This memo from McClatchy news vice president Anders Gyllenhaal just went out to his employees:
This morning, we’re announcing significant changes to the partnership that operates McClatchy Tribune Information Services. After months of discussions on how to position the wire service for the future, the companies decided that Tribune Publishing will take full ownership of MCT while McClatchy becomes a preferred customer.
As part of the changes, MCT will consolidate editorial and business staffs in Chicago and merge with the Tribune Content Agency, creating a single business out of the two related operations. A portion of the jobs based in Washington will be part of the ongoing wire service or remain with the bureau. But a majority of the Washington positions will be phased out over the course of the summer as the move to Chicago is complete.
For some time, McClatchy and Tribune have been exploring options for how to continue the wire service in the midst of industry changes and difficult finances. This course will give MCT the flexibility it needs while preserving the flow of content from both companies that have made this the nation’s largest supplemental wire service.
This will not be an easy transition. But it will preserve an important institution that serves 1,200 customers around the world, built on the work of 600 contributors. The Tribune’s new role makes sense on a number of fronts. The company has a long history in syndication. There are also clear advantages in operating MCT’s editorial and business staffs – which have been divided for years – side by side.
I’m told that severance is being offered to employees losing their jobs. “Some people have pink slips for 2 weeks from now and others have 8 weeks,” my tipster reports.