Friday, January 29, 2010

Page building consolidated at three Tenn. papers

Newspaper page production for Gannett's Tennessee papers in Jackson, Clarksville and Murfreesboro is being consolidated at The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro starting in March.

Seven employees at Jackson who design and copyedit are losing their current jobs, but can apply for 12 new jobs at the combined center, The Jackson Sun says in a story today. Four other positions at the Sun are being eliminated in the move; the story doesn't make clear whether employees occupy those jobs, however. The story also doesn't detail the impact on existing copy editors and page designers at the News Journal or at the third paper, The Leaf-Chronicle at Clarksville.

In a separate story, however, the Leaf-Chronicle says the switch will result in a net loss of five jobs between the three dailies.

Story assignment, reporting, and photography will continue to be done at the individual papers, the Sun says.

The shift is the latest in Gannett's drive to reduce jobs by consolidating page design and some copyediting at a series of new production hubs.

The Murfreesboro paper was picked for two reasons, the story says: It has the best hardware and software for the work, and it's closest to The Tennessean at Nashville, which prints all editions of the Clarksville paper, plus Saturday and Sunday editions of the Sun.

Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.

[Image: today's Sun, Newseum]


  1. Jackson had a great team on the copy desk, sorry to see that group go. But with a shrinking paper what are you going to do.

    Hopefully they did not lose their best artist Brian Goins, that guy is talented.

  2. Jackson is in a total free fall. So much lost talent and the reduced staffing is making a poor product even worse. Time to save the ship or jump overboard.

  3. I used to be a designer at The Tennessean, and to me it's unfortunate that Gannett -- which arguably transformed the newspaper industry into a decaying product (read: not enough solid enterprise) with an unsustainable profit margin (read: 18 percent), continues to lead without an ounce of creativity (read: no new business models.) Why does upper management continue to hold its jobs while content and creativity are cut?

  4. Alas, poor Brian will be gone, too. So sad for them to keep walking away from talent.

  5. Margo Morgan1/30/2010 8:31 PM

    Brian Goins is very talented, as were all the copy desk designers/editors.
    I worked at the Sun for a little under two years as a graphics artist. I was proud of the work we did, when the tornado ripped through town, we poured our hearts into the coverage we did and we saw and were affected by who we were covering. That's the thing that is hard for me to understand. I understand it from a business perspective, and it has some good points, but sometimes you really have to live in a place to really be able to produce the news in a compassionate, thoughtful and understanding way. A page designer isn't someone who just slaps stuff on a page, they work closely with news editors and photographers and they know the community and how what they do affects others and they design accordingly. I do page design and I work and talk with photographers and editors, draw out sketches, look at stuff with them and discuss, in person, what photos we like and why. It's possible to do it by email, but a lot harder and not as effective.

    - Margo Morgan

  6. I love the Jackson Sun people! A lot of what appealed to me about the paper was laid off. Even the online stuff that appealed to me was laid off.

    I hate this.

    I hate what is happening to newspapering in general.

    I watched something similar happen to my career in the music retail industry. It is hard to watch something you love wither and not be able to stop it.

    You are talented people and I'm sure you will find something that can and will utilize your talents and your passion! Stay passionate about what you do!


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.