The Stuttgart Daily Leader and the Helena-West Helena World both announced on Aug. 29 that their final editions would be published Sept. 6, but said they were looking for new owners. The closures were part of a larger wave of belt-tightening from GateHouse announced ahead of its merger with Gannett Co.
The World announced on Sept. 5 that GateHouse had agreed to sell it to local entrepreneurs Chuck Davis and Andrew Bagley, The Associated Press reported. Davis has lived in the area since 2014 and has owned several area businesses. Bagley is a political science instructor at nearby Phillips Community College. The duo have published two weekly print editions so far, and are trying to hire staff, Arkansas Publisher Weekly reports. The World was once twice weekly, but Davis says they will continue to publish weekly and will will focus heavily on local content, the World reports.
Arkansas County Broadcasters Inc. announced in mid-September that it had purchased the Stuttgart Daily Leader. The group owns six radio stations south central Arkansas. Like the World, the Daily Leader will switch from being a twice-weekly paper to a weekly paper, Stephen Steed reports for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.