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More layoffs — production jobs go to India

The Contra Costa Times is confirming a report that appeared on the Press Club web page two days ago that a large part of its graphic design department will be outsourced to a foreign country. Production artist, typist and proofreader operations will be eliminated between Dec. 8 and March 30, and would be handled by Express-KCS, a U.S. company with operations in India.

The report also said that the MediaNews Group papers in the Bay Area will be laying off more employees, although management is refusing to provide exact numbers. A story written by George Avalos said that Publisher John Armstrong described the cuts as “broad but not deep.”

While Armstrong refused to give a figure of jobs lost, he said that previous Internet-based reports that the cutbacks would be massive were a “gross exaggeration.” Armstrong was probably referring to the East Bay Express blog written by Bob Gammon, a former ANG reporter and union organizer, who quoted a previous memo by Armstrong that warned of layoffs.

Armstrong said the cuts were made in news, advertising, circulation, production, finance and administration. “Walnut Creek, Pleasanton, Oakland and San Mateo” were the primary locations for the job cuts, Armstrong said. [Armstrong’s memo to his staff, via Romenesko]

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