December 2014 Community Journal Newsletter


Enjoying circulation conference

ArkLaMiss photo (2)

Interlink customers Bill Knight, center, publisher of the Quitman County Democrat in Mississippi; Adam Prestridge, publisher of the Columbian-Progress in Mississippi; and Columbian-Progress production assistant Susan Amundson visit during a break at the ArkLaMiss Circulation Conference in Vicksburg last month. For additional photos from the conference, click here.  Interlink photo/Helen Sosniecki






What to do when electronic documentation (eDoc) fails

By Brad Hill

Abandoning hardcopy postage statements in favor of electronic submission offers several advantages to newspapers, not the least of which is welcomed convenience to both publishers and Post Office employees alike.

But what happens when the ‘e’ in eDoc stops working?

Can publishers be assured that the benefits of going electronic aren’t outweighed by some additional risk of having their papers refused or delayed when it’s time to mail? After all, those printed forms have certainly proven to be a reliable medium. Today, I bring you good news, mixed with a word of caution:

THE GOOD NEWS: The Postal Service has developed a contingency plan to ensure acceptance continues when electronic submission becomes unavailable, for mailings that typically send documentation electronically. Better still, this plan places only a minimal burden of recordkeeping on the publisher during the outage.

WORD OF CAUTION: The plan does not appear to be well-understood yet by postal workers at facilities where the use of electronic documentation is minimal. Fortunately, the 10 page document that describes this plan is available for public download on USPS website, which should minimize local pushback.

The plan, as it is written, is fairly straightforward: Inform the post office anytime eDoc cannot be sent, log a few details for each postage statement that is missed, and submit the actual postage statements electronically within three days of the system coming back online. Hardcopy postage statements should not be entered when electronic documentation is unavailable, as might be assumed. This is to prevent duplicate postage statements from being entered into PostalOne! for the same mailing once electronic versions are eventually received.

Each mailing entered during the outage must be accompanied by a Customer Mailing Log. The following should be included for each postage statement that normally would have been sent, using one line per postage statement:

* Permit Holder
* Permit Number
* Total Pieces
* Total Postage
* Mailer Job ID

That information can be found on the front page of hardcopy postage statements produced by Interlink Circulation, with the exception of the mailer job ID, which can be any number you choose for tracking purposes.

The contingency plan identifies three scenarios for why electronic documentation might become unavailable:

PostalOne! outage – bugs, maintenance, etc. on USPS end.

  1. Mailer outage – system crash, loss of power or Internet, etc. at your office.
  2. PostalOne! system delayed file transmission – which does not apply to Interlink’s method of sending eDoc; this can be a problem for Mail.Dat users.

Except in the case of PostalOne! outages, a ticket must be opened with the PostalOne! Help Desk to inform them when you are unable to submit eDoc. That can be done by calling (800) 522-9085, or sending an email to

Failure to submit eDoc should not prevent your mail from being entered and processed, even if it’s your fault. Understanding this plan and being ready to share it with your postmaster if necessary is the best way to ensure delivery of your paper isn’t affected when problems arise.

A copy of the PostalOne! External Contingency Plan is available for download as PDF here:



Can Play-Doh offer lessons about newspaper content?

By William E. (Bill) Garberphoto_bill_garber

Let’s have a look at Play-Doh again.

Every publisher remembers Play-Doh if they are old enough, or young enough.  It originally came in a little cardboard container like a mini-package of Pringles today.   The container shape is the same though the package is pure plastic.

Isn’t everything plastic?

If not literally, surely as an adjective.

And the adjective seems to explain why Play-Doh is bigger than ever.

Way bigger.

Three-and-a-half-year-old Kaitlyn borrows her grandmother’s iPad to experience Play-Doh on YouTube, easily fingering her way to a growing collection of videos of people showing her how to make stuff with Play-Doh.

And she sits at her little table with plastic tools and gizmos designed to create stuff with Play-Doh.

She knows where Play-Doh comes from.


And a fresh supply of different colored Play-Doh is just the thing.  The colors soon are melded and cost-effectively disposed of and replaced with fresh Play-Doh.  It comes in small containers for that very reason.  It seems less costly to buy a little bit over and over.

And the curious thing is that Play-Doh is the very same product that Kaitlyn’s grandmother used to wish she could have instead of that flour and salt and whatever made-at-home stuff her mother created because they chose not to afford Play-Doh for real.

In short, there is just nothing quite like Play-Doh for real.


If a community newspaper publisher were to look at the reading matter in their newspaper like the owners of Play-Doh must have done back in the day, what would publishing look like today?

Just wondering.

To be inspired, check out Amazon’s Play-Doh offerings.  125 different SKUs.


News & Information.

IMG_2298 Kaitlyn wBill's columnCome to think of it.



Kaitlyn shows her ‘Grandpa’ Bill how Play-Doh appeals more than ever today. It is no small thing that grandchildren, great grandchildren and even great-great grandchildren of the children who first discovered Play-Doh now buy more Play-Doh than ever.







Interlink launches online supplies store

The launch of Interlink’s new online supplies store allows customers and non-Interlink customers to conveniently order supplies with a few clicks of the mouse.

Ordering online offers the same convenient option of paying upfront with a credit card, or if you are an Interlink customer, you may select the invoice option and receive an invoice just as you would with previous supply orders.

If you haven’t ventured to the store page, we encourage you to take a look and try it with your next order—

–Angela Kurtz


Investigative reporting on small newspapers

NNA panel IMG_2976Sessions at the National Newspaper Association Convention this fall in San Antonio, TX, included a panel of award-winning community journalists discussing Investigative Reporting. The panelists shared their stories and offered insights on conducting investigations with limited funds and limited staff and the difficulties encountered in communities where you personally know and interact with both the sources and subjects of an investigation. Panelists were, from left, Mark Horvit, executive director of the Investigative Reporters and Editors headquartered at the University of Missouri School of Journalism; Samantha Swindler of the Portland Oregonian, formerly with the Times-Tribune in Corbin, KY; Kathy Cruz of the Hood County News in Granbury, TX; Marshall Helmberger of the Timberjay in Tower, MN; and Jonathan Austin of Yancy County News in Burnsville, NC. (The Times-Tribune and Timberjay both are Interlink customers.) Tommy Thomason of the Texas Center for Community Journalism served as moderator. For additional photos from the convention, click here. Interlink photo/Helen Sosniecki



Do I qualify for Preferred Price Discount?

By Che’ Eddiephoto_che_eddie
Client Solutions Supervisor

The short answer is almost assuredly, yes.

This discount comes into question more often than not, when USPS personnel do an audit of a mailer’s Periodical Mail Postage Statement for accuracy.

While it can be very confusing, one thing typically makes it clear: if you have at least one in-county piece and fewer than 5,000 out-of-county pieces…you qualify.

There are many other ways that a mailer may qualify, but over 90% of community newspapers qualify under the above mentioned allowance, and Interlink makes it easy to claim, as it is determined by your mailing at “Close Issue” time.

If ever you are in a situation where this discount comes into question, start with the reference outlined below. If this does not suffice, the Interlink Client Solutions team is standing by to help you understand and claim applicable discounts in the easiest manner possible.  We have previously worked with USPS and Postal Consultants to get this and other misinterpretations resolved, and are happy to do so…so you don’t have to.

References can be found under the Periodical Section of the USPS DMM:

More Specifically, Sections 207.10 & 207.11 which outline the above reference as follows:

…1.1.4 Limited Circulation Publications

Publications, excluding Nonprofit, Classroom, and Limited Circulation Science-of-Agriculture publications receive a 5% discount off the total Outside-County postage, excluding the postage for advertising pounds, if eligible copies are mailed at In-County prices and the total number of Outside-County copies mailed for that issue is less than 5,000. Nonsubscriber or nonrequester copies claiming the Limited Circulation discount are subject to the standards in 7.0….

…The Preferred price discount applies to Outside-County postage, excluding the postage for advertising pounds, for Nonprofit, Science-of-Agriculture, and Classroom publications; In-County prices apply to all eligible in-county copies…

Survey results on string use shared with NNA

We would like to thank you for taking a few minutes to respond to the survey Interlink sent in November regarding the use of string for newspaper bundle tying.  The results of the survey were almost evenly split with approximately 51% using string while 49% use other methods for securing bundles.  Over 200 responses were collected.

The results were shared with NNA and discussed at the MTAC meeting in November and will be taken into consideration as discussion continues.  Additional information on the proper use of string tying was provided in the December issue of Publishers’ Auxiliary by postal consultant Max Health.

–Angela Kurtz


On the Personal Side…

IMG_Chris & Gov. 20141028_203758
By Chris Allgood
Client Solutions Representative

In October, Interlink founder Bill Garber offered me two tickets to attend Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s speaking engagement for the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan. This was a rather nice, but not unusual gesture from Bill, who gives the impression that he finds success in helping others succeed and grow, which is why Interlink has been such a hit with community newspapers.

The tickets included a dinner before the Governor’s presentation, and I was free to sit wherever I chose and mingle with other members of the club. This provided an excellent atmosphere to speak with local leaders in the community and get a general feel for the club members. My fiancé was my plus-one and we were joined by Brad Hill, Interlink’s president.

Before Gov. Snyder spoke, a club official gave an announcement on future speakers and the state of the club, along with a few jokes. Gov. Snyder then spoke, and followed his speech with a question-and-answer period. After the presentation and a brief adjournment, those who wished to remain took a seat closer to the podium. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to introduce myself and ask a quick question before the governor needed to leave. It was a great experience, and one I thoroughly enjoyed.



Welcome to the Interlink community!

Interlink would like to welcome the newest members of the Interlink Circulation community:
4Q Front Pages Image

Falfurrias Facts (TX)
Blade Empire/Glasco (KS)
Hennessey Clipper (OK)
Dayton Chronicle (WA)
Rock County Leader (NE)
Hamilton Herald-News (TX)
Jefferson Jimplecute (TX)
Clarksville Times (TX)
Orchard News (NE)
Burnet Bulletin (TX)
Welsh Citizen (LA)
Lake Arthur Sun-Times (LA)
Highlander (TX)
News & Journal (WVA)
Llano County Journal (TX)
Northshore Star (TX)
Sundance Times (WY)
Wyoming Pioneer (WY)
Oxford Public Ledger (NC)
Central Delta Argus (AR)
Nebraska Bowler (NE)
Brady Standard-Herald (TX)
Little River News (AR)
Glencoe Anchor (IL)
South Reporter (TX)
Vega Enterprise (TX)
Banner Press (TX)
Geary Star (OK)
Chariton County Journal (MO)
Macon Beacon (MS)
Messenger of Juneau County (WI)
Crofton Journal (NE)
Niobrara Tribune (NE)
Franklin Advocate (TX)
San Augustine Tribune (TX)
Teague Chronicle (TX)
Greer Citizen (SC)
Wakefield Republican (NE)
Mountain Grove News-Journal (MO)
Yorktown Crier (VA)
Ozark County Times (MO)
Lebanon Daily Record (MO)
Mansfield Mirror (MO)
Webster County Citizen (MO)
Pulaski County Mirror (MO)
Trout Talk (MO)
Dripping Springs Century-News (TX)
Abbeville Meridional (LA)
Kaplan Herald (LA)
Advantage (LA)
Teche News (LA)
Breaux Bridge Banner (LA)
Buyline (LA)
Church Point News (LA)
Ville Platte Gazette (LA)
Lagniappe (LA)
Mamou Acadian Press (LA)
Basile Weekly (LA)
Kinder Courier (LA)
Oakdale Journal (LA)
Allen Parish Advantage (LA)
Richland Beacon News (LA)
Tensas Gazette (LA)
Delhi Dispatch (LA)
West Carroll Gazette (LA)
Caldwell Watchman (LA)
Caldwell News Journal (LA)
Crowley Post Signal (LA)
Acadia Ad-ition (LA)
Gueydan Journal (LA)
Rayne Acadian Tribune (LA)
Okmulgee Times (OK)
Henryetta Free-Lance (OK)

Why does a subscriber label not print?

From Client Solutions

Q.  Why is a subscriber label missing?

A.  Any of the following items will prevent a label from being printed for a particular subscriber. To ensure a label will print, double-check all possibilities:

  1. Newspaper (or Shopper) status must be Active. This can be found on Edit subscriber screen of the subscriber record, on the right hand side under Newspaper subscription section.
  2. Delivery type must be Mail. This can be found on Edit subscriber screen of the subscriber record, under Newspaper delivery type.
  3. Vacation stop must not be checked. This can be found on Edit subscriber screen of the subscriber record, under the Vacation tab. If the Stopped checkbox on the Vacation tab of a subscriber record is checked, no label will be printed.
  4. If the Start date is in the future, no label will be produced. This can be found on the Edit subscriber screen of the subscriber record.
  5. Check the printer settings and be sure that the advanced driver is checked if your printer requires one. Leaving unchecked will cause the labels to skip and the label will not print for some subscribers.

If the newspaper status is Active, Delivery type is Mail, Vacation Stopped is not checked, and the Start date is blank or in the past, and the advanced driver is checked, a label will be produced for the subscription.

Keep in mind that changes to these fields do not take effect until the next issue is closed.

To ensure a label was included with the last issue closed, print a single label for the subscriber in question:

  1. Select the Mailing Labels report
  2. Click the Print Special… button
  3. Select One, Label.
  4. Enter the subscriber ID you wish to check
  5. Click the Continue button
  6. Click the Continue button to begin printing.

If a label prints, then it was included in the set of labels for the most recently closed issue.

If no label prints, check the options above to ensure the subscriber is configured properly to receive a label.

Please contact Client Solutions at 888-473-3103 if you need additional assistance.


How to enter vacation stop/start

From Client Solutions

Q:  How do I stop the paper for a subscriber going on vacation?

A:  Open the desired subscriber record and follow the steps below:

  1. Select the vacation tab.
  2. Enter a stop date for when they no longer wish to get the paper — enter today if they are asking for a delayed start.
  3. Enter a Restart date if and/or when it is known at any time after the stop date has been entered.
  4. If the subscription’s expiration date is to be adjusted by the number of days stopped, check the box labeled “Extend”.

When the issue is closed, the stop date is compared to the issue date.  If the stop date is in the past, the record will be stopped.  Once the record is stopped, the system will look at the Restart date in comparison to the Issue date, and be restarted when the Restart date falls on or before the Issue date.  The expiration date will be extended if the Extend box is checked when the subscription is restarted.



Take a bow…

NNA PreidentIMG_2991_crop

Edgecombe elected NNA president

Interlink customer John Edgecombe Jr., publisher of the Nebraska Signal in Geneva, NE, was elected president of the National Newspaper Association, during the association’s 128th annual convention and trade show Oct. 4 in San Antonio, TX.

Edgecombe succeeded Robert M. Williams Jr., also an Interlink customer, who is publisher of Pierce County Publishing Co. Inc. in Blackshear, GA, who became immediate past president.

Elected vice president was Interlink customer Chip Hutcheson, publisher of the Princeton (KY) Times Leader. He had been treasurer. The treasurer position remains open.

“My family has owned The Nebraska Signal for 120 years,” Edgecombe said during his acceptance speech at the convention.

His great-grandfather, F.O. Edgecombe, a blind newspaper publisher, became president of the National Editorial Association, now NNA, 90 years ago.

Elected to their first three-year terms as regional directors were Interlink customers Matt Paxton, publisher of the News-Gazette in Lexington, VA, as Region 3 director (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia); and Tom Mullen with the Philipsburg (MT) Mail as Region 9 director (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington).

Amos winnerIMG_2978_crop


NNA honors David with Amos Award

Interlink customer Jeff David, publisher of the Livingston Parish News in Denham Springs, LA, and a past NNA president, received the National Newspaper Association’s Amos Award at the annual convention this fall in San Antonio, TX. The Amos Award recognizes a working or retired newspaperman who has provided distinguished service and leadership to the community press and their community.

David is the publisher of the Livingston Parish News in Denham Springs, LA, and a past NNA president.

The Amos Award was established in 1938 in honor of Gen. James O. Amos, a pioneer Ohio journalist and member of the National Editorial Association—now known as the National Newspaper Association.

David was nominated by former NNA President Bob Sweeney, publisher of Villager Newspapers in Greenwood Village, CO.

Elizabeth Parker, co-publisher and executive editor of the New Jersey Hills Media Group in Bernardsville, NJ, received the 2014 Emma C. McKinney Award, which honors a working or retired newspaperwoman who has provided distinguished service and leadership to the community press and their community.

Philllips winnerIMG_2987_crop


NNA honors Sawvell with Phillips Award

Derek Sawvell, managing editor for Interlink customer the Wilton-Durant Advocate News in Wilton, IA, received the National Newspaper Association’s Phillips Award during the NNA Convention this fall in San Antonio, TX.

The Phillips Award was established in 2007 to honor Daniel Morris “Dan” Phillips, an award-winning writer, photographer and assistant publisher of the Oxford (MS) Eagle, who died in 2005 at the age of 47. This award is presented to an individual between 23-40 years old who is well respected in his or her community, of good reputation and integrity, provides active leadership in the newspaper industry and is active in his or her state press association and community and whose newspaper is a member of NNA.

Sawvell, who was nominated by Interlink customer Bill Tubbs, publisher of the North Scott Press in Eldridge, IL, was the sixth recipient of the Daniel M. Phillips Leadership Award.


Washburn new TPA PresidentWashburn,Joel_highres

Interlink customer Joel Washburn, managing editor of The McKenzie Banner, was elected president of the Tennessee Press Association this fall to fill an unexpired term when the position became open due to a job change by the former president.

Washburn has served in various positions with TPA boards, including director of TPA, treasurer, and vice president of non-dailies. He also serves on the Tennessee Press Association Foundation’s Board of Trustees. He is chairman of the Winter Convention and Press Institute, a position assigned to the vice-president.

Washburn is a native of McKenzie, Tennessee. He is general business manager for his family’s two community newspapers, The McKenzie Banner and Dresden Enterprise.

Washburn began work in the newspaper as a child. His first job was sweeping the floor on Wednesdays following the newspaper print production. He returned to the family newspaper business following graduation from college to work along with his parents and brother.


Free conversion winners announced

Melissa Perner, publisher of the Ozona Stockman in Texas, was the winner of a free Interlink conversion (value $1,295) during the National Newspaper Association convention in San Antonio this fall.

Dan Strack, COO at Emmerich Newspapers in Mississippi, was the winner of the free conversion at the ArkLaMiss circulation conference this fall in Vicksburg, MS.


Postal Calendar

Postal Holidays: Upcoming postal holidays with no regular mail delivery: Thursday, Dec. 25, Christmas; Thursday, Jan. 1, New Years; Monday, Jan. 19, Martin Luther King’s Birthday; Monday, Feb. 16, George Washington’s Birthday (Presidents’ Day)
Interlink Calendar


Wednesday, Dec. 24 – Close at noon Eastern

Thursday, Dec. 25 – Closed

Friday, Dec. 26 — Closed

New Year’s

Thursday, Jan. 1 – Closed

What customers are saying…

From Mississippi…

Publisher reports postal savings of $500+ a month


I wanted to pass along something I noticed this week while looking over some financial statements.

In October 2013 (five mailing days), we spent $2,202 on periodical postage. That’s before switching to Interlink.

In October 2014 (again five mailing days for us), we spent $1,669. There was no substantial difference in what we mailed.

So we were essentially overpaying the post office by $533 per month.

Thanks for the help from you and Interlink!


Charlie Smith
Editor/Publisher, The Enterprise-Tocsin
Indianola, MS


From Kentucky…

Plant manager thrilled with online store

Awesome!  I like the new online ordering system — maybe I can finally junk my fax machine.

Josh Guthrie
Plant Manager
Cynthiana Democrat
Cynthiana, KY



SPECIAL ONLINE-ONLY OFFER! Save on sack tags while enjoying the convenience of ordering online at We’re excited about our new, online store, and we want you to be, too, so we’re offering special pricing for online orders only. Place your order online between now and Dec. 21 and receive 20% off the regular price of each case of sack/tray tags.  Your cost is only $64.80 per case and includes shipping. Whether you need mailing labels, sack tags or renewal post cards, you have the ease of ordering online with the flexibility of paying with a credit card or receiving an invoice.

NEED A NEW LABEL PRINTER? No need to spend your cash buying a new one. Just use Interlink’s Monthly Printer Service. For only $24.95 per month, Interlink will provide you a fully supported thermal label printer for unlimited use in your office. Current model being supplied is the Citizen CL-S621. Label/ribbon packages are available from Interlink. Call 888-473-3103.

FREE TRAINING! Our Holiday Special lets three lucky customers keep the standard $190 training fee to stimulate their local economy. We will provide a FREE two-hour training session to the first three Interlink customers who respond to this ad. Call Helen or Jessica at 888-473-3103. A trained, efficient Interlink Circulation operator can save your newspaper time and money. If you have an operator who has not been through our training process, who learned by sharing information internally with the last operator, chances are not all of the program’s efficiencies are being utilized. If you don’t respond in time to grab one of the free offers, we still can sign your operator up for an intense two-hour training session for only $190. Let us help get your operator up to speed on all Interlink can do to help you and your operation.


Share your good news

Send news about your company or staff awards and accomplishments to share in our next quarterly Interlink Community Journal. Email them to or

Share your thoughts

Have you written a column or editorial that targets issues relevant to the community-newspaper industry that you would like to share in our next quarterly Interlink Community Journal? Columns or editorials may be emailed to or

Share your circulation promotions

Have you had a successful circulation-subscription campaign that you would like to share with fellow publishers in the community-newspaper industry? We’d be happy to share them in our next quarterly Interlink Community Journal. They may be emailed to or