VOL. 132 | NO. 194 | Friday, September 29, 2017
News Coming Soon on Sale of CA Building
By Andy Meek
Leadership at The Commercial Appeal has told employees that the Gannett-owned paper hopes to have news by the end of the year on the sale of its building at 495 Union Ave., which was put on the market this year in tandem with a series of other cost-cutting moves.
Employees were told there’s no indication of where the paper would relocate yet but that the company hopes to have an agreement in hand by year’s end, sources familiar with the discussions said.
That news was shared as part of a town hall-style meeting Wednesday, Sept. 27, during which employees were also told the newspaper’s packaging services that include its mailroom operations will move to Nashville and its digital printing operations to Jackson, Tenn., resulting in a loss of 55 jobs.
Gannett continues to reduce its Memphis workforce, moving The Commercial Appeal’s packaging operation to Nashville and eliminating 55 jobs. (Daily News/File Photo)
In general, the mailroom is where the pre-printed advertisements are inserted into the newspapers and where they’re prepared for distribution.
The move is expected to happen in early January, according to the CA, and the job cuts will occur at the end of this year.
CA president Mike Jung has said the relocation won’t affect any CA delivery times of its products and that affected employees will be able to apply for positions at the company’s Nashville facility.
Among other recent changes at The CA, Tiger football beat reporter Tom Schad is leaving the paper, as is CA director of digital media Danny Bowen, who’s leaving to take a job with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The latest changes come about a week after the impact of another company-wide restructuring at Gannett was felt in The CA newsroom.
After delivering notice to The CA’s employee union earlier this month about a coming reduction in force, the company let two more employees go about a week ago.
That’s after Gannett’s announcement earlier this month it would trim its headcount by a little less than 1 percent, and among those cut last week in Memphis was longtime reporter Kevin McKenzie.
That was less of a blow than a reduction in March that saw Gannett slash 20 positions out of 64 in the CA newsroom, a 31 percent reduction in one day.
Other changes this year, meanwhile, have included moving the CA’s printing operation to Jackson, Tenn., as well as putting its building up for sale.