The company announced Tuesday that it does NOT plan to attempt to outsource or consolidate the Journal Star copy desk in Peoria for the term of management’s proposed contract to the Guild (18 months).
This is according to our Newspaper Guild representative, who received a message from the company’s attorney.
Why? We are not sure. Possibly GateHouse wants to implement the change in phases, and Peoria is not part of its first phase. Remember, any such change is subject to collective bargaining: What GateHouse wants and what it gets are two different things.
However, the threat of job elimination remains: We have no indication of any plan for GateHouse to modify its intent to outsource outside circulation. These are 36 Guild jobs.
Employees at The State Journal-Register in Springfield and The Register-Mail in Galesburg received notification Tuesday afternoon that they’ll consolidate their layout operations by June 2012. While the SJ-R only held several verbal meetings Tuesday afternoon, the R-M sent this memo out to staff:
Gatehouse is moving toward central design desks for all of its newspapers. The desks will be in Chicago and Boston.
Central desk, what it means
What that means to us is that by June, we will not be laying out The R-M or related special sections in Galesburg. The design work will be done by a central desk in Chicago. We’ll copy edit stories and cutlines and prepare the content for each page. The central desk will proof pages and send them to our prepress.
How about the staff?
I expect staff reductions. Corporate will let me know the extent of those reductions by mid February.
Common pages start soon
Our first step toward a central desk is to start using “common pages” designed by the central desk. Starting Monday, Jan. 23, we’ll use the following common pages:
* Nation/World (either full or half-page)
* National sports page (either full or half-page)
* National sports agate (four columns, full page or 6 columns half-page)
We also have an option for a business page (full or half).
Accessing common pages
The pages will be made available to us via the GateHouse News Service website in PDF format. They won’t have page toppers or folios.
Page size changes slightly
Using the common pages means we’ll adjust our image size of our pages a little. We’ll go from a width of 10.125 to 10 inches and we’ll go from a 21.25 length to 21.5 inches.
New styles sheets, updating libraries
It also means our fonts will change to match the common pages. Ken is working on new style sheets. We’ll also have to update our libraries.