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June 2, 2015 - Issue 22

MNA Capitol Report

There’s nothing really new to report from the Capitol this week in terms of key issues for MNA and its members.  Legislative leaders and Gov. Dayton continue to negotiate about a number of items, and though recent news reports suggest that a deal may be close, there’s of course no guarantee of that. 
A special session won’t be called until an agreement has been reached, but with the fiscal year ending on June 30 and a partial shutdown of some state functions likely (which no one wants) unless the budget issues are resolved, it does seem probable that the remaining differences will be worked out reasonably soon.
On a related note, the Department of Revenue reminds us that beginning on July 1, the capital equipment refund will finally become an up-front sales tax exemption.  To claim the exemption on eligible purchases, businesses must give the supplier a completed Form ST3, Certificate of Exemption.  Until July 1, businesses must still pay sales tax when purchasing eligible capital equipment and then file a refund request with the Department of Revenue.

If you do have any questions about legislative issues, be sure to let us know.

Final Regular Session Legislative Tracking List (5-26-15)

Click here to review the 2015 MNA Legislative Report

Welcome Sam Swanson to MNA Staff

My name is Sam Swanson and I am a proud new employee of the Minnesota Newspaper Association. I’m looking forward to working with many of you in my new position as Advertising Account Manager.

My background is extensive in the media industry. After starting out in sales at a Brainerd radio station, I spent 20 years working in television at WCCO/KCCO/KCCW-TV. Since 2004, I have worked at three Minnesota newspapers including the Brainerd Dispatch, Minneapolis Star Tribune and most recently I was General Manager of the Aitkin Independent Age. I understand the challenges that we all face and I hope my background and leadership will be a benefit to all newspapers, small and large.

My wife Anne and I just put our home in Baxter, MN up for sale. We are busy house hunting and hope to settle down in the Maple Grove area. Our daughter Brandi just graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and is working at the Split-Rock Lighthouse north of Two Harbors.

Sam can be reached at MNA by email ( or by phone (612-278-0242).

Just Announced! Ad Sales Training June 26

MNI Presents: Cold Calls, Classifieds, and more with Steve Gall

Friday, June 26, 2015 | 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
St. Cloud, MN | $50 (includes lunch)

Join the Minnesota News Media Institute and trainer Steve Gall, for a daylong workshop covering a variety of ad sales topics. This session will be useful for new reps and seasoned pros alike. Seats are limited so sign up today!

Cold calling!! Yikes!! Just sounds off-putting, doesn't it? Well, prospecting and making initial contact and or calls does not have to send shivers through your Ad Department. This first part of the session will focus on getting the appointment, preparing accordingly and makingfirst calls. Included will be a Needs Assessment exercise, product presentation and getting the client involved in the call. We will also plan the necessary follow-up while building rapport with newer clients.

Building a network- either in Retail or Classified can help bring incremental revenue to your organization. We will look at what fingertip assets Reps can use to build rapport and surround their accounts on a more consistent, full service fashion. Will include both print and digital product discussion. Merging complementary products, either internal or external, and planning for each client on a longer-term basis. Includes product knowledge discussion and applications on competing advantages/disadvantages to help put the training to work in a practical fashion immediately.


Steve Gall

Steve Gall is a 35 year veteran of the newspaper industry. Prior to joining RiverTown, He served as Director of Multimedia Sales for the Pioneer Press and of Digital First Media. Before that, Steve was VP Advertising for the Tacoma (WA) News Tribune and the Anchorage (AK) Daily News as well as Publisher of the Vail (CO) Daily, VP Advertising for the Knight-Ridder Duluth News Tribune and VP of Sales & Marketing for Murphy McGinnis Media, an independently owned newspaper company with 17 newspapers, 7 shoppers, and an Interactive company in the Duluth market.

Gall received his BFA degree in Graphic Design with a business minor from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He spends his free time enjoying the outdoors in Wisconsin or Minnesota either playing hockey, water skiing, snow-skiing, mountain biking or inline skating. He also loves to draw.

More information and register online now!

TEN spots left in the 2015 Pohlad Internship Program!

If you've been considering hiring a high school-aged intern through the Pohlad Internship Program, don't delay! There are approximately 10 spots left in the 2015 program. Internship grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so get your enrollment form in today!

This year is the 11th year of the Pohlad Internship Program. Thanks to a generous grant from the Pohlad Family Foundation, MNA is pleased to once again have the opportunity to provide members with a program that will help reduce the costs associated with hiring high school-aged summer in-terns. In 2014, we placed 65 interns at member newspapers.

How the program works:

  • You choose a high school student, age 16-19, who will work for your newspaper in any aspect of the business half-time for 10 weeks; recent high school graduates are eligible.
  • Complete an enrollment form stating that you will hire a high school intern and wish to participate in the Summer Youth Employment subsidy program. Forms are available on the MNA website, and can be submitted by mail, fax, or email.
  • College students and relatives of newspaper staff do not qualify for this program.
  • The Pohlad Family Foundation requires that newspapers pay a portion of the intern’s wage to ensure a strong commitment from the participants and recommends an hourly wage of $8.00/hour for interns participating in the program.

Download 2015 Program Application
Download Frequently Asked Questions

isit our website for more information and for a 2015 recap...

Fireworks Advertising Rules in MN

Here’s a short summary of the current state of the law, by MNA attorney Mark Anfinson.
The rule for fireworks is like that for most other products and services â€”if you can legally sell them, then you can legally advertise them. Some kinds of fireworks may lawfully be sold in Minnesota, mostly low grade varieties, including sparklers, snakes, glowworms, smoke devices, trick noisemakers, party poppers, string poppers, snappers, drop pops, and similar items. There is no question that they can be advertised.
But what about advertising from out of state fireworks merchants, such as those in Wisconsin and South Dakota? They sell items that are banned in Minnesota. May they advertise those products in Minnesota newspapers? The answer is almost certainly “yes,” based on a 1998 decision of the Court of Appeals. It concluded that the Minnesota statute prohibiting fireworks advertising is unenforceable under the First Amendment, so long as the fireworks being advertised can legally be sold where the sale occurs.
But despite the Court of Appeals decision, the statute remains on the books because it hasn't been repealed by the Legislature. It is therefore remotely possible that a local prosecutor would bring charges in response to an ad from out of state. While the charges would in all likelihood eventually be dismissed under the 1998 appellate ruling, that would require the expenditure of some attorney's fees. Therefore, each newspaper should make its own decision about accepting fireworks advertising from out of state vendors.

NNA Postal Updates

USPS has changed consolidating and closing processing plants

NNA - National Newspapers AssociationIn response to complaints by National Newspaper Association and many mailers, the U.S. Postal Service has changed its planned schedule for consolidating and closing many mail processing plants this year. Although USPS insists the intention to proceed with the network changes remains, the pace of change has slowed significantly. Many closings that had firm July-September dates now have To Be Determined notations.

Rural senators led by Sens. Jon Tester, D-MT, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND, are pushing hard for Congress to enact a postal reform bill that will keep the plants open.

NNA Postal Committee Chair Max Heath requests that members report chronic breakdowns in service to NNA. Current closing and consolidation schedule as of May 27, 2015, is available here.

NNA Applauds Senators’ Interest in Rural Mail Service Study

WASHINGTON—Two rural state senators—Sens. Jon Tester, D-MT, and Heidi Heitkamp, D-ND—have called for the Postal Regulatory Commission to set up a study of rural mail service.

The senators’ letter to the PRC follows a Roundtable on Rural Mail before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at which NNA requested the study.

NNA President John Edgecombe Jr., publisher of The Nebraska Signal in Geneva, NE, said he was gratified by the interest of two key members of the Senate committee overseeing the U.S. Postal Service.

“I believe these senators are seeing what we are seeing. Since the consolidation and closing of postal processing plants across the country, service to rural America has dramatically worsened. NNA’s community newspaper publishers receive a daily diet of subscriber cancellations and failed delivery of their own mail ranging from invoices to their payrolls in Priority Mail. Our communities are complaining and our editors are hearing it. It is time for Congress to demand a change,” he said.

The senators said, "Recent changes to USPS delivery standards coupled with processing plant closures and consolidations have had a devastating impact on the quality of service in rural America. We firmly believe that the continued closure and consolidation of mail processing plants across the country hinders letter carriers' ability to ensure timely delivery and diminishes the Postal Service's competitiveness and relevancy in a 21st century business environment.”

Their letter to the PRC asks for measurement of mail service times from rural to rural areas, rural to urban areas and urban to rural areas. USPS currently measures on-time delivery of mail nationally and reports it to the PRC. But because urban areas receive the most mail, reported averages are heavily weighted toward urban service. Isolating rural service has not yet become a priority of the commission.

Max Heath, NNA Postal Committee chair, said it was time for the PRC to spotlight the rural service problems.

“We count on the PRC to create transparency, as it recently has agreed it is mandated to do. Because it is not possible for the public, the press, the regulators or even members of Congress to lift the lid on the service measurements and see how badly rural areas have been affected by the Postal Service’s changes, no one can really zero in on the solutions. Until we see measurements, we will not see an overall focus on fixing the problems. I am really pleased Tester and Heitkamp are sticking up for our smaller communities. I hope the commission agrees that this work needs to be done,” he said.

The senators’ statement is here.

Enter online in NNA's 2015 Newspaper And Education contest, sponsored by Kidsville News! 

NNA believes successful newspaper education partnerships should be celebrated. Use our Newspapers And Education contest to highlight newspaper/school partnerships (levels K through community college) that focus on developing fully informed citizens. Both traditional Newspaper In Education programs and non-traditional programs are eligible for entry.

The contest is open to NNA member and non-member newspapers. It will recognize newspapers that have established internships, supported school programs, assisted student journalists and helped local education through activities that reach beyond news coverage.
Entries must have been published or carried out between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015.

Kidsville News!, a literacy and educational initiative based in Fayetteville, NC, has stepped up to sponsor this Newspaper And Education contest. We thank Kidsville News! for its generous support in helping us recognize the significant role newspapers play in supporting community educational programs.

Each of the contest’s 10 first-place winners will receive a check for $100 and an award certificate.

Here are the links you need to get started:

ENTER ONLINE (If you don’t have a login and password yet, click on Register.)

Entries must be submitted by July 1, 2015Contest winners will be notified in July if they have won, and they will also be invited to accept their awards in person during NNA’s 129th Annual Convention & Trade Show, Oct. 1-3, 2015, in St. Charles, MO. 

From your NNA contests and awards staff, we wish you the best of luck in this year's contests! 

Questions? Contact Lynn Edinger at: 573-777-4982 or e-mail:

MNA Public Notice Site Training

In 2014, MNA successfully launched an online clearinghouse – an aggregate collection – of Minnesota public notices. Many MNA-member newspapers are up and running on the site, posting public notices weekly - or more often - on the 
At the MNA Convention, MNA Program Director Sarah Bauer lead two sessions for attendees, giving a tour of the site, and providing a hands-on tutorial of the notice-posting process. 

If you've just signed up or are interested in getting started, MNA will provide training and support. We are available to answer questions and walk you through the process of posting your notices. Please contact Sarah Bauer to set up training for you or your staff - there are a variety of options, in person, by phone or Google Hangout. 

Our goal is to have 100% participation by MNA member newspapers and we're getting closer every day. Please sign up today, or give us a call to learn more about the site.

Continue reading and sign up today!

Check out June Editorial, Sales and Digital Sessions!

Check out the upcoming webinars from Online Media Campus!

AP Style Crash Course

Thursday, June 18
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

The Associated Press wrote the book on style – literally. The AP Stylebook is the industry standard, used by thousands of newsrooms and considered the best guide for achieving clean, consistent copy across publications or sections. This course delves into the most common style points journalists should know. It is a good refresher for the seasoned journalist or guide for the new reporter.

More information and register...

Getting the Best Out of Yourself and Your Sales Team

Thursday, June 25
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Like many managers, it is possible you fell into coaching. While you are energized by helping people become their best selves, you may have had a few challenges with training along the way.

This webinar will focus not on sales coaching, but on building the right foundation to make for a more successful sales employee and manager. National trainer Tom Stoyan will discuss sales philosophies and coaching tools that you can implement immediately.

More information and register...

Quickly Create Slideshows and Galleries: A guide to working with YouTube

Friday, June 26
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Having knowledge of how to quickly upload photos to the ever-growing list of platforms you use as a journalist is an extremely valuable skill. In this session, we will take a look at the features of YouTube.

During this program, you will learn how to:

  • Use YouTube for more than just video.
  • Quickly upload photos and galleries to your paper’s YouTube channel.
  • Create engaging slideshows and galleries.

Football Polls: Building Ad Revenue with an Engaging Sports Feature

Thursday, June 4
10:00 a.m.

About the program: 
Regina Kellers uses a football poll designed just for her paper's advertisers. During the football season, 12 advertisers can pick the game winners to receive a large ad on a specialty page that highlights all the advertisers involved as well as the local high school, the local college and the state professional football teams. The polls provide the Fayette County Record a guaranteed weekly revenue boost. 

Leading the Discussion: 
HOST - Stan Schwartz, National Newspaper Association 
GUEST STAR - Regina Kellers, Fayette County Record

Registration fee: $30Register by Monday, June 1
(Registrations submitted after this date are subject to a $10 late fee)

PUB AUX LIVE, featuring revenue-generating ideas for community newspapers, is brought to you by The National Newspaper Association, in partnership with the Iowa Newspaper Foundation.

Register online now

If you have news to share in the MNA Tradewinds,
please email us:

Michael BurnsMichael Burns named publisher of Winona Daily News
Michael Burns took over as publisher of the River Valley Newspaper Group, which includes the La Crosse Tribune, Winona Daily News, Chippewa Herald and the Dunn County News.

Burns, 47, has worked in the print news industry since 1994, most recently as publisher of the Press-Enterprise, a 120,000-circulation daily, and chief revenue officer for the Freedom News Group, a California-based company with assets including the Press-Enterprise and the 220,000-circulation Orange County Register.

He has also served in leadership roles at The Gannett Co. and the Tribune Co.

Bussler Publishing to acquire DCI
Bussler Publishing, the parent company of Steele County Times in Blooming Prairie and the News Enterprise in West Concord, announced last week that it plans to take over the Dodge County Independent, commonly referred to as the DCI, in Kasson beginning July 1. Bussler is purchasing the newspaper from Randy and Lisa Carlsen. The Independent has been in the Carlsen family for more than a half century. Randy's father, Folmer Carlsen, bought the paper in July 1963. Randy has been operating the paper for the past 20 years. Publisher Rick Bussler said the DCI has a solid reputation in Dodge County because of the Carlsen family and he plans to continue that tradition for years to come. 

Josh Moniz is the Rochester Post-Bulletin's new social media reporter. He will focus on expanding the P-B's reporting opportunities through social media, including Twitter and Facebook. Moniz originally is from Madison Lake, near Mankato, and worked as a regional reporter for the Mankato Free Press before joining the Post-Bulletin. Before that, he was a city reporter for the New Ulm Journal. He is a graduate of Wartburg College, in Waverly, Iowa, where he earned a bachelor's degree in communication arts and philosophy.

Patrick Slack has joined the Ely Timberjay as a staff writer. Patrick moved to Ely last fall with his wife. Patrick, a devoted sports fan, grew up on a farm in Belle Plaine. In high school he ran crosscountry and track and also participated in Patrick Slack wrestling and baseball. After graduating, he went on to St. Olaf College in Northfield where he met his future wife. Patrick started working at the Morrison County Record newspaper in Little Falls as the sports editor. He covered sports for six high schools (Little Falls, Pierz, Royalton, Swanville, Upsala and Holdingford), before moving to Ely last fall.

Member Classifieds

Monthly Newspaper for sale
Increase your gross $155,000, capture an 18% EBITDA by The Old Times, a monthly antique newspaper you can move to your shop. More...

NorthNews Monthly For Sale
NorthNews monthly, nearly 25 years old, being spun off from its sister publication. More...

For Sale – Assorted Toner Cartridges – Ricoh/Konica Minolta
We have several toner cartridges that were left in our office when we purchased the business that don’t fit any of the machines we currently have. More...

For Sale – Printer
We have a Xerox Phaser 5500 printer for sale. It has three trays – 1 manual feed, and two ‘drawer-type’ trays that can be adjusted to fit 8.5 x 5.5″ paper, regular 8.5 x 11, legal size or as large as tabloid (11×17). More...

Multi-Media Marketing Consultant
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch is looking for a multimedia marketing consultant. More...

Sports Editor and News Editor Needed
Growing newspaper company in southeastern Minnesota near Rochester looking for two aggressive editors. More...

Work at Minnesota Women’s Press 
Print and digital advertising sales for the Minnesota Women’s Press, a feminist publication in our 30th year. More...

Top Weekly Seeks Reporter/Editor
The Jackson County Pilot, Minnesota’s top weekly newspaper, has a rare opening for a skilled and passionate reporter/editor. More...

Multimedia Sales Representative
The Caledonia Argus and our free distribution shopper, reach over 6,000 dedicated readers each week and are looking for a Multimedia Sales Representative to join our friendly and dedicated staff. More...

Advertising Director
The Daily Globe in Worthington, MN seeks an individual with a proven record of sales success to lead our team of multi-media sales professionals as Advertising Director. More...

The Sentinel of Fairmont, Minnesota, is seeking a reporter/editor. The Sentinel is published six days per week. This job includes covering county government, courts, cops and other assignments. More...

Multi-Media Sales Consultant
ECM Publishers, Inc. is seeking a creative and effective sales person to work with our customers in helping make their businesses prosper. This is a full-time position working mainly with the St. Croix Valley Peach, Forest Lake Times, special sections and online. More...

Media Consultant – Inside Sales
The Media Consultant will be responsible for selling and managing new and existing advertising accounts. More...

Weekly Quick Clicks

(Courtesy of DigiDay)
(Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)

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Upcoming Events

Check out upcoming training events from the Local Media Association
Discounted rates for MNA Members!

MNA Summer Board Meeting
June 17-19

AP Style Crash Course
June 18 | 1-2 p.m.

International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors Conference
June 24-28

Getting the Best Out of Yourself and Your Sales Team
June 25 | 1-2 p.m.

Editors & Publishers Community Leadership Program Workshop I
June 26

MNI Presents: Cold Calls, Classifieds, and more with Steve Gall
June 26 | 10a - 3p

Quickly Create Slideshows and Galleries: A guide to working with YouTube
June 26 | 1-2 p.m.
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA Member Classifieds
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Recent Press Releases
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