Spokane Journal of Business

Spokesman-Review to consolidate some functions, pursue plans to reduce staffing

Cowles Co. to create more space for lease

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The Spokesman-Review newspaper says it will consolidate operations in the Spokesman-Review building and neighboring Spokane Chronicle building to make additional space available for lease, along with reducing its workforce by 5 percent, as disclosed earlier this week. 

The Spokesman-Review building, located at 999 W. Riverside, and the Spokane Chronicle building, at 926 E. Sprague, are both owned by Cowles Co., which owns the daily newspaper. Cowles also owns the Journal of Business through its Northwest Business Press Inc. subsidiary.

As part of that consolidation, the Spokesman-Review’s editorial department will move from the fourth floor to the second floor, to make fourth-floor space available for lease, says Kathleen Coleman, the newspaper’s director of sales and marketing.

The buildings will have a total of about 34,000 square feet available for lease once the consolidations are complete, Coleman says.

Doug Yost, a spokesman for Cowles subsidiary Centennial Real Estate Investments, which is located in the Spokesman-Review building, says the consolidations will result in 24,000 square feet becoming available for lease in a more contiguous space on the fourth floor and fifth floors of the building.

“Which will allow us to accommodate a larger tenant,” Yost says. 

In July, the Spokane office of Denver-based CH2M Hill Inc., an international engineering and construction company, leased 6,000 square feet of space on the fifth floor of the Spokesman-Review building. Currently, Northwest Farmer-Stockman Inc., the Cowles Co.’s insurance and financial products agency, occupies the remaining 14,500 square feet on the fifth floor. Farmer’s will relocate to another space, as yet undetermined, in the building next year, freeing up that space on the fifth floor, Yost says. 

He says the Spokesman-Review’s advertising department takes up space on the first and third floors, while the sixth and seventh floors are occupied by Spokesman-Review corporate offices, meeting rooms, and a lunch room.  

The neighboring Spokane Chronicle building’s also has about 7,500 square feet available for lease on the fifth floor as well as about 3,200 square feet available on the first floor. 

Craig Soehren, of Spokane-based Kiemle & Hagood Co., is marketing the space, Yost says. 

Cowles Co., began in recent years to consolidate some of its operations in the Spokesman-Review and Spokane Chronicle buildings. In 2012, the company was offering for lease a total of 28,000 square feet between the two buildings. 

Earlier this week, the Cowles Co. said it’s offering voluntary enhanced buyouts to Spokesman-Review employees across the company, with the intent to downsize its staff size by 17 or 18 people by the end of the year. 

The Spokesman-Review currently employs about 350.  Coleman says the downsizing is due to continued decline in traditional daily newspaper industry revenue.

“We have asked people to talk to their department heads and let them know on or before Oct. 15th whether they will take the buyout,” Coleman says. 

Depending on length of tenure, employees volunteering to leave the company will be eligible for payments of up to 38 weeks of salary, she says. 

 “Those who opt to volunteer during this current window of time will receive 100 percent of the amount defined in our employee handbook for involuntary severance,” she says.

Judith  Spitzer
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Reporter Judith Spitzer covers technology, mining, agriculture, and wood products for the Journal. A vintage-obsessed antique collector in her off hours, Judith worked as a journalist in Colorado and Oregon before joining the Journal.

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