The McClatchy Company’s outsourcing of IT staff is noticed by Computerworld
Publisher of the Miami Herald and other dailies, continues to make little progress in slowing ad declines or spilling red ink, so company’s tech workers end up getting bounced
The newspaper chain The McClatchy Company, which never really recovered from its disastrous decision to acquire the Knight-Ridder papers (and subsequent sale of some of them), recently reported its earnings, saying that ad revenues fell nearly 10 percent in the first quarter of this year, helping lead the company to a $12.7 million loss in the quarter. Now, Computerworld reports that the publisher of such dailies as the Miami Herald and Sacramento Bee, has decided that one solution to its woes will be to outsource its IT, signing a contract with Wipro, an IT service provider based in Bangalore, India.
In March, McClatchy IT employees were told that the company had signed a contract with Wipro, an India-based IT services provider…
…One employee said representatives from the IT vendor are at some of the newspaper’s sites and “knowledge transfer” is underway, meaning employees are training replacements to take over their jobs. This is expected to continue through August.
It is a bit unusual to find a story about a newspaper company in a tech publication. The last time anyone mentioned newspapers and tech at the same time was probably in the eighties. But Computerworld’s article received some attention from McClatchy employees who forwarded more information following the first story, resulting in a follow-up report on the fact that the company was bringing in at least one H-1B worker to replace them, and at a lower pay, of course.
“They are basically firing me and hiring a foreign worker to do my job at less than half the rate they were paying me,” one IT employee told Computerworld. “They really couldn’t find American workers to do this job? Seriously? I am angry as hell.
Not surprisingly, the comment section was interesting and infused with political overtones.
My own experience with working within companies that insisted on either outsourcing IT or contracting with outside firms for sales or other functions, has been the same. The motivation always seems right at the start, but soon one sees the downside as service or performance falls. Outsourcing firms will, of course, disagree, but that has been my experience. Of course, some circumstances were worst than others. At one magazine company in Chicago, the British owner insisted that anytime there was an issue with a PC it was to be boxed up and shipped to the UK – a solution that even the most ardent supporter of outsourcing should recognize as insane.