Heather Baker Leaves Arkansas Times To Start New Auto Publication

by Kate Knable  on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 12:00 am  

Heather Baker's Drive Arkansas will be a direct competitor to AutoBuyer, the publication she founded with Arkansas Times.

Heather Baker, publisher of Arkansas Times publications Arkansas AutoBuyer, Arkansas Wild and Savvy Kids, plans to launch a competitor for AutoBuyer this month.

Baker left her position with the Times in mid-December after more than 12 years with the company.

“We just parted ways,” Baker said. “I just felt like if I was ever going to do this on my own, it was time for me to do it.”

Her first issue of Drive Arkansas should hit central Arkansas newsstands Thursday.

Baker’s new automotive publication will be a free weekly tabloid newspaper that is “direct competition” for Arkansas AutoBuyer, she said. The advertising-based publication will also include some informational editorial content.

AutoBuyer is a free weekly publication with a distribution of about 50,000 copies. Baker was founding publisher of AutoBuyer, Savvy Kids and Arkansas Wild.

Drive will contain information on both new and used automobiles that are for sale, as well as recreational vehicles and boats. Drive will be published from Little Rock and should appeal to the general public, Baker said. “Cars are my passion. ... That’s where I wanted to put my energy,” she said.

Baker has hired a graphic artist, an ad coordinator, two sales representatives and a CFO to staff her new publication.

Weldon Wilson, controller for the Arkansas Times, said the company was looking to fill the publisher positions Baker vacated. He said he did not know yet if doing so would require hiring more than one person.



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