Publishers Ditch Swanky Offices for Savings and Subsidies

Is building a brand more important than branding a building?

It’s the end of an era for publishers—at least as far as their iconic New York headquarters are concerned. Time Inc. and Condé Nast, stalwarts of the midtown media scene, are preparing to relocate to new offices downtown, where they will join other emigrants like Newsweek, The Daily News and American Media Inc. (Just last week, The Washington Post announced it would be moving out of its longtime offices in D.C. in favor of more modern digs nearby.)

It’s a smart move financially. Media companies can save some serious cash by ditching the pricey leases that come with a swanky address and taking advantage of the many incentives being offered to lure businesses to up-and-coming business centers. Time Inc. is getting $10 million in subsidies and Condé will receive a $46 million rent rebate for heading south—while Forbes will net a $27 million Grow New Jersey tax grant.

While longtime media veterans might mourn the exodus, it’s unlikely to faze the new generation of journalists. “The staff at Time Inc. now is, by and large, so young that I don’t think the Time & Life Building holds the kind of historic resonance [for them] that it might for someone who’s older,” said former Time Inc. managing editor Jim Kelly. “With a little bit of history, you realize these so-called iconic addresses are not as eternal as you might think.”


 Condé Nast

Old: 4 Times Square

New: 1 WTC

Condé Nast’s long-awaited move to the WTC will finally begin this November. Upon arrival, the company’s tony titles will find appropriately luxe offices complete with two amenity floors featuring an art gallery, several dining options and an “extraordinary spiral staircase.” 


Old: 60 Fifth Ave.

New: 499 Washington Blvd. in Jersey City

After nearly 50 years, Forbes is leaving its iconic Greenwich Village building and heading across the Hudson to Jersey City.


Old: 1775 Broadway

New: 7 Hanover Square

Newsweek became one of the first major publishers to venture downtown when, in 2008, it relocated from its midtown headquarters to new digs in SoHo. Two years later, the title moved again to its current location in the Financial District.


Time Inc.

Old: 1271 Avenue of the Americas

New: 225 Liberty St.

The People magazine publisher will say goodbye to the Time & Life Building at the end of next year when it moves to Brookfield Place, currently undergoing a massive $250 million renovation. This isn’t the first time the company has relocated for financial reasons. From 1925 to ’27, it was headquartered in Cleveland in order to save on postal costs to subscribers in the West. “Even in 1925, Time was looking to be more efficient,” said Kelly.


 Village Voice

Old 36 Cooper Square

New 80 Maiden Lane

The alt-weekly’s old building on Cooper Square may still have “Village Voice” written on its exterior, but the title itself now operates out of Lower Manhattan.


Washington Post

Old: 15th and L Street NW in D.C.

New: One Franklin Square at 1301 K Street NW

The Washington Post’s old headquarters gained iconic status as the setting for the 1976 film All the President’s Men, which featured exterior shots of the actual building. Forty years later, the paper will move to new offices just a few blocks away.

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