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Big Bend Sentinel reporter subpoenaed in Prada Marfa vandalism case Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 09:13



PRESIDIO and JEFF DAVIS COUNTIES — Investigators have served a Big Bend Sentinel reporter with a subpoena in the Prada Marfa vandalism case.
But Texas' journalist shield law requires certain tests and measures be met before a journalist can be compelled to disclose information.
The alleged vandal, a guerrilla artist known only as 9271977, was arrested on Tuesday in Waco and identified as Joe Magnano. The artist exchanged text messages with Sentinel reporter John Daniel Garcia last week. Garcia acquired the alleged vandal's phone number through an internet search, which Garcia wrote.
At about 3 p.m. on Friday, March 14, Jerry Walker, a Jeff Davis County deputy sheriff who is leading the investigation, entered the Sentinel office in Marfa and served Garcia with the subpoena.
The subpoena, signed by Jeff Davis County justice of the Peace Fred Granado, summoned Garcia to "produce and permit inspection and copying" of "text messages from an artist known as '9271977,' including all pertinent information, ie, phone number messages were received from."
The subpoena goes on to say that failure to comply "may be punished by fine or confinement, or both." In addition, the subpoena required Garcia to turn over his text messages by 5 p.m. that same day.
"All of a sudden you have two hours to comply," Garcia said. "It was kind of a bummer. There really was no time to confer with counsel."
Robert Halpern, publisher and editor of the Sentinel, explained that upon Garcia being served, the newspaper retained Marfa and El Paso attorney Steve Spurgin as legal counsel. Spurgin was able to delay the time prescribed by the subpoena in which Garcia was to produce his phone records.

Dan Parker to speak at 2014 TPA Leadership Retreat Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:59


danparkerOn the evening of Thursday June 19, Dan Parker, reporter and photographer for the Port Aransas South Jetty, will speak at the 2014 TPA Leadership Retreat in Corpus Christi.
Parker specializes on the nature of photographing the sights of Texas' Coastal Bend area.
Parker, 52, grew up in Port Aransas and has worked for various newspapers around the country since getting started in journalism, right out of college, 30 years ago.
"At the South Jetty, we cover Port Aransas and Port Aransas only — for a small town, it's a highly visual and dynamic place, full of photo opportunities," Parker said. "Our challenge is to keep producing good quality, highly varied photos and the photos I will show in my presentation will reflect all of this."
On June 21, stick around for the contest awards ceremony where winners for the Better Newspaper Contest, Fred Hartman Excellence in Sportswriting Award, Frank W. Mayborn Award for Community Leadership, Golden 50 and other distinguished awards will be announced.
Other events on the agenda for this summer's convention include an event at the USS Lexington and the Robert Burns Memorial Golf Tournament. This year, the tournament will be held at the NorthShore Country Club, and as always, proceeds benefit the Texas Newspaper Foundation.


Findings from State of the News Media report Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:45

greg copyThe Pew Research Center's Journalism Project released its 11th annual State of the News Media 2014 report the last week of March. The results were a bit heartening; borrowing a line from Mark Twain, the report of the death of newspapers was an exaggeration. The study concentrated on daily newspapers but the results are interesting and can benefit us all. Certainly, the salad days for most of us are gone but we remain alive and well.
The study reports total newspaper revenues have fallen by 50 percent in the last 10 years. I suspect that while many of us have seen stagnant or falling revenues we are doing better than that. Newspapers are still a $38.6 billion enterprise and account for more than 60 percent of all "news" revenue. The study attempted to isolate only the news components of local and network television, news and talk radio and news magazines. In total revenues, local TV news accounted for $8.9 billion and cable news accounted for $5.2 billion. Weekly newspapers brought in $3.6 billion, 70 percent more than network news and more that double the total news and talk radio produced.

Legislature changed who places, pays for permit Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:43

ed copyQ: A restaurant owner just popped in to place a legal notice of her application for a permit to sell beer. This type of notice normally comes from the county clerk's office. After all these years, the law must have changed. What can you tell me about it?

A: Senate Bill 1035 by John Carona, R-Dallas, passed in the 2013 regular session of the Texas Legislature. The bill amended the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code in various places, but the part that changed who places and pays for the newspaper notice is Sec. 61.38, titled "Notice of Application." Now, the applicant pays for the notice and gives the publisher's affidavit to the county clerk.

Newsmakers Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:32


Leon Aldridge joined Granite Publications Feb. 24. Aldridge will work out of the Center Light and Champion office while fulfilling duties for all 23 of the Granite Publication newspapers. He will also serve as interim managing editor to help publisher Dale Buie as the newspaper enhances and expands its news coverage in Shelby County. Aldridge's location at the Center newspaper office is also a bit of what he terms as "coming home." He was the first publisher hired by owner Jim Chionsini for the East Texas Light, and was there when it merged with the Center Champion to become the newspaper it is today. "Returning to this newspaper building and assisting in producing the Light and Champion is a homecoming of the best kind," Alridge said. Aldridge joins Granite as a vice president following 14 years as director of marketing for Port-A-Cool LLC in Center. Prior to that, he also published the Boerne Star and the Marlin Democrat for Granite before buying the Naples Monitor in northeast Texas. In addition, he also taught journalism courses at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.

Jeff DeLoach, publisher of the San Angelo Standard-Times will expand his duties by taking the same role at the Abilene Reporter-News. Former publisher of the Reporter-News, Dave Hedge, is stepping down to pursue other endeavors. DeLoach previously worked as vice president of circulation at the Scripps-owned Corpus Christi Caller-Times. He also worked for nine years at another Scripps paper, the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn. In 2011, he was named the Texas' "newspaper leader of the year" by the Texas Daily Newspaper Association.

AIM Media Texas LLC recently appointed Frank Escobedo as publisher of the The Brownsville Herald.
In this new role, Escobedo will be repsonsible for serving the Brownsville and surrounding communities in Cameron and Hidalgo counties, as well as the El Extra, the free, weekly Spanish language publication. Escobedo has served as General Manager, Hispanic Media, Southern Region, for Freedom Communications Inc. across multiple counties across southern California. Earlier in his career, Escobedo worked at the Laredo Morning Times as an advertising account executive in 1984. By 2004, he had worked his way up to advertising director, vice president and general manager.

Russell Viers to host free webinar Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:29

russellviersWith graduation season nearing and the thought of typing each student's name in your newspaper looming ahead, you can't help but think, "There's gotta be a better, way, right?" Good news — there is! On May 1 Russell Viers, Adobe Suite specialist, will host a free webinar catering, but not limited to, automating design for graduation sections. Viers will create an Adobe Connect class on the topic where our members can participate via the web. Attendees will be able to participate through a shared screen and commentary. More information on registration rules and protocol to come, but for now, email Allison Rentfro at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to sign up for the webinar. You'll receive a link that is necessary to attend the webinar. The webinar will begin at 10 a.m. and will last about two hours; the last thirty minutes will be left for questions.

Upcoming awards Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:22

FOI Foundation of Texas 2014 Spirit of FOI Award
DEADLINE: APRIL 15 | SEND ENTRIES TO This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas is now accepting entries for the 2014 Nancy Monson Spirit of FOI Award recognizing outstanding journalism efforts upholding the First Amendment principles and open government. Nominations published in 2013 will be considered and should include any of the following: news story, editorial, column, editorial cartoon or community FOI project. Entries will be judged in size classfications and up to three will be recognized. For additional contest rules, contact Kelley Shannon, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or go to

Golden 50
Texas Press Association's Golden 50 Award honors men and women who have displayed exemplary service and selfless contributions to journalism for 50 or more years. The association presented the first Golden 50 Award in 1963. This year, recipients will be honored at the TPA annual contest awards on June 21, following the Newspaper Leadership Retreat in Corpus Christi. To nominate an industry veteran, download the nomination form at and return it to TPA Executive Director, Mike Hodges at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by April 25.

WANTED: Stories from your market on readers following public notices Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:18

donnis copyTexas Press Association needs stories about how your readers rely on the public notices printed in your newspaper.As you know, TPA is fighting hard to protect public notices in newspapers, and we need compelling anecdotes to help make our case. Has a notice about your city's annexation plans raised eyebrows and energized readers of your paper? How about a notice about changes in school attendance zones? A proposed landfill? A tax increase? A highway project? A bid notice on a public works project?

Publishers represent Texas newspapers in Washington D.C. Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:17

National Newspaper Association held its Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., March 12-13.Texas Press Association was represented by Randy and Kathy Mankin of the Big Lake Wildcat and the Eldorado Success, Glenn and Carrie Rea of the Cuero Record and the Yorktown News-View, Jerry and Vana Tidwell of the Hood County NewsCommunity newspaper publishers from across the nation gathered for the summit where they learned about pending legislation and proposed postal regulations that could adversely affect newspapers and the communities they serve.Bob Schieffer, CBS news anchor and TCU alumnus, spoke on Thursday evening about growing up in Fort Worth, visiting the Forth Worth Star Telegram as a young reporter, and covering part of the Kennedy assassination. He also suggested that the decline of circulation in large metropolitan newspapers could be solved by following the lead of smaller community newspapers. He closed his remarks by saying, "Strong newspapers build strong communities."

Moser acquires Wimberley View Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:16

The Wimberley View is now under new ownership after Moser Community Media, the parent company of the San Marcos Daily Record, bought the paper Feb. 28. The most noticeable of the many changes coming to the newspaper is the size. The newspaper is going back to full broadsheet. The extra space will allow for much more community coverage. Moser Community Media, based out of Brenham, believes in hyper-local journalism, which is the practice of focusing on a small group's immediate and direct concerns. Moser currently owns 17 other newspapers.

Williamson County Sun prints in compact Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:13

On March 2, the Williamson County Sun converted to a compact format rather than broadsheet. Publisher Clark Thurmond remarked that the print market in Georgetown was becoming extremely competitive since everyone was starting to run in full-color. "The compact format lets us utilize the entire width of the press and gives us so much more inside color," he said. "Plus it's easier to handle and readers like that."
The Williamson County Sun has been printing on broadsheet for the past 137 years. Although the pages are now smaller, there are more of them and the reader is able to get the same content as before. "Now it's 75-80 percent more color and easier to read," Thurmond said. "Internally, we are still learning how to use the more compact pages, and the paper takes longer to build. The design changed very little — we narrowed the image on the page about six percent, shortened it five inches, and kept the six-column page." Though it is too early to tell if circulation has increased or declined, "the switch was necessary in order to compete in the market," said Thurmond.

-30- Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:02

Dallas Times Herald columnist, movie critic and editor, Donald Bernard Safran, died Feb. 17 at the age of 84. Safran was born in Bensonhurst, N.Y., where he graduated from Lafayette High School. He served two years in the Marines before he studied journalism at Mexico City College and Arizona State University. He started his career at the Lamesa Daily Reporter, now the Lamesa Press-Reporter. In 1956, he joined the Dallas Times Herald as a nightclub reporter. While with the Herald, he became a movie critic, and eventually, arts and entertainment editor. In the early 1970s, Safran left the Times Herald and was movie critic for The Iconoclast, a weekly Dallas tabloid. In 1977, that publication folded and he became editor of the alternative publication, The Weekly Dallas Reader. Shortly after, he moved to Los Angeles, where he wrote for publications including the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles magazine. Safran wrote for about 60 years, from his first newspaper job through retirement in 2005. He moved to Tumwater, Wash. and wrote novels and short stories. He had recently moved back to Dallas before his passing.

FOI Foundation of Texas honors Robert and Maureen Decherd with John Henry Faulk Award for Civic Virtue Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 08:00

robertdecherdAUSTIN — Robert and Maureen Decherd have been selected as recipients of the John Henry Faulk Award for Civic Virtue in honor of their dedication to community service, open government and the First Amendment.
The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas bestows the award on outstanding Texans who represent the best traditions of civic involvement and enlightened philanthropy. The award is named for author, humorist and broadcaster John Henry Faulk, who spent much of his career fighting for First Amendment liberties.
Robert Decherd was one of the founders of the FOI Foundation of Texas, formed to protect freedom of the press and the public's right to open government.
He helped to fund the non-profit organization and served as its first president from 1978-81.

March 13, 2014: Roy Robinson Day Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 07:57

Roy Robinson, president of TPA from 2008-2009, was given his own day by the city of Graham. The Graham Leader reported, that through Robinson's efforts with Keep Graham Beautiful, that he has made it his personal mission to leave Graham better off than when he found it. Along with his dedication to KGB, he also worked with Graham's recycling program and their semiannual city-wide clean up efforts. Robinson was publisher of the Graham Leader, the Breckenridge American, the Olney Enterprise, the Jacksboro Gazette and the Lake Country Sun until 2011. Before moving to Texas, he built a distinguished news career in Colorado, where in 1966 he and his wife purchased the Ute Pass Courier in Woodland Park, Colo. This was just the beginning of many publisher and editor titles across the state. Robinson recently retired to Denver, Colo.


Messenger Staff

Micheal Hodges

Allison Rentfro

Advertising Consultant
Diane Byram

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© Texas Press Messenger, 2014 (ISSN 1521-7523). Published monthly by Texas Press Service, a business affiliate of Texas Press Association. Periodicals postage paid at Austin, Texas, and additional mailing office, USPS 541-440. Printed by Hood County News in Granbury, Texas.