An essential figure in Arkansas' newspaper history has died.
Paul Smith was instrumental in the Arkansas Democrat's winning a David-and-Goliath battle against the Gannett Co. Inc. and its Arkansas Gazette in 1991. The result was the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which Smith helped guide until his retirement in 2013.
Smith, retired president of WEHCO Newspapers, Inc., died Tuesday of cancer, said his wife, Elizabeth Smith.
Walter E. Hussman Jr., chairman of WEHCO Media, said Smith "had keen business instincts, great judgment, engendered tremendous loyalty and dedication, and at the same time was one of the most caring and compassionate persons you would ever meet."