Sunday, July 08, 2012

Bye, Bye Broad Street, or my newspaper's moving experience

Tonight my newspaper moves from the building it owned and occupied, and that has borne its name, for eighty-seven years to new, rented quarters.


(R2D2 lends a hand to the
Philadelphia Inquirer's move from
400 North Broad Street to 801
Market Street
. All photos
by your  humble blogkeeper)
Movers have been at work for weeks, so hard at work that Friday night they tried to cart away the possessions of one of my colleagues while he was still trying to lay out the newspaper.

Twenty-two years for me, eighty-seven years for my paper. That's a lot of stories, folks, and if the mood strikes me, I'll tell you one or two of those stories as the Inquirer and I settle into our new professional homes. Don't worry; I'm a copy editor, so my stories will duplicate none of those in the official accounts. 

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

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21 Comments:

Blogger seana said...

What's going to happen with the old building?

I think I've been at my job somewhere around the same amount of time, but the difference is that the earthquake displaced us after the first year or so of my time there, and then we were in the tents for at least a couple of years, so the physical building has never represented the store for me in the same way.

July 08, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The building has been sold to the same real estate developer who bought the empty former state office building at the end of the block. The headquarters of the Philadelphia School District, which faces a deficit of many hundreds of millions of dollars, sits in the middle of the benighted stretch.

I am pleased to say that, while the novelty of the experience might be worth a story, this newspapers has never had to work out of tents, at least as far as I know.

July 08, 2012  
Blogger seana said...

The charm wears off fast, let me tell you.

July 08, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

A press running in a big tent!

July 08, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Come to think of it, the sense of change is mitigated by an overhaul that this building underwent in 1997 when moved our presses out to a new printing plant in the suburbs. So we're moving out a newsroom that dates effectively to that year and not to 1925.

July 08, 2012  
Blogger seana said...

I don't think our town has gotten over even yet the decision to move the headquarters of the Santa Cruz Sentinel to, uh, Scotts Valley...

July 08, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

All that would be invisible to an outsider. I remember Bouchercon in San Fransico in 2010, right on the water -- with a view that had been obscured by the old raised highway before 1989.

July 08, 2012  
Blogger seana said...

It's largely invisible even to me, but that doesn't mean it doesn't make a difference to the idea of local news.

July 08, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yikes. An earthquake is a hell of a way to get booted into a wider world.

July 08, 2012  
Blogger seana said...

Actually, what I think happened for many of us who didn't leave at the time was a kind of entrenchment.

July 08, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, so news got even more local?

July 08, 2012  
Blogger seana said...

It's a very shall we say alert citizenry.

July 08, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The kind that demands: "Write about me, my kid, and my committee"?

July 09, 2012  
Blogger seana said...

More like, write positive stuff about things I'm in favor of, and don't piss me off writing about things I'm not in favor of, because I can write a damn good letter to the editor citizenry.

July 09, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yep, that's what I said.

July 09, 2012  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Is there a tabloid in the Philly market or is the Inquirer it? I say this because the paper I work for on occasion The Melbourne Age is about to go tabloid and attempt to compete with Murdoch's Herald Sun which I think isnt such a brilliant move, but who knows.

But generally the trends arent good. Basically except for New York or London or other vast media markets we're going to be in the territory of 1 newspaper per city in a few years. And many towns and cities without a newspaper at all probably.

Thankfully the journalistically brilliant Huffington Post will be there to pick up the slack.

July 09, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, Philadelphia has a tabloid, but it's my newspaper's sister paper -- owned by the same company, housed in the same building, and part of "efficiency" measures in which news and photos from one paper appear in the other.

A tabloid-size paper is not a bad thing. I quite enjoyed reading the Independent's tabloid edition in England in the spring.

July 09, 2012  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

I'm not that convinced by the Indy or the Times in their tabloid versions, but I do like the Guardian's Berliner format.

July 10, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'm not a frequent reader of the Independent, so I don't know what formats they have used in the past or now. It appeared that what I read in my hotel may have been a kind of digest, though with a number of full-length articles. It made for convenient and informative reading over breakfast.

Meanwhile, I was reminded today that a famous person once worked where I do now. I shall try to remember to discuss this further tomorrow.

July 10, 2012  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

You'll like this:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/economically-healthy-daily-planet-now-most-unreali,28718/

July 10, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I do like it, though I'd add some wrinkles of my own.

Do the various darker, alternative, post-1986 Sopermen have anything to do with newspapers?

July 10, 2012  

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