After more than a century, is moving back to Bel Air's Main Street.
The newsroom of the 155-year-old newspaper will be relocating from its current location on Hays Street to an office at 139 N. Main Street in the coming weeks, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the move.
Newsroom employees were told of the changes in a recent meeting, but were not told a specific date or location of the move. According to one Town of Bel Air source, a lease has been signed for the 1,700 square-foot space on Main Street.
Sources from within the organization say the move will be made next month.
Multiple phone calls to the Baltimore Sun Media Group, which owns The Aegis, were not returned. The editorial staff of The Aegis has declined comment to Patch on previous stories, citing a policy that it does not speak on-record with reporters.
Recently, the paper’s on-site printing press was moved to Baltimore, eliminating approximately 50 jobs. The Hays Street plant opened in July 1962 and printed each publication of The Aegis from Aug. 2, 1962 until Oct. 8, 2010, according to an October story in The Aegis.
The pressroom took up a significant majority of the building’s footprint. Sources within the organization told Patch that fewer than 30 employees remain at the Hays Street complex.
The main use of the new office space will be for the editorial staff, which includes 13 employees, according to the most recent print edition of The Aegis.
The Aegis staff also publishes The Record, which covers Aberdeen, Havre de Grace, Perryville and Port Deposit. The Record office on St. John Street in Havre de Grace closed in early 2010, according to a current tenant in the building. The storefront is now home to bookstore.
Plans for the large, burgundy building on Hays Street—and the smaller, brick office next door—are unknown.
This won’t be the first time The Aegis operated from a Main Street address. It once was located in a building in the 100 block of S. Main Street, now home to the , which has a mural on the second floor commemorating the building’s history in the print industry.
Change is no stranger to The Aegis in recent years, with the print media industry struggling through the economic turbulence of the last decade.
Sam Zell purchased Tribune Co., which owns Baltimore Sun Media Group, for $8.5 billion in Dec. 2007. Tribune owns eight major newspapers in the United States, a number of web sites and television stations, including Chicago-based superstation WGN. It also owned the Chicago Cubs.
In 2008, the paper—like many under the Tribune umbrella—was forced to make staff cuts.
One of the most notable layoffs was Jim Quimby, formerly the president of Homestead Publishing—which was formed with the merger of the owners of The Record and The Aegis, according to The Aegis website.
Publisher John Worthington IV retired recently, ending a run of more than 100 years in which a Worthington led the paper. The Worthington family owned The Aegis from 1904 until it was sold to The Sun in 1986.
The Aegis is printed on Wednesdays and Fridays, at the cost of $66.48 for one year of home delivery in Harford or Cecil counties.
Editor’s Note: The co-authors of this story are both former staff writers of The Aegis. Freelancer Amber Woods was a news reporter before becoming the news editor of The Record from 2006–2008. Havre de Grace Patch editor Sean Welsh was a sports reporter at The Aegis from Aug. 2005–March 2006.