Daily Times building goes on market
Published: Monday, November 14, 2011
For 135 years, the Delaware County Daily Times has been the paper of record for the residents of Delaware County.
Now more than ever, through multiple platforms such as print, the explosion of our digital audience, video and mobile, we are supplying the key information Delaware County residents need to supplement their busy lives.
For the past 33 years, we’ve done so from our current home, a sprawling building in the Primos section of Upper Darby.
Now we’re ready for the next chapter in our ongoing story. Our business has changed, and we are changing along with it, in particular the way we deliver news. We recognize our audience now demands the news when they want it and on the device they prefer. That’s why our online audience is growing, with more than 3 million page views on DelcoTimes.com every month. That’s why we now deliver SMS text alerts to our readers’ smartphones, and why we just rolled out a mobile app that will deliver versions of our website to their phone as well. Our readers now demand video in addition to words and pictures, and we are delivering that, too.
Because of the changes in our industry, we are investing in the way we deliver the news, while consolidating and re-evaluating other aspects of the business.
That includes the building we call home.
Yes, 500 Mildred Ave. is for sale. No, we’re not going out of business. Nor are we moving out of the county. We are, however, in the market for a new home headquarters.
The truth is we are a much leaner, meaner operation than we used to be, and the sprawling building that now houses our editorial, advertising, circulation and business offices is simply too big for us.
That’s why the 94,000-square-foot structure that sits on five acres a block back from both Providence Road and Oak Avenue is on the market.
We are currently looking for a new home in Delaware County.
While part of the move is unquestionably the fact that the current building is too large, another big issue is our visibility in the community.
We no longer simply print newspapers. We are now a multi-media company disseminating information across several platforms: print, online and mobile.
As part of the new Digital First philosophy of our corporate parent, Journal Register Company, we want a much more visible spot in the community, where we can welcome the public to take part in the newsgathering operations and come face-to-face with our staff.
Our new home would also be a place where the public could embrace our Community Media Lab. Many Journal Register Company newspapers now have open newsrooms that allow the public to use computer labs as well as access to the newspaper’s archives.
Daily Times and DelcoTimes.com Publisher Ed Condra explains the reasons for the move.
“We’re moving because it’s time to find a new home – not outside of the community we serve, but closer to it,” Condra said. “Since our needs have changed, our current facility doesn’t fit us anymore. We will work to find a location that makes it easier to reach our audience and for our readers to reach us. We’re not looking to lessen our visibility in the community, we’re actually trying to increase it.
“We want to make it easier for the community to be a part of what we do and contribute to the process. Even though we have been at our current location for over 30 years a lot of people don’t know where we are, we’re looking to change that.”
Say what you will about the Primos facility, high-profile it is not.
The newspaper no longer prints at the Primos plant. Those functions, as well as the mailroom duties, are now handled at Journal Register Offset, a state-of-the-art printing facility in Exton, Chester County. The newspapers are trucked back to Delaware County every day.
Daily Times and DelcoTimes.com Editor Phil Heron reassured the public that while the company is seeking a new home, and no longer prints here in the county, its heart is still in Delco.
“We will continue to pursue our journalistic quest,” Heron said. “That is to be the newspaper of record for Delaware County. It was that way when we started as the Chester Times. It was that way when we changed the name of the paper to the Delaware County Daily Times. It remained that way when we moved to Upper Darby.
“For 135 years we have been covering the people, organizations and events that have shaped Delaware County. I see us doing the same for at least another 135.”
Heron stressed that with the multiple platforms the Daily Times delivers information on to its readers, it is now more than ever the biggest source of information in the county.
“That won’t ever change,” Heron said. “Whether in print, online or being delivered to your phone, our mission remains the same.”
So if you see an ad in the newspaper indicating our current location is for sale, rest assured. We might be leaving this location, but we’re not going anywhere.
We’ll continue to be there every day, on your doorstep, at the click of a mouse, or via text alert on your phone.
It’s not the first time the newspaper has changed its home address.
And just as always, it won’t change what we do.