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Company confirms RABC reports

Gannettoid.com | news@gannettoid.com | Posted: Sept. 2, 2009 • Afternoon report

With a note to publishers Wednesday morning, Gannett finally confirmed it will consolidate its advertising production to centers in Des Moines and Indianapolis.

The company had been declining to discuss the move since it was first mentioned in a report one week before taking place Aug. 10-11 in Des Moines.

Publishers were sent details on the regional ad building centers in an e-mail from Bob Dickey, Gannett's president of the newspaper division, that said, "Our plans to create centralized advertising production centers in Des Moines and Indianapolis have progressed to the point where we wanted to update you and your employees."

The e-mail, obtained by Gannettoid.com and included at the bottom of this page, included a release for newspapers to share with employees, a Q&A document (below) for employees and a more detailed note on the project from Austin Ryan, Gannett's vice president of production, that Dickey said, "I request that you limit distribution of Austin’s letter to only your operating committee members."


Here's the Q&A for employees:



What is U.S. Community Publishing’s advertising consolidation plan?  
U.S. Community Publishing is planning to consolidate its ad production through the creation of two Gannett Production Centers (GPC) – one in Des Moines, the other in Indianapolis. They will house both Ad Consolidation and the current Regional Toning Centers (RTC), capitalizing on the technology and management infrastructure already in place.

What will these centers be doing? 
These centers will be responsible for many prepress functions throughout Gannett including image processing, receiving and processing electronic ads, ad building, spec ads and ad outsourcing.

Why are we doing this?  
This allows Gannett to stay competitive and is part of a larger effort to standardize technology to improve efficiencies, when and where appropriate.

Will there be layoffs? 
While there will be staff reductions at our newspaper operations, retention considerations will be addressed as each operating unit is notified and the roll out period begins at that unit. We will let everyone know more about this as quickly as we can.

How does the "creative services" part of ad production fit into this plan?   
A separate plan is being developed that will enhance our premium creative services for customers at a local and regional level. This plan will create a group that will be responsible for customers in need of specialized services including the design of high-end creative packages.

We currently use DPS for managing our advertising orders. Will we still use that – or something else?  
Your current ad tracking system will be replaced – even if you use DPS Ad Tracker --since all data will be centralized on one system. All ad tracking IT support will be initiated at the GPC rather than locally. In fact, all data will be centralized at the Maryland Operations Center (MOC) with a redundant backup at the Phoenix Operations Center (POC).

Will this affect our advertising customers?  
This plan will give every Gannett site and their customers access to the latest technology and allow customers to become more involved in the ad submission and proofing process through the use of DPS Ad Tracker On Line (ATOL). ATOL will be used to e-mail submission links to the advertisers -- which then will allow them to submit ads and proof them via the Internet. Sites will also have access through this web portal to the Gannett Creative Library to provide their customers with as many spec ad options as possible.

What about national advertisers? What does this mean for them – and us?  
Our national and regional advertisers will be able to use the National Ad Portal, which allows them to perform functions such as submitting materials to multiple Gannett locations in one upload. They will also be able to check proofs for multiple newspapers in one place once their ads have been built by the GPC. This also will allow for several efficiencies from a systems side such as automated pickups and automated electronic ad processing.

What’s the timing for this?  
Rollout will begin in November 2009 with Des Moines and Iowa City being the first sites to go live.  The Indiana group of newspapers will then follow.  Beginning in February the focus of conversion will be on the larger sites followed by the rest of the sites. All sites should be converted by Q1/Q2 of 2011. Formal rollout schedules will be forth coming and are still in development.

How will it unfold at the sites? 
Each site will be evaluated through a survey early on, and then 90 - 120 days prior to being brought into the GPC, a site visit will occur. A task force has been formed that will be working closely with your site to help prepare for this transition to the new workflow and system.

How will this plan affect advertising production?  
A standardized library of fonts will be established that U.S. Community Publishing sites will be asked to adopt, along with the use of InDesign 4. Graphic libraries will need to be addressed and standardized, as will the graphic services we use today.  Discussions are taking place to make changes to Genesys to standardize order entry across all of U.S. Community Publishing as this will be critical to the workflow system.    


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