The McClatchy company will begin editing copy and building pages for the News & Observer of Raleigh, the Charlotte Observer and the Herald of Rock Hill, S.C., out of its Charlotte Observer office, according to reports this afternoon out of Raleigh.
The transition will begin in August. Twenty-five staffers will be given the opportunity to move to Charlotte, reports N&O Assistant Business Editor Alan M. Wolf. Find the report here.
Average daily circulation for the News & Observer is 134,470. Circulation for the Charlotte Observer is 155,497.
The 22,317-circulation Rock Hill Herald has been edited and designed in Charlotte and in Raleigh for a while now.
Full disclosure: I spent time at all three of these papers. I worked as a sports stringer for the Charlotte Observer‘s York County edition from 1981 to 1983. I worked as a sports stringer and free-lance editorial cartoonist for the Herald from 1983 until 1985 and then was the paper’s second-ever full-time news artist and news designer from 1988 until 1993. And I worked as an artist and graphics reporter for the N&O from 1993 to 1996.
I’ll relay more as I hear it from my contacts there.
Here is the full memo to News & Observer staffers, sent out less than 40 minutes ago by N&O publisher Orage Quarles III:
Date: June 6, 2011 5:46:01 PM EDT
To: N&O Employees
Subject: Centralized Publishing Center
MEMO TO:Â Â Â Â All Co-Workers
FROM:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Orage Quarles III
DATE:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â June 6, 2011
SUBJECT:Â Â Â Â Centralized Publishing Center
For several months now, we have been working with The Charlotte
Observer to determine if we could develop a consolidated publishing
center to manage the copy editing and design functions for both of our
newspapers.Â As you may know, several other newspaper companies have
developed these types of centers, and other McClatchy newspapers have
already successfully transitioned to this model.Â The Rock Hill Herald
is currently being designed and copy edited by The Charlotte Observer
and The News & Observer, and The Modesto Bee provides news production
for the Merced Sun-Star.
After an in-depth analysis, we have decided to work with Charlotte and
have the publishing center be housed in Charlotte.Â The transition of
production work will begin this month and continue throughout the
summer.Â We anticipate that the new center will be fully staffed and
functional by mid-September.
So what does this mean for editorial production employees at The News
& Observer?Â Job opportunities are available for all Raleigh employees
who are interested in relocating.Â The employees impacted have been
contacted about the transition to the new center, and we will work
closely with them to discuss these opportunities.Â Employees who are
not interested in the new roles that are available or who prefer not
to relocate will be provided with a severance package that will
include both a Severance Pay Allowance and company-subsidized COBRA.
We understand that these types of changes are difficult to process and
significantly impact our employees.Â But we believe the new center
will allow us to continue to produce a first-rate newspaper and
prepare us for the future.Â Given the new economic realities of our
industry, we must find more efficient ways to deliver the very best
products to our readers and advertisers, and we are confident the new
center will be an important part of our future.
Please contact [editor] John Drescher, [human resources director] Jackie Stark or me if you have any questions.
IMPORTANT: If you’re one of the folks finding out today your job will be going away this summer, read this first: My guide to surviving a layoff. It’s a bit dated. But it’s there for you.