The Courier-Journal’s owner, Gannett Co., is eliminating a key job — copy editor — as it restructures the newsroom of the recently acquired Memphis Commercial Appeal and consolidates work at a big page production hub in Nashville similar to one in Louisville.
But the union representing employees at the Memphis daily began challenging the move yesterday, the Memphis Daily News said today. “This job-cutting plan would weaken our final stages of review and fact-checking and outsource much of the work to people in other cities,” Newspaper Guild president Daniel Connolly told employees in a memo.
The guild is also worried that some staffers losing their jobs in the reorganization won’t get severance pay.
In Louisville, Gannett’s hub designs pages for dozens of other newspapers in the chain at a time when the company is expanding dramatically. It’s launched an $864 million hostile takeover of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and nine other dailies. Earlier this month, Gannett bought N.J.’s Bergen Record and other media properties in the state. And in April, the company completed its $280 million purchase of the Memphis paper and 14 other dailies. Including USA Today, Gannett now owns 109 papers in the U.S. and U.K. It bought the CJ from the Bingham family in 1986 after a bitter fight among family members.