Shop Talk - January 24
The panelists discuss Gatehouse Media's decision to have all of its newspapers laid out in one of two central locations.
Copy editors across Illinois are losing their jobs as a result of the change. The company's stock increased a full penny after the decision was announced.
The panelists are critical of the plan. They point out copy editors do more than check for spelling and grammar mistakes. They also make decisions on where to place stories in the paper. Someone at a central hub in Chicago or Boston won't have the institutional memory of a copy editor in a local newsroom and thus might not recognize the significance of some stories.
The panelists recognize that companies need to make money - and Gatehouse also needs to pay off a huge debt - but they feel continued cuts in personnel will only hurt the quality of local papers, which will ultimately hurt profitability.