Late yesterday the AP confirmed news that Nick Schou broke last week right here on our blog: the paper has taken the layoff model to another level and will now outsource some of its editing and layout duties to a "global media" company near New Delhi.
With the last round of layoffs knocking 90 people out of their jobs, this information isn't so much surprising as it is kind of weird and a little shocking. When you compare the move to much of corporate America, then the paper is following suit -- outsource to India because people will work long hours and you'll save yourself the costs of actually paying your employees a decent wage and health benefits.
The paper, says deputy editor John Fabris, is in a "test" phase and will limit its outsourcing to the layout of one of its community papers (not specified by Fabris, but a source told Nick it would be the San Clemente Sun-Post) and the copy editing of some of the stories in the actual paper. Fabris says jobs won't be affected. But come on, three rounds of layoffs and then the news that you'll be outsourcing some of your editorial work to a company called "Mindworks Global Media" in a cheaper faraway country that could care less about what's what in Orange County? We don't want to be doom and gloom here, but...
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It's not hard to imagine the eventual increments (which I'm sure the Reg hopes go unnoticed by the AP and blogs like us): first a little copy editing, then add another community newspaper or two, then some content editing, and before you know it maybe a reporter or two. The Miami Herald announced last week that it will be making a bunch of job cuts and will outsource even more of its editorial work, after initiating what were probably some "test" runs with the same Mindworks group back in January. The Sacramento Bee decided to outsource some of its advertising work to the same outfit late last year. If this is an indicator of where things are headed, then we're all damned to New Delhi.