Archive for the ‘Murfreesboro’ Category

In Tenn., a variation on ad-production offshoring

September 18, 2008

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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Gannett eliminates publisher’s job at Tenn. paper

September 4, 2008

In an anticipated budget-cutting move, GCI has asked the publisher of the Murfreesboro newspaper to also lead The Leaf-Chronicle in nearby Clarksville. Andrew Oppmann takes over the duties of Gene Washer, 68, who retired last week after 45 years at the Leaf-Chronicle — 13 under Gannett ownership. Amid consolidation of many high-paying publisher’s jobs, Gannett Blog readers had speculated that Washer’s position would be axed.

Oppmann has been publisher of The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro — about 90 minutes from Clarksville, the Leaf-Chronicle says, in a bare-bones story that details little about him. Oppmann joined Gannett in 1994, according to a GCI link I found on his family’s website. (Nice to see a digitally savvy publisher, BTW!) He and has family will continue living in Murfreesboro.

A Clarksville newspaper reader was skeptical about the appointment. “He’s doing two jobs at once?” the reader wrote in a comment on the paper’s story. “I wonder what the official reason is for that besides cheapness.”

Gannett’s Tennessee papers

  • Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville: 21,253 daily, 24,551 Sunday
  • The Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro: 14,635 daily, 18,159 Sunday
  • The Jackson Sun, Jackson: 31,596 daily, 36,915 Sunday
  • The Tennessean, Nashville: 162,911 daily, 224,318 Sunday

[Image: yesterday’s Leaf-Chronicle front page, Newseum; circulation data, 2007 Annual Report to shareholders]

Tenn. pub’s retirement spurs consolidation chatter

August 29, 2008

Gene Washer‘s retirement today as publisher of The Leaf-Chronicle has readers here wondering whether Gannett may use his departure as an opportunity to do away with the top job at the daily in Clarksville, Tenn. Washer, 68, leaves after 45 years at the newspaper — 13 under GCI ownership. A replacement for Washer “will be named soon,” the paper says in a very (!) long story, quoting Ellen Leifeld, publisher of The Tennessean in Nashville, and vice president of Gannett’s South Newspaper Group, which includes the Clarksville daily.

But with GCI cutting costs by asking publishers to oversee multiple papers, Gannett Blog readers are speculating on this open-comments post about what’s next in Clarksville:

  • “If you have another Gannett paper near by, you might have a shared pub. A few papers are already putting a pub over more than one paper.”
  • “Nearest Clarksville is Nashville, where the publisher has her hands filled already. . . . The retiring Clarksville publisher is 68, three years beyond normal retirement age, and kept around to allow GCI to figure out what to do. I gather he got fed up waiting for a decision after three years. The big game plan, I once heard, involved folding both the Leaf-Chronicle and the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal into the Tennessean, despite the distances involved. Think that plan still alive, maybe part of the move towards creating statewide newspapers in Arizona, New Jersey and Tennessee. Stay tuned.”
  • “Putting middle Tennessee together a long-time GCI dream. Dickson, Gallatin, Henderson, Fairview and Ashland already under the Tennessean, so it would only be a small step to bring in Clarksville and Murfreesboro. The problem is that the Tennessean‘s presses are already contracted out to other publications, including Nashville Scene, City Paper, and the Nashville Business Journal. Cramming the other publications would be very difficult, but would save a huge amount of money. Since Gannett is looking for cost savings, I’ll bet they will go ahead with this plan and work out the difficulties afterwards.”

Gannett’s Tennessee papers

  • Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville: 21,253 daily, 24,551 Sunday
  • The Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro: 14,635 daily, 18,159 Sunday
  • The Jackson Sun, Jackson: 31,596 daily, 36,915 Sunday
  • Tennessean, Nashville: 162,911 daily, 224,318 Sunday

[Image: a recent screenshot from the Leaf-Chronicle‘s homepage; circulation data, 2007 Annual Report to shareholders]