Stephens Media (newspapers)
|Founded||1940(as Donrey Media Group)|
|Founder||Donald W. Reynolds|
|Headquarters||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|Products||Newspapers, magazines, online|
Number of employees
On February 19, 2015, the company announced it had sold its Stephens Media newspapers to the New Media Investment Group, a publicly traded company based in New York for $102.5 million in cash. The big prize in the package is the daily Las Vegas Review-Journal, once one of the country's most profitable, but wracked in recent years in part by an economic downturn in the city.
New Media had earlier bought Halifax Media, partially owned by Stephens. The newspapers sold are what remain of the Donrey Media empire begun in Fort Smith by Donald W. Reynolds and sold by his estate in 1993 to the Stephens family — now Warren Stephens and his cousins Witt Stephens Jr. and Elizabeth Stephens Campbell — for about $800 million. They've parceled off billboard and broadcast and other newspapers over the years, as well as operating them profitably for a number of years before the Internet began taking a major toll on print. The gossip always was that the Stephenses paid off the purchase price with profits in the early years: Warren Stephens, CEO of Stephens Inc., told reporters that the investment was one of the best they'd ever made and an outstanding return on investment.
The company had been expanding its interactive Internet business, operating online sites for its newspapers and portal sites like LasVegas.com, which is licensed to Greenspun Media Group. The company is also a partner in the California Newspapers Partnership with MediaNews and Gannett. The company also formed, in November 2009, a joint venture with WEHCO Media, Inc., in Arkansas.
On November 28, 2010, Stephens Media Iowa, LLC, a subsidiary of Stephens Media, acquired several newspapers, including the Ames Tribune, Boone News-Republican, Dallas County News, Nevada Journal, Ames About People & Advertiser, Tri-County Times, and Algona Upper Des Moines from Midlands Newspapers, Inc., a subsidiary of the Omaha World-Herald Company.
The company was formerly called Donrey Media Group, which was founded by Arkansas media mogul Donald W. Reynolds and based in Fort Smith, Arkansas. After Reynolds died in 1993 at the age of 86, the company was sold to the Stephens family of Arkansas, known for their Little Rock investment banking business Stephens Inc. Some of Donrey's properties were sold off, and the company moved its headquarters to Las Vegas, Nevada, home of its largest newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The company was renamed Stephens Media Group in 2002. In June 2006, the company became known as Stephens Media LLC. The company has no connection with Stephens Media Group, a radio broadcasting company in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In 2010, Stephens Media contracted with the litigation firm Righthaven LLC, giving it the power to enforce the company's copyrights when online violators go beyond the bounds of fair use. More than 141 lawsuits have been filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas since mid-March.
In a column published in the RJ shortly after the lawsuits began, publisher Sherman Frederick, said the primary goal with the partnership with Righthaven was to deter theft of the company's copyrighted materials. He said if the company was successful, he hoped Righthaven would find other media clients. In late August, WEHCO Media, which owns the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Chattanooga Times Free Press, signed on with the firm. MediaNews Group has also used Righthaven to file a copyright infringement suit.
The aggressive enforcement of the Stephens Media copyrights by Righthaven was being closely watched by other publishers, as is the debate it has generated. Critics of the relatively new practice have coined it 'copyright trolling', and argue that the purpose of such enforcement is to make a profit. In the Poynter article, Stephens Media general counsel Mark Hinueber says the goal is to make sure the company's intellectual rights are protected. "We were seeing our entire work product in some stories just being right-clicked and cut and pasted into blogs, where people were selling Google ads around them and making money." The Las Vegas Sun has been thoroughly documenting Righthaven's activities and the response. The Sun’s outside law firm, Lewis and Roca, is defending several of the Righthaven suits.
Targets of the Righthaven lawsuits included bloggers, political forums, major political parties, and several of the newspaper's own sources including NORML, DailyPaul.com, Infowars, Free Republic, and others. On August 25, 2010, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced that they will make efforts to assist Righthaven LLC defendants to the best of their ability.
Righthaven's lawsuits came under increasing judicial scrutiny, which led to Righthaven being found in June 2011 to lack standing to sue for alleged infringement of copyrighted material to which it holds only a limited license, as such a license does not confer the right to sue for infringement. Sanctions against Righthaven and its attorney, Steven A. Gibson, of Nevada law firm Dickinson Wright, are currently being contemplated by one judge. Righthaven later had its assets seized to pay judgments levied against it in lawsuits it filed against those whom it said infringed on the copyrights of clients. As a result, copyrights which had been "sold" by Stephens to Righthaven were "sold back" to Stephens for $80,000 to pay legal fees.
In September 2009, Stephens Media and WEHCO Media Inc., owner of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, announced plans to combine their newspaper operations in Northwest Arkansas and operate as a single company. The venture was approved in November 2009 by the U.S. Justice Department and a new Arkansas Limited Liability Company, Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC, was formed.
Stephens Media publishes the newspapers of Northwest Arkansas Newspapers and is responsible for editorial content while WEHCO Media controls the advertising, business, production and web operations.
Newspapers in the joint venture include:
- The Springdale Morning News
- The Rogers Morning News
- Northwest Arkansas Times
- Benton County Daily Record
- Stephens Press
- "Hawgs Illustrated" magazine, Springdale, Ark., part of joint venture with WEHCO Media
- "Luxury Las Vegas" magazine, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Arkansasnews.com The company also publishes an online-only site focused on state politics,
Newspapers by state
- Southwest Times Record, Fort Smith, Ark. (DAILY)
- Press Argus Courier, Van Buren, Ark. (twice Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)
- Booneville Democrat, Booneville, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Charleston Express, Charleston, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Greenwood Democrat, Greenwood, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Paris Express, Paris, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Pine Bluff Commercial, Pine Bluff, Ark. (DAILY)
- White Hall Progress, White Hall, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Central Arkansas weeklies (group of weely newspapers that operates under one publisher)
- North Little Rock Times, North Little Rock, Ark. (Weekly, Thur.)
- Jacksonville Patriot, Jacksonville, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Sherwood Voice, Sherwood, Ark. (Weekly, Thur.)
- Maumelle Monitor, Maumelle, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Cabot Star-Herald, Cabot, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Lonoke Democrat, Lonoke, Ark. (Weekly, Thur.)
- Carlisle Independent, Carlisle, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Hot Springs Village Voice, Hot Springs Village, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Van Buren County Democrat, Clinton, Ark. (Weekly, Thur.)
- The Springdale Morning News (no longer solely owned by Stephens Media, is part of Northwest Arkansas Newspapers, LLC)
- Lincoln Leader, Lincoln, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Farmington Post, Farmington, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Prairie Grove Enterprise, Prairie Grove, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Times of Northeast Benton County, Pea Ridge, Ark. (Weekly, Wed.)
- Ames Tribune, Ames, IA (DAILY)
- Boone News-Republican, Boone, IA (DAILY)
- Dallas County News, (Weekly)
- Algona Upper Des Moines, Algona, IA (Weekly)
- Nevada Journal, Nevada, IA (Weekly)
- Tri-County Times, Nevada, IA (Weekly)
- Ames Sun, Ames, IA (Weekly)
- Story County Advertiser, Ames, IA (Weekly)
- Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas, NV (DAILY)
- Las Vegas CityLife, Las Vegas, NV (Weekly, Thur.)
- El Tiempo, Las Vegas, NV (Weekly, Fri.)
- Las Vegas Business Press, Las Vegas, NV (Weekly, Mon.)
- Boulder City Review, Boulder City, NV (Weekly, Thur.)
- Ely Times, Ely, NV (Weekly, Fri.)
- Rebel Nation, Las Vegas, NV (Monthly, 1st of month)
- Pahrump Valley Times, Pahrump, NV (twice Weekly, Wed. & Fri.)
- Eureka Sentinel, Eureka, NV (twice Weekly, Wed. & Fri.)
- Tonopah Times-Bonanza, Tonopah, NV (twice Weekly, Wed. & Fri.)
- Lincoln County Record (Weekly)
- Courier-Tribune, Asheboro, NC (DAILY)
- Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Bartlesville, OK (DAILY)
- Pawhuska Journal-Capital, Pawhuska, OK (twice Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)
- The Herald Democrat, Sherman/Denison TX (DAILY except Saturday)
- Anna-Melissa Tribune, Anna, TX (Weekly)
- Grayson County Shopper, Sherman, TX (Weekly)
- Prosper Press, Prosper, TX (Weekly)
- Van Alstyne Leader, Van Alstyne, TX (Weekly)
- Lake Texoma Life, Kingston, TX (Monthly, 1st of month)
- The Daily Herald, Columbia, TN (DAILY)
- The Advertiser News, Spring Hill, TN (Weekly, Wed.)
- The Value Guide, Columbia, TN (Weekly, Tues.)
- Franklin Life, Franklin, TN (Monthly, 15th of month)
- Brentwood Life, Brentwood, TN (Monthly, 1st of month)
- Healthy Living, Columbia, TN (Monthly, 3rd Wed. each month)
- Release, Press (2010-11-29). "Stephens Media Acquires Ames (IA) Tribune—Editor & Publisher ®". Editorandpublisher.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "Copyright, Stephens Media LLC. « Stephens Media Interactive". Stephensmedia.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "U.S. Copyright Office - Fair Use". Copyright.gov. 2001-09-11. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- Sherman Frederick (2010-05-28). "Copyright theft: We're not taking it anymore | Las Vegas Review-Journal". Lvrj.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- [dead link]
- Hochberg, Adam (2010-08-30). "Are Newspaper Copyright Lawsuits Fair Enforcement or ‘Legal Extortion’? | Poynter". Poynter. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- Kravets, David (2010-07-23). "Newspaper Chain's New Business Plan: Copyright Suits | Threat Level". Wired.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- Cynthia Conlin says: (2010-08-04). "Copyright sleuthing (or, What happens in The Las Vegas Review-Journal…) | On the Record". Mddailyrecord.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "List of Righthaven Lawsuits". Righthavenlawsuits.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- [dead link]
- "EFF Seeks to Help Righthaven Defendants | Electronic Frontier Foundation". Eff.org. 2010-08-25. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- Masnick, Mike (March 18, 2013). "Righthaven Copyrights 'Sold' Back To Stephens Media For $80k To Pay Legal Fees". techdirt.com. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Business, Arkansas. "UPDATED: Democrat-Gazette, Stephens Media Plan Joint Venture in Northwest Arkansas | Arkansas Business News". ArkansasBusiness.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- Arkansas, The. "Northwest Arkansas News - Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville". NWAonline. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Press Argus-Courier". Pressargus.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Booneville Democrat". Booneville Democrat. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Charleston Express". Charleston Express. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Greenwood Democrat". Greenwood Democrat. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Paris Express". Paris Express. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Pine Bluff Commercial Online". Pbcommercial.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "White Hall | Pine Bluff Commercial Online". Whitehallprogress.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "North Little Rock Times | Pulaski News". Nlrtimes.com. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Pulaski News". Jacksonville Patriot. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Pulaski News". Sherwood Voice. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Pulaski News". Maumelle Monitor. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Lonoke News". Cabot Star-Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Lonoke News". Lonoke Democrat. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Lonoke News". Carlisle Independent. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- CAROLE SJOLANDER Staff writer. "Headlines | www.hsvvoice.com | Hot Springs Village Voice". www.hsvvoice.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Van Buren County Democrat". Vanburencountydem.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Boone News-Republican". Newsrepublican.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "Dallas County News". Adelnews.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "Algona Upper Des Moines > Front". Algona.com. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Nevada Iowa Journal". Nevada Iowa Journal. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "Tri-County Times". Tri-County Times. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "News, cultural information and perspectives on life in Las Vegas". Las Vegas CityLife. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "El Tiempo - A Spanish Language Publication of the Review-Journal :: Front". Eltiempolv.com. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- Sieroty, Chris. "Business | Las Vegas Review-Journal". Lvbusinesspress.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Boulder City Review". Boulder City Review. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "The Ely Times: Serving Nevada's White Pine County since 1920". Elynews.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- Carp, Steve. "UNLV Rebels | Las Vegas Review-Journal". Rebelnation.reviewjournal.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Pahrump Valley Times". Pvtimes.com. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "The Lincoln County Record". The Lincoln County Record. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Pawhuska Journal Capital". Pawhuska Journal Capital. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "Anna-Melissa Tribune". Amtrib.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "Prosper Press News". Prosper Press News. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "The Van Alstyne Leader". The Van Alstyne Leader. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "Franklin Life". Cdh.columbiadailyherald.com. 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2013-05-29.[dead link]
- "Brentwood Life". Cdh.columbiadailyherald.com. 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2013-05-29.[dead link]
- "Arkansas News". Arkansas News. 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2013-05-28.