A Sleepy Week at the Legislature on Tonight’s Arkansas Week

I’m back on AETN’s “Arkansas Week” at 8 p.m. tonight along with the Associated Press’ Andrew DeMillo and KUAR’s Kelly MacNeil. We’ll go over the week that was at the General Assembly, including no raises for judges and lawyers, an attempt to reign in independent state agencies and redistricting. We’ll also go over the Arkansas delegation’s vote to repeal Obama health care and major news from Tyson Foods Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Got a big night ahead? Watch it right now online.

The Final Push: Staring Down the Barrel of the Midterm Elections

Finally! It’s less than 90 hours until this long national nightmare of a mid-term election comes to hideous close. We can’t wait for the relative calm (maybe?) of Nov. 3, when everyone sleeps for a full day before gettin’ wound up for 2012.

Until then, we’ve got lots to do:

1) “Arkansas Week,” 8 p.m. tonight. I join KUAR-FM, 89.1’s Kelly MacNeil, the University of Arkansas’ Hoyt Purvis and host Steve Barnes for a final assessment of the state’s Congressional and constitutional officer races, such as they are. Remember that big exciting Senate race? Not so exciting heading into the final weekend. We look to the 1st District for any final fireworks. Also: Swepco’s 0-3 in court rulings. Check your local AETN station tonight or watch it online here.

2) “Today’s THV This Morning,” election day. Last week, I appeared on the noon show each day for a quick, final summary of all the Congressional races. On Tuesday’s “Morning” show, I’ll be live throughout the morning with some last-minute notes and maybe a guest or two.

3) Midterm Election Watch Party, the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock. I’ll be on a panel with a couple of other yahoos to give some final impressions of this year’s campaigns. We’ll also take questions from the audience and enjoy a warm bowl of bean soup before the returns start, er, returning. Fun!

4) Election Night Returns on Today’s THV and ArkansasBusiness.com. Pop up some popcorn, grab a Coke and settle in for a long night. You’ll be on the couch, we’ll be in at the parties, on the phone, online and in studio delivering the latest election night news as it happens. Arkansas Business Publisher Jeff Hankins will analyze the county-by-county returns live on Today’s THV and THV2.com, and I’ll be manning coverage for ArkansasBusiness.com.

5) The Morning After. Hankins and I will be on “Today’s THV This Morning” and “Today’s THV at Noon” to go over the results and, maybe, What It All Means.

And if this year’s elections weren’t scary enough: Happy Halloween!

#ARElections: A Sampling of Tuesday Night’s Political Coverage in Central Arkansas

With nearly 30 candidates running for Congressional seats, millions of dollars pouring into Arkansas media and plenty of national attention focusing on That U.S. Senate Race, tonight night is an Arkansas political junkie’s dream. How does one keep up with it all?

Here’s a sampling of where you can get the latest political news coverage after the polls close tomorrow night. (Any additions or updates, please let me know.)


Jeff Hankins and I will be live all night on Today’s THV’s THV2, the CBS affiliate’s second digital channel. We’ll also be cutting into CBS programming throughout the night, with a big wrap-up at 10 p.m. Steve Ronnelle, president of the Political Animals Club of Central Arkansas, is among the guests.

KATV-TV, Channel 7 – The ABC affiliate pre-empts “V” at 9 p.m. with a 1-hour election special.

KARK-TV, Channel 4 – The NBC affiliate will have Bill Vickery and Pat Lynch as part of its coverage.

KLRT-TV, Channel 16 – The Fox affiliate will have Roby Brock as part of its regular, hour-long newscast at 9 p.m.


KARN-FM, 102.9Blake Rutherford and Jason Tolbert sit in with Dave Elswick for wall-t0-wall coverage. You can listen live online here. And check Twitter for live comments from Rutherford and Tolbert. (KARN listeners, please be nice to Blake.)

KUAR-FM, 89.1, (NPR in Little Rock) – Rex Nelson sits in, along with news coverage from Ron Breeding, Kelly MacNeil and the gang. Listen live online here.


Again, you watch Today’s THV’s THV2 election coverage streaming live online here.

ArkansasBusiness.com – We’ll have updated analysis, as well as the latest numbers and stories from the Associated Press wire. For iPhones and Blackberries, go to m.inarkansas.com/news for those latest news headlines in a mobile-friendly format.

Arkansas Times Blog – No doubt there will be analysis from Editor Max Brantley and lots of colorful comments from readers.

ARElections.org – Returns as they come in. All the numbers, right here.


On the Think Tank, Rutherford has a final pre-election media round-up of local and national coverage and commentary on today’s races.

The Latest on Lincoln v. Halter, Tonight on ‘Arkansas Week’

Arkansas' news week-in-review

We’re back at the big table this week, talking about the Week That Was in Arkansas News.

Appearing alongside host Steve Barnes on AETN‘s “Arkansas Week” at 8 p.m. tonight: myself, Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times and Kelly MacNeil of KUAR-FM, 89.1.

On the docket, the latest Blanche Lincoln vs. Bill Halter news (maybe those two latest poll numbers will come up?), a look at the Republican race for the nomination for U.S. Senate (will a certain campaign gimmick be mentioned?), Secure Arkansas’ lawsuit to stop health care reform, Wal-Mart’s big lawsuit problem and more.

Tune in to your local AETN affiliate to watch tonight. Or look for the video link right here when it becomes available.

The Morning After: Merry Christmas, Newspaper War Is Over

If you want it

If you want it

A round-up of Day Two coverage of the end of the Northwest Arkansas Newspaper War, such as it was.

Michael Tilley’s City Wire has details on the board that will control Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC, saying that the Stephens Media gets 2 seats on a five seat board, which of course means, “Walter wins!” Also: The deal is finalized in October, and “‘radical downsizing’ of staff to take place early next year. Gulp. (Update here!)

KUAR’s Kelly MacNeil has audio of her interview with Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Walter Hussman, who talks about the joint operation. He notes that only the Democrat-Gazette will have “the primary responsibility” of covering the Razorbacks, which of source means, “Walter wins!” (Update here!)

Max Brantley thinks back to just a few short years ago, when Stephens Media was set to take control of 75 percent of the daily newspaper market in northwest Arkansas. Since then, the Democrat-Gazette has bought newspapers owned by the Walton family and expanded his zoned edition of the DG. And now, his joint venture will control 100 percent of the daily newspaper market, which of course means — well, you know what it means.


Here’s our August 2000 Arkansas Business cover story on Hussman’s previous newspaper “alliance” in northwest Arkansas, that time with Walton family-owned Community Publishers Inc. As is the case now, Hussman’s 2000 partnership was most emphatically NOT a joint-operating-agreement, nor was it an acquisition (although Hussman later exercised his option to buy CPI newspapers in the region), despite opinions to the contrary by Stephens Media’s Sherman Frederick, who said at the time that the deal “smells more like an acquisition.” So what does this deal smell like?


The Arkansas Times has more clues as to how the new entity will shake out, along with word that Morning News employees will have to reapply for their jobs. Also included: some comments, reactions from news staffers.

Bill Bowden of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports Hussman saying he hopes the merger would be a “very long-term and permanent situation.”

News releases from the Southwest Times Record, The Morning News and Arkansas News Bureau.

Hussman’s Chattanooga Times Free Press covers the deal.

A round-up from PaidContent.org.

The Democrat-Gazette Enters the Twittersphere

Conan Gallaty, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s online director, told us this day was coming. And now, the state’s largest newspaper is among the tweeters in the Arkansas Twittersphere.

And since our last check, others are tipping a toe in, testing the waters. Some haven’t even begun Twittering! But that’s okay. We’re here to give you a helpful nudge out of the nest.

Herewith, a belated update to our Arkansas Twitter Guide:

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette – A regular stream of news headlines, many of which you’ll still have to be a paying subscriber to access. No free lunch, not even on Twitter!

Jennifer Christman – Fun times from the Democrat-Gazette’s culture columnist and “American Idol” authority.

Crystal Thurman – Promotions director for the DG, but also oversees Sync and Arkansas Life.

Worth Sparkman – Editor of Arkansas Business’ sister business publication, the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. C’mon Worth, bring the Tweets!

Arvest Bank – The official tweeter for the bank.

French Hill – CEO and Chairman of the Board of Delta Trust & Bank.

Arkansas.gov – News for state government.

Monika Rued – One of Today’s THV’s online gurus. Also the hidden hand behind @todaysthv.

Ashley Blackstone – Reporter for Today’s THV. Catch up her (if you can!) running hither and yon, covering this and that.

Kelly MacNeil – Reporter for KUAR, Little Rock public radio.

Shannon E. Butler – Executive Director of City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock.

Natasha Naragon – Spokeswoman for Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels.

Mike OrtegaFLEX360 Web designer, graphic artist.

Little Rock Film Festival – Get the popcorn ready.

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra – Announcements and links to podcasts. Music to our ears.

Scott Munsell – KATV’s eye in the sky.

(Follow you, follow me: Twitter.com/LT.)

Moritz, Brantley, MacNeil on ‘Arkansas Week’ Tonight

With Steve Barnes

With Steve Barnes

Arkansas Business Editor Gwen Moritz, Arkansas Times Editor Max Brantley and Kelly MacNeil of KUAR-FM, 89.1 radio are host Steve Barnes’ guest this week on “Arkansas Week.” You can catch it at 8 p.m. tonight on your local AETN affiliate.

Among the topics, yesterday’s 8th Circuit Court decision that released the Little Rock School District from decades-old desegregation supervision, the general state of the economy and the Week That Was at the state Capitol. Fun!

Check out the show at 8 p.m. or click here to listen to audio of the show and hear to watch video.