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Thank You and Here's My Distress: Sinclair Pulls Advertising From Post-Dispatch

Auto dealer Dave Sinclair has pulled his advertising from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch following the paper’s controversial decision to outsource some of its advertising typesetting jobs to India.

Sinclair tells Riverfront Times that he canceled all his ads for the next four to five weeks. "It’s going to cost them $25,000 to $30,000," says Sinclair, who in television commercials encourages the public to "buy American."

"I'm not trying to be a rabble-rouser, but I wanted to make my point clear. Here we are talking about jobless rates in the United States and they’re shipping jobs overseas."

News of Sinclair's boycott first made news last week when anonymous tipsters inside the Post-Dispatch alerted reporter Kevin Madden of the St. Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune. A week earlier (September 11) Madden had reported of the daily's plans to lay off five typesetters in September and another six in October.

Typesetters with the Post-Dispatch are members of the Communication Workers of America (Local 6300) and until now had done all their work in-house at the paper. According to the Labor Tribune, some of the paper's typesetting jobs will now be outsourced to a shop in India owned and operated by KCS Express, a California company that specializes in "world class offshore advertising production for newspapers."

"I'm old. I’m a 1928 model," says Sinclair in reference to the year he was born. "But I just don't get it. Now we got foreign investors buying up our banks. In ten years, you wonder what will be left. I'm just trying to do what I can."

Kevin Mowbray, publisher of the Post-Dispatch, could not be reached for comment. The typesetting layoffs come the same month that the Post-Dispatch fired five longtime editors. As Riverfront Times reported earlier this month, the daily has cut more than 200 positions since Lee Enterprises acquired the paper in June 2005.

- Chad Garrison

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