The Times-Standard went from its grand Sixth Street building to a downtown office | Lost Coast Outpost

930 Sixth Street, the long-standing – now former – residence of the Time-Standard. | Photos by Andrew Goff.


A few weeks ago, the staff of the Time-Standard, the Humboldt County benchmark daily, took risks and moved through town, decamping from the publication’s longtime home inside the Brutalist building at 930 Sixth Street and heading half a mile west to 39 Fifth Street.

This is the first time the publication has moved in over 50 years. As the journal’s hyphen indicates, there used to be two competing periodicals – the Humboldt time (created in 1854) and the Humboldt standard (1875) – who joined forces in 1967 and moved into the Sixth Street building the following year.

“This decision was bittersweet for some Eurekans,” he added. ST told in an old version of his “About Us” page. “The newspaper’s new site was the site of the Sumner Carson Mansion, built in 1914, which had been for sale for years.”

No takers, unfortunately, and so the mansion was demolished and this big concrete box, designed by Lockwood Greene Engineers, was built in its place – cost to build: $ 2.5 million.

The architectural style may reflect the industrial vogue of the time (Lockwood Greene designed many newspaper buildings like this across the country), but that’s not exactly a compliment. Journalists have long called their windowless confines on the second floor “the news grave.” Probably the most attractive feature of the structure are the ivy vines that crawled along its west face until they were removed a few years ago.

Rich Somerville, the newspaper’s editor when I was hired as editor and page designer in 2007, once said to himself, “This is a city of art. Maybe what we need on Sixth Street is a vibrant work of art. Perhaps a painting of a view through a window.

He also remarked: “No doubt affection for the place will come with time.” Well, that never was the case for me – not for the building, anyway. But I have fond memories of my time there. Improbably, Humboldt County was home to a good old-fashioned newspaper war at the time, with the venerable ST one-on-one with the upstart of Rob Arkley Journalist Eurêka.

In 2008, I moved to the other side of the news grave, where I joined a shock team of eight reporters in a bustling fluorescent-colored newsroom with 22 employees. I dug up a web cache from Time-StandardThe September 2008 Contact Us page lists 68 employees, including editors, photographers and a number of people who have worked in departments – production, creative services, accounting – that no longer exist locally.

The invigorating competition offered by the Journalist disappeared when the newspaper was folded in November 2008. And like many other local newspapers across the country, the Time-Standard has been hit hard in the years that have followed by a variety of forces rocking the industry – from Craigslist and social media gobbling up classifieds and advertising revenues respectively, to changing reading habits. (Hello, people reading this on your phones.)

A recent history in the Atlantic examined another factor, namely the insidious greed of Alden Global Capital, “a secret hedge fund which has quickly and with remarkable ease, grown into one of the largest newspaper operators in the country.”

Digital First Media, a subsidiary of Alden, now owns dozens of dailies, including Denver Post, the San José Mercure News and, alas, the Time-Standard.

“The [Alden] model is simple, ”writes McKay Coppins in the Atlantic. “Eliminate staff, sell real estate, raise subscription prices, and get as much money out of the business as possible until finally enough readers cancel their subscriptions for the paper to fold or shrink to a minimum.” parched shell of itself. “

The Time-Standard building was put on the market in 2014 with a price tag of $ 2 million. Today, the newspaper’s editorial staff are down to five. The first job I did for the paper – the layout – is now done in Chico, which is also where the paper is printed before being trucked to Humboldt overnight for distribution. .

But newsroom staff, to their credit, continue to produce local stories for new editions released six days a week. They just hired a new reporter. (Welcome, Jackson Guilfoil!) And now they have some new digs.

The New Log House, on the corner of Fifth and B, is a two-story wood-and-stucco building with a pair of lounge-style swing doors. In a note of October 23 announcing the move, ST Editor John Richmond said cheerfully, “You know what? I like it. It suits us perfectly…. “

The best of all? No painting of a view through a window required.


CORRECTION: This message originally said that the Time-Standard ‘The layout of s is done abroad. Former editor Marc Valles says it’s done in Chico and we believe it.

The new local HQ for the TS.


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