In Feb. 11 Issue
The Executive Director of the Kentucky Press Association, David Thompson responded Tuesday to the action taken by members of the Russell County Fiscal Court.
Quoting state law he said “No official newspaper shall be designated by any governmental unit for the publication of advertisements for such unit.”
He added that the Kentucky Ratified Statutes, (KRS) specifies that if there are two or more newspapers in the publication area (county, in this case) the newspaper with the largest paid circulation is the newspaper in which public notices shall be published.
He added that the law specifies "...paid circulation as shown by the average number of paid copies of each issue..." which is Line C, left-hand column of the Statement of Ownership.
That was the line the Times Journal’s Managing Editor Greg Wells directed the court’s attention to at the meeting, but they chose to use other figures.
Thompson explained that, “The language relating to Line C, left-hand column was put in the law several years ago (1992 I believe) because we found several newspapers sampling the county the week prior to the Statement of Ownership being published, skewing its true circulation. We changed it to a 12-month average (left-hand column) so that the circulation was far beyond a one-week basis. There is no question it's the average of the previous 12 months paid circulation.
He went on to point out that in 1993, the Supreme Court ruled that if there are two newspapers in the publication area, then the notices go in the newspaper with the largest in-county circulation (mailed and single copy sales, continuing the 12-month, left-hand column).
The publishers of the Times Journal have said they fully intend to address the matter in the court of law.
A letter has been circulated in the courthouse by Mickey Garner indicating to officials that they should use only the Russell Register for legal advertisements.
In Line C, left hand column of the statement of ownership the Times Journal’s circulation is shown as 4,110 and in the report printed in the Russell Register it showed them as having a circulation of 2,722.
In the reports printed by both papers the in-county circulation totals 3,840 for the Times Journal and 2,506 for the Register.