News Tribune building for sale

Body: 

Neal Ronquist

Forum News Service

In January 2014 the Duluth News Tribune's printing press at its 424 W. First St. location rolled to a stop, and with it an entire floor of the building went dark.

The News Tribune's printing moved to the new $9 million print facility on Airpark Boulevard. The investment in a new production facility was unheard of at a time when many newspapers were closing printing facilities. The move demonstrated the News Tribune's commitment — as well as the commitment of its parent company, Forum Communications Co. — to the region. The investment strengthened the production of the News Tribune's print products for years to come.

Three years later, the space the printing press and production equipment and laborers occupied at 424 W. First St. remains empty and dark. Three years later, like many newspapers throughout the country, the News Tribune's business has dramatically changed. Technology, the internet and social media have profoundly impacted the News Tribune. The result is a different News Tribune with new needs, new challenges and new opportunities.

So, after considering what our business looks like today and what it will look like in the future — along with input from architects, engineers and developers — we have decided to list for sale our downtown office at 424 W. First St.

We're not leaving Duluth. We're not going out of business. Quite the contrary. Our future is as bright as ever as we near our 150th birthday.

What we are doing is adjusting our physical footprint to better meet the needs of a multi-faceted, multi-platform media company. We're simply seeking a new location better suited for a fast-paced, content-generating business.

The large amounts of space for production equipment and warehousing of materials, and chopped-up office space, is a remnant of our past. What is required today and tomorrow is open, collaborative work spaces — space where technology can be used and creativity fostered.

We've just begun the search for such a new space and plan to seek as many options to consider as possible. We will take the time necessary to thoroughly vet all options as it is our intent to find the right home for our next 150 years.

We're reinventing ourselves, and it certainly is a wild ride. From the use of drones, to production of podcasts, to videos, to email newsletters and, of course, our staple print product, we're providing more content than ever before and will continue to do so.

While our future may not be at 424 W. First St., we remain excited about what the many tomorrows bring. We'll continue to be here chronicling the stories that make Duluth and the Northland such a special place. It's a special place we will continue to proudly call home.

Neal Ronquist is the publisher of the Duluth News Tribune. Contact him at (218) 723-5235 or at nronquist@duluthnews.com.