The Telegraph is relocating its business operations from 120 Broadway to the former Bank of America building on the corner of Third and Cherry streets in downtown Macon.
The newspaper will occupy about 15,000 square feet on the first floor of the building at 487 Cherry St., Telegraph President and Publisher Donald W. Bailey said Thursday. The move is expected to take place before the end of the year.
“We are dedicated to downtown and the history of downtown, and we are proud to locate on Cherry Street,” Bailey said.
The new space “is going to be much more open, and the environment will be better for our employees,” he said. “This is good for our employees (who can) easily walk to all the shops and restaurants and coffee shops downtown.”
Telegraph customers will still be able to pay their bills in person, buy papers or get help establishing digital accounts at the new location.
The move includes the newspaper’s administrative, finance, circulation and advertising departments. Newspaper carriers, who are independent contractors, will continue to go to the Broadway building to pick up their papers, he said.
Last year, the Telegraph’s newsroom moved to a new building in Mercer Village as part of an innovative partnership with the journalism program at Mercer University and Georgia Public Broadcasting to create the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University.
Mike Ford, president and CEO of NewTown Macon, said the move is important to downtown.
“This is a huge development for downtown in the sense that it brings both the sales and executive staff of The Telegraph to Cherry Street, a prominent street for shops and restaurants,” Ford said. “So, to bring The Telegraph here is really, really a big thing to us.”NewTown’s offices are adjacent to the space that will be occupied by the newspaper.
The Telegraph has occupied several locations in Macon during its 187-year history, including other sites on Cherry Street. It has been in the building on Broadway since 1961.
The 156,000-square-foot building on Broadway “is much larger than what we need, and employees are scattered throughout the building,” Bailey said. The building is being marketed for sale.
“This is prime real estate in downtown,” he said. “It is one of the gateways, and it has one of the largest parking areas. ... It should be put to good use in the future.”
The new space on Cherry Street is being renovated and will feature “very upscale office decor,” Bailey said. The building will be able to accommodate the paper’s technology needs and be “better suited to the way we work in the 21st century,” he said.
“We believe in the vision of the future of downtown and glad to be a part of it,” he said.
The Telegraph is owned by The McClatchy Co., the third-largest newspaper company in the country. Its operations include 30 daily newspapers as well as community newspapers, websites, mobile news and advertising, niche publications, direct marketing and direct mail services.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.