Commentary

Gannett Outsources Jobs To India, Proves World Is Virtual Workspace

Gannett last week told 485 back-office workers their jobs would be outsourced to a company in India, as the news publisher seeks to cut costs. The company described its plans in a frequently asked questions document cited by Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at Poynter.

The report is another reminder of the global outsourcing phenomenon that New York Timescolumnist Thomas L. Friedman described in his bestseller "The World Is Flat." One of the main ideas in the book was how advancements in telecommunications had erased geographic boundaries, turning the world into one big virtual workplace.

The transformation has meant that information-based jobs, ranging from the most menial, like payroll processing and handling bills in the case of Gannett, to more advanced tasks, like designing software, can be sent overseas.
Gannett, which publishes more than 250 titles, including USA Today, will notify affected employees by Jan. 15. They will have until April to find other jobs. Some workers will be tasked with training their replacements, a ritual that's become all-too-familiar at U.S. companies that outsource jobs.
Gannett's move comes more than a year after acquisition by New Media Investment Group's GateHouse Media for $1.4 billion in 2019. In discussing the deal, Chairman-CEO Michael Reed said he expected the combined company to save $300 million in yearly costs.

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Other publishers are investing in India -- not necessarily to outsource U.S. workers, but to support digital expansion with engineering talent that's in high demand. Condé Nast this year opened a global technology center in Bangalore, the city in India that has established a global reputation as the country's Silicon Valley.

The Condé Nast Technology Lab was created to support the digital capabilities of its magazine brands, including Vogue, GQ and Architectural Digest while working with its other design and engineering teams worldwide.

The tech hub had planned to hire 60 people this year and more than quintuple headcount by the end of 2021, as the publisher seeks to develop content that appeals to a generation that's more likely to use Snapchat or TikTok than to read a print magazine. 
3 comments about "Gannett Outsources Jobs To India, Proves World Is Virtual Workspace".
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  1. Steve Saxton from Multimedia Concepts LLC, December 16, 2020 at 10:13 a.m.

    This is a prime example of Media Companies that depend on and encourage LOCAL businesses to spend their money with them, while damaging, some would say decimating, that same LOCAL economy in their actions by eliminating local or regional employment opportunities.

  2. Steven Graff from Independent Knowledge, December 16, 2020 at 1:59 p.m.

    This does not prove the world is a virtual workspace as if the internet did not do that two decades ago, or the daily Zoom calls for nearly every employee hasn't punctuated it each day of 2020. It has shown Condé Nast is late to the game of offshoring in order to increase profits without regard to maintaining a workforce in its primary market that can afford to purchase its' product or those of its advertisers'.  

    Mr. Saxton is right. There is little meritorious about this if you are not a shareholder or share-price incentivized executive.

  3. Steven Graff from Independent Knowledge replied, December 16, 2020 at 2:02 p.m.

    Gannet

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