Zachary Suri, Contributing Photographer

The New Haven Register has moved its newsroom out of New Haven.

Since last week, journalists at the longstanding daily newspaper have worked at the Meriden offices of the Record-Journal, a publication acquired last year by Hearst Connecticut Media Group, the owner of the Register.

The move, which was not formally announced by the newspaper but was reported earlier by the New Haven Independent, marks a largely symbolic step in the evolution of the Connecticut media industry. Register staffers who cover New Haven will continue to report from the city, according to Mike DeLuca, the publisher of Hearst’s Connecticut chain.

“By relocating some staff members to Meriden, we are better positioned to bridge our service and coverage between New Haven and Hartford, which we believe will significantly benefit our readership across these areas,” DeLuca wrote in a statement to the News.

The Register has occupied part of a building on Gando Drive, in Quinnipiac Meadows, since 2014, when the newspaper vacated its longtime Sargent Drive facility in Long Wharf. The former building now houses Jordan’s Furniture.

On Thursday, staff from the Register’s billing department answered the doorbell on Gando Drive and told a News reporter that they were the only Register employees in the building. The company will have its rented space there “until late this year,” according to DeLuca.

“At that time we will make a decision whether to vacate completely or maintain some presence. That has not been decided as of yet,” DeLuca wrote.

Register journalists are expected to work in the office only from Tuesday to Thursday each week, the Independent reported. DeLuca wrote that the move to Meriden will improve “flexible working arrangements” for employees.

John DeStefano, who served as mayor for two decades, told the News that he does not consider the relocation of the Register’s newsroom very consequential for the city, given the newspaper’s lack of New Haven ownership and the COVID-induced rise of remote work.

“The idea of a hometown paper disappeared long ago,” DeStefano said. He added that other outlets, such as the Yale Daily News and the Independent, a non-profit news website, have picked up some of the slack with hyperlocal coverage.

Paul Bass ’82, who founded the Independent in 2005, said he sees the Register’s move as part of Hearst’s effort to combine several Connecticut legacy publications into an integrated news operation.

Hearst bought the Register in 2017, following a decade in which the newspaper twice declared bankruptcy. Hearst’s other Connecticut newspapers include the Stamford Advocate, the Middletown Press and the Connecticut Post. The publications share some content and staff but maintain separate websites and print editions.

“They’re really trying to make it work by making it a regional publication,” said Bass, who worked at the Register while he was an undergraduate at Yale. “In America now, there is not a for-profit business model for one-city local journalism.”

Several Hearst journalists declined to comment for this article on the latest shift for the Register.

The move to Meriden is expected to have little practical impact on the Register’s product, but it nonetheless represents a striking milestone for a newspaper that once occupied a more prominent place in New Haven’s media landscape — and its physical one.

David Leonhardt ’95, who worked as a summer intern at the Register before becoming editor in chief of the News, recalled the Sargent Drive location as “a big white building with big red letters that said ‘New Haven Register.’”

“You couldn’t approach New Haven from the south back then and not see this building,” Leonhardt, now a New York Times senior writer, added.

But even in the ’90s, Leonhardt said, the Register had begun to decline, with staff cuts that justified having a young intern like him arrive at 3 p.m. to help fill gaps in coverage.

Karen Alexander ’93 — a former editorial page editor of the News who reported for the Register as an intern and then, in 1994, as a staff reporter — recalled an office memo from the publisher that instructed the staff to reuse paper clips.

Still, the newspaper “covered the hell out of the city” at the time, Alexander said. For her part, she worked in a Register bureau in Milford, Connecticut, with about five colleagues.

The New Haven Register was founded in 1755 and adopted its current name in 1812, according to Hearst.

Ethan Wolin covers City Hall and local politics. He is a first year in Silliman College from Washington, D.C.