UPDATE: Job ads have already been posted.
GateHouse Media says it selected Austin for its Center for News & Design because the city has many available journalists “including seasoned copy editors and designers,” a top journalism school at the University of Texas, as well as “a desirable quality of life.”
TO: All Publishers, Editors
FROM: Kirk Davis, President
David Arkin, Vice President of Content & Design
RE: Center for News & Design
After months of detailed analysis and consideration, we’re pleased to announce that the Center for News & Design will be located in Austin, Texas.
We have high expectations for the Center for News & Design; we plan for it to serve as a major hub for our editorial business and beyond. In the future, GateHouse Media will offer a range of print and digital services to newspapers across the company, and will be positioned to better market these services to a wide range of other US-based media entities.
More immediately, the Center for News & Design will become the new home of our two Design Houses and our Community Content group (the staff responsible for processing press releases for 30 newspapers) as they merge into a single operation, a move that will result in the continued quality design, editing and content development work your teams expect and deserve. /CONTINUES
Tentatively, the Center for News & Design will open in late October, with all current Design House newspapers transitioning by Spring of 2014. More GateHouse Media newspapers will launch throughout 2014. As many of you know, GateHouse Media engaged Frank Magid Associates earlier this year on a research-based initiative to better understand consumer interests, attitudes and behaviors with respect to local news, most specifically, our own papers. The timing of this transition will enable us to roll-out new page designs and content strategies, developed through our Magid process, beginning in Q1.
More about Austin…
We selected the location after a thorough evaluation of our options. Working with CBRE, a nationally-respected real estate analytics company, we developed a distinct set of criteria against which we could compare locations for a new Center against key data to determine the best match for our needs.
Using several levels of analysis of local labor markets, including, but not limited to, available talent, economic factors and relocation attractiveness, we identified three finalist cities – Austin, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; and Orlando, Florida. Company representatives visited these cities, holding meetings with local government and economic officials, university representatives, and media executives and taking extensive property tours before reaching a final decision.
Austin earned the top spot because:
— It has a large labor force of available journalists, including seasoned copy editors and designers
— It is an attractive city for recruiting top talent and management
— The University of Texas houses one of the premiere journalism schools in the nation and develops quality journalists who are highly sought after by newspapers nationwide, but often prefer to stay in Austin
— It offers a desirable quality of life with great entertainment options, schools and reasonable housing costs
Austin is a perfect fit for our company and will provide a vibrant, fresh and fun place to work and play. Noted for its quality of life, it’s a city where current members of our staff, who decide to relocate, will very much enjoy living. The city has been recognized by dozens and dozens of publications as a great place to live for both singles and families. City leaders will share more information about Austin in a series of upcoming meetings.
We are pleased to announce that we will be offering employment opportunities to every page designer and copy editor in our Design Houses and staff members in our Community Content group, with high hopes that many will decide to join us at the new center.
For those who choose not to relocate, there will be job search resources available through our human resources organization and local agencies, to support those employees’ continued employment and career growth.
We have launched a website — http://gatehousemedia.com/design-center — where you can follow news as the new center develops. Employees can also apply to work at the center through this website.
More details will roll out as the transition process unfolds. We’ll keep you well informed throughout this transition. We appreciate your patience and continued hard work as we go through this important process.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.