May 23, 2007

Newspapers Sell the Farm, Give up the Goat

Across the country, falling newspaper circulation and the flight of ad dollars to the Web have caused publishers to fire employees, sell their buildings and outsource their ad and subscription departments to India.

The San Jose Mercury News is the latest to do so; it follows other newspapers across the country, including the Columbus Dispatch and the Los Angeles Times.

Ad production isn’t the only job papers are outsourcing. Columnists and reporters across the country were shocked when a news site in Pasadena hired two reporters to cover the news from their computers in India.

But the editor says it’s the start of a new trend and a way to save money.

In the Bay Area, the MediaNews Group’s efforts to cut costs have seen two papers yanked from their historic locations at the center of their communities.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel will shut down its 15-year-old press and have printing operations to San Jose, putting 40 pressmen, some of whom have been there for decades, out of work.

The Sentinel’s historic building in downtown Santa Cruz is now for sale, and the editorial staff may leave the city altogether.

And last week the iconic Oakland Tribune Tower was vacated by its staff, which will relocate to a shiny office complex off the highway and decidedly out of downtown.

Sources:

“Outsourcing of city reporting: Will it become a trend?”
Indo-Asian News Service, May 17, 2007

“History of Sentinel press comes to an end”
The Santa Cruz Sentinel, April 29, 2007

“Journalists nostalgic as the Trib exits Tower”
San Francisco Chronicle, May 18, 2007

“San Jose daily to outsource ad production”
Newspapers & Technology, May 2007

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