Arkansas Business Publishing Group of Little Rock won four major national prizes Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, at the Alliance of Area Business Publications’ Editorial and Design Excellence Awards.
Arkansas Business, ABPG’s flagship weekly, claimed gold for best daily email, “Morning Roundup,” and for best body of work by a single writer, Senior Editor Mark Friedman.
“Greenhead,” ABPG’s annual duck hunting title, won gold as best ancillary magazine, a category it has dominated in the medium publications division in recent years.
Arkansas Business Assistant Editor Kyle Massey got a silver award for best local coverage of a national business or economic story among medium papers, the same category in which he took gold in 2020.
ABPG, which publishes Arkansas Business, Little Rock Soirée and other niche publications and websites, won three national awards competing against some 70 business newspapers and magazines around the country.
Friedman, a former winner for investigative reporting and best scoop, drew high praise for a four-story portfolio from the contest judges, all faculty members at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. “Stellar court reporters know how to mine records for a mother lode of great stories. Friedman found court documents that were meant to be sealed when he wrote about a suit filed by Simmons Bank against another bank over employee poaching and document theft. … he also uncovered that meat processing giant Tyson was swindled by a Washington rancher who billed the company $233 million for cattle that didn’t exist. Friedman supplemented legal documents with great storytelling when he revealed a thicket of questionable legal wrangling among families after a tragic death at an Arkansas hunt club.”
Greenhead’s triumph brought recognition to Publisher Chris Bahn, Editors Brent Birch and Todd Traub, and Art Director Dean Wheeler. “From front to back, this publication for duck hunters presents content that is smartly chosen, authoritatively written and beautifully illustrated,” the judges wrote. “This is an outstanding example of a niche product that deeply understands its audience.”
The prize for “Morning Roundup,” which competed against all size divisions and beat the Indianapolis Business Journal and the Des Moines Business Record for the best email gold, cited Online Editor Scott Carroll, who compiles it, and Massey, who edits it. “This tightly written morning briefing gives readers a steady diet of local business news, with plenty of context and relevance on the side. The newsletter offers strong headlines, and an engaging style that is crafted for readers.”