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When will GCI confirm consolidation?

Gannettoid.com | news@gannettoid.com | Posted: Aug. 27, 2009 • Morning report

Just as consolidating ad production centers has become a major topic throughout Gannett, the subject also is a hot topic at other media companies.

Gannett held a meeting earlier this month in Des Moines to discuss its plan to open regional ad building centers (RABCs) at Des Moines and Indianapolis by early next year. Since then, other media companies have either announced they will be consolidating ad production or have begun forming plans.

Dow Jones' Local Media Group, which is the community newspaper division of the Wall Street Journal's parent company and includes eight daily newspapers and 15 weekly newspapers, announced plans Monday to consolidate its ad services departments, including production, to New Bedford, Mass. According to The Standard-Times, a Dow Jones paper in New Bedford, there will be a total of 46 full-time equivalents in the new unit, including some part-time workers. The announcement also said there will be layoffs at the other newspapers not housing consolidated production.

Paxton Media Group, McClatchy, Lee Enterprises and Tribune are other companies that have at least begun planning consolidated ad centers.

Gannett has yet to publicly acknowledge that consolidation is on the radar, but Gannettoid.com has confirmed the meeting did take place and it was about ad production. Gannett has said the company does not comment on internal meetings.

Last week, we reported a Gannett business plan from October 2008 proposing the consolidation move estimated 750 jobs could be eliminated with the move. That estimate was from before Gannett drastically reduced payroll with two significant rounds of layoffs.

According to posts in the Gannettoid.com forum, Gannett newspapers have since been holding discussions to address the consolidation reports. One post (HERE) claimed managers at The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., said they did not know about any related plans, they are not aware of any announcement and they do not believe such plans would work for their paper. Another post (HERE) reported a similar meeting last Friday in Phoenix, the day after the report about the 2008 proposal. According to that post, the meeting in Phoenix, home of The Arizona Republic, was similar to the one in Fort Myers, with managers neither confirming any plans nor having knowledge of anything related.

Gannettoid.com has confirmed Phoenix was represented at the meeting in Des Moines.

Aside from the Dow Jones group, Paxton has also detailed its ad department consolidation moves. Gannettoid.com has also learned from industry sources that McClatchy has formed an internal task force to discuss consolidating operations into such a center, and Lee Enterprises and the Tribune Company are also looking into similar setups.

Gannett could be the next company to publicly share its plan, but as more employees request managers address the issue, Gannett will likely at least begin sharing more details with managers.

Previous reports:
Aug. 3
| Aug. 10 | Aug. 11 | Aug. 17

Aug. 20: Ad centers lead to cuts, big savings

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