PJ BLOGGER

‘The Record’ of Hackensack to Vacate Main Offices, Head ‘West’

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2008 at 7:19 pm

By Joe Strupp

Published: June 30, 2008 10:50 AM ET

NEW YORK The Record of Hackensack, N.J. is planning to vacate its main headquarters and move staff to the site of its sister daily, The Herald News of West Paterson, according to a staff memo from Publisher Stephen A. Borg. The memo declared: “We must re-invent ourselves.”

The memo stated that the move could save about $2.4 million per year. Borg confirmed the memo and said that most of the news staff would actually become mobile journalists, working from the field, while others would also relocate to one of the paper’s eight weekly newspaper sites.

“The number one objective is more mobile journalism,” Borg, who said the paper has about 30 such “mojos,” who report from laptops and cell phones, told E&P. “And to take advantage of our other offices.”

Borg said the move has not been scheduled, but added, “I wouldn’t want it to occur any later than January ’09. Advertising has already moved. In the last six weeks.”

The memo refers to Record relocating to Garret Mountain Plaza, an office building in West Paterson that houses several operations for parent company North Jersey Media Group, including the Herald News. Borg said The Record would occupy some of that leased space. “We are working on the logistics,” he said. “But reporters I want out in the field, the vast majority of them.”

The memo, distributed last week, states: “We are in the midst of great change. Classified advertising revenues are falling fast. Some of it is due to the economy. But much of it is secular. Ads won’t return to the print newspapers even when the economy gets better.”

Later, the memo reveals, “Vacating Hackensack will save the company $2.4 million a year. This number is for electricity, cleaning crews, and other items that will go away upon vacancy. When we actually sell the land, additional money will be saved like, but not limited to, property taxes.

“So, we will be vacating Hackensack as soon as logistically possible. Some of Record editorial will be moving to Garret Mountain, but I really view this change as ‘moving out to the field.’ The move is not from one big office to another. The move is from one big office to the field. It is not that The Record has left Hackensack; we are now all over the market. (I am planning a marketing campaign to promote this. I envision the “MOJOS” like a swarm of bees landing in different towns.)”

Borg’s memo then goes on to describe the ongoing shift to mobile journalists, who can work full-time out of the office: “We have and will continue to have more mobile journalists. They will share desks as they are rarely in the office. The office/work concept is called ‘hoteling’. Employees actually reserve desk time to cut down on the number of desks and square footage needed.”

The full memo is posted below:

********************************

We are in the midst of great change. Classified advertising revenues are falling fast. Some of it is due to the economy. But much of it is
secular. Ads won’t return to the print newspapers even when the economy gets better.

Getting this revenue back on the web dollar for dollar won’t happen. We are competing against non-news site for eyeballs, hence, ad dollars. Our competition is not merely other newspaper sites. Even for the ads we get, the web rates are much lower than those of print ads.

We must reinvent ourselves.

One such way is to lower our overhead costs. These are expenses that don’t directly affect our products. Reporters directly affect the product; our building does not.

Vacating Hackensack will save the company $2.4 million a year. This number is for electricity, cleaning crews, and other items that will go away upon
vacancy. When we actually sell the land, additional money will be saved like, but not limited to, property taxes.

So, we will be vacating Hackensack as soon as logistically possible. Some of Record editorial will be moving to Garret Mountain, but I really view this change as “moving out to the field”. The move is not from one big office to another. The move is from one big office to the field. It is not that The Record has left Hackensack; we are now all over the market. (I am planning a marketing campaign to promote this. I envision the “MOJOS” like a swarm of bees landing in different towns.)

We have and will continue to have more mobile journalists. They will share desks as they are rarely in the office. The office/work concept is called “hoteling”. Employees actually reserve desk time to cut down on the number of desks and square footage needed.

Bob Klapisch and Ian O’Connor Æ and there may be others Æ don’t even have desks here so this effort need not be limited to “MOJOS”. We seek more and more of this. If you are interested in this idea even if you are not a “MOJO”, please let Doug Clancy know.

Second, we are going to look at shift work closely. If two people do not overlap, they might be able to share a desk. We have executives who share offices in Garret Mountain.

Third, we plan on using our community newspaper remote offices for any NJMG purpose. We have started this, but we will do more. We have offices in the following locations:

Ridgewood, Westwood, Cresskill, Rutherford, Clifton, Rockaway, Kinnelon, and Fair Lawn.

Also, we have offices out of The Record’s circulation area Æ Millburn, Montclair and Nutley but they may be near your home.

We are analyzing the capacity of these locations right now.

If you are interested in working in one of these offices (including the Essex locations), please let Doug Clancy know.

Finally, see [Assistant Managing Editor] Doug Clancy if you are interested in working from home, even just for some of the days of your schedule (he will need the specifics).

As for the timing, there are too many open items for me to give you a precise date. There are too many items still outstanding. I don’t want it
to be past January, 09.

I encourage you to talk to people in Advertising. Overall, they have seen the move to GMP as a positive change. The builder is newer. There is more natural light. Views are nice. The furniture is newer.

While we face many challenges, innovative ideas will lead us through it. Let’s abandon the traditional work/office environment model and innovate.

Thx.

——————————————————————————–
Joe Strupp (jstrupp@editorandpublisher.com) is a senior editor at E&P.

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  1. Sorry Mr. Borg. But you cannot “reinvent” yourself or your paper empire. It is rank with yellow journalism. To any real journalists who happen to work at any of the Borg’s paper enterprises, please consider yourselves excluded from these remarks (not you, Susan).

  2. perhaps even the libs are sick of all the lib tripe in that paper

  3. Even the “BLOGS” have to reinvent itself from time to time. Don’t you think? The Cyber-World is in constant change. Some of us are just trying to catch-up.

  4. So Susan is a yellow journalist? C’mon. Stop insulting yellow journalists.

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