The staff of the New York Daily News may not return to its Lower Manhattan office for up to a year after extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy.
In an email obtained by Metro, CEO Bill Holiber told employees the office's building, 4 New York Plaza, suffered serious damage to the infrastructure during the storm, including electrical issues. Holiber said it could be nine months before the building is fully repaired and Daily News officials are now looking for an alternative work site for the next year.
Some staff members have been operating out of Liberty View, a building in the Financial District, since the storm hit New York City at the end of October. Other employees have been working remotely, according to the email, which follows:
To All 4 NYP-based Employees of Daily News and US News,
To state the obvious, these past two weeks have been a whirlwind for our Companies. Under extremely difficult circumstances and against all odds, we were able to continue operations and deliver the news to New Yorkers and interested readers throughout the U.S. You should all be proud of this incredible accomplishment. I, for one, am amazed by what we have been able to do. There are numerous people to thank, in fact, too many to mention by name.
What I want to do is bring you up to date on what the future options are that we are planning for. It is a fluid situation, but I will share with you what I understand to be the case right now.
We do not believe that we will be returning to 4 New York Plaza as quickly as we would all like. As of this morning, water is still being pumped out of the building. There is also significant damage to the infrastructure (electrical components, etc. that were located in the lower levels) of the building that must be addressed. Based on our knowledge, we believe it prudent to plan for being out of 4 New York Plaza for approximately 9 months. As a result, we are in the process of looking for office space in Manhattan for all of our NY-based employees for up to a year. There are many variables that need to be taken into consideration in finding appropriate temporary space that meets our needs. The most significant is the technological capabilities we require to operate efficiently. I am not sure how long identifying such space will take, but I assure you that we are using every possible means to secure the temporary Manhattan space we desire as soon as we can.
Putting a timetable on this will surely get me into trouble but, hopefully, we will all be re-located by the end of January. Please understand that many things could come up to alter this goal.
In the meantime, we will do what we can to improve our current situation while at the Liberty View site, such as installing equipment, which has already been ordered, to strengthen cell phone signals at the plant.
We are lucky that the plant has the space to accommodate us and that so many of our employees are able to operate remotely. We thank our Liberty View based coworkers for being so hospitable to us. Things are working, we are connected, the paper, web sites, advertising, printing and distribution regained full capacity quite quickly. I wish we could eliminate the inconvenience experienced by many of you commuting to the plant, but with the recent opening of Path service and other alternatives that were not originally available; the commute should be much improved for all.
I'll keep you posted as soon as I have more information. If anyone has any questions, thoughts or concerns send me a email, ask me questions when we pass in the building, or stop by my new "digs" upstairs, in the front of the building.