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Sacramento Bee headquarter move will come with 200 job losses

The layoffs will impact production workers who help print the daily newspaper for local distribution.

The layoffs will impact production workers who help print the daily newspaper for local distribution.

The Sacramento Bee’s decision to move out of its 2100 Q headquarters will go hand-in-hand with steep layoffs that will see around 200 workers lose their jobs.

In an article peppered with invasive, animated advertisements on Thursday, an editor announced the newspaper would abandon its long-time headquarters at the corner of 21st and Q Streets in Sacramento.

As part of the move, the Bee intends to shift its editorial and other newsroom staff to remote working until a smaller office can be secured. The Bee will also outsource printing responsibilities to other presses in Northern California.

The decision to outsource the print production of its daily newspaper will result in around 60 full-time employees and more than 130 part-time employees losing their jobs, a Bee spokesperson told a local television station on Friday.

Layoffs are nothing new to the Bee: Saddled with an enormous amount of debt from its parent company’s acquisition of a rival newspaper chain coupled with ballooning pension obligations, the Bee has laid off dozens of veteran reporters, editors and other newsroom staff over the last several years, with the latest round of cuts occurring in early 2018.

In an effort to stay relevant, the Bee’s parent company McClatchy made several risky gambles, including the launch of a virtual reality laboratory on the assumption that the technology would be the future of journalism. It wasn’t. McClatchy filed for bankruptcy protection last year; its assets, including the Bee, were acquired by the parent company of the National Enquirer this summer.

On Thursday Sacramento Bee editor Lauren Gustus said the paper would eventually relocate to a smaller office when it is “safe” to do so. A spokesperson told a television station the move will happen in July and the smaller office will better accommodate a digital-first newsroom.

As of Thursday, the Sacramento Bee convinced around 30,000 customers to sign up for its website at a cost of around $13 a month.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).