Crystal Costa Hired as Publisher of Times Record

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 842 views 

Arkansas’ third-largest daily newspaper has a new publisher.

Crystal Costa, a veteran of the Arkansas media industry with strong roots in community journalism, assumed the role at the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith on July 11.

Costa, a native of Deer in Newton County, spent nearly six years (February 2010-November 2015) overseeing the sales, promotional and marketing efforts for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, owned by Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC, a subsidiary of Little Rock-based WEHCO Media.

Besides the NWADG, Costa also led the advertising efforts for a $20 million product portfolio that included nine weekly newspapers, numerous specialty publications and a full-service digital agency.

Costa spent the last several months as marketing director for a trio of auto dealerships under the McLarty Daniel Automotive umbrella in Bentonville.

She said she is eager to return to the media industry.

“I am excited to come back,” Costa said. “As the saying goes, it kind of gets in your blood, and it did. And it’s always exciting to be able to steer your own ship.”

Costa, 40, is just the third Times Record publisher in 22 years, but the second since 2013. She replaced Tom Stallbaumer, who announced June 20 he was resigning after three years to become vice president of business development in the Rogers office of Little Rock-based public relations firm inVeritas.

Stallbaumer followed Gene Kincy, the paper’s publisher from 1994 until his retirement in 2013.

Costa has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in technical writing, both from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.

She started her career right after college as managing editor of The Leader, a twice-weekly newspaper in Jacksonville.

She joined WEHCO Media in August 2003 as promotions and marketing director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, managing the design and editorial staff of the monthly lifestyle magazine Arkansas Life, as well as the weekly alternative newspaper Sync.

The Times Record serves 10 counties in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, and has been owned since March 2015 by GateHouse Media LLC, a New York-based company that publishes newspapers in 35 states.

In August 2015, the paper reported circulation of 38,412 (daily) and 43,461 (Sunday). Only the ADG and NWADG have larger circulation numbers among daily newspapers in Arkansas.