Rodeo a sign of Rural Media Group's growth; firm considering building Omaha headquarters

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Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:00 am

Rural Media Group has moved its Omaha headquarters to a bigger office to accommodate a staff that is growing with the development of new broadcasting avenues and events.

The RFD-TV broadcaster now employs 130, up from 100 in February, and will hire 25 to 30 people to help produce a new rodeo event planned for March 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The fast-growing Rural Media Group is now leasing a 23,000-square-foot space at 95th Street and West Dodge Road, a change from its former One Valmont Plaza location, and is still considering building its own headquarters in Omaha.

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But plans for how to proceed will wait until after rodeo event. The firm said in February it was considering bringing its Nashville, Tenn., production studios to Omaha.

“We still feel strongly that at some point in the very near future we need to consolidate operations,” network founder Patrick Gottsch said.

CEO Randy Bernard said news of the rodeo event, announced Friday, saw a “viral” response with top cowboys tweeting about it.

“This is a huge undertaking for us, and we want to really make sure we pull this one off,” Bernard said. To help make it happen, Rural Media Group is hiring marketing, sales and event support staff.

The broadcaster is billing “The American” rodeo as the richest one-day rodeo in history, with a total $2 million payout. The rodeo will be broadcast live on RFD-TV and affiliate networks, including Rural TV and the new Rural Radio on Sirius XM.

“The great thing about owning or promoting it is no other television network can get this,” Bernard said. “Every aspect of this, we own.”

He said the event will follow the March 1 Professional Bull Riders Iron Cowboy event. “(Fans) can come in and see two major events in one weekend.”

Rural Media Group programming is being carried by a growing roster of cable carriers around the country, and Gottsch said the rodeo would “raise the bar” as far as demand.

“We’ve been looking for several years for a major event to attach our name to,” he said.

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