The Billings Gazette’s 54-year-old downtown building is being advertised for sale for $7.865 million, Gazette publisher Dave Worstell announced to his staff on Wednesday.
“This decision is being made simply because the building is too large for our current needs,” Worstell said in a Gazette story about the sale.
The sale “won’t affect” Montana News Guild members, other newsroom employees or the advertising department, Worstell said, but some Gazette employees will lose their jobs.
“At some point, the sale will change our local printing and production operation, and this will have an impact on staff,” Worstell said.
The top floor of the 94,000-square-foot building is almost entirely empty. The bottom floor, where the newsroom and advertising department are located, also has many unoccupied desks due to years of layoffs, buyouts and retirements.
The Gazette’s circulation and accounting departments used to be stationed on the top floor. The accounting department moved out of the building two years ago, when the paper’s corporate owner, Lee Enterprises, consolidated the accounting services out of state.
“When the time is right to move locations, we will look for a new downtown Billings location that is the correct size for our operations and has convenient access for our customers,” Worstell said.
Lee has also sold its buildings in Missoula, Helena and Casper, Wyoming.