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- 2013 - July - 31st -

Action News renovating Jacksonville newsroom

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Action News is renovating the newsroom in its EastPark studios to upgrade and coordinate its news dissemination through traditional and web channels, social media and mobile apps.

Jim Zerwekh, vice president and general manager of WAWS TV-30 and WTEV TV-47, said changes in the news industry necessitate the newsroom updates for efficiencies.

Crabtree Construction Co. is the contractor for a project shown on the building permit as $291,185. The operations are in leased space at 11700 Central Parkway.

The studio remains in place and newscasts are not interrupted.

However, the newsroom has been vacated to prepare for the work and those functions have been relocated to other areas in the building during renovations. About 140 employees work in the TV operation, according to Zerwekh.

He expects the project will be completed in 10-12 weeks.

"It's a significant investment for our parent company," he said. "It definitely shows their commitment to us and our continued growth."

Usable furniture, equipment and wiring no longer needed have been donated to nonprofits and other organizations.

Atlanta-based Cox Media Group said Dec. 3 it welcomed aboard the employees of Jacksonville TV stations WAWS TV-30 and WTEV TV-47 in Jacksonville and two stations in Tulsa, Okla.

The purchase was announced last summer as part of Cox Media's portfolio realignment to focus on larger markets.

About a year ago, Newport Television LLC, which had been operating Jacksonville television stations WAWS TV-30 and WTEV TV-47 for four years, announced an agreement to sell the stations to Cox Media Group.

Newport was formed by private equity firm Providence Equity Partners in 2008 after Providence bought a group of 29 television stations from Clear Channel Communications Inc.

The sale of the Jacksonville stations was part of a plan by Providence and Newport to sell off all of those stations.

Cox said WAWS TV-30 is one of the top-rated FOX affiliates in the United States. In the Jacksonville-Brunswick area, WAWS broadcasts on Channel 30, on most Comcast cable systems on Channels 10 and 434, and on Direct TV and Dish TV on Channel 30.

WAWS TV-30 operates WTEV TV-47, owned by Bayshore Television LLC, through a shared services arrangement. WTEV TV-47 is the CBS

affiliate. Viewers can find WTEV on broadcast Channel 47, on most Comcast cable systems on Channels 6 and 433, and on Direct TV and Dish TV on Channel 47.

WAWS TV-30 also operates the My TV Network/Me TV station in the Jacksonville market on the digital sub Channel 30.2. It is also available on Comcast Cable Channels 29 and 436.

WAWS TV-30 also produces the websites actionnewsjax.com, fox30jax.com and mytvjax.com and it operates mobile news app Action News and mobile weather app Action News First Alert Weather for Apple and Android devices.

Chase plans 8th ATM and 9th branch office in Duval County

Chase bank continues its expansion into the market, filing plans for another ATM and another branch office in Duval County.

The ATM is planned in Southside at 8046 Philips Highway in the BJ's Wholesale Club area and the branch office is in the Avondale area at 3622 St. Johns Ave.

Chase already filed plans for 10 ATM projects in Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties and announced it would open a dozen branches in the Jacksonville market.

The seven Duval ATM locations already identified are at Roosevelt Marketplace, 4261 Roosevelt Blvd.; St. Johns Square, 11240 Beach Blvd.; Regency Plaza, 9840 Atlantic Blvd.; Shoppes of San Jose, 2777 University Blvd. W.; Southside Square, 9051 Southside Blvd.; Baymeadows Plaza, 3832 Baymeadows Way; and Oakleaf Town Center, 9525 Crosshill Blvd.

The eight new Duval branch offices already identified include Beach and Hodges boulevards; San Juan and Roosevelt boulevards; University and San Jose boulevards; San Jose Boulevard and Mandarin Road; Atlantic Boulevard and Hendricks Avenue; Southside Boulevard and Touchton Road; Town Center Crossing Drive; and Riverside Avenue and Margaret Street.

Texas Roadhouse planning Beach-Hodges restaurant

Texas Roadhouse plans to build a 7,163-square-foot restaurant at 13427 Beach Blvd., at northwest Beach and Hodges boulevards.

The site is across Beach Boulevard from Hodges Pointe Plaza, which is anchored by Walmart.

Plans filed with the St. Johns River Water Management District show the restaurant on 1.98 acres at Beach Boulevard and Gerona Drive West.

GreenbergFarrow, an architecture, planning and engineering firm of Arlington Heights, Ill., is the agent.

A GreenbergFarrow coordinator emailed the district Thursday that it was in the beginning phase of due diligence for the project.

Texas Roadhouse, based in Louisville, Ky., has a restaurant in Orange Park.

The company began in 1993 and has expanded to more than 400 locations in 48 states, according to its texasroadhouse.com site.

"The company is famous for hand-cut steaks, made-from-scratch sides, fresh-baked bread, and its lively atmosphere," says the site.

"Our food's not the only thing that's Legendary at the Roadhouse — our fun is too! From our line dancers to our jukebox to our friendly servers, you'll enjoy every second you spend in a Texas Roadhouse."

Hampton Inn & Suites looking at Orange Park site

Site improvement plans were filed with the St. Johns River Water Management District for Hampton Inn & Suites on 2.8 acres in Clay County at southeast Interstate 295 and U.S. 17.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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