Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, considered the state's newspaper of record, traces its roots to 1819 and the founding of the Arkansas Gazette. It claims status as the oldest continuously published newspaper west of the Mississippi.

The paper is published in Little Rock, with a northwest Arkansas edition published in Lowell, and distributed in each of the state's 75 counties. Its 2008 circulation numbers were 182,212 daily and 274,494 on Sundays, making it the largest in the state.

In addition to its Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its editorial stand against segregation during the 1957 Central High crisis, the paper is best known for the newspaper war that erupted between the Gazette and the old Arkansas Democrat in the late 1970s.

Owner Walter E. Hussman Jr. became the publisher of the Democrat in 1974 at age 27. Then, the Democrat was an afternoon paper, and the Gazette had almost twice the daily circulation. For many years, Little Rock garnered national attention for its newspaper war and being one of the larger cities to maintain two dailies.

That changed after the Gazette’s local ownership sold the newspaper to media conglomerate Gannett Co., which brought in outside reporters and staff. By the late '80s the Democrat had surpassed the Gazette, and the paper printed its final edition on Oct. 18, 1991, after selling its assets to Hussman.

Today, the "Dem-Gaz" has maintained higher circulation numbers than papers in cities of similar size, but has been slow to embrace the new wave of online news. Its digital edition remains behind a paywall. Still, prominent newspaper industry executives have praised Hussman for his strategy of protecting the print edition and no giving free access to online news.

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Packet House Deal Gets Murky; Restaurant For Sale

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Site Plan Details Truck Station for Southwest Little Rock

A site plan for a 305,000-SF package distribution warehouse and truck station for a large national company has been submitted to the Little Rock Planning and Development Department. read more >

Gilbert Baker Is Back at UCA And Will Teach Music

Former state Sen. Gilbert Baker has returned to the University of Central Arkansas campus as a faculty member in the Department of Music. read more >

About That Cooling-Off Period (Editorial)

Current law requires Arkansas lawmakers to wait just one year before they seek to take advantage of any clout amassed by hiring on to jobs as lobbyists that pay much more money than most of them have ever before seen. read more >

Gilbert Baker Resigns From UCA Post

Former state legislator Gilbert Baker resigned Wednesday, effective immediately, from his position at the University of Central Arkansas. The university released a one-line statement announcing Baker's resignation. read more >

George Gleason II: The Wizard of Ozark Bankshares

When a restless George Gleason II turned his energies from securities law at the Rose Law Firm toward banking, he also met the familiar face of success. Working with business veteran Carl Holt and a young staff, he built the Bank of Ozark with 35 employees and total assets of $28 million into today's Ozark Bankshares Inc., with more than 100 employees and assets totaling $150 million. read more >

Kidnapped! Johnny Allison Describes Shocking Incident That Changed His Life

Johnny Allison, the manufactured-home magnate who apparently was kidnapped June 5 by escaped convict James Avery Slack and escaped by crashing his car into a dump truck, spoke to Arkansas Business about the ordeal after returning home to Conway last week. read more >

Harvey & Bernice Jones Trust ‘Frost' Bitten?

H.G. “Jack” Frost Jr. was only a part-time employee of the Harvey and Bernice Jones Charitable Trust 1 in his position as trustee, but in fiscal year 1994 his salary tripled, giving him an annual compensation package of more than $350,000 in salary and consultation fees. read more >

Who is Melanie Steele... And Why Is She Buying All This Stuff?

Since the beginning of the year, Melanie Steele has paid $1 million for a home in Chenal Valley; $385,000 for a house in Canal Pointe and $92,000 for the lot next door; $357,500 for a house in the Lakewood section of North Little Rock; and $80,000 for a house that she then moved off its lot in Indian Hills. All in cash. read more >

Despite Name, Arkansas Casino Corp. Operator Closely Tied to Texas, Idaho

As an officer of Arkansas Casino Corp., the Dallas civil trial attorney feared that what happened in 1998 would happen again. That year, the company failed to round up enough signatures to put an initiative before the voters that would allow it to operate six casinos in Arkansas as well as pave the way for a state-run lottery and legalize charitable bingo. read more >

10 Years After the War: Is the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Really ‘The Best of Both'?

On Oct. 19, 1991, the newly christened Arkansas Democrat-Gazette landed on doorsteps and in the newspaper boxes of the state's new media landscape. Having whipped its nemesis, the Democrat-Gazette pushed ahead, working to take in advertising dollars left homeless when the Gazette collapsed and selling the mantra, “The Best of Both.” read more >

‘Any Willing Provider' Bill Returns, This Time Without Wilson Off to Races

A bill that has occupied lawyers for a full decade might have been a mere blip in the state's long legislative history had Nick Wilson, the powerful and ultimately disgraced state senator from Pocahontas, not been so eager to get to the horse races on one particular day in February 1995. read more >

Conway Chiropractic Duo Working To Resolve Complaints

Keith and Natalie Currie, a husband-and-wife chiropractor team in Conway, hope to end their five-year battle with the Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners next month. read more >

You're Not the Boss of Me (Gwen Moritz Editor's Note)

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Stephens-Owned News Bureau Lays Off 5

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Something Smelly in LR Wastewater (Editorial)

Reggie Corbitt's tenure as CEO of the Little Rock Wastewater Utility was dotted with questionable decisions, but the malfeasance uncovered in the past couple of months by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette approached mind-boggling. read more >

Virginia Rehab Center Sues Former Patient in Arkansas After 5 Years of Unpaid Care

Arkansas parents awarded $12 million after a doctor operated on the wrong side of their son's brain haven't paid for five years of care that a Virginia rehab center provided the young man, the center claims in a lawsuit. read more >

Bean Lumber Bankruptcy Blamed On Scam

Almost four years ago, Willy Andreas “Andy” Kirsch, the director of Malteco Business Consulting Group Inc. of Irving, Texas, offered to invest $10 million in Bean Lumber Co. of Glenwood in exchange for 25 percent ownership of the company. All Bean Lumber had to do was pay $125,000 to Malteco before it received the $10 million. read more >

WSJ: Prime-Line in Malvern Among Cautious Businesses Slow to Add Jobs

The Wall Street Journal visits with Prime-Line Inc.'s CEO and examines why American companies are so cautious about adding jobs. read more >