Saturday, April 17, 2010

Media General Consolidation - a bit more detail

Media General confirmed last week that it would consolidate editing at Richmond and Tampa, leaving Winston-Salem the odd man out.

Here are a few more details I've picked up:
  • Apparently the decision on Tampa reversed course. MG originally feared it could be vulnerable to hurricanes, but there was heavy lobbying, and MG had made investments in Tampa and Richmond that it had not made in Winston-Salem.
  • The 21 Winston-Salem staffers get a chance to move. Those who don't will get severance, and those who do move will get relocation.
  • Media General will roll out CCI among all three papers (it's the system the Tampa Trib now uses). The transition should be done by August.
  • The consolidated desks will be treated as a separate content division, with the managing editor reporting to Donna Reed,  vice president of content.
(Note: Working on consolidated desks and the problems associated with juggling the needs and egos of so many papers came up during my Friday panel at ACES2010. I suggested this would be a good panel for next year at Phoenix, and from Tweets and talking to people, I hear the recruiting of panel members already is going on. This is going to be a major focus next year. By that time, all the major chains and AP will have gone to editing hubs.)

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At 4/17/10, 4:46 PM, Anonymous Holly K. said...

The only problem is that all 21 staff members don't get the chance to move. We've been told only about 5 new jobs will be created. And though supposedly copy editors on all three papers will "compete" for positions, I can't see the folks already there being dumped in favor of Journal folks.

At 4/17/10, 5:36 PM, Blogger Doug said...

That sucks. I hope my sourcing is, ultimately, a bit more accurate in that regard. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

At 4/17/10, 8:53 PM, Anonymous Holly K. said...

One thing is that some of those 21 don't/won't want to leave W-S for various reasons or figure on retiring. But even so I suspect there will be more people than jobs. So I'm just weighing my options and waiting to see what develops. It's an odd feeling.

At 4/18/10, 4:44 PM, Blogger tom said...

I hope people realize this is all a dry run for exporting all these jobs to India. That's where all the savings come from, they just need to know how to do it.


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