POULSBO – Sound Publishing will move its corporate offices from Poulsbo to Everett’s Paine Field Oct. 1.
The North Kitsap Herald and Sound Classifieds will move into the corporate office space, at 19351 8th Ave., Suite 106 in Poulsbo Village, and sublease the current Herald/Classifieds offices upstairs in Suite 205. Regional vice president Lori Maxim, human resources director Tim Bullock, and the IT department will keep offices on the same floor as the Herald and Classifieds.
The Herald/Classifieds’ current offices are 4,000 square feet. They will move into 6,000 square feet of office space.
The move means Sound will be headquartered outside of Kitsap County for the first time in the company’s 25 years. The move also reflects a shift in how the company has grown.
Sound Publishing was founded in 1988 and moved to Bainbridge Island when Whidbey Press acquired the Port Orchard Independent, the Bainbridge Island Review, the Central Kitsap Reporter and North Kitsap Herald. The company continued to grow with the acquisition of newspapers in the West Sound region.
Then, in 2006, Sound acquired eight suburban King County newspapers, and more East Sound acquisitions followed in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013. The largest acquisitions were in 2013 with the purchase of The Daily Herald of Everett and the Seattle Weekly.
Today, Sound’s printing facility at Paine Field prints the company’s three daily newspapers, 30 weekly newspapers, three twice-weekly newspapers, and nine monthly publications, as well as other contract print jobs.
Of Sound’s 45 publications, 17 are located in Clallam, Island, Jefferson, Kitsap and San Juan counties. All others are located east of Puget Sound.
Company officials say centralizing accounting and customer services in Everett will result in more efficiency. Controller David Theobald said, for example, that the move will result in more timely financial reporting and accounting.
Sound President Gloria Fletcher said of the move, “Sound Publishing’s community newspapers have learned over the years how to best leverage synergies between newspapers. Basically, that is what we are now doing with our accounting functions. We will be combining the talents and skills of the accounting and customer service staff members from Poulsbo [and] The Daily Herald in Everett along with the Paine Field print facility administration team.”
Fletcher said the decision to make the move was not made lightly. Kitsap County has been the home of Sound’s corporate office since its inception. And the move affects 15 corporate office employees. Fletcher said the company will pay ferry fares, organize a vanpool and establish four-day workweeks to alleviate the impacts of commuting.
“We’re trying to minimize the impacts of commuting as much as we can,” she said. “We have a very talented crew and it is our fervent hope that all of our Poulsbo-based corporate staff members will choose to cross the water with us and elect to work in Everett.”
Sound Publishing is the largest community news organization in Washington state, with a presence in 82 communities. But losing the corporate headquarters will not have a financial impact on Kitsap County. Theobald said the corporate office doesn’t generate tax revenues; tax revenues are generated by each newspaper in the newspaper’s community.
And Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, who has been working to lure businesses to vacant commercial buildings on Viking Avenue, isn’t worried that the move will leave a 4,000-square-foot vacancy in Poulsbo Village for long; there’s a demand for commercial office space in Poulsbo right now, she said.