Of Many Things

On Sept. 18, 1965, Thurston N. Davis, S.J., editor in chief of America, announced in this space that the offices of America were relocating from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to our current Midtown location on 56th Street. This was the fourth time America’s offices had moved since its founding in 1909. “For years,” Father Davis explained to our readers, “we have worked out of an editorial and business office that were five miles apart. Now everything is under one roof.”

It was no easy task to pick up and move: America’s headquarters had been located at 329 West 108th Street for nearly 40 years. But Father Davis, rightly regarded as the second founder of America, saw that the world was changing. More and more Americans were getting their news from radio and television rather than from print, a change that was accelerated by the momentous events of that tragic November weekend two years before. Father Davis recognized that if America was to survive and prosper in this new world, then the editorial and business functions would need to be more closely integrated and, most of all, the organization would need a space that was better suited to a mid-20th century apostolate. As the N.H.L. great Wayne Gretzky once said, “a good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” Father Davis, like his predecessors, was a great hockey player.

Advertisement

So it was with a prayer for the intercession of Father Davis that I recently announced the sale of our headquarters building in Midtown Manhattan. This was a long time in coming. The current nine-story building houses not just our offices and its 25 employees but a residence for approximately 20 Jesuits. Months of arduous negotiations, a few false starts and a lot of deal making, not to mention a lot of prayer, went into the process. It was apparent, however, that as much as we cherish this house, we needed to skate to where the puck is headed.

The sale achieves three goals: First, in a rapidly changing publishing environment, the sale will provide baseline financial security for the future of America Media. Second, the transaction will give us the resources to continue our multiplatform expansion, including the redesign of existing platforms and the launch of new digital products and video. Lastly, the transaction will allow us to create a modern facility to house our operations, one more suited to 21st-century America.

America Media will remain in New York City. It is one of the most important social communications apostolates of the Society of Jesus and should be located in the capital of global communications. We have now begun an intensive search for commercial office space in Manhattan to house the headquarters of America Media. Just as Father Davis sought to ensure that the business and editorial departments would be housed under one roof, we are looking for a space where both departments can be housed on the same floor, for the integration of both functions that Father Davis so presciently foresaw continues apace in the digital age.

The Jesuit community will relocate to a renovated facility at 120 West 60th Street, just across the street from the entrance to Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus. America Media and the Jesuit community expect to complete their moves within the next 12 months.

With this move we renew our commitment to you to provide a smart, Catholic take on faith and culture, every week in print, every day online, every hour in social media. We earnestly pray that we will continue to be worthy for many years to come of both your trust and the noble legacy we have inherited.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
William Rydberg
2 years 2 months ago
Move out of expensive Manhattan. If you are going to be true to your word about upping your Media Resources, Technology exist to work out of Fordham remotely, or for that matter, Jerusalem, Bejing, Moscow, London, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Manila, if necessary to do the work. With the money saved, you can have awesome Facilities far from the City. As a Canadian from Toronto, I ought to mention that several Orders of Religious men and Religious women have decided to pool resources under one roof outside of the City Core. No need for the Jesuits to be an outlier.... As far as "soles" on the ground goes in Manhattan, there are always plenty of Jesuit Resources available to Support America. This may be a hardship for Staff working in the City proper, but for the future of America, they will have to "suck it up". We all have over the course of our working lives. After all, its about the Work... Just my opinion... in Christ

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A woman religious casts her ballot May 25 in Dublin as Ireland holds a referendum on its law on abortion. Voters went to the polls May 25 to decide whether to liberalize the country's abortion laws. (CNS photo/Alex Fraser, Reuters)
The repeal of Ireland's Eighth Amendment, which guarantees the right to life of the unborn, is passing by a 2-1 margin with most of the votes counted.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Secretary of Education stirred up controversy when she said it was up to schools to decide if an undocumented student should be reported to authorities.
J.D. Long-GarcíaMay 25, 2018
Thousands gathered in Dublin May 12 to say "Love Both" and "Vote No" to abortion on demand. They were protesting abortion on demand in the forthcoming referendum May 25. (CNS photo/John McElroy)
“Priests and bishops get verbal abuse by being told, ‘How can you speak for women? You don’t know what it’s like!’”
America StaffMay 25, 2018
The coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII is seen during a ceremony in Vittorio Veneto Square after its arrival in Bergamo, Italy, May 24. The body of the late pope left the Vatican on May 24 to be displayed in his home region until June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

BERGAMO, Italy (CNS) — Accompanied by Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo and escorted by both Italian and Vatican police officers, the glass coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII left the Vatican early on May 24 for a 370-mile drive to Bergamo.