The Graves Feud: Warring Newspapers in a Town of 4,800

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette fronts a story today on the Graves family, whose sides compete in a newspaper war in Nashville, Arkansas, a town of 4,800.

On one side, the 131-year-old Nashville News. On the other, the Nashville Leader, founded in 2003:

Louie Graves opened the Nashville Leader in 2003 to compete directly with the Graves family-owned Nashville News. Louie Graves jumped ship after clashing with kin over the future of the 131-year-old newspaper.

The Leader and News – today published by Louie’s younger brother – now vie for supremacy in the town of 4,800. It’s unusual in Arkansas to have two local newspapers in a town as small as Nashville. It’s downright odd for the competing publishers to be brothers.

More here.

Arkansas Business, of course, published a cover story on the family in 2004, not long after the family splintered and the Leader was founded. Predictably, the split took employees away from the News, but it continued to prosper:

So far, the News is doing “extremely well,” said Lawrence Graves, whose family elected him publisher last June and voted out brother Louie Graves.

“For a twice-weekly newspaper to lose an editor, assistant editor, managing editor and summer intern all in two weeks and never miss an issue speaks well of us,” Lawrence Graves said. “We were here for their great-grandparents, and we’ll be here beyond the current generation.”

You can read that full story here, plus another from 2003.

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One Response

  1. A good follow up story on this subject would be a history of the competitors to the Nashville News. I grew up in Nashville and recall there being a number of other papers competing but only the curren Leader survives. This article today quotes a reader saying the News might not last. I agree this is a sad family situation which should be resolved. REB

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