US newspaper chain offshores IT jobs

surprised-newspaper-readerThe McClatchy Company, which operates a major chain of newspapers in the US, is moving IT work overseas and making 150 IT workers redundant.

The chain owns about 30 newspapers, including The Sacramento Bee, where McClatchy is based; The Fresno Bee, The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., The State in Columbia, S.C. and the Miami Herald.

Apparently all the IT work has been outsourced to the Indian outsourcer Wipro.

McClatchy CEO Patrick Talamantes wrote to staff and told them about all the improvements that the Wipro contract would bring. It seemed he had forgotten any news training and buried the story about staff cuts in the bottom. US workers are currently have to train their replacements until August.

The letter said that the company was “pleased to unveil our new IT Transformational Programme, a programme 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.”


The letter than explains the hiring of Wipro, and how the partnership “will improve technology standards and service levels.”

Talamantes also points out that Wipro has been a repeat recipient of Ethisphere’s ‘World’s Most Ethical Company’ award.

After seven paragraphs, and near the end of the letter, Talamantes lowers the boom:

“As we embark on the implementation phase, there will be a realignment of resources requiring a reduction in McClatchy technology staff. While regrettable, this action is necessary for us to realize the benefits outlined above and help the company achieve its long-term goals. Employees impacted by this realignment will be contacted…,” wrote Talamantes.

Looks like that ‘World’s Most Ethical Company’ award is looking a bit shaky. Particularly as the story is not being picked up by McClatchy-owned newspapers.  McClatchy did report layoffs of similar sizes at other firms.