A weekly newsletter for members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, including news, training opportunities, free content and job openings.
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Wisconsin Newspaper Association

Weekly Briefing
Thursday, February 22, 2018

An ice day to stay home

Residents in Ripon and many other communities woke up Tuesday morning to find a significant glaze of ice after an winter storm crystallized parts of the Badger state overnight. Pictured here, some of that ice froze into miniature icicles off every berry on a bush next to Ceresco Park in Ripon. This photo by Ian Stepleton appeared on the front page of today's Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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
Assembly approves bill allowing public notices for some free distribution papers

A bill that will make free distribution newspapers eligible to publish public notices in municipalities that do not have a paid distribution newspaper was approved Tuesday by the state Assembly.

Assembly Bill 731, which was drafted with input from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, was approved on a voice vote without discussion. Its companion bill – Senate Bill 627 – has been approved at the committee level and is ready to be scheduled for a vote by the Senate.

AB 731 and SB 627 seek to address coverage gaps in some parts of the state where communities no longer have a paid circulation newspaper that is eligible to publish public notices. Local officials from those areas have been approaching the Legislature on a regular basis arguing that because they do not have an eligible newspaper to publish public notices, the local government should instead be allowed to fulfill publication requirements by posting notices on their own government websites.

Under this legislation, free distribution newspapers will need to meet the same eligibility requirements for publication frequency, amount of editorial content and distribution currently dictated by law for paid circulation newspapers.

The bill also makes some much-needed technical updates to the definition of a newspaper under the public notice law, including the continuity of legal status for publications in the case of mergers and sales and creating a news content requirement.

Pictured here, from left, during a presentation at the Kettle Moraine Press Association's fall conference are 2016 Future Headliners Brittany Seemuth, Lauren Anderson, Scott Girard and WNA Communications Director James Debilzen.
Friday is the deadline to nominate a Future Headliner

The WNA Foundation is accepting nominations until Friday, Feb. 23 for the Future Headliners program, which will honor up to five up-and-coming young leaders in the newspaper industry. Nominations are open to college students or professionals age 30 and under (as of April 13, 2018) who are currently working in the newspaper industry or studying for a future career in the industry.

Learn more and nominate a Future Headliner ►
And the winner is...

A photo by John Ehlke, photojournalist for The Daily News in West Bend, has been selected by WNA staff for the cover of the next Wisconsin Newspaper Directory. The 2018 edition of the directory is slated to be released soon.

The photo features 13-year-old Gavin Hoffman of Fredonia as he steps from one rock to another over a portion of Silver Creek while catching frogs with his two brothers and a friend.

Thank you to all our members who submitted photos for this year's directory cover contest. Congratulations, John!

Newspaper in St. Croix County publishes final edition

The Central St. Croix News published its last edition today, concluding more than four decades of news coverage of Hammond and Roberts by the locally owned paper. In a front page column, publisher Jeff Redmon thanked readers, editor Michele DeLong and others who contributed to the newspaper during his eight years of ownership. RiverTown Multimedia, which publishes the nearby New Richmond News, has agreed to honor subscriptions for the Central St. Croix News through the end of the year.

Read column by publisher Jeff Redmon ►
Read column by co-founder Barb Gardner ►
Wall Street Journal editor speaking at UW-Milwaukee

The Minority Media Association at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is bringing Marie Beaudette, an editor for the Wall Street Journal, to campus March 9 to talk about her experiences in journalism. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in Bolton Hall room B87, 3210 N. Maryland Ave., Milwaukee. Beaudette is the Journal's assistant managing editor for talent, helping to lead efforts to attract, engage, manage and develop newsroom staff. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited to 60 seats on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Read more ►
Prepare for Sunshine Week March 11-17

WNA members are encouraged to participate in Sunshine Week, an annual nationwide initiative to promote open government. This year's Sunshine Week runs March 11-17.

The goal of Sunshine Week is to spark a nationwide discussion about the critical importance of access to public information. The initiative is sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Newspapers can promote Sunshine Week by publishing stories, editorials, columns, cartoons and graphics highlighting government openness. ASNE and RCFP have made several items available in an online toolkit.

Read more about Sunshine Week ►
Open the 2018 Sunshine Week Toolkit ►
Business of News: Why newspapers should be more involved in their community

EDITOR & PUBLISHER | Tim Gallagher, a former Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and publisher, writes, "Some will argue that our role is an observer. That we report news, we don’t make it. Let’s be clear. I am not suggesting the newspaper convene the search for the next city manager or school superintendent. Many issues require our detachment and even-handed reporting. But our communities need more than an official transcript of local government. At times, they need a firm, but benevolent friend."

Read More ►
Journal Sentinel to host MPI's 'Great Bosses Boot Camp'

Management expert Jill Geisler will lead a one-day interactive workshop on how to be a great newsroom boss during the Mid-America Press Institute's "Great Bosses Boot Camp" March 24 at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The cost is $40 for MPI members and $50 for nonmembers.

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

Watch for updates in the Weekly Briefing and at
Fleck stepping down as La Crosse Tribune publisher

Bob Fleck has announced he will be leaving later this month as publisher of the La Crosse Tribune and River Valley Media Group. Fleck has been an advertising executive with parent company Lee Enterprises since 2016 and joined the River Valley group in June 2017. His new position has not yet been announced. 

Josh Harmon, who is circulation and production director for the River Valley group, has been appointed interim publisher during the search to replace Fleck.

Read more ►
New assistant editor starts work at Ladysmith News

Jerilea Hendrick has joined The Ladysmith News as an assistant editor. She is originally from Bloomington, Minn. and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology and a master’s degree in business administration. In her new role, Hendrick will be covering Rusk County Board meetings, law enforcement and courts, Bruce and Flambeau school news and local festivals and celebrations. She recently moved to Ladysmith with her husband, Leo, and sons, Elijah, Gabriel and Noah, from St. Peter, Minn.

Read more ►
Gary Swenson

Gary 'Swede' Robert Swenson, a delivery driver for the Northwoods River News in Rhinelander, died Feb. 10 at the age of 64. Swenson was one of the River News' "unsung heroes" who had been with the paper nearly 10 years, delivering papers to area stores and distribution racks. He is survived by his mother, three children, a companion, two grandchildren and a brother. A remembrance service was held Feb. 16.

Read story from the Northwoods River News ►
Read the obituary ►
Putting the boss in an ad

Putting bosses in ads can be tricky, because bosses are bosses. They ultimately control their companies’ ad budgets. So when you get an idea – or a request – to put the boss in an ad, things need to be handled with care. Columnist John Foust offers some points to keep in mind in this month's Ad-libs column.

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 Feb. 26
Rep. Macco suggests tax overhaul could include cutting $2.5 billion in state exemptions
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 Feb. 26
Tomah – Wisconsin’s Western Gateway

Download column ►
Download photos ►
Fiscal Facts

Weekly facts from the Wisconsin Policy Forum, the state’s leading resource for nonpartisan state and local government research and civic education.

NOTE TO EDITORS: “Fiscal Facts” replaces “WISTAX Facts,” which was produced by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance and Public Policy Forum merged on Jan. 1, 2018, and is now the Wisconsin Policy Forum.

Column for the Week of Feb. 26
Why Wisconsin’s Property Taxes are Higher than Many States
Download column ►
Online Media Campus is a partnership of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation and press associations throughout the United States and Canada, offering high-quality, low-cost online training to media professionals. The cost is $35 per webinar. Webinar packages are also available.

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.
Upcoming Webinars
Friday, March 2 at 1 p.m.
Flipping Objections on the Spot!
Presenter: Ryan Dohrn, founder of Brain Swell Media
Register ►
Thursday, March 22 at 1 p.m.
Understanding Analytics
Presenter: Sherri Horton, data scientist for GateHouse Media
Register ►
Archive Spotlight
Online Media Campus offers access to more than 200 archived training webinars! Check out the featured archived webinars below or see what's available in the editorial, revenue, digital age, management, technology and circulation categories.
What Works and What Doesn't Work for Site Design
Presenter: Natalie (Talia) Stroud, associate professor of communication studies and journalism and director of the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin
Register ►
Advertising is NOT Marketing! Tips from the Media Marketer
Presenter: Stuart Arnold, founder of Strategic Planning Specialists
Register ►
Maximizing Your Digital Revenue – Don't Leave Money on the Table!
Presenter: Max Freund, multimedia reporter, web developer and digital news product manager for The Gazette Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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
Upcoming Webinars
Tuesday, March 6 at 2 p.m.
Why 2018 is Such a Critical Year
Presenter: Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates
Register ►
Tuesday, April 17 at 2 p.m.
Beyond the Click – Other measurable actions that should be part of your digital campaigns
Presenter: Brock Berry, founder and CEO of Adcellerant
Register ►
WNA members get a discounted rate of $15 per Inland Press Association webinar. Non members are welcome at $25 per webinar. See all Inland Press Association webinars at
Upcoming Webinars
Tuesday, March 6 at 2 p.m.
The Generations: Bridging Age Differences, Eliminating Age Bias and Implicit Bias
Presenter: Camille Olson, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Register ►
Tuesday, March 13 at 2 p.m.
Using all your sales tools: Selling effective multi-channel campaigns
Presenter: Greg Swanson, partner/business development leader, and Destination Commerce Corp.’s OneBoat community CMS
Register ►

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
Reporter – Ozaukee Press, Port Washington
Editor – Alexandria (Minn.) Echo Press
Account Executive – Kenosha News
Reporter – Conley Media, West Bend
Managing Editor – Lodi Enterprise & Poynette Press
News Reporters – The Shawano Leader
Special Sections Editor – Lake Geneva Regional News
Sports Editor – Lake Mills Leader and Cambridge News/Deerfield Independent
Editor – Hillsboro Sentry Enterprise
Visit WNA Career's page ►
Submit a job listing ►
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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