Written by Donald A. Promnitz
The Fresno Bee is on the receiving end of a shakeup following a decision by The McClatchy Co. to centralize.
McClatchy, the Bee’s parent company, will move the page design functions for all 30 of its newspapers to an office in Charlotte, North Carolina. This includes the News Desk West Teams – McClatchy employees assigned to each of the company’s West Coast papers, including The Fresno Bee, The Sacramento Bee, The Modesto Bee, The Merced Sun-Star and the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
According to Gary Wortel, McClatchy’s West Regional publisher, the decision comes as McClatchy shifts its focus to digital production and away from printing. He further explained the decision in an email to The Sacramento Business Journal.
“By consolidating our news desks we achieve cost savings in the layout and production of our print product as well as operation efficiencies,” Wortel said. “As a strategy, our digital transformation is underway, our local journalism can be found by consumers on multiple platforms online and we now reach more people than ever.”
All News Desk West employees have been offered positions at the new Charlotte location. This includes the three full-time employees at The Fresno Bee’s desk.
Jeanne Segal, director of public relations and communications at McClatchy, added that the move would not affect the reading experience for The Fresno Bee.
McClatchy has been moving to cut expenses as it shifts focus to the digital realm. Back in May 2017, eight full-time newsroom positions were eliminated. The year before, The Fresno Bee’s printing operation was relocated to Sacramento, leading to the loss of 27 full-time and 57 part-time positions.