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The 200 years war.

The 200 Years War

There are military wars that find their origin in land disputes. There are cold wars that have no discernable beginning but are perpetuated because of differences of opinion. Then there are newspaper wars.

The latest bout in the ongoing battle for premier standing between the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Democrat can be seen in billboard advertising along Interstate 630 and Cantrell Road. Although the physical injury is likely to be limited to paper cuts, the fighting can seem as pointless and prolonged as military escalation.

After the Gazette first debuted its billboards declaring that it was "The Oldest Newspaper West of the Mississippi," as well as "Arkansas's First Newspaper," the Democrat countered with a billboard that touted it has the "Largest Circulation in Arkansas." Only in smaller print near the bottom of the board does it clarify that it is singularly referring to the Sunday edition of the Democrat.

With thousands of dollars being spent on advertising by both the Gazette and the Democrat, an interesting question is raised for observers of the billboard wars.

Will readers buy one daily over another simply because someone else was reading that publication in 1819 or maybe because a slightly larger percentage of people read a particular publication on Sunday?

In light of the Little Rock city directors rejection of proposed changes to weaken the city's billboard laws, it seems a decisive victory will not soon be reached in the billboard wars.

It is yet to be determined what the new battleground will be.
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Title Annotation:Outtakes; competition between Arkansas Gazette; Arkansas Democrat
Author:Rengers, Carrie
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Sep 10, 1990
Previous Article:Cash crunch or day of reckoning?
Next Article:Arkla's day in court.

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