TV9's Parent Company Name Change Reflects Information Creation, Community Engagement

By George C. Ford

CEDAR RAPIDS - KCRG-TV9's parent company, The Gazette Family of Companies, is changing its name to SourceMedia Group to describe a new way of creating information and relating to the community.

The 127-year-old locally owned company will continue to provide news, advertising and information to The Gazette, KCRG-TV9, GazetteOnline.com and KCRG.com from a single newsroom and single sales organization.

Chuck Peters, SourceMedia Group president and chief executive officer, said the company was reorganized over the last year to improve the user experience with each of its brands.

"There also are relationships with the community that do not correspond to products," Peters said. "We needed to have a way to describe that multifaceted relationship."

The creation of topical Internet Web sites like EasternIowaNewsNow.com, EasternIowaBusiness.com, Eastern IowaSportsandRec.com, Eastern IowaOutdoors.com and EasternIowaLife.com enable reporters and photographers to provide news as it develops and allow community residents and organizations to be contributors.

Peters said more enhancements are on the way.

"We're really trying to revolutionize the way communities get information," he said.

"We want to engage decision-makers and people who want to influence those decision-makers about the critical issues in a community.

"We've been a one-way megaphone in the local media for too long. We're trying to develop a new system that will encourage dialogue and provide easier access to information."

Tim McDougall, SourceMedia Group vice president of marketing, said the company's reorganization has allowed it to respond to major changes in the media industry.

"It's a very turbulent industry right now," McDougall said. "With the advent of the Internet and devices like iPads and iPhones, there are many ways for consumers to get their information.

"Some factions are approaching it by trying to get things back to the way they were. Our approach has been to see where the future is headed and get out in front of it.

"We're building the tools that will foster a two-way dialogue while at the same time maintaining and enhancing our core brands."

The SourceMedia Group logo began appearing recently on Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival banners, buttons and other materials.

"You will see our familiar brand names like The Gazette and KCRG-TV9 in large type and 'Powered by SourceMedia Group' in smaller type," McDougall said. "Our brands will not change, but they will be enhanced."

Along with adopting a new name, the company formed a management team that includes McDougall; Chris Edwards, vice president of sales; Jim Burke, vice president of Color Web Printers; and Cathy Terukina, vice president of administration.

"Chris just celebrated his one-year anniversary with the company and Cathy came to us about four years ago," Peters said. "Jim has been with us about eight months and Tim joined the company about six weeks ago.

"We needed their expertise to bring in outside skill sets and outside thought processes. They're all very committed and they've all hit the ground running."

Peters said the company's board of directors has elected new members: Charles Funk, president and CEO of MidwestOne Bank in Iowa City; and Elizabeth Hladky, director of community relations. Board member Elizabeth Barry has taken emeritus status and her son, Don Barry, has been elected as a director.

Other directors are Peters; Joe Hladky, chairman; Ken Slaughter, chief financial officer; Jack Evans of Cedar Rapids; John Hladky of San Francisco, Calif.; and William C. Marcil Sr. of Fargo, N.D.
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