Philadelphia Media Network Inc., owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, announced a big move Monday night. After 89 years at their iconic North Broad home, they will move to a new location at 8th and Market. The decision was heralded at a press conference with Mayor Nutter and other various board members. The move is seen as another positive stride in the long struggle to revive Market East.
After a rough few years due to the economic downturn and slow death of print news, Philadelphia Media Network was bought in a bankruptcy court auction last year. The move will take around 600 employees to an office and newsroom nearly half the size of their former residence. CEO Gregory Osberg is hopeful the move will energize The Inquirer brand while taking part in the Market East revitalization process. Mayor Nutter was extremely hopeful, saying “we are pleased that the headquarters and hundreds of PMN employees will be on Market Street East, which is experiencing a significant rebirth.”
While Nutter may be optimistic, it’s not safe to assume that Market East will prosper just yet. Even with the draws of Reading Terminal, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and numerous historical landmarks, the area hasn’t been able to monetize its potential as a slew of subpar retail and dining options dot the landscape. The PMN move is a step in the right direction as the company clearly believes Market East is on the upswing.
Only time will tell if the influx of the new headquarters will have the effect Nutter and PMN are banking on for the depressed district. These presumably educated workers with disposable incomes could cause the neighborhood to slowly rise to their standards. The Market East renaissance will either take off next summer, when PMN moves in, or continue the slow, decades-long decline it has been on. Whatever the outcome, it’s apparent that both The Inquirer and Market East, downtrodden and bruised, need each other now if they are to survive.