Stephens Media (newspapers)

Stephens Media LLC was a Las Vegas, Nevada, diversified media investment company. It owned stakes in the California Newspapers Partnership and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Stephens Media LLC
Founded1940 (1940) (as Donrey Media Group)
FounderDonald W. Reynolds
HeadquartersLas Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
ProductsNewspapers, magazines, online
Number of employees

The company had been expanding its interactive Internet business, operating online sites for its newspapers and portal sites like, 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 Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC 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.[1] In August, 2011, the Algona Upper Des Moines was sold to Hallmark Media.[2]

In February 2015, Stephens Media was purchased by GateHouse Media for $102.8 million.[3] In December 2015, GateHouse sold the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Stephens group's largest paper, to casino magnate Sheldon Adelson for $140 million.[4]


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[5] when online violators go beyond the bounds of fair use.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] Critics of the relatively new practice have coined it 'copyright trolling', and argue that the purpose of such enforcement is to make a profit.[10] 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."[9] 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,, Infowars, Free Republic, and others.[11][12][13] 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.[14]

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.[15]

Joint venture

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.[16] 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 sold its interest in the joint venture to WEHCO on May 5, 2016, which assumed control of all operations of the newspapers in the joint venture.[17]

Newspapers in the joint venture include:

  • The Springdale Morning News
  • The Rogers Morning News
  • Northwest Arkansas Times[18]
  • 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
  • The company also publishes an online-only site focused on state politics.

Newspapers by state


  1. Press Argus Courier, Van Buren (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[19]
  2. Booneville Democrat, Booneville (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[20]
  3. Charleston Express, Charleston (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[21]
  4. Greenwood Democrat, Greenwood (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[22]
  5. Paris Express, Paris (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[23]
  • Pine Bluff Commercial, Pine Bluff (DAILY)[24]
  1. White Hall Progress, White Hall (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[25]
  • Central Arkansas weeklies (group of weekly newspapers that operates under one publisher)
    • Pulaski County:
  1. North Little Rock Times, North Little Rock (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[26]
  2. Jacksonville Patriot, Jacksonville (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[27]
  3. Sherwood Voice, Sherwood (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[28]
  4. Maumelle Monitor, Maumelle (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[29]
    • Lonoke County:
  1. Cabot Star-Herald, Cabot (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[30]
  2. Lonoke Democrat, Lonoke (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[31]
  3. Carlisle Independent, Carlisle (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[32]
  4. England Democrat, England (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[33]
    • Elsewhere:
  1. Hot Springs Village Voice, Hot Springs Village (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[34]
  2. Van Buren County Democrat, Clinton (Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[35]


  1. Boone News-Republican, Boone, IA (DAILY)[36]
  2. Dallas County News, (Weekly)[37]
  3. Algona Upper Des Moines, Algona, IA (Weekly)[38]
  4. Nevada Journal, Nevada, IA (Weekly)[39]
  5. Tri-County Times, Nevada, IA (Weekly)[40]
  6. Ames Sun, Ames, IA (Weekly)
  7. Story County Advertiser, Ames, IA (Weekly)


  1. Ely Times, Ely, NV (Weekly, Fri.)[41]
  2. Rebel Nation, Las Vegas, NV (Monthly, 1st of month)[42]
  3. Eureka Sentinel, Eureka, NV (twice Weekly, Wed. & Fri.)
  4. Lincoln County Record (Weekly)[43]

North Carolina

  • Courier-Tribune, Asheboro, NC (DAILY)


  1. Pawhuska Journal-Capital, Pawhuska, OK (twice Weekly, Wed. & Sat.)[44]


  1. Anna-Melissa Tribune, Anna, TX (Weekly)[45]
  2. Grayson County Shopper, Sherman, TX (Weekly)
  3. Prosper Press, Prosper, TX (Weekly)[46]
  4. Van Alstyne Leader, Van Alstyne, TX (Weekly)[47]
  5. Lake Texoma Life, Kingston, TX (Monthly, 1st of month)


  1. The Advertiser News, Spring Hill, TN (Weekly, Wed.)
  2. The Value Guide, Columbia, TN (Weekly, Tues.)
  3. Franklin Life, Franklin, TN (Monthly, 15th of month)[48]
  4. Brentwood Life, Brentwood, TN (Monthly, 1st of month)[49]
  5. Healthy Living, Columbia, TN (Monthly, 3rd Wed. each month)

News bureaus


  1. Release, Press (2010-11-29). "Stephens Media Acquires Ames (IA) Tribune—Editor & Publisher ®". Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  3. "Review-Journal, parent Stephens Media to be sold to New Media". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  4. "Sheldon Adelson's Purchase of Las Vegas Paper Seen as a Power Play". The New York Times. 2 January 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  5. "Copyright, Stephens Media LLC. « Stephens Media Interactive". Archived from the original on 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  6. "U.S. Copyright Office - Fair Use". 2001-09-11. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  7. Sherman Frederick (2010-05-28). "Copyright theft: We're not taking it anymore | Las Vegas Review-Journal". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  8. Archived September 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  9. Hochberg, Adam (2010-08-30). "Are Newspaper Copyright Lawsuits Fair Enforcement or 'Legal Extortion'? | Poynter". Poynter. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  10. Kravets, David (2010-07-23). "Newspaper Chain's New Business Plan: Copyright Suits | Threat Level". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  11. Cynthia Conlin says (2010-08-04). "Copyright sleuthing (or, What happens in The Las Vegas Review-Journal…) | On the Record". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  12. "List of Righthaven Lawsuits". Archived from the original on 2010-09-05. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  13. "EFF Seeks to Help Righthaven Defendants | Electronic Frontier Foundation". 2010-08-25. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  14. Masnick, Mike (March 18, 2013). "Righthaven Copyrights 'Sold' Back To Stephens Media For $80k To Pay Legal Fees". Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  15. Business, Arkansas. "UPDATED: Democrat-Gazette, Stephens Media Plan Joint Venture in Northwest Arkansas | Arkansas Business News". Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  16. Bahn, Chris. Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC Retrieved May 26, 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. Arkansas, The. "Northwest Arkansas News - Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville". NWAonline. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  18. "Press Argus-Courier". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  19. "Booneville Democrat". Booneville Democrat. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  20. "Charleston Express". Charleston Express. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  21. "Greenwood Democrat". Greenwood Democrat. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  22. "Paris Express". Paris Express. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  23. "Pine Bluff Commercial Online". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  24. "White Hall | Pine Bluff Commercial Online". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  25. "North Little Rock Times | Pulaski News". 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  26. "Pulaski News". Jacksonville Patriot. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  27. "Pulaski News". Sherwood Voice. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  28. "Pulaski News". Maumelle Monitor. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  29. "Lonoke News". Cabot Star-Herald. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  30. "Lonoke News". Lonoke Democrat. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  31. "Lonoke News". Carlisle Independent. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  32. "Lonoke News". England Democrat. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  33. CAROLE SJOLANDER Staff writer. "Headlines | | Hot Springs Village Voice". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  34. "Van Buren County Democrat". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  35. "Boone News-Republican". Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  36. "Dallas County News". Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  37. "Algona Upper Des Moines > Front". 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  38. "Nevada Iowa Journal". Nevada Iowa Journal. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  39. "Tri-County Times". Tri-County Times. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  40. "The Ely Times: Serving Nevada's White Pine County since 1920". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  41. Carp, Steve. "UNLV Rebels | Las Vegas Review-Journal". Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  42. "The Lincoln County Record". The Lincoln County Record. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  43. "Pawhuska Journal Capital". Pawhuska Journal Capital. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  44. "Anna-Melissa Tribune". Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  45. "Prosper Press News". Prosper Press News. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  46. "The Van Alstyne Leader". The Van Alstyne Leader. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  47. "Franklin Life". 2013-05-16. Archived from the original on 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  48. "Brentwood Life". 2013-05-16. Archived from the original on 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  49. "Arkansas News". Arkansas News. 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
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