MNA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
October 10-11, 2013
Park Square Theatre – St. Paul, MN
Present: Rollin Bergman – East Grand Forks, Pete Mohs – Pequot Lakes, Joni Harms – Worthington, Jason Brown – Long Prairie, Mike Jacobson – Paynesville, Chris Schultz – Delano, Marge Winkelman – ECM, Mike Dalton – Cannon Falls, Kevin Anderson – Isle, Lisa Hills – MNA, Debbie Evans – MNA, Dan Lind – MNA
Welcome and Call to Order by President Rollin Bergman at 1:00 p.m.
Approval of Minutes from the June 12, 2013 meeting on a MOTION by Anderson, seconded by Jacobson, passed.
Applications for MNA Membership – Schultz
All applicants submitted completed applications and supporting documentation as required. The Bovey Scenic Range was approved as an active member and the Rochester Community Technical College was approved as a Journalism School member on a MOTION by Schultz, seconded by Mohs, passed. The Moorhead FM Extra was approved as an active member on a MOTION by Anderson, seconded by Brown, passed.
Executive Director’s Report – Hills
MNA’s financial health is solid. Every Member Visits are progressing nicely and have been well received. 2014 Legislative Session Planning is underway, with challenges to public notice expected. Convention speaker and session planning is almost complete, the theme will be “The Magic of Newspapers.” No updates on the Plymouth Building sale and how/when it will affect the MNA office. The Executive Director’s Report was approved on a MOTION by Mohs, seconded by Winkelman, passed.
Finance Reports – Mohs and Evans
Disbursements from June-September and staff expenses were previously reviewed by the Finance Committee. Statements of financial position and balance sheets were reviewed, with a special note on income tax provisions, bad debt explanations, and new accounts receivable processes to ensure a strong cash flow as we head into fiscal 2014. Projections indicate that MNA will end 2013 with a net profit based on solid advertising revenue and a continued focus on expense management. The financial reports were accepted on a MOTION by Harms, seconded by Jacobson, passed.
Board Decisions with Financial Implications – Hills and Evans
MNA Dues Structure – MNA “minimums and maximums” were adjusted in 2012. The MNA Member Services Committee will review the MNA dues and membership application process.
Year-end Expenditures – With a projection of a net profit for 2013, discussion took place on how profit can be spent on two important initiatives to benefit MNA members: After reviewing RFPs from survey firms, an allocation of up to $40,000 for a statewide readership study conducted by Scarborough Research was approved on a MOTION by Jacobson, seconded by Mohs, passed. The allocation of up to $15,000 for the development of a statewide public notice aggregation website using software developed by the Illinois Press Association was approved on a MOTION by Anderson, seconded by Schultz, passed.
Minnesota Historical Society Digital Preservation Project
Sarah Quimby and Jennifer Jones from the MNHS presented an update on the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub which is now live and functional. There are currently 109 titles and over 700,000 pages of pre-1922 content available online. Post-1923 content can only be accessed in the MNHS library. The program continues to be underwritten by Legacy Fund, but MNHS is actively researching other revenue options and would like to partner with MNA to explore opportunities. Next step: actively pursuing MNA members to submit their PDF print files to MHS for archiving.
Other Topics of Discussion
Hills gave an update on the 2014 legislative session. Sandy Neren has developed a list areas that MNA will need to focus its efforts, public notice will be at the forefront.
Julie Bergman provided an update on the Minnesota Newspaper Museum at the State Fairgrounds. It was recently announced that the old building would be demolished as part of a redevelopment of Heritage Square. She was happy to announce that a new space was secured in the 4-H Building, ensuring the museum will continue to educate and excite fairgoers for years to come.
Rollin Bergman asked board members to review the current MNA/MNI Whistleblower, Conflict of Interest and Ethical Conduct Policy then sign a copy of said policies as active board members. The policies were reviewed and approved on a MOTION by Jacobson, seconded by Winkelman, passed.
Lind asked the board for approval to increase the MDAN cash sales incentives awarded to member newspaper salespeople who sell a statewide ad to new clients through the end of 2013. On a MOTION by Mohs, seconded by Jacobson, passed, the 2×2 bonus will increase from $150 to $200 and the 2×4 bonus will increase from $300 to $400 through 12/31/13.
Hills presented an update on convention planning. Speakers and sessions are almost complete, and the theme will be “The Magic of Newspapers.” Committee meetings will take place all day Wednesday. Hills also asked for suggestions on other session topics to fill a few remaining openings. A final schedule will be announced at the December meeting.
New Media / Brown
Suggestions for convention sessions and training sessions were discussed.
The New Media committee name will be changed to Digital Media Committee. Additional committee members are being sought.
The committee recommends that MNA research template design options, including pay wall solutions, from various local vendors and collect bids for review to help members that don’t maintain websites.
The report was approved on a MOTION by Anderson, seconded by Mohs, passed.
Advertising / Lind
Revenue from MNA Network sales and the MNA Ad Service are strong and tracking better than budget. Committee members volunteered to develop two sessions for the 2014 MNI training calendar. The first will be, New Sales Rep Training in March. A follow up session will be planned for July.
Approval of cash prizes of $500 for the Ad Design Contest and $400 for the Best Just Got Better session at
the convention were approved on a MOTION by Schultz, seconded by Jacobson, passed.
The report, was approved on a MOTION by Anderson, seconded by Jacobson, passed.
Daily / Hills
The MNA daily meeting was hosted by the Duluth News Tribune in September. There were attendees from both weekly and daily newspapers. Bill Albrecht led the discussion. The daily report was approved on a MOTION by Mohs, seconded by Winkelman, passed.
Journalism Education / Mohs
MNA’s BNC contest is in full swing. Newspaper people from the Illinois Press Association are judging the entries this year. The committee will plan a convention session that will focus on covering healthcare.
They are also working a plan to make students feel more welcome at the convention.
The AP Jobs fair was held on Saturday October 5.
The committee’s report was approved on a MOTION by Anderson, seconded by Jacobson, passed.
2014 Summer Board Meeting
Mohs announced that the 2014 meeting will be held at Grandview Lodge in Nisswa on June 18-19th. More details to be announced shortly.
Next meeting date will be December 5 & 6, at the MNA Office in Minneapolis.
Dan Lind, MNA