For the balance of the year, seven news outlets in the McClatchy chain will work entirely by remote, Poynter reported this week. By August, McClatchy journalists will move out of newsrooms in Miami, Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Columbia (South Carolina) and in three California markets: Modesto, Merced and San Luis Obispo.
In a statement to Poynter, McClatchy said, “The pandemic has accelerated our organization’s need and ability to work remotely. This has led us to look at new ways to find cost savings, including the exit of real estate leases, which our Chapter 11 reorganization allows. We will exit leases in seven locations and focus our resources where it matters: on saving jobs and delivering on our mission of producing strong, independent local journalism for the communities that we serve.”
In a column on Tuesday, Aminda Marqués González, president, publisher and executive editor of the Miami Herald and the Nuevo Herald, and regional director of McClatchy’s Florida news operations, said: "The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated our organization’s ability to work remotely. Since mid-March, most of us have been working from home. From pandemic to protests, we haven’t skipped a beat thanks to technology, communication tools that connect us instantaneously and the hard work of our dedicated staff."
She added: "We know that the office space of today is not what the office space will be for tomorrow as it relates to social distancing and keeping our employees safe. For that reason, Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald employees will continue to work remotely through the end of the year. After the New Year, once the commercial real estate industry has sorted itself out with regard to new standards and approaches, we will find a new, centralized home."
The pandemic also has deeply impacted The Charlotte Observer, Executive Editor Sherry Chisenhall noted, in explaining the change to readers. "Revenue has fallen, and a timeline of recovery is uncertain," she said. "The move from uptown offices helps ensure that we can keep local journalists on the job, giving our community the daily reporting and accountability journalism you expect from us. Our commitment is as strong as ever to informing the community with essential journalism that helps us all take on the challenges ahead."