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Journal-World, Sunflower Publishing offices moving from 609 to 645 New Hampshire St.

September 14, 2012

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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.”

Comments

FarneyMac 2 years, 3 months ago

The death spiral continues as the company shrinks...

gilly 2 years, 3 months ago

Isn't the 609 NH building the one with all the doors and windows bricked up on the Mass St. side? It could have been a gateway to downtown Lawrence if the World Company hadn't turned its back to the most important street in in town for all these years. It's a bit disingenuous to talk about the Mass St. frontage and all its exciting possibilities.

FieldTested 2 years, 3 months ago

As I recall, that end of Mass. St. was a wasteland before The World Company expanded their printing facilities. When many newspaper companies were moving their operations into industrial parks, TWC made a decision to keep their presses, and all their employees, downtown.

cowboy 2 years, 3 months ago

Look at it like a real estate ad , thats what it is. Death spiral is exactly what I was thinking also. Whats the percentage of family owned businesses that survive when handed down , not good. Plus the printing business which I spent 25 years working in is about kaput. Sad indeed.

jhawk1998 2 years, 3 months ago

And the circle is complete. Remember when years back the post office sold the building to dougie compton for less than the property appraised value, and the journal world turned their back on the story? At a time when there were deficits with government they basically gave the building away. First his wife runs a so-called museum out of there, then here we are just a few years later and the newspaper is the inhabitants of the building. The good ole boy network is alive and strong in lawrence kansas where the rich line each other's pockets at the expense of the taxpayers. Is this building even on the tax roles anymore?

Ralph Gage 2 years, 3 months ago

Could be wrong but I don't know that Doug Compton ever had any ownership in this building. The Fritzel family had a furniture store in part of it when the World Company acquired it, as I recollect. I know nothing about any museum. And it's on the tax rolls. Are we talking about the same building? 645 New Hampshire?

pace 2 years, 3 months ago

Why did the ljw ever put their back side to Mass street? It was an insult and stupid.

Ralph Gage 2 years, 3 months ago

To this and a similar question from gilly, the "bricked in" windows were an architectural feature anticipating future uses for the building, and the bricks were intended as security on street level. Our presses and newsprint inventory are behind that facade. It never was intended as any insult.

Phillbert 2 years, 3 months ago

Translated: We don't have enough employees left to fill two buildings.

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