The Society of News Design interviewed Kate Marymont, the vice president of news at Gannett’s community publishing division, on her company’s decision to consolidate pagination and design of all its papers into five central hubs.
SND asked about the job outlook for the many designers already working at Gannett papers:
“Can you give us any indication how many jobs might be eliminated? How do you think hub positions might be filled? Would current Gannett employees apply for jobs at the Centers? Will Gannett add local reporting or interactive positions at papers that lost jobs?”
We don’t know how many jobs might be eliminated. We are just beginning this project and a first step is to survey and analyze the work done at each site. Fewer journalists now are strictly designers or copy editors. During a single shift someone might design for print, post digital content, write headlines for print, write headlines for search optimization. Our first step is to get a deep understanding of how the work is done each place. Then we will go about the business of constructing what we need at the Design Centers.
When we finalize the structure of the Design Centers and the jobs that will be needed, we’ll create job descriptions and post them. We certainly hope that Gannett designers see the Design Centers as exciting places to work and a good career path. We want Gannett designers to have first crack at these jobs. Some, we know, won’t choose to relocate.
There are a few comments on the post from people claiming to be Gannett designers:
“As someone who likely will lose her job because of these new Design Centers, I can tell you the only people who are excited about this new concept are the people at the top of the Gannett food chain. After having talked with several of my coworkers, no one in my department is looking forward to this. Most of us cannot relocate and know that we will not be assigned other duties at the paper. The only bright spot in all of this is that I know I have time to look for other work rather than walking in the door, being laid off and asked to leave.”
Another commenter added: “Evil, thy name is Gannett.”