Tim Ford, the open government ombudsman for the State Attorney General’s Office, said the courts have applied a fourpart test to determine whether a subgroup is covered by open meetings and open records laws. The so-called Telford test asks, 1) whether the group performs a government function, 2) what is the level of government funding, 3) what is the extent of government involvement, and 4) whether it was created by the government. The task force was created by the chair of the council, and it has a function of meeting with the sheriff and working out conflicts over the budget. Roach said he will report back to the entire council and that he and Bush were able to reassure Pastor as to the council’s intentions toward his budget. “Using the Telford test, it sounds like they are covered, and the meeting should have been open,” Ford said.

Serving the public while protecting the accused

Officers: President: Jana Stoner, Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Cle Elum l First Vice President: Bill Forhan, NCW Media, Leavenworth l Second Vice President: Keven Graves, Nisqually Valley News, Yelm l Past President: Paul Archipley, Edmonds Beacon, Mukilteo Beacon l Secretary: Bill Will, WNPA, Seattle Trustees: Mike Dillon, Pacific Publishing Co., Seattle l Josh Johnson, Liberty Lake Splash, Liberty Lake l Eric LaFontaine, Othello Outlook l Imbert Matthee, Waitsburg Times l Lori Maxim, Sound Publishing l Stephen McFadden, RitzvilleAdams County Journal l Fred Obee, Port Townsend Leader Staff: Executive Director: Bill Will l Editor/Manager of Member Services: Mae Waldron

Officers: President: W. Stacey Cowles, The Spokesman-Review l Vice President: Mike Shepard, Seattle Times Company Board: Rufus Friday, Tri-City Herald l Jill Mackie, The Seattle Times l Dennis Waller, Chronicle, Centralia Executive Director: Rowland Thompson THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER is the official publication of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. It is published monthly by WNPA, 12354 30th Ave NE, Seattle WA 98125, phone (206) 6343838. Email:; URL:, in conjunction with Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington, P.O. Box 29, Olympia, WA 98507, (360) 943-9960. Email:


hen courts withhold public access to certain police or other records before trials – particularly high-profile ones – the reasoning generally reflects a desire to preserve the suspect’s right to a fair trial. No quarrel here with a fair trial. But there’s an underlying assumption in such judicial decisions that doesn’t recognize what the nation’s Founders knew all too well: Transparency in court proceedings also serves to protect the rights of the accused and of the public. There’s where the First Amendment rub occurs with decisions to keep such records closed. The issue comes to mind with the Aug. 15 ruling by the judge in the Colorado theater shooting to keep secret some documents, including the arrest affidavit documenting specific charges, during the pre-trial period for suspect James Holmes. Holmes was arrested July 20, minutes after a midnight shooting spree in Aurora, Colo., that left 12 people killed and 58 wounded. Police have said that in addition to the weapons Holmes was carrying when arrested, they found other guns and explosives in his apartment. Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester agreed to release some routine documents and initial pleadings, in response to a petition by 21 news outlets, as well as a list of other documents filed. But a range of other records, including the key affidavits, will not be disclosed before trial. We don’t know whether they’ll be referred to during trial.


Why might it be important for such documents to be made public before trial? Because although most Americans rightly assume the justice system has only the highest motives, public officials may not always live up to those Gene standards. In a case like Policinski this, there is usually pres- vice president/ sure for a quick arrest, executive director, a desire to assure local First Amendment residents that the danger has passed – and, as in this Center instance, to assure the nation that no terrorist threat was involved. Those pressures and more are not new. In the so-called “Atlanta child murders” more than 30 years ago, Wayne Williams was convicted of multiple slayings and a city was assured that a predatory monster was behind bars. But critics complained that the investigation was flawed and ended too soon with Williams’ arrest, that it ignored a range of older victims killed in similar circumstances, and that Williams must have had accomplices – but no one else was charged. In other cases, particularly in police shootings involving minorities, lingering suspicions about motives or bias are not the concern of trial judges or attorneys, but need to be addressed in the court of public opinion. When the Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791, the requirements for public trials and proper procedure were not just legal

niceties. England’s “Star Chamber” court (abolished 1641), with its secret trials and arbitrary justice in defense of the Crown, was little more than a century past. The Sixth Amendment is full of rights to ensure fair trials. Yes, it may be more difficult to impanel an impartial jury with a well-informed public – but it is also more difficult to create a defendant-of-convenience, or to hide political motives or to cover up investigatory gaffes. There’s more than morbid curiosity or commercial gain behind news media requests for full disclosure – there’s the watchdog role that the First Amendment requires of a free press. In our social-media society, closing records and ordering participants not to speak openly doesn’t protect the facts, it just encourages wider speculation. And for defendants such as Holmes – in cases where conviction would seem assured – that watchdog role should serve to ensure no corners cut, no assumptions made. Then the public’s needs are served in a rigorous system that requires the state to prove its case. Full disclosure of information should not be a shortcut to an assumption of guilt. Rather, it should mean both public confidence in the court proceedings and another layer of protection for the accused. Gene Policinski is senior vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Ave. S., Nashville, Tenn., 37212. Web: E-mail: gpolicinski@


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Chronicle’s Printing Division and Sign Pro. The current Chronicle publisher, Christine Fossett, 50, has been promoted by the Lafromboise Communications Inc.’s board of directors to become president and chief operating officer of the company. She will also continue as publisher of the Chronicle. Waller said he’s proud Fossett has been named his successor. “I would not be able to retire comfortably if it were not for the fact that Christine is so qualified to assume leadership of Lafromboise,” he said. “She and her excellent

senior management team are the strongest leadership group I’ve experienced in my career.” Fossett said Waller has been an impressive leader. “He’s been a stellar boss,” she said. “He always makes an effort to lead with firmness but kindness.” Jenifer Lafromboise Falcon, who owns Lafromboise Communications Inc., said Waller’s strong tradition of journalism, community leadership and dedication has set him apart from his peers in the newspaper industry. “On behalf of the Lafromboise family, I would

like to thank Denny for his vision, loyalty and hard work. We wish him all the best in health and happiness as he starts this new chapter in his life,” Lafromboise Falcon said. Waller said he’s had a wonderful 20 years and will continue to live in Chehalis and be active in the community. “I’m convinced without a doubt that this paper will continue to be a good paper,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how many times a week it’s published — it depends on the quality of the work.”

from page 1 for both the newspaper industry and the Postal Service.’ “The nation’s newspapers and the Postal Service share a long history of working together to keep Americans informed and connected with one another,” Little added. “The Postal Service should focus on cutting costs and getting the mail delivered on time – and not on using rates to confer a significant and unwarranted advantage on one competitor at the expense of an entire industry. This special arrangement calls into question whether the Postal Service should offer these types of deals in the first place.”





RCFP posts guide for FOIA requests Mayor’s protest Committee’s effort seeks to empower individual journalists

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press


he Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has launched a comprehensive, online guide to appealing federal Freedom of Information Act requests that will help journalists navigate the administrative process more effectively on their own. “We based the guide on some of the most common FOIA questions we hear from journalists around the country, both through our legal hotline and in conversation at media events,” said Reporters Committee FOI Director Mark Caramanica, who developed the guide in collaboration with Reporters


Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press online FOIA guide: Committee Jack Nelson FOI Fellow You-Jin Han. “It will be particularly useful to independent journalists and those at news organizations who don’t have ready access to legal counsel to help file appeals.” The entire Federal FOIA Appeals Guide is available free on the Reporters Committee website. It serves as a companion to the popular Federal Open Government Guide, also available free online. The appeals guide opens with an overview of the federal FOIA appeals process, then drills down

to the specifics of each of the nine exemptions. The guide also provides tips on challenging agencies’ adverse determinations on procedural points such expedited review, fees, excessive delays and responses such as “no records” or “not an agency record.” It also examines software and copyright issues, the Privacy Act, and options before litigation, such as utilizing the Office of Government Information Services. As an additional resource, the guide links to sample appeals letters drafted by leading media lawyers, as well as to customizable templates for drafting requests and appeals. Research and production of the Federal Freedom of Information Act Appeals Guide was made possible by a grant from the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

Committee selects new executive director

Dalglish resigns to lead journalism school in Maryland

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press


he steering committee of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has selected Bruce D. Brown, a former journalist and most recently a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Baker & Hostetler, as the organization’s new executive director. “Bruce brings precisely the right combination of skills and experience to lead the Reporters Committee and to widen its reach within the ever-expanding universe of news

media,” said Steering Committee Chairman Tony Mauro, Supreme Court correspondent for The National Law Journal/ALM. “As a former reporter, Bruce knows Bruce D. and shares the Brown values of freedom of the press and sunshine in government that are essential to our profession and to the Reporters Committee’s mission. As a highly respected media lawyer, he has been a strong advocate for the principles that benefit journalists of all kinds,” Mauro added. “Bruce is also the right person to help build a strong financial base that will enable the Reporters Committee to thrive far

into the future.” Brown, who begins his tenure Sept. 10, was nominated by a search committee of journalists, media lawyers, foundation officials and educators from Lucy more than 50 candi- Dalglish dates who applied or were nominated for the job. He succeeds Lucy A. Dalglish, who left the Reporters Committee after 12 years as executive director to become dean of the Philip Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Legal Defense Director Gregg P. Leslie served as acting executive director in the interim.

Selah official charged in theft of records

Interim city manager to stay on job; attorney vows retaliatory suits Yakima Herald-Republic


rank Sweet will keep his post as the interim city manager in Sunnyside in the wake of his arrest for allegedly stealing and destroying public records at his former job in Selah, accusations his attorney called “ridiculous” and “politically motivated.” The Sunnyside City Council met Aug. 15 but took no action to replace Sweet, saying he is innocent until proven guilty. He will work for the city from home. “The council’s pretty solidly behind Frank,” said Mayor Mike Farmer. Sweet, 64, was arrested Aug. 13, hours after the Sunnyside City Council agreed to offer him the permanent job of city manager, a post he has held on an interim basis since March after the surprise retirement of his predecessor. He had not yet agreed on a contract. The arrest came after a lengthy investigation by police, outside experts and with the assistance of the county prosecutor. According to a probable cause affidavit, Selah police allege Sweet systemically deleted or moved public records, including dozens of emails, belonging to the city in his last week on the job that he held for 20 years. The affidavit also says an outside

auditor for the city concluded a user named “fsweet” had moved 42 city documents to a thumb drive over an 18-month period dating to July 2010, half of which are now missing. A search of his home on Aug. 13 turned up the missing laptop, a hard drive and city documents, according to police allegations. Farmer learned of Sweet’s arrest the morning of Aug. 14 and called the following day’s special City Council meeting to discuss whether to appoint a replacement. Council members emerged from a 30-minute executive session behind closed doors saying they did not have enough information to take any action. “There’s a lot that we don’t know,” said Councilman Jason Raines in an interview after the meeting. The council plans to wait at least until formal charges are filed in Yakima County Superior Court, they said. Sweet’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 21. Sweet was unavailable for comment, but his attorney Tyler Firkins, a lawyer with Van Siclen, Stocks and Firkins in Auburn, said he is confident charges will be dismissed and that they likely will file a civil lawsuit for unlawful search and seizure, unlawful arrest and breach of contract against the city of Selah. Firkins said, for example, that Selah employee policy calls for deleting emails every two weeks. “Frank was doing nothing more than complying with the city’s policy

on retention,” Firkins said. Also, emails are backed up on the city server anyway, he said. “This is how ridiculous this is,” Firkins said. Sweet and Firkins both spoke to Farmer by phone. Farmer said the city staff could operate without the manager at City Hall for a few weeks if needed. Council members have said before they are generally pleased with Sweet’s performance as city manager, a position that has seen ample turnover in recent years. In January, Sweet resigned from his Selah job after Mayor John Gawlik made it clear publicly he wanted to replace him. In March, then Sunnyside City Manager Mark Gervasi announced plans to retire but offered to stay until the city found a permanent replacement. In a 5-2 vote, the City Council opted to hire Sweet anyway. Council member Theresa Hancock opposed the decision at the time, saying she was impressed by Sweet’s application but thought it was unfair to Gervasi and wanted more time to vet Sweet. The hiring had “been pushed through a little too rapidly for my taste,” she said at the time. Aug. 15, however, she stood firm with the council, deferring comments to Farmer.

scuttles meeting to fill 911 post Skagit Valley Herald, Mount Vernon


lected officials planned to meet in private Aug. 8 to talk about the qualifications of four finalists for the Skagit Council of Governments executive director position. Instead, Sedro-Woolley Mayor Mike Anderson accused the group of holding an illegal meeting and left the room to call his city attorney. It was déjà vu for Anderson, because he said the same group of elected officials tried to have another illegal, private meeting to discuss the qualifications for the new 911 director post. Anderson said proper notice was not given for that meeting, either. After much debate, that meeting, which was held at the end of a SCOG meeting in August, was postponed until proper notice could be given. “Today I looked at the door (where a notice should have been posted) and thought ‘Here we go again,’” Anderson said of the SCOG meeting. “I couldn’t believe it happened again.” For a year and a half, the regional planning agency has been without an executive director. Last month, members of the public met the four candidates who are up for the position. Many members of SCOG seemed frustrated with Anderson’s protest. “We’ve gone through the process, all we’re doing is making an offer,” said Anacortes Mayor Dean Maxwell. “If we set a salary that’s an action of the board,” said Jim Cook, a Skagit Public Utility District board member and vice chairman of SCOG. Maxwell said the salary range for the post is $80,000 to $95,000. Chairman Ramon Hayes, who also is the mayor of La Conner, left the meeting to consult with SCOG interim director James Mastin, and said, “Let’s stop making excuses and get this done,” as he walked out the door. Cook said he wanted to do things “by the book,” but some grumbled that Anderson was holding up a process that had already lasted for several months. Some made light of the situation to pass the time, like Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Chairman Brian Cladoosby, who quipped: “Why is it when I show up, something’s illegal? Something’s fishy.” Claddosby, a SCOG board member, was referring to an Olympia-based website’s false report last month that he was poaching salmon. At the gathering, Cladoosby also handed out sides of frozen red salmon to elected officials that he jokingly said had been poached from the Baker River. Cook, also joking, added that Cladoosby did not report his catch. Anderson returned to the room and said the city attorney, Eron Berg, told him the press had to be notified 24 hours before the meeting, and that wasn’t done. In addition, Anderson said a notice should have been posted outside the hearing room. That didn’t happen, either. Anderson said because he’s not the SCOG chairman, “It’s not my job to (check) every meeting that SCOG does and make sure it’s done right. Unless they want to make me the sunshine police. I’ll do that.” Anderson left the meeting in protest and said he didn’t want to pay a $100 fine for violating the state open meetings law. Mastin said he was to blame for the lack of timely public notice. “It just slipped my mind,” Mastin said. Hayes re-entered the room, thanked the officials for coming, and said the meeting was rescheduled to the following week during the regular SCOG meeting. “You ever wonder how we get anything done in the United States at all,” Maxwell said. “That’s why we’re in trouble, Dean,” Cook said.




Eyeshades to iPads: Faster, smaller and safer machines


Retired publisher, Waitsburg Times


e (editorial “we” that is) note a considerable span of both time and technique between a green eyeshade and an Apple iPad. At a meeting of the Waitsburg Commercial Club this year, publishers past and present depicted the methods of production of two distinct eras. Arriving in this unique village in 1963 with the intent to purchase the Waitsburg Times, we found a very disciplined gent who was in charge of all mechanical operations. Center of the production universe was an Intertype installed in 1928, with three main magazines and one side magazine. Vital to this “hot metal” shop was a lard rendering pot heated by stove oil. An operating thermometer consisted of a folded piece of newsprint dipped in the molten mix of lead, antimony and tin. A discerning eye could tell whether the temperature was adequate for casting mats or pouring pigs.

Every item in the newspaper was either a cast line of characters or was hand set from a California job case. Ads came in the form of cardboard mats or thongs, and these had to be poured by hand into a casting box with a ladle. One had to be careful that the metal was not hot enough to scorch the mat and ruin the plate. Monday afternoon was ad-selling time. Tuesday morning was casting time, with typesetting at the Intertype interspersed throughout the day and often the night. Newspaper printing was done on a very substantial Miehle 35x45 press, which had a distinctive sound as it ran because the bed, which contained the composed pages, had to be stopped and reversed on each revolution of the cylinder. The press feeder stood on a platform and fed each sheet into the guides. These guides would lift as the cylinder grippers took the

sheet through the printing cycle and delivered it to the finished pile at the end of the press. Each run at that time took two hours. After the sheets came off the press they were fed into a massive knife folder, which delivered them as a quarter-fold product. The press could print four pages at a time. An eightpage paper meant four hours of press time; that translated into 12 minutes after we converted to offset.

Publishing a hot metal paper was a lot of work. But in those days, before the shift to TV and other media, each weekly was blessed with substantial advertising from the banks, the power company, the telephone company and other businesses that considered our newspaper a vital communications tool. After press day, the facility then converted into a job shop and Thursday, Friday and Saturday were job printing days. Our primo annual job was the racing programs, which we printed from scratch during the two racing days (The Days of Real Sport) in May. That gave our faithful crew an all-night exercise in patience and perseverance. Since all weeklies were produced using these same methods, we had a wonderful camaraderie among those who understood the efforts, the frustration and the satisfaction. Amid all the abovedescribed physical exertions was

the need to attend meetings, write news stories, pen editorials and try to be a force in shaping the community. Over the years we went through the steps of change. We equipped one Intertype with a Teletypesetter unit and then upgraded that operation with a Justape Jr. to assure proper line lengths. I remember talking to Shelton publisher Henry Gay over the phone one day in the 1970s. He could hear the Intertype noise in the background. He asked me to hold the phone up next to the machine so he could hear that sound, which was so distinctive in hot metal and was lost forever in cold type. We transitioned to offset in 1975 and went through a series of Compugraphics before we converted to desktop computing with pagination. It has been a great journey, and I wanted to share just a bit of history with a generation that will most probably see the last of paper newspapers and the complete conversion to digital and electronic publication.

Sound taps Coupeville’s Pierzga for community publisher role

Former Examiner owner given reins to four publications Whidbey Examiner, Coupeville


oupeville resident Kasia Pierzga has been named publisher of Whidbey Island’s three community newspapers, the Whidbey NewsTimes, South Whidbey Record and the Whidbey Examiner. She also serves as publisher of the Whidbey Crosswind, a monthly publication that targets Whidbey Island’s many military veterans. “I am thrilled to have Kasia as publisher of our team,” said Lori Maxim Vice President of West Sound Operations for Sound Publishing, Inc. “We talked with many people in the community and came to the conclusion that Kasia is the right person to lead Whidbey’s community newspapers,” Maxim said. “Her passion for producing quality newspapers and her connection to the Whidbey Island community made her a great fit.” Pierzga said she’s excited about the opportunity to build on the success of Whidbey Island’s community newspapers. “I’m happy to work with such a talented and dedicated staff that turns out award-winning newspapers that have a loyal readership

throughout Whidbey Island,” she said. For the past six years, Pierzga has been editor and ownerKasia publisher of Pierzga the Whidbey Examiner, an independent newspaper with a 17-year history in Coupeville, the Island County seat. She sold the Examiner to Sound Publishing in June. Pierzga was hired to fill the publisher position previously held for the past 18 years by Marcia Van Dyke, who accepted a position at the Olympian. In addition to a background in news reporting and editing, Pierzga also has a background in marketing and public relations, including a stint as the communications director for the Association of Washington Business, Washington’s chamber of commerce. Originally from Annapolis, Md., Pierzga has lived in Washington since 1992. Her first reporting job was at the Whidbey News-Times from 1992-95, and she returned to Whidbey in 2006 when she purchased the Examiner. Pierzga said she is proud of the role Whidbey’s newspapers play in the community.

“Newspapers are key to the continued health of our democratic system of government,” she said. “They’re a community forum in which local residents can air their concerns, as well as a powerful driver for the economy and the most effective

way for businesses to advertise and build revenue.” Together, the Whidbey NewsTimes, South Whidbey Record, Whidbey Examiner and Whidbey Crosswind reach a combined circulation of 36,262 readers in print, and an additional 91,945

unique visitors readers via the newspapers’ websites. Sound Publishing is the largest community newspaper group in the Pacific Northwest, owning and operating 52 publications with a combined circulation of more than 730,000.





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Systems, Chicago, has 25 years experience in sales and business development and a new book, “Selling has Nothing to do with Selling.” His previous clients include Inland Press and a number of other associations, as well as Fortune 500 and start-up companies. The presentations that follow cover topics important to newspaper staffs every day — from postal issues and public records requests to generating new business, shooting great photos and designing fresh pages. Targeted particularly for publishers are sessions on multi-generational staffs and other human resource issues. During Friday’s breakfast members will vote in new trustees and, at the awards luncheon, witness the installation of officers. Outgoing past president, Paul Archipley of Beacon Publishing, Mukilteo, will join the WNPA Foundation board for a threeyear term. WNPA President Jana Stoner of the Northern Kittitas County Tribune in Cle Elum will become past president. Bill Forhan of NCW Media, Leavenworth, will advance to FIND YOUR 25-HOUR DAY

My 50 years on 15 small publications can help you: • sell more ads & subs • simplify operations • avoid bricks through your window • start/improve your website

Jay Becker

Community Consulting - (206) 790-9457

Lutheran University. Winners of more than 600 awards in the Better Newspaper Contest will Paul Jana Bill Keven Bill be announced Archipley Stoner Forhan Graves Will at the BNC the presidential office. the 2012 Miles Turnbull Master Awards Dinner, with a special Second vice president Keven Editor/Publisher and Walter C. anniversary reception following. Graves of the Nisqually Valley Woodward Freedom’s Light News, Yelm, will become first awards, and an honorary Life Registration details vice president. Also at the Membership to Cliff Rowe, Hotel reservations could be luncheon, Bill Will, WNPA longtime WNPA Foundation ditight, so don’t miss the Sept. executive director, will present rector who retired from Pacific

13 deadline; ask for the WNPA group rate of $104.95 single, $114.95 double. Schedule, registration and hotel information are online at WNPA staff and trustees extend thanks to Nicole Kiourkas of the Nisqually Valley News, Yelm, for designing this year’s convention brochure. WNPA will celebrate its 126th anniversary in Oct. 3-5, 2013, in Olympia. Questions? Contact Mae Waldron, or (206) 634-3838 ext. 2.

Help young journalists start careers in community journalism More than 100 journalism students have won WNPA Foundation Internship Scholarships since 1989. The internship introduces them to community journalism with real-world experience that can further their careers. Some of these scholarships are supported by endowments from past publishers, but many are funded by the Foundation’s annual auction. Support these opportunities for the next generation with your donations to the auction. Bring items to be auctioned to the 125th Annual WNPA Convention, or deliver to WNPA. Contact Mae Waldron, mwaldron@

2012 Foundation Intern Heather Perry, a Pacific Lutheran University senior, interned this summer at the Puyallup Herald and the Peninsula Gateway in Gig Harbor.

2012 Foundation Intern Mary Jean Spadafora, a 2012 University of Washington graduate, interned this summer at the Bellevue Reporter and Issaquah/ Sammamish Reporter.

Bring a donation to the WNPA Foundation Auction - - - - Advertising- - - -


 

Name ____________________________________________________ Help young journalists start careers in community journalism 

More than 100 journalism students have won WNPA Newspaper affiliation, past or present____________________________ Foundation Internship Scholarships since 1989. The internship introduces them to community journalism  Email Address _____________________________________________ with real-world experience that can further their careers.


Some of these scholarships are supported byPhone Number _____________________________________________  endowments from past publishers, but many are funded  by the Foundation’s annual auction.  Name ____________________________________________________ Support these opportunities for the next generation 2012 Foundation Intern with your donations to the auction. Bring items to be 2012 Foundation Intern Newspaper affiliation, past or present_____________________________  Mary Jean Spadafora, a auctioned to the 125th Annual WNPA Convention, or Heather Perry, a Pacific 2012 University of Washdeliver to WNPA. Contact Mae Waldron, mwaldron@ Lutheran University se ington graduate, interned nior, interned this summer Name ____________________________________________________  this summer at the Bellevue at the Puyallup Herald and Reporter and Issaquah/ the Peninsula Gateway in  Newspaper affiliation, past or present_____________________________ Sammamish Reporter. Gig Harbor.  Total enclosed ($30/person) ___________________________ 


mail this form withFoundation your check to: Bring a donation toPlease the WNPA Auction  WNPA

 Reception  12345 Lake City Way NE #106 Seattle WA 98125 


If you have questions, please contact Mae Waldron, mwaldron@wnpa. com or (206) 634-3838 ext 2.  we look forward to seeing you at wnpa’s 125th anniversary celebration!


ONAC staff times added at convention





Helping you tell the stories that need to be t


atricia Murphy of Oregon Newspaper Advertising Company will be available to meet with WNPA publishers and advertising managers at the convention, as in past years. New times on Thursday afternoon and early on Friday morning were added to provide more opportunities for members to take advantage of these face-to-face meetings. Bring your rate card and a copy of your newspaper and special sections to your appointment. Use the registration form at to select three times that work best for you on either Sept. 27 or Sept. 28. All registrants will be notified of their appointment time by email about Sept. 21. Questions about the appointments go to Mae Waldron, mwaldron@wnpa. com or (206) 634-3838 ext. 2.

TWN • Seattle • Olympia


Herald occupies new office space in Bellingham


he Bellingham Herald offices were moved to the second floor of the Herald Building in July. The company took advantage of the move to update its telephone system and network connections, and refresh the offices with new paint and carpet. Change in the news operation, particularly contracting with Skagit Valley Herald in Mount Vernon to print the newspaper, was the catalyst.

“It’s another step in the evolution of the Herald,” said Mark Owings, publisher. “We like to think of ourselves as the model of how a modern-day news operation should be set up. We’re efficient, we’re mobile, and we’re adaptable.” For the first time since the building opened in 1926, the Herald has no first-floor presence. In the early years, the newspaper shared the first floor with the local Chamber of Commerce

and other businesses and the press was in the basement. Upper floors housed medical offices and service businesses. When a new press was installed on the first floor in the 1980s, the Herald’s staff of about 130 spread across the first and second floors and the basement was still Herald territory. Some newsroom staff moved into first-floor space previously leased to others. The effects on the industry of online and other digital commu-

nications prompted the Herald to sell the building three years ago. At about the same time, it completed arrangements for printing in Mount Vernon. At 67 employees, today’s newspaper staff is down by half compared to the boom years. But no longer does the staff maintain a building and a press. And the second floor has something the basement and first floor never had: views of downtown and Bellingham Bay.

Seattle Times announces moves for ‘long-term re-set’


eattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen has named Alayne Fardella Chief Operating Officer and Alan Fisco Executive Vice President for Revenue and New Products for the Seattle Times, effective Sept. 1 “These appointments reflect the evolution of the Times senior leadership team as we navigate the aftermath of the recession and subsequent long term re-set,” said Blethen. “Simultaneously, they embrace the Times’ future as the region’s premier print and digital news, advertising and information provider.” Blethen noted that even in today’s challenging and competitive economic environment, the Times has had great success maintaining its robust print newspaper readership and building its digital audience into a northwest powerhouse. “People in the Puget Sound region love to access their news and advertising both in print and on digital platforms,” said Blethen. “We are the largest newspaper in the Pacific Northwest. The second largest on the entire West Coast. The Times is purchased

Alan Alayne Fisco Fardella and read by an astounding 70 percent of all adults in King and Snohomish counties.” Fardella served in a number of leadership roles at the Seattle Times over 15 years, most recently as Senior Vice President, Business Operations with oversight of Budgeting, Human Resources, Labor, Operations and Seattle Times Affiliate Newspapers in Walla Walla, Yakima, Issaquah, Sammamish, Newcastle, Snoqualmie, and North Bend. She left the Times in 2010 and has since been consulting for the publisher, focusing on strategic planning, leadership development and digital strategy. Prior to joining the Times, Fardella held management positions with top high tech and manufacturing companies, including Intel Corp. and National

Semiconductor. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Fardella holds an M.B.A from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University. Fisco, who currently serves in the role of Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, will continue to lead Sales and Marketing, and will now be responsible for all company revenue and new products. Fisco joined the Seattle Times in 1992, after working at the Everett Herald, the Eugene Register-Guard and the Corvallis Gazette-Times. He has served in a number of leadership roles at the Seattle Times, including Director of Consumer Marketing and Vice President, Circulation, prior to his present role.  A native of Ohio, he is a graduate of the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Currently, Fisco is a member of the International Newspaper Marketing Association, serves on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound, and is active with the Downtown Seattle Association.

Veteran in media appointed paper’s digital sales director


he Seattle Times Company has appointed Michele Grosenick as Director of Digital Sales. Grosenick comes to the Times with over 20 years experience in media operations and sales. In her new role, Grosenick is responsible for the strategic and tactical oversight of the digital advertising sales effort at the Times with the objective to build and develop online audiences and products that deliver results for advertising partners. is the region’s No. 1-read online source for news and information. “This role is critical to our organization’s success in the digital space and will help us to maintain our market strength and position,” said Nick Lazaroff, executive director of advertising for the Times.  “Knowing Michele, she will be hitting the ground running.

She has an excellent track record serving advertisers’ needs and we are happy she will be leveraging her talents to serve Seattle Times advertisers. This is a very exciting time for us.” Grosenick’s previous work includes several years with Clear Channel Radio where she served as Regional Vice President, Vice President and General Manager. She maintains deep ties with the Seattle advertising community, having served as a long-time board member of the Puget Sound Radio Broadcasters Association and as a member of the National Advertising Bureau. Grosenick has also been routinely recognized as a strategic leader in the marketplace, receiving the Crystal Soundie Lifetime Achiever Award from the Puget Sound Radio Broadcasters Association and being named as one of the 25 most influential women in radio by Radio Ink.

What a tangle on the Web: Candidate emails blogger a hot one


epublican Senate candidate Michael Baumgartner apologized for sending a vulgar e-mail to Seattle journalist Josh Feit . He meant it to be “a personal e-mail,” he said. “This was a follow-up e-mail to a previous conversation with a local blogger,” Baumgartner said in a written statement. “I apologize to Josh for my strong

language.” He went on to say he sent the message the evening of Aug. 20 out of frustration that more media attention hasn’t been given to his campaign platform to end the war in Afghanistan. “The problem is that many media outlets, including PubliCola, do not want to talk about why these men and women continue to be killed. They don’t want to discuss Maria Cantwell’s

record supporting the war in Afghanistan or a smarter foreign policy that can save thousands of lives in the future,” he wrote. Feit published the e-mail Aug. 21 on his politics blog, PubliCola. He said he interviewed Baumgartner, a state senator running against Democrat Sen. Maria Cantwell, Aug. 20 to get his take on the political news of the day: comments made by U.S. Rep. Todd

Akin, R-Missouri, about rape and pregnancy. During the interview, Baumgartner expressed frustration that social issues were getting so much attention, while his biggest issue, ending the war in Afghanistan, was not. Then, at 10:45 p.m. Monday, Aug 20, Baumgartner e-mailed Feit a photo of himself and a Navy SEAL, Pat Feeks, who died recently in Afghanistan. “Take a good look and then

go (expletive) yourself,” Baumgartner wrote. In an interview Aug. 21, Baumgartner confirmed he sent the e-mail and said it was part of a larger conversation, which he would not describe. “It was sent from my personal e-mail. It was a personal comment to Josh,” he said. Feit said he responded with a question mark, and called the campaign and got no response.




they hired former Apple exec Ron Johnson as their CEO. I was speaking at an advertising convention, of all things, the week after the announcement was made about the company’s new marketing strategy, and a major topic of a panel discussion was “How will this change affect JCPenney?” While panelists felt like it could go either way, most agreed

cent and, while Johnson is still on board as I write this, former Target Corp. Chief Marketing Officer Michael Francis left his position as JCPenney president in June. I see a direct correlation between what’s happened at JCPenney and the demise of the Times-Picayune as a daily newspaper in New Orleans. During an interview with Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon, Advance. net Chairman Steve Newhouse recently said that transforming the Times-Picayune and other properties to a digital-centric operation is necessary for the company’s survival. It sounds to me that Steve has been drinking the same juice that Ron has been drinking at JCPenney. “We must convert everything to digital!” might be their rallying cry, but they’re listening to bad advice. OK, back to my upcoming schedule. While the topics and audiences are different, I realized as I looked at my calendar this morning that attendees at all three of these events want to know the same thing: Will I have a job next year? If Michael had realized that what works for Target doesn’t necessarily work for JCPenney, he’d probably have a job today. If Ron realized that JCPenney isn’t an Apple Store, he’d probably still have a job in January. Now it’s time for Steve to learn that the Times-Picayune isn’t Huffington Post or I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with these groups over the next few weeks. Don’t expect to hear that the sky is falling. Because unless you drag it down from the heavens and try to recreate it, the sky will probably stay right where it is.

Between Penney and Picayune: The key difference


realize that I’m dating myself, but here goes. When I was a little boy, drug stores used to have these bins that held bags filled with multiple “secret” items. They were often called “grab bags” and you never knew what would be in them. As an adult, you realize this was older stock that the store had trouble selling, but as a kid it was exciting to get a bag filled with “valuable” items for a quarter. That’s what I felt like when I looked at my calendar for the next few weeks. There’s a publishers’ summit, an advertising conference, a keynote at a state newspaper association event, along with a couple of training sessions. When I look at these from a Kevin Slimp distance, I see a Director, bunch of scat- Institute of tered events in Newspaper different areas Technology of the country with unrelated topics. And as I try to decide what to say to these very different groups, the task can seem overwhelming. I see the topics they’ve requested and they vary from “How to Increase Revenue on Newspaper Websites” to “Finding Ways to Adapt to a New Marketplace” to “The Present and Future Relationship Between Print and Mobile Journalism,” with a few other topics thrown in, just to keep me on my toes. As a speaker, teacher and consultant, the idea of trying to say something that will be helpful and valuable to different types of audiences, even though they’re all related to the newspaper industry, can be very daunting.

In the constantly evolving world of communication, of which we are a major player, we are bombarded daily with the idea that we’re missing something. There’s must be some golden key out there which will unlock the door to future success. Without that key, we fear, we are doomed to failure. JCPenney thought they’d found that key a year ago when

the change would prove to be a huge success or failure within a year. I’m more apt to express an opinion during these conversations so I shared that I believed sales would fall between 20 and 30 percent within a year and that the CEO would be gone before Christmas 2012. As you’ve probably read, sales are down around 20 per-

Pioneer elects new top leaders


he Board of Directors of Pioneer Newspapers, Inc. has announced that Marnie Roozen and Stedem Wood have been elected as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, respectively. Each will serve two-year terms effective August 2012 and then switch roles for another two-year term beginning in August 2014. They succeed Susan Wood and David Lord who resigned their previous posts as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. Both will remain on Pioneer’s Board of Directors.

Roozen’s appointment is a third-generation family member selected from the Scripps family to chair Pioneer’s board. Pioneer Newspapers, Inc. was formed in 1974 by James G. Scripps, who was followed by his daughter, Susan Wood, as chairman. The Scripps family has a long history in newspapers, starting with E. W. Scripps in Cleveland in 1878. “Marnie and Stedem are very passionate about leading our progressive company into the future,” Susan Wood said. “Their vision, perspective and commitment to family ownership are a tremendous asset to

our company and will help us navigate an evolving print and digital world with plenty of opportunities for our business.” “We’re alive and well and I’m excited about our future,” Roozen said. “We have a long history of creating wonderful relationships in the areas we serve and with a growing array of digital products complementing what we do in print, have even more ways to inform and empower our communities.” The company owns and operates 23 daily and weekly newspapers in Washington, Montana, Idaho, Utah and Oregon.

Free Weekly Herald ceases publication


he Weekly Herald, a free newspaper delivered to residents in South Snohomish County, ceased publication after Aug. 29, the publisher and general manager of the Herald Co. announced Aug. 9. “The Weekly Herald staff has been creative and innovative in serving residents and businesses in Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace,” David Dadisman, publisher, said in a message distributed to

employees. “I’m sad that we couldn’t develop a revenue model that sustained this great community journalism, but the Daily Herald and HeraldNet will continue covering all communities throughout Snohomish County with fresh and relevant local news and advertising information.” The closure eliminated two full-time positions in the Weekly Herald newsroom and affected eight other employees who have had part-time or temporary

responsibilities in various departments of the newspaper. The Weekly Herald previously published under the name The Enterprise newspapers, which had been operated by the Herald Co. since 1996. The name was changed in April 2011. The parent company also publishes the Daily Herald newspaper, the monthly Herald Business Journal, the Herald Shopper and La Raza del Noroeste, a Spanish-language weekly newspaper.

Voluntary subscription push pays at Review


ublisher Debbie Berto has captured $3,000 in new revenue for the Sammamish Review by recruiting voluntary pay subscriptions. At the end of May a letter and return envelope went out to readers, inviting them to subscribe. That brought in about $2,000. Berto followed up in late June by printing the same letter in the Review. In the following weeks she ran house ads. Together those drew about another $1,000. Berto plans to push the subscription offer again this fall, after summer vacations are over. Subscription rates are $35 per year or $60 for two years. The letter reminds readers of the newspaper’s 20-year history, noting it was founded even before Sammamish became a city and has been delivered

free to homes throughout that time. “But with a challenging economy, that model is a tough one to continue,” Debbie Berto Berto wrote. She then explained the concept of voluntary pay and followed with a series of paragraphs stating the value the newspaper brings to readers and the community. The letter closes with a request that readers support the newspaper’s advertisers and let them know their ads are appreciated. For a copy of the letter, send an email with your request to or call (206) 634-3838 ext 2.




CAREER MOVES n William “Scott” Gray has joined the Enumclaw and Bonney Lake-Sumner CourierHerald team in the position of sales manager. Gray has more than 30 years of experience as an advertising executive for Pepsi-Cola. He was also a national account sales manager responsible for the Kroger Company on the West Coast. Prior to joining the CourierHerald team he was vice president of sales for Hostess Brands. He has been a resident of Enumclaw for 10 years. He and his wife have two adult children and three granddaughters. n Lee Enterprises Inc. has announced an expanded role for Daily News Publisher Rick Parrish. He has been appointed regional publisher supervising operations at three Oregon newspapers, the Albany Democrat-Herald, the Corvallis Gazette-Times, and the World of Coos Bay. Parrish was named TDN publisher in 2009 and will continue in that role. n Jack Smith is the new editor at the Review-Independent in Toppenish. A Wyoming native, Smith wrote features and covered sports for the

Toppenish weekly after moving to Washington last year. His previous experience includes reporting for a daily newspaper, serving as sorts editor at three medium-sized papers and as editor at a weekly. n Jorge Rivera and Laura Damron have been promoted to new positions at the Daily Herald in Everett. Rivera, who joined the company in 2002, is the new chief revenue officer. During his tenure he created and launched La Raza, managed business operations for Seattle’s Child, served as publisher of the Weekly Herald and restricted the daily’s circulation department. Damron has been with the company for 12 years, and is the new controller. Previously she managed multimillion-dollar loan portfolios and served as an operations specialist in the U.S. Navy. n Bruce Pritchard penned his last cartoon for the Bainbridge Island Review in July, when his work was cut as part of cost consolidations at the newspaper. He had written and drawn the Review’s editorial cartoons for more than 15 years. n After 29 years Kathleen

Merryman has retired from the News Tribune. Her columns introduced readers to interesting local characters, often the people behind the news. She “inspires us, and shines a light on issues and neighborhoods that don’t otherwise get covered,” wrote TNT Executive Editor Karen Peterson. Larry LaRue, on the Mariners’ beat at the Tribune since 1988, has been named as Merryman’s successor. TNT Managing Editor Dale Phelps notes that LaRue’s capabilities as an award-winning reporter and storyteller will transfer easily to the news beat. Also at the Tribune, Leon Gonion and Eric Lint from the University of Washington Tacoma School of Politics, Philosophy and Economics are working as interns, backgrounding candidates for county, Legislature, Superior Court and statewide offices. More than 150 candidates filed for office in Pierce County. The Tribune set a minimum standard of backgrounding after two elected officials, Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam and Superior Court Judge Michael Hecht, turned out to be unworthy after

they were elected. The interns are verifying military experience and education as cited by candidates, checking court records for involvement in civil and criminal cases, and trying to verify employment and checking for liens against candidates or their businesses. n Four high school students have joined the Beat, the monthly teen page in the Issaquah Press. Nitin Shyamkumar and Salma Mahmoud of Skyline High School and Madeline Wells and Sophie Mettelstaedt of Issaquah High School are new to the staff. Press Managing Editor Kathleen Merrill donates her time on weekends to advise the students, and the students raise $500 per month to cover the Beat’s costs. The Beat is in its fourth year of publication. n Greg Shaw, formerly with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, has been named publisher and CEO of Crosscut Public Media, a Seattle nonprofit that publishes the online news site Shaw started his career writing for newspapers in Oklahoma, and moved to Seattle in 1994. He was in corporate commu-

nications at Microsoft before joining the Gates Foundation. Shaw succeeds Crosscut founder David Brewster, who is stepping down as editor and publisher, but will continue writing and serving on the board. n Christina Crea has joined DeVaul Publishing Co. as a reporter based in the Chehalis office. She is writing for the company’s Business to Business magazine and covering the Mossryrock area for the East County Journal in Morton. Crea’s family moved to Chehalis when she was in third grade. She graduated from W.F. West High School in Chehalis and from Western Washington University, where she earned a degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism. n The (Centralia) Chronicle hired Brandon Hansen, an award winning-writer, photographer and page designer from Montana, for its sports and photo departments. Hansen succeeds Pete Caster, who is the new leader of the newspaper’s visuals department. Chris Geier, formerly in that role, moved to California in a longplanned family relocation.


Daily News’ Alvord dies at 50 Popular columnist, former sports editor suffered colon cancer

Daily News, Longview


ormer Daily News sports editor Rick S. Alvord died June 26 after a year and a half with colon cancer. He was 50. Alvord’s lively, engaging columns and coverage of local sports attracted a large following and won him national recognition during his 12-year tenure at the Daily News. Many did not realize he was creator of “the Gridiron Grump,” the salty, cigar-chomping curmudgeon who wrote columns about high school football and food while touring the West with his wife, Eleanor, in their ’Bago. In 2010 Alvord tied for fist place in column writing in the Associated Press Sports Editor national contest for the 40,000-and-under circulation category. That year, the Daily News sports staff placed in the top 10 in the APSE’s Best Sunday Section category. Alvord was a top-five finalist three more times in APSE national writing contests and also won first place in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Pacific Northwest annual con-

test seven times. “He was someone who could just kind of off-the-cuff churn out witty, con- Rick troversial, Alvord provocative columns without a whole lot of apparent planning. … He was a stream-of-consciousness guy,” said Daily News sports editor Ben Zimmerman, who had a front-row seat to Alvord’s process for eight years. “He could just bust stuff out — writing that really cracked — and was always witty, entertaining and funny.” Alvord was born in St. Helens, Ore., on June 12, 1962. He attended school in Clatskanie, Ore., and graduated from Longview’s R.A. Long High School in 1980. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English at Eastern Oregon University, Alvord was a sportswriter for the East Oregonian in Pendleton, Ore., the Coeur d’Alene Press in Idaho and the World in Coos Bay, Ore. He covered the Mariners and Seahawks for the Eastside Journal in Bellevue and wrote for Mariners

Magazine. He married his wife, Jan Alvord, in 1997. The couple moved to Kalama in 1998, when the Daily News hired Alvord as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 1999, succeeding John Pisapia. “His knowledge and his humor made him a great guy to talk sports with, said Daily News copy editor Mike Yantis, a friend and frequent golf companion of Alvord’s. “Golf was probably the highlight of (Rick’s) life,” Jan Alvord said with a laugh. Alvord also enjoyed traveling, cruises, fishing trips with Jan’s father and attending church at East Hills Alliance in Kelso. In December 2010, six months after leaving the Daily News, Alvord had surgery to find the source of his abdominal pain. Doctors discovered he had colon cancer. He entered hospice in early June, where he welcomed the frequent visits of friends and former co-workers. “He said he didn’t realize that many people knew and liked him,” his wife said. A memorial service was held at his church.

Former Times editor Monahan passes


obert E. Monahan, whose journalism career began with the “Brown’s Point Bugle” he produced and distributed as a child the Brown’s Point neighborhood of Tacoma, died July 14 in Kent. Monohan pursued his passion for journalism at Washington State College. After graduation he worked

for United Press International, covering the Pacific Rim. Later he was a reporter at the Honolulu Advertiser and a city editor at the Seattle Times. Upon retirement, he developed a second career as a tree farmer and applied his journalism skills to articles in professional journals. Monahan was a member of Kent Covenant Church and

an original member of the jail ministry group. He is survived by his wife Betsy Davis Monahan; his children Mary Alice Monahan, Matthew Monahan, and their mother Adele Monahan of Snoqualmie; a stepson, Alan Jacobson and wife Debbie, of Covington; three grandchildren; and his brother Jerry Monahan, of Tacoma.

Foundation president sets goal for auction Help Wilson keep student journalists from falling to the lure of street gangs


NPA Foundation President Scott Wilson has set a goal of raising $7,500 for the WNPA Foundation auction this year. All funds raised will go toward internship scholarships for college students who intern at WNPA-member newspapers. The auction, concurrent with WNPA’s annual convention in Yakima, opens Sept. 27 and closes at 6 p.m. Sept. 28. Get your name on the published list of donors by sending an email to Mae Waldron,, listing the item you’ll be donating.

Plan to bring it with you to the convention, or send to WNPA. If you missed Wilson’s news story, Scott Wilson “Alert: Street gangs filling up with college journalists!!!!,” calling for donations, request a copy from Mae Waldron. Wilson is publisher of the Port Townsend Leader.

AUCTION DONATIONS • Painting by Sydney Dilllon —from Mike Dillon, Pacific Publishing, Seattle • Resort Semiahmoo Stay & Play Package —from Mike Lewis, Lynden Tribune • Two-night stay at Iron Horse B&B with 2 breakfasts —from Jana Stoner, Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Cle Elum • Gift basket —from Assunta Ng, Northwest Asian Weekly, Seattle • Gift basket —from Debbie Berto, Issaquah Press, SnoValley Star and Sammamish Review • Gift basket —from Sue Ellen Riesau, WNPA Past President

TWN0912 - The Washington Newspaper September 2012  

Newsletter of Washington Newspsper Publishers Association, Allied Daily Newspapers of WA, Sept 2012

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