Archive for January 2008

St. Louis reporter is AP Staffer of the Year

January 29, 2008

Christopher Leonard, a St. Louis-based reporter for The Associated Press, was named the AP’s Fred Moen Kansas-Missouri Staffer of the Year in December.
Leonard, 32, was honored at the annual meeting of AP’s Missouri and Kansas publishers in Kansas City.
Leonard joined the AP in 2005 as a business writer. In 2007 he helped lead AP’s reporting on stories including the Michael Devlin kidnapping case, legal fallout from the Taum Sauk reservoir collapse and controversy over the deletion of emails within Gov. Matt Blunt’s office.


‘Freedom Sings’ program in Columbia, MO

January 29, 2008

You are an exceptional individual if you can name all of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A 2006 survey found that only three Americans in 1,000 could name all five: speech, press, religion, assembly
and petition.
“Freedom Sings™,” a critically acclaimed multimedia program of the Freedom Forum, hopes to improve these statistics when it opens the 2008 centennial and dedication celebration of the Missouri School of Journalism and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. The 90-minute event will be held the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 10, at the University of Missouri.
“The First Amendment Center and its ongoing program ‘Freedom Sings™’ are pleased to be part of the celebration of the Missouri program, of journalism  education at its highest level,” said Gene Policinski, vice president and executive director of the Center in Nashville, Tenn. “Music and musicians are a great way to remind our fellow citizens — particularly young adults — of the power, passion and value of free expression.”
The 2006 “State of the First Amendment” poll documents a general lack of First Amendment knowledge by the public. A recent survey of young Americans by the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum revealed that twice as many Americans can name characters from The Simpsons’ cartoon family than those able to name more than one of the freedoms.
“Freedom Sings™” presents First Amendment information within the context of three centuries of banned or censored music in America. The program features live performances by hit songwriters and Grammy Award winners, along with video and live narration.
Ken Paulson, BJ ’75, now editor of USA Today, had hundreds of songs with alleged references to drugs, sexuality, violence and more to choose from when he created and wrote the production. He developed it when he served as executive director of the First Amendment Center. Paulson, who began his career as a music writer and rock critic, will co-narrate the program in Columbia with Policinski.

You’re part of something great!

January 29, 2008

 People across the country have contacted me about the “splash” in last month’s Missouri Press News. All the folderol embarrasses me. I am just not cut out to be a parade leader. Working behind the scenes helping to make things happen is my preferred role. I don’t need, nor do I desire, lots of attention and/or accolades. So just discard the January issue and we will go from there.
Be that as it may, here I am writing another column, and I would like to make a point. If you sincerely believe I had good words to say last month, then follow through by joining my effort to increase involvement in this mighty organization. If you are not aware, we have one of the best state press associations in the country, and I want to keep it that way.
We will be organizing our committees shortly and will be gearing up for a really busy year. Whether your interest lies in legislation that the General Assembly is considering, or in increasing the amount of political advertising we can garner, the Missouri Press Foundation, or any of the other areas, take this opportunity to volunteer your services and expertise. We must have the help of the membership if we are to manage these areas properly. So let us know where your interests lie.
Speaking of participating, February is the month we all converge on Jeff City for the MPA/AP Day at the Capitol. This year we will meet on Feb. 21. But this year will also bring some changes. The evening of Wednesday, Feb. 20, will feature a reception for elected officials and their staffs. (Political advertising will be on the top of our topics list.) That will be followed Thursday morning with a 7:30-9:30 breakfast reception in the Capitol.
It will be a great opportunity to meet and greet representatives and senators prior to the official program later in the morning. That program will feature the new president of the University of Missouri system, Gary Forsee, as well as statewide officeholders. So mark your calendars and plan to attend this expanded event.
Also coming up before you know it will be the annual National Newspaper Association Government Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. This year’s conference is scheduled for March 5-7. Rumor has it the President (as in “of the United States”) may make an appearance.
As I said last month, we can increase participation in a number of ways: encouraging you to take advantage of services offered, participating in advertising programs, attending meetings, contributing to training sessions, joining committees and attending the annualconvention.
I suggest, for starters,that each member newspaper of the Missouri Press Association pick three of the above “Paths to Participation” and agree to increase its level of participation in those three areas. That will get us off to a good start.
If you think of another way that you can participate other than the above list, just let me know and I’ll add it to the participation election list. I can’t stress enough how important it is to all of us to have a strong state organization representing and supporting us.
Let me know what you think and what YOU see as important for the organization to address. I assure you, we will take your suggestions to heart and do our best for you.

STAR reports publisher Mac Tully headed to Denver

January 28, 2008

Star publisher to leave; editor named interim publisher

Mac Tully and Mark Zieman
Mac Tully and Mark Zieman

Mac Tully, publisher of The Kansas City Star since 2004, is leaving the company.

Tully said today he was taking a job with Denver-based MediaNews Group, which owns and runs 57 daily newspapers in 12 states.

Mark Zieman, editor of The Star since 1997, was named interim publisher.

Bob Weil, vice president of operations for The Star’s owner, McClatchy Co., said the newspaper chain had started a search for a new publisher. Zieman is among those being considered, Weil said.

Tully, whose newspaper career began in The Star’s advertising department in 1978, became publisher of the newspaper Jan. 1, 2005. Before that he was a top executive with Knight Ridder Inc., then the owner of The Star.

Before that, he served for three and a half years as president and publisher of the Bradenton Herald in Florida. He was publisher of the Arlington Star-Telegram in Texas, an edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, before moving to Florida.

Tully announced his impending departure at a gathering of Star employees shortly after 11 this morning. He praised McClatchy as one of the best newspaper companies in the country. Tully said he was leaving because MediaNews had offered him an opportunity “too difficult to say no to.”

“One of the things that makes me feel a little better about leaving is that the current management structure is very strong,” Tully told employees.

Before being named editor of The Star, Zieman was managing editor for news at the newspaper for five years. He worked in the Houston bureau of The Wall Street Journal from 1984 to 1986, writing about aviation and real estate, and joined The Star in 1986.

In 1989 he became editor of the projects desk. During his tenure, that department produced an award-winning series about businessman Frank Morgan and an examination of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which won a Pulitzer Prize in the spring of 1992.

Weil called Tully a “terrific steward” of the newspaper and said he was “profoundly disappointed he’s leaving.”

“Mac’s decision to leave was recent and I found out about it recently, so we don’t have a plan to name a successor,” he said. “We’ll begin our search immediately.”

Weil said McClatchy had a lot of confidence in Zieman, who he said would be a candidate for the publisher job.


| The Star

Hallmark warns newspapers of scams

January 23, 2008

January 23, 2008

Via Email

To All State Newspaper Associations
RE: Fraudulent Business Opportunity Classified Advertising

It has come to our attention that a number of newspapers all over the United States are and have been running classified ads from Premier Greetings, Omega Business, and/or Cards-R-Us. These ads may be coming through newspaper groups as placement requests for your statewide classified advertising networks.

These ads generally read, “HALLMARK/AMERICAN GREETINGS Be your own boss. Earn $50k-$250k/year. Call now! 1-888-238-1635,” or use very similar wording. The most recent round may only use Hallmark’s name and a 1-800 number in the copy. These ads have been running in both on-line and print classified sections.

The purpose of this letter is to inform your association and its members that these businesses are not legitimate and that these ads are a scam. We and American Greetings have received countless telephone calls from newspaper readers who have responded to these ads and have lost all the money they invested in this “opportunity.” The investors typically pay thousands of dollars and receive store fixtures and a selection of cards not from Hallmark or American Greetings. Hallmark Cards, Incorporated does not seek distributors, retailers or any other associates in this manner.

We are working to try to stop this unauthorized use of our name and track down these con artists. However, each time we are able to find the company behind these ads, they “morph” into another company. They change the business name and location, and sometimes the toll-free number, and start the advertising campaign over.

The Federal Trade Commission has filed cases involving the use of various types of misrepresentations in the past, and we have made them aware of our concerns.

We understand that none of your association members are under any obligation to refuse this advertising but we hope that, in the interest of their subscribers and protection of the public from such scams, they will consider refusing to run these ads. We would greatly appreciate it if you would share this letter and our request with your association members.

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss this further, I can be reached at the address, telephone or email listed below.

Thank you for your consideration and any assistance you can offer.


Albert P. Mauro
Senior Attorney
Hallmark Cards, Incorporated
2501 McGee Trafficway, MD 339
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
Telephone: 816-545-3187
Facsimile: 816-274-7171

CPI now “Neighbor Newspapers”

January 15, 2008

Community Publishers Inc. has changed the name of its newspaper group to Neighbor Newspapers, said Dave Berry of Bolivar, vice president of the company.
CPI has become a parent company with separate divisions. Neighbor Newspapers is the newspaper division, with publications in three states, Berry said.
The printing division is now known as Nowata Printing, with print centers in Springfield, Harrison, Ark., and Nowata, Okla.
The company’s eight papers in Missouri are The Bolivar Herald-Free Press,
Buffalo Reflex, Cedar County Republican in Stockton, Marshfield Mail, Christian
County Headliner News in Ozark, Nixa Xpress, South County Mail in Rogersville/
Fordland, and The Republic Monitor.

Survey verifies importance of newspaper advertising

January 14, 2008

When consumers need to make an informed choice for shopping, they rely on newspapers nearly 3 times more than the nearest media option (Newspapers 44.3%, TV 18.9%) (Rural areas..aka weeklies – 48.9%, TV 17.2%)

More than any other medium, when consumers want information on home products, hardware, grocery (45.8), electronics, furniture, real estate, new vehicles, what is on sale or local events (43.1), they turn to the newspaper. Overall, it is THE one source they rely on most for advertising. Not surprisingly, over half of all females polled showed they prefer newspapers for advertising.

Grocers beware. Consumers by a wide margin (66%) depend on newspapers, or inserts, to do their shopping.

What is on sale? Most Missouri consumers, (53%), check a newspaper, or an insert, to find out. That number jumps to 60% for females.

Unlike some media, whose advertising message may be gone in 60-seconds, Newspaper has staying power. Over 1/3 of people who read a weekly newspaper, keep it around for a week or more (dailies tend to be kept for four days). On average a weekly reader will keep a paper for just over four days and the majority (62.6%) of papers are read by more than one person in the household.

While facing at least 1,000 advertising impressions each day, isn’t it nice to know that newspaper readers are committed? Almost half (46.5%) admit they read the entire paper thoroughly. Plus, many read, and re-read, the paper giving advertisers multiple opportunities to impress. Just when you thought the news couldn’t get better, these people then pass the paper to their spouse, significant other, or child. Newspaper Advertising. It pays to be seen.

Daily newspaper readers tend to be interactive. Over 63% are aware of their local newspapers website and nearly all of those people have visited it.

How important is Newspapers in Education (NIE)? A recent study showed that over 33% of those people that do not attained a high school education also do NOT read the newspaper. (Double Check this stat)

Over 74% of newspaper readers earn $25,000 or more annually.

The older a Missourian gets, the more likely they feel like newspapers cover the community better. Weekly readers in particular feel they get their local news from newspapers.

71% of those female weekly newspaper readers polled have home delivery. They also ALL read the paper. Dailies are read at a 96.8% clip.

Female readers (weekly) read inserts at a 54% clip.

Oddly, while newspaper web sites have minimally changed readership habits, it has also sparked slightly higher subscriptions (minute numbers, but interesting).

Are you paying attention to what is going on Jefferson City? Your readers are. 67% (71% female) voted in the last election.

Interesting numbers in that the mean age is 45, income is $62,000 and almost 2/3 of the respondents have no kids at home.
–Pulse Research Statewide Market Survey May 2007.