Hussman Daughter Named Assistant Publisher of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

by Kate Knable  on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 12:00 am  

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of Little Rock has made some notable new hires this month.

The daughter of Democrat-Gazette publisher and owner Walter Hussman Jr. is now assistant publisher of the statewide daily newspaper.

Eliza Hussman Gaines, who this year received a master's degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, began her assistant publisher duties Sept. 17.

Gaines' journalism experience includes an internship as a travel writer at the San Francisco Chronicle and work for the food and travel departments of the D-G, as well as contributing to the D-G's Arkansas Life magazine. 


Arkansas Life Gains Editor

Meanwhile, Arkansas Life has a new editor: Katie Bridges, northwest Arkansas native and former assistant editor of Washingtonian magazine.

Bridges replaced Katherine Whitworth in the role Sept. 14. Bridges this year completed a master's of professional studies in journalism from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., while also working for Washingtonian.

Whitworth left the monthly lifestyle magazine in August. 


Memorializing the Mighty 1090

Sonny Rhodes, a journalism professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is tackling a book project on KAAY-AM, 1090, a Little Rock radio station that began broadcasting in 1962.

"I think it's a fascinating piece of Arkansas history. There's not been a lot documented about radio history, especially in Arkansas," Rhodes said last week.

The book will focus on the glory days of "The Mighty 1090," which lasted well into the 1970s, he said.

Fans and former employees of the old KAAY celebrated the 50th anniversary of its launch Sept. 14 in Little Rock.

"It had an interesting format in that it was sort of ‘all things to all people,'" Rhodes said. The station would broadcast reports on livestock prices for farmers, top 40 music, religious programming and "Beaker Street," a three-hour night program that "was really one of the forerunners of underground music programming," he said. 

Early on, around the time of the Cuban missile crisis, KAAY also used its broadcast range to point American propaganda toward Cuba.

KAAY was the top-rated radio station in Arkansas through the 1970s and was heard in other countries because the 50,000-watt station's signal reached so far at night, Rhodes said.

"You could hear it all the way from Canada to Argentina," Rhodes said. "The sun interferes with AM signals, so at nighttime nothing interferes and the signals travel a lot farther."

KAAY is still on the air, but was sold and converted to all-Christian broadcasting in 1985.

Rhodes is an associate professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is working on the written history of KAAY with a friend and professor at the University of Tennessee at Martin, Richard Robinson.

Robinson wrote his doctoral dissertation on KAAY, and the book is a result of that project.

Rhodes is currently researching the book, plans to conduct interviews with the famous former KAAY radio personalities who are still alive and is adapting Robinson's academic paper to appeal to an audience outside of academia. Rhodes hopes to have the book finished by May, he said. 

Rhodes and Robinson have not yet found a publisher.


Smirnoff v. Hodge

Back in February, six months before he was fired as editor of The Oxford American, Marc Smirnoff fired off a fiery and controversial article slamming Garden & Gun magazine for "whitewashing of the South."

Your Outtakes scribe couldn't resist asking The OA's new editor, Roger Hodge, to opine on the magazine that so irritated his predecessor.

"I don't think The OA really has a competitor," Hodge said. "I think Garden & Gun is a fine magazine. ... I have read it. I respect what they're doing. I don't think that they're the same thing that we're doing."



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