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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)

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.”

Congratulations 2023 State Press Contests Winners!

List of 2023 winners
Link to photos of first place winners with UT President Randy Boyd

FRANKLIN, Tenn.— The University of Tennessee System and the Tennessee Press Association (TPA) gave top honors to newspapers across the state during the 2023 Tennessee State Press Contests awards luncheon held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Franklin. The UT System has been co-sponsoring the contests since 1940. 

The Tennessee Press Association Newspaper Contest celebrates excellence in all areas of journalism, including reporting, writing, photography and more. 

The Tennessean received the most overall wins, going home with 10 first-place awards. The Chattanooga Times Free Press won seven first-place awards, while the Kingsport Times News finished with six. 

The Carthage CourierThe Standard BannerThe Knoxville Ledger, the Kingsport Times News and the Tennessean won the top general excellence awards in their respective divisions at the association’s ceremony. Points were awarded for each entry and general excellence honors were based on the newspaper’s total points in their division.

“News organizations have an increasingly difficult responsibility to tell the stories that impact our lives – the good, and sometimes the not-so-good,” said Randy Boyd, president of the UT System, who presented the awards at the ceremony.  “We are fortunate in Tennessee to have outstanding reporters, photographers and designers who work with great enthusiasm and a genuine commitment to public accountability, and I truly appreciate the high standards you hold for yourselves in reporting in a fair and ethical manner.” 

As part of the annual contest, newspapers winning first-place awards in the categories of editorials, best single editorial and public service will receive $250 prizes from UT’s Edward J. Meeman Foundation.

The Meeman Foundation was established in 1968 at UT to fund the contest, provide professional critiques of journalists’ work and support journalism students and educators.

Each year, reciprocal judging is done with another state’s association. This year, the Virginia Press Association judged 1,077 entries from 71 of the Tennessee Press Association’s 131 member newspapers.

Daniel Williams is TPA’s new president

Daniel Williams, publisher of The Paris Post-Intelligencer, is the new president of the Tennessee Press Association (TPA).  

  TPA is the trade association of the state’s daily and non-daily newspapers. It is composed of 131 newspapers and online publications.

  Williams succeeds Chris Vass, public editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  Other officers elected at TPA’s Business Session during the Concurrent Board of Directors Meeting and Business Session on July 12 are Darrell Richardson, advertising director of The Daily Times, Maryville, elected first vice president, Keith Ponder, publisher of The Tullahoma News, elected second vice president; Dave Gould, owner of Main Street Media of Tennessee, re-elected secretary; and Eric Barnes, publisher of The Daily News, Memphis, re-elected treasurer. 

  Directors elected for two-year terms representing District One are:  Calvin Anderson, publisher of The New Tri-State Defender, Memphis; Melanie King, publisher of the McNairy County News, Selmer; and Victor Parkins, publisher of The Mirror-Exchange, Milan.   

Directors elected for two-year terms representing District Three are:  Sandy Dodson, publisher of The Bledsonian-Banner, Pikeville; Dale Gentry, publisher of The Standard Banner, Jefferson City; and Paul Mauney, The Greeneville Sun.

Also elected to the board are Lindsay Pride, editor of the Herald-Citizen, Cookeville, and Alison Gerber, editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, both to serve one-year terms as District Two directors.

  Chris Vass will continue on the board for one year as immediate past president. Also continuing on the board is David Plazas, director of opinion and engagement of The Tennessean, Nashville, who is serving as a District Two director.

  The TPA Board of Directors re-elected six trustees to serve on the Tennessee Press Association Foundation (TPAF) Board of Trustees for three-year terms. The re-elected trustees are:  Jim Charlet, Brentwood; John Finney, Culleoka; Doug Horne, Republic Newspapers, Knoxville; Victor Parkins, Gibson County Publishing; and Michael Williams, The Paris Post-Intelligencer.

About Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams is a fifth-generation publisher of The Paris Post-Intelligencer, a family-owned newspaper in Paris, Tennessee.  He began his newspaper career in 1996 as a newspaper carrier for The P-I where he delivered about 250 papers in downtown Paris five afternoons a week. He continued that bicycle route through high school.  He began working as a part time sportswriter in 2001 after obtaining his driver’s license.

After high school graduation, he moved to Henderson, Tennessee to attend Freed-Hardeman University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing. While at FHU, Williams was the editor of the school paper and did some freelance sports reporting and photography for the Chester County Independent, Henderson.

He worked as a newsroom intern at The P-I for a couple of summers during his college years and accepted a position as a general assignment reporter with the responsibility of the education beat for the newspaper in 2009.  He later covered crime and sports before moving to the business office in 2011 becoming office manager where he began working more with other departments such as advertising, circulation, and production. After working for several years and growing responsibilities in each department, he became the P-I general manager, where he ran many of the day-to-day operations.  He was promoted to publisher earlier this year.

Daniel Williams represents the fourth generation of the Williams family to serve as TPA president.   He is married to the former Jordan Shelton of Fruitland, Missouri and they have one son, Sterling, who is 3.

In his spare time he can be found on a golf course, on a driving range or otherwise daydreaming about playing golf.

About TPA

  The TPA 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, issuing press credentials, and providing regular meetings and forums to foster the exchange of information and ideas.

  The TPA presidency rotates among TPA’s three divisions of Tennessee – East (District 3), Middle (District 2) and West (District 1).

Tennessee Newspaper Hall of Fame to posthumously induct four on July 21 in Franklin

Four newspapermen have been selected for posthumous induction into the Tennessee Newspaper Hall of Fame.   They are:

Joseph P. Albrecht, a former Cookeville publisher, newspaper owner, former TPA president and TPA Foundation president.

Sam D. Kennedy, former Columbia publisher, newspaper owner and former TPA president.   He was a long serving chair of the TPA Government Affairs Committee.

William H. (Bill) Millsaps, Jr., was a native Tennessean who began his career in Tennessee and retired as vice president and executive editor of the Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch.

William C. (Bill) Simonton, Jr., a former editor of The Covington Leader, a former TPA president and a former Tennessee Press Service president.

The induction ceremony is being planned as a dinner on Friday, July 21, 2023, in Franklin, Tenn. It will be held in conjunction with the TPA State Press Contests Awards Luncheon (Newsroom awards) at the Embassy Suites Cool Springs Hotel.

The schedule for the day is:

Noon:  State Press Awards Luncheon

2:30 p.m. Roundtable discussions for editors and publishers

5:00 p.m. Hall of Fame Reception

6:00 p.m.  Tennessee Newspaper Hall of Fame Induction Banquet

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 outstanding contributions to Tennessee newspaper journalism or, through Tennessee journalism, to newspaper journalism generally or who have made extraordinary contributions to their communities and regions or the state through newspaper journalism.

The program recognizes and memorializes “extraordinary and clearly outstanding” contributions to newspaper journalism and the newspaper industry. The program’s criteria and procedures were established in 1966, based on policies set jointly by the Tennessee Press Association and the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees. The Hall of Fame is located on the third floor of the Communications Building at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Portraits of all Hall of Fame inductees are displayed there.

The TPA Foundation maintains a website about the Hall of Fame with photos and inductee biographies.

The inductions will bring the total number of inductees to 64. Watch your mail and for details on how to register to attend the induction ceremony or contact TPA at (865) 584-5761, ext. 105 or

Register online. Download the PDF registration form.

Hotel reservations may be made Please identify yourself as an attendee of TPA’s event and request the event rate of $169. Reservations: (800) 371-8318  Group code: TNP Hotel reservations deadline: Monday, June 19.  

In memory of Carol Daniels, TPA Executive Director

Carol Goss Daniels

December 4, 1963 – April 8, 2023

On April 8, Carol Goss Daniels passed away at her home at age 59 after an eight-year battle with colon cancer.

Carol poured herself into building and nurturing the relationships in her life, beginning with her daughters, Megan and Samantha. And she was a champion for women and their success. She loved helping women succeed in any way she could.

Guy Huntingford, who recruited Carol into the media business in 2003, said it well, “She was a force of nature.”

In her varied career, Carol brought enthusiasm, energy, passion and leadership to each commitment she made. She was the Executive Director of the Tennessee Press Association and was the primary lobbyist on behalf of the 133 members in the organization. She was Executive Vice President of Tennessee Press Service, which represents the sales and marketing interests of Tennessee’s newspapers and their associated digital properties.

“When we hired Carol as the executive director of the Tennessee Press Service the organization was really struggling,” said Dave Gould, owner of Main Street Media of Tennessee and President of the Tennessee Press Service, “Carol quickly got things turned around, leading by example and building an outstanding team. Today, the association is on sound footing. 

“Our industry has been going through such incredible change and Carol was always so positive, passionate, optimistic and encouraging.

“In addition to all the great work she did Carol was such a wonderful person. She was a kind soul who was so positive and always had an optimistic outlook. She was an inspiration to everyone who knew her as she battled cancer. No matter what Carol was going through or how bad she felt, she never complained and continued to forge ahead. She was loved by so many of our members and will be terribly missed.” Gould said.

“The TPA family is mourning the loss of a passionate champion of the First Amendment and a tireless advocate for association members who relied on her skill, high-energy and determination to advance our mission and values,” said Chris Vass, TPA president. 

“She led the organization through challenging times and developed creative solutions to help members navigate the headwinds our industry has faced. She was simultaneously relentless and compassionate, always willing to listen.

“TPA has lost a faithful friend, a woman whose smile and laugh lightened and brightened many meetings,” she said. “When you knew Carol was involved, you knew to expect a first-class result.”

“For those of us who worked closely with her, we have lost a wonderful friend whose love for life, her family and her profession inspired us and will always.” Vass said.

“Carol fought with such grace and resilience,” said Megan Lane, who owns Lane Government Relations. “She was certainly a force. She was one of my first clients when I ventured out on my own, and she decided to take a leap of faith in hiring me. She always said it was because she wanted to invest in the next generation of women – a lesson I will pay forward because of her.”

Carol moved to Tennessee in 2007 from her native Canada and immersed herself in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. She brought her experience in marketing and new business organization to several non-profit organizations, including Belle Meade Plantation, Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, the Nashville Rescue Mission, the Nashville Symphony, and Watkins College of Art, Design and Film. She chaired annual fundraising events and worked with staff to enhance marketing efforts and organization. Each event set fund raising records during her involvement, and she was recognized with the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Volunteer of the Year award in 2013. She served on the Nashville Symphony Orchestra board of trustees and on the board of directors of Project Cure. She was a board member of The Andrew Jackson Foundation board of trustees, which runs the Hermitage and its 1,100 acres.

“She was a courageous, determined, creative, and caring person,” said Howard Kittell, president and CEO of Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage.” She lived in the land of possibility and worked to make the possibile a reality.”

After a stint as the marketing manager for Rogers AT&T Alberta, Carol began her career in the media industry at the Calgary Sun in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  In 2003 she joined the Sun as Director of Digital Sales and Development; one of her first responsibilities was building The Sun’s website and digital presence. Supervising and training a sales staff, she led the paper into the digital age. In 2004, she added the title of Classified Advertising Manager, and led that team to record sales growth in each month of her two-year stint in that role.

She was recruited to Toronto, where she ran the English-language division of Canoe as Director of National Sales and Marketing. Canoe was the Canada-wide digital presence of Sun Media, a Montreal-based media company with digital, television and newspaper properties. She built the sales team, and established Jobboom, a national job recruiting and placement service as a top-tier destination and service for companies hiring in major Canadian markets.

In 2012, Carol joined The Leaf-Chronicle, in Clarksville, as sales and marketing director; in 2015 she became general manager. She was involved in many Montgomery County organizations, including the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, Manna Café Ministries, and Customs House Museum. She served on the boards of directors of Gateway and Customs House, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the Montgomery County United Way, and she completed a two-year term as President of Leadership Clarksville in 2020.

She was a graduate of Leadership Clarksville and of Leadership Middle Tennessee.

Carol graduated from The University of Calgary, with a degree in criminal justice, and worked for a Provincial youth home, helping young people deal with addiction and family problems. Later she received a degree in marketing from Mount Royal College.

She is survived by her daughters, Megan Danielle Duthie of Knoxville and her husband Tyler Koontz, and Samantha Mary Miravalle of Augusta, GA; by her husband of 15 years, Frank Daniels III of Clarksville; by her step-children, Kimberly Daniels Taws and husband John of Southern Pines, NC; Frank Daniels IV and wife Ellie of Southern Pines, NC; and Joseph Daniels of Nashville; by her mother, Christine Lund of Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada; her brother Chris Goss of Longview, Alberta, Canada; and her sister Connie Jones and her husband Brad of Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada; by four grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.

Services are scheduled for Saturday, April 15, and will be held at Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home in Clarksville.