TechMedia Network on Thursday pledged to create 75 high-paying jobs in Utah over the next decade after the Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved a tax break for the online publisher of science and technology media properties.
GOED’s board said OK to TechMedia’s application for a tax credit of more than $610,000, which the Ogden-based company can draw on only as it creates the jobs.
The credit will help to defray the cost of TechMedia’s expansion in Ogden instead of New York or San Francisco, GOED board member Jerry Oldroyd said.
"We think it’s critical that the growth takes place in Ogden," Oldroyd said before the board voted to approve the incentive. "These are really good jobs in a really good economy."
"So we finally get a very interesting company not in Utah County," board chairman Mel Lavitt quipped, a reference to a slew of technology firms that have expanded or relocated in the Silicon Slopes region of southern Salt Lake and northern Utah counties during the last several years.
The company didn’t offer a timetable for creating the jobs, but most will pay 200 percent of Weber County’s average annual wage, Randy Bambrough, TechMedia’s chief financial officer said later. He said the company will need more writers, software developers and marketing whizzes as the business grows.
The county’s average weekly wage was $682 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. TechMedia’s weekly wage should be double that, or almost $71,000 a year.
"We are thrilled to be expanding our presence in Utah and to take full advantage of the highly skilled workforce the state has to offer," Doug Llewellyn, chief operating officer, said.
TechMedia was established in 2003. The company owns and operates several science and techology-focused media properties, including Space.com, TopTenReviews.com, Laptopmag.com, Lifeslittlemysteries.com and Technewsdaily.com, with a combined reach of 98 million readers.
TechMedia appears to be growing rapidly. On July 1, the company said it had bought Bestofmedia Group, a French technology publisher. Terms weren’t announced, but TechMedia claims that it’s now "the third-largest technology publisher in the U.S."
"Our goal is to become the most trusted tech and science publisher in the world by creating high quality, personalized media experiences for our readers and customized ad opportunities for our clients," CEO Greg Mason said at the time.
GOED’s agreement with TechMedia expires in 10 years. Over that time, the company expects it will pay out $33 million in new state wages and $3.1 million in new taxes to the state. It will invest $3.4 million to expand its headquarters in Ogden.
Two years ago, TechMedia landed a $33 million investment from ABS Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Baltimore, Md.
In other business, GOED’s board approved a tax incentive for Frontier Productions of at least $1.3 million and up to $1.6 million.
The production company plans to film a TV series directed by Michael Landon Jr. later this year.
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