Best New Year’s Wishes!
I hope the holidays were good days for you and your family, and that you enjoy a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!
Dues payments due this month
Dues invoices were mailed out before Thanksgiving. We’ve emailed a number of alerts to call this to your attention, asking that if you had not seen a dues invoice to please let us know.
The dues invoices offer three options for payment, seeking to offer a plan to fit different budgets and bank balances.
Please note that all require a payment before the end of January, whether it’s payment in full or a partial payment as outlined in one of the options on the invoice.
Like any other business LPA needs its money to meet payroll and other operating expenses.
LPA also needs to confirm your membership status as we update our sales materials with our 2020 membership list for making advertising sales calls. We are most grateful that our membership has remained stable from one year to the next, but we need that January payment to confirm that you’re on board for another year.
If you have circumstances that cause you a real problem making even the partial dues payment before the end of this month, please let me know and we’ll work out something. We don’t want to lose a member, but we must confirm who we represent so we know who to pitch when making ad calls or who is eligible to call the Legal Hotline or eligible to receive other services LPA offers.
If you’re unhappy or upset about something involving LPA, please don’t leave us to wonder. Let me know the issue and give us a chance to try to address it.
Your membership is critical to LPA’s efforts to support and promote the newspaper industry. We want your continued participation in LPA. We need it.
What to do with your credit balance at LPA?
A number of LPA members had credit balances on their membership account with LPA, after deducting credits for rebates from their participation in the statewide classified program or small space ad program.
If you had a credit on your dues invoice, you should have received a letter from LPA offering options for what to do with that credit, such as donating a portion of the credit to LPA’s Foundation or leaving the credit to be applied to tickets to LPA’s Awards Luncheon in June or for other incidental expenses with LPA, or having us send a check for all or a portion of the credit.
If you were among those fortunate enough to have a credit on your account, please be sure to return the form so we know your wishes.
And if you are not participating in the statewide classified and small space ad networks, you should. We can’t promise that your rebates will cover your dues and leave you with a credit afterwards, but the rebates for sure will lessen what you need to pay at the renewal time next year.
New overtime rules in effect for 2020
Don’t forget the new Department of Labor rule for 2020 increasing the minimum salary for employees exempt from overtime pay requirements. Starting this year, the base pay minimum has gone up, from $455 a week to $684.
LPA has been told you can use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (such as commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the minimum salary level, so a salaried employee who earns a commission must earn at least 90% of the minimum salary from their base pay to remain exempt under the new rule.
It’s not just about what you pay.
To be exempt from overtime, there are three factors to be considered.
The employee must be paid a set salary that is (1) not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed; (2) the amount of the salary must meet the minimum specified; and (3) the employee’s job duties must primarily involve executive, administrative or professional duties.
To be exempt, an employee must meet all three criteria.
Most journalists are not considered professionals, and just giving an employee a manager’s title doesn’t mean they meet the qualification as far as being an executive or administrator, so for example, a sports editor in a one-person sports department may have trouble if you treat as exempt.
If you’re not sure about a particular situation at your newspaper, contact us and we’ll try to get you information so you can compare what you’re doing to what the Dept. of Labor is requiring.
Share your newspaper news with LPA
We try to watch for announcements of promotions, retirements, deaths, or other news involving LPA members. We try to keep an eye out for news about changes to your publication such as changes in publishing days, new ownership, new products or such.
In addition to wanting to keep up with what’s happening for our own benefit, we try to share news about LPA members in our various newsletters we send out each month, so other members can know what’s happening in the newspaper industry around the state.
Please help make sure we don’t miss an announcement about your operation.
Get someone to email us a copy of any story announcing something newsworthy about your publication or staff and help us keep LPA and others around the state updated on news about your newspaper.
Get your Better Newspaper Competition entries in
The 2020 Better Newspaper Competition packets were emailed last month to editors, publishes and ad managers, with details on the various categories for which awards will be presented, how to submit entries, deadlines and more.
Entries should be submitted by Friday, February 7 to get a discount on the entry fees, though you can take a bit longer and submit entries by Friday, February 14, but you’ll have to pay a bit more.
You’ve likely got good work produced in 2019 for which your newspaper and your staff should be recognized. Don’t put off picking your entries and getting them submitted lest something come up and you suddenly realize it’s too late.
If you need another contest packet or have questions or other issues, contact us an firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work to help you.
Digital Media Directory coming soon
We are still a couple of weeks away from going live with our new digital statewide media directory. Our thanks to all who promptly submitted updated information about their newspaper that LPA will include in the individual profiles of our members.
The profiles provide phone numbers and email addresses for getting information about placing an ad or a public notice, or information about where to deliver preprints or about who to contact with questions about advertising on your website or how to submit a press release or Letter to the Editor, and more.
The printed media directory booklets LPA produced for many years were popular with media buyers with ad agencies, corporate marketing departments, political campaign strategists, with public relations firms, with government agencies, elected officials and more.
The new digital format allows LPA to share more specific information about your publication, as well as to be able to update it as changes are made so the information is always current.
It’s also a handy reference for LPA members about who to call at another newspaper with a question or an idea.
Will Chapman is the executive director of LPA. He worked in the newspaper industry, at various times in most every aspect of the business. He’s a past president of LPA following his father and grandfather who also held that office. Email him at email@example.com, or call him at 225-344-9309 (ext 108).