Raleigh News & Observer to move production work to Charlotte

Raleigh News & Observer

Beginning in August, staffers at a new production center in Charlotte will do copy editing and page design for the News & Observer and its community newspapers, as well as the Charlotte Observer and the Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. — all McClatchy papers. “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, says N&O’s publisher in a memo posted below.

MEMO TO: All Co-Workers

FROM: Orage Quarles III

DATE: June 6, 2011

SUBJECT: 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. 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. 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. The transition of production work will begin this month and continue throughout the summer. 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? Job opportunities are available for all Raleigh employees who are interested in relocating. The employees impacted have been contacted about the transition to the new center, and we will work closely with them to discuss these opportunities. 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. But we believe the new center will allow us to continue to produce a first-rate newspaper and prepare us for the future. 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 John Drescher, Jackie Stark or me if you have any questions.

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