Lance Turner, currently the online editor for Arkansas Business Publishing Group, will succeed Gwen Moritz as editor of Arkansas Business, the weekly statewide business journal, ABPG President Mitch Bettis announced Monday.
"For 22 years, Lance has been a key member of our team. His leadership and news judgment have helped make Arkansas Business’ online products a trusted source for business news in the state. His relentless commitment to providing what our readers need has helped set us apart from our competition," Bettis said in a statement to the staff.
"I have so much trust and confidence in Lance. I appreciate how he cares for our readers. I appreciate his thoughtfulness and judgment. I appreciate his commitment to our company and products.
"I conducted a national search for this job opening. Because of Gwen’s transparency, I’ve been able to have conversations with possible prospects for a couple of years. Additionally, I’ve interviewed editors of business publications across the country to find the right leadership for our future. Throughout that process, Lance was the clear standout, and it’s a testament to his skill, understanding of AB’s unique place in the market and his clear vision for what the Arkansas Business print product needs in the future. Lance is a trusted brand in our company and our state, and I’m excited to have him take this role."
Turner, 44, joined the Arkansas Business reporting staff immediately after earning a degree in journalism from Arkansas State University at Jonesboro in May 1999. In December 2000, he became editor of the newly launched ArkansasBusiness.com, and his job has expanded as ABPG's online offerings expanded.
A native Arkansan, Turner has also become a familiar face to the viewers of Arkansas Business' news partner, KTHV-TV, Channel 11, by delivering business news during the morning news program, "Wake Up Central." He and his wife Laura have a 6-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.
"I'm excited to get to work with our excellent Arkansas Business staff in a whole new way," Turner said. "Under Gwen's leadership, their work has pushed the weekly print edition to new heights, and I'm thrilled to see what else we can do in the future. This is the best staff in the business and I'm honored to be part of it."
Moritz, 59, was hired as editor of Arkansas Business in August 1999, shortly after Turner arrived. She publicly announced earlier this year her plan to give up the editorship in the second half of 2021, but she will continue to work on other projects for ABPG. The handoff is tentatively scheduled for August, as Bettis will begin a search for Turner's successor as online editor.
"I have loved this job for 22 years, and one of the constant joys of my tenure has been working side by side with Lance Turner," Moritz said. "He is a journalist of the highest integrity whose devotion to our demanding audience is obvious to everyone here. I'm thrilled that he wants to take over the weekly print product that has been my professional focus because I can hand it off knowing it will be in excellent, energetic hands."