Tillotson shares statistical analysis calculations used by SNI in benchmarking 9/26/17

By Cindy Durham, assistant executive director, SNPA

Benchmarking helps newspaper management set goals, track success or failure, and provide objective standards for comparison, publishers heard during a session at the SNPA-Inland Annual Meeting led by Dolph Tillotson, president of Southern Newspapers Inc., and Tim Prince, vice president of Boone Newspapers and publisher of the Shelby County Reporter in Columbiana, Ala.

During this session, Tillotson shared a six-page handout offering the statistical analysis calculations that SNI uses, and he also is offering a blank Excel spreadsheet that can be used by other companies that want to implement something similar.

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Les Simpson: With friends like Editor & Publisher, who needs enemies? 9/26/17

By Les Simpson, SNPA president, and president and publisher of the Amarillo Globe-News

Last week, E&P sent many in our industry an e-mail with a link to a column. The subject line read: "E&P Exclusive: Newspapers Should Be Transparent About Their Financial Challenges."

It made some claims that the industry isn't being fully truthful about our finances with a few suggestions on how to do it better by someone who left newspapers a decade ago.

I crafted a reply – which you can read here – with the help of a few SNPA board colleagues. My thought was "Wouldn't 'Editor and Publisher' (emphasis added) like to hear the viewpoint of ... say ... a publisher?"

Boy, was I wrong.

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PolitiFact, Alabama Media Group find plenty of work to do 9/26/17

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

As Republicans head to the polls today for the nationally watched runoff election between U.S. Senate candidates Luther Strange and Roy Moore, PolitiFact has focused its Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking forces on Alabama.

But its mission isn't only about sorting out who's telling the truth and who isn't in the primary contest to replace Jeff Sessions, now U.S. attorney general. PolitiFact is researching what people think about the organization itself and other news media outlets in some of the politically reddest places in the country: Mobile, Ala.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Charleston, W.Va. The goal is to improve credibility all around.

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AP to enhance fact checks with $245,000 from Knight 9/25/17

The Associated Press has announced an effort to enhance its fact-checking and ability to debunk misinformation with $245,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

With the funding, AP will add additional full-time journalists dedicated to fact-checking and integrate local news fact checks into APNews.com and the AP News app.

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ZipRecruiter, GateHouse Media launch partnership to transform hiring 9/25/17

ZipRecruiter and GateHouse Media have announced a partnership that makes ZipRecruiter the exclusive recruitment advertising partner for GateHouse Media. The partnership, which will launch Oct. 1 in more than 550 markets across the U.S., will power GateHouse recruitment pages – online and in print – that reach more than 21 million readers every week.

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Raycom Media, CNHI announce merger 9/25/17

Raycom Media Inc. and Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. have agreed to merge, forming one of the nation's largest privately owned media groups.

Raycom Media owns or operates 65 television and two radio stations covering 44 markets in 20 states. CNHI owns more than 110 newspapers, websites and niche publications in 22 states.

Under the merger agreement, CNHI will operate as a Raycom Media subsidiary.

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Serving their communities before, during and after Hurricane Irma 9/19/17

Compiled by Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

A large percentage of SNPA's members were affected by historic Hurricane Irma. They managed to report the news amid power outages, flooding and dangerously high winds that struck most of Florida and parts of South Carolina and Georgia.

This was a storm that made landfall on the west coast of Florida but blasted the east coast. The eye moved through the center of the state. Initially, delivering a newspaper was difficult if not impossible, but websites could be updated constantly.

What follows are some of the newspapers' own stories.

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Sun Coast Media Group offers disaster relief program for community 9/19/17

Sun Coast Media Group, the parent company of Sun Newspapers, has announced a million dollar disaster relief program for local businesses. For any business closed due to storm damage beyond Monday, Sept. 18, Sun Coast Media Group is offering a "Get Back on Your Feet Program."

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Preparedness and collaboration kept CMG communities informed during hurricanes 9/19/17

When Hurricanes Harvey and Irma carved their destructive paths across Texas and Florida within a week of each other, Cox Media Group's keen focus on preparedness and collaboration across markets and media platforms ensured that its audiences continued to count on CMG for the critical news and information they needed during the disasters. CMG had round-the-clock, emergency coverage in eight Texas and Florida markets – providing a vital link to communities during the critical window before, during and after these hurricanes.

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Publishers: Don't let your brand be shaped by competitors and critics 9/19/17

By Cindy Durham, Assistant Executive Director, SNPA

The newspaper industry has been phenomenally successful in adopting and adapting and embracing new technologies and becoming multi-media organizations, Bob Provost executive-in-residence/consultant with The Marketing Provost, told attendees at the SNPA-Inland Annual Meeting.

But, he says the industry hasn't created the perception of success. Instead, he said our public image "has been shaped by default – not by design. And, that's criminal. Negative news such as circulation declines, layoffs or buyouts, will reach the public eye and awareness without any effort on your part. However, no one else is going to get out in the market and promote your award-winning news coverage, our success as a public watchdog, our efficacy for local advertisers, and our relevance to younger adults."

He emphasized: "Please do not let your image be shaped by your competitors and your critics."

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