Sunday Business Sections Combine
Northwest Newspapers Announce Changes
Posted: August 31, 2012 at 3:49 p.m.
Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC will combine Sunday business sections, the company announced Friday. Staff changes are also in progress.
The Northwest Arkansas Times, the Springdale Morning News, the Rogers Morning News and the Benton County Daily Record will stop publishing a Sunday business section starting Sept. 9, said Rusty Turner, editor and publisher of the company. Business stories and briefs packages written and compiled by the local dailies’ staff will appear either in the news sections of those dailies or in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Northwest edition’s business section.
“Our goal is to make our operations more efficient without reducing local news content provided to our readers,” Turner said. “In fact, we hope to increase it. By combining some operations with our partners at the Democrat-Gazette Northwest edition and making some internal changes, we’re confident we can accomplish that goal.”
The company will also combine its design desk with that of the Northwest edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. This department lays out the stories on pages for printing.
NAN’s local dailies will make the following staff changes, Turner said:
Greg Harton, editor of the Northwest Arkansas Times in Fayetteville, will become Editorial Page Editor for all four dailies. Fayetteville resident Donna Lonchar will replace Harton at the Times. Lonchar was editor of the Springdale Morning News and the business editor for all four dailies before this change. Turner will direct business coverage for the local dailies.
Leeanna Walker, editor of the Rogers Morning News, will also oversee Springdale Morning News coverage. Mike Jones of the Benton County Daily Record will continue to supervise news coverage in Bentonville.
Harton will replace Dave Perozek, who will join the reporting staff for the Springdale Morning News. Ron Wood, business reporter, will become Washington County courts reporter. Perozek and Wood’s transfers fill vacant positions. Regional editor and columnist Brenda Blagg will become a correspondent. Her column will appear in the NAN local dailies on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Two other open positions at the local dailies will not be filled. One employee from the local dailies’ design desk has been laid off.
Friday’s announcement comes after the company laid off six employees in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Northwest Arkansas Edition on Thursday. Those laid off were four employees on the sports desk and two on the design and copy desk. Jeff Jeffus, president of Northwest Arkansas Newspapers, said then that the layoffs were necessary in part because of the recession. “We have tried to minimize the impact of layoffs through attrition this past year but find that we must make further reductions at this time,” he said.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Inc. and Stephens Media LLC entered into an operating alliance on Nov. 1, 2009, creating Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.