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Bulletin office to close, but commitment to readers, local news remains steadfast

With the creation of a regional newsroom and a larger reporting pool as goals, Publisher Neal Ronquist has announced that the South Washington County Bulletin office will close permanently Friday, Feb. 16, at 4 p.m.

Ronquist emphasized that all of the Bulletin's employees will continue producing the weekly newspaper and the website with news and sports stories from Cottage Grove and elsewhere in Washington County and the region. Readers will not experience any changes or interruptions to their paper or its delivery.

"This closing continues our long-term strategy to consolidate the many units of our group into one team, operating out of fewer locations," Ronquist said. "This strategy reflects our position as a regional media company and not separate community operations. It also continues the strategy of directing our resources to content generation and sales, and away from bricks-and-mortar assets."

The Woodbury Bulletin and Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages also will close their offices Feb. 16.

South Washington County Bulletin reporters William Loeffler, Katie Nelson and Maureen McMullen, as well as advertising representative Colleen Fell, will be based out of the Hastings Star Gazette office, but also will work remotely from throughout Washington County. Joe Brown, the newly named regional editor, also will work out of that office.

"This move will not change how we approach news coverage," said Anne Jacobson, RiverTown Multimedia news director. "Our reporters will still cover city council, county board, breaking news and other happenings that are important to our readers. We also will continue producing enterprise projects with all members of the RiverTown One Newsroom."

Brown said, "This approach to newsgathering will give the Bulletin staff better backing from our overall newsroom. Our commitment to Bulletin readers remains a priority."

Ronquist agrees.

"As we continue to deploy, and refine, our one-team strategy, we will employ more reporting resources and more sales resources in the area," he said.

Ronquist noted that other media companies such as TV and radio stations operate from one main base and not multiple locations, focusing on their content and not the location of their headquarters.

"Our business is content generation and business partnerships. We're not a destination business. We deliver our products to front doors and devices," Ronquist said. "I believe our readers are more interested in receiving quality products, and having us active in the community, and less concerned about where our employees' office is and how they operate."