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Cox Returns

Frank Cox, former CEO of Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, Arkansas' largest advertising agency, is devoting his time to a new company. As founder and CEO of the Stratos Group, Cox promises customers "Marketing expertise. Not overhead."

And, because of his business model, he feels it's a promise the company is able to keep.

"I am not trying to be Cranford Johnson. I am not trying to be Stone Ward," Cox told Outtakes, referring to the largest agencies in the state. "I am trying to find a few clients that appreciate my experience and the experience of my colleagues."

Though the Stratos Group has only three on staff, including Cox, he explained that its model "doesn't require a large staff. We have a core of expertise and can reach outside and bring in other expertise in an on-demand fashion as needed."

The Stratos Group operates within the accounting firm Frazer Frost and works with it directly on in-house jobs, but still retains the ability to work for other businesses.

Cox, who resigned from CJRW in 2004, remained in the advertising industry even before beginning the Stratos Group. In 2005, Cox bought into EnVision Marketing Group, a supermarket checkout conveyer belt advertising agency. Originally based in Rogers, the company had moved to Little Rock by the time Cox bought out Joe Molinaro to become one of the company's five owners.

Gladner to Crain

Starting Oct. 1, Neal Gladner will be joining Crain Media as vice president and general manager.

Gladner has a long history of working in Arkansas radio, including, most recently, as the director of sales and marketing for US Stations LLC in Hot Springs. He is a past president of the Arkansas Broadcasters Association, a past president of the National Association of State Radio Networks, a former chairman of the CBS Radio Affiliates Association and a former member of the Radio Advertising Bureau board of directors.

In his new position, Gladner said, he hopes to work with the team at Crain Media to "improve both the ratings and the revenue. You do that by taking great care of the listeners and the advertisers."

Gladner also expressed excitement at the chance to work with Crain Media owner Larry Crain Sr. "It's exciting to work with Larry because of his deep belief in radio," Gladner said. "As a businessman, he knows how effective it can be."

Crain had equal praise for Gladner. When the company was looking for a new general manager, Crain said, it thought of the work Gladner had done in the past and felt confident he would be a good fit for Crain.

Crain Media operates seven radio stations throughout Arkansas. In Searcy, Crain Media stations include KWCK, KSMD and KEAZ. Crain Media Little Rock owns KHTE, KKSP and ROLL, and Crain Media Conway runs KCNY.

Stephens Media Layoffs

Yet another round of layoffs has taken place at Stephens Media. The company, which also cut employees at several of its Arkansas newspapers last year, delivered the news to several more of its workers last week.

Kevin Grinstead, who until recently was working as a graphic designer for Stephens Media, said that he could name four or five employees, in addition to himself, who were let go, but that he, at least, was given little reason as to why the layoffs were occurring. "My publisher brought me in and told me we've got this order coming in from corporate [Stephens Media LLC of Las Vegas] and we've got to lay off some people so we can bring our cost-profit margin up."

Grinstead's former publisher, Dennis Byrd, said he wouldn't comment on personnel matters.

An Inside Look Into Arkansas Media
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Author:Kauffmann, Joanna
Publication:Arkansas Business
Geographic Code:1U7AR
Date:Sep 27, 2010
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