Tennessee Press Service marks 70th Anniversary
By Mike Towle, The Tennessee Press
When the Tennessee Press Service (TPS) was launched in 1947 as the business affiliate of the Tennessee Press Association, Harry S. Truman was president of the U.S., and TPS was seeking its first dollar of incremental national-advertising revenue to disburse to its member newspapers.
TPS has come a long way since as it now celebrates its 70th anniversary of existence. While America has gone from a Truman to a Trump in the White House, the TPS has gone from empty coffers to an organization that has now generated millions of dollars in advertising revenue for TPA member newspapers.
“Our mission is to promote all TPA member newspapers when quoting to agencies and clients. They utilize us as a convenience to place ads in multiple newspapers,” TPS General Manager David S. Wells said. “In 70 years TPS has generated more than $150 million in revenue for TPA member newspapers, and we hope to continue to provide that service along with new streams of revenue in the future.”
Although TPS no longer offers clipping and mailing services that were part of its original mission, it continues to cultivate current accounts outside Tennessee while scouring the Southern region and all the U.S. for new sources of print and digital advertising. Such ad placements and accompanying revenues are then passed along to member newspapers, supplementing their own revenue generation.
The explosion of competing media, such as social media and other online alternatives, has forced TPS to tighten its belt while developing innovative strategies to continue finding new ad-revenue sources. This is a task that long-time TPS officer Victor Parkins sees as one offering plenty of new opportunities mixed with ongoing challenges.
“TPS is a one-stop shop for anyone that wants to place an advertisement in any of our member newspapers,” said Parkins, who is publisher of the Mirror-Exchange, Milan, and who recently competed a nine-year run as either vice president and then president of TPS. “But we’ve also expanded our reach across the country through partnerships with other state associations. That allows us to give our clients more options to get in front of larger audiences.
“Like all newspapers, TPS has changed the way we do business over the last decade or so. We do more work with fewer employees than ever before, and that presents challenges we probably never thought we would experience. But I think we’ve adjusted nicely and are on the cusp of turning the corner.”
One of those adjustments entails digital advertising, as newspaper publishers look to find the workable balance of print and digital revenues.
“I think TPS has great opportunities ahead to build a statewide digital sales platform that can be a great upsell for our member newspapers,” Parkins said. “We have a dedicated staff that is committed to the success of the organization.”
TPS developed the statewide public notice repository, www.tnpublicnotice.com, in 2005. TPS has supported TPA projects over the years including The Tennessee Press, the publication for TPA members; the Tennessee Newspaper Directory; and sponsorship of TPA meetings and conventions. It also helps support the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.
Every TPA member is a stockholder in Tennessee Press Service. The TPS’s annual stockholders meeting is held each year in conjunction with the TPA summer convention. Directors are elected by the stockholders at the annual meeting.
TPA to host forum for 2018 gubernatorial candidates
Forum kicks off election year coverage focused on voter education and increased election turnout in all 95 Tennessee counties
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Oct 19, 2017) - The Tennessee Press Association will host a forum with the announced candidates for Governor of Tennessee at the Nashville Public Library on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. The forum will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
The forum is part of the TPA’s annual Winter Convention held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2018.
The gubernatorial forum kicks off an intense cycle of election coverage by the 125 members of the state newspaper association, who are committed to helping educate readers about the candidates, races and issues, said Chris Vass, public editor of the Times Free Press in Chattanooga and vice president of the press association.
“Election years are always important ones for our newspapers, as readers want and need in-depth coverage of the many races and candidates they will see on their ballots,” Vass said. “The 2018 elections will be particularly important with Gov. Bill Haslam not eligible for re-election, the retirement of Sen. Bob Corker, and the enhanced importance of mid-term Congressional elections.”
The College of Communication & Information at The University of Tennessee will live stream the forum through the TPA member newspaper websites so that readers throughout the state will be able to meet the candidates as their campaigns gear up for the primary elections on August 2, 2018.
The TPA has received commitments from Democrats Karl Dean, former Mayor of Nashville, and Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, D- Ripley, Tennessee House Minority Leader.
The TPA has received commitments from Republicans Mae Beavers, former state senator, Randy Boyd, former Commissioner of Economic and Community Development under Haslam, Rep. Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, Speaker of the House, and businessman Bill Lee. Republican candidates Rep. Diane Black, and Kay White had not confirmed as of October 18.
The TPA has welcomed co-sponsors to the event who are non-partisan and committed to voter education and participation. Initial co-sponsors are Nashville Public Library, The Beacon Center of Tennessee, The League of Women Voters of Tennessee and ThinkTennessee.
Over the summer, TPA members were asked to submit columns to be included in a book about haunted places in Tennessee. The book is now available and we hope you'll help us get the word out about it. Ghostly Places in Tennessee: A Collection of Chilling Stories About Haunted Places is now on sale at Amazon.com and at member newspapers throughout the state. The book is filled with 26 stories, straight out of the pages of Tennessee newspapers, about haunted places throughout the state.
Order copies of the book to sell by your newspaper. Order 10 or more copies at $8.00 each (including shipping) and resell them at the $15.95 cover price. We'll just bill you for the books you order. Contact Kevin Slimp at (865) 584-5761, ext. 107. A press release is available. book cover house ad
Two inducted into Tennessee Newspaper Hall of Fame
Two Tennessee newspaper professionals were posthumously inducted into the Tennessee Newspaper Hall of Fame on Friday, July 21, 2017. Bob Parkins was the owner, publisher and editor of The Milan Mirror-Exchange and W. Bryant Williams was the editor and publisher of The Paris Post-Intelligencer. Bob Parkins became the 56th honoree and Bryant Williams the 57th.
2017 Hall of Fame brochure with complete biographies. Video of Bob Parkins' biographical information. Video of Bryant Williams' biographical information.
The Tennessee Newspaper Hall of Fame was established in 1966 as a joint project of the Tennessee Press Association and the University of Tennessee. The Hall of Fame honors those who have made an outstanding contribution to Tennessee newspaper journalism or, through Tennessee journalism, to newspaper journalism generally, or who have made an extraordinary contribution to their communities and region, or the state, through newspaper journalism. Since 1966, 57 individuals have been honored. about the Hall of Fame
Tennessee State Press Contests Winners 2017
Photo credit: Donn Jones, Donn Jones Photography
First place winners in the 2017 Tennessee State Press Contests pose after the Awards Banquet on Thursday, July 20 in Franklin, Tennessee.
Master list of winners
Excel file with winners, captions, credits, comments
Contests Press Release 2017
link to photos of winners from the banquet (photo credit to: Donn Jones, Donn Jones Photography)
First place winner photos were taken with Dr. David Golden, Executive Assistant to the President, University of Tennessee
TPA Advertising & Circulation 2017 Ideas Contest Winners announced
List of 2017 Ideas Contest winners
The Tennessee Press Association Ideas Contest is an annual competition for advertising and circulation departments. The awards were presented during the TPA Summer Convention on Friday, July 21 in Franklin, Tennessee.
Public notice ads available
Ads promoting the value of public notice are available for all U.S. newspapers from the News Media Alliance. Visit their site to download the ads.
Keys to Open Government Guide available
“Keys to Open Government” a long-awaited 52-page guide to Tennessee’s open records and open meetings laws, was released in February 2015. (Download a copy of the PDF)
Written by Frank Gibson, TPA Public Policy Director, and edited by colleague Deborah Fisher at the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, “Keys” is a guide we hope will help journalists and citizens use “the law.” The guide was made possible with a grant from the Tennessee Press Association Foundation.
Newspapers must comply with Public Notice Law
Notices must be posted on newspaper's website AND www.tnpublicnotice.com
Details at tnpress.com/publicnoticelaw.html
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