Arkansas Media

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. and Police Chief Keith Humphrey speak to reporters today about credible threats of violence by outside agitators.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

More protests over police brutality and systemic racism are scheduled in Little Rock, with a memorial walk planned to begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Arkansas State Capitol.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday that he was spending time listening to the concerns of demonstrators and community leaders. One of those was a Little Rock artist who goes by Drekkia Writes.

Walter Hussman
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

In the midst of a technological revolution, a simple business basic may be the salvation that rescues the 200-year old Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper.

Publisher Walter Hussman and VP for audience development at WEHCO Media Eliza Gaines both contend that customer service has been crucial in leading subscribers from the print version of the statewide newspaper to its iPad-friendly digital version.

Walter Hussman
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is nearing the day when it will no longer deliver a daily printed paper. The newspaper has been transitioning its weekday service to an app-only format and plans to print only a Sunday edition of the paper by the beginning of next year.

Nkiruka Azuka Omeronye
Arkansas Times

An Arkansas judge ordered a journalist be released after she served a few hours of her three-day sentence for recording proceedings in a homicide case.

Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren sentenced Nkiruka Azuka Omeronye Tuesday for contempt of court. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports she was released Wednesday.

Omeronye, a KNWA TV reporter, admitted to making an audio recording during a hearing in Mauricio Torres' capital murder case last month. She testified that she recorded to ensure she took accurate notes.

Nkirurka Omeronge
Arkansas Times

An Arkansas county judge has sentenced a television reporter to three days in jail for recording a hearing in a homicide case.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren sentenced KNWA reporter Nkirurka Omeronge on Tuesday. Karren found her in contempt of court during Mauricio Torres' capital murder proceedings last month.

Encyclopedia of Arkansas
Encyclopedia of Arkansas

The online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture is getting a redesign. The resource is part of the Central Arkansas Library System and launched in 2006. But on Wednesday a revised, more modern version of the website was unviled. It includes new features and works on mobile devices.

Reporter Jacqueline Froelich with Fayetteville station KUAF spoke with staff at the encyclopedia about its past and what’s ahead. You can hear her report above or visit the revised site here.

Matt DeCample
KUAR

TV reporter, press spokesman, PR professional, film enthusiast, comedian. Not necessarily in that order. Matt DeCample wore a lot of hats in his too-short life.

A former KATV reporter and longtime spokesman for Gov. Mike Beebe, DeCample died Sunday evening after a nearly three-year battle with cancer.

He came to Arkansas in the 1990’s to work for KATV Ch. 7 in Little Rock as a general assignment reporter. Bob Steel, the former news director who hired him, said DeCample was one-of-a-kind.

Alan Leveritt
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A federal judge has let stand an Arkansas law requiring contractors to pledge not to boycott Israel, ruling that such a boycott is not protected by the First Amendment.

U.S. District Judge Brian Miller on Wednesday dismissed the lawsuit the Arkansas Times had filed challenging the 2017 law. The newspaper had asked the judge to block the law, which requires contractors to reduce their fees by 20 percent if they don't sign the pledge.

Alan Leveritt
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

An Arkansas newspaper is asking a federal judge to strike down a state law that requires government contractors to pledge to not boycott Israel or reduce their fees by 20 percent.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas challenged the law on Tuesday on behalf of the Arkansas Times LP, which says the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College refused to contract for advertising with the newspaper unless the Arkansas Times signed the pledge. The lawsuit argues the requirement violates the U.S. Constitution.

Alan Leveritt
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The presence of one central Arkansas media entity is changing. The Arkansas Times – which for more than 25 years has been a weekly publication – will transition in February to a glossy monthly magazine.

It was originally a monthly when it debuted in 1974, but after the closing of the Arkansas Gazette 26 years ago, became a weekly to provide timely coverage.

Alan Leveritt is publisher of the Times and spoke with KUAR about the impending change.

KAAY Barry McCorkindale Arkansas Sounds John Miller
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A legendary Little Rock radio station will be celebrated with an event Friday night. In its heyday during the 1960s and '70s, KAAY-AM 1090 played top 40 music during the day and progressive rock at night. With a powerful signal that reached most of Arkansas during the day, at night KAAY's secondary pattern reached much of the U.S., as well as other counties.

KATV in Little Rock is deferring to its corporate owner Sinclair Broadcasting Group over criticism that the station is participating in a concerted nationwide effort to integrate conservative talking points into news coverage. While nearly every Sinclair owned station has opted-out of responding directly, this morning the station in Madison, Wisconsin announced it did not air a recent Sinclair must-read script, saying it “stayed true to our commitment” to viewers.

C-SPAN
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The television network C-SPAN is visiting Arkansas. The non-commercial network, best known for its uninterrupted gavel-to-gavel feeds of the U.S. House and Senate, is touting its educational resources and recording videos from visitors for its “Voices from the States” segment.

Its high-tech C-SPAN Bus is traveling the country on a 14 month “50 Capitals Tour” and Tuesday morning was parked in front of the Arkansas State Capitol. Gov. Asa Hutchinson boarded the bus for a live interview on the network’s Washington Journal call-in program.

John Rogers
Mark Friedman / Arkansas Business

A plea and arraignment hearing is scheduled for Monday in Pulaski County Circuit Court for former Arkansas sports memorabilia dealer John Rogers. He's facing state charges while awaiting sentencing next month on a federal wire fraud charge.

The new charges stem from the alleged theft by Rogers of three hard drives containing images valued at $364,167. In March he pleaded guilty in federal court after reaching a plea agreement that acknowledged he took part in an effort "to fraudulently obtain at least approximately $10 million" from investors, financial institutions and customers. Prosecutors say Rogers used a variety of schemes that included false pretenses, misrepresentations and lies.

Courtney Pledger AETN
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday named Courtney Pledger the new executive director for the Arkansas Educational Television Network. She replaces Allen Weatherly who died last November after leading the network since 2001.

The network, which airs PBS and locally produced programming on six broadcast stations around Arkansas, is operated by an agency of the state government.

John Cain
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

John Cain, who has been a familiar radio voice for a half-century in central Arkansas, marked his 80th birthday Wednesday. He is also known for his efforts to preserve African-American culture. Many longtime friends and colleagues came together at Little Rock's White Water Tavern that night to celebrate with live music and cake.

Cain, who is program director of community radio station KABF-FM 88.3, has also hosted KUAR's 52nd Street Jazz for more than three decades. He has been on the air in some capacity for "51 years and counting."

New Statewide News Network Announces Managing Editor

Apr 29, 2016

KUAR 89.1, UALR’s public radio station, along with its content partners in a regional journalism collaboration (RJC), is pleased to announce that Bobby Ampezzan will lead the newly created Natural State News as the project’s managing editor.

In his new role, Ampezzan will oversee three reporters focusing on long form reporting about education, health and energy, with a focus on rural Arkansas.

There are many familiar voices on NPR but some seem to move around a bit more than others. Kelly McEvers is a thoroughly experienced and awarded foreign correspondent and one of two new anchors at NPR’s All things Considered. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman talked with McEvers about her new role.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

It has been 30 years since a legendary Little Rock radio station changed formats, marking the end of a key chapter for Arkansas media. This past weekend, many former employees of KAAY-AM 1090 got together to share stories and reflect on changes in the industry.

A judge has issued an arrest warrant for a housing agency's executive director over claims he didn't provide documents requested by an Arkansas newspaper.

District Judge Alice Lightle signed the warrant Thursday for Rodney Forte, the executive director of the Metropolitan Housing Alliance. An arrest affidavit by the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney's office states Forte is facing a misdemeanor charge of failing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

A prosecutor says Forte wasn't taken into custody but will have to appear later in court.

Exhibit On Arkansas Times Showcases 40 Years

Sep 25, 2014
Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Times turns 40 this year. The publication’s playfulness, its literary and investigative ambitions, have survived a battle between two daily papers, arson and a crisis in the journalism industry. The Historic Arkansas Museum is currently showing an exhibition on the paper’s history. 

The first edition of the Union Station Times, later to become The Arkansas Times, told readers, "When muck arises it will be raked." In 1974, 22- year-old Alan Leveritt published the first edition with a $200 donation.

Jonesboro's police chief is to serve a 30-day suspension and issue written apologies to The Jonesboro Sun and a former reporter at the paper for derogatory comments he made on Facebook.

Mayor Harold Perrin announced Friday that Chief Michael Yates would be suspended without pay and has to undergo additional training. Perrin also instructed the city attorney to review the police department's policies on releasing public information and to correct any deficiencies.

The publisher of the Jonesboro Sun wants the city police chief to quit, saying the chief bullied one of the newspaper's reporters into quitting by making derogatory statements about her on Facebook.

In a story published Tuesday, Sun Publisher David Mosesso said Chief Michael Yates had maligned Sunshine Crump's character and was interfering with the Sun's ability to conduct its business.

Yates did not return a call from The Associated Press, but told the newspaper he was exercising his free speech rights.

Ron Breeding
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Veteran radio news journalist Ron Breeding, who spent 12 years working as news and program director at KUAR, has died. He was 54-years-old.

Breeding was respected among his colleagues as a reporter who wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions or challenge politicians and other public officials.

He started with KUAR in 2000 and expanded local news on the station from a handful of rip-and-read newscasts coming directly from the Associated Press news wire into a fully-functioning newsroom with original reporting.

During the legislative session that wrapped up this week, Twitter was used more than ever before by lawmakers to share opinions and debate ideas. KUAR’s Nathan Vandiver has more with Roby Brock of Talk Business Arkansas.

Services Set For Arkansas Journalist Bob McCord

Apr 15, 2013

Services are set for longtime journalist Robert "Bob" McCord, who was a driving force behind establishment of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. 

McCord died Sunday at age 84. A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at Lakewood United Methodist Church in North Little Rock. A reception at the church will follow the service.

McCord worked as an editor at both the Arkansas Democrat and the Arkansas Gazette and for a decade owned the North Little Rock Times. He also wrote a column for the Arkansas Times from 1992 until 2006. 

Arkansas Senate OKs FOI Exemption For Accident Reports

Mar 12, 2013

The Arkansas Senate has unanimously approved keeping the names of children involved in motor vehicle accidents from being released to the public.

The Senate voted 35-0 Tuesday to exempt the identities of minors listed in motor vehicle accident reports from being released under the state Freedom of Information Act. The proposal now heads to the House for a vote.

Arkansas Gazette
Arkansas Gazette

It was the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi River and an institution in Arkansas. This weekend former employees of the Arkansas Gazette will gather to mark the 20 year anniversary of the newspaper’s death.

The last issue of the Gazette hit the streets on October 18, 1991, capping a fierce battle between it and the Arkansas Democrat.

KUAR's Malcolm Glover Wins Gracie Award

Feb 22, 2011
Malcolm Glover
Kara Conlon

Malcolm Glover, a reporter and KUAR's local host during Morning Edition, has won a Gracie Award for his reporting on female veterans.

Michael Hibblen

The radio program Beaker Street, which debuted 45 years ago playing progressive rock on Little Rock powerhouse KAAY-AM 1090 and had regular listeners around the country, could be coming to an end.  It's being canceled by its current broadcast home, KKPT-FM, The Point 94.1.

Things haven't changed much over the decades.  Listeners of Beaker Street still hear records fade out, strange background sounds come up and then the mellow voice of Clyde Clifford. But while doing his show Sunday, Clifford acknowledged the end is coming, at least at the show's current home.