The Wilson Times opens new office downtown

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The Wilson Times will open its doors at 126 Nash St. W to the public for the first time this morning.

After closing its 2001 Downing St. SW location Friday, the 121-year-old newspaper has returned to historic downtown Wilson, capping a seven-month renovation of the former First Citizens Bank building beside the Wilson Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re excited to be back in the heart of Wilson at the ‘crossroads of charm and innovation,’” said Times General Manager Keven Zepezauer. “Now that we’ve moved, we want to make sure our valued subscribers, advertisers, community partners and news sources know where to find us.”

Business hours at the Times office are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The main switchboard number, 252-243-5151, and employee phone numbers remain unchanged.

Parking at the rear of the Nash Street building is available for Times customers only. Visitors are invited to use the front entrance, while the locked rear entrance is reserved for employees with access cards.

The new Wilson Times Co. location houses the paper’s news, advertising, circulation and customer service staff on the first floor and the Wilson County Phone Directory and Mobile Billboards offices on the second floor.

Founded in 1896 by John D. Gold, The Wilson Times was based downtown for its first 87 years of existence. President and Publisher Morgan Dickerman said he wanted his family-owned newspaper to return to its roots.

“This was the only building I would have moved for,” Dickerman said, noting the site sits two blocks from the home where Gold’s father, P.D. Gold, founded the publishing company that would later launch the Times. “Downtown has always held a special place in my heart.”

The newspaper was located at 117 N. Goldsboro St. when construction began on a 32,000 square-foot office in 1981. The Times relocated to the sprawling Downing Street building two years later. Changes in publishing technology allowed the paper to shrink its footprint and come back to its downtown home.

The Downing Street building is now up for sale, with a list price of $1.5 million.

Though only two current staff members — Dickerman and senior staff writer Tom Ham — worked at the Times’ previous downtown office, employees said the relocation feels like a homecoming for the newspaper, one of three remaining family-owned dailies in North Carolina.

“Those were just great days,” Ham said of his time working on Goldsboro Street. “You felt so important and you felt so exhilarated about your presence and impact in the community.”