Donahoe to address NNA Summit

February 1, 2013

ARLINGTON, VA—Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe will address the National Newspaper Association at the We Believe in Newspapers Summit March 14 in Arlington, VA.
Donahoe will discuss the U.S. Postal Service’s decision to extend contract postage discounts to Valassis Direct Mail Inc., and the massive network and facility changes underway within USPS.
NNA President Merle Baranczyk, publisher of the Mountain Mail in Salida, CO, called the summit to tackle newspapers’ multiple challenges stemming from changes in the Postal Service, ranging from the Valassis discounts to USPS’ new Every Door Direct Mail program and vexing concerns about timely delivery of newspapers.
Baranczyk has issued a request to state newspaper associations to provide one or two representatives from their states for the summit. Following presentations by postal experts, NNA will visit Capitol Hill to urge support for USPS’ financial future and to press upon Congress the need for fair competition and reliable delivery of newspapers.
Following Donahoe, David Williams, the inspector general of the Postal Service, will brief publishers in greater detail on postal operations and questions the inspector’s office has recently raised, such as concerns with the way USPS manages its own advertising business. Williams’ office has also expressed concerns with the pricing of the Negotiated Service Agreements offered by USPS to individual private businesses.
Senior postal officials will follow to discuss the projections for closing more mail processing plants and post offices. They also will address requests by NNA for changes in the service, such as an ability to use simplified addressing more broadly.
Publishers attending the summit will be provided information for their Capitol Hill visits.
“With bankruptcy looming, the Valassis NSA being challenged and the failure of Congress to enact reforms in 2012, the Postal Service is in a crisis situation,” Baranczyk told his state chairs. “With most community newspapers depending on the Postal Service for some portion of their delivery and post office closings, and with larger papers facing NSA threats, that crisis is shared industry wide.”
Congress will begin anew this year with efforts to stabilize USPS through legislation. NNA has been involved in every major postal reform bill since USPS was created in 1971.

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