NWA newspapers consolidate again, downsize workforce

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 190 views 

Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC announced Monday (Jan. 5) that it is consolidating its five northwest Arkansas daily newspapers into a single regional newspaper, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

As a result of the format change, the newspaper has eliminated 15 positions from its workforce of 373, or less than 4%, according to the release published on its website at 2 p.m. Monday.

A consolidation of newsrooms eliminated nine positions, including editors. Another six positions came from other departments. No other reductions in work force are planned, according to the statement.

In addition, the newspaper offices in Rogers and Bentonville will close. According to President Todd Nelson, news department employees will work from Springdale and Fayetteville.

The one regional publication will be published as “B” section of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, effective Monday Jan. 12. This consolidation spells the end for the daily banners:
• Benton County Daily Record

• Northwest Arkansas Times

• Morning News of Springdale and Rogers

“With a regional population of 500,000, Northwest Arkansas is recognized as a major metropolitan area,” said Rusty Turner, editor of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “We have come to think, live, work and act as a region without borders and this decision reflects our region’s growth and development.”

Turner said noted in the release that the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will continue to provide in-depth news coverage about local communities and provide a regional focus.

The streamlined business model will create cost savings by reducing certain operational redundancies, including printing and some administrative functions, according to the release.

“Like any business, we constantly assess our operations and make adjustments in response to market needs, the role of technology and making best use of our existing resources,” Nelson said.

Northwest Arkansas Newspapers is jointly owned by WEHCO Media and Stephens Media.