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Semi-confirmed: Media General to consolidate copy desks

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by reformedhack, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    The head-shaking moves continue. From today's Tampa Bay Business Journal:

    No typo: Media General to consolidate copy editors
    At a newspaper, stories may begin with a reporter, but live and die by its copy desk.
    As the place where story editing and newspaper design rules, copy desks are essential to maintaining accuracy and readability. At the Tampa Tribune, however, having a local copy desk might be a relic of the past.
    The Tribune’s parent, Media General Inc. (NYSE: MEG), has made no secret of its desire to consolidate the copy desks of its three major newspapers, the Tribune, the Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina, and its home-base newspaper in Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Where it would be consolidated was the unanswered question, although it came down to either Winston-Salem or Richmond, several sources familiar with the situation said. Tampa had been eliminated from the list because of its hurricane-friendly location.
    With Tampa out of the running, there could very well be more layoffs at the Tribune in coming weeks. John Schueler, president of Media General’s Florida Publishing Group that manages the Tribune, did not return a call Wednesday morning seeking comment.
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I keep hearing Winston-Salem because it is cheaper.

    The middle tier of papers is undergoing (or has undergone) the same thing.
  3. Giggity

    Giggity Member

    Can't even begin to describe how awful desk consolidation is. The survivors will envy the dead.
  4. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    A little more info from a well-placed source:

    Regional consolidation apparently is an option that's still on the table. The Alabama and Florida papers would be combined into an editing unit, as would the North Carolina and Virginia papers. Tampa, Winston-Salem and Richmond are the likely hubs in that scenario, according to my mole, but another MG source tells me his job has just been moved to Lynchburg, Va., as of February, so read into that what you will.

    That said, the MG suits have a major woody for the idea of consolidating the metro papers, so Winston-Salem appears to be the winner vs. Tampa (too "hurricane-friendly," according to the TBBJ story, even though Tampa hasn't had a direct hit since the 1920s) or Richmond (union salaries).

    More news, rumors and anecdotes as they develop.
  5. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    It's Lynchburg for the Virginia papers.
  6. bdangelo

    bdangelo Member

    Man, if I have to go to Lynchburg, I'd prefer it be the one in Tennessee. Some good drinkin' over there (I know it's a dry county, but ya gotta love the Jack Daniel's ... and besides, there's George Dickel in Tullahoma).

    Sinkholes are more likely in the Tampa area these days than hurricanes.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Circus - that's for C-ville, Lynchburg and Pot. News, right? RTD still part of the Tampa-WS-Richmond triangle?
  8. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    I'm assuming so. I've got no info on the big boys. Should have clarified.
  9. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Winston-Salem? That's better than Hickory, which I thought was bandied about at one point.

    Won't be Richmond ... MG doesn't want any more union salaries. Probably disgusted enough that RTD takes away from the executive's fat bonuses. Wonder if they're still mailing proxies to employees to determine how the fat cats were going to cut their shares of the pie ...
  10. John Taylor

    John Taylor Member

    Two big "C" words: From "convergence" to "consolidation" in less than a decade.
  11. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Yes. Plus Waynesboro and from what I hear, Bristol, which is mind-blowing considering Bristol just built a new press. What's better is that Cville and Potomac will still print in Richmond, even though they'll be produced in Lynchburg.
  12. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Bristol, Waynesboro, Potomac News and Culpeper are all going to be designed in Lynchburg. I was told by a managing editor at one of those papers that it's going to start happening in Feb., but that date might be pushed back.

    As far as I know, Charlottesville will still be printed in Richmond and the Culpeper press will stay open to print that paper, a bunch of weeklies and several contract jobs.
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