Portland officials are making more changes in how they use City Hall—and this time, it's The Oregonian getting kicked out of the building.
The newspaper will be displaced from its rented first-floor office on Oct. 31, according to a city memo.
The Oregonian's office, which currently houses City Hall reporter Brad Schmidt, will be turned into meeting space for the City Attorney's Office and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
WW previously reported that The Oregonian's shrinking staff had left Schmidt alone in the office—which the paper pays to rent, but has been eyed hungrily by the city's facilities department. (Rumors had it reverting to its former use as a coffee window.)
The Oregonian will be allowed to use the office space until Oct. 31—a month after it reduces home delivery to four days a week.
The memo says the city is responding to an auditor's report saying city bureaus should stop renting private office space and maximize use of government buildings. The eviction also comes as Mayor Charlie Hales is trying to reinvent City Hall as a public space with food carts and bioswales—a plan that has encountered some backlash.
The facilities department's notice makes vague promises City Hall will still have a newsroom—but one for all media, not just The Oregonian.
"The City would like to encourage a media presence in City Hall and will be developing a media center with data and telecommunications connections for media organizations," the memo says. "Once complete, all media outlets will have access to the space. The protocols for use are still being determined."
The memo does not say where that media center would be located, or how much it would cost to use.