Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hello, Gannett Land! I've just launched a business news blog, with a comment section about Gannett


Updated July 27: More than two years ago, I retired Gannett Blog so I could move to a new venture -- a blog that I'm now planning to launch Aug. 1 in Louisville, Ky., where Gannett has a significant presence. It's called Boulevard, and I'll cover news about business and culture in Kentucky's biggest city.

I'm focusing on 10 big employers in the area -- from Amazon to Yum Brands, parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Combined, they employ more than 60,000 workers in the city, and nearly two million worldwide. I'll also be covering media and marketing news.

In Louisville, Gannett owns The Courier-Journal newspaper. It also operates a page production hub for the CJ and dozens of other newspapers, plus a regional customer service center.

On Boulevard, any interest in Gannett will be focused on media and marketing news that could directly impact Louisville. Of course, those ripple effects will extend to Gannett's 109 other dailies across the U.S. and in the U.K. -- possibly including where you work, or once worked. And all that's happening when the company is trying to buy the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other Tronc-owned dailies, after snapping up the Journal Media Group and N.J. papers including the Bergen Record.

Depending on reader interest, I'll publish what I'm calling the Gannett Watercooler, a place where workers at Gannett and other workplaces can share information anonymously, as they did for years in this site's Real Time Comments section.

Boulevard will look much different than Gannett Blog, because I'm using the WordPress publishing platform. Please stop by, share your thoughts, and let me know what you think. You can also reach me by e-mail at jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com].

Louisville, Ky.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Goodbye | After six-plus years, I'm calling it quits

I started publishing Gannett Blog in September 2007 as a virtual water cooler where employees could share information at a time of tremendous change across the news industry. I set just two conditions: that I have at least 500 daily readers, and that Gannett remain substantially the same company.

Today, I still have more than enough readers: This site averaged more than 15,000 unique monthly visitors last year, according to Google Analytics, an impressive number when you consider the company employs only about 30,000 people. Indeed, since launching, Gannett Blog has generated amazing traffic: 5.5 million visits and 13.4 million pageviews.

But with the purchase of 20-station TV company Belo in late December, Gannett is no longer the same company. Corporate projects broadcasting will eventually account for more than half of all earnings; throw in digital, and the figure is forecast to rise even higher. In other words, Gannett is now a TV giant with a side interest in newspapers, its mainstay business since 1906, when Frank Gannett founded the company with a single daily in Elmira, N.Y.

Gannett is also a much smaller enterprise. It has eliminated more than 20,000 jobs since the workforce peaked at 53,000 in 2003. Revenue fell to $5.2 billion last year vs. a record $8 billion in 2006. GCI shares trade for $28 vs. an all-time high of $90 in 2004.

And now Wall Street is raising pressure on Corporate to spin off the troubled newspaper division. I had much of this in mind in early December, when I wrote about Gannett's digital efforts in a lengthy post that also serves as a history of this blog.

There are other reasons for me to quit now. I turned 57 years old on Sunday, a turning point to pursue new adventures while saying goodbye to old ones.

I've thoroughly enjoyed publishing Gannett Blog -- so much so, I returned in late 2009 after taking a five-month break I initially thought would be permanent. This time, I won't change my mind.

What this means
You can continue posting comments through tonight, when I'll disable commenting for good. The site will remain available on a read-only basis as long as Google supports the Blogger software platform I use. There's plenty to read from the past six years: more than 7,000 posts and nearly 140,000 comments.

I'm no longer seeking gifts from readers. You've been tremendously generous over the years and for that I continue to be grateful. I will refund any contributions I've received since Jan. 1 where I have contact information for donors. (Readers with auto-renewing subscriptions should use the "Unsubscribe" link near the top of the green sidebar, right.)

Thank you.

Jim Hopkins
Publisher and Editor
San Francisco

I'm no longer accepting comments here or anywhere else on this site. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot.com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green rail, upper right.

Feb. 10-14 | Your News & Comments: Part 5

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Feb. 10-14 | Your News & Comments: Part 4

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Feb. 10-14 | Your News & Comments: Part 3

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Feb. 10-14 | Your News & Comments: Part 2

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Feb. 10-14 | Your News & Comments: Part 1

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Feb. 3-9 | Your News & Comments: Part 4

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)