Here's A Plan: Fewer People, More Work At The Chronicle

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The Houston Chronicle is having problems, like most big-city dailies, but it might get a whole lot worse.

One of the latest rumors sweeping the San Francisco Chronicle would have the deskies in Houston handling headline writing, copy editing and layout for their ailing sister paper by The Bay.

The other option is India.

This is bound to raise the grumbling in the Houston Chronicle newsroom a few decibels as Chronistas await the next layoff wave of layoffs of 10 percent or more.

The situation in SF is decidedly more grim, but being lumped with India as a cost-saving option may not do much for the self esteem of Hearst's Houston-based serfs.

Alan D. Mutter, who writes the authoritative Reflections of a Newsosaur blog, enumerated all the options on the table to keep the San Francisco Chronicle afloat (massive layoffs, major union concessions, etc.) before floating the Houston bombshell.

One possibility would be to send copyediting, headline writing and page layout to India.

Alternatively, according to one rumor making the rounds today, those duties could be handled at the Chronicle's sister paper in Houston. Not only would labor costs be lower in Houston than San Francisco, but the difference in time zones would keep the Texas editors busy in the slack time between editions of their own publication.

It's all rumor at this point, mind you, but anything's possible, we suppose.

But, gosh, if the copy desk jockeys in Houston who manage to hang on to their jobs during the upcoming layoffs are tasked with putting out the SF paper, some may be pushed to the brink and seek solace in strong drink or maybe -- gasp -- forming a union of their own

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