Home' Local Media Today : February 2007 Contents SUBURBAN PUBLISHER
An Official Publication of
Suburban Newspapers of America
Suburban Publisher is published by
SNA, the only non-profit trade
association in North America that
specifically represents the needs
and interests of suburban and urban
SNA Mission Statement: SNA is a
professional organization that rep-
resents and supports the suburban
newspaper industry through leader-
ship, education, promotion,
research and the advancement of
Suburban Newspapers of America,
116 Cass Street
Traverse City, MI 49684
Web site: www.suburban-news.org
SNA Officers & Directors
Chairman of the Board
First Vice Chairman
Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.,
Second Vice Chairman
Recorder Community Newspapers
Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Arizona Daily Star
Immediate Past Chairman
Enterprise NewsMedia, LLC
Sun Times News Group
The Daily Herald
Cape Girardeau, MO
Eden Prarie, MN
Antelope Valley Press
NorthWest News Group of
Crystal Lake, IL
Campbell Hall, NY
Patuxent Publishing Company
Evening Post Community
President, Nancy Lane
Vice President, Al Cupo
Advertising & Membership
Marketing Manager,Kim Cole
Information Technology Director
SCAN Manager, Deanna Lewis
SubPub Editor, Deb Shaw
SNA Foundation Executive
Director, Susan Karol
Operations Mgr Bonnie Pintozzi
Membership Manager, Valerie Donn
Communications Director, Clara Cherry
Accounting Manager, Janice Norman
Who is Jeff Schell? Tell us about
I am the Director of Circulation for
the Oakland Press in Pontiac,
Michigan. I seem to be the guy
Publishers look to when they have
a department that is struggling in a
tough competitive market. I am
married with two children and the
greatest two grandchildren on the
face of the earth! My wife and I are
trying to figure out if being empty
nesters is a good thing or not.
How did you get into the newspa-
Right after graduating from college,
my best friend talked me into apply-
ing for a job at the Telegraph Herald
in Dubuque, IA. I have worked for
newspapers in Massachusetts, New
Jersey (we really loved living at the
Jersey Shore), Wisconsin and most
recently Ohio and Michigan for the
Journal Register Company.
What do you like most about the
business? The least?
The opportunity to live and work in
many different places around the
country. We’ve lived in small
Midwestern communities as well as
large metropolitan areas like Boston
and New York. We’ve been fortu-
nate to take away something great
from every area.
The least is the uncertainty of our
future. After dedicating nearly all of
my professional life to the newspa-
per business, it is sad to hear the
volumes of doom and gloom pre-
dicted for the print product.
When the well runs dry, how do
you recharge the spark?
Change! When the well runs dry, it
is usually a bi-product of stagnation,
stress or frustration. When I feel
this occurring, it is time to take a
look at the cause and make change
happen. My diverse background
has allowed me to look beyond
what is/has been done and get past
the barriers and hurdles that keep
us from being successful. There is
no bigger adrenaline rush than set-
ting a new standard.
What do you know now that you
wish you knew when you started
in this business?
That it is difficult to be advanced to
a Publisher’s position when you
have a Circulation background.
Though I probably would have
jumped into Advertising when given
the opportunity earlier in my career,
I think the Circulation professionals
that have made it to the Publisher
ranks are having a great deal of
The only thing I know for sure
about the business of running cir-
culation departments is.....
I must bring in additional revenues,
avoid spending money where there
is no R.O.I. and figure out a way to
move net paid.
Who/what is your major influ-
Terry Whitney, former V.P. of
Circulation at the Asbury Park
Press. Terry was an executive that
understood what it took to perform
at the highest level. Terry took me
under his wing as we led the nation
in circulation growth (percentage)
for newspapers over 100,000 two
The world would be a vastly bet-
ter place if only people would.....
Understand that the left lane is for
the fast movers and that the slower
people should get out of the way.
What three accomplishments are
you most proud of?
Raising my two adopted children
Spoiling my grandkids to death
Watching my former employees
reach great levels of success in the
No one is better than I am when it
Holding people accountable.
I still can’t quite get the hang of.....
How I’m suppose to separate my
work from my personal life. My wife
thinks I’m nuts but when I get home I
immediately open my email and carry
my wireless laptop around the house.
If you could have dinner with any-
one, living or dead, who would it
Unquestionably Vince Lombardi. Yes,
I’ve exposed the fact that I’m a
Packer fan but I marvel at how he
could take a bunch of individuals and
turn them into the best team in the
country. He demanded and received
excellence from his players.
If you couldn’t be a newspaper-
man, what would you be doing?
Fixing up a classic car like a ’69
Mustang Mach 1 or maybe a ’90
Mercedes SL500 that is damaged.
Our family business was auto repair.
Once you get that in your blood, it
What do you do for kicks?
Seems like I’m always finishing a
basement. I can’t seem to buy a
house with a finished basement. I’m
constantly trying to get to the point
where I can get good enough at mud-
ding drywall joints so I don’t have to
Jeff Schell is reached at
“I seem to be the guy Publishers look to when they have a
department that is struggling in a tough competitive market.”
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