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Democrat-Gazette Layoffs: Paper Slices NWA Sports Staff

2 min read

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has instituted another round of layoffs at its northwest Arkansas operation.

Sources told the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal that all northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sports department staff members —  except department head Steve Goff — were laid off Thursday.

That includes page designers Harold McIlvain and Neal Shulenberger and reporters Marty Cook, Lane Kramer and Rick Fires.

Goff, a longtime assistant sports editor who has led the Democrat-Gazette’s sports department in northwest Arkansas since its inception, will return to the newspaper’s Little Rock office.

Fires, according to sources, has been hired by Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC, the company formed when the Democrat-Gazette and Stephens Media Group entered into a joint operating alliance in 2009. There, Fires will be a beat reporter covering Springdale Har-Ber High School.

Arkansas Razorback beat writers Bob Holt and Tom Murphy — who are based in Fayetteville — are not considered staff members of the Democrat-Gazette’s northwest Arkansas operation and were not affected by Thursday’s shakeup.

Earlier this month, five NAN photographers were laid off as a result of a merger between the photo departments of the Democrat-Gazette — owned by Wehco Media Inc. — and area papers owned by Stephens.

It’s unclear if the personnel moves in the sports department were part of a larger round of layoffs.

The company said in May it had hired CRG Partners Group, a New York-based consulting firm, to examine all areas of operations to identify ways to increase efficiency and grow revenue.

NAN and Democrat-Gazette executives could not immediately be reached for comment.

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