LR bucks newspaper trend | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

LR bucks newspaper trend

Posted By on Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 2:56 PM

Daily newspapers nationally are in a world of hurt -- declining circulation, plunging classified advertising and staffs shrinking so that owners can cope with the debt of too-rich purchase prices.

In that vein, fans of "The Wire," HBO's smash series about different elements of Baltimore life, including the finale season centered on the Baltimore Sun, might be interested to know that the real Sun is laying off 60 people, to trim down to a 240-person newsroom.

A plug here for the privately owned Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which continues to spend more on staff and pages than many, maybe most, larger newspapers. The D-G website currently lists more than 260 people on the combined newsrooms for the Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas editions of the newspaper. That's more than the slimmed-down Baltimore Sun, which has a larger circulation (232,000 daily and 377,000 Sunday versus 182,000 and 276,000 for the D-G) and which serves a much larger city. Arkansas Business examined the relative strength of Arkansas's dominant newspaper chains -- Walter Hussman's Democrat-Gazette- led empire and Stephens Media -- in an interesting article this week. Being privately owned with relatively little debt doesn't hurt.

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