Lynn Hamilton is retiring from WEHCO Media Inc., the parent company of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, after working with the company since 1974. He first began as a data processing manager before becoming vice president of operations for the Dem-Gaz in 1982, a position which he would serve in for 31 years until 2013. He then took over the position of president and general manager of the paper’s operations.
It was he who oversaw the Democrat-Gazette’s transition to becoming an online paper, a risky process that Chairman Walter E. Hussman Jr. said nonetheless went smoothly thanks to Hamilton: “It took a lot of great management to do that and do it successfully. Since there wasn’t a model to go by, we had to invent it as we went along. The implementation went extremely well. You have to be not only a good manager you have to be able to adapt to changes. Lynn’s a very level-headed guy. He’s a good manager, has good judgement.”
By all accounts, Hamilton has been a positive force and cornerstone for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazzette for decades. But his presence at the company for such a long period of time was far from guaranteed: according to an interview with Hamilton, he joined WEHCO Media because “It was the only job in town that was open, so I took it,” Hamilton said in the Pryor Center interview. “I had to have something fast. I thought, ‘I’ll stay a couple of years, then I’ll leave.” Indeed, he nearly left the company in 1979 for the insurance industry, but Hussman offered him a business manager position which convinced him to stay.
“I’m grateful for my career of nearly 48 years with WEHCO Media,” Hamilton said. “Grateful for the many personal and professional growth opportunities, and for the friendships with coworkers. I’ve been proud of our newspaper, both as the Democrat and the Democrat-Gazette, proud of its core values, and proud to be an employee of what is, without doubt, the best newspaper of similar size in America today… I’ll be watching with enthusiasm, and continuing pride, as the current management and fourth generation of the Hussman family take the Democrat-Gazette into the future.”
Hamilton’s retirement takes effect on July 29th.
Image Courtesy of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette