Articles from the Texas Press Messenger monthly trade journal, the official publication of Texas Press Association. Contact us with news items or for advertising rates.

Revised postal form has October deadline for dailies, weeklies
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 15:39

The deadline for filing your Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (PS Form 3526) with the U.S. Postal Service is October 1 of each year. The filing and publication of this form is a requirement for maintaining Periodicals mailing privileges. Dailies must publish a completed copy of this form in their newspaper by October 10, and non-dailies by October 31.
USPS has revised PS form 3526. The new form has a July 2014 date at the very bottom of the form. The ability to claim electronic subscribers has been incorporated into the new form. PS Form 3526x (worksheet) is no longer necessary. Completing the form the last two years was confusing, especially having to use the worksheet. The new form is more straight forward and easier to complete.
PS Form 3526 is a three page form with a fourth page of instructions. Page one has not changed, and includes information on ownership and management. Page two will look familiar. The figures on this page relate only to print copies. Page three is for claiming Paid Electronic Copies. The entries there are very straight forward. Claiming electronic paid subscribers is voluntary. If you choose to not claim electronic copies, page three has a box to certify that at least 50% of all distributed copies are paid for above a nominal price, and a signature section.
There are specific requirements as to what defines a paid electronic subscriber. A print subscriber that is given free access to your electronic version is not a paid electronic subscriber. A paid electronic subscriber must pay a separate subscription rate that you have established for electronic subscribers. You are allowed to offer discounts to this rate but there are limitations.
Additionally, reporting less than 60% total paid subscribers on your Statement of Ownership could trigger a USPS circulation audit to verify your Periodicals eligibility. Also, at least 40% of your paid circulation must consist of printed copies.
An interactive template of the PS Form 3526 is available on the Texas Press Association website under Statement of Ownership in the dropdown menu under the tab Other Services. If you are submitting your Statement of Ownership through PostalOne, the new form should be there.
Please fax or mail a completed copy of you Statement of Ownership to the Texas Press Association office. Fax number is 512-477-6759. Mailing address is 305 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704. If you have any questions please contact TPA Periodicals Consultant Joel Allis at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at 512-585-6239.

Cousin’s Vietnam photo puts face with name on Wall
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 15:31

randycopyKathy and I had the opportunity to visit the Vietnam War Memorial a few years ago when we spent a week of vacation time in the Washington, D.C. area. I had seen the memorial, or The Wall, as it has come to be known, many times in photos and on television. Still, nothing prepared me for actually standing there and touching the names. Each and every one of the war's 58,282 American casualties is listed, including my second cousin, Grady Ray Nelson of Coos Bay, Oregon.
An Army SP4, Grady Ray was killed in combat on Nov. 23, 1968, in the Hua Ngia Province of South Vietnam. He was 22 years old.
Grady Ray was born in Memphis, Texas, to Dude and Maggie Nelson, and it was there that he spent the first five years of his life. The entire family went west when the drought of the 1950s finally forced them away from the family farm. My uncle Dude would eventually find work in the lumber mills in the Pacific northwest. As you can imagine, the family was devastated when word arrived at the Nelson home that Grady Ray had been killed in action. It would be some time later that a few sketchy details of his death were released. He died in an aircraft, believed to be a helicopter, when it came under hostile fire from the ground.
Everything I just told you about Grady Ray would be little more than a story if it weren't for the fact that we have a photo of him in his combat fatigues taken not long before his death. But, we do have the photo and once you put a face with the name, the story somehow becomes more real.
Newspaper men and women learned that trick decades ago and that's why we continue to run as many photos as we can alongside our stories, especially photos of people. I mention all of this because I hope you will join me and the Texas Press Association in supporting the Faces Never Forgotten project sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation.
The group is attempting to locate photos of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who died in Vietnam. At last count, there were slightly more than 1,400 names from Texas for which there is no corresponding photo.
TPA is encouraging all of its member newspapers to participate in hopes that the Wall of Faces website can be completed.
Ask yourself, who in your community is better suited and has better resources for tracking down a photo than the local newspaper?
A list of the missing Texans can be found at — a spreadsheet will automatically download. From there, you may sort by county or community name. A quick check of the date of death will help narrow down a date and make it easier to check your archives. If your newspaper doesn't have a photo, perhaps you can locate family members who do.
Information about how to submit a photo to the project may be found online at
Please lend your help to the effort as the Faces Never Forgotten project seeks to honor all of those who fought and died so very far from home. A photo, even a grainy one, will add context to their story, and will help future generations understand how and why these men and women came to die in Southeast Asia.


Superintendent searches likely to yield solitary finalist
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 15:29

ed copyQ: Our school district board of trustees hired a search firm to look for a new superintendent. Our reporter feels like they have a plan mapped out that will keep the public out of the loop as far as naming possible candidates for the job. How can we get the names of the finalists, and what's the definition of finalists? Are they candidates who are interviewed more than once or candidates who interview in person? Can the district put us off and name only one finalist, the person who gets the job?
A: School districts may pay a search firm to find a sole finalist. Many choose the Texas Association of School Boards to conduct the search through its Executive Search Services. The interview and selection process needs to be completed and the name of a finalist or finalists must be made public — "at least 21 days before the date of the meeting at which a final action or vote is to be taken on the employment of the person" — as required by the Texas Public Information Act, Government Code Section 552.126: Confidentiality of Name of Applicant for Superintendent of Public School District.
There is no definition of "finalist" in the law. Arguably, 552.126 is more about protecting applicants' identifying information than informing the public.

Meet TPA Treasurer Patrick Canty, Publisher of the Odessa American
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 15:25

cantyGive us some details about yourself. Where are you from? How long have you worked in the newspaper industry? Where did you get your start?
I am a San Antonio native, who obtained my bachelor's degree from what was at the time East Texas State University. I have worked in the newspaper business for more than 32 years. I started my career fresh out of college at the San Antonio Light, in my hometown. I started out as a night police reporter and worked my way up through the ranks, covering beats at the county courthouse and City Hall. I even did a stint as a "rewrite man" before going on to serve as an assistant city editor and ultimately the newspaper's Sunday/special projects editor. The paper closed in 1993 and I was appointed editor of the Valley Morning Star in Harlingen. I went on to take on my first publisher's job in 1997 at the Porterville Recorder, a small, six days-a-week paper in California's San Joaquin Valley. After four years there I was promoted to a position at the corporate headquarters in Orange County, California, where I served as director of training and special projects for the community newspaper division. When the publisher's job opened up in Odessa back in 2003 I finally got to come "back home" to Texas. Never felt so lonesome as the time I had to surrender my Texas drivers license and obtain a California license when I moved out to the West Coast. I currently serve as publisher for the Odessa American and a regional vice president for AIM Media Texas LLC, which purchased the paper a few years back. I absolutely love it.
Tell us about your community and the life of a publisher. What's it like to work at the Odessa American?
Living and helping run a community paper in Odessa is about as fun and challenging as it gets. The region is going through its biggest oil boom ever and the hyper-growth experienced here presents incredible challenges and opportunities. It's hard to hire staff since our area has a labor deficit, but all of this growth means nothing but upside potential for us to grow this newspaper's audience and revenues. I see my role as publisher as more than just the "head bean counter." I consider myself the face of my newspaper in the community we serve and am very involved in many aspects of Odessa, ranging from serving on various boards to serving as current president of one of the local Rotary Clubs. I think it helps me in my job as publisher and helps the community see that this newspaper is engaged in Odessa life.

Tuesday, 09 September 2014 14:44


Glen Rose Reporter
Brent Addleman has been named managing editor of the Glen Rose Reporter. He comes to the newspaper with 18 years of experience in community, service-minded journalism. "With the better part of two decades in the industry, Brent brings his passion for community journalism and leadership to the community of Glen Rose. We are proud to introduce him as the new managing editor," Publisher David Compton said.
Addleman began his career as a sports reporter in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New York. He served as group editor of three daily newspapers based in St. Mary's, Pennsylvania, before becoming group editor for Tioga Publishing Company's four newspapers in north central Pennsylvania. He most recently served as page designer in Paxton Media Group's creative division in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Laredo Morning Times
Selma Gonzalez has been promoted to city editor of the Laredo Morning Times.
"Gonzalez has been an asset to this newspaper ever since she joined us as an editorial assistant," LMT Managing Editor Nick Georgiou said.
Gonzalez has been with LMT since 2012. As city editor, Gonzalez will oversee news reporters, coordinate local day-to-day coverage and assist with special projects. Gonzalez graduated from Texas A&M International University in May 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in dance.

Newspapers are still here and still making money
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 14:10

caroline-littleBY CAROLINE LITTLE
The sky is always falling and newspapers are always dying.
For more than a decade, that has been a common and constant refrain. While working at, the Guardian US, and now, the Newspaper Association of America, I have been asked frequently about the state of the industry as people search for the worst.
Though newspaper media is enjoying the largest audiences ever as well as continuing to play a unique and critical role in our communities, there is one fact that always tends to be obscured or outright ignored – newspapers are still making money and newspapers remain a good investment.
A year ago at this time, John Henry and Jeff Bezos made high-profile acquisitions of The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, respectively, which confirmed that newspapers are viable investment options with the ability to grow. Earlier this month, The Washington Post announced record web traffic for July as well as hiring more than 60 people in the first seven months of the year.
A company hiring 60 people in seven months sounds like a healthy one to me.
This summer, the newspaper industry has seen a wave of spin-offs, with Tribune and Gannett both forming publishing-only companies. E.W. Scripps and Journal Communications spun their combined publications off into a new company, Journal Media Group. This is an exciting time for the newspaper industry as these companies will now devote their undivided attention to their publications.
However, as with the investments last year, these spin-offs have been spun into more gloom and doom for the industry. It is simply not accurate.
In fact, buried in the depths of one particular article that signaled the death of newspapers is this gem of a sentence: "Newspapers continue to generate cash and solid earnings."

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Rep. Todd Hunter to speak at FOI conference
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 14:09

First Amendment and open government advocates will address court access, social media usage and updates to public records laws when the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas hosts its state conference Sept. 12.
This year's conference, "A Road Map to Open Government," takes place at the Hilton Austin and includes speakers and attendees from throughout Texas.
"It's an opportunity for Texans who are devoted to open government - whether at the state Capitol, city hall or the courts – to come together to learn and exchange ideas," said Kelley Shannon, executive director of the FOI Foundation of Texas. "We adhere to the principle put forth by our nation's founders that the people's participation in democracy is paramount, and citizens need access to participate."

Tuesday, 09 September 2014 14:04

Nick West, longtime publisher of the Palacios Beacon, died July 27. He was 61. Born on Dec. 14, 1952, in Rushville, Indiana, West was a career newspaperman. One of his proudest chapters in life was working at the Beacon with his father, Bert, and son, Ryan.A member of the U.S. Marine Corps and a transplant to Palacios, West took over publisher and editor duties at the Beacon on July 4, 1981. Under his management, he transformed the Beacon into one of the premier small-town newspapers in the state, winning multiple awards from Texas Press Association, South Texas Press Association and Texas Gulf Coast Press Association. West had served as the intern chairman for South Texas Press Association. The internship program has been renamed the Nick West Internship in his honor.

Veteran newsman Bobby Glen "Bob" Runyon, 62, of Omaha, Texas, died July 15, in a Mount Pleasant hospital.Runyon was born Dec. 26, 1951, in Gainesville. He was editor of the Gladewater Mirror for many years, a Promise Keeper, a member of the Associated Press, Lions Club, David Elliott Masonic Lodge and Concord Missionary Baptist Church, Omaha, and was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.Survivors include his wife, Saundra Runyon of Omaha; son and daughter-in-law, Bryan and Melissa Runyon of Omaha; daughter, Samantha Gray of Omaha; father and stepmother, Kenneth and Mildred Runyon of Plano; brothers, Michael Runyon of Vilseck, Germany, and David Runyon of North Carolina; sisters, Debbie Fellwock of Plano and Delores Anderson of Canton; and a number of other relatives.

Texas Center for Community Journalism hosts smartphone training
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 13:45


Dozens of journalists gathered at Texas Christian University for smart-phone journalism workshops conducted July 31 to Aug. 1 and Aug. 14-15.
The former session was geared toward iPhones, while the latter was tailored for Androids. Each attendee was provided with a smartphone tripod, a useful tool in capturing stable footage.
Andrew Chavez, former associate director/digital initiatives with TCU's Texas Center for Community Journalism, presented instruction on applications that make reporting easier, such as FiLMiC and Camera+ that capture better videos and photos than preloaded applications that come with smartphones.
Attendees received pointers on gathering video content and editing video clips to create compelling story packages.
"From learning how to take better pictures to edit videos, the class taught me skills that I can use every day to provide complete coverage of Gillespie County," said Austin Eck, reporter/photographer for the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post.
Cheyenne Bereuter, editor of The Stamford Star, said, "The small class size was perfect for interacting with other journalists, and the apps, camera tips, and the video capture and editing will help me bring new, exciting elements to our web presence."
"It was exciting to see how quickly the reporters and editors learned to put together their news packages," said Tommy Thomason, TCCJ director. "The training went beyond just the technology, too — that technology comes with a mindset — that newspapers are no longer just newsPAPERS. Instead, they are news sources for their community."
To view completed video packages, visit TCCJ's Facebook page.

Contest Committee needs volunteers
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 13:44

Volunteers are needed to serve on the TPA Better Newspaper Contest Committee.
The transition to online judging of the contest has been successful, but questions and concerns need to be addressed earlier than in the past so that changes can be coded into the contest website.
Decisions need to be made well before the midwinter conference in January 2015.
Contest Committee Chair Sue Brown of the Pleasanton Express is calling for TPA members to volunteer to serve on the committee, and to provide input on contest-related matters without delay. Committee members will not need to travel long distances to meet: the committee will conduct business via listserver, with an occasional conference call as necessary. To volunteer, contact TPA President Randy Mankin or Contest Committee Chair Sue Brown for more information.

Public notice ad available for your homepage
Monday, 04 August 2014 13:47

doorwaypublicnoticesFinding the massive (and growing) online clearinghouse for public notices just got easier, thanks to an attractive new "doorway" interactive graphic. Click here to view the instructions and download the graphic.
Your newspaper's website visitors need only click the doorway graphic to find the searchable database of public notices — at — that yours and hundreds of other Texas newspapers upload on a daily, weekly or semiweekly basis.
This convenient way for readers to tap into required notices that local and state governmental bodies place can boost readership while providing a powerful augmentation to the classified- and display-style notices that newspapers publish in print. Plus, it's a pleasing and effective way to draw more readers to websites, with very little effort.
Demand for this kind of feature on websites is rooted in an array of current market conditions. First, non-newspaper lobbying organizations, over the last decade, have pushed members and committees of the Texas Legislature to remove printed public notice requirements in state law in favor of placing those notices on governmental bodies' websites, or on private and even out-of-state websites.

‘Faces Never Forgotten’ ad available to your newspaper
Monday, 04 August 2014 13:05

txfacesforgottenadcolor1Newspapers are encouraged to run this advertisement in an effort to locate missing photos of Vietnam veterans. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation (VVMF) project "Faces Never Forgotten" is in need of help obtaining missing photos of fallen Vietnam veterans across Texas and the nation. Newspaper participation in this project will help VVMF locate the photos of all of the soldiers listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
The goal is to locate all missing pictures by Nov. 11, 2014. Your support with this nationwide effort is not only impactful for the families who lost loved ones, but also for the history involved with the documentation in remembering their dedication.
Click here to download the color version.
Click here to download the gray scale version.


Messenger Staff

Micheal Hodges

Allison Rentfro

Advertising Consultant
Diane Byram

For questions or corrections please call the editor at 512-477-6755 or email

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© Texas Press Messenger, 2014 (ISSN 1521-7523). Published monthly by Texas Press Service, a business affiliate of Texas Press Association. Periodicals postage paid at Austin, Texas, and additional mailing office, USPS 541-440. Printed by Hood County News in Granbury, Texas.