A couple of the region’s landmark newspaper buildings — in Santa Cruz and San Mateo — are soon going up for sale as the papers’ new owner, Dean Singleton’s MediaNews Group, scrambles for cash. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports today that its 54,000-square-foot Church Street building, where the daily has been composed and printed since 1967, will go on the market in a number of days. Starting May 1, MediaNews’s San Jose Mercury News will print the Sentinel at its plant and the papers will be trucked over the hill to Santa Cruz each day. Today’s story quotes Merc publisher and MediaNews exec George Riggs as saying:
- “We’re going to be exploring options including staying downtown or moving out to a business park … We’re not committed strongly one way or another. It’s just wherever we get the best deal. We would like to stay downtown or in the Santa Cruz sphere of influence, but we wouldn’t want to rule out anything.”
Riggs is quoted later in the story as saying the value of keeping a newspaper downtown has evaporated with improvements in technology. He said a newspaper is no longer comparable to civic institutions like libraries and city halls, where people go to do business on a daily basis.
In November (as the Press Club reported at the time), the San Mateo County Times building at 1080 S Amphlett Blvd. would be going on the market as soon as MediaNews found a new home for the employees. As in Santa Cruz, the printing operation had been moved to another location. The Times’ building will go on the block as soon as the company leases space for its offices.
Perhaps the most famous newspaper landmark in the region is the Tribune Tower in Oakland. As reported here Nov. 4, MediaNews is in the process of leaving that building for a location in the Airport Corporate Center on Oakport Drive on I-880 across from the Oakland Collesum.