Georgia Press Association Convention:

Here’s what you’ll miss if you don’t join us!

When a Pennsylvania newspaper needed to make up $5,000 in lost revenue, the advertising manager started a 16-page special tabloid section of Word Search puzzles tied to ads.

The ad manager, Trevor Evans, made more than $5,000 for The Express in Lock Haven, Penn., when he sold the section in less than two hours, reported Jane Nicholas in the SNPA eBulletin last month.

Those are the kinds of ideas that newspapers attending the Hot Ideas on Tap session at the Georgia Press Association Convention can expect to hear about — quick, easy ways to make or save money. Last year, two-dozen ideas were presented in the session, which was hosted by William Bronson, publisher of the Daily Citizen-News of Dalton.

GPA’s convention this year is June 7-9 at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

You won’t want to miss out on the Hot Ideas session or these other great events:


Leonard Woolsey

• Former Georgia publisher Leonard Woolsey will participate in a panel discussion about the ways newspapers are supplementing their products with magazines.

Woolsey will lead a session called “Newspapers Vs. Magazines: The Differences in Writing to Photography to Advertising” and then he, DuBose Porter and Patrick Yost will participate in “Newspapers Find Success in Magazine Publishing.” The growing production of magazines by newspapers is one of the themes being explored during the convention.

Now in Texas, Woolsey publishes The Galveston County Daily News and Coast Monthly magazine, voted the best magazine in Texas two years running, with annual revenue approaching $1 million.
Among the other convention events:

Jesse Cole

* The opening luncheon headliner will be Jesse Cole, owner of the Savannah Bananas baseball team and an award-winning entrepreneur who is known for his yellow tuxedo and inspiring book called “Find Your Yellow Tux – How to Be Successful by Standing Out.”

* The leading candidates to be Georgia’s next governor are being invited to participate in forums.

* Harris Blackwood is the director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, but he’s also a newspaper columnist and was a regular player in the cast of the Cracker Crumble. He’s producing a mini-Cracker Crumble as part of the All-Georgia Products Reception on Thursday night.

* GPA General Counsel David Hudson will provide his annual Legal Update on the changes to law made by the General Assembly and to answer questions.

Click to download a complete convention schedule here: Convention Program Updated 2018

Click to download a convention registration form here: Convention Registration Form 2018

And don’t forget to consider making nominations for these GPA Awards:
* The David E. Hudson Open Government Award was created by GPA in 2008 to present to a Georgia publication or individual who has shown support for the cause of sunshine in government through publication, research, legislation or other action deemed worthy of receiving this honor. Would you like to nominate someone for this award? Download the form here: Hudson Award nomination form
* Do you know someone who’s served in Georgia’s newspaper industry for 50 years? They are eligible for induction to GPA’s Golden Club. Download a nomination form to help us honor them: Golden Club 18
* Have you seen a “goof,” an “oops,” or an “uh-oh” that made it into print this year in your newspaper or one published by a friend? Download a RORAR nomination form so we can good-naturedly poke fun at the mistake during GPA’s annual meeting: RORAR

The Dahlonega Nugget strikes gold with video

Watch the video at

The Dahlonega Nugget is drawing attention from across the newspaper industry with a short, professionally produced video promoting the paper and its community journalism mission.

Available on the newspaper’s website,, and being promoted on Facebook, the video defines The Nugget as a beloved historic business put together by people who live in and love Dahlonega.

Publisher Matt Aiken said the short film helps combat the impression that the newspaper industry is failing. “Everyone gets the impression that newspapers are closing down, especially so for a community newspaper,” he said. “[The video] is a statement that were here, we’ve always been here and we’re sticking around.”

Sozo Bear Films, a local production company founded by two University of North Georgia graduates, produced the film. They’ve been featured in The Nugget for their work, and Aiken was inspired to see what they could do for the paper.

He wanted to highlight the newspaper and the keystone role it’s played in the community since 1890, but discussing his vision for the film with Sozo Bear’s Luke Pilgrim and Brad Kennedy was a revelatory experience. “The thing that opened my eyes was when they asked how much we had in our marketing budget,” Aiken said. “I said, ‘We’re the newspaper. We don’t really market.’ We market through the paper to the people who already read us, but not with people who don’t read it.”

Now, that’s what the video does. “It was exactly what I wanted when I saw it,” Aiken said. “We tell our advertisers that advertising in the newspaper is about branding, then lots of times we’re too busy with our deadlines to even think about it for ourselves.”

The production took about half a day, with shooting at the newspaper’s office and in downtown Dahlonega. It features Nugget staff and others — including advertisers who discuss the value of the newspaper for their products.

After additional shooting at the press where The Nugget is printed, it took a month for the video to be finished. It’s featured on the newspaper’s website,, and it’s on The Nugget Facebook page, where it’s been seen thousands of times. One business has begun advertising with The Nugget because of it.

“It peals back the curtain so you can see that we are real folks that live in town and love the town and work here because we believe we can make a difference. For us the way to do it is through community journalism. There’s a big difference between what you see on Facebook and real reporting and fact checking, and that isn’t going to go out of style.”

Member News briefs: 

Executives on the move

Mahone, McDuffie promoted by McClatchy

Publisher Rodney Mahone of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and The Telegraph of Macon has become president and publisher of The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina, as well as four newspapers in South Carolina — The State in Columbia, The Herald in Rock Hill, and The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette in Hilton Head.

The McClatchy Co., parent company of the newspapers, promoted Columbus native Ross McDuffie to general manager/vice president of advertising for Georgia, overseeing operations at the Ledger-Enquirer and The Telegraph.

Both will start their new roles at the beginning of June. Mahone, 51, who most recently has been in charge of McClatchy’s Georgia Group, which includes Columbus and Macon, has been with the Ledger-Enquirer for more than 28 years, working his way up from the circulation department.

McDuffie, 33, joined McClatchy in 2010 as a member of the Ledger-Enquirer advertising sales team. He was promoted several times over the past eight years and was named regional vice president/advertising for McClatchy’s Georgia markets with oversight of Columbus, Macon and excelerateTM Atlanta in 2017.

Bernados to lead The Augusta Chronicle

Tony Bernados is the new president of The Augusta Chronicle and Chronicle Media.

Bernados, a 19-year veteran of the media industry, has spent the last two years as president and publisher of Gatehouse Media’s St. Augustine (Fla.) Record and 12 years with Augusta-based Morris Communications in key advertising and revenue roles. Prior to joining Morris, Bernados held executive positions with Scripps Howard, Evening Post Publishing Company and Block Communications.

Clark picked to be GM of Athens Banner-Herald

Kevin A. Clark has been promoted to general manager of Online Athens and the Athens Banner-Herald. The announcement was made by Gatehouse Media Georgia Group Publisher Michael Traynor earlier this month.

In his new role, Clark will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of and the Athens Banner-Herald, and all the products and services offered by the media company. He will report to Traynor.

Traynor also announced the promotion of Tina Laseter to director of sales and marketing. In this role, Laseter takes over daily supervision of the ABH sales team and will work with them on creating more nuanced and advanced proposals to help clients.

Smith Communications adds new sales director

Newspaper veteran Matt Plocha has been named director of sales of Smith Communications Inc. based in Georgia’s Lake Country.

President and CEO A. Mark Smith Sr. and Plocha have worked together before. Plocha worked for a Morris Communications newspaper in Winter Haven, Fla., when Smith recruited him to be national sales manager for the Augusta-based corporation, where Plocha oversaw the sales effort for 25 daily newspapers and a group of shopper publications.

Plocha’s most recent experience spanned more than four years as publisher of a 79,500-distribution, twice weekly community newspaper in Kissimmee, Fla.

Marshall retires from Telegraph, Burk to lead newsroom

After 17 years as executive editor of The Telegraph of Macon, Sherrie Marshall announced her retirement April 20.

Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, will serve as the interim Georgia editor responsible for both newsrooms. The newsroom leader in Macon will be Jennifer Burk, a 12-year resident of Macon and veteran of The Telegraph.

Marshall, a journalist for almost four decades, guided her newsroom to award-winning work such as the “Macon in the Mirror” series, which allowed Macon-Bibb residents to share their views of their community, as well as an in-depth look at blighted residential and commercial properties infesting neighborhoods and business corridors.

In recent years, she led the newsroom’s transition to a digital news operation that remains focused on journalism that makes an impact in middle Georgia.


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.