Gate­House Me­dia closes LR bureau

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - — Noel Oman

Gate­House Me­dia LLC, which owns five daily and more than a dozen weekly news­pa­pers in Arkansas, has shut­tered its Lit­tle Rock bureau and laid off the sole re­porter staffing it.

John Lyon con­firmed Mon­day he was let go Fri­day but de­clined fur­ther com­ment. He started work­ing at the Arkansas News Bureau in 2006 when it was owned by Stephens Me­dia.

A na­tive of Ok­la­homa City, Lyon worked at Ok­la­homa’s Elk City Daily

News from 1992-2000 be­fore join­ing the Times Record in Fort Smith, an­other Stephens Me­dia prop­erty now held by Gate­House.

Jeremy Pep­pas, re­gional edi­tor for Gate­House, said the de­ci­sion to close the bureau came at the cor­po­rate level and was a sur­prise.

“Los­ing a re­porter the cal­iber of John Lyon is very dif­fi­cult,” he said. “It’s go­ing to re­quire the pa­pers I edit to re­think how we ap­proach news cov­er­age.”

A call to Gate­House’s cor­po­rate of­fice in Pitts­ford, N.Y., wasn’t re­turned Mon­day. Na­tion­wide, its me­dia port­fo­lio in­cludes 130 dailies and more than 600 com­mu­nity pub­li­ca­tions.

In May, Gate­House con­sol­i­dated seven weekly news­pa­pers in cen­tral Arkansas into two weekly news­pa­pers serv­ing Pu­laski and Lonoke coun­ties.

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