Belo Builds Press-Enterprise Admin/News Center

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By: E&P Staff

Dallas-based Belo Corp. said it will build a $38 million media center in Riverside, Calif., for The Press-Enterprise. The 150,000-square-foot, five-story office building will centralize all news, editorial, advertising, sales and marketing, technology, production support, and administrative functions.

In addition to the newspaper and its associated Web site, the facility will support The Business Press and the weeklies La Prensa and El D.

Belo Chairman, President, and CEO Robert W. Decherd said the new center “will incorporate the most advanced technological tools” and carry the name Howard H. “Tim” Hays Media Center to honor the newspaper’s former owner and publisher.

Hays, who joined the paper in 1946 as assistant editor, remained involved in day-to-day operations until becoming chairman in 1992. Belo acquired the Press-Enterprise five years later. Under Hays, the paper won a Pulitzer Prize for meritorious public service, and it prevailed in two Supreme Court cases regarding the public’s access to information. His father, Howard H. Hays Sr., invested $12,000 in the paper in 1931 and served as its president until 1969.

Press-Enterprise Publisher and CEO Ronald Redfern said in a statement that the building “signifies the opportunities we’re pursuing to grow. … We want to keep pace with our customers’ changing needs by expanding coverage of critical issues, reaching more audiences with targeted publications, and offering enhanced Web sites that include video streaming of local television news and weather.”

On a site the Press-Enterprise has occupied for more than 50 years and adjacent to its existing buildings and production plant, the project will consolidate employees now housed in three buildings. Planned to meet Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards, the new building will feature the latest wireless and wired technologies.

Construction begins immediately; occupancy is scheduled for early next year. Project architect is LPA Inc. of Irvine, Calif.; general contractor is DPR Construction Inc., Newport Beach, Calif.

Including the Media Center, Belo has invested more than $87 million in The Press-Enterprise Co. Plans call for additional major capital investments in production equipment and facilities from next year through 2010.

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