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Consolidation of Booth papers


LA Dave

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According to a blurb on MLive.com, the eight Booth papers in Michigan are consolidating copy desk and ad operations and buying out folks. I don't have details, but according to a comment, the copy desk operations will be consolidated in GR and the ad operations will be consolidated in Kalamazoo.

Curious how a copy desk operates in one city for reporters in another. Does a GR copy editor really know how that street name in Jackson is spelled? At least they aren't proposing sending the operations overseas (a paper in Pasadena proposed outsourcing the reporters to India.)

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According to a blurb on MLive.com, the eight Booth papers in Michigan are consolidating copy desk and ad operations and buying out folks. I don't have details, but according to a comment, the copy desk operations will be consolidated in GR and the ad operations will be consolidated in Kalamazoo.

Curious how a copy desk operates in one city for reporters in another. Does a GR copy editor really know how that street name in Jackson is spelled? At least they aren't proposing sending the operations overseas (a paper in Pasadena proposed outsourcing the reporters to India.)

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Thanks, GR Observer, for that link. Some of the comments (which are worth reviewing) were from Jim Carty, who left the Ann Arbor News to go to law school.

While this is somewhat good news for GR, in that presumably some jobs are moving there, I suspect that there will be cuts at the Press as well. No surprises -- the LA Times has had its newsroom cut by half, and the LA Times Washington Bureau is no more. And this was a paper that a few years ago had designs on being a national paper like the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal.

As someone who worships newspapers (we get three at home every morning), I find this news very depressing.

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Thanks, GR Observer, for that link. Some of the comments (which are worth reviewing) were from Jim Carty, who left the Ann Arbor News to go to law school.

While this is somewhat good news for GR, in that presumably some jobs are moving there, I suspect that there will be cuts at the Press as well. No surprises -- the LA Times has had its newsroom cut by half, and the LA Times Washington Bureau is no more. And this was a paper that a few years ago had designs on being a national paper like the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal.

As someone who worships newspapers (we get three at home every morning), I find this news very depressing.

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It strikes me, as an outside observer, is that the Press is aiming toward a suburban readership that it believes is Republican and conservative, i.e., Georgetown Township, Caledonia, etc. That the City of GR is increasingly blue probably doesn't faze the publisher, because he is aiming for a different reader base.

Am I off-base in that assessment?

With regard to the other Booth papers, they are losing more. I don't think that you can Google knowledge of a city. One of the benefits of a local editor is that they have a connection to the city and knowledge of its people and its ways. Trying to edit by very remote control strikes me as dangerous. (Not the same concern about page design or ad functions -- they certainly can be centralized, and probably should be.)

By the way, the reason for the realignment is that Booth (or rather, Newhouse) has made a pledge to employees that they will not be laid off. This was in apparent exchange for an agreement by the news staff not to unionize. Given what is happening elsewhere in newspapers, it is a far better fate to have to move from, say, Jackson to Grand Rapids than to be out of work in Jackson.

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