SANTA ANA, Calif. – An Indian company will take over copy editing duties for some stories published in The Orange County Register and will handle page layout for a community newspaper at the company that owns the Pulitzer Prize-winning daily, the newspaper confirmed Tuesday.
Orange County Register Communications Inc. will begin a one-month trial with Mindworks Global Media at the end of June, said John Fabris, a deputy editor at the Register.
Mindworks' Web site says the company is based outside New Delhi and provides "high-quality editorial and design services to global media firms ... using top-end journalistic and design talent in India."
Editors at Mindworks will work five shifts a week for one month, performing layout for the community paper and editing some stories in the flagship Register, Fabris said. Staffing at the company will not be affected, he said.
Fabris did not specify which community newspaper would be laid out by Indian designers.
"This is a small-scale test, which will not touch our local reporting or decision-making. Our own editors will oversee this work," Fabris said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "In a time of rapid change at newspapers, we are exploring many ways to work efficiently while maintaining quality and improving local coverage."
The company declined to release the financial terms of the deal.
Orange County Register Communications has struggled in recent months with circulation declines. The Register recently dropped from the third-largest newspaper in California to the fifth-largest, behind the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union-Tribune and Sacramento Bee.
The company has been through three rounds of layoffs in the past year, most recently in April when up to 90 employees lost their jobs. Employees were also offered a voluntary severance program in 2006.
Orange County Register Communications is the umbrella brand for the Register newspaper, Web sites, magazines and other community publications.
Other newspapers also have outsourced some work to India. Mindworks began copyediting and design of a weekly community news section and other special advertising sections at The Miami Herald in January. A month earlier, the Sacramento Bee, also owned by the McClatchy Co., said it would outsource some of its advertising production work to India.