In yet another sign of a changing news business, The News Tribune of Tacoma will move most of its staff and business operations to a new office in the city’s downtown and sell its current building on South State Street.
The current building, which sits on a 5-acre lot overlooking the Allenmore Golf Course, about a mile west of downtown Tacoma, is listed for $17.5 million.
The move and sale follow last year’s decision by the News Tribune’s owner, McClatchy Co., to outsource the newspaper’s printing operations. The paper had been printed,at the State Street location since the newspaper moved to the building in 1974.
“We don’t have the press any longer in the building, so we don’t need the space,” said Rebecca Poynter, publisher of the News Tribune and a vice president at McClatchy.,
The current 242,000-square-foot building boasts a “large grand lobby, on-site cafeteria, fitness room, [and] large community meeting rooms,” according to the listing.
McClatchy is a minority owner of The Seattle Times.
The building’s sale is part of a cost-cutting shift toward what McClatchy has called “regionalized” production of local newspapers.
McClatchy also owns The Bellingham Herald as well as the Olympian, which, until recently was printed at the News-Tribune facility.
Both the News Tribune and The Olympian are now printed at The (Vancouver) Columbian. After McClatchy sold The Bellingham Herald’s building, the newsroom operated in leased space on the second floor. The paper announced last week it will relocate this summer.
Last year’s changes at the News Tribune came with layoffs — 67 employees at the printing plant — starting in February of 2019 and 29 newsroom jobs — as well as the departure of the News Tribune’s then-publisher and former executive editor, David Zeeck, who had been at the paper for 24 years.
Poynter, who is also publisher of The Bellingham Herald and the Olympian, said the News Tribune staff’s move downtown depends on the timing and the terms of the sale of building.
But she said the newspaper staff “is excited about a new space,” in no small part because the current location offers few shopping or restaurant options for employees. “You can’t really walk to get something to eat.”
The story has been updated with the correct number of layoffs in 2019.