Postal

NNA works daily on postal issues that affect community newspapers. Its goals are to achieve fair rates, efficient service and a level competitive playing field between newspapers and direct mail competitors.

NNA represents community newspapers:

  • On the Postal Service’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee

  • Before the Postal Regulatory Commission

  • With the House Oversight and Government Committee

  • The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee

Some of NNA’s achievements include:

  • Preserving the lowest commercial postage rate in the system—the Within County privilege—for community newspapers for more than 120 years

  • Gaining a new 5 percent discount for Outside County postage for total mailings of under 5,000 copies when a paper has the Within County privilege

  • Making sure a newspaper does not lose the privilege just because a postal carrier’s route wanders outside a county line

  • Gaining an extension for the requirement to shift to a new Intelligent Mail Barcode for automation discounts

  • Preserving next-day or better service standards for periodicals entered at local post offices or mail distribution facilities

Republicans block HR 2382

January 1, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The days before Congress makes big spending decisions are traditionally the most active for NNA’s Congressional Action Team. That is when House and Senate leadership get serious about packaging bills that are in their queue into one giant measure for an up-or-down vote. 

It is also traditionally when measures that affect the U.S. Postal Service are passed — or not passed. The CAT’s archives in December chalked up one more big effort to improve the odds for maintaining universal service across the United States. But its efforts came to naught as Republicans blocked a bill NNA had supported. 

Postal Tips: Electronic paid/requester subscriptions can count as valuable add-ons in certain circumstances

January 1, 2020

The ability to count electronic subscriptions on the annual postal Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation, PS Form 3526, has been established since 2012. I have not revisited the subject since then, when a third page was added to the form to make counting possible. 

Newspapers selling e-subs, as commonly abbreviated, wanted to be able to count them on their sworn statement as legitimate proof to advertisers of the additional circulation. NNA worked for three years through various channels to make it happen. 

National Newspaper Association applauds postal bill

December 6, 2019

National Newspaper Association President Matt Adelman, publisher of the Douglas (Wyomimg) Budget, today announced that a postal reform bill supported by NNA has achieved a sufficient number of both Democrats and Republicans as sponsors and action has been recommended to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Adelman thanked Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., for his leadership in moving HR 2382 to possible action on the House consensus calendar, which is a streamlined process for quick passage of legislation.

Postal Q & A: Statements of ownership run in text form? Late?

December 1, 2019

These are questions to the NNA postal hotline that may be of interest to all members but with names and titles removed to protect the identity of the location asking.

Q: We forgot to file our Statement of Ownership report and run it in the paper this year. What should we do?

HR 2382 would remove 100% prefunding requirement enacted in 2006

December 1, 2019

Legislation that would relieve the U.S. Postal Service of more than $50 billion in debt is nearing a critical support threshold that could finally reach the House of Representatives floor in the 116th Congress.

A bill by Rep Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., would remove a long-standing irritant to USPS that was put in place by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, requiring it to fully prefund its retirees’ health benefits. 

Great ideas abound at NNA convention

November 1, 2019

In explaining my work, I sometimes say that there are thousands of really good journalists in rural America, but all too often, they are the only person in their newsroom that fits that description. They suffer from the isolation of rurality, with fewer opportunities than urbanites to rub shoulders and exchange ideas with their professional peers.

That observation applies to independent rural publishers, too. They might attend state newspaper meetings, but there’s nothing like the National Newspaper Association convention, where editors and publishers from New England, the North Woods, the Great Plains, the Corn Belt, the Deep South, the Intermountain West, the Pacific Coast and other regions exchange ideas. That’s especially important for the approximately one-third of weekly newspapers not owned by groups, which can be sources of ideas (and instruction). Get them together, and they love to help each other.

In-county newspapers, marketing mail shoppers, get low or no increases in 2020 rate case; distant mail more costly

November 1, 2019

The Postal Service filed October 9 for its annual inflationary rate increase effective Jan. 26, 2020. The price cap was 1.9%, limiting the hike for mailing services. In-County was announced as 1.5% and Outside-County Periodicals at 1.9%. 

But sharper increases for sacks/trays and bundles could cause newspapers to realize above-inflation increases for distant mail. The announced averages are across all rate cells in the class. 

National Newspaper Association supports more flexibility in fluctuating salary rules

November 22, 2019

National Newspaper Association, representing community newspapers across America, has expressed its approval of a proposal by the U.S. Department of Labor to provide employers with additional tools for compensating staff under the fluctuating salary method permitted by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The fluctuating salary method is one way for publishers to allow staff to earn a salary, rather than an hourly rate. The method involves a complex calculation each week of the amount each staffer has worked so a “regular rate” of pay for that week can be established. Hours worked over 40 hours each week are then compensated at an additional 50% of the regular rate.

Postal Q & A: What are my options to deal with local delivery complaints?

October 1, 2019

Q: One of our newspapers had a question about a postal weight limit on an insert. Disagreement ensued over a 3.3-ounce limit existing (or not). Does one exist?

 

NNA welcomes moderation in 2020 postage increases

October 10, 2019

The annual increase in postage classes heavily used by newspapers has been revealed by the U.S. Postal Service and National Newspaper Association was pleased that they are relatively moderate, in line with inflation.

NNA president Matt Adelman, publisher of the Douglas (Wyoming) Budget, said he thought the overall increases in Periodicals postage would be manageable even with other industry stresses in 2020. The average increase for Within County postage will be just under 1.5% and for Outside County about 1.9%. Both of those rates are within the rate cap set by the Postal Regulatory Commission of 1.9 percent. The first-class stamp will remain at 55 cents, pending resolution in a court appeal from last year’s 5 cent increase.

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