MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Commercial Appeal began a new era on South Main Street today.
A hedge fund bought the CA's longtime headquarters at 495 Union Avenue for nearly $4 million last month.
Monday, 119 South Main officially became the new home of our city's daily newspaper.
"We're here to stay and we're here to compete. I'm proud of our staff and I think it's reflective in the fact that we have nearly 10,000 digital subscribers now," editor Mark Russel said.
Open and airy, on a third floor of Pembroke Square overlooking South Main, the new CA newsroom and business offices will accommodate a staff of 60.
"This is much more conducive to a digital savvy, digital forward company," president Michael Jung said.
Veteran CA reporters, editors and pressmen took a final farewell tour of 495 Union last week.
The newspaper downsizing is dramatic, from saying goodbye to its 5 story offices and its 150,000 square foot shuttered production plant, to moving into 13,000 square feet on South Main.
"It provides a focal point for us in Downtown Memphis where if you cover city government, county government, some businesses around here: AutoZone, FedEx Networks, they're all within walking distance of this building," said Russell. "That also means your sources can come see you on occasion."
The writing on the newsroom wall features the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guaranteeing Freedom of the Press.
"If you're in our business and you don't get excited about seeing that everyday, you're in the wrong business," Russell said.
"We continue to print a newspaper. We've been printing for 178 years and we will continue to print. But we know that our future is really both digital and print advertising. So the space makes sense but also the ability to connect and be a digital first environment," Jung said.
A cafe, game room, and long tables for team collaboration fill the new newsroom alongside desks that can be adjusted to sit or stand.
"You feel part of the heartbeat of the city in this location because you area part of the heartbeat of the city in this location," Russell said.
The CA's leaders say the move to 119 South Main shows the newspaper's commitment to the city.
They’re underscoring that commitment by sponsoring two big events: the CA Sports Awards Friday at The Orpheum, and the CA’s first Healthcare Newsmaker Breakfast at Halloran Center on May 23rd.