Board establishes new test for reviewing employer policies 1/9/18

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm

In this column, I have been predicting for some time that when all three Republican seats of the five-member National Labor Relations Board were filled by President Trump's appointees, the NLRB would begin reversing/overruling some of the Obama Board's more egregious decisions that demonstrated an outright hostility toward employers.

Chairman Philip A. Miscimarra's term expired on Dec. 17, 2017. On Dec. 14 and 15, Chairman Miscimarra went out "with a bang!"


Number of daily newspaper deals highest since 2000 1/9/18

The newspaper industry saw its busiest transaction year in nearly two decades with 31 separate deals involving daily newspapers in 2017, according to Dirks, Van Essen & Murray.

Phil Murray, senior vice president, said the activity was driven by two factors.


BlueVenn completes acquisition of media analytics and marketing specialists LEAP Media Solutions 1/3/18

BlueVenn has announced the purchase of LEAP Media Solutions (LEAP), a provider of customer analytics and marketing campaign services for the U.S. media industry.

The acquisition will strengthen BlueVenn's presence in the media and publishing market, which already boasts over 200 newsmedia brands operating the BlueVenn Customer Data Platform and its analytics, personalization and campaign management tools.

LEAP has been utilizing BlueVenn technology effectively for five years, to provide media publishers with tailored data analytics and marketing campaign capabilities through a shared-hosting model. This has enabled independent publishers with limited marketing resources the same sophisticated marketing capabilities as major publishers and media, without investing in technology systems that may otherwise be out of reach.


No eBulletin next Tuesday 12/19/17

No eBulletin will be published next week. Watch for the next issue of the eBulletin on Jan. 2.

Wishing you and your family a joyful Christmas!


Shared experiences 12/18/17

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Two promotions. One switchover to outsourced printing. One major hurricane with historic flooding.

Robert Royer's NEX GEN year was busier than most.

Royer, 28, joined the mentoring program as multi-media sales and marketing team leader for the Victoria Advocate in Texas. About six months later, he was named retail advertising supervisor, and near the end of his NEX GEN year he was promoted to local display manager, with broader duties.

Along the way, Royer said, he learned about publishing from mentor Zach Ahrens of The Topeka Capital-Journal in Kansas.

Read about his NEX GEN experience.


RJI fellowship applications now being accepted 12/18/17

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute is looking for its next class of fellows (individuals or news outlets) to partner with on innovative projects that strengthen democracy through better journalism.


Times-Union to outsource printing operations 12/14/17

Reprinted from The Florida Times-Union

The Florida Times-Union announced plans Dec. 13 to print the Jacksonville daily paper, Monday through Saturday, in Gainesville, and its Sunday paper in Daytona.

The Times-Union is currently printed at the newspaper's central facility at One Riverside Avenue.

The change will occur in mid-February 2018.


Lexington TMC case argued in U.S. 6th Circuit Appeals Court 12/12/17

Special to the SNPA E-Bulletin

After winning an injunction in a groundbreaking federal court lawsuit to stop a local ordinance that effectively banned TMC distribution, Publisher Rufus Friday of McClatchy's Herald Leader in Lexington, Ky., returned to court on Dec. 7 to preserve the victory.

This time the Herald Leader and its courtroom counsel John Bussian were in Cincinnati before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals defending the Herald Leader against the City of Lexington's appeal from the May 2017 order granting the Herald Leader a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the city's new anti-TMC ordinance. That order marked the first time a federal court held that legislation making it too costly to distribute newspapers violates the First Amendment.


Tennessee papers roll out redesigns 12/12/17

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Readers of the Times News in Kingsport and the Johnson City Press, both in Northeast Tennessee, saw new looks on Tuesday, Dec. 12. The redesigns of the Sandusky Newspaper Group papers are somewhat different but the goal is the same: Make them easier to read.

But it's not just the design that has changed; it's also the ways in which stories are told, according to Times News Publisher Rick Thomason, who is overseeing the project.

"Our redesigns aren't just about fonts, rebranding and colors," said Bill Ostendorf, president and founder of Creative Circle. "It's really about changing newsroom culture and creating content that is more relevant, more interesting and easier to read."


Legal adventurism in an attempt to make new law 12/12/17

By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm
By L. Michael Zinser, The Zinser Law Firm

This month's column reports on two National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge decisions involving the issue of whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor. In both cases, former NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin had urged the ALJ to rule that merely classifying someone as an independent contractor is an independent violation of the National Labor Relations Act. This is legal adventurism in an attempt to make new law.

In one of the cases, the ALJ found independent contractor status and chose not to reach that novel issue. In the second case, the ALJ found employee status and agreed with the NLRB general counsel, finding that the misclassification of the individuals as independent contractors was a per se independent violation of the NLRA. With a new management majority sitting on the NLRB in Washington, let us hope that this legal adventurism will be reversed.

I also report on a new NLRB case involving an employer's texting and confidentiality rules, as well as a new court case addressing the ability to discover social media passwords in litigation.