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Louisville becoming newsroom 'hub'

Gannettoid.com | news@gannettoid.com | Posted: Aug. 5, 2009 • Morning report

A process that began two years ago is now taking shape with news that Gannett's papers in Asheville, N.C., and Greenville, S.C., will begin moving some production operations to The Louisville Courier-Journal.

Employees at the Asheville Citizen-Times and The Greenville News were told Tuesday that all design work and some copy editing would be moved to Louisville.

The move toward this began two years ago, according to a source with knowledge of the news, when Louisville introduced the editorial system CCI Europe (NewsGate). The source revealed their identity to Gannettoid.com, but will remain anonymous.

"At first, it was just to reduce the hardware costs, but it grew into a more complicated beast," the person said. "The idea of consolidating the desks started in late November of last year, and really grew starting in February of this year."

The conversion is expected to be completed by the end of October. By then, newer versions of NewsGate are expected to be installed. NewsGate is designed to handle multiple newsrooms, but the version being installed will allow content sharing among newsrooms. DTI also allows this content sharing, but is only used in Des Moines.

Louisville is expected to become a production hub for all news items and products for Asheville and Greenville with the exception of sports.

This consolidation is expected to lead to many job losses in Asheville and Greenville. A few jobs are expected to be added to Louisville.

Louisville's manager of news technology, Gary Swick, responded to an e-mail Wednesday from Gannettoid.com by referring questions to Gannett spokeswoman Robin Pence. Pence did not immediately respond. The same e-mail sent to Swick was also sent to Asheville publisher Randy Hammer and Greenville editor Dave Hennigan, but those were not immediately returned. This story will be updated as more develops.

Asheville has already moved its printing to Greenville and is moving its pre-press work on the IT side to there as well. Greenville also serves as the disaster recovery site for Louisville.

Gannett has already gone to these "hubs" on the broadcast side and is now expected to do so more in the newspaper division. This move is the first in many that could lead to a main hub for each Gannett group, including East, Interstate, South and West.


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