Why Are McClatchy Newspapers Outsourcing Ad Production To India?

Why Are McClatchy Newspapers Outsourcing Ad Production To India?


The media chains are are at it again, and this time it’s affecting people in my hometown.

From Associated Content:

Plenty of Kansas Citians are up in arms over a recent announcement that The Kansas City Star is outsourcing all of the jobs of those who are in the advertising services department – in fact, their entire digital advertising team, according to one blog – to India. The jobs are being outsourced to Infosys Technologies in Bangalore, India. The employees were notified by memo, and the following day The Kansas City Star included a brief in the paper in the business section. The news reported that nine employees were laid off, however in fact there were several more in total. One of the released employees is a very old friend of mine who had been with the company for a number of years.

Now, as if this weren’t enough of a blow, the kicker is this: the employees will retain their employment until after their replacements – who are being flown in, and put up here in Kansas City – have been trained by the displaced employees. And furthermore, according to a blog comment from the best friend of one of those laid off, The Kansas City Star is not giving letters of recommendation to those being let go! Talk about serious insult to injury.

Now folks, I’m all for a global economy, but as the title suggests this is happening elsewhere in the McClatchy network, and if they’re simply making the jobs cheaper then that means somebody higher up isn’t able to monetize their online advertising effectively.

What does that mean? The ad production staff isn’t why they’re not making enough money…it’s their news strategy and the amount of clicks they’re getting. So you really have to love that a big wig or two can make a call to lay off dozens of employees instead of losing their jobs because they’re not able to get people to read McClatchy’s stories. Granted, I could be wrong about that, but that’s how this outsourcing game is usually played.

One last note…these are very good jobs being lost. Digital ad production and “digital” jobs in general are careers we want to keep in the states. In other words, this isn’t like moving a customer service call center to Bangalore, although I’m sure one could argue that those are good jobs for certain Americans too.

And so it goes…

  • Workman3344

    I recall Hillary works closely with India and promised them under her administration more jobs would move to India.

    Come on guys we have to stop this nonsense! The people getting rich are the ones who care nothing about our country.

    Put common sense back in Washington. Vote Obama!

  • http://www.reunitingamerica.org TransPartisan Babe

    OK…I can’t keep my opinions out of this one. My day job is in Project Management and Sales with The Fresno Bee, the first McClatchy paper to outsource their ad techs positions to India.

    When the announcement was first made, it felt like a body blow and I was physically ill. Especially because four of the five folks who were laid off were 10+ year employees. Do I like it? No. Do I understand the business sense? Yes.

    Advice from my boss was to read “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman. It really helped me understand…and become angry about how ineffective our education system has become. While India and China have invested heavily in education, the U.S. has seen steady declines in literacy and the prison population has increased dramatically. Part of our education system that has been neglected is continuous learning and job retraining. In order to compete in the global economy, we need to think innovatively and be proactive in anticipating, and then planning our career changes.

    As a culture, we need individuals to constantly learn new ways of earning a living and a community that offers learning opportunities. I still miss the people who were laid off in Fresno. The uncertainty of job security has affected company morale. The work from India (and lack of cultural translation or too-literal understanding) has been frustrating. Sometimes it was frustrating with our in-house staff, too. There were just different problems.

    One positive aspect of outsourcing that is highlighted in Friedman’s book is how the growth of the middle class around the world provides security. After all, people who are comfortable with their lives are unlikely to go to war…they have too much to risk. Friedman’s book is mind-blowing and ends by challenging the U.S. to focus on innovation and education. The world comes to the U.S. because of our innovative society…then when people return home, they beat us at our own game.

    In regards to McClatchy having the ad techs train their replacements…they have offered big financial incentives for those choosing this option. It’s not just heartless business. It’s about the first priority of keeping the company financially viable. Please understand that ad revenues are in a steep decline from last year. Readership is actually increasing through combined the print and online products. When the real estate, job recruitment, retail and automotive categories return to advertising at previous levels, assuming that is even possible, then I’ll look for new jobs to be added in house. Until then, we’re trying to make it through the tough economic climate…just like everyone else.

  • Mac

    In response to
    “Come on guys we have to stop this nonsense! The people getting rich are the ones who care nothing about our country.”

    Come ON people! No one’s holding a gun to the heads of companies here. No one’s reducing costs just to gain an edge. Economy being the way it is it’s only natural that there is a difference.

    Instead of berating India for her effort towards betterment you should be criticizing the McClatchy network for the shoddy way they’ve decided to go about things. They had a choice – and they chose to do it the wrong way!

    Throwing the blame on India is like yelling at your cat for drinking milk that had accidentally split over into his feeding bowl from your son’s glass.

  • Philam

    Many and many businesses are now accepting this trend and it keeps increasing especially in this time of recession. Outsourcing enables many companies to focus on various areas of expertise, while gaining access to external skills and capabilities. However, there are still individuals or companies who do not clearly understand the importance or the benefits of outsourcing that could help their business grow. But, we can’t blame them why they think that way because they are too affected. We still respect them.