Newspaper movements, radio station cues “We are here” | Economy

Champaign — News-Gazette and its sister radio station have made their second move in the last two years, but this particular move has special implications for companies that acquired the media business from bankruptcy in November 2019. I am.

The move is “the next step in investing in this community,” said Paul Barrett, executive vice president and publisher of the Champaign Multimedia Group and News-Gazette.

The newspaper and WDWS-WHMS-WKIO radio station are in the final stages of moving to a nearby building that the company purchased at 2101 Fox Drive, C.

When Barrett completed the News-Gazette Group media purchase, the company knew that its former headquarters at 15 Main Street in downtown Champaign was too big for future space needs. ..

Barrett said the company wanted to consider buying a building for rent at 201 Devonshire Drive, C, as newspapers and radio stations moved from downtown. After a year or so, I realized I was stuck and decided to find a suitable building to buy. “

Devonshire real estate was then purchased for $ 2.5 million by Quincy-based grocery and retail chain Niemann Foods, which operates local county markets, harvest markets, Haymakers grocery stores and convenience stores. rice field.

At a estate in Devonshire, directly opposite the Harvest Market and Haymakers locations, Niemann spokesman Gerry Kettler said the chain bought it for parking and future (and not yet planned) development. Told.

Community Multimedia Group LLC has purchased a new building at 2101 FoxDrive for $ 1,173,000.

“We were fortunate to find the 2101 Fox Drive, a great new building in our backyard,” says Barrett. “We wanted to create a new studio for the radio group and more modern accommodation for our staff. The Fox Drive building fits perfectly with those plans.

“It is important for the community to know that we are staying here and investing in modern facilities that have room for growth.”

According to Barrett, the company still has about a year to rent in Devonshire and has talked with Niemann Foods and potential tenants about subleasing space.

“Niemann Foods said he could accept a sublease if he approved the tenant,” he said.

Barrett, who retired to financially rebuild the newspaper and radio group, characterized the company as “very solid”, “profitable” and “steadily growing.”

In just over a year, he said, the number of digital subscriptions has tripled.

Without a pandemic, Barrett said the company would take its growth plans further. He added that the company had planned to start sponsoring several community events before the pandemic.

Barrett continues to work on maintaining print plates, but continues to see the largest growth in the digital market.

“The print version will be with us for years to come,” Barrett said.

Part of the company’s plan to return its newspaper and radio business to profitable ones was to consolidate its building business, Barrett said.

“We want to own our property,” he said.

Another example, Barrett said, was remodeling a former home of a radio station on 2301 S. Neil Street, C, which turned it into the company’s post-press division, which includes distribution.

In addition to the remaining lease term for Devonshire Building, Barrett said there is still some lease space left, two of which are used to store old post-press equipment.

Many of the relocations to the Fox Drive Building were completed last week, but Barrett said the company would need to withdraw completely from its Devonshire location by the end of the month.

Devonshire doors have signs that guide customers to new locations, and no business downtime is expected.

He said the phone numbers and email addresses of all departments and staff will remain the same, as will the opening hours of the new building.

Newspaper movements, radio station cues “We are here” | Economy

Source link Newspaper movements, radio station cues “We are here” | Economy

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