Goodbye, ivory tower. Hello, historic department store.
Employees of both the Inquirer and Daily News will leave their iconic perch on North Broad Street in June for new digs on the third floor of the former Strawbridge’s building on Market Street east of City Hall, the company that owns the papers announced yesterday.
Most controversial among newsroom reporters and editors is that both papers’ editorial staffs will be housed on the same floor. A spokesman for Philadelphia Media Network, which owns both of the papers as well as Philly.com, said the company sees it as an advantage in the era of 24/7 news and shrinking resources.
“You’re going to have the Inquirer, Daily News, Philly.com and Philly Sports Week all sharing one floor,” PMN Vice President Mark Block said. “You’re going to have a maximum amount of resources.”
But from the moment CEO Greg Osberg made the announcement to staffers at 2 p.m., the first thought from always competitive reporters was about the all-important “scoop” and protecting each paper’s distinctive style. The broadsheet Inquirer considers itself the city’s serious keeper of the record while the Daily News is a self-described “People’s Paper” tabloid.
One reporter said the fear is about “blurring the brands.” While the papers have always had an unusually close relationship for competitors — they’ve been under the same ownership and roof for years — the reporter said being in the same room with reporters you’re trying to beat to stories will be odd, if not impossible.
“[Osberg] just brushed it off,” the reporter said of the issue.
Moving from 400 N. Broad St. into the former Strawbridge’s building at 801 Market St. will mean leaving behind a lot of history in exchange for building on what city and PMN officials yesterday called a “renaissance” on Market East.
“We’re the first business to embrace that,” Block said, adding that the company plans to install a large digital news scroll on the side of the building. “It’ll be similar to Times Square.”