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Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Weekly Briefing
Thursday, January 11, 2018

Fishing out on the lake with Dad

Beau Berendt, 2, of the town of Jackson, leans in to get a closer look at the hole drilled by his father, Ben, Wednesday morning on Hasmer Lake in Jackson. This photo by John Ehlke appeared on the front page of Thursday's Daily News in West Bend.

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
Tariffs expected to increase price of newsprint

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association, National Newspaper Association and News Media Alliance are encouraging members to contact members of Congress to push back against preliminary tariffs that could drive up the cost of newsprint prices.

Tony Smithson, vice president of printing operations for Bliss Communications in Janesville, said increased costs on uncoated groundwood paper are likely under preliminary countervailing duties issued Monday by the U.S. Department of Commerce, but the increases will not be as steep as originally anticipated.

“Overall, this is good news, but it will likely lead to at least some price increases,” said Smithson, who advises the WNA on production-related policies. “It’s not the 25 percent that we were warned about, so that’s progress.”

The first round of countervailing duties were announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Monday and will begin affecting Canadian paper producers on Jan. 16. The new duties will range from 4.42 to 9.93 percent.

Countervailing duties are a type of tariff that is levied on imported goods to offset subsidies made to producers in the exporting country, according to the financial education website

This is the first of two announcements on duties, as the Department of Commerce is also expected to release a preliminary decision on antidumping duties on March 8. Anti-dumping duties are described as a “protectionist tariff” that is imposed on imported goods that a domestic government believes are priced below fair market value, according to

The U.S. International Trade Commission will conduct its own final investigation on the case later in the spring and is expected to reach a final determination by September.

 “(These) penalties are essentially permanent, unless there’s a separate agreement under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) that eliminates them,” Smithson said. “That is, of course, extremely unlikely in the current political environment.”

So far, 34 members of the House of Representatives and eight members of the U.S. Senate have signed letters in opposition to the duties that were sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The petitioner for the countervailing and antidumping duties is the North Pacific Paper Company (NORPAC), which owns a single paper mill in Washington. The company is owned by a New York hedge fund operator with no other pulp or paper operations in the U.S. or worldwide, NMA said in a long list of talking points on the issue.

“We are stunned that a single U.S. mill in Longview, Wash., has been able to manipulate the trade laws to their gain, while potentially wreaking financial havoc on newspapers and other commercial publishers across the country,” said David Chavern, president and CEO of NMA, in a statement. “… This decision and its associated duties likely will lead to job losses in U.S. publishing, commercial printing and paper industries.

“The well-documented decline in the U.S. newsprint market is not due to unfair trade, but to a decade-long shift from print to digital distribution of news and information,” Chavern added. “Now, we will all literally pay for one manufacturer’s manipulation of our country’s trade laws.”

In response to the news, NNA President Susan Rowell urged publishers to attend the NNA’s Community Newspaper Leadership Summit March 14-15 in Washington, D.C., to “aggressively urge Congressional action to oppose a misguided tariff that jeopardizes community newspapers.”

“We join our colleagues at the News Media Alliance in fighting back against this ill-advised trade action,” Rowell said in a statement. “Instead of protecting American jobs, as the Department of Commerce is mandated to do, it puts in jeopardy the jobs of thousands of people in our industry, the printing industry and related trades and professions. We must make sure Congress understands the gravity of this threat.”

WNA members are encouraged to contact Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Tammy Baldwin and their local U.S. Congress representatives to voice opposition to the newsprint duties.

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!
Have you sent in your directory updates?

The WNA is still seeking updates for the 2018 Wisconsin Newspaper Directory from 67 member publications.

In early December, leaders at newspapers across the state were emailed a copy of the data WNA currently has on file for each publication along with instructions for submitting corrections. Please let us know as soon as possible if changes are needed for your paper's listing.

If you need a copy of your newspaper's directory information, please contact WNA Communications Director James Debilzen.

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

PNRC Criticizes FCC commissioners for smug dismissiveness

In comments filed last month with the Federal Communication Commission, the Public Notice Resource Center criticized commissioners who mocked opposition to a recent proposal that would eliminate FCC rules requiring broadcasters to publish a notice in a local newspaper when they file certain license applications with the commission.

Read more

Central St. Croix News will cease publication in February

Publisher Jeff Redmon of the Central St. Croix News, which covers Hammond and Roberts in Western Wisconsin, announced in a column this week the newspaper will cease publication next month. The last issue of the News will appear on newsstands Feb. 21 and in subscriber mailboxes Feb. 22.

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Mabel A. Purrington

Mabel A. Purrington, who with her husband, Leonard, owned and operated the Buffalo County Journal and Pepin Laker for 25 years, died Jan. 5 at the age of 97. She was born in 1920 in Wood Lake, Minn., and graduated from Wood Lake High School in 1938. The Purringtons owned the Journal and Laker from 1960-1985.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Jan. 12 at Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, Wabasha, Minn. A visitation will begin one hour prior to the service.

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. 15
$1 million ad campaign seeks to attract, retain Wisconsin workers

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. 15
Live Life Well – 10 Things To Do In Door County | 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. 15
Wisconsin state taxes rose 1.7 percent in 2017
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.

Video Strategies for Newsrooms to Grow Audience – Thursday, Feb. 15 | 1 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

Multi-Dimensional Audience Growth: Why Your Future is Dependent on It – Tuesday, Jan. 16 | 2 p.m. 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

HOW TO: Make Money on Facebook This Year – Wednesday, Feb. 21 | 2 p.m. Register
View the latest career opportunities and submit your own job listing or resume on the WNA's careers page. Available positions:
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

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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