Friday will be the last day of work for an unspecified number of employees to be terminated as a result of the papers' merger under a new company, Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC. Those not hired by the new company will be paid severance based on the amount they would normally earn in a two-month period, the Democrat-Gazette reported.
Under the merger announced Sept. 3, Stephens -- publisher of The Morning News and several weeklies -- will handle local editorial operations, while the Democrat-Gazette, which publishes a zoned edition in 12 counties and owns the Northwest Arkansas Times and Benton County Daily Record, will be responsible for regional news.
The Democrat-Gazette will take over all production, distribution and business operations.
According to the Democrat-Gazette account, the Morning News will be circulated with the D-G primarily in Springdale and Rodgers, where it will be wrapped around the D-G in the way the two Wehco Media newspapers, the Northwest Arkansas Times and Benton County Daily Record, are circulated in its areas.
Stephens and the Democrat-Gazette's parent company each will have a 50% stake in the new company.
As part of the merger process, the Morning News was put up for sale, but attracted no bids.
By: E&P Staff Stephens Media LLC's Morning News in Springdale and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Northwest Arkansas operations will be merged Sunday, now that the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division has cleared the unusual partnership.