Brownwood entrepreneur is new owner of Bulletin's newspaper building

Mike Degal says leasing building as office space is a possibility

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Mike Degal is pictured Monday outside the front entrance of the building at 700 Carnegie that was the home of the Brownwood Bulletin for 50 years.

The building that was home to the Brownwood Bulletin for half a century has a new owner.

Brownwood entrepreneur and business owner Mike Degal has bought the 13,000-square-foot building at 700 Carnegie — which was closed to the public more than a year ago because of COVID — from GateHouse Media Texas Holdings. The sale was completed Friday, Degal said.

GateHouse Media’s parent company, New Media Investment Group, merged with Gannett in 2019, which continues to publish the Bulletin. After the Bulletin was closed to the public, employees transitioned to working from their homes.

Degal, 55, doesn’t have any plans yet for the building but said leasing it as office space is one possible scenario.

The former Bulletin building, which was built by the Herman Bennett construction company, opened as the Bulletin’s home in 1971. Degal said the building is a good structure and he sees “a lot of opportunity there.”

Degal, a Brownwood native, owns multiple businesses and buildings including Brownwood Mini Storage, Austin Avenue West Mini Storage, Degal’s Place auto sales and the Bluffview Drive-In. 

Degal said he’s been asked where he got his business training. “I never went to college,” Degal said. “I learned to figure things out and just hit obstacles head-on."

Degal credited TexasBank with being “a big help” in his business and property ventures. He said that’s where he’s done “most of my big stuff.”

Degal said he began his entrepreneurial efforts as a kid by mowing lawns around his neighborhood. He also picked up cans and coke bottles and sold them.

He recalled riding his bicycle to Sliger’s Produce, where he would pick up a tow sack and two onion sacks. He would venture out and load the sacks with pecans. With one sack draped across the back of his bicycle’s banana seat and the other two bags hanging from the handlebars, Degal would pedal back to Sliger's and sell the pecans.

“We grew up real poor — didn’t have a whole lot of money,” Degal said. “I didn’t want to end up the way we started. The best thing my dad ever gave me, was not giving me everything, because it taught me to be an entrepreneur.”

Degal said he went on to work in “car jockeying," then went into auto sales. After working at Highway Auto Parts for 8 1/2 years, he went on to own other businesses including Degal’s Place and the two two mini-storage companies.

Degal also owns the Pepsi Cola building, the peanut warehouse on U.S. Highway 377, a building that formerly housed the Bangs Nursing Home and the Lakeway  

“One piece of property just led to another piece of property,” Degal said.

Degal said a friend put him in touch with realtors who were selling the Brownwood Bulletin building.

“I see opportunity,” Degal said. "You look at the placement of the building. It’s in a good place. It’s easy to get to, easy to get out of. I just feel like there’s really a lot of opportunity here.”

Degal said he relies on “a gut feeling, common sense and letting the numbers stack up” when determining whether to buy a property.