Posted tagged ‘National Newspaper Association’

Obit – Kenneth Bronson

October 26, 2010

Kenneth C. Bronson, 77, who spent 39 years with Stauffer Communications Inc. and was a sought-after newspaper consultant for decades, died Monday (Oct. 25, 2010) in Topeka.

Services are set for 10 a.m. Friday (Oct. 29, 2010) at First Christian Church, 1880 S.W. Gage Blvd., in Topeka. The family will greet visitors at 9 a.m. at the church prior to the service. Burial will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery. Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Cards may be sent to Edith Bronson in care of the funeral home: Penwell-Gabel, 1321 S.W. 10th, Topeka, KS 66604. Memorials are suggested to the Kansas Newspaper Foundation, 5423 S.W. 7th, Topeka, KS 66606; the First Christian Church, 1880 S.W. Gage Blvd., Topeka, KS 66604; or the Alzheimer’s Association, all in care of the funeral home.

Bronson was born April 15, 1933 and grew up in Kensington in north-central Kansas.

Bronson was a frequent presenter at Missouri Press state and district meetings in recent years.

He began his career in Topeka at the State Journal and Daily Capital, where he started as a sports writer in 1952 and later became state editor and news editor.

After his marriage to Edith MacArthur in 1959, the Bronsons purchased a weekly newspaper in Pierce City, Mo., and built it into an award-winner in one year.

He rejoined Stauffer in 1962 as editor of the Independence (Mo.) Examiner. Stauffer Communications transferred Bronson to Pittsburg in 1966 where he became editor and publisher of the Pittsburg Headlight and the Pittsburg Sun. He merged the two newspapers in the fall of 1966 as The Headlight-Sun as a seven-day newspaper and later converted it to a morning newspaper, the Morning Sun.

At Pittsburg, he installed the first small newspaper newsroom computer system west of the Mississippi, was a pioneer in computerizing the business operation, built a new building and installed a new Goss Urbanite press in 1973.

Oscar Stauffer, founder of Stauffer Publications, later to become known as Stauffer Communications, asked Bronson in 1976 to oversee the Stauffer newspapers as vice president. Bronson moved to Topeka in 1977 and later was given the title of senior vice president. He was responsible for a division that grew from 12 newspapers to 22 newspaper plants, producing more than 30 newspaper and shopper products.

Bronson started Stauffer Media Systems in 1976 after designing and implementing business computers at Pittsburg. He built the company into a leading vendor of newspaper software products, including the Stauffer Gold Electronic Library and Stauffer Audiotext Systems. The company also operated four retail computer stores and marketed newsroom and business systems to newspapers.

When Stauffer Communications was preparing to sell the company in 1993, Bronson moved to Indiana to work for an old friend, John Nixon, who had called and asked him to be chief operating officer for Nixon Newspapers. He retired from that position on June 30, 1997, and up until a few years ago had been traveling around the nation sharing his expertise with newspapers of all sizes and with newspaper associations.

Bronson was president of KPA in 1975-76 and of the Inland Press Association in 1992. He also had been president of the Kansas-Missouri Associated Press editors and publishers, chairman of the Inland Group Executives Seminar, a director of the Mid-America Press Institute in St. Louis and a trustee of the William Allen White Foundation. After he joined Nixon, he became a director of the PAGE national newspaper cooperative.

He presented more than 200 seminars and workshops for state and regional newspaper associations, spoke at the American Newspaper Publishers Association’s national conventions, at the National Newspaper Association national convention multiple times, at National Newspaper Foundation seminars and at many Inland Press Association and state press association conventions. He also had been a speaker at judicial conferences, both on the state and national level.

Bronson has served on the board of directors of the American Judicature Society and as a director of the Christian Board of Publications. He twice has been president of local Rotary clubs and is a Paul Harris Rotary Fellow. He was president of two chambers of commerce and was on the board of the Kansas State Chamber of Commerce. He has been on the boards of a community college, two hospitals, a public library, United Way, a Boys Club, Junior Achievement and his church where he is an elder on the local level and an officer on the regional level. During his 19-year stint as one of two nonlawyers on the Kansas Commission for Judicial Qualifications, the Supreme Court of Kansas awarded him its first-ever Kansas Justice Award in 1989 “for distinguished contributions to the improvement of justice in Kansas.” He was the first nonlawyer and nonjudge ever to chair the commission and spoke at many state and national judicial meetings.

A native of Kensington, a small farming community in north-central Kansas, Bronson attended the University of Kansas and graduated from Washburn University in Topeka after a tour of duty in the U.S. Navy. He served on the USS Boxer aircraft carrier, where he published a weekly newspaper and was editor and publisher of a history book of the ship. The latter effort involved working with a Japanese printing company and earned him a commendation from the ship’s captain. Bronson was elected to the Kensington High School Hall of Fame in 1971.

He served as interim executive director of the Kansas Press Association twice (in 2000 and 2003) and was director of the Kansas Newspaper Foundation from 2005 to 2007.

He was elected to the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2002.

He is survived by his wife, Edith, three children, Brian, Laura and Linda, and two grandchildren.

The Bronsons also traveled extensively on Inland Press Study Missions, which have involved meeting with government officials, press associations and newspaper editors. Their trips have included: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, England, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, Monaco, Norway, Peru, Romania, San Marino, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe.


NNA president advises newspapers that H1N1 Virus is not really the “swine flu”

October 19, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC — National Newspaper Association Cheryl Kaechele, publisher of the Allegan County (MI) News, today urged community newspapers to use precise language in coverage of the H1N1 flu virus. Technically, Kaechele said, the virus is not related to swine.

Kaechele said NNA was asked on behalf of pork producing states to clarify for readers that exposure to hogs, pork products or other swine is not the precipitator of the virus. Confusion from newspaper headlines that refers to H1N1 as “swine flu,” she said, has unfairly cast doubt upon the pork industry.

She said: “Here is what the Center for Disease Controls says about the H1N1 virus:”

This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America. But further study has shown that this new virus is very different from what normally circulates in North American pigs. It has two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and bird (avian) genes and human genes. Scientists call this a “quadruple reassortant” virus.

As newspapers that often cover farming communities, she said, NNA member publications should be aware of the nature of this confusion and accurately label stories about the virus. She thanked Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo, for calling the issue to NNA’s attention.

CDC also provides useful tips for preventing illness, Kaechele said.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

Community newspapers can provide information on sensible management of the H1N1 season by contacting their public health agencies, she said. Information from CDC can be found at

National Newspaper Association Opposes Cuts In Mail Service

February 3, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—National Newspaper Association President John W. Stevenson, publisher of the Randolph Leader, Roanoke, AL, said he feared cuts in United States Postal Service budgets might do what rain, snow, sleet and dark of night had not: keep the local newspaper from being delivered.

NNA expressed grave concern about a proposal by Postmaster General John E. Potter to lift a federal mandate requiring six-day mail delivery. But NNA supported Potter’s request to change the way retiree health benefits are paid, a move that could trim nearly $2 billion from annual USPS expenses. Potter in late January asked Congress to remove an annual mandate that in 1983 began to tie USPS to the six-day week.

The mandate is passed by Congress every year in USPS appropriations bills. The practice of limiting the Postmaster General’s flexibility in deciding on service began in 1983. But Potter says in an institution that might see losses as high as $6 billion this fiscal year, “it is possible that the cost of six-day delivery may simply prove to be unaffordable.

“If that should occur,” Potter told the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security. “It could become necessary to temporarily reduce mail delivery to only five days a week. We would do this by suspending delivery on the lightest volume days. Toward this end, I reluctantly request that Congress remove the annual appropriation bill rider, first added in 1983, that requires the Postal Service to deliver mail six days each week.”

Potter also asked Congress to remove a requirement imposed in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that requires prefunding of the health care premiums for future retirees. Since the prefunding rule went into effect, USPS has made payments that cut into the bottom line.

In 2008, it paid $5.6 billion into the health fund, while paying current retirees an additional $1.8 billion out of current cash flows. USPS is not objecting to payments into the trust fund, but seeks to be permitted to draw down from the fund to meet payments to current retirees.
USPS is the only federal institution with such overlapping current/future retiree payments falling due each year. Potter cited cost-saving steps that have been taken to help USPS weather the economic storms that have clobbered domestic mail volume. In 2008, volume fell by 4.5 percent, helping to usher in a $2.8 billion loss.

In response, Potter has frozen executive salaries, reduced personnel at headquarters, created new services to attract package mail volume, closed 58 Airport Mail Facilities and continues to close and consolidate mail processing plants.

The requests for Congressional relief in the health benefits and six-day-delivery mandate, he said, had to be made as USPS continues to contemplate lean revenues. He assured Congress that a decision on curtailing delivery would be made by the USPS Board of Governors if the law is lifted, and would affect light volume days.

NNA has joined major mailing organizations in calling on Congress to permit the change in the health benefit contributions. But it said fixing the sour finances by curtailing delivery was the wrong move. “Beginning to cut back on delivery would accelerate the Postal Service’s present downward spiral,” NNA President John Stevenson, publisher of the Randolph Leader in Roanoke AL, said. “It would force some newspapers out of the mailstream, and cause advertising mailers to seek other avenues to get their messages out. That in turn will drive customers to change their reading habits and to rely less upon the mail. Once this mail volume leaves, I doubt it would ever return.” “I don’t believe the Postal Service is going to take such a drastic step,” NNA Postal Committee Chairman Max Heath said. “I know PMG Potter wants to have the flexibility to go to five-day service if he decides he absolutely must have it, but I am confident that the senior management of USPS realizes that moving in that direction could be irreversible and damaging to USPS, as President Stevenson says. “If
Congress will take the reasonable and right step to grant the health benefit funding adjustment requested, I feel strongly that mailers can avoid any cutback in delivery days. USPS is as seriously affected as any entity by the severe recession, and deserves the relief,” said Heath.

If the six-day delivery law is withdrawn, however, USPS might be tempted to try reducing mail delivery selectively. For example, it might choose a five-day delivery pattern in low-volume rural areas, or economically challenged urban areas that do not get much direct mail. That, according to NNA Public Policy Director Tonda Rush, would raise a host of new questions.

“Even if the six-day rule is lifted,” she said, “Congress still mandates USPS to provide universal service. If it were to try selective cuts, I would expect federal court challenges to test whether universal service is being compromised.”

Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association is the voice of America¹s community newspapers and the oldest newspaper association in the country. The nation’s community newspapers inform, educate and entertain more than 60 million readers every week. -30-

Spaar receives NNA’s McKinney Award

October 1, 2008

Betty Simpson Spaar receives the National Newspaper Association’s highest award for newspaperwomen, the Emma C. McKinney Award, Sept. 27, in St. Paul, MN.  Presenting the award is Steve Haynes, NNA president, Oberlin, KS.  Mrs. Spaar, publisher of The Odessan in Odessa and president of the Missouri Press Association in 1988, has been a community newspaper publisher since 1960, and was inducted into the MPA Newspaper Hall of Fame in 1997.  She was accompanied to the NNA’s annual convention by her daughter-in-law, Renee Spaar, and granddaughters Hannah and Hallie Spaar.  The award presentation was made on the 100th birthday anniversary of her late father, W. Lester Simpson, who published The Holden Progress and served as president of the MPA in 1957.  The McKinney Memorial Award was created in 1966 to honor Emma C. McKinney, co-publisher and editor of the Hillsboro (OR) Argus for 58 years. In 1954 Mrs. McKinney was named dean of Oregon newspapermen and women and in 1957 received the Amos Voorhies Award, the highest state honor that can be awarded to an Oregon newspaper person. Mrs. McKinney was inducted into the Oregon Journalism Hall of Fame in 1982.

Mtn. View publisher featured in Pub Aux

May 5, 2008

Tianna Brooks and the Mountain View Standard News were the focus of a feature story in the April issue of Publishers’ Auxiliary, a publication of the National Newspaper Association.
Brooks’ family bought the Howell County weekly in 2001 and put Tianna, 28, in charge in 2003.
Brooks’ background is as a teacher. She taught fifth and sixth grade language arts before taking on the newspaper and worked with her father in real estate.
Brooks’ two brothers each operates a business, one a heating and air conditioning firm, the other a carpet company. Those two companies and the newspaper are housed in a family-owned building.
“I have developed a great respect for journalism and the newspaper’s watchdog role,” Brooks told Publishers’ Auxiliary.
She has learned by doing and by attending training programs sponsored by the National Newspaper Association and Missouri Press Association. She went on the NNA On the Road tour of Missouri newspapers in 2005.
Missouri Press inspired her to begin a Newspapers In Education program, and she appreciates MPA’s legal hotline. Whenever she gets bogged down she just heads off to an MPA meeting to get a new dose of education and inspiration, she said.
Brooks was elected president of Ozark Press Association at that group’s March 28 annual meeting in Point Lookout.


April 16, 2008

Helen Sosniecki, who has owned three weekly newspapers and published a small daily in Missouri during a 34-year career, has joined Interlink Inc. as its Senior Sales and Marketing Manager. Interlink, based in Berrien Springs, Mich., provides circulation management and ad-billing systems for more than 1,200 community newspapers.

Sosniecki, with her husband, Gary, owned the Humansville Star-Leader from 1980 to 1986, the Webster County Citizen in Seymour from 1988 to 1999 and The Vandalia Leader from 2003 to 2007. From 1999 to 2003, they were editors and publishers of The Lebanon Daily Record and vice presidents of its parent company, Lebanon Publishing Co., in Lebanon, Mo. She also has worked for The Jackson, Tenn., Sun, the Marion, Ill., Daily Republican and the Wichita, Kan., Eagle-Beacon. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Sosniecki is a past president of the Ozark Press Association, a past National Newspaper Association representative on the Missouri Press Association board, and, with her husband, was a vice president of the Missouri Associated Press. The Sosnieckis shared the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors’ lifetime-achievement award, the Eugene Cervi Award, in 2003. They also shared the NNA Community Development Award in 1998. Each received NNA President’s Awards in 2007.

Sosniecki has been a longtime customer of Interlink and supporter of its circulation management and ad-billing systems.

“Interlink has long been the favorite of publishers of many of America’s finest community newspapers,” Interlink founder Bill Garber said. “To have a representative of one of those legendary publishing partnerships join Interlink is unprecedented. That Helen chose Interlink as a platform from which to, in a very real way, personally help secure the future of community newspapering is a great honor.”

Companies typically sell either circulation programs or mailing services. “Interlink is the only newspaper-circulation-system vendor to secure USPS certification for its integrated mail preparation and address verification. Because we control the process, we deliver greater flexibility and precision while greatly simplifying personalized subscriber care,” Garber added.

“Helen knows firsthand how very good for business it is to partner with Interlink to take impeccable care of subscribers and advertising accounts,” Garber said.

The Sosnieckis live in Le Claire, Iowa.

Helen Sosniecki may be reached at