After more than a decade of being headquartered outside the city limits, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution will move its offices to Midtown, according to Andrew Morse, AJC’s president and publisher.
Morse and AJC Editor Leroy Chapman were featured at the Rotary Club of Atlanta’s Sept. 18 program when they were interviewed by Jennifer Dorian, president and CEO of WABE, who is heading up Rotary’s programming committee this year.
In response to a question about their plans to relocate (there were reports that speculated the AJC was thinking about moving out of Sandy Springs back to the City of Atlanta), Morse actually broke news.
“Yes, next year,” Morse said about the newspaper moving back to the central city. “I can’t give you the exact address. We will be in the heart of Midtown. It’s really important to us. We need to be in the heart of the city. You will see an AJC building with AJC signage.”
Morse said the building would provide a place where newsmakers could come and interact with reporters and editors.
“Stay tuned,” Morse said. “We will be in a new building in Midtown in 2024.”
The AJC confirmed in 2009 that it was moving out of downtown Atlanta, where it had been since the inception of the two newspapers – the Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution. At the time, the AJC donated its building at 72 Marietta St. NW to the City of Atlanta, which turned it into offices, including the Department of Watershed Management.
Initially, the newspaper leased space at offices in Dunwoody before moving to Sandy Springs in 2021 to be closer to Cox Enterprises, AJC’s parent company.
Morse also made news by saying the paper has “hit pause” on its decision to greatly cut back on delivering its print product.
The publisher referred to reports from September 2022 that the newspaper planned to discontinue delivering the print edition during weekdays and it would scale back to only delivering a weekend edition.
“Those were true,” Morse said of the reports. “There were conversations about that.”
But Morse added that to do so would have been premature. “Our digital product is not ready. If we had rushed it, it would have been really damaging,” Morse said. “We hit pause.”
Since he has become publisher of the AJC, Morse said he has come to realize how much subscribers “love the paper” product.
“There is still a lot of value (in the print edition),” Morse said. “We have committed to printing the paper until at least next year.”
Morse also said Cox Enterprises has given the AJC “a lot of running room” to build back the news operation that goes beyond print and online news.
“We look at ourselves like a multimedia company,” Morse said, adding that the AJC has a goal to have 500,000 digital subscribers by 2026. Currently, the AJC has about 120,000 subscribers split between print and digital.
“We have set a north star,” Morse said of the AJC’s goal. “We’ve got a really good head of steam.”
Note to readers: In the interest of full disclosure, Maria Saporta spent 27 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before taking a buyout in 2008.