Inland to honor Bliss with Casey Award
JANESVILLE Sidney "Skip" Bliss, chairman, CEO and president of Bliss Communications, will receive the Ralph D. Casey Award from the Inland Press Association.
The award is presented annually to a publisher, editor or senior newspaper staff member with a distinguished record of leadership and service to his or her newspaper and to the industry. The award recognizes those who set the agenda for the newspaper industry with their service to journalism and the community.
Upon learning he was the 2012 recipient, Bliss said he was "stunned, at a total loss for words—which is pretty amazing for me."
The association said Bliss has never been at a loss for words when advocating for the interests of the newspaper industry, whether campaigning for an end to the ban on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership or rolling back the estate tax that threatens stable family ownership of newspapers.
While Bliss has been active in other newspaper associations, he said he's always cherished Inland the most.
"The relationships I've made, that's the greatest value of Inland," he said. "You make relationships with people who are smart, people who you respect and people who, if you got in a jam, you could pick up the phone and get some advice and help."
Inland is also a Bliss family tradition.
"My dad and his brother were both regular attendees," he said. "They made a kind of family pilgrimage to the annual meeting in Chicago."
Bliss has attended Inland for more than 35 years. He served as association president in 1999-2000.
Bliss began his media career as a sales manager at the family's radio station in West Bend and soon moved to the flagship Janesville Gazette. There he worked his way from advertising manager to publisher, a role he retains today.
In 1992, he was named president and CEO of Bliss Communications, which publishes three dailies, two weeklies and shoppers and runs radio stations in three Wisconsin markets.
The Inland Press Association was founded in 1885 by a group of U.S. newspapers seeking solutions to common problems. It is a not-for-profit corporation owned and controlled by its members, nearly 1,200 newspapers in the United States, Canada and Bermuda.
Daily and weekly newspapers in the association reach nearly 20 million U.S. homes.