McClatchy saves time and money by outsourcing page planning and editorial production

When McClatchy, an American publishing company needed cost efficiencies; they looked to EKCS as their strategic production partner. The decision to outsource was an important step in the clients’ transformation. Working with EKCS enabled them to standardize workflows and build efficiencies into the production processes. This ultimately helped them to save time and money.


The Challenge

Publishing is an ever-evolving landscape, one that can be unpredictable to gauge. And one that can be difficult to make a profit on. It was no surprise that one of the largest media company in the US looked to outsource their editorial and page production to save costs.

With over 2500 pages to produce weekly, it was difficult to hit editorial deadlines, manage complex advertising client demands and be profitable. The organization had legacy systems and multiple systems for print and digital advert production.


The Implementation Journey

McClatchy had already partnered with EKCS for newspaper ad production and high-end creative production. The new agreement took place at the start of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Both organizations needed to get to grips with remote ways of working.

As part of the solution, the media publisher kept their editorial planning team in-house, but outsourced their Editorial Page Design, Custom Pubs and Ad Planning and Placement work to EKCS. The overall transition took place in two phases.

  • Phase one consisted of low volume publications.
  • Phase two started three months later and it covered the remaining publications with the largest number of subscribers. The phased approach enabled the teams to make any enhancements before hitting the more profitable titles.

Like any new projects there were learnings. In the early stages, instructions from McClatchy came in late, or were changed. The offshore team adopted an agile way of working. EKCS introduced a client deadline and cut-off time tracker that benefited both parties. There were allowances for last minute and urgent changes only, and a good workflow was quickly established.

Publishing Center staff and local newsrooms still maintained control of work, including deciding story play and ‘pre-finishing’ content to ensure that online headlines, cutlines and other display types sent over by newsrooms were in a format acceptable for print.


The Results

  • Cost savings – The new process of working and outsourced production, enabled McClatchy to make significant cost savings.
  • Improved workflow systems – They also benefitted from the implementation of cloud-based solution MediaFerry. The system proved to be one of the biggest benefits for them in this entire outsourced production journey.
  • Process automation – In the process, EKCS identified some areas of automation saving valuable time for McClatchy as well as easing the workload for some of their onshore team.
  • 24/7 operations – EKCS’s 24/7 working pattern benefits McClatchy to meet all editorial deadlines in the US time zones. It cuts down on the onshore workload and improved turn-around times.


For media publishing companies elements of automation save valuable time on advertising production costs. The offshore model enables publishers to scale up where needed, have additional flexibility and still receive great quality. Find out how we can partner with your existing teams and help you optimize you creative production, contact us at

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