This may be nothing more than wishful thinking, but there's apparently talk in LANGland about the possibility of two centralized copy desks for the nine-paper chain instead of one. One would be based in West Covina to serve the Inland Division and one would be based further west to handle copy from the Los Angeles Daily News, Torrance Daily Breeze and Long Beach Press-Telegram.
That being said, I'm told LANG management has made clear to employees that they're moving ahead with a plan to create a single copy desk for all of the papers in West Covina.
Why does the speculation matter? Because, as LA Observed reported yesterday, as many as five Daily News copy editors (I'm now told four) have asked for severance rather than commute to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune headquarters every day. That's more than half of the DN's copy desk (by either count).
Would copy editors who take buyouts be able get their jobs back if a bifurcated copy desk plan was adopted? LANG management is trying to build some flexibility into the system. According to the Daily News[room] blog, management agreed to honor requests for severance after a "try out" period in West Covina - although the stated reason is that too few copy editors have agreed to make the move.
The blog also has Jim Janiga, MediaNews Group's head of human resources in California, once again saying no final decision has yet been made to move the Daily News desk to West Covina.
In the midst of all of this, I'm told a LANG-wide redesign is in the works. This would makes sense, since a shared copy desk (one or two) would want a more uniform set of templates to save time putting the papers together. In addition, consolidated copy desks and staff cuts inevitably lead to demands for shared content, which is easier if papers to share a similar design.