LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Business Publishing Group announced Wednesday it is closing its ArkansasSports360 website dedicated to coverage of sports in Arkansas. The website’s last day of operation will be Friday.
Olivia Farrell, chairman and CEO of APBG, announced the change in a news release, saying the company intended "to take the time and energy devoted to sports and put it into Arkansas Business’ print and online products."
The move came a week after former ABPG president Jeff Hankins announced his resignation to pursue other opportunities.
Chris Bahn, editor of ArkansasSports360.com, issued a "thank you" letter on the website Wednesday afternoon and tweeted the news of the impending closure to his followers on the social network Twitter.
"Thank you for investing your time and readership in us these last five plus years," Bahn wrote. "With your help we’ve grown ArkansasSports360.com into the premier web site for sports news in the state.
"Thank you for helping us turn ArkansasSports360.com into everything a sports web site is supposed to be.
"Thank you for expecting us to be a go-to for breaking sports news. It wasn’t unusual for state, local and national media to follow our lead on reporting.
"Thank you for joining the discussion and challenging us to offer relevant analysis and opinion through the unique voices of our staff and contributors."
Bahn, who is based in Fayetteville, said the website would celebrate its accomplishments over the last five years in its last couple of days. The site ran a photo of Darren McFadden to announce its closing. McFadden was featured in the first print edition of what started as a magazine in 2007.
Farrell said the website "has attracted a tremendous audience of passionate sports fans from throughout the state," and credited the staff, led by Bahn and longtime sportswriter Jim Harris, based in Little Rock, among others.
"However, the site doesn’t fit our company’s core mission of reaching highly targeted, niche audiences and has been difficult to monetize," she said. "We plan to take the time and energy devoted to sports and put it into Arkansas Business’ print and online products."
Bahn, Harris, and other contributors made no immediate announcements regarding their future plans.