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200 Newspapers; 1 Copy Desk – GateHouse Media Expands Its Centralized News Hub in Austin

GateHouse Media's Center for News & Design in Austin, Texas.

GateHouse Media’s Center for News & Design in Austin, Texas.

(By Dale King) AUSTIN – One of the nation’s largest newspaper publishing and website development companies, which prepares content, edits copy and designs pages at a centralized facility in Austin, plans to enlarge that center located in the Northview Business Center.

CBRE Group Inc., the commercial real estate services and investment firm, said GateHouse Media, publisher of several hundred daily and weekly newspapers and advertising “shopper” editions in 32 states, will lease an additional 10,534 square feet in the building at 9001 North Interstate 35. The company’s Center for News & Design moved into its existing 18,444-square-foot office in late 2014 from a temporary facility in the same building it had occupied since May of that year.

In addition to publishing its own chain of newspapers, GateHouse also serves commercial clients at the center in Austin. Gaines Bagby, with CBRE’s Austin office, represented GateHouse Media in the lease transaction. Luke Wheeler and Will Stewart, with Transwestern, represented the landlord.

The center offers a range of content services to GateHouse Media’s newspapers and also to commercial clients. These include copy editing and page design, web development and training. Today, the print editions of more than 200 GateHouse Media newspapers are designed and edited at the center, alongside product development for their companion web and mobile sites.

David Arkin

David Arkin

More than 225 people work at the center today, said David Arkin, senior vice president of content & product development for GateHouse Media. “Twenty-five to 30 [will be added] over the next few months, but as the company continues to acquire properties, we will add more jobs.”

“The outstanding creative and digital talent in Austin and the city’s high quality lifestyle have enabled us to attract some of the best local and national talent in our industry,” added Arkin. “We are thrilled with our decision to locate and expand the Center for News & Design in Austin.”

“Northview Business Center is a 262,067-square-foot, single-story office building in North/Northeast Austin,” said Stewart. “It is designed to accommodate large tenants with dense parking ratios.”

Northview Business Center in Austin.

Northview Business Center in Austin.

He noted that Northview “underwent an extensive interior and exterior renovation in 2015, including the addition of a food truck court with outdoor seating. Food trucks come and go on a daily rotation.”

Formerly known as Liberty Group Publishing, the firm was purchased in 2005 by Fortress Investment Group, which changed the name to GateHouse Media. A year later, it bought Community Newspaper Co. of Massachusetts as well as its competitor, Enterprise News Media, and, by the end of that year, it acquired the Bay State holdings of Journal Register Co. As a result, it took ownership of the Brockton Enterprise, Taunton Gazette, Fall River Herald, Cape Cod Times and Patriot Ledger in Massachusetts, among others. In 2014, the firm purchased the Providence Journal, the largest daily newspaper in Rhode Island.

In its time, it has taken under its wing newspapers and ad sheets in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, New York, Illinois, Kansas, Virginia and West Virginia, among other states. The firm owns four dailies in Texas, in Stephenville, Waxahachie, Alice and Brownwood.

Today, GateHouse Media — a wholly owned subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc. — focuses on “hyper-local” journalism—small newspapers covering small cities and towns with a depth that big newspapers and television cannot offer. But it has built into the mix a growing emphasis on digital media and video news coverage for websites.

On his Jan. 21, 2016 blog, Arkin cites seven newsroom priorities for 2016, which include “everything from engaged social media, smart content on mobile, strong in-depth news and fast and fun video.” He also said to make sure “all reporters are driving audience through their professional Twitter accounts.”

In addition, Arkin stressed the need to “make video a priority for every reporter” and encourage newspapers “to host community forums, town meetings and reader advisory boards.”

Realty News Report contributor Dale King is a veteran journalist and former newspaper editor.

Jan. 26, 2016

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