Former Contra Costa Times Executive Editor Chris Lopez (pictured) says that paper’s former owner, Knight Ridder, was considering creating super regional copy editing centers that would have centralized the copy editing functions of its 32 newspapers. In 2006, Knight Ridder sold off its newspapers and went out of business. Lopez moved on to a top newsroom job at Gannett’s Desert Sun in Palm Springs.

In a letter to Jim Romenesko’s blog, Lopez says:

    “Since KR’s demise, other companies have and are studying the concept. In fact, MediaNews is already proving that each individual newsroom doesn’t need a copy desk. Its East Bay operations are set up around the notion that copy editing functions can be to an extent centralized within a cluster of newspapers. Multi-media companies like MediaNews will continue find cost efficiencies as they centralize the production of both print products and online operations.”

Lopez’s comments were in response to Jody Lodovic, president of MediaNews Group, the current owner of the Contra Costa Times. Lodovic told Bloomberg News that his company is saving money by creating centralized copy desks and he questioned why every individual paper needs a copy desk. Critics, including former MediaNews San Mateo County Times editor John Bowman, have said that a centralized copy desk has led to embarrassing errors. (Photo credit:

SF Press Club News

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  1. The centralized news desk for Singleton’s East Bay newspapers produced the following centerpiece cutline, which ran on the local section front of the Oakland Tribune on Oct. 22:
    VOLUNTEER CHERYL SAUNDERS (above) arraigns the UNICEF cards in the United Nations Center store Friday in Berkeley. After a few month without UNICEF products (below), the United Nations Center store has once again received its merchandise again.

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