Earlier this week, we contacted Boulder Daily Camera publisher Al Manzi after hearing the paper's publishing company had told nearly twenty workers they would be laid off -- and that they'd subsequently learned many of the paper's ad-design chores would be outsourced to India. Today, Manzi got back to us, shortly after the Camera published a story that confirmed the broad outlines of the tip.
According to the report, Prairie Mountain Publishing, which publishes the Camera, the Colorado Daily and the Longmont Times-Call, among other publications, plans to lay off seventeen staffers, most of them from the advertising-design department. This move is described as being part of a "broader initiative" by Digital First Media, a new entity run by MediaNews Group (the Denver Post's owner and Prairie Mountain's parent) and the Journal Register Co., to "outsource print and digital advertising design operations" to a company called Affinity Express. Although the firm is based in Illinois, it has what are termed "locations" in India and Indonesia. Hence, it's likely, if not absolutely guaranteed, that the tasks previously performed by the Boulder staffers will now be handled overseas after a transition expected to occur over the next three months or so.
In addition, the piece notes that pre-press operations for Prairie Mountain's properties, fifteen in all, will be shifted to the Denver Post.
Speaking to Westword after the article's publication, Manzi made it clear that the decision was a difficult one.
"We love our employees," he said. "We had a strong relationship with them, and we're proud of the work they did."
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Still, he adds, "the economic realities of our business and the economic realities of this country, and the change in the digital transformation we're all going through, require us to look at all the efficiencies. And this was an obvious one."
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More from our Media archive: "John Paton named MediaNews Group CEO: What's it mean to MNG's pay-wall experiment?"