In a move that immediately benefits The World Company and in the long run creates exciting possibilities for downtown Lawrence, the Journal-World, the city’s leading news organization, is consolidating most of its staff and operations from two buildings into one.
And if you’re coming downtown to place an ad, pay a bill, or start a subscription with us – Heads Up! We’ll be in a new location starting Monday. Our phone numbers will stay the same, but we’re also changing to a new phone system so there could be glitches – and confusion.
Employees from the advertising, business and circulation branches of the Journal-World and Sunflower Publishing are moving this weekend and on Monday from 609 N.H. to 645 N.H., into the building that once was a post office and in recent years has been known as the News Center. So starting Monday, please use our entrance on Seventh Street.
“We all need to be in the same building so that we can know one another, work more closely together and share the energy and excitement across various divisions of the business, from news to advertising to our business office to our technology department, all in one building,” said Suzanne Schlicht, chief operating officer of The World Company. “We believe it is going to create a more united, more successful company.”
Removing the physical distance between divisions of the company should increase communication and foster a more productive work environment, Schlicht said. That improved environment is expected to translate into better service to readers, viewers, subscribers and advertisers, whether in Lawrence or on the Internet around the world, Schlicht said.
Although the news, advertising and office staffs now will share space in the facility at 645 N.H., production activities, including the printing and distribution of the Journal-World, USA TODAY and other newspapers, will remain at 609 N.H..
The consolidation was made possible in part because The World Company sold Sunflower Broadband in October 2010, to Knology of Kansas Inc., which later sold it to Wide Open West!
“After the sale of Sunflower, our facilities were not 100 percent occupied, so this allows us to be more efficient,” Schlicht said.
Customers and other visitors seeking in-person contact with employees from all divisions of The World Company, including production, should use the Seventh Street entrance, where a receptionist will be available to assist.
The Journal-World, in its 120-year history, has been at several addresses in downtown Lawrence. The Lawrence Record, predecessor of today’s J-W, was operated as a leased property beginning on Dec. 14, 1891. The Record was in the 600 block of Massachusetts Street. The first edition of the Lawrence World came out March 2, 1892, with the World operating at 722 Mass. The newspaper moved into 609 N.H. on Jan. 27, 1955, completed one expansion on Feb. 3, 1969, and later expanded three more times to accommodate the printing of USA TODAY and a second press and mailroom for the J-W to become a morning newspaper. The most recent expansion into 645 N.H., where operations are being consolidated, came in 2001.
Concerning the future of the 609 building, Schlicht said, “In the short term, some or all of the building may be leased. Long term, we really envision this property as having exciting possibilities as the gateway to downtown Lawrence.”
The World Company already has put up for lease a part of the building that has a Mass Street entrance. No decision on how to repurpose the rest of the building is expected to come in the near term.
“The property is situated to be the gateway to downtown Lawrence with its Mass Street frontage,” Schlicht said. “Because of that, the owners, as well as many people in the community, have envisioned some really great purposes for this space in the future.”