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Fooled again?

February 17, 2011

Postmedia has been very, very naughty this week, both pimping and outsourcing.

Yep, Postmedia has decided to once again outsource production operations for most of its Lower Mainland papers to Langley. All production and ad control operations have been centralized, meaning many people across the chain have been laid off or told to commute to beautiful Langley Township. Reporters and editors aren’t directly affected, but it’s hard to see how some part of the system won’t become a major problem for all involved.

They’ve tried it before and it was a flying success. Or not. But I guess headquarters thought to give it another go. If it fails, they’re opening themselves up to plenty of “Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice ….” references.

All this is, obviously, most distressing for those production staff who are involved. But it also  seems like the barebones Postmedia chain is stripping down even further, I guess with an eye to make the balance sheets look as good as possible before the company goes out on the open market. Indeed, the move comes not long after the company layed off Maple Ridge Times editor Chris Campbell and delegated his duties to the Langley Advance’s Roxanne Hooper, and just months after Marlyn Graziano was made publisher of Surrey Now—while retaining her editorial directorship. Departing reporters also aren’t being replaced.

Basically, it seems like this has been engineered by those trying to wring every last cent out of the community papers by making less people do more jobs. In the meantime, who gives a damn abut the actual people working at the papers, right?

You may have noticed the qualifier “most” up there. The Burnaby and Coquitlam Now papers are not having their production centralized. Someone told me that the Burnaby and Coquitlam Nows are also a couple of the only unionized Lower Mainland Postmedia papers. I’m kinda ambivalent about the whole union thing, but it seems like it may have worked there.

  1. Angel
    February 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Dig a little deeper and you may find some BC jobs for PostMedia allocated back east…nothing like taking BC’s community advertising dollars to fund the fat boys in a province that appears it could give two craps about employees on the West Coast. Many are already outraged in the community, and it will only grow as PostMedia management try to deal with things from afar…it’s akin to solving world peace. As for Marlyn, let’s hope she’s tougher than she’s been in past years when it comes to producing advertising dollars…she’s landed in the lead role in one of the toughest markets in Canada, and with a ridiculous workload that apparently she agreed to…good luck! If nothing else, it will be entertaining to watch the process.
    Black Press is similar, cutting costs and restructuring their floundering classified division. Don’t these two companies get it? Being socially competent and authentic is key to embracing the new world of marketing…it will be a hell of a bumpy ride for all companies who have traditionally treated their employees poorly and replaced the socially competent with anti-social egos. People are talking…are they listening?

  2. February 18, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I’ve seen the process of making editors run multiple papers before and it’s so disheartening.

    It kills me that people with no journalistic interests or knowledge make all the decisions that affect the news producers.

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