Listen to Learn:
This week, we’re featuring Kerry’s conversations with two giants in Arkansas publishing, Walter Hussman and Alan Leveritt! Did the outcome of the infamous "1974 Newspaper War" lead to the creation of the Arkansas Times?
In 1974, Alan Leveritt and a few friends launched the Arkansas Times, an alternative monthly magazine that provided political and cultural news to the state. Leveritt had gotten his start in the media business during his college days in the early 1970s at Little Rock University, now the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). He founded and operated an independent student newspaper, Essence. On its editorial page, Essence supported Leveritt’s personal politics, which embraced the ideas of libertarianism and the Young Americans for Freedom party. Using a $200 donation from a local bookstore, Leveritt and his associates published the first edition of the Union Station Times on September 5, 1974, so named because it was headquartered near Union Station in Little Rock. In July 1975, the name of the monthly publication was changed to Arkansas Times.
Walter Hussman was born in Texarkana, Arkansas but moved to Camden, Arkansas in 1949 and has been involved in the newspaper business in Arkansas for all of his adult life. He earned his bachelor’s degree of journalism from the University of North Carolina and his master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University. In 1970, Hussman worked as a reporter for Forbes magazine. He returned to Camden to become the general manager of The Camden News. In 1973, he moved to Hot Springs accepting the job of vice president and general manager of Palmer Newspapers, which is a division of WEHCO Media.