Convention Report: Woolsey and Davis discuss magazines, creating audience engagement

Brumby, Pool elected to lead GPA as president, vice president

A familiar face rejoined old colleagues at Georgia Press Association’s 2018 Convention earlier this month, and he brought some welcome news.

Otis A. Brumby III, left, of the Marietta Daily Journal, and Dan Pool, of the Pickens County Progress of Jasper, are GPA’s new president and vice president.

Leonard Woolsey, now publisher of The Galveston County Daily News in Texas, but once the group publisher of three Georgia papers for Paxton Media, led two sessions at the convention about building successful magazines. His message: Great, and profitable, magazines can produced by any newspaper, regardless of size or location. It was a message reiterated by DuBose Porter of The Courier Herald in Dublin and Patrick Yost, publisher of the Morgan County Citizen of Madison.

All three of them provided tips and suggestions for finding the right type of publication for a particular area, developing the vision for it and putting the vision into action, as well as for improving existing magazines.

Another familiar face, Dean Charles N. Davis of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA, led a session about engaging with readers to fight back against negative perceptions of the media. The time to engage, Davis said, is not when there is a crisis, but every day through social media channels. They should be used to address misinformation spread by critics and with a goal of increasing trust in professional reporting. “We have been systematically and repeatedly villainized,” he said. “The industry is waking up now to the importance of telling eople who we are and why we do what we do.”

The presentations by both Davis and Woolsey are available for GPA members to review. Contact for access.

Other convention highlights:

Cheryl Williams presents her husband, Robert, with a medal for his induction into GPA’s Golden Club for 50 years of service to the newspaper industry.

• At GPA’s opening luncheon, Robert M. Williams Jr. of The Blackshear Times was inducted in the Golden Club, honoring people with 50 years of service to the newspaper industry.

• Hans Appen of Appen Media Group was given the David E. Hudson Open Government Award for his company’s Black Box investigative reporting initiative, which focused on open government issues throughout the state in 2017.

• Carey Williams of The Herald Journal in Greensboro, Ga., won GPA’s Community Service Award, which requires a nomination from the newspaper’s local community.

• Jesse Cole, owner of the Savannah Bananas independent league baseball team, led the Convention’s opening luncheon while wearing the yellow tuxedo he has made famous.

Otis A. Brumby III of the Marietta Daily Journal was elected GPA President for 2018-19. Dan Pool of the Pickens County Progress of Jasper will serve as vice president. William Bronson of the Daily Citizen-News had been slated to be treasurer, but accepted a job as the publisher of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal just before the convention. The GPA Nominating Committee will seek a replacement candidate.

The GPA bylaws were also changed to add a category of memberships for individuals, allowing retired newspaper executives and current and retired journalism educators to join the association with board approval.

At the Better Newspaper Contest banquet, the Savannah Morning News was given the Freedom of Information Award for its two-year legal battle to get public records from its local hospital authority.

Shaddi Abusaid of the Marietta Daily Journal and Halei Lamb of The Forest-Blade in Swainsboro were chosen as the winners of the 2018 Emerging Journalist Awards in the Better Newspaper Contest.

There were 606 awards presented in 41 categories to 73 newspapers. Judging was done by members of the Kansas and Oklahoma press associations in February and March.

To get editions of Winners 2018, the newspaper with complete contest results, contact Sean Ireland. You can also visit to see results, or you can visit the contest website at to see each of the award-winning entries in every category and complete judging comments.

Leonard Woolsey leads a convention session about designing a magazine that reflects the flair and culture of your local community.

GPA establishes magazine association

GPA’s 2018 Convention had a large focus on magazines, which are becoming a growing piece of the revenue pie for many newspapers.

Two sessions at the convention dealt with how newspapers can successfully start a magazine publication and the similarities and differences they have with newspapers. But the biggest development for the magazine industry in Georgia may have been the GPA membership’s vote to start an industry trade association for magazines.

The Georgia Magazine Association and a set of bylaws governing it were established at GPA’s annual meeting, creating an organization to support magazines published from inside and outside the newspaper industry.

“So many of our current GPA members now have magazines, that we felt it was important as a press association to develop an organization to support them,” said GPA President Otis Brumby III, publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal and several other GPA-member publications through Times-Journal Inc. “The magazine industry has continued to grow in our state, even as newspaper growth has slowed. There are many excellent magazines being developed and produced in Georgia. They deserve the support of a professional organization that can promote them and protect their interests as an industry.”

The new association will offer professional and educational development opportunities, an annual competition awarding excellence in magazine products and lobbying efforts on issues such as advertising taxes and will strive to promote the industry much as GPA does for newspapers. GMA will also establish an advertising network to help national advertisers reach the targeted, niche audiences they seek.

“We think we can help magazine publishers and editors by sharing best practices and ideas, helping sell advertising and giving them a voice with lawmakers,” Brumby said. “At Times-Journal, our newspapers produce several magazines, and this association offers us a wealth of opportunities to help them grow and improve.”

The GPA board of directors has been working out plans for the magazine association behind the scenes for months, and the board’s efforts culminated in the convention vote to establish it.

Membership will be open to any organization that publishes a magazine, even those not otherwise affiliated with the newspaper industry. The new organization’s bylaws define membership qualifications, including:

  • The periodical must be published in Georgia, and it may be local, regional, statewide, national or international in scope.
  • The magazine must be published no fewer than three times a year and no more than 52 times a year.
  • Over any four consecutive issues, the magazine must have average minimum editorial content of 25 percent.

GMA will offer associate memberships for companies that regularly do business with the magazine publishing industry as well as affiliate, honorary and student memberships.

The timeline for getting the magazine association established calls for GPA’s board of directors to meet in August to appoint a board for GMA, which would then set a dues structure.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to help this growing industry continue to thrive,” Brumby said. “If you publish a magazine, you’re going to want to be a member.”

Member News briefs: 

Executives on the move

Pope to lead The Post-Searchlight in Bainbridge

Bainbridge Media LLC, the publisher of The Post-Searchlight, appointed General Manager Mark Pope to a new leadership position.

Mark Pope

Pope, who has been with the company for more than 35 years, has assumed responsibility for all day-to-day operations. Former Publisher Jeff Findley is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

“I look forward to the new challenges of running day-to-day operations here at The Post-Searchlight,” Pope said. “I truly believe I have been mentored over the years by some of the best in the newspaper business right here in our own building, but I won’t be shy to ask others for their thoughts and guidance as we go forward.”

Pope began working at The Post-Searchlight in 1982 in the pre-press department, later becoming a pressman and then head pressman. He was promoted to production manager in the 1990s and later became general manager. He continued to serve in that capacity when Boone Newspapers, Inc. purchased the newspaper in 2008.

— The Post-Searchlight, Bainbridge


Regan-Porter joins McClatchy as South Region editor

Macon resident Tim Regan-Porter has been named editor for McClatchy’s South Region, which includes newsrooms in Macon, Columbus and Biloxi, Miss.

Tim Regan-Porter

Regan-Porter spent the past six years in Macon as director of Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism, an innovative partnership among Mercer, The Telegraph, Georgia Public Broadcasting and 13WMAZ.

In his new role, Regan-Porter will be part of McClatchy’s regional leadership team. He’ll work closely with the senior editors at The Telegraph, the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus and the Sun Herald in Biloxi to produce high-quality journalism that is essential to the communities they serve.

Regan-Porter will be based in Macon.

“I am thrilled to take on this new role. Macon is home, and I care deeply about the people and welfare of Middle Georgia. The Telegraph, like the city itself, has its challenges, but I believe both have the potential to be examples of excellence and revitalization,” he said. “I look forward to strengthening the quality journalism that has been a bedrock of this institution while reimagining how we serve the community in the digital age.”

— The Telegraph, Macon


Barlow named Daily Citizen-News publisher

Keith Barlow, veteran publisher of The Union-Recorder of Milledgeville, has been appointed publisher of the Daily Citizen-News of Dalton.

Barlow succeeds William Bronson, who resigned recently to become publisher of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo. Barlow will continue to oversee The Union-Recorder as well as the Crossville, Tenn., Chronicle in his role as a regional publisher for CNHI LLC, the Montgomery, Ala.-based parent company of the papers.

Jeff Mutter, advertising director of the Daily Citizen-News, was promoted to general manager, and will oversee the day-to-day business operations of the paper.

— Daily Citizen-News, Dalton

What can you do to fight newsprint tariffs?

Use customizable ads like these to make your readers aware of the unfair tariffs on newsprint.

Publishers and other newspaper leaders know more than anyone about the impact of newsprint tariffs on their newspaper’s ability to provide news and information to their communities.

You are in the best position to explain the impact on your business, employees, advertisers and readers.

That is why News Media Alliance is asking publishers from across the country to participate in a Washington “Fly-In” on June 13-14 to meet with members of Congress and explain the unintended consequences of newsprint tariffs on newspaper operations, news coverage and jobs in your local community. The objective is to encourage policymakers to support efforts to reverse these unwarranted and damaging tariffs.

RSVPs and questions should be sent to Paul Boyle at

For many publishers, participating in the fly-in event is not possible, but there are ways that you help in this fight. Earlier this month, GPA asked publishers of member newspapers to contact Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue and their U.S. House representative and give them personal stories about the effects of the tariffs.

Will you have to layoff employees? Will you have to cut back publication days? If a weekly misses printing more than one week, their postal permit is in jeopardy, which means they are no longer qualified to publish public notices. Tell them how cutting back pages means less information is delivered to readers.

You can use your newspaper to get involved too. The Galveston County (Texas) Daily News is running a series of ads calling on its readers to contact the governor, senators and representatives to help fight the tariffs. The ads follow on reporting and an editorial in the Daily News about the tariffs, which threaten the newspaper industry with unsustainable costs and thousands of job losses.

Former Georgia newspaper publisher Leonard Woolsey, now publisher of the Daily News, is offering the ads from his newspaper’s campaign to any newspaper willing to use them in the battle. InDesign files of the ads are available from Georgia Press Association, allowing you to customize each ad for your own newspaper. Email for the files.