New home, new beginning: Moose Jaw Express newspaper moves into former Times Herald building
This week marked a new beginning in the former Moose Jaw Times Herald building. The paper closed last month, bringing a 128-year history to a close.
Now there are new stories being told there.
The Moose Jaw Express bi-weekly newspaper moved into the Times Herald building, after a fire broke out at their location on Manitoba Street West.
“It’s not life or death, it’s a fire. We got good people, a good fire department,” Moose Jaw Express publisher Rob Ritchie said.
“It wasn’t really that cool. But we’ve got a resilient staff, good people. The guys have always picked up in the last 10 years we’ve been doing this. It wasn’t really a worry…. We’ll keep putting out the paper.
Around 12:15 a.m. Thursday, an electrical fire started in one of the offices at the Express, leaving behind about $50,000 in damage, mostly from smoke.
“We can’t go back in there, it’s destroyed. We were able to save some stuff,” Moose Jaw Express sales manager Wanda Hallborg said. “We’re doing the best we can, we’ll come through this. We’re pretty resilient.”
Ritchie says the Express staff were originally set to move into the Times Herald building at the end of February to accommodate their expanding publications and staff. But after Thursday’s fire, staff were moving in later that day.
“Our plans were to move in here by the end of February 28,” Ritchie said. “So we gave our notice at the other building. (To deal with) the additional flyers that we took on we needed additional space. We had outgrown our other facility.”
The Moose Jaw Express publishes a newspaper every Wednesday that is distributed to 67 communities. The paper also publishes a Friday edition that is available within the City of Moose Jaw. The paper employs over 50 staff, including news carriers, and has recently hired eight former Times Herald employees.
The fire was only a minor setback for the news outlet, who will still be releasing a newspaper on Wednesday.
Ritchie also says he originally planned on dismantling the Times Herald sign on the building, but then changed his mind.
“Originally we were going to ask them to take it down, and when I came down one night and it was lit up, I just realized how gorgeous the sign actually was,” Ritchie said. “So I phoned (the Times Herald publisher) and asked him if he would leave the sign, which he agreed to. (It’s) kind of out of respect for the daily that’s been here for over 100 years, and for the community; it’s a great little tourist attraction as well. It’s a stunning sign in the evening.”
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