The Kentucky New Era office was buzzing with visitors Friday for the newspaper’s Christian County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting and open house.
New Era staff paraded nearly 100 guests through its new office at 713 S. Main St., giving tours of the newsroom, its library of archives, the conference room, advertising department and more.
“You all are back downtown, but I couldn’t imagine moving out of a building you’ve been in for 50 years,” said chamber membership director Robin Tabor.
“Stressful,” said New Era Publisher Brandon Cox with a laugh. “We’re happy to be downtown. ... This building looks nothing like it did eight months ago, and that’s a testament to a lot of people.”
The move from East Ninth Street back to downtown Hopkinsville happened the weekend before Christmas. A team of movers along with New Era staff worked through the weekend of Dec. 20 to get office equipment and technology up and running before the next paper was put out.
“I don’t know if you know how hard it is to move a business, but to move a business that puts out a product every day is difficult too,” Cox said. “But it happened, and I’m just proud of the way they carried themselves through that too.”
Cox thanked developer Hal McCoy for his vision for the building and a long list of local vendors who brought the new office to fruition.
The move puts the New Era back in the downtown district where it was established in 1869. The new location is around the corner from the newspaper’s original home downtown at Seventh and Bethel streets.
The New Era moved to 1618 E. Ninth St. on April 17, 1971, and remained there until last month.
Since moving on to South Main Street, reporters have settled in to their desks and a period of the newspaper’s bound volumes from 2000 to 2018 have been neatly arranged on shelves in a cove of the hallway.
“This is so cool that you all have this here,” said Casey Farley, marketing specialist at Jennie Stuart Health, Friday during a tour.
Racks of the most recent special publications line a counter in the advertising department at the back of the office, and a newspaper box is positioned in front of the office outside.
Before clipping the ribbon under the Kentucky New Era sign, Paxton Media Group Regional Publisher Mike Weafer thanked the crowd that came to commemorate the moment.
“It’s heartwarming to see so many people here that share our passion for local newspapers,” he said.
The newspaper is published Tuesday through Saturday, and the e-edition is available online at kentuckynewera.com just after midnight each publishing day. Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m Monday through Friday.