Weekly Briefing | Aug. 9, 2018
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WNA board presidents oppose tariffs in New York Times articles

In recent articles published by the New York Times, WNA President Skip Bliss and WNA Foundation President Andrew Johnson spoke out against newsprint tariffs.

"When they're gone, they're gone. They’re not coming back," Bliss told The Times, referring to the threat of newspapers closures in an article that published today. "That means those communities — everything we do to hold governments and schools and law enforcement in check — there's not going to be anyone to do that."

Johnson, who testified on the issue last month in Washington, D.C., also recently discussed newsprint increases with The Times. He expressed the industry's need for the International Trade Commission to reverse the tariffs when it votes on Aug. 29.

Register for WNA Trees Retreat by Friday

Want to grow revenue? Need ideas for working through nightmare situations? Just need a break from the chaos of the newsroom? Join us for the 2018 WNA Trees Retreat Aug. 16-17, in Eagle River.

This annual tradition is a great opportunity to unwind, recharge and learn some new tricks while enjoying the picturesque Northwoods. We'll also pay respect to industry leaders during the Memorial Pylon ceremony and raise money for the WNA Foundation at the annual golf outing. Be sure to register by tomorrow!

AG encourages agencies to reduce records request copying fees

The Wisconsin Department of Justice's Office of Open Government on Wednesday announced its reduction of public records request fees following a recent cost analysis. The office recommended other authorities do the same, "especially if new copiers have been leased or purchased since the creation of a fee schedule." Black and white hard copy fees were reduced from 15 cents to 1.35 cents per page and color copies were reduced from 15 to 6.32. Location fees were also updated, as well as fees for electronic records.

Smithson deciphers newsprint tariffs decision

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Aug. 2 announced its decision that proposed newsprint tariffs should be permanent.

However, the news is not all bad, and as we have seen with this entire process, it's complicated. Tony Smithson, vice president of printing operations for Bliss Communications, breaks down the decision in a recent column. 

Rea named president of Newspaper Association Managers group

Bennett also elected to leadership position

Michelle K. Rea, executive director of the New York Press Association, was elected president of Newspaper Association Managers during the group's 95th annual summer conference last week in Park City, Utah, the coalition of trade associations announced Wednesday in a news release.

WNA Executive Director Beth Bennett was also elected to a leadership position — NAM Board of Directors Secretary — at the conference. It's Bennett's second year on the board.

Pfankuch: 6 essential steps to trend reporting

A major goal of news reporting is to keep readers abridged of things, so it makes sense that uncovering and understanding trends should be part of any writer’s toolbox. Editors — and readers — love trend reporting, and it has never been trendier.

Longtime writing coach Bart Pfankuch offers some tips for spotting and illuminating community trends in his latest installment of Better Writing with Bart.

Evans Print & Media Group celebrates 20th anniversary

Evans Print & Media Group, the Sparta-based parent company of the (Sparta) Monroe County Herald and the Hillsboro Sentry-Enterpriseis celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Owner Greg Evans opened Evans Printing in 1998, after working for Monroe County Publishers as a production manager running a web press and organizing all of the printing. 

In 2015, he and his wife purchased the Sparta Herald and the Monroe County Democrat, merging them into the Monroe County Herald in mid-2016. They expanded again earlier this year when they purchased the Hillsboro Sentry-Enterprise and the Hillsboro Outlook, which they also combined. 

Unified Newspaper Group's parent company buys Iowa weekly

Woodward Communications, Inc., parent company of four suburban Madison newspapers, has added the Anamosa (Iowa) Journal-Eureka to its portfolio. Woodward also owns the Fitchburg Star, Oregon Observer, Stoughton Courier Hub and Verona Press.

"We chose to sell to Woodward Communications because of their commitment to community newspapers," co-owner Jim Johnson said.

Fellows sought for University of South Carolina media law seminar

The University of South Carolina is seeking fellowship applicants for its Media Law School 2018, which will be held Sept. 19-22, at its campus in Columbia, S.C. The intensive seminar teaches journalists about criminal law and procedure with a focus on how to more effectively cover trials and the judicial process. Approximately 30 fellowships of $400 each are available to cover travel costs. In addition, lodging and most meals are provided. Fellowship applications are due by Aug. 20.
Among Friends
After 28 years at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, sports columnist Gary D'Amato is leaving for a new position covering golf for Madison-based Killarney Golf Media. He'll be writing for the website

D'Amato started on the sports desk at the Milwaukee Journal in 1990. In 2017, he became the third writer inducted into the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame. He has been named Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year three times, in addition to receiving multiple honors from the Golf Writers Association of America and the Associated Press Sports Editors.
Mark Nesbitt, formerly of The Monroe Times, has been named assistant sports editor for Unified Newspaper Group, which includes the Oregon Observer, Verona Press, Stoughton Courier Hub and Fitchburg Star.

Nesbitt spent the last 10 years covering sports and education at the Times and previously worked as a sports reporter at the (Sauk City) Sauk Prairie Eagle.

He is preceded by Anthony Iozzo, who is moving to the Twin Cities area after eight years in the role.
Gary Redfern, a veteran journalist whose career has roots in Wisconsin, has been named editor of the Holtville Tribune and the Calexico Chronicle/Imperial Valley Weekly newspapers in California, publisher Brenda Torres announced Monday.

Redfern previously worked for the Imperial Valley Weekly as a news columnist and copy editor. Prior to moving out west, Redfern worked at the Milwaukee Journal. He also graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
Kevin Techau, Smith Mills & Schrock
Jed Williams, Local Media Association
Tim Schmitt, GateHouse Media’s Newsroom Development 
see all webinars
The WNA Careers Page is a great resource for employers & job seekers. Recent job postings include: 
Reporters, Hometown News Group
Assistant news editors, Hometown News Group
Sports editor, Plymouth Review
Sports editor, EagleHerald

see all jobs
Group of northeast Iowa weekly newspapers. Very productive and would make a great package for a family-run operations or as an addition to a current publication. The package grosses more than $600,000. Call Dave at (319) 250-2770.

Letterpress engravings, wood type, California job case tray

Printing equipment for sale 
see all buy-sell-trade
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 the WNA at 608-283-7621 or
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