Columnists, Papers Adjust After Stephens Media's Arkansas News Bureau Shrinks

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Mar. 17, 2014 12:00 am  

Rick Duke, editor of the Log Cabin Democrat, said he was “unhappy” about the loss of the bureau.

“We have really appreciated the news bureau and the supplement they had focused on state politics,” Duke said. “It really helped us out … we really relied on them.

“I’m unhappy. Those are great reporters and great resources. They had something different that all community papers enjoyed. It’s sad on that level, and on a personal level, a lot of us in the industry had gotten to know them. It’s not the greatest news.”

David Meadows, publisher of the Russellville Courier, said the effects of the bureau’s shrinkage wouldn’t be great on his paper.

“Some columnists have contracted with us privately, and we’ll continue running a couple of them, but not all of them,” he said. “That’s really the only disruption.”

He noted, however, that the bureau’s content represented a financially desirable deal for the paper.

“It was a good rate,” he said. “They had really good Razorbacks coverage. That might be our biggest loss. We used it; it wasn’t like we didn’t. I thought they had, just, some good supplemental stories to supplement the Associated Press. I hated to see it go — it was very reasonable.”

Stephens Media is headquartered in Las Vegas, where it owns the dominant daily newspaper, the Review-Journal, but the company is owned by Little Rock financier Warren Stephens and his cousins Witt Stephens Jr. and Elizabeth Stephens Campbell.

Stephens Media has newspapers in Hawaii, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Washington and maintains a small bureau in Washington, D.C.



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