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Newspaper Chain CEO ‘Pleased’ To Announce IT Plan, Then Fires Tech Staff

dcblogs writes from a report on Computerworld: The McClatchy Company, which operates a major chain of newspapers in the U.S., is moving IT work overseas. The number of affected jobs, based on employee estimates, range from 120 to 150. The chain owns about 30 newspapers, including The Sacramento Bee, where McClatchy is based; The Fresno Bee, The News and Observer in Raleigh, N.C., The State in Columbia, S.C. and the Miami Herald. In a letter sent to the chain’s IT employees in late March, McClatchy CEO Patrick Talamantes detailed all the improvements a contract with the outsourcing firm, India-based Wipro, will bring, but buries, well down in the letter what should have been in its lead paragraph: There will be cutbacks of U.S. staff. The letter received by McClatchy’s IT employees from Talamantes begins by telling them [the company] is “pleased to unveil our new IT Transformational Program, a program designed to provide improved service to all technology users, accelerated development and delivery of technology solutions and products, variable demand-based technology resources and access to modern and cutting-edge skills and platforms.” Seven paragraphs down in the letter, he lowers the boom: “As we embark on the implementation phase, there will be a realignment of resources requiring a reduction in McClatchy technology staff.” IT employees thought they were part of the solution to McClatchy’s tech direction, not the problem. Said one IT employee: “This has taken us all by surprise. I’m not saying that we felt untouchable as they have been doing layoffs for the past 10 years, but being part of IT we felt that we had a big part in what happens” in the company. Employees are now training their replacements.


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