TGIF: One-newspaper-state edition | Arkansas Blog

Friday, July 20, 2012

TGIF: One-newspaper-state edition

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM

It's Friday. The line is open:

DEJA DOO: Fort Smith paper gave D-G editorial a reprise next day.
  • DEJA DOO: Fort Smith paper gave D-G editorial a reprise next day.
* OUTSOURCING IN THE NEWSPAPER WORLD: How about this? The Stephens Media-owned Times Record newspaper in Fort Smith yesterday ran an editorial pounding President Obama for the speech in which he said successful businesses had help from the shared efforts of many, including government infrastructure. The editorial at least provided the full context of Obama's quote, something the right-wing talk machine has not been doing as it turned this particular molehill into a mountain.

The local angle: It was a reprint of an editorial that appeared the day before in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. (And was credited as such.) It's not surprising zillionaires Warren Stephens and D-G publisher Walter Hussman (both inheritors of family fortunes, BTW) would see eye to eye in support of Mitt Romney and his tax breaks for the wealthy. But, gee, you'd think Stephens could afford his own editorials.

Judith Hansen, editor of the Fort Smith newspaper, says I should draw no inferences about the future of the Arkansas newspaper business from use of Stephens editorial space for a Hussman-paid editorial. The newspaper has used that space for outside contributions regularly for years, she said. Stephens and Hussman are partners on newspapers up the road from Fort Smith in Northwest Arkansas, though they are evaluating the form that newspaper combine will take in the future (I think it ultimately means more jobs will be shed and local Stephens papers will combine with the D-G mothership). If we are moving to a state where one publisher controls most of the daily newspaper circulation, it won't amount to much difference editorially.

* HOW HOT WAS IT? By 2 p.m. 106, a record for the day in Little Rock.

* GOOD RIDDANCE MIKE ROSS: It's not surprising that Tim Griffin, Steve Womack and Rick Crawford told gay service members that their families were unworthy of equal health and housing treatment given other military families. But Mike Ross also joined 16 other Democrats to insult gay people in military service.

* PODCAST CANCELED: Sorry, Lindsey Millar is out of town and then technical difficulties forced us to cancel this week's Week in Review Podcast.

COMING TO MIDTOWNE: Big Orange.
  • COMING TO MIDTOWNE: Big Orange.

* BEST NEWS OF THE DAY: I've confirmed that the owners of Big Orange — the custom burger/salad restaurant now open only in the Promenade in Chenal — are indeed planning to open an outlet closer to civilization as us inner city residents know it. The company is firming up final details on a lease of space in Midtowne Little Rock, the shopping center at Markham and University. It'll be next door to Cantina Laredo, though not before 2013, I'm informed. Can Little Rock support two Big Oranges? If it can support the existing Big Orange and still produce waiting lines near Markham and University for a remarkably undistinguished (being kind) new chain restaurant, it can support a midtown Big Orange.

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