* Metro desk editing to be consolidated
* Hopes to boost newsroom reporting
LOS ANGELES, April 7 Media General Inc (MEG.N)
will consolidate editing and design operations for three of its
largest newspapers, hoping to slash costs as advertising
revenue continues to slide for print media.
The publisher plans to combine its copy editing and page
design teams for three newspapers -- the Tampa Tribune,
Richmond-Times Dispatch and Winston-Salem Journal -- into two
teams by the third quarter.
Media General and rivals such as the New York Times (NYT.N)
has suffered sharp declines in revenue as advertisers follow
readers online. Still, the company, which is profitable but
reported a 14 percent slide in fourth-quarter revenue, foresees
a mid-single digit increase in revenue in 2010.
It has bolstered its bottom line through aggressive cost
cuts. On Wednesday, Media General -- which also owns television
stations -- said in a statement it hoped to save $1 million
annually from the desk consolidation, beginning 2011.
"Our consolidated editing and design operations allow our
newsrooms to focus on strong local news reporting. Stories will
be edited once rather than multiple times, and we can take
advantage of economies of scale and centralization of top
talent," said Donna Reed, vice president of content.
The resultant two desks will be based in Richmond, Virginia
-- the company's home base -- and Tampa, Florida.
Shares of the publisher held steady in extended trading
after closing unchanged at $8.48 on the New York Stock
(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Richard Chang)