EL DORADO – Gatehouse Media, parent company of the Butler County Times Gazette has consolidated the publication’s operations, closing an Augusta office that has functioned for over a century. The downtown location was located at 204 East Fifth Street.
Calling it a difficult decision, the company explained their decision in a staff editorial published earlier this week. According to the newspaper, all operations will be conducted from the company’s El Dorado office.
“That is a big change, but there have been big changes in the way all news organizations operate. A journalist can do more with a laptop and internet connection now than they could with a fully equipped office decades ago.” the editorial explained. “Customers can do more online, with an email or even a phone call than they could by walking through the front door of an office in years past.”
The changes come on the heels of staff alignments that shook up the local newsroom. Longtime reporter and editor Julie Clement left the organization to join Susan B. Allen Medical Center earlier this year, while longtime sports reporter Jeremy Costello received a promotion to the editor’s position, broadening his writing coverage to include news events. Sports writer Adam Sullivan also departed the paper in March for a short stint at a media company outside of Denver, but has since relocated to the Hutchinson area.
The paper cited better technology, which like the Leader News Group, allows employees to work remotely.
Newspapers and digital media companies alike nationwide are being forced to reevaluate expenses with the continuous fluctuation of the economy. In Arkansas, Gatehouse Media announced earlier this week that they would close their statewide news agency, the Arkansas News Bureau laying off several high profile and seasoned veterans. However, despite the layoffs company wide, Gatehouse has continued to expand their footprint in Kansas with their recent multi-million dollar purchases of high profile newspapers in Hutchinson, Hays, and Western Kansas.
Calls to Gatehouse Media were unreturned as of Thursday.