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Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Weekly Briefing
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Tough sledding this winter

With precious little snow on the sledding hill at Ozaukee County’s Hawthorne Hills Park in the Town of Saukville, Emilyn Philipps needed a push from Jeff Philipps to get going last week. This photo by Sam Arendt appeared on the front page of Thursday's Ozaukee Press in Port Washington.

The WNA features work produced by Wisconsin's photojournalists in each issue of the Weekly Briefing. Have a photo you'd like to share? Email the photo, credit and cutline information to
A Letter from WNA Executive Director Beth Bennett
Assembly Bill 731 addresses public notices and free distribution newspapers

What Does AB 731 Do?

For more than 200 years, Wisconsin’s newspapers have helped ensure that the state’s citizens are well informed through public notices. These notices serve as a critically important independent reporter between units of government and the taxpayers, as well as serving as the official notification vehicle for the court system.
Newspaper publication of public notices provides the necessary verification, certification and archiving that ensures that individuals'/taxpayers' rights are protected and preserved. While public notice publication in newspapers has been a constant and reliable third-party check on governmental actors for generations, Wisconsin’s publishers have worked to continually adapt public notice requirements to ensure the broadest dissemination of public information. 
To that end, in 2005, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association began digitally archiving all public notices published in Wisconsin, making them publicly available online at This online clearinghouse of notices from across the state serves as a one-stop shop for notice seekers and can be searched a number of ways. And, the online posting is at no additional cost to the governmental and private entities required to publish public notices. 
In the newspaper industry's continued effort to expand the reach of public notices, while ensuring the all-important third-party verification, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association is supporting the passage of AB 731.
With the assistance of the WNA, AB 731 has been drafted in such a way as to preserve the public notice publication rights of newspapers with paid circulation.
AB 731 would change the existing public notice statute to allow free distribution newspapers to publish public notices if there is no paid circulation newspaper in the municipality. Additionally, the free distribution newspaper must meet all of the frequency, editorial content and distribution criteria currently required by law of a paid circulation newspaper.
The bill also makes some much needed technical updates to the definition of a newspaper, including ensuring the continuity of legal status for publications in the case of mergers and sales; and putting a news content requirement in statute. 
What is the problem we are trying to address and why do we need this change?
The problem that we are facing as an industry is that in some parts of the State of Wisconsin, there are no longer paid circulation newspapers eligible to publish government notices. In Wisconsin, there are 17 counties that have only one newspaper with paid circulation eligible to publish public notices. In many cases, the paid newspaper circulation does not reach all of the citizens of the county. In one county in Wisconsin, there is no paid circulation newspaper.
Local officials from these areas are approaching the Legislature on a regular basis arguing that because there is no newspaper, they should be allowed to publish on their government websites instead.
It is for this reason that WNA sees the addition of “qualified” free newspapers where there are no paid newspapers as being supportive of the association's effort to keep public notices in newspapers.
The proposal, if passed, will bolster the newspaper industry's readership/circulation in the state. The WNA consistently relies on strong readership/circulation numbers when arguing for the continued publication of public notices in newspapers. The WNA believes that this measure will also strengthen the presence of the newspaper industry statewide, providing more publisher contacts for our legislative efforts and more publications statewide for the industry overall.
Once again, this measure only impacts those areas where there is no paid newspaper eligible to publish public notices.
The WNA board reviewed this bill and voted not to oppose it.
The WNA Board of Directors provided input on the proposed changes found in AB 731. The board vote to not oppose the bill was due in part to the multiple attacks during the 2017 legislative session to eliminate the publication of public notices in newspapers. 
The board believes that the proactive measures found in AB 731 demonstrate a commitment on the part of the newspaper industry to ensure the greatest possible circulation of public information throughout the State of Wisconsin.
The WNA would like to thank the bill sponsor, Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) for allowing the association to provide input on the measure. 
I urge any WNA member that would like to discuss the specifics of the changes contained AB 731 to contact me at 608-283-7621 or at


Beth Bennett
WNA Executive Director

Do you need a new website? The WNA Foundation may be able to help

The WNA Foundation wants to hear from member publications that need assistance developing new websites or refreshing the look of their existing websites. The Foundation is considering a new program that would partner with a web development company to offer discounted website design and hosting services for WNA members.

Before we can pursue this idea, we need to hear from you! If you are interested in the possibility of working with the WNA Foundation to develop a new website for your publication, please contact WNA Communications Director James Debilzen with your name, publication, current website address (if applicable), email address and phone number by Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Interest in this proposal will be presented to the WNA Foundation Board of Directors for further consideration.

Yes, I'm interested ►
Reserve your UW Band tickets by Feb. 2

The WNA is selling tickets for the University of Wisconsin's annual spring Varsity Band Concert on April 21 at the Kohl Center. This long-standing tradition provides an opportunity for members to socialize with colleagues, friends and family, while enjoying a truly unique show. Tickets are $23 each, and can be reserved through the WNA's website. Deadline to reserve tickets is Friday, Feb. 2.

Learn more and order tickets ►
Answer a quick, one-question survey for the WNA

Q: Does your newsroom have any reporters who are dedicated to environmental reporting?
(Please click one of the following responses)

Save time and money with WNA's tearsheet services

Do you need help fulfilling tearsheet requests? WNA-Tear offers a streamlined solution to your existing time-consuming tearsheet process.

WNA-Tear lets newspapers provide electronic tearsheets to advertising customers the morning of publication. Agencies and advertisers get fast and easy confirmation of publication at a cost savings to you. What’s more: a discounted monthly rate is offered for newspapers that have e-edition services with Tecnavia

Contact WNA Media Services Director Denise Guttery by email or at 608-283-7630 for more information and to get started!

Tell me more about WNA-Tear ►

What our members are saying about Assembly Bill 70

So far, Assembly Bill 70 has not been scheduled for action in the Assembly. The bill would eliminate requirements for the publication of local government meeting proceedings in newspapers.

Please continue to run the revised house ads the WNA released Jan. 2. If you have any questions about the ads, please contact WNA Communications Director James Debilzen.

Thank you to our members who have published editorials in opposition to AB70:
Have you recently editorialized about AB70? Let us know!
Put newsprint tariff opposition on temporary hold

Industry experts who are carefully following the issuance of preliminary tariffs on uncoated groundwood paper (such as newsprint) are asking press association members to temporarily hold off on contacting Congress until late March, when the U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to set preliminary antidumping duties.

In an email to newspaper association managers, the News Media Alliance said the next critical phase of the tariff fight will be when the International Trade Commission (ITC) conducts its final investigation from late March to July. If letters are sent to the ITC by members of Congress before late March, they will not be included in the public record.

Check future issues the Weekly Briefing for further updates.

Postal rates could climb significantly with new rate-setting approach

NEWS MEDIA ALLIANCE | Publishers could see an extreme rise in their mailing costs in the next five years because of recently proposed changes to the current price structure for marketing mail and periodicals.

Read more ►
Hillsboro newspapers will merge after purchase by Evans

HILLSBORO SENTY-ENTERPRISE | The Hillsboro Sentry-Enterprise and Hillsboro Outlook will merge into one weekly newspaper under the Sentry-Enterprise flag following their purchase by Greg and Sue Evans, owners of the Monroe County Herald in Sparta. The new Sentry-Enterprise will become part of Evans Print & Media Group on Feb. 1.

Read more ►

Facebook will now ask users to rank news organizations they trust

WASHINGTON POST | Facebook unveiled major changes Friday to the News Feed of its 2 billion users, announcing it will rank news organizations by credibility based on user feedback and diminish its role as an arbiter of the news people see.

Read more ►
A classic formula for a community newspaper ... in 1860

WNA Past President Trey Foerster (2004, Iola Herald) shared the following with WNA staff this week:

As Horace Greeley put it in 1860 describing what a good local newspaper should be, “the subject of greatest interest to an average human being is himself; next to that he is most concerned about his neighbors. Asia and the Tongo Islands stand a long way after these in his regard … Do not let a new church be organized, or new members be added to one already existing, a farm be sold, a new house be raised, a mill be set in motion, a store be opened, nor anything of interest to a dozen families occur, without having the fact duly though briefly chronicled in your columns. If a farmer cuts a big tree, or grows a mammoth beet, or harvests a bounteous yield of wheat or corn, set forth the fact as concisely and unexceptionally as possible.”

Save the Date!

April 12-13, 2018  |  Sheraton Madison Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI 53713

Watch for updates in the Weekly Briefing and at

Post-Crescent's Powers covering Winter Olympics

Photographer Dan Powers of The Post-Crescent in Appleton will cover his first Winter Olympics (and third Olympics overall) during the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Sough Korea, in February as part of the USA TODAY Sports Images team.

Read more ►
Community Newsroom Success Strategies
Stick to the basics: Present all sides of the story

Seeking and incorporating the many varied – yet pertinent – voices in a story is not always easy, writes Jim Pumarlo in this month's "Community Newsroom Success Strategies" column. It can take time and hard work – solid journalism that benefits newspapers and readers alike.

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 provides a weekly analysis of issues being debated in Wisconsin state government. The column is underwritten by the WNA and produced exclusively for its members by, a nonpartisan, Madison-based news service that specializes in coverage of government and politics. The byline should read “By”. Proper attribution to is appreciated.

EDITORS: Please include the following tagline at the end of the column – “The Capitol Report is written by editorial staff at, a nonpartisan, Madison-based news service that specializes in coverage of government and politics, and is distributed for publication by members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.”

Column for the Week of Jan. 29
Rural voters getting extra attention as next election looms

Download column ►

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 Jan. 29
Things That Feel Like Home to Wisconsinites

Download column ►
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 Jan. 28
State Unemployment Tax Collections Dropped Since 2012
Download column ►
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.

Thursday, Feb. 15 at 1 p.m.
Video Strategies for Newsrooms to Grow Audience
Presenter: Val Hoeppner, CEO of Val Hoeppner Media and Consulting
Register ►
Thursday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m.
Workflow Automation Tools for Newsrooms of Any Size
Presenter: Penny Riordan, manager of digital content partnerships for GateHouse Media
Register ►
Friday, March 2 at 1 p.m.
Flipping Objections on the Spot!
Presenter: Ryan Dohrn, founder of Brain Swell Media
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

Monday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m.
How Will We Fix the Major Disconnect That Exists in Our Industry?
Presenters: Nancy Lane, LMA President; Peter Lamb, media consultant; and Matt Coen, LMA chairman of the board
Register ►
WNA members get a discounted rate of $15 per Inland Press webinar. Non members are welcome at $25 per webinar. See all Inland Press Association webinars at

Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.
HOW TO: Make Money on Facebook This Year

Presenters: Kim Wilson, founder of Social News Desk; Christina Tenhundfeld, senior audience development manager for Simplemost
Register ►
Help Wanted

There is no charge for members of the WNA to place help wanted ads on the WNA's website. Use the submission form on the website to post your ad or submit your ad by email to Ads will appear online for 30 days and are included in the Weekly Briefing.

Current openings:

Visit WNA Career's page ►
Submit a job listing ►
Submit a Resume

Are you seeking work in the Wisconsin newspaper industry? Post your resume on the WNA website for free! Add your resume online or email your name, the type of position you’re seeking (i.e., editorial, advertising, business, etc.), and your resume in PDF or Microsoft Word format to

Submit a resume ►
View resumes ►
Need to get rid of an old bundle tying machine, replace a worn out piece of equipment or sell your publication? Wisconsin Newspaper Association members are welcome to place “for sale” or “items wanted” ads in the Weekly Briefing and on the Buy-Sell-Trade page of the WNA's website for free. Submit your ads by email to
Submit a Buy-Sell-Trade listing ►
For Sale

Letterpress engravings, wood type, California job case tray – Golden Members Dave and Gretchen Skoloda have downsized so there’s no wall space for their collection of letterpress engravings, wood type and a California job case tray. We have about two dozen examples of wood type and a dozen or so engravings. Make an offer to or 608 781 7502.

Small town community newspaper for sale. The Marion Advertiser has published weekly without interruption since 1895. It is now time to turn the business over to someone else. Owner has been with the business since 1967 and along with his wife, has owned it since 1985. Currently run as a mom and pop business with a part time salesman. Good cash flow from a 16 page broadsheet with nearly 1900 subscribers plus around 200 over the counter sales each week. If you are interested, please contact Dan at

Printing equipment for sale – Wisconsin Newspress, Inc. 113 E. Mill St., Plymouth, WI, 920-893-6411 ext. 29; has the following printing equipment for sale:
  • 2013 Cheshire 7000 with 2″ Videojet addressing head, computer and software. Asking $15,000
  • 2006 Cheshire 7000 with 2″ Videojet addressing head, computer and software. Asking $7,500
  • 2013 Bunn 1691 tying machine. $2000
  • Bunn 1691 tying machine. $1000
  • 2000 Screen Katana 5055 FTP imagesetter, Xitron Navigator RIP. $2500
  • 2001 Screen Katana 5055 FTP imagesetter, Xitron Navigator RIP, no dongle. $2000
  • Southern Lithoplate subtractive aluminum plates 36x24x.008 $1.75 ea. 1800 available
  • Southern LIthoplate plate developer 5 gal. cubes $40 ea. 10 available
  • Southern LIthoplate plate finisher 5 gal. cubes $40 ea. 14 available
  • Nu-Arc Flip-Top 6000 watt plate exposure machines $500 2 available.
  • Nu-Arc Flip-Top 3000 watt plate exposure machine $500.
  • Graham plate processor $500

Copy waxer – We are searching for a Daige-type copy waxer in working order. We occasionally use the waxer for mocking up a special section. Contact or call Gary Ridderbusch at Vilas County News-Review at 715-479-4421.

Electrical parts (sensors) for a hand-fed Auto Labe labeling machine, or if anyone has a hand-fed labeler they would like to get rid of, the Courier Press in Prairie du Chien is looking. Please call (608) 326-2441. Ask for Steve.
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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