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The Herald-Progress will be returning home this spring.
On May 1, the weekly, community newspaper will return to the original Herald-Progress building on Thompson Street in Ashland where it operated for most of the 20th century until 1991 when the paper moved its printing operation and offices to the Hanover Industrial Park.
“It really seems natural for the Herald-Progress to be coming back home to downtown Ashland,” said William “Bill” Trimble, H-P publisher and vice-president of Lakeway Publishers of Virginia. “The newspaper always has had a close relationship with the community and this will only make it stronger.”
The Herald-Progress building on Thompson Street dates back to the early 1900s. Before it became the center of the newspaper’s operations, the building was a municipal headquarters.
The Herald-Progress left Ashland for the nearby Airpark in the early 1990s to make more room for the newspaper’s printing operations and to consolidate its operations. At the time, the paper was operating out of two buildings, with its pressroom located in the former ABC building on Thompson Street.
The Herald-Progress sold its printing press in late 2006, and later downsized to its current location on Airpark Road.
“I am excited to be moving back into the Herald-Progress building in downtown Ashland,” said Mosby “Chip” Wigginton, associate publisher of the H-P and sister publication The Caroline Progress. “It will give us better access to town government and put us right in the heart of the Ashland retail zone.
“I expect that we will see a dramatic increase in walk-in traffic as a result of the move,”Wigginton added.
The move will not affect delivery of the Herald-Progress. In addition, the paper’s telephone and fax numbers will remain the same. Once the H-P staff has finished settling into its new location, they’re planning an open house celebration, the details of which will be announced at a later date.
“We’re really looking forward to our return to the center of ‘The Center of the Universe,’” said Lee Francis, H-P editor. “Small-town newspapers are an integral part of the communities they serve and it’s going to be great to be back inside town limits.”