07.16.2019
From the SNPA President: What the Merger Means to SNPA Newspapers

PJ Browning
By PJ Browning, president and publisher of The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C., and president of SNPA

It's never been more important for our industry to speak with one voice and champion the value of local news. Combining the experience and talents of the Inland Press Association and the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association will help ensure that voice remains loud and clear.

We will continue to serve the mission and constituents of these two longstanding organizations as we plot a new course for the traditional newspaper business. Not only will we continue to provide the networking and training opportunities both organizations are known for, we will tackle many of the biggest issues facing our members.

We will maintain a keen focus on the power and importance of local journalism and the myriad ways we serve our unique communities. We don't write and report for the pundits in Washington, D.C.; we write and report for the people who live and work in the areas we serve. It will become increasingly important for us to widely share that message.

Here is what we all know ...

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Oct. 6-8 in Chicago

You won't want to miss being part of the Annual Meeting of the new association being formed by the merger of SNPA and Inland Press Association. Member rates are $795; non-member rates are $1,095.

Here's a taste of what you'll hear in Chicago, Oct. 6-8:
  • Walter Hussman reports on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's bold move to convert all its subscribers to digital subscribers.
  • Recruitment guru Laurie Kahn on what newspapers need to do to assemble a team of sales superstars.
  • The Post and Courier reveals results from the Google News Initiative – literally days after its conclusion.
  • News from Washington on the newspaper industry's fight to get a fair share of revenue from Facebook and Google.Springs.
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Calendar of Events
July 29 - August 1, 2019

This four-day SNPA Leadership Academy will take a deep dive into mastering leadership skills needed to succeed in top management positions at newspapers.

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October 6 - 8, 2019
December 10 - 11, 2019
32 Daily Newspapers Sold in First Half of 2019

Daily newspapers continued to change hands at a brisk pace in the first half of 2019, largely driven by the sale of family-owned titles.

In total, 32 daily newspapers were sold or agreed to be sold in the first six months of the year, more than the number of dailies involved in transactions during the same period last year.

New Media Investment Group, through its subsidiary GateHouse Media, continued to be an active acquirer, buying newspapers owned by Schurz Communications and one other in a separate deal. Paxton Media Group acquired four dailies in three transactions, and Adams Publishing Group acquired four daily newspapers in three deals in Wisconsin.

As has been the case for several years now, buyers were looking to build a larger regional footprint through strategic acquisitions.

Read more from Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April

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SNPA People

David Stringer

David R. Stringer has been named publisher of The Lawton (Okla.) Constitution. The announcement was made by Dolph Tillotson, president of Southern Newspapers, Inc., The Lawton Constitution's parent company.

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Brian Burns

Brian Burns, publisher of the Ledger Media Group in Lakeland, Fla., has announced that he will leave that position on July 25.

Burns said he's leaving to start his own digital technology company for magazines and newspapers in the Tampa Bay area. He is developing a phone app that can capture print images and use them to deliver additional content.

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Clarice Touhey

Hearst has announced that Clarice Touhey has been named president of the Texas Community Group for Hearst Newspapers. She succeeds Mark Adkins, who, having served as the publisher of Beaumont Enterprise since 2013, will assume the role of chairman of Hearst Newspapers' Texas Community Group. The announcement was made by Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz and Hearst Newspapers President Jeff Johnson. The changes take effect July 22.

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Cynthia DuBose

McClatchy has named Cynthia DuBose as senior editor for special projects. DuBose will lead McClatchy's multi-market and multiplatform projects across the local media company's 30 newsrooms.

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George Coleman

A newspaper veteran with 40 years of advertising and management experience is the Victoria (Texas) Advocate's new director of sales.

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News/Editorial

Reprinted from The Sumter Item

In order to provide timely high school football results and same-day mail delivery for print subscribers, as well as to improve value for advertising customers, The Sumter Item will premier its new Weekend Edition paper beginning Saturday, Aug. 3.

"When we began thinking about this possibility, it became a no-brainer," Publisher Vince Johnson said. "It's better for our readers, better for our advertisers, better for our mail delivery customers. We're trying to create the best local news experience we can for our community in print and online, and this is certainly a step in that direction."

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Industry News

By Leonard Woolsey, president and publisher, The Galveston County Daily News

Print is dead? The future is all digital? Don't tell that to a growing group of digital-based businesses who are successfully making inroads into the print magazine field.

Stop apologizing for your analog product and get your head in the game.

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Newsroom employment across the United States continues to decline, driven primarily by job losses at newspapers. And even though digital-native news outlets have experienced some recent growth in employment, they have added too few newsroom positions to make up for recent losses in the broader industry, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics survey data.

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Join the Video Conference Call -- No Cost

Share your successful circulation subscriber sales and audience acquisition ideas and get more proven ideas in return!

SNPA is hosting a free video conference designed to give you actionable, proven revenue-generating ideas. The next P2P (Publisher-to-Publisher) session will occur on Thursday, Aug. 8 (2 p.m. EDT), and be dedicated to growing subscribers.

Participating is simple. Contribute one idea and in exchange, you get the login codes and the complete package of ideas that are contributed by other newspapers.

Send an email by Aug. 2 to Greg Watson with the subject line P2P and share some information with us.

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Making Money with Video Content

Catherine May and Lauren Musgrove film in the Cahaba River for This is Alabama. Photo courtesy of Red Clay Media

Alabama Media Group launched Red Clay Media in 2017 as a video-driven revenue stream. It began with videos created in the newsroom that inspired engagement from their readers. Today it is a thriving video arm with three distinct brands that focus on feel good, inspirational and comedic southern content.

Kat Duncan spoke with Elizabeth Hoekenga Whitmire, senior director of audience development for Alabama Media Group and Red Clay Media, to learn more about how they've conquered what many newsrooms are still struggling with – making money with video content.

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SNPA Jobs Network

Burlington Executive Editor / Triad Editor, Burlington, N.C.
This person will serve as executive editor for the Burlington Times-News with additional oversight of newsroom leaders at the Asheboro Courier-Tribune and Lexington Dispatch. Learn more and submit your resume

2nd Pressmen for a DGM 430 press, Sun  Publications, Lakeland, Fla.
Sun Publications (DR Media) is looking for 2nd press leaders who are experienced – ensuring safety, quality, basic maintenance and repairs on press. Learn more and submit your resume

Post your job openings with us. To post your employment listing, simply email the text of your ad to cindy@snpa.org.

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Training and Development

In this webinar, learn 10 tips that will make your video story stronger, audio better and video more compelling. This session is good for beginners, intermediate and those who have experience but need efficiency.

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Reader's Corner

You're a print newspaper subscriber, and one morning your paper doesn't show up. You call customer service (how brave of you!) and threaten to cancel. The apologetic customer service rep offers you a discount for the remainder of your subscription, which you accept. But what will you do when that subscription comes up for renewal?

According to a new study from Notre Dame and Emory, newspaper subscribers who receive a short-term price adjustment to quell the disappointment of a delivery failure are actually less likely to renew their subscription when the time comes – suggesting that newspapers might want to adjust their tactics for addressing customer complaints. Among the things they can try instead: Renewal discounts, extending or upgrading the subscriber's existing subscription, and regularly taking the opportunity to remind customers of what the "full" subscription price is.

Read more from NiemanLab.

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A Franklin County town and the local newspaper that covers it are at odds over a public records request.

Town officials estimated The Wake Weekly, a Restoration Newsmedia newspaper, would have to pay a fee of about $70,000 before the town could comply with a public records request the paper made this month.

Legal experts called the fee "insane" and "shocking."

Town officials have since reduced that charge to about $15,000, a price the newspaper says is still too high.

Read more from The Courier-Times.

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News and commentary of interest to journalism innovators and entrepreneurs. Read the latest from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

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