By: M.L. Stein
Some 70 to 80 jobs will be eliminated sp.
THE DAILY NEWS of Los Angeles is phasing out its advertising composing room in what is described as a groundbreaking system of handing over the entire ad production process to an outside company.
Larry Beasley, the newspaper’s president and CEO, said that 70 to 80 jobs will be eliminated through attrition under a plan agreed to by the International Typographical Union (ITU).
He said the Daily News is “outsourcing” its ads to Volt Information Services, of Bluebell, Pa., which has three production centers around the country and is currently producing Yellow Pages.
“We don’t know of any other newspaper doing this,” Beasley stated. “Other newspapers already have asked us about our program.”
He explained that Volt takes the ad layouts from the paper’s sales force, scans them into its system at the paper and then feeds them to one of its production centers to be set. They then are returned electronically to the Daily News.
“They do everything from start to finish,” Beasley said.
Editorial content is not involved and no editorial workers are losing jobs, Beasley added.
He said the process, which began about a month ago, still has a few bugs but predicted it will be quicker than with an on-site composing room and be much more economical.
“We believe we’re on the cutting edge of technology,” Beasley commented. “This is the wave of the future.”
The system received high praise from Daily News advertising director Rick Etzkorn, who observed: “It’s just like having a composing room in another place.”
Some Volt staffers work at the Daily News, he said.
Beasley said that, under a settlement with the ITU, the departing compositors are receiving a severance package.
The Daily News also plans to install a pagination system, Beasley said.
He added that the Daily News is still up for sale, but this fact will not hamper completion of the new ad system or any other improvements at the paper.
“[Owner] Jack Kent Cooke has $250 million tied up in this newspaper, and he will do what is necessary to protect his investment,” Beasley stated.