A weekly newsletter for members of the WNA, including news, training opportunities, free content and job openings.
View this email in your browser

Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Weekly Briefing

Thursday, May 11, 2017
Reading reward

Third-grader Mariah Brooks puts the final piece of tape on Principal Kathy Kostrova as the student body erupts with delight Friday at Merryman Elementary School in Marinette. Kostrova was taped to the wall after the students met their reading goals. The photo, taken by Rick Gehard, appeared on the front page of Monday's issue of the EagleHerald in Marinette.

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
Grindstaff, LaPorte, Rickman join WNA Board of Directors

Three seasoned media executives have been elected to the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Board of Directors after being nominated to fill three vacancies.

Joining the WNA Board are Robb Grindstaff, general manager of Hometown News Limited Partnership in Fort Atkinson; David LaPorte, general manager of the Ashland Daily Press; and Randy Rickman, publisher of the Kenosha News.

The WNA Board of Directors is made up of eight directors and seven officers. Four weekly newspaper representatives – one from each region of the state – and four at-large daily newspaper representatives are elected to three-year terms.

Grindstaff, who will represent weekly newspapers in the Southeast Region, has been general manager of Hometown News since early 2015. Hometown publishes eight weekly newspapers and one twice-weekly paper covering 14 communities in Southern Wisconsin. Grindstaff is also the general manager of the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, a position he has held since 2012. The Daily Union is owned by Hometown’s sister company, W.D. Hoard & Sons. Previously, Grindstaff was the executive editor and general manager of Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military's independent newspaper.

LaPorte has been the general manager of the Ashland Daily Press and Price County Review since July 2014. He previously worked as the advertising manager of the Sawyer County Record. Both publications are owned by Adams Publishing Group (APG), which owns 63 community newspapers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, Idaho, Wyoming and Virginia. 

Rickman has been the publisher of the Kenosha News since July 2016 and has a lengthy background in the newspaper industry. Prior to joining the Kenosha News, Rickman was a regional publisher for Wick Communications, based in Sierra Vista, Ariz., after having worked for Lee Enterprises for 24 years. The Kenosha News is owned by United Communications Corporation, which has three daily newspapers, several weekly newspapers and three television stations across Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The vacant seats were previously held by Steve Lyles, who resigned April 28 as senior sales director, group publisher and general manager of the Journal Community Publishing Group; Watertown Daily Times Publisher Kevin Clifford, who moved into an officer position as the WNA Board treasurer in February; and publisher Scott Johnson, who left the Green Bay Press-Gazette in October.

Robb Grindstaff

David LaPorte

Randy Rickman
Shining a light on open government issues

The Wisconsin Openness Report returns Friday as an all-new e-newsletter, highlighting top-notch coverage by WNA members of open meetings and freedom of information issues from around the state.

Sign up to have the Wisconsin Openness Report delivered to your inbox.

Have a recent article regarding open meetings, open records or other freedom of information topics to submit to the report? Contact Julia Hunter at

Digital ad network continues to grow

The WNA has returned its display ad sales division to in-house management and is now operating with the name Targeted Advertising Services. The new ad service is responsible for selling and managing display ad sales on behalf of WNA members.

Advertising Services Director Tom Johnson is beginning to aggressively pursue digital advertising sales for your benefit, but we need your help to get started.

We're asking members to donate one run-of-site ad position on their website to support the sales effort of our new digital ad network. The digital ad network will add to Targeted Advertising Sales' offerings for current and potential clients and will help strengthen the WNA and the services we provide for you.

For more information, contact Advertising Services Director Tom Johnson at or 608-283-7625.

Donate Online Ad Position
Thank you to the following members for joining the digital ad network:
  • Ozaukee Press
  • Tomahawk Leader
  • Inter-County Leader
  • Washburn County Register
  • Spring Valley/Elmwood Sun-Argus
  • Woodville Leader
  • The City Pages, Wausau
  • Verona Press
  • Oregon Observer
  • Stoughton Courier Hub
  • Fitchburg Star
  • The Monroe Times
  • Ripon Commonwealth Press
  • Daily Jefferson County Union, Fort Atkinson
  • Burnett County Sentinel
  • Osceola Sun
  • Amery Free Press
  • The Sounder, Random Lake
  • Watertown Daily Times
  • Rice Lake Chronotype
Reminder: Code your public notices with WNAXLP

The WNA is asking members to double-check their public notice pages to make sure every public notice contains the “WNAXLP” code, including before and after jumps.

Wisconsin statute requires all legal notices published in newspapers must also appear on the WNA's public notice website — In order for this to occur, notices must be coded as mentioned. 
If you have any questions regarding this issue or others, please contact Denise Guttery, WNA Media Services Director, 608-283-7630 or

Rodgers joins Waupaca County Post

Ben Rodgers, former editor of The Chilton Times Journal, is now a reporter at the Waupaca County Post.

He replaced Jane Myhra, who retired in March.

A 2008 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Rodgers majored in communications with an emphasis in journalism.

In 2009, Rodgers began working at The Jamestown Sun, a six-days per week newspaper in North Dakota. He worked at The Sun until 2014, then returned to Wisconsin to be closer to his family.

After working in customer service for an insurance company for nearly two years, Rodgers returned to journalism to be the editor of The Chilton Times Journal in July 2016.

Read more ...

Judith Marie Olsen

Judith Marie Olsen, a former reporter for the Monroe Evening Times, died April 30 at the age of 77.

Olson was born in Wauwatosa in 1939 and graduated from Horlick High School in Racine, Wis., in 1957. She went on to further her education graduating from Highland Community College and Concordia University with a degree in marketing.

Olsen worked for the Monroe Evening Times as a reporter, Monroe Hospital and the University of New Mexico Hospital.

Funeral services were held Wednesday in Madison.

Read the obituary

Louise Sumner Archbold Bjorklund

Louise Bjorklund, 87, of Madison, died May 6. The journalist and teacher was the widow of Robert Carl Bjorklund, former farm editor for the Wisconsin State Journal, and a very influential reporter on agricultural policy.

Louise shared her husband's passion for news writing, and celebrated his 40 year career at the Journal by editing a book of his articles, "Bob's Wisconsin Dairy Friends," published in 2004.

More recently, Louise herself was in the news in March of last year, when she presented the University of Wisconsin with her husband's voluminous lifework including photos, vintage typewriters and cameras, a project which she spent years compiling. This trove of journalism, from 1949 to 1989, reveals major agricultural transitions in Wisconsin, and will be an important research source for UW students.

Read the obituary
Read about the Bjorklund donation to UW-Madison


Into the Issues: Distinguishing ourselves and building confidence and trust

Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, says to survive, newspapers must stop thinking of themselves as being in the newspaper business, or even in the news business; you’re in the information business, competing with all other sources of information for people’s time and attention – even if you are the only newspaper in your market.

Read more ...

Design for Readers: 60 inches? No visual? Never again.

What would design expert Ed Henninger do if his staff ran a 60-inch story without any photos or graphics?

"I would say not-very-nice things (and maybe throw out a planned epithet or two) to the writers and editors who let this happen. I would say those things loudly and forcefully, in the newsroom so everyone else can hear me."

And he's only getting started.

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 May 15 - Same goal, different approaches to address homelessness

Click here to download the column.

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.

Crowd-sourcing May Bring Transparency to Medical Charges

Click here to download the column.

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 May 15 - Northwoods Fun on the Flambeau River

Download this week's Discover Wisconsin column.

Download this week's Discover Wisconsin photos.

Weekly facts from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Week of May 15

Download this week's WISTAX Facts column

Download this week's WISTAX Facts graphic

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.

Rural Journalism: Tracking Agriculture - Thursday, May 18 | 1-2 p.m. Register

What Would Sammy Do? Top Priorities for Sales Today - Thursday, May 25 | 1-2 p.m. Register

Building a Strong Service Directory to Increase Revenue - Wednesday, June 7 | 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

A Social Marketing Solution: Why Reviews Matter - Tuesday, May 16 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Monetizing Local Event Listings: 10 Things Every Community Calendar Should Be Doing - Thursday, May 18 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

3 Years Later: The Further Adventures of Billy Penn - Tuesday, May 23 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register

Digital Agency Best Practices - Tuesday, May 30 | 2-2:30 p.m. Register
WNA members can take advantage of reduced registration rates for webinars on Kevin Slimp's Newspaper Academy online community, featuring some of the most highly sought after trainers and speakers in the newspaper industry. Register for all Newspaper Academy webinars at

Ed Henninger: News Design 101 - All Basics, No Bull - Thursday, May 25 | 10 a.m.

Ed Henninger: 10 Surefire Ways to Improve Newspaper Design - Thursday, June 1 | 10 a.m.

Tim Smith: Selling Print in a Digital World - Thursday, June 1 | 2 p.m.

Richard Hollow: 10 Legal Questions Newspapers Ask - Thursday, June 22 | 1 p.m.
  • 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:
    • Managing Editor – Lake Mills Leader
    • Regional Editor – The Country Today
    • Reporter – Monroe County Herald, Sparta
    • Reporter – Edgerton Reporter
    • Editor – Rock Valley Publishing
    • Digital Sales & Marketing Consultant – Local Matters Digital, Janesville
    • Packaging Supervisor – The Janesville Gazette
    • FOR SALE: Small town community newspaper – The Marion Advertiser
    • FOR SALE: Printing equipment – Wisconsin Newspress, Plymouth 
  • 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
Follow the WNA
Like the WNA
Visit the WNA Website
Copyright © 2017 Wisconsin Newspaper Association, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list