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Little Rock -- 5/2/07 -- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Inc. published its first edition of Sync, a free weekly tabloid for the central Arkansas market, Wednesday, May 2.

Each Wednesday free copies of Sync will be distributed in freestanding outdoor and indoor racks throughout Pulaski, Saline, Lonoke and Faulkner counties.

The new weekly is designed to attract the young, non-newspaper reader. According to 2006 Scarborough Research, each week the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Sunday edition reaches nearly 90,000 people between the ages of 18 and 39 in the four-county metro area, however there are approximately 193,000 of this demographic in the area.

“We feel there is a good opportunity to create a publication that will attract those who don’t currently read the daily newspaper. There is a group of people who don’t see traditional newspapers as relevant to their lives and it’s important to show them print is a viable, connected media,” said Crystal Thurman, director of promotions for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “We’ve created this new product so that we can serve this audience without changing the core product and potentially losing loyal readers.” The publication will include several regular features dubbed “Try This,” “See This,” “Hear This,” “Taste This,” “Do This,” and more. Through short stories and a vast array of photography, staff members will try to engage central Arkansas young adults who live an active lifestyle.

Sync has an integrated Web site that encourages readers to comment on printed stories, upload their own videos and photos, respond to weekly polls and daily blogs. It will be updated daily with new video and podcasts. The Web site, syncweekly.com is an integral part of the program and some of the best staff and user-generated content from the Web site will be printed in the weekly print edition.

The Sync staff includes 11 full-time employees: Christy Smith, editor; Melissa Tucker, assistant editor; Brandon Scott, page designer; Paula Guajardo, graphic artist; Lance Corder, web editor; Shea Stewart, writer; Elizabeth Sharp, writer; Dan Limke, photographer; Shannon Sturgis, photographer; Marsha Johnson, account executive; and Beth Beam, account executive. Some Arkansas Democrat-Gazette employees also will be helping the Sync team, including Nick Warren, Arkansas Online web developer; Trent Ogle, Arkansas Online videographer; and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette advertising department. Ed Major, a former publisher for Gannett, is the general manager who oversees the advertising. Thurman oversees the editorial and production, as well as the marketing for Sync.


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