March 29, 2021

On Monday, McClatchy announced a change to its page design and typesetting via an email that Poynter obtained. At least 26 people will lose their jobs.

McClatchy’s Kerry Bean wrote in the email that the work will go to Express KCS, which will “handle design and typesetting for 21 McClatchy papers beginning in early May, with the remaining large markets served by the Publishing Center scheduled to follow this summer. Publishing Center staff and our local newsrooms will maintain control of McClatchy’s work, including deciding story play and ‘pre-finishing’ content to ensure that online headlines, cutlines and other display type sent over by newsrooms are in a format acceptable for print.”

Sixteen people will lose their jobs on May 16, with another 10 on June 13. The final staffers leave Aug. 15.

“This decision is an important step in McClatchy’s transformation. It’s possible only because of the work we’ve done to standardize workflows and build efficiencies into the print production process, freeing our newsrooms to focus on reporting local news that is essential to our communities,” Bean wrote. “It, unfortunately, means we will say goodbye to valued colleagues.”

McClatchy has newsrooms in 30 cities, including The Miami Herald and The Kansas City Star. Last year, the company closed seven offices because of the pandemic, laid off 84 staffers who had previously been furloughed, and closed or will close the printing plants for The (Raleigh, North Carolina) News & Observer and the (Durham, North Carolina) Herald-Sun and The Kansas City (Missouri) Star, resulting in more than 200 layoffs.

Starting last year with the pandemic, newspapers around the U.S. had rounds of layoffs, furloughs, closures and cuts in print, which Poynter is still tracking.

In an email, McClatchy declined to comment.

Correction: An earlier version of this story listed the McClatchy plants that have closed, the North Carolina plant will close in April. 

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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