Hah, I am not about to report on staffer moves between newspapers. LAO is too good at that, so I wouldn’t even try. No, Trinity strapped me into the car on Monday (yes, I know this is late) and shuttled me over to the Ventura County Star‘s fancy schmancy new building in Camarillo, which happens to be across the street from the Camarillo outlet malls.
The place is a huge change compared to the ancient, dark and cluttered digs they occupied in Ventura, which you can see to the left in a picture Trinity had no clue was posted on the VC Star’s Universal Desk blog. I only took a few pictures of the new place since I was trying to do it on the down-low – I, um, wasn’t sure how kosher taking pictures of another newsroom during business hours was. ^_^
OK, so this is the newsroom. Yes, the entire newsroom. The place is cavernous! I was actually a little surprised at all the vertical air – like, did the company know they were wasting so much vertical space on journalists? Most newsrooms don’t have so much vertical space. Anyway, I was sitting at Trinity’s desk (there he is in the blue shirt!) and was facing the rest of the designers, new media, advertising in the corner, plus a bunch of managers and reporters (I think) to the right of this photo. Behind me were the opinion section (they were relegated against the wall), business, Mi Estrella and sports. What’s not pictured here are the extra huddle rooms along the wall behind me and the windows looking out onto the staff parking lot, which is surrounded by trees. Trees!
The Star staff apparently left everything behind in Ventura and got all new stuff in Camarillo – new desks, chairs, filing cabinets, storage drawers and tables (kidney and tear-drop shaped ones). Um, they should have gotten some new keyboards too – Trinity’s keyboard, one of the early, clear Mac kind, was full of gunk that you could see from a distance. Anyway, each desk also came with a crane to which the new flat-screen monitors were attached and those adjustable file trays (above Trin’s arm) that also had a little slit-cylinder for holding single-page stuff like a picture or calendar.
The Star’s little lounge is called…. wait for it… the Star Lounge. Seriously. There are no neon lights yet, but that may be in the works. Ahem. Off this lounge is also a quaint, little-heard-of-in-newsrooms concept called a sick room – a room with a door that can be locked where someone feeling sick or breastfeeding can sit in the cushioned rocking chair. Nice, huh? Oh, but that’s not the best part…
Check out these cushioned benches. Ack. I want one for our station. Heck, I want one for the web team! This was the first picture I showed my boss when I got in to work Tuesday, in my attempt to lobby for something similar. Every newsroom should have one. Sheesh, we spend enough time in our newsrooms – just give us a couch! Then we’ll spend more time there!
Speaking of my station, folks (ahem, Mark Madler) have been asking me when we’re moving to Studio City. I think we’re moving in early April, a couple of weeks ahead of the rest of CBS 2/KCAL 9. I haven’t seen the place yet, but others who have undergone training there say its totally beautiful. All I gotta say is – it’ll be nice to have windows, ’cause the web loft right now is a cave. Yech. Oh, sunshine, how I miss thee.
As an aside, its funny to me that in the midst of downsizing and all the bad newspaper news, several Los Angeles-area media have moved into new digs recently. Just in the past year, the Long Beach Press-Telegram moved into a new, seaside high-rise, the Star’s recent move and my station’s move next month. Plus, I remember when I interviewed at the San Bernardino Sun and the Riverside Press-Enterprise (both at least two or three years ago), both papers were talking about moving into new facilities, but I don’t know when or if that will happen. Go figure.