Chris Blade has been with the Post Bulletin for 20 years. She served as General Manager for 7 ½ years before being named publisher in June of 2019 when Forum Communications purchased the newspaper. The Post Bulletin is working to become a “next-generation” multimedia company developing and delivering content, technology and business services to the communities it serves. With over 500,000 visitors to postbulletin.com each month, the publication is also focusing on bringing content and advertising online. It’s also adding a meteorology team, and a weather app due to launch this spring.
Five Questions with Ken Nelson, Publisher Rochester Post Bulletin
Ken Nelson joined the Post Bulletin as publisher in August 2018. He has a stellar career in the newspaper industry, including more than 20 years at the Orange County Register in California. Prior to joining the Post Bulletin, Nelson served as chief executive officer and publisher of the Erie Times-News in Pennsylvania.
Nelson has spent his first several months in Rochester getting to know the community, including a meet and greet and walking tour with Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency Executive Director Lisa Clarke to learn more about the DMC initiative.
In this blog, Nelson discusses the Post Bulletin’s priorities and what sets Rochester, Minnesota, apart from other cities.
DMC: What path brought you to your current position with the Post Bulletin?
Nelson: A longtime friend of mine mentioned that the Post Bulletin was seeking a publisher. She shared that the owners and employees are great people, Rochester is a wonderful community and that the organization was looking for someone to help the company meet the needs of a growing and changing community.
DMC: What are some of the top priorities for the organization in the coming year?
Nelson: Our top priorities are informing and engaging readers in the platform they prefer, whether in print or online, and helping local businesses thrive by connecting them to their target markets.
DMC: What do you feel sets Rochester apart from other cities?
Nelson: Rochester is similar to many of the wonderful communities you will find across the Midwest. It is filled with many friendly, helpful, hard-working families. The main difference is that those other communities don’t enjoy the benefits that come with having the economic foundation provided by having Mayo Clinic as a neighbor.
DMC: Why is the Destination Medical Center initiative so important to the future of Rochester?
Nelson: Mayo Clinic is a major driver of our economy. We need to nurture and grow that economic engine. Without DMC we don’t have the structure, the strategy or plans that will enable us to capitalize on the growth inherent in being home to the premier medical facility in the world.
DMC: What advice would you give to someone thinking about building a life, starting a career, and/or raising a family in America’s City for Health?
Nelson: Move now. This is a great community, and the opportunities are endless.
Editor’s Note: For the second consecutive year, the Post Bulletin has been recognized by the Minnesota Newspaper Association as the Daily Newspaper of the Year.
Post-Bulletin: Interviews reveal design conundrum for DMC
In leading a public space design project for Destination Medical Center’s Heart of the City district, RSP Architects and RSP Principal Jon Buggy have promised solutions that are “authentic” to Rochester.
As the consultant team has found out in the research and interview stage of its design process, “authentic” might mean a few different things to Rochester’s mix of residents, employees and the millions of people who visit the city each year.
Post-Bulletin: Riverwalk apartment project progresses
A proposed housing project near Rochester’s downtown is moving ahead with the support of neighbors and the City Planning and Zoning Commission.
North Rock Real Estate, representing ownership group GZ East Center Street LLC, laid out plans Wednesday for the Riverwalk Downtown City Apartments, a six-story, 149-unit apartment building. The building would replace homes on four parcels on East Center Street, on the east side of the entrance to Mayo Field.
Post-Bulletin: Chateau Theatre renovation plan to go to city council
A $21.3 million plan to expand the Chateau Theatre is headed to the Rochester City Council later this month for approval.
Called Option E, the plan by Miller Dunwiddie Architecture calls for expanding the theater east into the alley and excavating below the existing footprint of the building to add a lower level. Denita Lemmon, a Miller Dunwiddie associate principal, presented the proposed plan to the Chateau Theatre Re-use Task Force on Tuesday.
The alley expansion, Lemmon said, is to enlarge the theater’s lobby space. The entrance and lobby would be on the south side of the building, facing the Peace Plaza, with theater seats facing a stage on the north end of the theater.
Post-Bulletin: Rail proposal gets boost from DMC leader
ST. PAUL — A key Destination Medical Center leader voiced support today for an effort to build a privately funded high-speed rail line from Rochester to the Twin Cities.
Lisa Clarke, executive director of DMC’s Economic Development Agency, told a crowd of civic leaders gathered at Town and Country Club in St. Paul that improving the connection between Rochester and the Twin Cities is critical. That is especially the case as the $5.5 billion DMC initiative aimed at transforming Rochester into a global destination for health care moves ahead.
Post-Bulletin: Panel recommends Heart of City design firm
A commitment to dream and a promise to inspire won RSP Architects a recommendation from a public advisory body to lead public space design in the Destination Medical Center sub-district Heart of the City.
The Heart of the City Community Advisory Committee on Monday interviewed representatives from three design firms to advance the vision of Heart of the City, a public space that is centered on Rochester’s Peace Plaza.
The committee agreed to recommend a design team led by RSP Architects, of Minneapolis. The recommendation will be reviewed by the Destination Medical Center Corp. Board of Directors and the Rochester City Council for final approval. The DMC Corp. board meets next on Aug. 25 and the council will consider the recommendation at its Sept. 7 meeting.
Post-Bulletin: Broadway at Center loses Saudi investor
After terminating its deal with a Saudi prince, the long-delayed Broadway at Center project is looking for new investors.
The $145 million hotel, apartments and commercial project, which was announced in March 2014, has been awaiting a $105 million loan to help finance the 23-story complex, planned for the southeast corner of Broadway Avenue and Center Street.
The loan from Minneapolis-based Dougherty Funding LLC was to close May 31, according to a letter sent to the city of Rochester. That date came and went with no deal being done.
Post-Bulletin: Mayo casts wide net with Discovery Square plan
Mayo Clinic recently leveraged an international bio science conference in California to announce the Discovery Square development that will double its research footprint in downtown Rochester.
That venue was selected over a hometown press conference in hopes of making a splash with the media horde and the 14,000 attendees, which included 75 heavy hitters from the bio science industry who got exclusive invitations to attend Mayo Clinic’s special event on June 7.
It’s too early to determine whether that very public effort will pay off by attracting sought-after national and international health care businesses, researchers and inventors, but the unveiling of the first tangible step of the ambitious $6 billion Destination Medical Center project has already drawn effusive praise.
Post Bulletin: Transit tops DMC leaders’ to-do list
In a first of its kind joint planning session on Destination Medical Center Thursday, the topic on the tip of every tongue was transportation.
The Destination Medical Center Corp. board of directors hosted the meeting with the Rochester City Council and the DMC Economic Development Agency board. It was the first time the three boards had convened.
The agenda was wide-ranging, but transit issues were the consistent theme. City staff is preparing to request an amendment with its transit management consultant, SRF, at a July 6 council meeting. The amendment would allow the city to expand its contract with SRF to move forward with studies of four key transportation areas.