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Author: Robyn Gentile

State Press Contests winners 2024

Winners were notified by email to editors on Wednesday, May 22. The awards luncheon will be on Friday, July 19. More details on the location and registration will be available on May 31.

2024 State Press Contests announced, deadline extended through Monday, March 11

(updated 3/4/24)

TPA State Press Contests portal to open Jan. 29, deadline extended through Monday, March 11 at 10:59 p.m. Central Time.

The entry rules are now available and the entry portal is being prepared for the 2024 University of Tennessee System—Tennessee Press Association Tennessee State Press Contests.  All entries will be entered by PDF or URL links on the website.

The TPA Board of Directors voted in November to again freeze the contests competition divisions for 2024 so that each newspaper submitting entries will be placed in the same circulation division it was for the 2022 and 2023 contests.  

The Divisions are based on 2021 circulation data as follows:

  Group One—Non-Dailies under 3,000 total weekly print circulation

  Group Two—Non-Dailies with a combined total weekly print circulation of 3,000 to 7,999

  Group Three—Mixed: Non-dailies with a total weekly print circulation above 7,999 and dailies under 19,999.

  Group Four—Dailies with a combined total weekly print circulation of 20,000 to 149,999

  Group Five—Dailies with a combined total weekly print circulation of 150,000 and above

The total weekly print circulation is calculated by multiplying the 2021 circulation by the number of publication days.  Online news sites will compete in Group Four, unless they choose to compete up in Group Five.

The deadline to enter the 2024 State Press Contests is Monday, March 11, 2024.

TPA Winter Convention set Feb. 21-22, 2024

Registration is now open for the 2024 TPA Winter Convention.

The convention will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 21, with “A Day on the Hill” including meetings scheduled between TPA members and legislators throughout the day.   There will be a Concurrent TPA Board of Directors and Business session over lunch at the DoubleTree Nashville Downtown Hotel.   The annual convention opening reception, to which all convention attendees and state legislators are invited, will be held at 5:30 p.m. that evening at a venue near the Capitol.   Dinner will be on one’s own.

Thursday, Feb. 22, kicks off with a TPA Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting.  Educational sessions will follow.  College students in journalism programs will be invited to attend the convention and their registration will be covered by a grant from the TPA Foundation.   Thursday includes a luncheon followed by additional sessions.

Sessions include Open Government, Giving Your Newsroom a Digital Boost, Revenue Ideas for Publishers, Tennessee leaders Lt. Governor Randy McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton, Attorney General Skrmetti and more.

The convention will also have opportunities for industry vendors to participate with an exhibit booth.

The convention hotel is the DoubleTree Nashville Downtown Hotel, located at 315 Fourth Avenue North.   The convention rate is $259 plus tax and parking per night.  Contact Robyn Gentile, TPA member services manager, with questions at

2023 Ideas Contest Winners announced

Chattanooga Times Free Press wins Best of Show

First Runner-Up
Best of Show
Best of Show

The Tennessee Press Association (TPA) announced the winners of the 2023 Ideas Contest for advertising and circulation on Thursday, Oct. 12, during the virtual Revenue Summit for newspaper advertising and circulation staff members.

There were 405 entries from 20 newspapers in the 2023 contest, which has four circulation divisions and 41 categories. TPA partnered with the Virginia Press Association for the judging.

Second Runner-Up

The 2023 Ideas Contest Best of Show was awarded to the Chattanooga Times Free Press for its August 2022 High School Football special section.

The First Runner-Up was awarded to the Brownsville Press for its entry in black and white ad “What happens when you don’t advertise?Very little.” 

The Second-Runner-Up was awarded to the Chattanooga Times Free Press for its self-promotion ad “High School Football is Back.”

The newspaper with the most awards is The Greeneville Sun with 52 awards, followed by the farragutpress with 32, and the Kingsport Times News with 20.

Darrell Richardson, advertising director of The Daily Times, Maryville who is also TPA first vice president and chair of the Advertising Committee, served as the emcee for the awards announcement. 

List of 2023 winning entries

Slideshow of 2023 winning entries (PDF 50 megabytes)

Revenue Summit & Ideas Contest Awards virtual event set Thursday, Oct. 12

Revenue Summit information page

Save the date of October 12 for the virtual 2023 Revenue Summit and announcement of the Ideas Contest Awards. The day will kick off at 9:00 a.m. Central/ 10:00 a.m. Eastern with a presentation by popular speaker and consultant Daniel Grissom, a sales and leadership coach.  He will present “How to Have Your Best Sales Year Yet!” 

In this session, you will learn street-smart ideas for improving your effectiveness as a leader and the win rates of your sales teams.

You will learn how to change mindsets, improve skillsets and create toolkits for superior performance in 2024 and beyond! 

Revenue Summit information page. Revenue Summit registration.

Four events throughout the day beginning at
9:00 a.m. Central Time/ 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time

9:00 a.m. Central/ 10:00 a.m. Eastern: Keynote presentation How to Have Your Best Sales Year Ever!
10:00 a.m. Central/ 11:00 a.m. Eastern: Advertising Idea Exchange
1:00 p.m. Central/ 2:00 p.m. Eastern: Ideas Contests Awards Announcement & Slideshow of Winners
2:00 p.m. Central/ 3:00 p.m. Eastern: Audience/Circulation Roundtable and Idea Exchange

National Newspaper Week Oct. 1-7

This marks the 83rd year of National Newspaper Week (NNW), which observes the importance of newspapers to communities.

The theme for 2023 is “In Print. Online. For You.” National Newspaper Week runs Oct. 1-7.

NNW is a project of the Newspaper Association Managers. This year’s kit is available now at

The kit contains print and digital ads, editorials and editorial cartoons.

Mark Millsap to lead Tennessee Press Association, Tennessee Press Service

August 17, 2023

Photo credit Julie Smith/News Tribune

Veteran newspaper publisher Mark Millsap has been hired to serve in the roles of Tennessee Press Association (TPA) executive director and Tennessee Press Service (TPS) executive vice president. He officially begins on Sept. 11.

“We are extremely excited that Mark will be joining us and working on behalf of Tennessee’s newspapers,” said Dave Gould, TPS president. “His background and experience are a perfect fit. Mark will have very big shoes to fill following after Carol Daniels, who served the organizations so well, but we have no doubt he will be up to the task.”

TPA President Daniel Williams added, “I’m excited to work with Mark as the new executive director of TPA. He has an impressive background leading groups of newspapers, and I feel confident that will translate well to being the head of our organization. I look forward to getting to know him and getting to work.”

Millsap started his newspaper career at his hometown newspaper in Muskogee, Oklahoma as an advertising sales rep in 1996. Over the next 15 years, he climbed the advertising management ranks with Gannett and led advertising departments in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Montgomery, Alabama and Shreveport, Louisiana.

“I am excited to begin work as the executive director of the Tennessee Press Association and Tennessee Press Service,” Millsap said. “I have been a champion for newspapers for my entire career, and I will continue to advocate for their success.”

In 2011, Millsap joined Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. (CNHI) so he could return to Oklahoma. He took his first publisher’s job in Chickasha, Oklahoma. After three successful years, he was promoted to publisher of the Norman, Oklahoma newspaper. In 2017, he was promoted again to group publisher for CNHI Central Oklahoma newspapers.

Last year, he joined WEHCO Media as the general manager for Central Missouri Newspaper Group, managing the News Tribune in Jefferson City and newspapers in California and Fulton, Missouri.

Millsap was also active in the Oklahoma and Missouri press associations. He served on the Oklahoma Press Association Board of Directors for six years.

He is married to his high school sweetheart, Melanie. They have two adult children, daughter Makenzie and son Mason. Their family includes a basset hound named Molly.

The search to fill the TPA/TPS positions was conducted by TPS President Dave Gould, then-TPA President Chris Vass and TPA Foundation President Victor Parkins. The three also currently serve on the TPA Board of Directors. Millsap’s hire was also approved by the TPS Board of Directors, which is responsible for providing staffing for the organizations.

It is anticipated that Millsap will also be named to fill the Tennessee Press Association Foundation role of secretary/treasurer.

The Tennessee Press Association was founded in 1870-71 for the purpose of creating a unified voice for the newspaper industry in Tennessee. Today, TPA continues to provide assistance to its 131 members by monitoring legislative activities, providing training programs and providing regular meetings and forums to foster the exchange of information and ideas.

Tennessee Press Service was founded in 1947 to serve clients and to drive revenue to newspapers. Every TPA member newspaper is a TPS Stockholder.

“Newspapers are viable,” Millsap said, “and newspapers still have strong readership, both in print and digital versions. Local newspapers matter now more than ever.”