Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Moving into the Union Leader's future

If all goes according to the grand plan, the new visitors’ entrance to the Union Leader is open for business today and the aging publisher will be in his former office in our newly-expanded newsroom this morning.

Visitors should look to the left rather than to the right after stopping at the stop sign at the entrance to the property at 100 William Loeb Drive. And they should STOP because little kids from the Mill Falls Charter School may be out at recess. You never know what a kid or an errant basketball might be doing.

Come the spring (a nice phrase, that), there will be a second charter school occupying what have been some of our offices.

The big, gold “Union Leader” and “Sunday News” lettering remains above our old main entrance, at least for now. But we have sold the property and consolidated all our departments into a single wing of the building.

According to the big boss (that would be Brendan J. McQuaid), the arrangement will provide new “synergies” as we work to tackle the opportunities and challenges that the changing news and information world throw at us.

My jury is still out on that one. This will be my fourth office in this building. The one I am leaving used to be Mrs. Nackey Loeb’s. Besides the sentimental value, it gave me a great view of those Mill Falls kids at recess. (They include Ike, Mike, and Spike, of whom I am quite fond.)

For a time, I threatened to mimic the late Sewell Avery of Montgomery Ward. A once-famous photo showed uniformed men carrying Avery out of his Chicago office after he declined to follow President Franklin Roosevelt’s directives to settle a strike and get on with war production.

But I have missed the hustle and bustle of the newsroom; and with the new space and more people in it, I think it is going to sound a bit more like a traditional newsroom, even without teletype bells and yells of “copy boy!”

It won’t be like 35 Amherst St. (now the local courthouse.) That newsroom had state-of-the-art desks (if your state was 1930s Deco) where the typewriters could disappear right into the desks.

I thought that was pretty cool, but grandson Ike showed me around our newsroom and demonstrated how some of the new desks actually are raised or lowered with the touch of a button.

What will they think of next?

Write to Joe McQuaid at Publisher@unionleader.com or on Twitter at @deucecrew.