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Radio 2000 to move into Guaranty Federal building

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by Karen E. Culp

SBJ Staff

Radio 2000 will soon be playing the hottest hits from its new offices downtown. Radio 2000 Missouri Inc. purchased the Guaranty Federal bank building Jan. 9 from Jim Morris.

The bank will continue to run its branch facility out of the first floor of the building and will be Radio 2000's first tenant. Most of the rest of the building will be used as office space for Radio 2000's five businesses: KHTO-Hot 106.7, KQMO-Star 104.1, 417 magazine, Intrigue Music recording studio, and Dare to Care, a nonprofit corporation that handles contributions to charities in the area.

Not including the basement, the building comprises 16,700 square feet, said Dave Alexander, general manager for Radio 2000. The basement will probably be used for storage, he said. Radio 2000 will have its offices upstairs, occupying all of the second floor, Alexander said. The company will also use a portion of the downstairs space for its promotions department.

"We've been looking for a space like this for a long time. This is a good location, and the building is in excellent shape. We've got a lot of space and a lot of room to grow," Alexander said.

The company currently occupies three different spaces: two offices are on Kearney Street, one for Hot 106.7 and one for 417, and another office, for KQMO, is in Republic. This will consolidate those offices and will bring Intrigue Music, now based in Whitefish, Mont., into Springfield.

The company plans to move into the building in late March. Marshall Waters Woody will be the architect for the project. The renovation of the building will update the space and specify it to Radio 2000's use, but will not be an extensive demolition and reconstruction, Alexander said.

A general contractor has not yet been selected; the company is still taking bids. Marshall Waters Woody once had its offices in the building, he added.

"Since they know the building, it should make them that much better suited for this project," Alexander said.

On the main floor of the building will be another space to rent out, Alexander said, and he is meeting with potential tenants about using that space.

The company is always looking to expand itself, always looking for new radio properties to acquire, even though it has a good position with the two it holds, said Rob Nicholson, vice president of Radio 2000 Missouri Inc. and co-owner of the company with Frank Copsidas.

The addition of a print medium to the company was a big benefit in 1997, Nicholson said, and the company has plans to expand and enhance the two radio stations it owns.

417 magazine is now more than 1,000 subscriptions strong, Nicholson said. Single copy sales have reached 5,000.

"We will continue to work with 417. The company is very committed to that project," Nicholson said.

Nicholson has been very involved in Star 104.1. Readers may have heard him as a disc jockey, but he has also been involved in adding a local news component to the radio station and in getting a nationally syndicated morning show added to the station's programming.

Under FCC regulations, the company can acquire two more FM stations and two AM stations, but it is not interested in AM and is not actively discussing the purchase of any FMs, Nicholson said.

Intrigue Music will be an interesting addition to the Springfield market, Nicholson said. Copsidas owns that company with Kurt Smith, formerly of the band Tears for Fears. The company will be run locally; it was formerly run from Whitefish, Mont., but Radio 2000 is closing its offices in Montana.

Radio 2000 Missouri Inc. was formed to own KCHZ, or Channel Z, which was an alternative-format radio station first at 104.7 FM, then at 95.5 FM. Radio 2000 ran that station out of the Landmark Building downtown. It later moved to the Kearney location and then sold Channel Z to Sunburst Media for $3.3 million.

That sale has helped the company finance the purchase of the new building, but the company would have been able to finance that purchase regardless, Nicholson said.

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