The Fresno Bee is in early stages of looking for a new headquarters to replace its current home at 1626 E St. in downtown Fresno.
The reason: The building was designed during the print era and no longer fits The Bee’s digital-era business needs, said Publisher Tom Cullinan.
“We are looking for a space that will accommodate a 21st century media company, but it is much too early in the process to offer any specifics,” said Cullinan. “We would like to stay downtown, depending on cost, tenant improvements and parking.”
He noted that the current headquarters is 300,000 square feet, but only 30,000 of that, or 10 percent, is needed to accommodate staffing. At the peak, 800 people worked at the E Street address. Today the work force is around 200.
A major change occurred last year when the Fresno printing operation closed. The Bee is now printed at the sister Bee in Sacramento.
Cullinan said a handful of downtown buildings are being considered, as well as a property in northeast Fresno.
The Bee is owned by McClatchy Co., which also owns Sacramento and other newspapers across the country. Among them are San Luis Obispo and Charlotte, N.C., which have both sold their properties. Cullinan said the Charlotte facility is what Fresno hopes to replicate: an open design with monitors throughout and a “media wall” with large screens to track the news.
A final decision could be a year away, Cullinan said.