Cox Media combining jobs at AJC, other papers

Cox Media Group, which operates The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will restructure operations throughout its newspaper division, the company announced Thursday.

The company will consolidate different newsroom and business functions at its four newspaper locations, which also include Austin, Texas; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Dayton, Ohio.

For the past year, the company’s four major newspapers have worked to find best practices and ways to consolidate non-customer facing business functions. The company announced Thursday that it will move several operations from other Cox newspapers to Atlanta, and will also move to other locations some operations that are currently in Atlanta.

Under the plan, copy desk and page design jobs for the printed newspapers will be consolidated in Dayton and in West Palm Beach. A consolidated wire editing desk will be in Atlanta. The internet enables those tasks to be performed remotely, and other newspaper chains have made similar moves.

“For us to stay competitive, it is important to continually evaluate all aspects of our business to ensure we are operating as efficiently as possible while providing the highest quality products and services to our customers,” AJC publisher Mike Joseph said in a letter to employees.

Most large newspapers have been hit by revenue and circulation declines that began in the mid-2000s and accelerated during the recession. Since then, the AJC has continually evaluated all aspects of its business to ensure efficiency. The AJC currently employs about 2,546 people at its Dunwoody office, satellite locations and its Gwinnett County printing plant.

The AJC has expanded its website and other digital delivery modes, including an iPad app and E-edition. It has also expanded its watchdog journalism, exemplified by recent exclusive reporting on the cheating scandal at Atlanta Public Schools.

CMG, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, owns 15 television stations, 86 radio stations and other media properties in addition to the daily newspapers.

In Other News