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Wednesday, March 13,2013

Journal looking to sell downtown office building

Lansing’s daily announces it's looking for a new building

by Andy Balaskovitz
City Pulse file photo

This story was updated on Feb. 28

Thursday, Feb. 28 — The Lansing State Journal has announced that it’s looking to sell its downtown office building.

An announcement posted on the LSJ's website late this afternoon says the building at 120 E. Lenawee St. downtown is too big for the newspaper's "business needs." It will stay in the building until it finds a new location, the announcement says.

The property, with an assessed value over $1 million, is owned by Federated Publications Inc., property records show. The Journal says 159 employees work in the building.

At least 15 LSJ employees were laid off as recently as June. At the time, Gannett cut its U.S. publishing division by 700 employees, or about 2 percent. Between August 2008 and July 2009, the LSJ cut 46 positions.

According to April 2012 figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the Journal ’s weekday circulation dropped 2.6 percent over the previous reporting cycle, from 41,330 to 40,248. Sunday circulation declined 12.4 percent, from 65,904 to 57,701. Compare that to 2008, when the Journal ’s circulation was 59,000 during the week and 77,000 on Sunday.

However, Gannett officials said in November that losses in circulation are being made up for in revenue from a paywall that was introduced in May.

Still, says one analyst, moving operations into smaller spaces is one strategy the company is undertaking to cut costs.

“It’s part of the strategy forced upon newspaper companies due to a change in circulation and advertising revenue,” said Edward Atorino, a Gannett analyst for the New York-based financial analysis firm Benchmark Co.

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