The latest on new HQs for NPR, Miami Herald and Washington Post

NPR officially moves into a new headquarters in Washington, D.C. today, five years after it bought the property and began planning for the move.

NPR had been based in a narrow triangular building in the Mt. Vernon Square neighborhood since 1994. The new headquarters is a historically preserved, four-story warehouse from the 1920s, joined with a new seven-story office tower on North Capitol Street. It offers much more space, including “a two-story open newsroom with broadcast and production studios,” as well as views of the Capitol.


The historic NPR sign was relocated to the new building Monday morning.

The Miami Herald is preparing to move in a couple months out of its downtown oceanfront location at One Herald Plaza to a new $50 million headquarters in Doral, Fla. The Herald is leasing space formerly occupied by the U.S. Southern Command. McClatchy sold the current building in 2011 for $236 million to developers planning to build a luxury resort, with a deadline to move out by this May.

Office space in Doral, an area known for warehousing and proximity to the airport, is about 30 percent cheaper than downtown and parking is more accessible.

Herald Executive Editor Aminda Marques Gonzalez writes that 1,000 current and former employees gathered to share 50 years of memories, including the 20 Pulitzer Prizes celebrated “in a champagne-soaked newsroom.”

It was the building we all loved to hate — until the day it was sold in 2011. Employees complained that it was always too hot — or too cold. The elevators were lethargic. And what was that black soot that occasionally oozed out of the air-conditioning vents?

Meanwhile, The Washington Post seems to be getting serious about selling its downtown headquarters blocks from the White House and relocating. Business writer Jonathan O’Connell reports the company hired high-end architectural firm Gensler to plan and design a future workspace. Gensler has done some newsroom design work for The New York Times and Associated Press.

DCist questioned the necessity of the Post spending money on a fancy architect, “coming off a year in which it reported $131.2 million in net income, is still struggling to fend off continued losses by its two biggest divisions—Kaplan and the eponymous newspaper. The Post’s newsroom has been thinned out by five rounds of buyouts in the past few years, most recently in February 2012, while last month saw the layoffs of 40 staffers on the paper’s business side.”

Publisher Katharine Weymouth said at a luncheon this month that “if possible, we want to stay in the District.” The “if” in that statement suggests the Post is at least considering a move to the suburbs.

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  • Kay-El

    why should people accept lower pay for doing community service? What if every doctor had to be punched in the face daily for every life they saved? Do you think many people would want to be doctors? We need to realize people who work in charity should not be treated as monks and nuns who take a vow of poverty. For some, the altruism falls short when they are worrying about bills and supporting their family. They should HELP charity not be eligible for one.

    There’s actually a fantastic TED talk that tackles this issue titled “The way we think about charity is dead wrong” it’s by

    Dan Pallotta. I used to think like you until I started reading more into charities and Dan makes a really great point in his talk. I highly recommend you check it out!

  • sylvia kronstadt

    My resentment of NPR as a source of nonprofit, noncommercial journalism flared years ago, when I learned that its news anchors and a slew of vice presidents earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year apiece. I believe that those of us who work for charities — and even for government — should accept lower pay in exchange for the gratification of doing “good works,” as well as exciting, prestigious, high-impact work. Later, I was disgusted with the way Joan Kroc’s donation — which was supposed to seed a whole new era of NPR investigative reporting — was squandered. At least Renee Montagne got the high thread-count she so richly deserved when she was on business trips, laughing flirtatiously and drinking champagne all the way. AND NOW, NPR is treating itself to A VAST NEW headquarters building (on the heels of the questionable NPR West palace). WHEN WE SEND IN OUR PLEDGES to National Public Radio, is this what we intend to support? Coverage of the beautiful new headquarters conspicuously failed to mention how many of our dollars went for infrastructure. There is way to much ‘entitlement’ going on at NPR.