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Northwest Arkansas newspaper war over

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Inky_Wretch, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's local edition and The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas to seek JOA ...

  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I'm guessing that is really bad news for the Arkansas beat writers at the Morning News.
  3. ScribePharisee

    ScribePharisee New Member

    Maybe they'll get to take pictures.

    Nothing like eliminating different voices in a state, reducing the news to one source print, TV bytes, and community journalist bloggers.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    That paper covers Arkansas better than any small paper I've ever seen. It will be a true shame if that ends.
  5. ScribePharisee

    ScribePharisee New Member

    And another lesson in boardroom journalism: Coverage matters little.
  6. FreddiePatek

    FreddiePatek Active Member

    It would be my guess that the big paper's writers have more to fear than the smaller paper. The JOA is likely for the big paper's benefit.
  7. JohnnyChan

    JohnnyChan Member

    I did two years at the Northwest Arkansas Times from 1991 to 1993, and I'm now in my eighth year in New York City, and I swear I am not making this up when I say: the newspaper war in NWA was every bit as fierce -- I mean, there was blood on Dickson Street every day -- and every bit as fun as the one in New York. When I was there there were five papers -- FIVE -- that went head-to-head for stories and readers there: Us, the Morning News, the Rogers paper, the Bentonville Paper, and the Democrat.

    The papers have folded into one another and folded into each other and the last time I was down there, in July, it was hard to find any papers at the NWA airport beside the Democrat. But I can assure you, back in the day? There wasn't a better proving ground anywhere than trying to get a Razorbacks story when it seemed that half the state was there with a notebook and a credential every day. Just another melancholy day, I guess.

    Mike Vaccaro
    New York Post
  8. partain

    partain Member

    And at least some of that time--if not all--was before the Democrat-Gazette actually had a whole staff in Northwest Arkansas. Can't remember when they actually went all out and setup a full newsroom there. Seems like the mid-90s.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    How would you figure that? I would guess the Arkansas writers at the NW paper would be the first to go. The newsside reporters are probably fine.
  10. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Weird dynamic at play.
    Both papers have about the same circulation for that area.
    The Little Rock paper has a state-wide circulation of around 170k daily with about 35K of that in northwest.
    The Springdale paper has about 35K as well.
    Stephens Media has more papers and a higher total of circulation than the family who owns Little Rock.
    Regardless, some people are going to be losing their jobs but it will take some time. From what I read, one paper has to be put up for sale first and on the market for a little bit, then the DOJ has to review and approve the JOA paperwork.
    So nothing will likely change until Christmas or beyond.
    Stephens Media has some deep pockets and it seems like they were one of the SEC papers that traveled by corporate jet to away games and as a result they had a huge traveling party. Nine or ten at road games.

    At some places the weaker paper became the dominant paper after the JOA went in. Birmingham is one example that leaps to mind. The News was the PM and smaller paper while the Post-Herald was the morning and larger paper, from what I recall.
    But after the JOA, it was the Post that went out of business but after 20 or 25 years since that was the length of the JOA.
    In northwest Arkansas neither paper is particularly dominant and both have loyal followings with readers attached to certain news and sports columnists.
    So it will be interesting from a detached way to see how it shakes out. From a personal and professional standpoint it makes me want to flee to a beach in Mexico and never come back.
  11. scribbler

    scribbler Member

    They have about the same circulation, wow.

    Until the Democrat-Gazette built a press and began the zoned edition up there a dozen years ago, its circulation was something like 5,000 in the region. ... The Tulsa World had more subscribers in NW Arkansas then, because the edition of the Democrat-Gazette that got to NW Arkansas from Little Rock was soooo early.

    I knew the Democrat-Gazette had made big inroads in NW Arkansas while retaining much of its Little Rock circulation (not that those numbers had anything to do with this), but didn't know it was roughly even with the Morning News.
  12. Desk_dude

    Desk_dude Member

    It's been many years since there was a new JOA. Recently, they have been disappearing.

    With a JOA that means there are separate newsrooms.
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