Newspaper office moving to publishing headquarters

8 years ago

Newspaper office moving to publishing headquarters

Staff Report

PRESQUE ISLE — The Star-Herald office will soon have a new home, as it moves across town to join its parent company, Northeast Publishing.

Staff photo/Mark Putnam

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LATER THIS MONTH, The Star-Herald weekly newspaper office will relocate from leased space on North Street to the Presque Isle Industrial Park headquarters of Northeast Publishing Company. With the cross-town move to at 260 Missile Street, all facets of the business — editorial, sales, production, distribution and management — will be housed under one roof.

The entire newspaper staff will vacate the office on North Street and make the move on Friday, June 24, to the 260 Missile Street location, taking up residence in freshly revamped space alongside Print Works, NEP’s commercial printing division.
Also in house are editing and publishing personnel for the family of weekly newspapers that includes the Aroostook Republican, St. John Valley Times/Fiddlehead Focus, Houlton Pioneer Times and Piscataquis Observer.
NEP’s General Manager Andrew Birden said the move makes sense for two major reasons: economy and face-to-face contact.
“We have the facilities here in Presque Isle, and we’re simply bringing The Star-Herald home, essentially. We’re consolidating expenses, so we can use our resources to report more news,” he said Friday.
And, though digital communication is an important part of what all companies do these days, it doesn’t replace personal proximity.
“Our editorial staff, sales, layout and printing staff will be working where they can connect more easily,” Birden explained. “A newspaper thrives not only within the community it serves, but as a part of its own community. Putting our reporters and sales staff closer in touch with others who work on the newspaper will build energy, and that energy will allow us to explore a broader range of ideas.”
Though the weeklies are working to expand their Internet presence, that’s only part of the story, Birden added. The printed product is here to stay.
“For many people, it’s not an event unless it’s in print, in the newspaper. People who rely on us in print will continue to be able to do that,” he noted.
He sees advantages to having the whole operation housed where the large web press, an eight-unit printing press into which large rolls of newsprint feed to print the papers, is located. “Having both the ‘web’ and the web press going hand and hand will benefit both in the long run,” Birden said.
As moving day approaches, NEP will revamp its front office, removing cubicles and creating an inviting open-office environment. Northeast Publishing will employ a local mover to transport office equipment and furniture to the Missile Street location.
Presque Isle’s weekly newspaper dates back to 1860, when Joseph B. Hall started The Aroostook Herald. It later merged with The North Star, a publication launched in 1871 by Dr. Fred Parker. Over its 145-year history, the weekly newspaper has operated from various locations including the Bolton Block at the northwest corner of State and Main streets, the MFX building, the building directly across from the Elks Lodge and, since 1990, at the 40 North Street location.
Managing Editor Mark Putnam is positive about the effects the move will have, not only on staff but on the paper itself.
“It only makes sense for us to have our reporters and sales staff right here where the production takes place,” he said Friday afternoon. “Having everyone together will allow us to communicate in person and share ideas much more easily.”
The move is simply a change in the location of the newspaper itself, he said.
“We’re still going to be right here in the Star City, just as much a part of the community as ever,” he added. “Collaborating more across all of our resources will help us move forward and be strong for the future.”