Here’s a neat bio on the brand new voice of the Razorbacks, Chuck Barrett. Jonathan Gipson of the Times Record penned the piece.
Barrett landed in Fort Smith in 1984 when he took a job reading the news at KFSA. After only about two or three months there, he joined KTCS, a country music station that was big into local news then, Barrett said.
Now, for a little personal background…
Chuck and I were part of a pretty awesome press pack in Fort Smith around 1990 — give or take a year or two.
Chuck, Linda Seubold, Daren Bobb, Dave Hughes and Tracy Winchell were lead reporters for their respective news organizations. Chuck and Darren were with KMAG and KTCS. Seubold and Hughes were with Southwest Times Record. At some point Dave made the switch to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. I was with 40/29.
I’ve confirmed lately that Seubold and Daren Bobb covered Arkansas’ first execution in 26 years — and the final electrocution in the state. John Edward Swindler had murdered a Fort Smith Police officer — Randy Basnett — at a convenience store on Kelley Highway, just off I-540. Authorities chased him across the bridge over the interstate and down into the bottoms that, incidentally, have been cleared as part of Fort Smith’s third Wal-Mart Supercenter project.
I digress. The execution was bizarre. We’re in a room full of Arkansas reporters. If I remember correctly, Steve Barnes helped us all focus on a process for choosing which 2 media representatives would watch the execution.
Ultimately, Linda Seubold and Associated Press print journalist Bill Simmons witnessed the execution.
These days, Linda and our friend Lynn Wasson are running a very successful magazine. Entertainment Fort Smith covers much more pleasant topics about our region.
In our Fort Smith market, young journalists come and go. Many have gone to top 10 markets, cable news networks, or big-time newspapers. Even so, many of us have landed here, loved what we found, and we’ve stayed.
Chuck’s right. Living on a reporter’s salary is tough. Especially in this market. We’ve figured out how to live right here in Western Arkansas, by finding a niche, and doing what we love.
It’ll be a treat for all of us to hear Chuck calling the football games. We’re proud of ya, buddy!