The last to leave

By Dominic Ponsford

Fleet Street loses its last major link with journalism this week as
Reuters staff begin the move out of its imposing headquarters at number
85.

Reuters’ home for 66 years has been bought by the bank UBS and is expected to be rented out as office space.

The
news agency and financial information company is now to begin
consolidating its 2,500 London staff from six locations into one
10-storey building at South Colonnade, Canary Wharf. The company’s
London-based editorial team are currently at Gray’s Inn Road.

The
move comes as part of a threeyear “fast-forward” restructuring
programme, launched in 2003, to improve profitability. More than 2,000
jobs have been cut from the global workforce to a current total of
14,500 in 91 countries.The move is generating £32.3m from the sale of
the building and will make additional savings of £5m a year.

The
new building includes a 100- metre ticker-type LED screen displaying
real-time price information from the major exchanges around the world.

The
new building has no individual offices for staff (from CEO downwards),
but instead has an open-plan design to “foster team working”.It
includes a 200-seat auditorium, 340-seat newsroom, on-site Starbucks
coffee shop and quayside staff restaurant.

Chief executive Tom Glocer said: “Reuters’ move to Canary Wharf is more than simply a change of address.

We leave behind a beautiful Lutyensdesigned building that has been synonymous with Reuters since 1939.

“We
move to a modern, highly functional headquarters, close to our major
financial services customers, in which we can house more than just the
senior executive staff.

“I am personally very excited about the move and what it will do for Reuters business.”

To
celebrate the move, Reuters will run an outdoor exhibition of
photography throughout Canary Wharf and a service is to be held at the
journalists’ church of St Brides, Fleet Street, in June.

History of Fleet Street newspapers

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Fleet Street stretches from Temple Bar to Ludgate Circus and was
home to dozens of national newspapers, and the London offices of
provincial titles, for more than two centuries. By the end of the
Second World War only the Daily Express and The Daily Telegraph were
the only nationals still sited on Fleet Street, with other nationals
mostly based nearby.

Express Newspapers

Famous black glass building at 121 Fleet Street (above) was sold for
£80m in 1989 and offices moved to Blackfriars Bridge. In October last
year the Express and Star titles moved again to new riverside offices
at 10 Lower Thames Street.

Telegraph Group

Following Conrad Black’s takeover of the Telegraph titles in 1985
they moved from 185 Fleet Street to South Quays on the Isle of Dogs in
1987 and were then one of the first companies to move into the Canary
Wharf tower in 1991.

News International

In 1986 Rupert Murdoch consolidated all his newspaper and print
sites at Wapping: The Times, The Sunday Times, News of the World and
The Sun. The Times and The Sunday Times were based in Gray’s Inn Road,
Holborn, until then whereas the News of the World and The Sun were on
Bouverie Street, off Fleet Street.

Last October the company announced a £600m investment in new
printing sites outside Wapping but there are no current plans to move
the journalists.

Financial Times

Has been at Southwark House, next to Southwark Bridge in central
London, since 1989 when it moved from Bracken House in the City of
London.

Mirror Group

The national Mirror titles moved from Holborn Circus, near Fleet Street, to 1 Canada Square (the Canary Wharf tower) in 1994.

Associated Newspapers

Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday were based in Carmelite House, off
Fleet Street, until 1988 and moved to Northcliffe House, Kensington, in
1989.

Guardian and Observer

Have been at Farringdon Road, just north of the City of London,
since 1974. Plan to move to new development at nearby King’s Cross in
2008.

The Independent Launched in 1986 at City Road in Central London.
Moved to Canary Wharf tower in the early Nineties and has since moved
again to its own offices at Marsh Wall in Docklands.

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