The move is only going to be about a mile, but it makes a world of difference to Otis Brumby III.
“We started on the Square 150 years ago, and this is an opportunity to get back to the Marietta Square,” said Brumby, publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal.
The newspaper hopes to open the doors of its new office at 47 Waddell St., the old Cobb County elections office, on July 25.
As fate would have it, that’s the day after runoff elections.
Brumby said that, after five decades of doing so, the MDJ newsroom will report its last election night from the Fairground Street office.
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“If you imagine living in a large house for 50 years,” he said, “we’ve had to do a lot of purging and packing.”
And in that reorganization they’ve found former tools of the trade, like X-Acto knives used by designers to literally cut and paste stories onto mocked-up pages.
Brumby said the new office will hold about 45 employees. Service won’t be affected, he said, as they move.
The 2.7-acre Fairground Street property, which abuts Cobb school district offices, was appraised at $3,064,540 in 2018, according to the Cobb County tax assessor’s office. The 0.78-acre Waddell Street property was appraised at $450,000.
Brumby said his newspaper has a circulation of 13,300. Many local newspapers like the MDJ amount to a small fraction of the national newspaper circulation of just under 31 million, according to the Pew Research Center. In 1973, that was double — 63 million.
No matter the numbers, Brumby is just happy to get back to square one, where the MDJ began while in the wake of the Civil War.
“It’s going back to where we started, most local newspapers are on or around their local square,” he said.
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