Way back in the 1980s when I was a “copy boy” at the AJC, I would walk from journalism classes at GSU to the paper’s HQ at 72 Marietta Street. I felt like part of something historic when I passed the statue of famed Atlanta Constitution editor Henry Grady on my way to work — even though my job consisted of little but typing up letters for the “Ask Dale Murphy” column, being harassed by the sports department, and fetching inter-office memos from the pneumatic tube system (this was a long time ago).
Over the weekend, the AJC finished the relocation of its headquarters from Marietta Street to the Cox Communications compound in Dunwoody.
On April 13, as staffers packed for the move, Rachel Tobin Ramos, aka AJCRetailBiz, tweeted: The AJC is moving to Dunwoody. The newsroom is getting packed up. The 8th floor is empty. For a lot of us, more transition and sad times.
This prompted Jennifer Brett, Peach Buzz columnist, to tweet chirpily at AJCBuzz: And some of us are THRILLED!!! RT @AJCretailbiz: AJC moves to Dunwoody. The newsroom is packed up. For a lot of us transition and sad times
In a piece published April 15, New York Times Atlanta reporter Shaila Dawan wrote: Dunwoody is not only outside city limits, it is what Atlantans call O.T.P., or “outside the perimeter,” the freeway loop that, at least in psycho-geographical terms, delineates the transition from city to endless suburbia.
This prompted twittering protestations by suburban media types:
@DunwoodyNews: NYTimes calls AJC’s move to Dunwoody a desperate act to salvage bottom line
@abhsports: All papers face tough times…mine sure is…but I hope this helps them stop the bleeding.
OverThePylon @edsbs Clearly we’re the only OTP that matters. But the AJC can’t move here either.
Meanwhile, @kaystephen wondered on Saturday: Interesting too that the NYTimes did a piece on the move, but there was nary a mention in the AJC itself.
That mention came today, when Shawn McIntosh, AJC public editor blogged: The newspaper has enjoyed more than a century in downtown Atlanta, first as the separate Atlanta Journal and Atlanta Constitution, and since 2001 as a combined newspaper. And we will miss our downtown neighbors. But this move made sense for our company and for our readers.
A year ago, the newspaper was losing money. Business leaders moved quickly to turn that around, making a series of painful expense cuts that included trimming home delivery to outlying regions and reducing staff. Printing was consolidated at the company’s Gwinnett County plant, meaning the downtown presses were no longer used. And so the downtown office, which was expensive to maintain and no longer fully utilized, became an obvious choice for savings.
To which Grayson Daughters, aka SpaceyG tweeted: So @AJC, how’s that DJC/Dunwoody thing working out for ya? (Say with up-do, squared glasses, leather and a nasal-y tone. Like me!)