Archive for December 3rd, 2009

Magazines, a dying breed

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Advertising Age’s Mediaworks page profiles 35 magazines that have folded since April 2008, from “the latest to fall … National Geographic Adventure, a 10-year-old title that will become a multiplatform brand that includes Web and books, but not a monthly magazine,” to Southern Accents, Nickelodeon, Blender, Best Life, PC Magazine and Cottage Living, and on to Future Snowboarding Magazine and Games for Windows.

Firm defends outsourced copy editing

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

News & Tech, in its December  issue, looks at outsourcing of newspapers’ editorial functions, such as copy editing and design. Last month, the Toronto Star proposed to contract out about 80 copy editors’ jobs.

Toronto’s plan, which N&T says could be abandoned if unions make concessions, would send the work to Pagemasters, which “already produce[s] more than 10,000 editorial pages a month for papers that include the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age in Melbourne and the New Zealand Herald.”

Stewart Muir, managing director of Pagemasters North America, explained the Pagemasters concept to the magazine. Its “‘near-sourcing’ alternative offers publishers benefits, especially as newspapers wrestle to cut costs,” he said.

“‘It has a proven track record,’ he said of the firm’s services, citing in part the New Zealand Herald, which has used Pagemasters for layout and copy editing for two years.

“‘Lots of North American newspapers want that service mentality. And it’s not just the newsroom. The reason they have outsourced ad production and printing and other operations is because they can get the results they need.’

“Muir acknowledges that editorial outsourcing remains a contentious topic, but said Pagemasters does not farm out work to overseas workers who may only earn a third of what a Canadian or U.S. copy editor might make.

“Instead, Muir said Pagemasters opens up production centers in areas close to its clients, and hires trained journalists who are paid equivalent wages and benefits. Cost savings come from Pagemasters policies and procedures designed to optimize how copy flows throughout the day.

“‘Journalist wages in a Pagemasters shop are totally comparable’ to the newspaper, Muir said. ‘It’s about delivering efficiency.

“‘We’re talking about the most precious part of a newspaper endeavor, the creation and editing of editorial material. Nobody is talking about just farming this out.'”

More layoffs at Miami Herald

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

The Miami Herald, a McClatchy newspaper, announced the elimination of 24 positions Wednesday and a reduction in hours “for departments directly related to newspaper production,” Editor & Publisher reports.

McClatchy Watch has Publisher David Landsberg’s e-mail to employees.

All hourly staffers in Prepress, Printing Operations, Electric Shop, Machine Shop, Packaging and Transportation will see their work weeks reuced to 37.5 hours, according to the New Times of Broward-Palm Beach, which has Landsberg’s and Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal’s e-mails.

“In the newsroom, this will mean the loss of six full-time positions, one part-time position and reductions in hours for several staff members, most of them editors and supervisors,” Gyllenhall says. “Those affected were contacted first thing this morning.”

Newsroom cuts include an assigning editor, two copy editors, two designers, a photo editor and a part-time librarian, New Times says.

“We’ve worked to keep the number of jobs lost as low as possible and have tried to avoid impact on newsgathering. For this reason, no reporter or photographer positions will be involved. The reduction for El Nuevo Herald will be one and a half positions, both editing posts.”

But, “For a newsroom of 200 staffers and a media company with about 900 employees, (this week’s) cuts are not enormous,” the New Times says. According to its count, “In 2008, the Herald eliminated more than 370 jobs through layoffs and buyouts. This March,  175 more jobs disappeared, followed by 16 more in August.”

N.C. Chamber’s magazine to cease publication

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Lack of  advertising is causing the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce to fold its NC Magazine, which first published in 1943, The News & Observer reports.

The November/December issue went to “roughly 14,000 subscribers” this week. The newspaper’s report does not mention the magazine’s Web site.

The Chamber reduced publication from monthly to bi-monthly last spring, and three years ago outsourced production to S&A Cherokee, the Cary-based publisher of several magazines.

“Up until this year, it was sustaining itself,” Sherry Melton, the Chamber’s vice president of communications told The N&O. “It wasn’t until ’09 that everything went downhill.”