In Tenn., a variation on ad-production offshoring

Advertising production work for seven Tennessee newspapers is being consolidated at one of them — The Tennessean in Nashville — even as Gannett ships more of that work companywide to India, under a contract with 2AdPro.

The switch later this month involves 22 positions; nine jobs will be eliminated, Tennessean Publisher Ellen Leifeld told employees in a memo. (Ad production is the task of creating the display ads that appear online and in print.)

The other papers are at Clarksville, Jackson, Murfreesboro, Gallatin, Dickson and Franklin. “Designers at those newspapers will be given the opportunity to apply for these 22 positions,” the memo says. “We will still have at least one person remain at each of the respective newspapers to coordinate the flow of ad material from the newspaper, to Nashville and back to the newspaper. Overall, this change will result in the elimination of nine positions.”

Leifeld’s note continues: “Centralizing our design services will allow us to make the best use of the skills we have at all locations, as well as standardize procedures and improve work flow. Additional benefits include better sharing of technology and a more effective proofing system, which directly benefits our customers.”

For months now, Gannett has been moving ad-production work to India under a contract with 2AdPro of Los Angeles. That offshoring has resulted in the elimination of scores of jobs across the company.

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14 Responses to “In Tenn., a variation on ad-production offshoring”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    The scanning monkey at each of the outlying sites should be made a new position and people can apply for that too. No reason that the most senior person making the most money should get the job by default.

    Seems ridiculous to pay someone north of $20/hour to fax ad layouts to Nashville.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe the reps can mail their layouts to 2adpro so a scanning monkey in India can send the materials to Nashville for design. Turnaround time… 6-8 weeks. Scanning monkey savings? Hmmmmm.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Whenever corporate comes down with labor saving wonders, the sites are expected to give up bodies, regardless of whether the work really goes away or just changes.

    By consolidating all the positions in one location, Leifeld can cut the number of FTE’s that corporate demands without losing the ability to actually produce work.

    If your paper in Franklin (home of every country music star you ever heard of, see Wikipedia) has only four artists to begin with – one gets cut, one goes on vacation, and one gets sick, well, that’s a problem.

    Centralized ad design means you have a lot of artists that can be cross-trained to accommodate all sorts of personnel moves.

    Biggest problem with this, and with 2adpro, is that the big city designers in Nashville may not know that the new car manager at Franklin Buick-Pontiac-GMC is a real prick about hating the color yellow. Pulls his ads for a month at a time because he has to keep telling new people never to use yellow, and now a new artist touches his ad every week.

    Maybe the aforementioned scanning monkey will be able to write all the peccadillos of all the accounts on every ad sent up.

    Oh, what happens when scanning monkey goes on vacation? No ads that week?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Isn’t this what Wausau has been doing for six months already for Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield and Stevens Point?

  5. Jim Hopkins Says:

    Don’t you love the fact that publishers and other executives must now word memos with the knowledge that employees will likely share them here with colleagues across the company — and the world? Sweet!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t get it. Then why contract with 2AdPro if we are all going to “centralize” our workflow in ad production anyway? Not that I’m not all for keeping the work local, but the apple cart was upset only to have someone else pick the apples back up again. Hey, it’s not as if a whole hell of a lot of money is being saved by laying off designers. We don’t all don’t make that much money anyway!

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Good point, 6:37. My artists start at $10 and max out around $20 (before benefits and etc.), less than 50k circulation paper. They average an ad and a half per hour. If every ad we send to 2adpro costs us $20, regardless of size, tell me how this is going to save money?

    If the ads were full pages, I could see it. But in this economy, most of our ads are 1/4 page or less. I expect my hourly averages to inch up, and they have. There is a break even point, but for the loss of local control and customer service, we should be saving money like mad going to 2adpro – not just figuring on breaking even.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    6:08 am

    Is Wausau also sending ads to be created to 2AdPro? It may help to know how well the system is working there to give a heads up for the others who are going to be in the same boat soon.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    When I see information like this about offshoring jobs, it makes me wonder if Indiana made Gannett list how many jobs went overseas before they granted that tax abatement and training grant money to—-you guessed it—-create jobs at the new service center. Just doesn’t make a bit of sense to me that Gannett gets government help after the company axed so many people. I say this: If your transformation favors overseas workers, live with the consequences of that and don’t ask for any kind of help from US taxpayers—for at least 100 years.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    5:46, I agree that everyone should be able to apply for this position and seniority should have nothing to do with it. Screaming seniority got everyone in Ad Services in trouble in the first place. Gannett through up their hands and “Out sourced”

    As for 2adpro. Everyones job is on the line in Ad Services. 2adpro will do everything needed to eliminate your job. Once the sales reps fold, Gannett will have all of this layout stuff sent to one central location. Easier to pool peoples strengths even when someone is on vacation. 2adpro will eliminate scores of managers with high pay.

    As for clients, they will get used to it after a while if they want to compete with the others in the paper. Or maybe they will just advertise in a nice glossy magazine that cost a lot less then anything owned by Gannett.

    If I was you I would try to get a job at 2adpro in L.A. first. Learn to surf and sit back and wait for the big one.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    7:52, that is pretty funny if it weren’t so pathetic. Did you save it and post it on your cubicle?

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Regarding the mausoleum ad….dont you proof your ads? Were your adq numbers prior to this perfect?…never published a mistake?..never had an ad credit?

    I knew people would find something to bitch about if the ads were even centralized to US workers.

    We send our nastiest ads to 2adpro, it frees up the people we have to focus on the important stuff like customer service and getting changes done lightning quick.

    All the people that have trouble making 2adpro work, I just dont get it. If you put as much effort into it as you to bitching, you would see a big difference.

    Ye its 15 or 20 bucks to do any size ad, but why are you sending them 2x4s instead of the complex stuff that would take 3 or 4 hours. Use the system to the biggest advantage.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    at the nj sites, we have kind of already experienced what i think is going on in Tenn. we always had bureaus…freehold, toms river, manahawkin, keyport…ADS in each. Now, most everything is handled through Neptune and East Brunswick. Toms River, Manahawkin & Freehold now have only 1 person who bundles the ads & sends them via courier to Neptune. I think HNT (E Bruns) just handles their own stuff. Is this in fact what's happening in Tenn?

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Have you ever tried call customer service for a computer in Bangalore? Not the best experience for most people, and it isn’t the best regarding the ads either. It’s like trying to play telephone with tin cans and a string! The more Gannett sacrifices quality for $$, it’s no wonder readership is declining as well as ad $$. Amazing to see this company run into the ground like this.

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