Singleton: outsource everything

Dean Singleton, owner of most of the Los Angeles-area newspapers that aren't part of the Times empire, said yesterday in a speech that his MediaNews Group is considering going to one centralized news desk for all 54 of its daily papers — and perhaps locating that desk outside the United States. From USA Today:

"In today's world, whether your desk is down the hall or around the world, from a computer standpoint, it doesn't matter," Singleton said after his speech....

Singleton said no decision has been made to outsource editorial functions overseas at any MediaNews publications, though it was recommended by consultants. He said publishers were trying to consolidate editing and design domestically, whether in one place or several, and see if they could match the savings they would see by going overseas.

Most of the preproduction work for MediaNews' papers in California is already being done in India, a move Singleton said cut costs by 65%.

Noted: The story revisits Pasadena Now, which got a lot of attention last year over plans to hire a reporter in India to cover Pasadena. The update: Pasadena Now claims five regular contributors overseas who write about the city using webcasts of council meetings and information provided by citizen volunteers. "We used to have on-the-ground reporters, but the expense was prohibitive," said James Macpherson, editor and publisher. "Regretfully, we had to lay them all off."

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