Darin Gray Purchases Full Ownership of Northwest Arkansas Business Journal

The Northwest Arkansas Business Journal of Springdale announced last week that Darin Gray had become its sole owner.

Gray, majority owner of Gray Matters LLC of Springdale, previously owned 75 percent of the journal, according to the announcement posted on the journal’s website. He purchased the remainder of the stake from Olivia Farrell, CEO of Arkansas Business Publishing Group, parent company of Arkansas Business.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The journal was launched in April 1997 as a division of ABPG. Gray joined ABPG the same year as associate publisher of the Business Journal. He was promoted to publisher in 1999 and president of the northwest Arkansas division in 2003.

He became majority owner of the journal in 2004.

“This has been an absolutely wonderful partnership,” Gray said in the release. “I’ve been so blessed that Olivia Farrell gave me a chance to come on board with her company and be taught the niche publishing industry. I am forever grateful that from the beginning, she gave me a chance to start and own Gray Matters.”

Farrell said the deal was bittersweet.

“Over time, the companies began operating more and more independently of each other,” she said. “But I think the world of Darin. I’ve been a big champion of his for some time, and there is a lot of mutual respect there.”

Coinciding with the change, Gray stepped down as publisher of the Business Journal and named Rob Gutterridge as his successor, effective immediately.

Gutterridge joined Gray Matters as a brand strategist in March 2010. He was promoted to sales manager three months later and became associate publisher in May 2011. He is the fourth publisher in the journal’s history.

“This is not our business journal, but northwest Arkansas’ business journal, and that is the continued vision,” he said. “I’m excited about the future of our company.”