UPDATE: Hudson Star-Observer Downsizing, Moving Into Old Library
The oldest continuing business in Hudson — the Hudson Star-Observer — is moving out of its Locust Street location and into the former library building at 901 Fourth St. Newspaper staff will vacate the Locust Street office by Oct. 31.
UPDATE (11:35 a.m., Sept. 12, 2012): A week after news broke about the Hudson Star-Observer leaving its downtown office space in favor of journalists working from their homes, Editor Doug Stohlberg has confirmed that they will be opening a new office.
Suite 140 of the Hudson Professional Building, formerly the Hudson Area Library, will house the community newspaper office. The space is 215 square feet and includes use of building meeting areas and commonspace for $195 per month.
It will be a significant downgrade from the 15,000-square-foot space just a block off of Hudson's main street.
The Hudson Professional Building has several other spaces available ranging from 210 square feet with a window for $271 per month to 1,620 square feet for $1,995 per month.
ORIGINAL POST (8:08 p.m., Sept. 5, 2012): The oldest continuing business in town — the Hudson Star-Observer — is changing the way it's doing business.
A "for lease" sign recently went up on the newspaper office, and according to Jon Picard, owner of the Locust Street Business Center, the more than 15,000 square feet occupied by the newspaper will be vacated by Oct. 31 when operations are moved to River Falls.
"They've been there just about forever," Picard said. "They started down on Walnut Street in 1859 and moved up to Locust Street probably around 1980. That used to be their print shop and everything. Everything used to come out of that location until they started cutting it off."
Though people will no longer be able to pick up the weekly paper at the brick-and-mortar location or stop in to chat with reporters, editors and ad sales personnel, the publisher said that they can give the journalists a call and they'll be happy to meet with them.
"We're still the Hudson Star-Observer. We've been there over 150 years and we'll continue to still be there. Nothing's really changed," said Steve Messick, division director and publisher of RiverTown Multimedia, the newspaper's parent company. "Our reporters are still in Hudson, Wisconsin. They will be working from home."
Messick wouldn't comment on whether any employees would be let go as a result of the changes.
"At this point in time, the only decision that was made is that we're not renting any space in Hudson. We've moved our people back to their homes kind of like you are," Messick said referring to Patch.
Messick said the change would get the newspaper's journalists closer to the public.
From the Hudson Patch business directory:
The Hudson Star-Observer is the oldest continuing business in Hudson. The city's weekly newspaper has been in operation since 1854. The paper is now owned by Rivertowns, which is a division of Forum Communications. The building on Locust Street in Hudson's historic downtown district serves as office space for some of the paper's reporters, editors and advertising staff.
With the recent success of Knoke's Chocolates moving into a bigger space down the block and Postmark Grille preparing to open across the street, Picard believes office space in the Locust Street Business Center will become more valuable in the near future.
In addition to the newspaper leaving, Resolution Engineering is planning to vacate its 4,000-square-feet space in the building and move into a larger space on Heggen Street, according to Picard.