An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
I gotta remember to mail in my absentee ballot before I leave for the East Coast today!
After news about the pending layoffs was released, I heard three different people say they have applied for other jobs. This company offers no job security anymore. The layoffs will not end in December. It's time for everyone to make an exit from Gannett.
jim your coming to the east coast! Stop by new jersey, you know the state where everyone is so one dimentional. I hear people whine and bitch constantly about "what are we gonna do" "I don't know anything else". What they need to do is look at this (the layoffs) as an opportunity. Get off your ass, get out there and make something new happen with your life! For christs sake, it's not the end of the world! The pharmacuital companies love these people...
Here in NJ there is much scuttling of managers, directors and personnel. Quiet phone calls, quick "meetings" around the corner and out of ear-shot. Hoping and praying to see some of those managers are shown the door in December. They must shoulder some of the blame for this mess.
yeah...hehee. New Jersey...who farted?
Ok, that's really fourth grade, but I laughed my ass off this morning.Who farted? Who put the smiley face on my big blue ball?
Jim Hopkins said..."I gotta remember to mail in my absentee ballot before I leave for the East Coast today!"I hope it's a vote for McCain and not that shyster Obama! Even YOU must have some sense, Jim.
I love your ad for ads Jim. Great idea. I hope it drums up some business for you.
I cannot believe the animosity building up here. It is toxic and sad to witness. Does it really make you feel that much better to hurl flaming f-bombs (and Jersey jokes with all the humor of a 1st grader) anonymously? You are a coward, more negative than the people genuinely mourning their profession and concerned about what to do next and trying to support each other here, if only by listening. If you are so superior, why are you even here? Go find something productive to do.PS. Have fun Tuesday as the votes are counted.
$20 cpm? Good luck with that. There are news sites that have a bigger reach than this one that can't pull off a $20 cpm. You may be able to get a few, but sustaining that is going to be difficult. Wait til the remnant advertisers come in and want to give you $1-$2 cpm for all the available inventory. Then you will understand why the big days of print revenue aren't really translating to the digital world. Advertisers just hit a reset button on the whole ad revenue pricing models with the internet.
productive... It is productive, they just created a new bumper sticker!
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So the web is going to save us?Here's the numbers for my site:Circ down 8.8 year over yearWeb down 23% year over yearWhy? The slow as hell web site, shitty content, and the shitty layout. However, on a plus side you can see almost soft porn photo galleries of local bars.Something tells me that the web isn't going to save us.Maybe if we went back to being a newspaper with REAL news, we might be able to pull those numbers up.We'll never know.This is not an editorial nor online bashing post -- I know you're doing what you are told to do.
Do you have a job interview Jim?
During a USAT newsroom staff meeting Wednesday, it was revealed that the flagship has not necessarily escaped layoffs. Depending on budget discussions, cuts could come by the end of the year.Not sure why so many people assumed USAT was exempt.
I like how 8:47 complained about another poster being anonymous. Of course, he/she posted anonymously.funny.
Jim posted far and wide that USAT avoided layoffs but several readers weighed in that was not necessarily true. So once again, Jim does not have the facts.USAT and the Detroit Freep are in a separate division and have yet to announce anything...one way or another. I understand those discussions are still happening.
USAT escaped THIS ROUND of layoffs. Hello?!
Dump the idea that online is the place to be, beef up the newshole, GIVE AWAY the liner ads and cut subscription prices.I am not Craig Dubow...And I do not approve this message.
9:54 AM - I agree.
9:54 I just had that conversation with several co-workers the other day.We know you're not Dubow, so no disclaimer needed. He is unable to come up with a creative idea to save the company.
Amex just announced cuts. Is 10% the unmagical number for cuts E.o.Y.?http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081030/american_express_restructuring.html
For, like the 1,000 time, post the political bullshit somewhere else.This is "Gannett blog." Plenty of other sites where you can spew the political crap.
Amen, 11:22 a.m.! That's why I just removed all those comments. A reminder about my comment guidelines:And on any topic, including politics, please keep your comments sharply focused on Gannett.
I am from the circ side not the news side so I am probably in the minority here, but...There is such a disconnect inside the company with regards to the two diametrically opposed goals.1. Grow print circulation.2. Grow online audience.The two are not compatible. One suffers at the others robustness.Where Gannett and many other companies went wrong is in creating (10 years too late, as it were) the assumption that these two very different animals could co-exist.Online content should have been pay for view in the very beginning. It is almost too late to switch to that mode now AND maintain print.The news people should have consulted with the circ people many, many years ago to create a solution. Now it is as if the 2 work for completely different companies in the same building.Now, in todays economy no entrepeneurs are able to swoop in and save the day, so one of the 2 has to die for the other to live.RIP Print.
USAT escaped nothing. "This round" didn't apply to or even consider USAT's budget. USAT is under a separate review. To say USAT escaped "this round" is like saying USATers escaped the layoffs at Time. They are two separate entities. It's not a matter of rounds.A lot of wishful thinking by some folks who still want to live in pretend-land led to some misinterpretation of the memo about the newspaper division.Folks, you gotta to understand that USAT is only marginally positioned better than some of Gannett's local papers. There is no magical, protective bubble shielding USAT. While it's fine to be optimistic, being unrealistic often leads to a lack of preparedness.We'll know more about USAT soon. I would advise managers there to not wait until the last second to make plans to absorb losses. It was distrurbing to see so many departments not prepared to fill the shoes of those who left during buyouts last year, or to relinguish the tasks they did. In that situation, we knew for weeks that those folks were leaving, yet so many department heads just stuck their heads in the sand and never really did address workload issues that were made worse by the buyouts. We're still paying for that neglect.This time we might not get as much advance warning, so for the sake of everyone, I hope some department heads, who simply don't want to acknowledge anything bad could happen at USAT, be a little more prepared and communicate better with those left behind. I essentially didn't get one word from my boss of how we were going to handle our losses last time, who was going to perform certain duties. I hope that silence doesn't occur again.Often, when USAT needs great leadership, a handful of key department heads fail misterably. My boss rarely addresses problems or finds solutions to anything. At best, he bullies others at a lower pay grade to deal with problems that are really his responsibility to help resolve. At worst, he's blind to all that goes on.We need leaders who are prepared and detail-oriented. I urge all top managers to be open and to try to instill some tangible plans for dealing with whatever losses might come our way.
Fifteen US Community Publishing jobs posted in the past two days.
How are the managers supposed to be detailed-oriented in a company that still hasn't operationalized the word "transformation?"
What is the deal people? Jim said that USAT and FEEP avoided this round of layoffs from Gannett. They did avoid layoffs for this round. No other way to look at it. If in a few months they anounce layoffs at USAT and FEEP it will be another round of layoffs. At that point, if there are no more layoffs at the other 84 papers or so, then you all can say that the 84 or so papers avoided layoffs in that round. I dont understand why you are trying to split hairs here. Its kinda goofy to get mad at Jim for saying the facts. Sheesh!
My boss at USA TODAY has built an entire career on being a small person. He's truly the Teflon boss and a prime example of how USAT does not have a mechanism for identifying and removing horrid managers. He takes no blame for anything he's done wrong, never apologizes, dishes out petty complaints to his direct reports (who for the most part are overworked and doing the best they can) and is easily fooled into thinking his staff likes and respects him. His reputation was built on the backs of others who he eventually discarded or drove away. People who leave his department, but stay at the paper, are far more happy. Some who leave the paper are industry entirely are amongst his worst critics. He's the type of boss who you don't want in the foxhole with you.I bring this up because I read a few things on this blog about top USAT managers needing to rise to the occasion if cuts are to come. Well, in my case I have zero confidence that my boss will ever handle adversity in a humane, professional and honorable manner. It's just not within him. It will be up to the folks under him to make things work as always, with virtually no support from him, let alone credit for us.Whatever is coming or not coming, he will only be an thorn in the sides of people trying to keep things going through increasingly tough times. He has no understanding about the scope of the problems we deal with on a daily basis, let alone potentially bigger, tougher challenges in the future. He nit-picks, has no true understanding of how to deal with people and has made awful decision after awful decision. He does not allow anyone to disagree with him. You could single-handedly build a bridge across the bay and in the end, he'd question why you didn't build the bridge six inches higher or paint it blue instead of green. it's a maddening and demeaning, not to mention counterproductive. He inspires no one.I wonder how many other people at USAT feel this way about their top managers?
Thank you, 12:15 p.m. To reiterate: I didn't say -- and don't believe -- that USAT has escaped the budget ax forever. I said it escaped the cuts announced on Tuesday.But as several commenters -- plus me! -- have pointed out, USAT is in a separate category, with the Detroit Free Press, now under review by Corporate. In coming weeks, USAT may still need to trim its workforce -- or not. We will see.
Why are these cuts "involuntary terminations?" If they are willing to give a week's pay for each service year up to 26 weeks in the severance package, as Dickey stated in his letter, maybe higher-paid, long-term employees would take the money and run. That would mean fewer actual jobs sacrificed to meet the 10 percent payroll reduction quota.I think this goes beyond payroll purging. This whole thing is orchestrated so newspapers can get a "Dump Whoever You Want Free" card and target for the chopping block those who aren't "with the program" or whose skills are no longer in great demand. On the "information center" side, my guess is page designers, copy editors and those old-school reporters who won't embrace the Web way of doing things are most vulnerable. Update-happy, ambulance-chasing reporters are likely the safest bets to survive, at least this round of the roller-coaster ride. On the production side, anyone who has anything to do strictly with paper, presses, subscriptions, delivery or maintenance is the likely prey. If your skills don't easily convert to online, such as those that do in sales, marketing and accounting ... well, buckle your seatbelt.Objectively, those types of cuts sadly, but likely, make business sense. Morally, they often stink, but compassion and Gannett don't belong in the same sentence. The true travesty is that you know there will always be exceptions, namely the jellyfish who go to the restroom four times a day to wipe the brown stuff from their lips.Thoughts?
12:48 They are involuntary because corporate is aiming for the big salary layabouts who do nothing, including applying for the buyouts. We all know who they are in the office because they stick out like sore thumbs. Unfortunately, these are the people who kept their jobs through astute ass-kissing, and gained support in executive ranks by back-stabbing comments about their underlings. They have forced out most of the creative voices in the newsroom, and their day is now coming simply because there is no one else to cut.
12:48: Concerning "involuntary terminations," it's those long-term employees, and their instutional memory, that's going to keep us afloat while we right this ship. (I'm not talking about the ass-kissers but the real news people, whether they work in the newsroom or pressroom, composing or circ.)I for one would much rather work on a shoestring staff with one seasoned professional who knows what's going on than with two newbies who don't know, don't care and are only concerned with how their work (or lack of it) is going to affect them. Been there, done that, NEVER want to do it again. We my be moving warp speed down the digital path, but we need seasoned, professional, hardworking and dedicated NEWSPAPER people if we're going to survive this transition. If Corporate were to make this a voluntary layoff, don't you think the long-timers would be the first to grab a life raft -- and leave the rest of us, including the newbies, to sink?
My comment has a different slant to Gannet regarding news content etc. I work in production. Economy in recession right now but excluding newspaper print circulation and AD revenue. What about commercial printing revenue? If newspaper circulation going down. Gannet's larger press operations should push for more commercial printing. There will always be PRINT! All newspaper's could stop printing and go online. Yet there would still be commercial printing. The circulars in grocery/retail stores. RURAL KING is a major source of print revenue for Gannett. Most posters here work from news side. I am talking about AD revenue outside newspapers. Yes economy is bad. But it will turn around someday. Disagreeing with MSFT CEO's self serving comment: "All print will be dead in 10 years." To put it crudely. When you take a sh_t. Do you really wanna hold a laptop on your knee's or a blackberry? I want a newspaper or magazine in my hands. COMMERCIAL PRINTING WILL ALWAYS BE OUT THERE.
Nice 8:57am. You're probably the reason why Gannett's online revenue is down. You can't sell it and you give it away. Jim, your rate is a good valu
1:13 Yes, perhaps print will continue in some form, but not the money-making way it has in the past. Remember Yellow Pages? When was the last time you found those books on your doorstep? Take a look at R.H. Donnelly, publisher of many of those Yellow Pages books. Its stock has gone from $75 .78 cents in the last year. Yes there could be other uses made for Gannett's huge presses, but is it economical compared to the small letter presses in someone's basement or garage? Most newspapers also publish penny-savers or free papers that circulate in their areas, but these are being impacted by the changes in the industry. I know a wine store that used to be a big and regular advertiser. Now he no longer ads but emails his specials and sales to customers who regularly come to his store. He says he gets a greater response from emails than he ever got from advertising, and it's cost-free, meaning he can sell his wine cheaper and still make a larger profit. That is the sort of problem we are facing, and it won't be fixed.
Why is Gannett's stock suddenly on steroids this week?
I certainly hope the company survives long enough to be able to write stories about back in the olden days when people of a certain age (usually 50 and older) fell victim to ageist thinking and blatant discrimination in employment. I hope Gannett lasts long enough to embrace true workplace diversity.
Time Inc announced massive restructuring and centralization.By all measure, they publish some of the most respected print in the industry: Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, People.Sad sad sad times in our business.I respect the writing and reporting at Time and SI...its by far world-class.The internet will never create enough revenue to pay for world class journalists.In 10 years or less, after we blow up the industry fully, entrepreneurs will once again rebuild it.its inevitable.
For those who are wondering why the Detroit Free Press is not a part of the Community Newspapers Division and is, therefore, not subject to the latest layoffs, here are some of the reasons: 1/In reality, Gannett controls TWO papers in Detroit: The Free Press AND the News. Yes, I know MediaNews is the official owner of the Detroit News, and I know that MediaNews folks run the newsroom. But Gannett controls the News' budget, and it runs all the business operations for the News. In fact, Gannett gets 95 percent of the profits generated by both papers. Taken together, the Free Press and The News have a combined daily circulation of about 498,000--making the Detroit operation the second largest in Gannett. (In fact, the News' daily circulation of about 180,000 makes it bigger that the Tennessean, one of the bigger papers in Gannett.) The Free Press produces Gannett's biggest Sunday paper in terms of circulation. Moreover, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press Web sites are, combined, the biggest Web site after USA Today in Gannett. 2/ The Free Press and The News are under a federally monitored joint operating agreement. Gannett cannot ravage EITHER paper's resources without drawing the scrutiny of the Justice Department.
Latest GCI press release: two new directors elected into the Board. I know there's a wise comment in here somewhere, but the brain isn't working fast enough to make one.Anybody?---------------------Gannett Board elects two new directorsMcLEAN, VA – The Board of Directors of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) has elected two new directors, effective immediately.• Howard Elias is president, EMC Global Services and Resource Management Software Group, and executive vice president, EMC Corporation. Elias oversees EMC’s professional services and global customer support organizations, EMC Consulting, and Global Pre-Sales and Education Services. He also has worked at Hewlett-Packard Company, Compaq, Digital, AST Research, and Tandy Corporation.• Scott McCune is vice president of Integrated Marketing for The Coca-Cola Company. He is responsible for the development of worldwide media, licensing, sports and entertainment marketing strategies. He also has worked at Anheuser-Busch, Inc., and the Sports Time Cable Network.“Howard Elias and Scott McCune are top executives in their fields, and will bring not only expertise to our board, but also depth in the key areas of technology and marketing,” said Craig A. Dubow, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Gannett. “These two professionals are great additions to our board and we welcome them.” With this election, Gannett has ten directors.
Sunday Free Press is only 64 pages some weeks of the year.
Hey Jim,Big Question for ya: In Honolulu we have been given voluntary seperation letters that offer TWO weeks for every year with a cap of FIFTY TWO weeks and ONE YEAR of medical. I'm certainly not complaining but wonder why the rest of Gannett is being offered half that. Does anybody have any thoughts on this??
Gannett Co., Inc.’s GCI Board of Directors today declared a dividend of 40 cents per share. The quarterly dividend is payable on Jan. 2, 2009 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 12, 2008.
Wow!It's luau time on the Big Island.
Re: Honolulu separation deal up to one year pay with health.Book me, Danno!
2:31 Is Honolulu a union contract? That could explain why your benefits are twice as generous as the rest of non-union GCI.
Why don't your blog entries about Gannett show up in the blog tab when looking at GCI in Google Finance?
If that's true about the 52 weeks---regardless of the reason for it---wouldn't that mean Gannett didn't exactly tell the truth in memos and stories?
Horney in APP
Honolulu has unions but the contract only offers one week for every year and certainly no medical in the event of a layoff...which I assume the company could do anyway if they dont get takers. The generous offer has also been offered to non union employees and managers as well. Go figure why so generous in HONO but less then half that elsewhere....
indy got about the same offer in '07, but for only 21 people. now it's 1 wk/yr up to 26, though some are grandfathered beyond that in our contract.and how did you get them to let seniority rule if there are too many who want the buyout? there seemed to be little rhyme or reason to who got them here. a couple of coworkers who were passed over were very bitter.
Word on the Yahoo finance message board is that the addition of 2 new GCI director positions is a defensive move against a hostile takeover. Would that make sense?
If newspapers are dieing so bad, why are numbers continuing to go up all over the rest of the world? You listen to carrier gossip and they keep saying how people want the paper. However they want it in time to read it before work, and in better shape. Something most Gannett papers can't do. If there's no market for newspapers why do they sell out the door when papers actually put hard news on the front page? Newspapers are to blame for their demise more than the I-net and news TV combined.
liberal left leaning press is to blame for drop in readership.
Here's a note the Springfield publisher sent to the staff. Please note how he said if you want to be considered for the severance package that will be offered to severed employees...does that mean only fired folks get the package?And then there's this goody: "Since we are moving very quickly to get this behind us so we can focus on our customers and business during their busy holiday sales season, you should let your department manager know by the end of business today."In othee words, lets get this mundane busy work over so we can get back to making money for my year-end bonus check.... talk about heartless...Merry Christmas TB...Here's the entire note:"You all received by now Bob Dickey’s note about our need for an involuntary layoff of 10% to adjust our expense to match weaker revenues due to the declining economy. Several employees have asked if we would consider them for the severance package. If you wish to leave and want consideration for the severance package we will give to severed employees, you should talk with your department head so as they work through their adjustments to the department they are aware of your interest. Since we are moving very quickly to get this behind us so we can focus on our customers and business during their busy holiday sales season, you should let your department manager know by the end of business today. If you need help understanding how your other benefits would be affected, please see HR."
I think that's just heartless.
The Springfield publisher, clearly, has had good "Gannett Training"
Why the animosity for New Jersey? We suffer with the worst management (at all levels) and the result has been declining circulation numbers and truly lousey ads... both in style and context. Our news is embarrassing-- especially in Bridgewater and Morristown. The others aren't far behind. So....we whine! There is very low morale and the constant feeling that we are being watched. Wish it was paranoia! If one were to analyze the editors, advertising, production, HR and circulation, it would seem crystal clear that we act as if we all worked for different newspapers. A psychologist would have a field day figuring out all the people who make Bridgewater dysfunctional!As for the actual State of New Jersey-- it's not bad and gets a bad rap. We are less than an hour away from mountains, seashore, NYC glitz and Atlantic City gambling. Of course, no employee has the money to spend on any of this, but that's a story for another day.
This story says 50 to be cut at USA Today.http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.san&s=93665&Nid=48867&p=963141
Tara has been caught lying again. She did that a lot as an editor, and now is doing it for GCI.
liberal left leaning press is to blame for drop in readership.10/30/2008 4:59 PMIt stuns me that the Republitrolls have infiltrated even this web site.
50 to be laid off at USA Today. Why haven't we heard that?
6:20 - Do you honestly believe the media does not favor the left?
There's little wonder why, in a metro area of 380,000+, the Springfield News-Leader has a daily circulation of less than 52,000. There's virtually no useful content, staffers who leave aren't replaced, and the editor and publisher are, let's put it this way, not the brightest bulbs in the light socket that is Gannett.
Dear former colleaguesI completely understand your fear and uncertainty about your futures. But I want to let you know there is a better life after Gannett. I was laid off and got a job in PR. The company I work for -- a tech company -- makes my days in Gannett look like a prison sentence. I can't tell you how much I love my new job and the environment of continuous improvement and a focus on excellence. Take heart. You can end up as happy as I am. Go bravely into that dark night. There's light on the other side.
"Since we are moving very quickly to get this behind us so we can focus on our customers and business during their busy holiday sales season, you should let your department manager know by the end of business today."I simply don't believe that this jerk-off remains employed. How bad must things get before thugs like this are culled?
8:05 PMI don't mean to defend that ugly memo, but the bosses are probably under a tremendous amount of pressure and stress these days too, you know. I can't even begin to imagine leading a property to success, only to be told to cut staff.
>>This story says 50 to be cut at USA Today.http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.san&s=93665&Nid=48867&p=963141 That story is confusingly written. I think that means 50 at USA TODAY, which is about right, WERE laid off (although that happened in late 2007, not early 2008). Or the writer means 10% of about 500 Usat workers would be 50. Either way, it seems it is just a confused or confusing paragraph. Hopefully.
Agreed, 8:40. I think the writer is saying that 50 (really more like 43) took the buyout last year.Also, he included the 3,000 number, which Corporate denied is accurate.
That publisher didn't have to give that crappy reason. He could have just said..."If you want to be considered for the severance package we will give to select employees, you should talk with your department head by 5 p.m. today so that, as they work through their adjustments to the department, they'll be aware of your interest."The end.(P.S., I also changed "severed employees" to "select employees," because "severed employees" is unnecessary gross sounding.)
ML at the DR should be the fist to go! Worst manager I've ever has the misfortune of working for,so unprofessional and degrading......but hey so are most of the "higher ups" in Morristown. Maybe if Gannett would close that office, some of the rest of the folks who still actually enjoy working for the company would be able to keep working
Sorry, I meant ML should be the first to go.............ps feel free to hit any watering hole in the parsippanny-east hanover nj area during lunch hour on any given day you will find most of the DR staff there exchanging their prescriptions for zanax,etc
The USA Today story is referring ot past lay offs earlier this year. Nothing new has been announced by USAT yet.
SO WHICH IS IT???10% FEWER EMPLOYEESOR 10% PAYROLL REDUCTION???
the mgr's note said:If you wish to leave and want consideration for the severance package we will give to severed employees, you should talk with your department head so as they work through their adjustments to the department they are aware of your interest. if our mgr put out a note like that, i'd be far too busy running to his office to sweat whether he worded it tactfully.
I am not so confident as the others on the 50 figure. Yes it can be read either way, and it is a confusing story. But I have long believed Moon is waiting until after the elections to unveil some new plan. If I am correct, we could know next week.
I've just signed back on, so am only now entering this debate. I suspect that mysterious "50" figure refers to a previous cut in jobs -- perhaps the 43 buyouts in the USAT newsroom in December 2007.
Looking for a new job... MyFirstPaycheck.com
When the springfield publisher left his last position, we never knew. The guy NEVER left his office and visited the news room once in a year and a half. Quite a change from the Thomson publisher we had before him.
Since I am "LEFT HANDED" that means I am safe then??? LOL
Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."
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