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Eric Olson has worked at Springfield Business Journal since 2000.
SBJ file
Eric Olson has worked at Springfield Business Journal since 2000.

Longtime SBJ exec exiting

Posted online

Eric Olson, a longtime Springfield Business Journal executive, is exiting the publication for a job with Arkansas Business Publishing Group.

Olson, editorial vice president of external relations, said his last day at SBJ is Friday. On March 25, he's slated to start as publisher of the business special publications team for Arkansas Business Publishing Group, said Mitch Bettis, the Little Rock-based organization's president.

Olson started at SBJ in 2000 and has spent his entire career at the publication. Prior to that, he had internships at KY3 and the Daily Journal in Kankakee, Illinois, near his hometown of Chicago.

"I never imagined when I took a green reporter job out of college that it would stick as long as it has," Olson said. "When I started here right out of college under Dianne Elizabeth Osis, it really felt like a family environment. That is a good fit for me."

That family environment he said he found with SBJ and Osis, the publication's founder, is similar at ABPG.

"I like that type of culture in a business operation, and I get that same sense from Mitch," Olson said.

At ABPG, Olson will lead a business special publications division that produces nine magazines annually and will work with an editor, sales manager and sales team, as well as serve as a member of the broader leadership team, said Bettis.

“I’ve known Eric for about a decade, and I became a fan early on. His thoughtful and strategic approach to serving the business community stood out immediately," Bettis said via email. "Our company has doubled in size during the last decade, and we need leaders like Eric.”

Olson said he will remain in Springfield for the near future to see his youngest child through high school, which is about three years out.

"It is a remote-hybrid work situation," he said. "I'll still be part of this community. I'll obviously be focused on the Arkansas markets and business development of those publications."

At ABPG, Olson succeeds Chris Bahn, who exited in October, Bettis said. Bahn took a position with communications firm The Peacock Group, according to a report by Talk Business & Politics.

SBJ President Jennifer Jackson said Olson is the longest-serving employee of the publication outside of Osis, her mother.

"I feel that Eric is really deserving of this opportunity," Jackson said, noting Bettis reached out to her to discuss the potential hiring of Olson. "I didn't hesitate knowing that Eric has had such an honorable and noteworthy career."

Olson's exit marks a continued time of transition for Jackson, who recently reached a deal to sell the business to Marty Goodnight, SBJ’s former associate publisher. Goodnight is serving as publisher with plans to take over ownership of SBJ in January 2026, according to past reporting.

As Olson leaves SBJ, Jackson said the publication would look to hire a new editorial staff member, but most likely not for the editorial vice president role.

"His latest position really straddled editorial and what I kind of termed as an SBJ ambassador to the outside world," Jackson said. "I do feel like we'll never be able to replace Eric with another Eric, because he was just so uniquely positioned to that."

Olson took on the editorial vice president role in 2021 after previously serving as editor since 2006. In 2021, Christine Temple was named executive editor.

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