Walter Hussman Boasts of Sentinel-Record's Profit

Walter Hussman Boasts of Sentinel-Record's Profit

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Publisher Walter Hussman, rarely at a loss for words, had a lot to say on the paper’s print cutback plan in an extensive interview with Arkansas Business last week. But one particularly intriguing tidbit was the financial success of the Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs.

“Let me tell you what, the Sentinel-Record is still profitable, one of the few we’ve got that’s still profitable,” said Hussman, whose Wehco Media Inc. owns 18 newspaper properties, from daily to weekly and in between. The flagship Democrat-Gazette will publish a print edition only on Sundays by the end of the year if its conversion to a digital replica edition goes as planned.

“As long as the Hot Springs paper stays profitable, we’re going to keep printing it [daily],” he said. “For me to keep printing a paper that’s not profitable would be what I see as a dereliction of our responsibility.”

More: Read the full transcript of this interview with Walter Hussman.

The Sentinel-Record is one of just eight seven-day-a-week papers still operating in Arkansas. Once the Democrat-Gazette makes its transition, Hussman will still own four of the remaining seven: The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Texarkana Gazette, the El Dorado News-Times and the Sentinel-Record. The other seven-day papers are the Saline Courier in Benton, the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith and the Jonesboro Sun.

“The Texarkana Gazette isn’t profitable but it’s cash-flow positive,” Hussman said. “So we’ll still be printing it, along with the Sentinel-Record, in Little Rock. I wish I could see what’s coming two, three or four years from now, but I’m not that smart.”

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