Former Newspaper Publisher Excited to Return to NWA

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 168 views 

Tom Stallbaumer won’t miss the late night calls about the press breaking down, or the early morning messages of missed newspaper deliveries.

The former publisher, who spent 31 years in the newspaper business, won’t have to worry about that in his new position at public relations firm inVeritas.

On July 18, he started as vice president of business development and works at the firm’s Rogers office, which opened in early 2016.

“inVeritas is relatively new to Northwest Arkansas,” he said. The Little Rock-based firm was founded in 2009.

In his position, he’s responsible for business development and works to keep existing clients happy. Some of his goals include increasing company brand recognition and offering solutions to area businesses.

He’s been reaching out to his extensive list of contacts to get the word out about the business.

“I’m doing as much as I can to get out into the community and talk about the organization,” he said. “It’s great to get back up here and reconnect.”

Stallbaumer previously lived in Northwest Arkansas from 1992 to 2010 and worked for newspapers here, including The Morning News in Springdale.

“We all knew we would retire in Northwest Arkansas,” Stallbaumer said. “We didn’t know when.”

He and his wife’s two children and her parents live here, and they started to think about moving back before retirement age.

He ended up visiting with Ruth Whitney, founder and CEO of inVeritas, about a position with the company.

“One thing led to another,” he said.

The 56-year-old native of Seneca, Kansas, said the transition from the newspaper business has been smooth so far. He previously was publisher for the Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith.

“I ended up in the newspaper business by accident,” he said.

In December 1984, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Stallbaumer moved to Dallas to find a job at an ad agency. Instead, he found his first job in the newspaper business as an ad salesman for the Sherman Democrat in Sherman, Texas.

The newspaper was part of the Donrey Media Group, which later became Stephens Media, and he worked for the company as publisher of several its newspapers.

In 1988, he became publisher of Guthrie (Oklahoma) Daily Leader and was there for three years before becoming publisher of Oskaloosa (Iowa) Herald.

In 1992, he moved to Northwest Arkansas to work as general manager of the Northwest Arkansas Morning News of Rogers. Two years later, the newspaper merged with The Springdale Morning News, and he became publisher of the new paper, The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas in Springdale.

In 1997, he was named to Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s first Forty Under 40 class.

The highlight of his career was the time he spent at The Morning News.

He said he remained so long at the newspaper because of the competitiveness in the market and a “good, strong, innovative team.”

Also, “I didn’t really have any place better to go.” It was not only the third-largest newspaper in the company, but also the fastest-growing paper in the company and second-fastest growing paper of its size in the nation.

He remained at the paper for about a year after the 2009 merger with WEHCO Media Inc. to help with the transition. Then, after Stephens Media LLC purchased the Ames Tribune in Iowa, he left Northwest Arkansas to become publisher of the newspaper and oversee the ownership change.

About five months later, he went to Las Vegas to serve as director of digital sales and marketing for Stephens Media. He also was publisher of Las Vegas CityLife and Best of Las Vegas.

“Vegas is a great place to go and spend the weekend,” he said. “It was not one of our favorite places to live.”

In 2013, he became publisher of the Times Record.

“The newspaper industry has changed so much in the last 10 years,” he said.

In his free time, Stallbaumer rides motorcycles. He’s also a supporter of the March of Dimes.