Gannett on Tuesday announced plans to shut down its Nashville Design Studio housed at The Tennessean, a closure that will affect up to 88 jobs.
The design work will now be done in Des Moines, Iowa; Louisville, Kentucky; and Phoenix, Arizona. The transition is set to be complete Oct. 1. There will be some opportunities for Nashville employees to work remotely, but Gannett did not say how many employees would have that chance.
The Tennessean has been planning to relocate its offices and recently selected a buyer for its property in downtown Nashville. Laura Hollingsworth, the publication’s president, told Nashville Business Journal it is too early to say how the closure of the design studio will affect moving plans, which are still in the early stages. Last year, Hollingsworth said The Tennesseean would need room for 291 employees wherever it finds a new home.
The Nashville Design Studio has handled design and page editing for various Gannett publications in Tennessee and around the country. Gannett owns a number of newspapers in Tennessee in addition to The Tennesseean. They include the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, the Knoxville News Sentinel, the Jackson Sun, the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro and the Leaf Chronicle in Clarksville, as well as other smaller outlets.
Some are relatively recent acquisitions. However, as Gannett ownership has increased, so have cuts and consolidation moves that have resulted in job losses.
“At this rate, The Tennessee Star will soon have more assets in the state of Tennessee than Gannett,” quipped Christina Botteri, managing editor of The Star.
In April, the company announced it would close its Memphis press and print the Commercial Appeal up the road in Jackson. In March, 17 staff members lost newsroom jobs in Memphis in a series of layoffs, which also affected three employees in Middle Tennessee and 11 in Knoxville.