Make your reservations today for the Southeastern Press Convention at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Mirimar Beach, FL. June 11 is the deadline to make reservations at the group rate. Click the postcard above to go to the convention website. Questions about lodging? Contact event manager Kimberly Haydu.

Speights, Hampton to be feted at convention

Two longtime state editors will be honored as the 2012 inductees into the Mississippi Press Association Hall of Fame during the Southeastern Press Convention July 7.

Former Clarion-Ledger editorial director David Hampton and longtime Prentiss Headlight editor and general manager Patsy Speights, both of whom retired this spring, will become the 59th and 60th inductees into the MPA Hall of Fame during a special luncheon at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The Hall was created in 1986 to honor journalists who are Mississippi natives or who made their mark on their chosen careers while working in the Magnolia State.

Hampton, 58, accepted an early retirement incentive option from the Gannett Corporation and left his job April 13 after three decades with the paper and its former afternoon counterpart, the Jackson Daily News.

 A Tennessee native, Hampton began his Mississippi career on the staff of the former Daily Sentinel Star in Grenada, now the GrendaStar.

He was serving as Vice President for Dailies on the MPA Board of Directors at the time of his retirement. He is a three-time winner of the J. Oliver Emmerich Award for Editorial Excellence, the top writing award presented annually by MPA.
 He also serves on the board for the Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information.

Speights, 66, retired earlier this year as editor and general manager of the Headlight in Jefferson Davis County. She is a past president of MPA and a past chairman of the MPA Education Foundation.

She was also the state Postal Chair for the National Newspaper Association and, in 2007, was awarded NNA's McKinley Memorial Award for her efforts on behalf of newspaper postal issues in Mississippi and nationwide. 

She was recognized at a retirement program in her honor April 19 at First United Methodist Church in Prentiss.

Read a tribute to the two longtime MPA members written by Sid Salter, Journalist-in-Residence at Mississippi State University.

Donations need for Silent Auction benefit

Members are encouraged to donate items to the annual Silent Auction benefit for the MPA Education Foundation. Over $15,000 was raised at the 2010 Tri-State Convention auction for use in the scholarship, internship and grants programs administered by MPAEF.

Newspapers and associate members, even those not attending the convention, may contribute items by downloading the donation form and sending the item direct to MPA. Or you may bring the item with you to the convention registration desk July 5 or 6.

This year's auction will be held the evening of July 6 during the Southeastern Press Convention in Mirimar Beach, FL.

Internship payments on way to papers

Internship allocation checks are in the mail to newspapers participting in the 2012 summer program. If your newspaper was approved to participate and has notified us you have lined up an intern for the season, you should receive an allocation check this week.

Around 20 newspapers applied to participate in the program this year, however not all have yet finalized the paperwork necessary to process payments. A few more are on a waiting list in case any of the approved newspapers end up not participating.

The MPA Education Foundation annually funds between 15-20 internships at newspapers for up to an 11-week period. Newspapers are required to pay their interns at least minimum wage to qualify for up to $1,500 in reimbursement through a Foundation allocation. Interns may be high school or college students with an interest in journalism and must be employed as a part-or-full-time employee for an 8-11 week period by the participating paper.

For more information on the program, contact Foundation coordinator Beth Boone.

MPA opposes USPS deal with Valassis

MPA has joined with other press associations across the U.S., including the National Newspaper Association and the Newspaper Association of American, in opposing a sweetheart deal between the United State Postal Services and Valassis Direct Mail. In comments filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission last week, MPA contends the proposed USPS Negotiated Services Agreement with Valassis amounts to an "anti-competitive, special-rate discount" for the direct mailer. 

"The plan, as presented, we feel would give a significant competitive advantage not available to other direct mail customers," including newspaper direct mail shoppers and TMC products, MPA wrote in its comments to the PRC.

According to NNA, the NSA between
between USPS and Valassis "would provide 20 percent to 34 percent postage rebates to Valassis if it produces one million new pieces of mail within 12 months after the agreement is implemented."

The proposed NSA comes about eight months after the USPS announced its Ever Door Direct Mail campaign that ran afoul of newspaper trade groups in 2011. For more information on the issue, read the NNA and NAA briefs.


The rise of the occasionally daily newspaper

From Business Week
Newspapers across the country had a slight increase in daily circulation — and a surprisingly robust bump in Sunday circulation — in the last six months compared with the same period the year before, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported Tuesday.
  • MORE — Media writer David Carr of The New York Times talks about why New Orleans is on the leading edge of the conversion.

Digital subs and revenue hold steady in Milwaukee after paywall

From Net News Check
In Milwaukee, the market’s online leader, the Journal Sentinel, implemented its metered paywall in January and so far has seen gains in digital subscriptions and digital ad revenue hold steady. Coupled with new apps as part of its JS Everywhere initiative, the paper is intent upon keeping its grip on Milwaukee’s digital scene. But the region’s TV sites are closing the gap.

Buffett: Free news unsustainable; may buy more papers

From Bloomberg
Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. struck a deal this month to acquire 63 newspapers, said he may buy more publications as the industry rethinks whether to offer free content on the Internet.