January 31, 2012 Leave a comment
In 2011, we launched editorial services for news publishing clients. I recently had a chance to sit down with Affinity Express Managing Editor Alan Bonini and Vice President of Operations Kristin Meidell to get their perspective on the industry and the future. Outsourcing accelerates publishers’ ability to establish production hubs, re-purpose content, focus on critical value creation activities and cut costs. But I wanted to hear what Kristin and Alan had to say, as they are talking with clients every day and hearing directly about the pain points of news publishers.
What are the current challenges for publishers in terms of editorial?
KM: In markets in North America copy editing and paginating are being combined under one person. Very few papers have many pure paginators anymore. News publishers have started trimming their own operations and want multi-tasking people. We’ve been able to respond to this demand by starting with pagination and moving into both services.
Has the service been well received by publishers?
KM: Publishers have been most receptive. In contrast, editorial departments do not usually welcome the idea of outsourcing functions. Instead, they want to do everything they can to reduce expenses internally.
For example, newspapers used to have people dedicated only to value-added sections such as travel, food, home guides, etc. Those departments have been collapsing to comprise fewer people. Where there was once a food editor, food paginator, travel editor, travel paginator, etc., now these functions are probably all done by the same person.
Why do you think outsourcing of editorial support services makes sense in today’s publishing industry?
AB: The first reason to outsource editorial is cost reduction. However, quality is a critical consideration. Editors have to be satisfied with the work they receive. In addition, the papers all have a unique voice that must be maintained.