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October 2016

Journal of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association

Mullen brothers acquire Leader

Lloyd Mullen is settling in at the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader as its new publisher after he and his brother J. Louis Mullen purchased the paper from Scott and Jennifer James Wilson Sept. 10. “I’ve known Scott for a few years and had the opportunity to come up to Port Townsend multiple times. It’s a phenomenal newspaper. I’m grateful to be here,” Lloyd Mullen said. At 28 years old, Lloyd Mullen becomes the youngest WNPA publisher in recent memory. Frank Garred, who sold the Leader to the Wilsons, previously was thought to be the youngest known WNPA publisher. He bought the paper in 1967 when he was 31 years old. Lloyd Mullen graduated

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WNPA gathers for 129th annual member meeting Convention features speakers, awards, Public Market reception

Lloyd Mullen pauses outside the front door to the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader. With his brother Louis, Lloyd purchased the paper from Scott and Jennifer James Wilson.

It’s convention time! The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association convenes at the Red Lion Hotel in downtown Wenatchee Oct. 1315 to learn from distinguished practitioners of our craft and to recognize the efforts of our members at the gala awards dinner. The whole event kicks off Thursday, Oct. 13 with the opening night reception from 6-8 p.m. at Pybus Public Market, an eclectic collection of restaurants and other businesses in a refurbished industrial building. Friday morning the convention gets going in earnest, supported by strong sponsors who make it all possible. They

are: SmallTownPapers, Allied Law Group, Davis, Wright, Tremaine, Sound Publishing, TownNews, NewsCycle, Eagle Newspapers, Hagadone Digital, Tecnavia, Washivore, the Washington State Library, the Blinder Group, Inland Empire Paper Company and the Washington Coalition for Open Government. In addition to inspirational presentations, attendees will have a shot at taking home cash and prizes. When you visit our convention sponsors, you can enter a raffle for an iPad Mini and attendees who bring their best ad ideas will have a chance to win cash prizes Saturday morning.

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SmallTownPapers rolls out service for print, born digital archive Long-time WNPA member SmallTownPapers, Inc. has expanded its archiving services to include free archiving of web articles and weekly PDF print files along with new ways to earn money from content. “This service is useful to both the public who can access the archives, and the publisher who can earn addi-

tional revenue for the newspaper while enjoying free use of an online archive system,” said Paul Jeffko, who is the founder and president of the Shelton-based company. The free service auto-archives website articles and news updates and makes the content accessible and searchable on a unique website featuring a single newspaper’s

archive. The newspaper can also easily add PDF archives or scans from bound volume archives to the page so all archive material can be found in one online location. Through a partnering agreement with LexisNexis Group Inc., small weekly community newspapers can include their articles in a fee-based premium content

service and earn meaningful royalty revenue. Lexis customers subscribe to the service and pay fees based on usage. Publishers can sell their own local advertising which can be displayed on all pages of the archive site and the newspaper keeps all ad revenue. WNPA member The Woodinville Weekly is participating in the beta test,

which can be viewed at http:// SmallTownPapers has provided the website for WNPA’s annual Better Newspaper Contest for the last 10 years. To learn more about the company’s services, visit For more information, contact Jeffko at paulj@smalltownpapers. com.


Stepping up when disaster strikes By Don Nelson I was hit with an awful feeling of familiarity when I first heard about the recent fatal shootings at the Cascade Mall in Burlington. For almost five years, I was editor of the daily Skagit Valley Herald in Mount Vernon, next door to Burlington. I know the mall and the Skagit Valley community well. My first Nelson thoughts were for the victims, and of course I wondered if I would know any of them (I don’t, it turns out). Almost simultaneously, I thought about my former colleagues at the Herald and the enormous coverage challenges they suddenly faced. That’s a newsperson’s reflex. And while it may seem unfeeling to some people, that instinct serves us well when horrible things happen in our coverage areas. One of the idiosyncrasies of the community newspaper business is that when local events are at their worst, we need to be at our best. Disaster stories

are by their nature sudden and unpredictable, but as journalists we are expected to respond promptly and appropriately, ready or not, no matter the day or time or how many staffers are available. It’s a somber responsibility to fully engage in coverage of an event that shakes and likely disrupts one’s community, requiring both professionalism and sensitivity. At the same time, we are not immune to the emotional or logistical impacts of what’s happening where we live. The previous two summers, the Methow Valley suffered through disastrous fires that ravaged the landscape, left many people homeless, periodically cut us off from the rest of the world and, worst of the worst, resulted in the deaths of three firefighters just 6 miles from where I’m sitting right now. Everyone on our small staff was affected in some way. One of my reporters lost his home. Others were evacuated from theirs for long periods. Our entire coverage area went without electricity for 10 days. All the while, we poured all the energy we could muster into giving our community the coverage it deserved, not just in the weekly

Officers: Don Nelson, President; Sandy Stokes, First Vice President; Michael Wagar, Second Vice President; Keven Graves, Past President. Trustees: Sara Bruestle, Eric LaFontaine, Donna Etchey, Scott Hunter and Bill Shaw. THE WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER is the offical publication of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. It is published monthly by WNPA, 1204 Fourth Ave. East, Suite 4, Olympia, WA 98506. Staff: Fred Obee: Executive Director: 360-515-5239. Email: CJ Burk: Accounting and Advertising: 360-515-0974. Email: Fax: 360-515-5546 2 The Washington Newspaper October 2016

newspaper but also through social media on an almost nonstop basis. We became information firstresponders. It’s an exhausting but necessary commitment. I look at a lot of other WNPA newspapers around the state and know that they face similar challenges when disaster visits their communities, and they respond similarly. I know what they’re going through and I am impressed by their efforts. It’s a learning experience as well to see how others approach complex stories in smaller communities. When big news breaks in our backyards, we may get caught up in a weird kind of coverage competition. Our work is often complicated (or at least distracted) by what I call the “parachute” journalists who land in our towns, do some quick, superficial and often sensationalized coverage, then go back where they came from. As a small-town editor, I’ve sometimes been treated condescendingly by visiting reporters who don’t know my background and assume I’m a lower species of journalist. Earlier in my career when I worked for larger dailies, I was a paratrooper reporter myself. I hope I never behaved that way. The advantage WNPA newspapers have is that they are part of their communities, understand what their readers need and will be around for a long time after the TV crews and bigcity newspaper people are gone. Consistent follow-up reporting adds much more value to what we do, and our readers expect it. I suspect that a session on disaster coverage would be well-attended at one of our conventions. We all have experiences and lessons worth sharing. Let me know what you think when we convene in Wenatchee. Don Nelson is Publisher of the Methow Valley News and this year’s WNPA president.

WNPA: Speakers have wide-ranging experience Continued from Page 1

Two distinguished speakers will top the convention agenda: Pulitzer Prize winner George Rodrigue, currently the editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio delivers our keynote address, and marketing guru Peter Lamb, widely acknowledged as one of the leading experts in the nation today, leads a daylong workshop. Those two top speakers are backed up by a long list of other impressive session leaders who will inspire and inform. They include Mike Fancher, former executive editor of the Seattle Times, Steven Smith from the University of Idaho and former editor of the Spokesman Review, video master Dominick Bonny, WNPA hotline attorney Michele Earl Hubbard and Don Seabrook, photo editor for the Wenatchee World. Rodrigue’s experience in journalism is as impressive as it is wide ranging. Before taking the helm in Cleveland, he was assistant news director of WFAA-TV in Dallas, the ABC affiliate in the nation’s fifth-largest television market, and before that he was vice president and managing editor of The Dallas Morning News. There, his staff won one Pulitzer Prize and was twice named a finalist for the award. He also served as vice president/Washington bureau for Belo Corp. where he supervised print and broadcast journalists who served three newspapers, 17 television news operations and some 20 websites. From 1998 until 2001, he served as managing editor and then executive editor of The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California.  From 1982 until 1998, he worked for The Dallas Morning News. He served as a Washington correspondent; as chief of the

paper’s European Bureau; and as a Dallas-based reporter and editor. As a reporter in the early 1990s, he covered the Persian Gulf War and the wars of secession in Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Union. He and a partner won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for stories that exposed segregation and discrimination in federally subsidized housing programs. He was one of eight Dallas Morning News reporters who won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for a series about violence against women. Lamb was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and today is a Strategic Marketing Consultant, based in Miami, Fla., with a specialty in media organizations. “The goal of my consulting practice is to utilize the sophisticated strategic marketing principles and techniques, learned while doing my MBA at Harvard Business School, and meshing them with a hands-on sales approach, by getting the entire sales organization to buy into a single idea: ‘Think like the customer.’” Lamb will lead participants through a energizing process for sales managers and others to generate new revenue streams, both print and online. Lamb has lent his expertise to many media organizations, including Time-Inc, UK; Metroland Media, Canada; El Clasificado, Los Angeles, CA; The Flyer Media Group, Tampa, Fla; Media24, South Africa; Black Press, Canada; Sound Publishing, Seattle, WA; Russ Media, Hungary and Austria. He is also a regular speaker at International Media conferences, most recently in Hong Kong, Berlin, Dubai, Toronto and Whistler, BC.

Wilson says goodbye to readers in final editorial The following was published in the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader Sept. 14 by Scott Wilson following the sale of his newspaper to Lloyd and Louie Mullen. The headline read, “Sugar cubes.” By Scott Wilson Sugar was running a little low at our house, and I’m accustomed to a heaping spoonful in my morning cup of coffee. I dug out a neglected box of C&H sugar cubes, however, and three of them did the trick. Sugar cubes and I go way back. My dad, Bruce A. Wilson, kept a box of them next to Wilson the old percolating coffee pot in the noisy back shop of the Omak Chronicle, which he and my mother, Merilynn, published and where I grew up. Dad always treated his coffee with a few lumps, and powdered milk, stirring it together with a pica pole. It was industrial coffee, fitting for a high-ceilinged room full of clattering Linotypes, a big flatbed press, various job presses, cutting machines, grinders and drawers of headline type. I was in there as early as I can remember, spending my Wednesdays (in total violation of whatever child labor laws were current) folding, inserting,

labeling and bundling Chronicles, with my brother and sister, for a few quarters. My special treat, however, was stealing sugar cubes from the little pink C&H box, popping one into my mouth and spending the next 10 minutes letting it melt away and into my happy little ink-stained soul. That soul is now 61 years old, pretty much engaged in journalism and the people and presses that have made it possible, since childhood. The last 27 years, the best of my working life, have been spent as a junior, then senior partner, then sole owner (with my wife, Jennifer) at the Leader. And this Leader you hold today is now brought to you by new owners and a new company. This column is actually a guest editorial. The legal transition happened on Saturday, Sept. 10. Jennifer and I love the Leader and we love this community. It is the best community newspaper in Washington, serving the best community and county in Washington. We’re here for the long haul. But the time came for us to look for a new long-term owner and operator who would sustain the Leader as a locally owned, independent newspaper and news website. More quickly than we could imagine, we found that new owner in Lloyd Mullen, 28, also a second-generation community newspaper guy, coming here from Shelton, with plenty of his own stories about child labor. He and his brother Louis, 31, have set up a new company and

carry the Leader forward. Lloyd, the new publisher, is smart, knowledgeable, modest and ready to build this company. Many of you will meet him in the coming weeks and you’re going to like what you see. Thanks to the Mullen arrival, the Leader is on the threshold of an exciting new chapter. Now, there is a 45-newspaper elephant in the room. Sound Publishing, subsidiary of a large Canadian media company, owns at least 45 newspapers in western Washington, including all the weeklies in Kitsap County, all the weeklies in Island and San Juan counties, and all the newspapers in Clallam County, including the Peninsula Daily News. The Leader partners with Sound in many ways, including our printing contract and cross-selling into each other. I won’t speak for it, but Sound would probably have liked to add the Leader to its properties. That would not have been in the best interests of our loyal staff or our community. Despite my regard for those Sound people with whom we partner, I don’t think it’s healthy for one corporation to own all of the media in a region. I speak for both Jennifer and myself in saying that our most fervent hope is that the Leader will remain independent, community-based and unique into the distant future. This sale to the Mullens was the best way to do that. A transition like this is full of many emotions, but the primary one is

gratitude: • Gratitude that I followed the footsteps of my parents, who taught me that community media is first and foremost about building community and never compromising personal or professional integrity. • Gratitude that Frank and Pat Garred gave Jennifer and me the chance to become owners of this great little company, and taught us additional lessons of integrity and uncompromising journalism. • Gratitude for having worked alongside the best, most committed and caring people in our field, the staff of the Leader, almost all of whom we literally chose to work with (we hired them). • Gratitude that Lloyd Mullen was as interested in the Leader and Jefferson County as we were in him. • Finally, gratitude for you, the Leader readers, who have given us and our staff precious minutes of your attention and interest every week, including your consideration of these words of fond farewell and best wishes. To each and every one of you, I place in your hand, metaphorically, a sugar cube. Thank you. Scott Wilson served as president of the WNPA Board of Directors and the WNPA Foundation, received the Miles Turnbull Master Editor Publisher award, and is a founding member of the Washington Coalition for Open Government.

Leader: Mullens acquire Port Townsend Leader from Wilsons Continued from Page 1

in 2010 from the University of Wyoming with a degree in international studies and previously was the General Manager at the Shelton-Mason County Journal. His wife Karen is a dietician. “I’ve been thinking about doing this for a few years,” Mullen said, but he added that he did not expect the opportunity to present itself so soon. Once he learned that the Wilsons might be open to receiving offers, he moved quickly. Sitting at a waterfront picnic table in downtown Port

Townsend, Mullen looked around and said: “I know I’m lucky. This seems to me like what small town America is supposed to be.” Brother and co-owner Louis owns weekly papers in Newport, Washington and Wyoming, where he works and lives with his wife, Lisa, and daughter Nora. The sale marks the end of the Wilsons’ tenure as coowners, sole owners or publishers after almost 27 years. They arrived in October 1989. “We have been elevated in

every way during our time at Washington’s best community newspaper,” said Scott Wilson, 61. “In welcoming Lloyd Mullen to the helm, we sustain the independent local ownership that has been so important to us and to the community the Leader serves. He is young, energized about the future of community media and, like me, grew up in a respected community newspaper family. He’s the new publisher Jennifer and I were hoping for.” Jennifer James-Wilson, 58, has been the Leader’s co-owner

and associate publisher. The Mullen duo grew up in the newspaper business. Their parents, Tom and Ann Mullen, own and operate community newspapers throughout the west, in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Shelton, Washington. “My family has always been committed to the betterment of the communities we live in. We’ve always found the best way to do that is to give voice to the community. Completely local. Completely self-driven and independent. If I can be

a part of that, I’ll be happy,” Mullen said. The Leader, a broadsheet published weekly on Wednesdays with about 6,500 paid subscribers, was founded in 1889 and since 1906, has been in the stewardship of just three families. The McCurdy family’s ownership started in 1906 with Win McCurdy, and Dick McCurdy was the publisher from 1946 until 1967. Frank and Pat Garred published the paper from 1967 through 2002 and retained an ownership stake beyond that.

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EXPERIENCED REPORTER Come work for one of the Pacific Northwest’s best small dailies and websites. The Daily Astorian is part of a family-owned multimedia group that favors enterprise over blowby-blow meeting coverage. We are investing in journalism by adding pages and a statehouse bureau at a time other newspaper media are cutting back. There is an immediate opportunity for an accurate, creative and hard-working reporter covering public safety, courts, national and state parks and county government. Send cover letter, resume with references and a variety of clips to EO Media Group, P.O. Box 2048, Salem, OR 97308-2048, by fax to 503-371-2935 by email to hr@ 

Creative Suite software (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator), newspaper pagination and layout are preferred. The position is located in Moses Lake, Wa. Compensation is DOQ and includes a healthy benefit package including health, vision, dental and a 401(k) retirement plan. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Or call Curt Weaver at 509-765-4561 ext. 154.

who is seeking to develop a longterm career in journalism. An understanding of this region is a plus. Full time. Benefits include Paid Time Off (PTO, insurance and a 401(k)/Roth 401(k) retirement plan. Send resume, clips and letter of interest to EO Media Group, PO Box 2048, Salem, OR  97308-2048, by fax to 503-3712935 or e-mail hr@eomediagroup. com.

TECH SUPPORT SPECIALIST Looking for a Tech Support Specialist with Microsoft Operating system and server experience in a domain environment. Position is in the Salem, OR area in the heart of the beautiful Willamette Valley. Skills/certifications in the following areas are desirable though the exact job duties can be tailored to the SPORTS EDITOR array of capabilities the best candidate Do you love sports and recreation? possesses: Excellent systematic trouCan you navigate the social media bleshooting skills a must; Microsoft world while working on compelling Windows Server 2008-2016 network game and feature stories? If so, you administration; Microsoft Windows may be just the sports editor we’re 10 operating system support; Microlooking for. The Daily Sun News in soft Office 365 administration and Sunnyside, Wash., has an immediate application support ; Trend Worry opening for the sports aficionado who Free antivirus server administration, can write, tweet, post and photograph troubleshooting. Experience with a variety of sports. We currently printing/publishing systems a plus. cover athletics at seven different high This is a full-time position and schools in the Lower Yakima Valley, offers a generous benefits packas well as other sports of local interest age which includes: health care, life and outdoor recreation. We offer six insurance, vacation, sick time, perpaid holidays, vacation, health and sonal days, 401(k) and FSA. Salary is dental insurance, and a competinegotiable and will be based on skills tive local wage. Preference given to presented and consideration of past candidates in the Pacific Northwest. work experience. Qualified candidates should email Equal Opportunity Employer.  Prefive clips demonstrating writing and employment drug screening required.   photography skills to Publisher Roger If you’re interested, we look forward Harnack at rharnack@dailysunnews. to hearing from you, soon. Eagle com. Please, no calls. Newspapers/Eagle Media Northwest. Please send resume with a cover letter to   No phone GRAPHIC DESIGNER calls, please. The Columbia Basin Herald, the   largest daily newspaper in central Washington, is looking for a full-time REPORTER graphic designer to join our producThe Hermiston Herald and East tion team. Our print and online reader- Oregonian are seeking a general ship is growing along with opportuni- assignment reporter for our daily ties within our publishing company. and weekly newspapers and webThe ideal candidate will be creative sites in Northeast Oregon. in ad-design, able to meet deadlines Journalism education and/or on a daily basis and organize stories, experience required. Fluency in photos and content from multiple Spanish would be helpful. sources. Experience with Adobe We are looking for someone

ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER The Renton Reporter, a division of Sound Publishing, Inc., is seeking a dynamic and motivated advertising sales manager. He or she will have a proven track record of sales and revenue growth, the ability to think ahead of the curve, and also possess the motivational techniques required to develop a successful staff and exceed revenue targets in print and online. Applicants should have 1-2 years of management experience as well as media and online sales/marketing experience. Position also requires use of personal vehicle, possession of valid Washington state driver’s license and proof of active vehicle insurance. Send your resume and cover letter along with salary requirements to or mail to: Sound Publishing, Inc., 19426 68th Avenue S. Kent, Wa 98032, attn: Ren. No phone calls please.

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ADVERTISING SALES REP We’re looking for an organized professional who can work independently, selling advertising for Daily Sun News and shopper, and companion web and mobile sites. Excellent written, verbal and computer communication skills are a necessity, as is reliable transportation. Compensation includes base pay plus commission. Benefits include health care, dental, FSA, life insurance, 401(k), paid vacation and holidays. Email resume and professional references to with “Sales Position” in the subject line. No telephone calls, please. Pre-employment drug screen required. Must have valid driver’s license, clean driving record and insurance. Drivers license check required.

Have a legal question? WNPA is ready to help If you have a question about access to public meetings or records, the WNPA staff can help. Call 360-515-5239 For questions beyond government access -- if an attorney has served you with a demand letter, or if Earl Hubbard you need emergency review of a story, letter or ad -- call or email our WNPA attorney, Michele Earl Hubbard. (206) 801-7510 or email

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The Washington Newspaper, October 2016

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The Washington Newspaper, October 2016