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Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Weekly Briefing

Thursday, June 8, 2017
Fun and games

Douglas Elementary in Watertown had its field day and cookout on Tuesday on the playground. Pictured here, fourth-grader Sandra Sotelo plays a water game. This photo by Sarah Weihert appeared on the front page of Wednesday's Watertown Daily Times.

The WNA features an example of the outstanding work produced by Wisconsin's photojournalists in each issue of the Weekly Briefing. Have a compelling photo you'd like to share? Email the photo, credit and cutline information to
Dan and Patsy Brandenburg and their daughter, Angie, are selling the Marion Advertiser after more than 35 years of publishing the hometown newspaper. – Contributed photo
Marion community rallies around newspaper publisher

A publisher who is fighting his way through cancer treatments will benefit from an upcoming charity event being organized by the Marion Lions Club.

Dan "Thumber" Brandenburg, 66, is receiving treatment for stomach cancer and looking for a buyer for the Marion Advertiser, which his family has owned and published for more than 35 years. The Brandenburgs want to turn the Marion Advertiser over to another community-minded owner and continue the legacy of a successful hometown newspaper.

The upcoming benefit – "Thumbs Up for Thumber" – will be held June 11 at Northwoods Banquet Hall, 1103 N. Main St., Marion. The event will feature live music, bake sales, auction, raffles, silent auction and activities for children. Doors open at 11 a.m.

Other community efforts to help the Brandenburgs have included softball games, a benefit sponsored by the high school track team and bake sales. Some 12-year-olds are selling “Brownies for Brandenburg.”

Read more ...

WNA members win national awards

Three Wisconsin newspapers will be recognized during the National Newspaper Association's awards breakfast on Oct. 6, which is being held as part of the NNA's 131st Annual Convention & Trade Show in Tulsa, Okla.

The Door County Advocate in Sturgeon Bay, Vilas County News-Review in Eagle River and Waushara Argus in Wautoma were named winners in the NNA 2017 Better Newspaper Contest and Better Newspaper Advertising Contest.

The awards are:

Door County Advocate – First Place for Best Sports Column, Best Sports Section/Page and Best Feature Story; and Second Place for Best Feature Story.

Vilas County News-Review – First Place for Best Public Notice Journalism; and Second Place for Best Use of Ad Color.

Waushara Argus – Third Place for Best Feature Story; and Second Place and Honorable Mention for Best Multiple Advertiser Section.

There were 1,433 entries in the editorial contest and 221 entries in the advertising contest for a total of 1,654 entries. A total of 475 awards were won by 117 member newspapers in 33 states.

Read more ...

Court rules DNR violated open meetings law

A judge has ruled that the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board violated the state’s open meetings law by discussing the public’s business during a private dinner meeting. The violation occurred Jan. 26, 2016, the night before the board approved a controversial state Department of Natural Resources plan to allow snowmobiles in a state park known for silent sports such as cross-country skiing.

Read coverage by the Wisconsin State Journal ...
Read coverage by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ...
Read the court decision ...

Public notice training coming to Stevens Point

Get answers to your questions on a vital component of government transparency during the WNA’s upcoming public notice workshop.

The WNA will hold a “Lunch & Learn” public notice training workshop on July 13 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens Point. Registration will open at 11:30 a.m. with lunch and training to begin at noon. The cost is $25 per attendee.

During the workshop, we’ll review:

  • State-mandated pricing and typefaces for public notices.
  • The annual application process for Department of Administration certification.
  • Which government entities are required to publish public notices.
  • How works and how to link directly to your newspaper’s online public notice database.
  • Ask us anything! Open discussion period for all questions you may have.

The deadline to register for this “Lunch & Learn” event is July 7. Register online or contact WNA Member Services Director Julia Hunter at 608-283-7622 or

Register Online
Bring the WNA's new online ad campaign to your website

The WNA is offering digital house ads to members to promote the newspaper industry.

The branding campaign directs readers to a website that includes an interactive map of local newspapers and highlights recent stories where WNA members are making a difference in their communities.

The ads are available for download in JPG and InDesign format. Members are welcome to customize the ads, too.

For more information, contact WNA Member Services Director Julia Hunter at 608-283-7622 or

Download Ads
Gardner joins City Pages

Matt Gardner has joined the City Pages in Wausau as a news reporter.

Gardner comes to Wausau from the Lake Mills Leader, where he had been the newspaper's managing editor since December 2012. He previously served as sports editor of the Leader and the Cambridge News and Deerfield Independent.

Gardner is a 2011 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

In a note to readers, publisher Tammy Stezenski said Gardner is a snowboarder and an "outdoors sports kind of guy (who) relished the idea of moving to Central Wisconsin."

Watertown Daily Times welcomes Newquist to ad staff

Sara Newquist has joined the display advertising department at the Watertown Daily Times.

Newquist succeeds Gayle Davis, who retired at the end of April.

In her new role, Newquist will be working with existing and potential newspaper clients in the communities that surround Watertown. She is a resident of Watertown and comes to the Daily Times after working as a communications specialist at Bethesda Lutheran Communities.

Newquist was previously a public relations intern for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville communications department, as well as the news and features editor for the weekly student-run newspaper, the Exponent. She is a graduate of UW-Platteville.

Journal Times introduces summer staffers

The Journal Times in Racine has welcomed two summer interns and a summer college freelancer.

Jonathon Sadowski joined The Journal Times as a news intern. Sadowski is a 2015 graduate of St. Catherine’s High School and is heading into his junior year at Columbia College Chicago, where he is studying journalism. Sadowski will be writing news stories and features and posting articles on social media.

Jack Zellweger is joining The Journal Times as a photo intern for the summer. He is originally from the Los Angeles area and attended Kenyon College in Ohio. It was through a college friend that he ended up visiting Racine for the first time and decided that he wanted to spend more time there. Zellweger will be taking photos this summer at area festivals, sporting events and concerts.

Another new byline in the paper this summer is that of Evan Casey, who lives in Racine. He is a summer college freelancer for The Journal Times. Casey is a 2012 graduate of Union Grove High School and is a senior majoring in journalism and history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Jonathon Sadowski

Jack Zellweger

Evan Casey
Roberto Lowe

Roberto "Bob" Lowe, who spent his career as a reporter for the Post-Crescent in Appleton, died May 18 in Richmond, Ind. He was 69.

Lowe was born and grew up in the Panama Canal Zone, where he graduated from Paraíso High School and studied at the Canal Zone Junior College. He emigrated to the United States in 1970 and obtained a bachelor's degree in political science with a double-minor in sociology and criminology. He subsequently earned a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Lowe worked as a reporter/staff writer for the Post-Crescent from May 1974 until his retirement.

A graveside service was held Friday, June 2 in Richmond, Ind.

Read more ...

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association has partnered with various organizations to provide free content to members. If you have questions regarding the content below, please contact WNA Communications Director James Debilzen at 608-283-7623.
The Capitol Report

The Capitol Report features news and analysis on statewide government and political issues in Wisconsin. The column is available for free publication by WNA-member newspapers only.

Column for the Week of June 12
Non-partisan court race already has partisan overtones

Thinking About Health

"Thinking About Health" by Trudy Lieberman is a twice-monthly column available to any WNA member newspaper. The column is distributed to 17 state newspaper associations through the "Rural Health News Service" and is funded in part by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund.

Column Released June 1
Elderly May See Drastic Cuts in Medicaid, Medicare Services

Discover Wisconsin

A weekly column written by the staff of Discover Wisconsin highlights things to do and see throughout the State of Wisconsin. The column is accompanied by photos for use in print and online. 

Column for the Week of June 12
Chill Out Four Different Ways with Dairy | Download Photos


Weekly facts from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, the state's oldest and most respected private government research organization. Since 1932, WISTAX has been promoting better government and an informed citizenry through its publications, public outreach, and extensive school programs.

Column for the Week of June 12
Property Taxpayers Received $1.2 Billion in Tax Credits
ATTENTION WISCONSIN JOURNALISM STUDENTS AND ADVISERS: Is there an Online Media Campus webinar you’d like to take? The WNA Foundation will sponsor your registration! Contact Jana Shepherd at to register.

How to Start and Market a Podcast – Thursday, June 15 | 1-2 p.m. Register
As part of the WNA’s partnership with the Local Media Association, LMA offers special discounted rates on many benefits including webinars to our members. Webinars for association partner members are $29 each ($59 for non-members). See all LMA webinars at

Treating the Customer as a Strategic Asset: Multi-Platform Audience Growth at The Day  Monday, June 12 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Key Benchmarks for Digital Sales: How to Gauge Your ‘Achievable Revenue’ – Thursday, June 15 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

3 Fresh Ideas to Market and Monetize Your News Media Brand  Tuesday, June 27 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Giving the Perfect Dealer Presentation  Thursday, June 29 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register
  • FREE MEMBER CONTENT: Download the latest content from the Capitol Report, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, Thinking About Health, Discover Wisconsin and WISTAX Facts.
  • CAREERS - BUY - SELL - TRADE: View the latest career opportunities, resumes and "for sale" listings. Available positions:
    • Circulation Manager – Kenosha News
    • General Assignment Reporter – Chippewa Herald
    • Managing Editor – Lake Mills Leader
    • Regional Editor – The Country Today
    • FOR SALE: Small town community newspaper – The Marion Advertiser
    • FOR SALE: Printing equipment – Wisconsin Newspress, Plymouth 
    • FOR SALE: Weekly Newspaper – The Chilton Times Journal
  • SHARE YOUR NEWS: Staff changes, promotions, celebrations, milestones and success stories. We want to hear from you!
The Weekly Briefing is published Thursdays by the staff of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.

Created by and for Wisconsin’s newspapers, WNA exists to strengthen the newspaper industry, enhance public understanding of the role of newspapers, and protect basic freedoms of press, speech and the free flow of information.

Have news you want to share in The Weekly Briefing? Contact James Debilzen at 608-283-7623 or
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