The Mercury News plans to outsource its ad production to Express KCS, a company whose employees work in this building (pictured) in Gurgaon, India. The move follows the outsourcing of ad production by other MediaNews Group papers including the Contra Costa Times and the Alameda Newspaper Group. The Newspaper Guild at the St. Paul Pioneer Press posted on its Web site the following memo from the Merc’s advertising vp, Jeff Kiel:

    This afternoon it was communicated that the Mercury News plans to outsource its Composing Room work to Express KCS (“EKCS”), a vendor with operations in India. As background, in November, Contra Costa Newspapers and the Alameda Newspaper Group announced that they were outsourcing their ad production services to EKCS. At that time, we said that we would be monitoring EKCS’ performance over the next several months to determine whether the Mercury News would also be outsourcing its ad production work. CCN’s and ANG’s outsourcing has been successful, and creating one ad production platform for all California Newspapers Partnership properties is a critical component in creating the operational synergies necessary for success in this changing business environment.

    Between now and June 30, the plan is for the existing Composing Room workforce to continue working under the terms of their contract. The transition period will begin July 1, 2007 and should be completed by August 31, 2007.

    We are appreciative of the work that our Composing Room employees have performed over the years, and would not be making this decision if it were not supported by sound business reasons. In addition, we are confident, based on the collective experiences of CCN and ANG, that EKCS will allow us to provide quality ad building services to our clients.

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, Mary Evans or your division Director.

    We will keep you up to date on this transition as it progresses.

(Photo credit: Newspapers & Technology)

SF Press Club News

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