Gannett Blog is owned and operated by Jim Hopkins, who describes himself and the project as follows:

I’m a former USA Today editor and reporter, writing about the digital transition of Gannett Co., the nation’s biggest newspaper publisher, and one of its largest private employers (about 42,000 workers). Gannett Blog gets more than 100,000 monthly page views, ranking it in the top 8% of all blogs, according to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008.

From a post dated April 20, 2009:

A tipster says a regional page production desk for the five Louisiana newspapers is moving forward, and could be based at The Times of Shreveport. I’ve asked Publisher Pete Zanmiller for comment.

An anonymous response:

Your buddy is at work again, Jim.

We’ve been speculating about the Louisiana hub for a couple of weeks. Heard it was supposed to roll out in May.

Shreveport is still without an executive editor. The last word from the previous EE was that Shreveport met budget goals in Q1 ’09 by cutting expenses, although revenue was down.

This letter, published on Gannett Blog on April 2, 2009, from Ann Clark, a general executive in the Gannett News division, may shed some light on what this could mean for those of us in Alexandria (bold mine):

Following is Corporate’s memo outlining a plan to consolidate newspaper page production at a series of new “production hubs.” Note: Ann Clark is a general executive in the News Department. Also, I don’t know who got this e-mail; in the version provided to me, the “to” line of recipient names and addresses wasn’t included.

From: Clark, Ann
Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2009 7:18 PM

Friends:

This note is to give you a heads up on an important project that we have launched.

As you probably know, Bob Dickey pulled together a group of folks a few weeks ago to discuss ways that we can streamline our work to result in significant savings. Concepts related to how we could be more efficient were central to the conversation.

A major result of those discussions is a project that focuses on workflow standardization issues. The feeling among editors in the group was that we needed to take a look at how our copy/production desks were structured and streamline ways to be more efficient with this work. That idea resulted in a plan to develop production hubs. A production hub located at one site would produce the pages from another site.

The local site would handle copy editing and story placement.

We identified possible production hub setups based on regional compatibility and system compatibility. Some of you may already be working on this based on conversations with your publisher or group president.

If not, this note is to let you know that you will be hearing from members of the team on this project in the next few days.

We are developing a wide range of material that will help get these production hubs up and running as easily as possible. We are working on communication issues, training needs, system compatibility issues, the possibility of common content/pages, etc.

The group is moving forward quickly on this. Members will reach out to you to get specific details on your operation.

The goal is to have these production hubs in place as early as possible in the last six months of the year
. We know we don’t have a lot of time.

As always, I am available to discuss any aspects of this.

Thanks for your support.

Ann

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