Ohio Newspaper Association Trustee Ken Douthit has been appointed to the Ohio Coalition for Open Government board, and ONA Board President Karl Heminger announced other committee appointments during the June 6 Board of Trustees meeting held in Columbus.

Douthit, the president of Douthit Communications in Sandusky, replaces former ONA Trustee Dan Behrens of Marysville. OCOG bylaws required the appointment from the board.

OCOG is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization that promotes open government in Ohio, it is technically overseen by ONA’s other non-profit arm, the Ohio Newspapers Foundation, and includes board members from other media outlets, education and citizen. ONA Trustee Monica Nieporte of Athens is board president.

ONA President Karl Heminger also announced 2014-2015 committee appointments.  Committee chairs are as follows:

  • Convention: Lori Figurski, the Times-Leader, Martins Ferry
  • Professional Development: Larry Dorschner, Lisbon Morning Journal.
  • AdOhio: Jim Shine, the Lima News
  • Ohio Newspapers Foundation: Keith Rathbun, The Budget, Sugarcreek
  • Newspapers in Education:  Anne Coburn-Griffis, Putnam County Sentinel
  • Weekly Newspapers: Mary Huber, Archbold Buckeye
  • Circulation Managers: Kim Wilhelm, Findlay Courier

A complete roster of committee members can be found by clicking here.

The board also heard detailed reports on ONA operations and financial status, including an encouraging report on AdOhio revenue from Frank Beeson, vice president of sales.  Through April, total AdOhio sales, which include substantial placements in Ohio newspapers, were $1,075,968 versus budget of $833,881 and $242,087 year earlier.

After some discussion, the board agreed that political advertising by candidates, but not advocacy, would be allowed in the network advertising programs if that was the best way to generate print dollars from candidates.

Beeson also noted that AdOhio has the most generous revenue-sharing program of any state newspaper association for members that upsell into the network advertising programs, with members keeping 60 percent to 70 percent of the sale price. More is being done to encourage members to upsell, improving their bottom lines as well as supporting the association.

Regarding dues, Executive Director Dennis Hetzel noted that dues revenue was slightly above plan for 2014, and strong efforts will be made to develop the 2015 budgets without a dues increase.

The board also applauded the lobbying efforts during the first half of 2014, particularly with the success in getting ONA-supported language into law to make the association’s website, www.PublicNoticesOhio.com , the official website for notices in Ohio.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be Oct. 10 in Chagrin Falls.  Members with questions or comments are encouraged to contact Hetzel, dhetzel@ohionews.org , or Heminger.


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