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Tom Byrd named publisher of Mena Newspapers, Inc. Silent auction to again raise funds for ANF



Ar kansas

Publisher Weekly


Serving Press and State Since 1873

Vol. 13 | No. 26 | Thursday, June 28, 2018

Innovator Walter E. Hussman Jr. to receive Distinguished Service Award

Tomorrow evening at the Honors Banquet during the APA SuperConvention, Walter E. Hussman Jr. will receive the 2018 APA Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his significant contribution to the newspaper industry.

Camden News. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina and an M.B.A. from Columbia University in New York, finding work as a reporter for Forbes magazine after graduation.

“Growing up in Camden, my first job at age 10 was inserting newspapers in the mail room. My first full-time job after graduating from high school was as a reporter for the El Dorado News Times,” said Hussman.

He returned to Arkansas in 1970 to work as the administrative assistant to his father at Palmer Newspapers, and later became general manager of the Camden News. He advanced to the position of vice president and general manager of Palmer Newspapers in 1973.

“Somewhere along the way I had a dream of becoming the publisher of the largest and best newspaper in Arkansas. Not everyone gets to live their dream. I have been indeed fortunate and grateful to have been able to do it,” he said. A Texarkana native, Hussman grew up in Camden where his father, Walter Hussman Sr., was publisher of the

In 1974, Walter E. Hussman Media Company (WEHCO) bought the Arkansas Democrat, an afternoon daily newspaper with an approximate 62,000 circulation, slightly more than half the circulation of the competing Arkansas Gazette. Hussman Continued on Page 2

Walter E. Hussman, Jr.

2018 APA SuperConvention off and running

“Press On” is the theme of the 2018 Arkansas Press Association SuperConvention now underway at Best Western Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs. More than 220 APA members and guests have registered to participate in the annual event. The 2018 convention continues the long-standing tradition of APA members coming together which began shortly after the APA was founded in 1873. Convention events run through the Saturday lunch where the editorial awards will be presented. President Byron Tate, publisher of the Sheridan Headlight, will preside over the convention, one of his last official acts as president. He will hand over the gavel at the Friday luncheon to Tom White, publisher of The Advance Monticellonian, who will take over as president at the conclusion of the convention. In addition to the passing of the gavel, a gubernatorial debate between Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), Jared Henderson (D) and Mark West (L) will be held at the luncheon on Friday. Awards from the golf tournament also will be presented. APA’s special achievement awards will be presented Friday evening at the annual Honors Banquet. The awards to be presented include Golden 50 Service Awards, the FOI Award, the Distinguished Service Award and the Headliner of the Year Award. The convention wraps up Saturday when the 2018 Better Newspaper Editorial Contest awards are presented. More than 50 newspapers participated in this year’s contest.

Tom Byrd named Walter E. Hussman Jr. Continued from page 1 publisher of Mena moved to Little Rock to become publisher. headlines nationwide by offering a the late ‘70s the Democrat started digital subscription to subscribers via an Newspapers, Inc. Inrunning free want ads that more than iPad to replace the delivery of a printed

Veteran community newspaper leader Tom Byrd has been named publisher of Mena Newspapers, Inc., which includes the Mena Star, Ouachita Trading Post, Waldron News, The DeQueen Bee and The Citizen, as well Tom Byrd as magazines, niche products and community websites serving west Arkansas. With more than 30 years of newspaper experience, Byrd previously was publisher of the Delaware State News, a daily community newspaper in Dover, Delaware. He has sales management and publisherlevel experience at community newspaper groups in California, Michigan and Florida. “Nothing can convey a sense of place and connection between people like a good community newspaper,” said Byrd. “I love being involved, whether it’s helping engage and inform readers, building a better community or finding more effective solutions for local advertisers.”

tripled the size of the paper’s classified section, and in 1979 it became an allmorning publication. Circulation totals showed that the Democrat was the fastest growing newspaper in the United States in 1980. After 13 years of competition, the Arkansas Gazette closed after publishing a final edition on October 18, 1991. The Democrat purchased all the assets of the Gazette and renamed the combined newspaper the Arkansas DemocratGazette.

Since that time, the company has made additional newspaper purchases, including among others, the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times and Free Press, and the Jefferson City (Mo.) News Tribune, formed new newspaper partnerships and launched new cable television products and services. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s statewide circulation has more than doubled since purchased by WEHCO. Recently the Democrat-Gazette made


In 2008, Hussman was named Publisher of the Year by Editor and Publisher magazine. He was a member of the board of directors of The Associated Press from 2000 to 2009 and of C-Span from 1995 to 2003. A valued community leader, Hussman has championed education and afterschool programs in Little Rock and the state of Arkansas. While on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Society board of directors, he started Pops on the River, a patriotic symphony and fireworks show that marks the Independence Day holiday and celebrates its 35th consecutive performance this year. “Walter’s innovations in newspaper publishing have been an asset to our state as well as for the industry nationally,” said Ashley Wimberley, APA executive director. “So many eyes are on Mr. Hussman’s next move, as he’s an amazing forward thinker. We are pleased to honor him this year with APA’s Distinguished Service Award.”

APA Golf Tournament

Byrd is no stranger to the mid-South. He was born and raised in southeast Oklahoma, one of 1,500 babies delivered by his father, a physician in Coalgate. He and his wife Pam, both graduates of the University of Oklahoma, have been married 34 years and have two children, a son in graduate school and a daughter who is a junior in college. Byrd replaces Whitney White who served as interim publisher. She will return to her previous position as general manager of the company’s newspapers in southeast Arkansas. “This is an exciting time to be coming on board,” said Byrd. “We have tremendous history and strength with our existing publications, but are firmly focused on the future, especially with new tools coming available to tell the local story and improve results for our customers.”

Golfers were treated to an excellent outing on the Holiday Island Country Club course at the annual APA Golf Tournament yesterday. Sponsored by AT&T and UAMS, the tourney raises funds for the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation. The golf tourney again kicked off this year’s APA convention.

Arkansas Publisher Weekly


June 28, 2018

Silent auction to again raise funds for ANF

Would you treasure a football signed by Dallas Cowboy great Troy Aikman? Does your mouth water when reading all about Arkansas pies? Do you hate to shop but really want a new handbag for summer?

You’re in luck. Below are the items in the SuperConvention Silent Auction benefitting the Arkansas Newspaper Foundation (ANF). The auction opens at 3 p.m. today in the trade show area at the SuperConvention and closes at 7 p.m. tomorrow after the Honorees’ Reception. Purchased items can be picked up after the Honor Banquet tomorrow night. Unique and One of a Kind • Custom Made Bowie Knife • Original Jewelry by Pat Tate • Troy Aikman Autographed Football Apparel • Famous PickleFest T shirt • Light blue Women’s Sweater • Columbia Black Nylon Jacket • Black Trim Polo Shirt • Pullover Vest • Newspaper Print Flip Flops • White Polo Shirt Food • Capitol Bistro Box Lunches • Famous Monticellonian Tomatoes • Wheat Specialty Items • In a Pickle Basket • Cupcake Baking Basket with Accessories • Kids Baking Basket with Cookbooks • Snack Stack • Beer Tasting • Baby Food • Case of Tomatoes from Monticello Travel and Lodging • Embassy Suites Hot Springs • 1st Class Tickets on the Arkansas Missouri Railroad • Lodging at Red Apple Inn with Golf and Cart for 2 • Hilton Garden Inn Bentonville • Doubletree Suites by Hilton, Bentonville • Hotel Hot Springs • Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Rogers • Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Getaway • American Tourister Day Pack • American Tourister Waist Pack • Small Purple Travel Set • Inn of the Ozarks “Wild Side” Package, includes Zipline and Turpentine Creek Admission • Red Apple Inn • Double Tree Hotel, Little Rock • Hampton Inn, River Market District, Little Rock

Mark Your Calendar July 4

Independence Day Holiday APA Office Closed

Health and Wellness • Spa Basket • Dr. Teal’s Relax in the Bath Basket • Basket of “Get Well” Wishes • Nature’s Bounty Basket • Basket of Baby/Toddler Products Concerts • Crystal Bridges Forest Summer Fling – Adults Only • Crystal Bridges Forest Concert Tickets – Kids under 18 Free Literacy is in the Bag • Designer Handbag • Fossil Messenger Bag • Fossil Leather Shoulder Bag • Women’s Wallet • Super Cyclone License Plate Purse • Pink Sparkle Anne Klein Handbag • 2 Sparkly Mini Purses • Anne Klein Bag • Gianni Bini Shoulder Bag • Nine West Black Bag • Isaac Mizrahi Clutch • Yellow NY&C Small Purse • Hand-Knitted Red Bag • Small Aqua Wristlet • Brown Leather Envelope Purse • Peacock Gianni Bini Bag Reading Material, DVDs and Art • Clinton Set of Books • Kat Robinson’s “Another Slice of Arkansas Pie” • 20th Anniversary Print “Beware of Editor” Shoe Comic • Bobby Burton Original Wrapped Photography Print • Framed Norman Rockwell Print • Framed “Country Roads” Painting • Documentary DVDs • About Arkansas Coffee Table Book • Arkansas Inc. Specialty Items • About Arkansas Coffee Table Book • Arkansas Inc. Specialty Items

Industry Quote of the Week “In many ways, the effort to meet the information needs of a community is the ultimate public benefit — helping to bring news and coverage to a geographic or other community to help them make better decisions and be better informed.” – Don Day, Stanford JSK Fellow

Arkansas Publisher Weekly

Just Plain Fun • Dory Shell Matching Game • Arkansas Travelers Family Fun Pass for 4 • Camping Stool • Razorback Weatherproof Baggo • Summer “Refreshment” Kit - Hog Fan • Metal Bracelet • Onyx and Marble Chess Game from Mexico • 2 Razorback tickets to the 9/1/18 game in Fayetteville. Golf • Lost Springs Golf and Carts for 4 • Holiday Island Country Club and Golf Course for 2 w/Cart • Red Apple Inn, Lodging and Golf for 2 w/ Cart Home and Office • Basket of 3M Home, School and Office Supplies • Tool Box • Candles • Decorative Candle Holders • TV Accessories • Magnolia Wreath • Jack-O’-Lantern Décor Set of 3 • Fall in Love Print • Live Your Dream Print • Framed NANA print • Family window frame • Car Detail Kit • Arkansas Clock • Queen Size Sheets • King Size Sheets • Lunch Kit and Accessories • Set of 2 Collage Frames • Wooden Go Hogs Sign • Pink iPad Cover • 2 Bird Feeders and Bird Seed • Jamie Oliver, Top Chef, Creme Brulee Set • Razorback One-of-a Kind Quilt • Talking Picture Frame and Photo Night Light • Timex Watch

Let Us Know We want to know about your new hires, retires and promotions! Send your staffing changes to info@arkansaspress.org to be updated online and included in our weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter.


June 28, 2018

Profile for Arkansas Press Association

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: June 28, 2018  

The Arkansas Publisher Weekly is the only direct source for late breaking news regarding Arkansas' newspapers and related industries. Publis...

Arkansas Publisher Weekly: June 28, 2018  

The Arkansas Publisher Weekly is the only direct source for late breaking news regarding Arkansas' newspapers and related industries. Publis...