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December 1, 2015 - Issue 47

IMPORTANT: Notify MNA of Changes to Holiday Publication Schedules

With the Christmas and New Year holidays approaching, some newspapers may alter their publication schedules. 

Please notify MNA (612-332-8844 or in advance of any changes, as they could potentially affect proposed advertising placement campaigns.

Thank you in advance!

Your 2016 MNA Advertising Rate Questionnaire is DUE FRIDAY!!

MNA Advertising Rate Questionnaire has been updated for 2016 and includes expanded sections on Display advertising, TMC/Shoppers, Pre-Prints, Insert shipping, and Online. The rates you provide are used by our Media Buyers to generate rate quotes and place insertion orders with your publication. To ensure we have current information for your newspaper, please fill out the questionnaire completely and return it to MNA by Friday, December 4 via fax or email as directed.

Please contact Dan at 612-278-0223 or if you have any questions.
CLICK HERE to download the 2016 Advertising Rate Questionnaire

BNC Letters ... Coming Soon!

We are busy processing the results of the 2014-2015 Better Newspaper Contests! We plan to send letters, by mail, to all winners in the next 10 days.

A kind word from one of our judges...

"With over 80 entries this was very difficult to judge, not so much for the high numbers but for the variety of human interest stories and the excellent quality of the writing. Each entry was good enough to place but with only three spots available only three can win. Again, the quality of writing was amazing and during judging it became evident that instead of a volunteer job it became an honor. To all the entries great job and keep writing."

Any contest questions? Please give us a call (612-278-0250) or email

Nominations Open for 2016 Half Century Club

Is there someone on your staff who has worked in the newspaper industry for 50 years or more? Nominate them for membership in the Half Century Club! Nominees must have worked in the newspaper industry for 50 years or more.  New members will be inducted into the Half Century Club at the 2016 MNA Convention during a special ceremony at the Friday, January 29 luncheon.  Members receive a certificate commemorating their 50 years of service to the newspaper industry

Click here to fill out the nomination form.

Nominations are due on Wednesday, December 31 and should be submitted online.

Questions? Call 612-332-8844 or email

Valassis special postage deal goes out with a whimper

By Tonda F. Rush, Chief Executive Officer and general counsel, NNA

WASHINGTON—The long struggle between the newspaper industry and Valassis Inc., over the direct mail company’s special postage discounts from the U.S. Postal Service appears to have ended with a whimper. In November, Valassis filed a report saying it had carried out no mailings eligible for the special discount. It announced it had paid an agreed $100,000 penalty to USPS last September.

The tension between newspapers and its long-time insert customer began in April 2012 when the Postal Service requested a special contract rate for Valassis that was designed to pull advertising inserts out of Sunday newspapers and into a new weekend Valassis direct mail package. If the program had launched and successfully mailed 1 million qualifying mail pieces, Valassis could have earned a 22 percent to 34 percent Standard Mail postage discount. The newspaper industry fought the proposal, even taking it to the U.S. Court of Appeals. But in the end, the market ruled.

Valassis announced it had launched programs in May 2013 in Atlanta, Phoenix and Washington. It reported mailing 2 million pieces in 2013, but that these were not qualifying pieces under the rules of the contract agreement. There were no mailings in 2014 or 2015.

NNA President Chip Hutcheson, publisher of the Princeton (KY) Times-Leader, said the $100,000 fine was a fitting end to an unfortunate chapter.

“We want to think of this whole experience as an episode of recession fever at the Postal Service. They were facing grim markets, as we all were, and USPS was grasping at straws. The fever ignited this idea of picking winners and losers in the advertising marketplace for the sake of maybe getting in some new mail volume. We at NNA didn’t think it would work, and it didn’t. So USPS got $100,000, and spent unreported thousands in lawyers and analysts’ time. The newspaper industry and Valassis spent heavily to advance their various viewpoints. And in the end, there was no new mail. Newspapers were undoubtedly hurt in those test markets and Valassis couldn’t come up with the advertisers.

“There is a moral to this story that every parent knows: don’t play favorites in the family. No good comes of it. We are glad this chapter is over and we intend to continue to work with Valassis to develop its markets and with USPS to improve the mail. Money is tight. We need to plant our seeds where they can grow.”

To visit the National Newspaper Association website, please click here.

Accountable Journalism database launched

The Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) are launching the Accountable Journalism website, which includes the largest database of media codes in a user-friendly and searchable Web application. One goal of the Accountable Journalism project is to be an ongoing crowdsourcing initiative to keep the database current.  

“This database is one of the most popular features for RJI so we’re delighted to be able to team up with EJN to expand it and make it easier to use,” said Randy Picht, RJI’s executive director. “The new search flexibility alone will give media professionals, educators and students terrific new insights into the important subject of media ethics around the world.”

Within the database, users can search for media codes based on the code’s originating country, as well as by topic, type of organization, region and date of creation/update.

In addition to improving the technology and interface, the revamped Accountable Journalism database now includes additional codes of ethics and links on hate speech, which is problematic both online and offline.

“The relevance of media codes has never been more pertinent than they are in today’s communications landscape,” says Aidan White, director of the EJN. “With the number of voices and the rapid exchanges on the Internet increasing, ethical journalism is needed more than ever to protect the integrity of free expression. It is important work to encourage the development of media codes and how they relate to acts of journalism.”

Continue reading...

November Network Honor Rolls

Five newspapers placed 2×2 ads and four newspapers placed MCAN ads in the month of November.

Detroit Lakes Tribune - 1
Herald Journal Publishing - 13
Kerkhoven Banner - 1
Paynesville Press - 1
Rochester Post-Bulletin - 3

Crookston Daily Times - 1
Herald Journal Publishing - 5
Kerkhoven Banner - 2
Westbrook Sentinel/Tribune - 3

A bonus went to the following nine salespeople who sold an ad into the networks. Congratulations!

Ted Almen
Barb Flicker
Monica Hensley
Randy Heuer
Bruce Johnson
Kari Jurrens
Holly Roush
Chris Schultz
Kristie Well

Click here to read about our 2015 Network Ad Sales Incentive Program and you can earn a bonus next month!This is a boxed text block. You can use it to draw attention to important content.
Earn cash bonuses this season when you sell network ads! Click here for more details and sales collateral. 

Creating a Letters to Santa Special Section: Driving Revenue and Engaging Readers

Thursday, December 3
10:00 a.m.

About the program: 
Publishing letters to Santa in the newspaper is a fun way to increase reader engagement, but it can also be a great way to drive more advertising sales around the holidays. In this session, learn how Sue Brown, editor of the Pleasanton (Texas) Express, uses a Letters to Santa special section to both excite readers and draw in holiday advertising revenue. 

Leading the Discussion: 
HOST Stan Schwartz, National Newspaper Association 
GUEST STAR Sue Brown, Pleasanton (Texas) Express

Registration fee: $30Monday, November 30
(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

End the year with these great webinars!

Check out the upcoming webinars from Online Media Campus!

Using Alternative Story Formats: The How and Why

Thursday, December 10
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Alternative story formats have been shown to grab more readers’ attention, and allow readers to better retain information. This presentation gives an overview of how and when to use alternative story formats, and gives many examples.

Who should attend: This is an intermediate course for reporters and editors who are unfamiliar with alternative story formats, or would like new ideas. GateHouse recommends each newsroom run multiple alternative story formats in every issue published.

More information and register...

Using Social Media To Engage Your Audience –Without annoying your friends and fans

Friday, December 11
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

You must be proficient in social media and digital space, the job ad reads, but do you know how to effectively use social media to extend your news and advertising efforts? Or your brand?

In this webinar, IowaWatch board member, former American Journalism Review editor and now-Des Moines Register writing coach Lisa Rossi will share her social media expertise.

She will cover:

  • Tips on the kinds of messages that work.
  • The most effective times to send messages.
  • How to get those messages to a wider audience.
  • And more!

This session is beneficial for reporters and editors interested in learning how to better engage their audiences.

More information and register...

MNA Public Notice Site - House Ads Now Available!

In 2014, MNA successfully launched its online clearinghouse of Minnesota public notices. Many MNA-member newspapers are up and running on the site, posting public notices weekly - or more often - on the 

Now, MNA has developed a series of house ads you can use to promote in your newspaper and on your website. 
If you haven't started posting your public notices yet, and 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 Jackson to sign up and also 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.

Click here for more info and to view/download ads!

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

James "Jim" P. McDonnell, Jr., 84, longtime publisher of the Wright County Journal-Press and The Drummer, died peacefully at his residence surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. He had worked in the community newspaper business at Buffalo for more than 60 years. The cause of death was pulmonary fibrosis. 

In the 1960's, Jim became very active in the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA), serving on several committees. He was elected to the MNA board of directors and spent 10 years in various capacities on the board, including a year as MNA's State President in 1976

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Jim on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 11 a.m., with Reviewal at 10 a.m. in St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Buffalo, and with burial in the family plot at St. Francis Cemetery. Reviewal is also taking place Friday, Dec. 4 from 4 to 8 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Continue reading...

Bogenschutz announces retirement 
Brainerd Dispatch publisher Tim Bogenschutz has announced his retirement from the publisher's job he's held for the past five years.

Bogenschutz, however, isn't leaving the Dispatch building. Instead, he'll head to Northland Outdoors and serve as its general manager during launches of a new magazine, TV show and digital media offerings. After the launches, he'll continue to serve as an advisor to the new Dispatch publisher as well as the Northland Outdoors team. Continue reading...

Karie Kirschbaum is new owner of Fertile Journal
Twin Valley Times Publisher Karie Kirschbaum has purchased the Fertile Journal. She took over operations Nov. 1 from Rod Thoreson who ran the newspaper for the past 15 years. Changing of the publishers will be the only personnel move. Editor Twylla Altepeter and bookkeeper Connie Hamernik will remain with the Journal. 

Member Classifieds:

NEW: MN, SD, IA, NE newspapers for sale!
Superb Weekly in Prime Lakes Country in Minnesota. Gross revenue app. $400,000 with nice profit margin. More...

Graphic Designer
The Bemidji Pioneer is now accepting applications for a full-time graphic designer. We are looking for a motivated, creative individual who has a passion for design. More...

Regional Reporter
The Bemidji Pioneer and its sister weekly, The American, is seeking a full-time Regional Reporter to cover news and feature stories. More...

Staff Writer / Photographer
Full-time reporter/photographer needed for Dassel-Cokato and sister newspapers. Duties include top responsibility for all local coverage – meetings, features, events, etc. plus online reporting and audience-building efforts. More...

Reporter Needed
Reporter needed for an award-winning newspaper group in the southwest suburbs of Minneapolis. This position requires a reporter with experience that includes video, photography and multi-platform work. More...

Presentation Editor – Duluth
Manage a team of copy editors and designers, working with the group to produce a dynamic, accurate, organized, well-designed and visually-pleasing newspaper. More...

The Renville County Register, a weekly publication located in Olivia & Renville, MN, has an opening for a qualified editor. More...

Publisher – Brainerd
Leads and directs the employees of the Brainerd Dispatch, an award-winning daily newspaper, niche and digital products through planning, developing and implementing organizational policies/goals. More...

Seeking Digital Know-It-All, aka Digital sales manager
RiverTown Multimedia is looking for a sales professional with the energy, positive attitude, digital marketing skills and technical understanding to thrive in a multimedia company growing local digital. More... 

Seeking reporter intern for summer 2016
The West Central Tribune is now accepting applications for its 2016 summer reporter internship position. More...

Seeking sports reporter
The West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minn., is looking for a talented  sports journalist to generate great content in print, digital and video forms. More...

Seeking news reporters
The West Central Tribune is seeking talented journalists for a current and future reporter openings to generate great content in print, digital and video forms. More...

Niche Paper For Sale
Bring in plus business or buy a nice ma/pa publication that can be run from your location in this profitable monthly antiques newspaper. More...

Photographer/Digital Media Specialist
The Daily Globe, a six-day-per-week newspaper located in Worthington, is seeking a photographer/digital media specialist. More...

Reporter – Worthington
The Daily Globe, an award-winning daily newspaper in Worthington, has an immediate opening for a full-time general assignment reporter whose primary beat will be Worthington’s city government. More...

Part-Time Reporter
ECM Publishers, Inc is seeking a part-time sports reporter for the Mille Lacs County Times. More...

Reporter/Staff Writer
The award-winning Faribault County Register in Blue Earth is seeking a full time reporter to fill-out our team of dedicated journalists. More...

Staff Writer
The Herald-Review has an immediate opening for a full-time general assignment reporter. This person will cover community news and events, attend meetings and arrange interviews, write both local general news and regional feature stories, and take photographs as well as occasional video. More...

Publishing – For Sale MN & IA
Weekly newspapers for sale in Iowa and Minnesota. More...

Access to the MNA Member Classifieds Page is free to MNA members.  To submit an ad, please click the “Submit a Job Posting” or “Submit a For Sale/Wanted Posting” buttons on the Member Classifieds page.  MNA Members are also encouraged to post ads for available internships (submit as a Job Posting).  Non-members may send an ad by e-mail to:  The charge for non-members to place ads is $25 per week (payable by check or credit card).  If you have any questions, please email or call MNA: or 612-332-8844.

NOTE:  Once jobs are filled, or For sale/Wanted postings expired, please ask MNA to remove your post from the Member Classifieds. You can send an e-mail to

Weekly Quick Clicks

Print vs. Digital Content Clash: A Tale of Two Burning Ends of a Rope
(Courtesy of INMA)
25 Sales Prospecting Tips to Crush Your Next Call
(Courtesy of HubSpot)
(Courtesy of Media Post)
(Courtesy of Business 2 Community)
4 Principles All Sales People Should Ditch Immediately
(Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)

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Username: Member
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Upcoming Events

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

MNA Board Meeting
December 3-4

Using Alternative Story Formats: The How and Why
December 10

Using Social Media To Engage Your Audience –Without annoying your friends and fans
December 11

2016 MNA Convention
January 28-29
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA/MNI Event Calendar
MNA Member Classifieds
This Week's Network Ads
Recent Press Releases
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