Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Morning News and Star-Telegram JOA five years off? Less?

The Morning News recently announced it was outsourcing most of its advertising graphics work to Gannett. That's with a layoff of 45 people.

That, in turn comes just six months after the Snooze said it was outsourcing its page-building to GateHell. That got rid of about 20 jobs.

The Snooze cited "declining revenue," but didn't say how bad the decline was, whether the paper or the Belo parent is still profitable, if so, by how much, etc.

Speculation about the Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram entering a joint operating agreement has run rampant for several years, starting when they started divvying up, and sharing the packaged product of, pro sports coverage in the Metroplex.

Of course, that was before Belo split TV and newspaper sides, followed by the newspaper successor half selling all non-Dallas print properties. Oh, and Belo sold off its share of Cars.com for short-term money, but what's a long-term revenue hole that's soon starting to hit. More on that here, on the deal, and here, on the five-year preferred treatment that has has two years left.

During the previous speculation, everybody figured the Snooze was operating from the side of strength. I didn't totally think that then, and certainly don't know.

McClatchy is a pretty strong newspaper company, and has held the StartleGram long enough to develop some stability there. If anybody is in a position of at least relative strength, it's the StartleGram, in my book.


In all of this, the smugness of the Snooze, year after year, is part of why I blog about this. I have a friend who works there, and his girlfriend used to. I don't know that she still does, as she was a copy editor/paginator, per the outsourcing to Gatehouse. No schadenfreude against them, but the company's smugness stinks.

Plus spinning off the graphics to Gannett? I guess Belo's alternative biz of providing graphics, advertising and PR services in Dallas isn't working, else these people would have been moved rather than shit-canned, right?


Update, Sept. 19: The Snooze must be getting closer to packing it in .... I saw help wanteds for SIX different intern slots. Yes, they'd be taking interns anyway, but with fewer staff to supervise them, how much do they learn? Or are they replacements?

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