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December 22, 2015 - Issue 50

MNA Staff (L-R): Debbie Evans, Sarah Jackson, Claudia Johnson, Sam Swanson, Cynthia Chapin, Lisa Hills, Dan Lind, LuAnn Yattaw and Randy Kelsey.
MNA Board (L-R): Chris Schultz, Herald Journal Publishing; Marge Winkelman, ECM Publications; Joni Harms, Worthington Daily Globe; Karin Ramige Cornwell, McLeod County Chronicle; Justin Lessman, Jackson County Pilot; Chris Knight, APG Media of Minnesota; Michael Jacobson, Paynesville Press; Pete Mohs, Pineandlakes Echo Journal, Brainerd/Pequot Lakes; Mike Dalton, Cannon Falls Beacon.

Happy Holidays from the MNA Staff and
Board of Directors!

We wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season and much success in the new year! 

Please note that MNA will be closed at 12:00 p.m. on December 24 and reopen on Monday, December 28 at 8:30 a.m. MNA will also close at 12:00 p.m. on December 31 and reopen on Monday, January 4. There will be no MNA Bulletin on December 29. 

We look forward to continuing to serve our newspaper members in 2016 and beyond.

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!

Check out the Convention Schedule!

There's something for everyone at the MNA Convention.
Plan ahead! Early Bird Rates & Hotel Discounts Expire Jan. 8!

The Minnesota Newspaper Association is pleased to present its 149th Annual Convention, January 28-29, 2016. This year’s theme, â€œNewspapers: The Foundation of Vibrant Communities,” recognizes the vital role newspapers play in communities of all size across the state.

A preliminary convention schedule is now available online. Some session details will be confirmed and announced in coming days. Start planning your 2016 MNA Convention experience today!

Click here for the 2016 Convention Schedule (PDF/Updated 12-22)

The MNA convention is held annually in Bloomington, MN and features a wide range of networking and training opportunities, MNA’s Better Newspaper Contest Awards Banquet, a lively trade show and silent auction as well as MNA’s annual meeting. More than 700 newspaper professionals â€“ publishers, editors, reporters, photographers, designers, circulation managers, advertising professionals – and journalism educators and students attend each year.

In 2016, we are pleased to again partner with the Northern States Circulation Managers and welcome its members to take part in all convention activities.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis South is the official MNA Convention Hotel. All sessions and events for the 2016 MNA Convention will be held at the DoubleTree hotel. Don’t miss out on a minute of the convention fun, when you stay on-site! Last year, our group room block SOLD OUT so be sure to make your reservations before the Friday, January 8, 2016 deadline. For more information visit:

NEW for 2016: You asked for it, and we’re pleased to introduce online registration! Visit or click the “Register Now” button to begin your registration. Follow the steps to complete your registration and checkout. You may register yourself – or your entire staff! We can now accept credit card payments online for registration and as always, accept payment by check. Early bird registration rates are available through Friday, January 8.

Visit our website for more information and to register

Please Send us your 2016 Ad Rates ASAP!

The deadline to submit your 2016 MNA Advertising Rate Questionnaire was December 4! THANK YOU to those who have already submitted their 2016 ad rates!

In order to best serve you and our advertising clients we need your 2016 rates entered into our system as soon as possible. If you have not yet, please take time to fill out the updated MNA Advertising Rate Questionnaire and send it back to MNA. If you rates will not change for 2016, please also let us know so we can update your records accordingly.

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 ASAP via fax or email as directed.

Please contact Dan at 612-278-0223 or if you have any questions.

We still need rates from the following newspapers
(as of 12:00 p.m. today):

Annandale Advocate
Anoka County Record
Arlington Enterprise
Babbitt - The New Babbitt Weekly News
Balaton - Press Tribune
Barnesville Record-Review
Battle Lake Review
Baudette - The Northern Light Region
Belgrade - The Observer
Belle Plaine Herald
Bird Island Union
Blackduck - The American
Bovey Scenic Range News Forum
Browerville Blade
Caledonia Argus
Chanhassen Villager
Chaska Herald
Clarissa Independent News Herald
Clinton - The Northern Star
Cold Spring Record
Cottonwood Tri-County News
Detroit Lakes Tribune
Duluth News Tribune
Duluth Reader
East Grand Forks - The Exponent
Eden Prairie News
Eden Valley Watkins Voice
Fairfax Standard-Gazette Messenger
Fergus Falls - The Daily Journal
Gaylord - The Gaylord Hub
Glencoe - The McLeod County Chronicle
Grand Meadow - Meadow Area News
Granite Falls/Clarkfied Advocate-Tribune
Greenbush - The Tribune
Hanska Herald
Hawley Herald
Hector/Buffalo Lake/Cosmos-News*Mirror
Henderson Independent
Hinckley News
Jordan Independent
Karlstad - North Star News
Kasson - Dodge County Independent
Kiester - Courier-Sentinel
Kimball - Tri-County News
La Crescent - Houston County Newspapers, Inc.
Lafayette - Nicollet Ledger
Lake Park Journal
LeRoy/Adams - Mower Co Independent
Lindstrom - Chisago County Press
Littlefork - The Littlefork Times
Madelia Times-Messenger
Minneapolis - Insight News
Minneapolis - Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
Minneapolis - Northeaster
Minneapolis - The Circle
Montevideo American-News
Montgomery Messenger
New Prague - The New Prague Times
Ortonville Independent
Paynesville - The Paynesville Press
Preston - Fillmore County Journal
Prior Lake American
Redwood Falls - Redwood Gazette
Renville County Register
Rochester - Agri News
Rochester - Post-Bulletin
Roseau Times-Region
Sandstone - Pine County Courier
Savage Pacer
Shakopee Valley News
Tower News
Two Harbors - Lake County News-Chronicle
Ulen - Clay County Union
Verndale Sun
Wabasso Standard
Wayzata - Lakeshore Weekly News
Wells Mirror
West Concord News/Enterprise
Wheaton Gazette
White Bear Lake - White Bear Press
Winona Post
Winthrop News

Please contact Dan at 612-278-0223 or if you have any questions.

CLICK HERE to download the 2016 Advertising Rate Questionnaire

Henninger: “Felt right” is not design

“So…why’d you put that gradient screen behind your nameplate?”

“I’m not sure. It just felt right.”

Uh…sorry…no. “Felt right” is not design. It’s just an easy out. When I do a redesign, I tell my clients that it’s part of my job to defend everything I want to do with the look of their paper.


If I can’t defend it—if I can’t make it clear to them what its purpose is and why I’m using it—then I need to take it out.

“Felt right” is not design because I can’t argue with the way you “feel.” Your “feelings” are yours and only you know know how you “feel” at any given moment.

But I can argue that inconsistent design elements make readers “feel” confused. Or that text type that’s too small makes them “feel” that your paper is hard to read. Or that gratuitous use of color makes them “feel” that your paper is gaudy.

Designers need to avoid the “feel” trap. We need to think—not feel—about what we’re doing on a page. And we need to be able to articulate our thoughts when others ask.

To do that, we need to understand that there are some basic rules for news page design. And we need to know what those rules are.

We need to know that every page has to have an underlying grid…a structure that holds the page together.

We need to know the value of negative space—and how to use it.

We need to understand the importance of a dominant visual element.

We need to comprehend the value of proper color use.

Continue reading...



A 2008 poem written by Holly Wenzel, Lillie Suburban Newspapers.

‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas, and all through the place,
ROPs and tabs were staring us in the face.
The ad reps were out all hours beating the streets
At the risk of their sanity, not to mention their feets.

They couldn’t talk clients into “Letters to Santa,”
They couldn’t sell recipes, despite all their banta.
But a Christmas songbook — now that was a coup!
No one could refuse, from a Grinch to a Who!

And sure enough, just as our schedules got hairy,
The business owners agreed! “How festive! How merry!”
In quarter-pages, half-pages and double-trucks they thronged
Until it struck us: we hadn’t a song!

It hit like a Canadian clipper at night:
We didn’t know any songs without copyright.
Not a verse, not a word, not a trill, not a note
Could be taken from the jingle some genius wrote.

There was arguing, hand-wringing, fear and heart-burning
Before it dawned on us: “Call the attorney!”
“He knows we can’t tell a cake from a tort!
He’ll find a way to keep us all out of court!”

Anfinson answered the phone at first jingle,
And gave out a chuckle just like Kris Kringle.
“I teach this specific subject at school,
“And gets lots of questions from papers each Yule.”

“You’d need to find songs that are older than time,
“From before folks were counting each per-use dime.
“Avoid all those ‘Rudolfs’ and ‘Frostys’ and ‘Rocks’
“Unless you’re OK with risking your socks.”

But where would they come from? We’d tried the Net.
We knew “Santa Baby” was about all we’d get.
Then Holly said: “Hey! My mom has a book
“Of songs that might work — let’s take a look!”

The pages were yellowed, tattered and torn,
They’d been printed 30 years before Holly was born.
Her mother, Phyllis, had bound it with tape,
Lest the songs or illustrations escape.

But despite the “Antiques Roadshow” patina,
That book surely saved us from a subpoena.
Its angels on high, its shepherds afield,
Its holly and ivy our songbook would wield.

For its melodies were not constrained by edition;
They were mostly credited to “Tradition.”
The words were also from authors long gone,
Unless they were by the prolific “Anon.”

The ad director cheered, the editors raved.
The publishers smiled. Christmas was saved!
On, typists, on artists, on pagination staff!
Run this to the pressmen! Watch them all laugh!
And the ad director cried, as he left for a beer,
“Merry Christmas to all! Let’s do another songbook next year!”

2016 Ad Design Contest Announced!

In 2017, MNA will celebrate its 150th anniversary! We’d like you to help us mark the occasion by creating an ad that both celebrates MNA’s important milestone – 150 years serving newspapers – and speaks to the importance and strength of newspapers in today’s modern society. Newspapers have been a vital source of information to readers since colonial times and through generations of change, still remain the number one place communities look to for news and information. Help us tell that important story with your 2016 Ad Design Contest Entry. Submitted entries should consist of one (1) quarter page (5.66” x 10.5”) full color print ad.

As always, MNA Convention attendees will review the ads and choose their favorites; winners will take home a cash prize and will play an important role in celebrating MNA’s 150th anniversary!

Winners take home cash prizes!
  • First Place: $500
  • Second Place: $250
Deadline to submit an ad for the contest is: Wednesday, January 20

Click here for more information

4th Quarter MCAN/2x2 Tracking Forms Due by December 30th

The 4th quarter tracking information for 2015 is due back by Wednesday, December 30th.

The forms were emailed to ALL participating members earlier this year.

If you did not get the form, or need an extra copy
click here to download the form.

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. 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

Full Color 2016 Press ID Passes Now Available!

MNA is pleased to offer full color Press ID Cards to members again for 2016. The customized ID cards feature the card holder’s photo and signature, as well as the newspaper’s name and phone number.

The ID is driver’s license-sized and printed in full color on durable plastic so it will last all year without tearing or bending, like MNA’s traditional paper press cards. The Press ID Cards have a professional look and may even be accepted as a second form of identification in some establishments.

Press ID cards for publishers and staff members can be ordered for only $5 each.

Click here to for more info and to order

To log into the "Members Only" section of the MNA website, please use the following information:

Username: Member
Password: Newspaper

MNA “yellow press pass cards” for 2016 were mailed to all MNA member newspapers. If you need to request additional press cards, please email us:

What’s your idea? Apply now for 2016-2017 RJI Fellowships

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute invites proposals from people and institutions to collaborate with RJI on ideas and projects that will help RJI understand and meet the information needs of individuals in their roles as citizens.

Some areas of particular interest include:

  • Projects focused on inclusivity and engaging communities.
  • Applied research that helps in the understanding of the business and practice of journalism.
  • New techniques, tools and technologies.
  • Prototypes that need further development and market testing.
  • Ideas for new revenue streams or business models that many news organizations could adopt.

There are three types of RJI fellowships for 2016-2017: residential, nonresidential and institutional.

Residential fellows spend eight months on the University of Missouri campus. Nonresidential fellows explore their ideas from their home or office, with an occasional visit to campus.  The institutional fellowship allows an individual to remain at their post at a news organization or other institution while developing an idea. 

Each fellowship includes a stipend. Residential fellows receive an $80,000 stipend and a $10,000 one-time housing or relocation allowance. Nonresidential fellows receive a $20,000 stipend, plus research and travel support. The institutional fellowship stipend — $20,000 — is paid to the company or institution and can be used for salary relief or for another purpose to best ensure the success of the fellowship project.

RJI Fellowships are open to U.S. citizens and foreign journalists.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 15.

Click here for more information and to apply:

Generating Revenue with a Local Business Honor Roll

Thursday, January 7
10:00 a.m.

About the program: 
For the past 15 years the Crosby (ND) Journal has continually had success running a special section celebrating milestone anniversaries of local businesses. The section includes feature stories and ads highlighting the number of years businesses have been serving the community. In this session, learn how the paper utilizes the section to generate revenue and guarantee a return on investment. 

Leading the Discussion: 
HOST Stan Schwartz, National Newspaper Association 
GUEST STAR Cecile Krimm, Crosby (ND) Journal

Registration fee: $30Monday, January 4
(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

Losing subscribers because of late mail delivery?
Then you need the NNA Printers’ Workshop!

United States Postal Service Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 11:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Getting a newspaper into a reader’s hands by mail has never been more challenging. Yet the mail is critical to many community newspapers and is often the only way to reach readers living outside the newspaper’s local circulation area. Changes in the US Postal Service have made a hard job harder. Closed processing plants, earlier critical entry times, complex integration with Postal One, changes in bundle preparation are all part of the big picture now.

Successful printers must understand the changes. Publishers have to understand mail preparation requirements to avoid sending subscriber copies astray, causing late delivery and unhappy readers.

And this is only the beginning . Embracing electronic documentation, the Mailers Scorecard and digital scanning are part of our future. Understand it now to keep your business competitive in the future.

This program is for publishers, printers, software providers and others who need to know how to get newspapers delivered by mail. Open to NNA members and non-members alike.

More information and register...

Start 2016 with sales and editorial webinars!

Check out the upcoming webinars from Online Media Campus!

Instant Sales: Six-Step Proven Process

Thursday, January 14
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 

Let’s face it, nothing happens until you get in front of the prospect or customer, either by phone, conference call, webinar or face to face. The biggest challenge that all salespeople face in the 21st Century is getting the prospect’s attention.

One isn’t born knowing how to prospect. It’s a skill and ability that is developed over time. During this webinar, Steve Kloyda will show you how to:

  • Create a prospecting calendar that keeps you focused and on track.
  • Develop a prospecting gold list that keeps your sales pipeline full.
  • Strengthen your prospecting message that gets the prospect’s attention.
  • Implement a proven six-step process to get in the door and close more sales.

More information and register...

A Crash Course to Fact-Checking Journalism: Just in time for election season

Friday, January 15
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
2016 will be a busy year in politics. For those journalists covering elections, that means one thing: A lot of fact-checking. Join Jane Elizabeth of the American Press Institute for an introduction on accountability and fact-checking journalism.

During this webinar, you’ll learn how fact-checking journalism is different than “regular” reporting and how to identify factual deception, especially in campaign ads and speeches.

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:

Kirschbaum takes the publisher's chair at the
Red Lake Falls Gazette 

The Gazette joins the Fertile Journal and Twin Valley Times as part of her organization. Twin Valley Times and Fertile Journal publisher Karie Kirschbaum is the new publisher of the Red Lake Falls Gazette. She took over operations Dec. 1. "I look forward to getting to know the Red Lake Falls community. It is a beautiful area. I'm excited to get to ;know the schools, businesses and city council members." 

Member Classifieds:

Advertising Manager
APG Media of Southern Minnesota, LLC is seeking a dynamic person to lead its multimedia sales force at the Northfield News, located just south of the Twin Cities in the vibrant, economically thriving community of Northfield, Minnesota. 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...

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...

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...

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

The pot business may be legal, but newspapers can’t run ads for it, the U.S. Postal Service says
(Courtesy of the Washington Post)

How to Close Sales in the Age of “Always Be Helping”
(Courtesy of HubSpot)
How Do You Decide Whether This Prospect Is Worth Your Time & Effort?
(Courtesy of MTD Sales Training)
(Courtesy of Media Sales Today)
(Courtesy of Media Life Magazine)
(Courtesy of Sales and Marketing Management)

Members Only!

To log into the "Members Only" section of the MNA website, please use the following information:

Username: Member
Password: Newspaper

Upcoming Events

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

Instant Sales: Six-Step Proven Process
January 14

A Crash Course to Fact-Checking Journalism: Just in time for election season
January 15

Google Analytics: Finding and reading the data
January 21

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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