Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wednesday | Nov. 5 | Got news, or a question?

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63 comments:

  1. Not to make anyone's paranoia worse, but I recently noticed a little icon on my computer at work. When I moved my cursor over it, it said "e-policy orchestrator agent."

    Then I recalled how some months back, when we all had to sign the annual ethics policy forms, there was a new one requiring us to acknowledge that we were aware the company has the right to monitor all electronic communications.

    I double-clicked on the icon and from what it showed me, the only thing I could deduce is that it seemed to be there for the purpose of gathering some sort of info about things on my computer. I looked for the same icon on some of my nearby co-workers' computers and did not see it, unless it was hidden.

    What do you think? Should this be cause for concern? And would such things be used in deciding, say, who gets laid off? I mean, is the simple act of trading e-mails with former co-workers now something to be viewed in a bad light?

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  2. I'm sure an IT person can speak up on this one, but if you do a google search on "e-policy orchestrator agent" you'll find a link like this that sounds as if it's nothing more than a part of Nortons AntiVirus:

    http://w3.fiu.edu/mcafee/mcafee80i/faq.html

    But then again, it sounds as if you're feeling guilty about something so... maybe it is Big Brother.

    Spill Your Guts!!!!!

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  3. E-policy orchestrator agent is part of the Corporate McAfee EPO server Anti-Virus software.
    So 11/05/2008 1:30 AM was right.
    Although I am surprised that you see an icon on your computer.
    UNLESS…
    This sounds as though you use a MAC.
    Is that the case?


    SPILL YOUR GUTS!!
    Why you worried about Big Bro seeing what you do 11/05/2008 1:19 AM?

    Give me your username and I can tell you why/if you should worry! :)

    If we wanted to watch you or had the manpower/resources to watch everyone, you would not see any icons that would let you know!

    I would not worry too much about being watched especially during these times. Just don't blow up your work computer surfing porn!

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  4. Hey 11/05/2008 1:19 AM

    Is this the first time you have heard of Google??

    Good thing you are anonymous because you just showed your worthiness!

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  5. As a blue collar employee of Gannett who doesn't have a dog in the journalistic race I would like to offer my condolences to the newspaper industry.The media has sold its soul in its unadulterated bias towards Obama.Any shred of jounalistic integrity has been tattered beyond repair as this opinion is shared by many friends and relatives on both sides of the aisle.The papers have decided to go after the left of center demographic while totally alienating a large percentage of Americans.I work on mechanical equipment and realize that that is a bad business plan.What happens when the older readers who have the paper delivered pass away? Their children have realized that there are countless other avenues to gather information from so you will be left with a dwindling readership.As more people realize that you can read most ads and print Sunday coupons online there will go another chunk.The upcoming 10% cutbacks will just be the tip of the iceberg as the industry continues its downward spiral into obscurity.Since the "jounalists" pushed so hard for obama maybe he can hire them for his new national publication-Pravda West...they will fit right in with Dear Leader

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  6. Salem is taking requests for voluntary severance. We have a week to put our name in with human resources to be considered. It is just a matter of time before it is all of us. The layoffs will continue until the building is empty.

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  7. Don't worry about E-policy orchestrator agent as it is how your computer gets updated with the latest virus signatures.

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  8. How will this historic vote change Gannett's policies on mainstreaming and diversity, I wonder---and how quicky will the company realize that the majority apparently voted for Obama based not on the color of his skin, but the content of his character. Will Gannett do away with the forms, requirements and "quota" hiring now?

    How will Gannett define "minority" and "equal opportunity" now?

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  9. Has anyone checked out the online health pricing at YBR? I don't know where the supposed 8% increases come in, but mine was a 25% jump, another $600 annually.

    We've talked math before, but if raises are limited to 1.5% next year, I will be taking home less than I was this year.

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  10. Banner headline on the Web site of Westchester's Journal News:
    "Across the nation, the people rejoiced"

    The dek was not: "And the heavens opened, and light filled the world, and the souls of men and women"

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  11. Will Gannett follow Obama's lead and begin reporting as if there is not a white America, a black America...but a United States of America---thus ending strict mainstreaming and diversity requirements?

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  12. Those of you considering volunteering for a layoff at your papers, will you still get unemployment benefits after severance runs out?

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  13. What does Obama's victory mean to my job? Will corporate look at the election returns and increased Democratic majority in Congress and make a calculation they have only two months to make layoffs before Congress comes in big-time to make that more difficult or expensive. As the recession worsens, we are sure to see proposals to change laws giving laid off employees easier access to their former employer's health plans. You could even see stiffer measures discouraging layoffs. So how will corporate respond: make a greater number of layoffs now just in case, or wait and see what Obama does? Just a dismal thought today.

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  14. I have watched our top managers huddle to try to figure out where to take the newshole cut and it is very very bad. No matter which way it goes, it is bad. And this is before we convert to 44 in. width, shrinking everything more. I don't anticipate angry calls from readers. They are beyond angry calls. They just won't buy it anymore. We are closing the coffin and nailing ourselves in from the inside.

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  15. So why is it that Gannett leaves it up to its individual properties to decide how to assassinate employees?

    Why is it that publishers of some newspapers, such as Louisville, Wilmington, Honolulu and Rochester, take the high road and first look for volunteers to leave, thereby saving jobs for those who may not be willing or able to leave? To those of you who have publishers with at least that much compassion, consider yourselves lucky. The rest of us are left with weasels and worms in the publisher's office who will let the designated department hit men do the dirty work so they don't have to get their hands dirty.

    This is a horrible time. Going into a holiday season not knowing if you'll even have a job in a few weeks is nothing short of psychological torture. Wouldn't it be humane to at least TRY to meet the 10 percent payroll cut without literally forcing people out on the street?

    The fact that Gannett's mess of corporate leadership can't even coordinate employee slayings in a cohesive, fair, consistent manner is yet another indication why this once-great company is now a billion-dollar-losing joke.

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  16. Would you prefer folks at corporate deciding who gets the axe?

    That happened the last time around and we lost people at our paper who contributed in ways that don't always show up on spreadsheets and monthly reports.

    Maybe it's just me but I'd rather local folks make the call.

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  17. I agree with that wholeheartedly. It's going to suck no matter what, but I'd much rather the local top dogs be the "deciders.'' They at least have a clue that org charts don't tell the whole story, especially after multiple staff reductions.

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  18. To clarify my comments at 10:23:

    I don't want corporate to "make the call" as to who goes. I'd just like to see a uniform severance policy throughout the company that gives employees the CHOICE to VOLUNTEER for a severance package. It would still be up to the local papers to decide exactly who they let go, or who to force out if there aren't enough volunteers.

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  19. Accountability is a joke when, no matter how profitable your place is, you have to cut staff to please corporate.

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  20. This is incredilble

    http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages

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  21. This from the Courier-Post's publisher following an e-mail praising everyone's work on election night:

    Courier-Post
    301 Cuthbert Boulevard – Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

    To: All Employees
    From: Walt Lafferty
    Date: November 5, 2008
    Ref: Voluntary Severance



    Last week you received an email from Bob Dickey, president of Gannett’s Community Publishing Division, about a 10% reduction in newspaper staffing. A question has come up about whether people can volunteer for this layoff. The answer is yes.

    Along with my department heads, I am reviewing all aspects of our operations here at the Courier Post to determine where jobs can be eliminated. These job eliminations are expected to take place in early December, although special circumstances may dictate deferring the effective date a few weeks. Individuals whose jobs are eliminated will receive severance, which will be 1 week of pay for each completed year of service, with a minimum of 2 weeks of severance and a maximum of 26 weeks of severance.

    If you wish to be voluntarily considered for this severance, please complete and submit the attached voluntary severance election form to Human Resources no later than noon on Wednesday, November 12, 2008. You will receive the same severance and should expect to depart along the same timetable as those being involuntarily laid off. We must work to preserve our operational strength as we go forward with this process, so I cannot guarantee that anyone who volunteers will be accepted, but your offer will be seriously considered.

    If you have any questions about this process please feel free to discuss with the Human Resources department or myself.

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  22. Worst Performing Dividend Stocks of 2008: GCI is one of them. http://seekingalpha.com/article/104152-worst-performing-dividend-stocks-of-2008

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  23. 10:04 Good question regarding elegibility for unemployment if you volunteer. I would want to make sure I could - before I volunteered. The job market really sucks out there. Oh, and by the way, you can collect unemployment while receiving severence pay (at least in the wonderful state of New Jersey)

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  24. Asbury Park Press just offered voluntary severance for all employees. Anyone who takes it gets the same deal as those who will be involuntarily laid off.

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  25. What's the difference between a voluntary layoff and a buyout?

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  26. 11:00 AM wrote: I'd just like to see a uniform severance policy throughout the company that gives employees the CHOICE to VOLUNTEER for a severance package."

    Considering that ALL of these e-mails about voluntary buyouts read EXACTLY the same, I'd say the wording came from corporate and it's up to publishers to decide if it's appropriate for their papers.

    Just a thought.

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  27. 12:13 p.m.: Buyout sounds nicer than voluntary layoff, plus it looks better on a resume. But they are the same thing: You agree to quit your job in return for an agreed-upon amount of money.

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  28. Des Moines Register just received the same "identical" letter this morning from Laura Hollingsworth, except they need them turned in by November 11. Looks like publishers are now just reduced to sending form letters.

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  29. Meanwhile, ACTUAL NEWSPAPERS are selling out today. Here is a press release from the Washington Post:

    The Washington Post increased copies available today for sale at retail locations and in newsboxes by 30%, but sold out within hours. The sell-out is an indication that a newspaper is still the most tangible news source and keepsake for great moments in history. For D.C.-area residents who still want a copy of the paper, The Washington Post will produce 150,000 copies of a commemorative edition available at leading local retailers available later this afternoon.

    The Washington Post is the country's fourth largest newspaper, and third largest in Sunday circulation with over 2.2 million readers. The Post's Web site has had record page views for the past few months leading up to the election, with nearly 335 million page views in October.

    Today The Post continues to lead political coverage with the launch of "44: A Transition to Power: The Obama Presidency," a political news blog chronicling the new presidency and the vast changes in Washington that come with a new administration.

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  30. Yeah, we're doing a commemorative too. Where's my barf bag when I need it?
    I guess that's for folks that didn't save the last couple months of papers...we're such whores.

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  31. Westchester received an email that wasn't identical, but had the same idea in mind.

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  32. When you do a "sell" from your 401K, when is it processed? As in, when does the actual sell/buy happen?

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  33. USA today did a great job last night online.

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  34. I have an idea Bob; each publisher worked its way up the latter, via advertising, Circ, Newsroom, etc. So if a publisher moved up via Advertising get rid of the ad director and have the current managers report to the publisher. You would save On average at $100k a year times 84 sites 8.4 million in payroll next year. my guess it more than this because it doesnt factor in MBO's. Just a thought.

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  35. That's what happend to me anon 4:17. I think it's a plan all ready in play.

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  36. @11/05/2008 1:11 PM:

    If only that feat could be repeated on days that aren't immediately following Election Day. The industry might well have a shot.

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  37. 4:17

    I have been saying this all along. It seems they don't do much but tell the publisher the bad news. The managers are not trained by them and neither is the staff. Maybe they are good at checking email. Get rid of them and let the managers report directly to the publisher. BAM instantly saves money and jobs.

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  38. 5:04

    Maybe they will start with Asheville first!

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  39. The bitterness continues with the people on this blog.I voted for Barrack for one reason: he is positive. I am so tired of negative people. It is poison to the soul.

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  40. 11/05/2008 11:40 AM

    We got the same thing at The Press.

    I can only guess that some people are looking forward to being laid off. If I am, I would have the severance and might be able to get unemployment. That would be a real raise for a few months.

    On the other hand, I was trying to find a copy of the signature of a few of my fellow employee s. I know that they really wnat to throw themselves on the hand grenade for the rest of us but are too shy to do it.

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  41. Just because you sign up to be laid off doesn't necessarily mean you WILL be laid off. If your department head needs you, you'll stay. Another idea is that if you ask for it, they'll keep you knowing its just a matter of time before you quit and get NO severance package. Put THAT in your pipe!

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  42. If they decide you're too valuable to be laid off, can ou use that to negotiate a raise?

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  43. 7:12

    Wait till after the layoffs and use the shortage of employees as leverage. Gannett will soon find that the papers can not run on a the few souls that are left.

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  44. Does anyone know when finance department's will be letting A/P, A/R, Circ, GL go so they can "consolidate"? I have friends that will be without a job. It's time to go but wished it was on there own terms and not Gannett's. I think they are entitled to know at least if it will be before Christmas or not...

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  45. Hopefully Walt Lafferty of the Courier Post will invoke involuntary layoffs to get rid of the ad director, the classified manager (the biggest loser of them all) and many of the middle management types who were selected by this current ad director. It is doubtful that this group of useless people will ask to be dumped because they couldn't get work anywhere else. Lafferty might also make everyone at this property very happy by adding his waterboy Tom Hearon to the list and getting rid of him too. Best of all would be for Gannett to rid NJ of Lafferty. Maybe they could send him off to Nashville to even the score for sending Nashville's loser EE to Cherry Hill.

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  46. USA Today's election graphic from the website was mighty kickin' last night. Great job on that.

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  47. 7:22 p.m.: I've tried, but failed, to get that information. As soon as I do, I'll post it.

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  48. It seems from the tone of the comments about NJ that the better solution would be to fold the papers and just get rid of all the bad at one time.

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  49. 5:02 -

    Wilmington completely sold out. We did a ton of stuff, and are coming back tomorrow with special stuff on Biden.

    Unfortunately, it took everything to produce it - we're all completely wiped out after working a 12-plus-hour day (and some really good managers worked 16+). You'd have to double the staff to have enough people to produce that much content every day without burning them out or having them die in car crashes from falling asleep at the wheel.

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  50. Regarding the 401K "sell" question from 1:38 p.m.

    The rules of the road prohibit same day transactions. If you enter a transfer, it will not be recorded until the close of markets on the day of the order. If it's placed after market close, the transfer will not be completed until the close of the next day. (So there's no way to watch, see that the market's going to be up and transfer money in on the same up day, although that would certainly be entertaining and profitable.) Other rules apply as well. The S&P equity fund locks you out for two months if you completely bail out of it. There must be a fine print rulebook somewhere, but I haven't found it. It's all pretty much by trial and error. That fact, I suspect, keeps the whole thing entertaining and profitable for the fund managers, but not any of us trolls.

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  51. Awesome job USA Today on the election coverage! Both online and in print.

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  52. Today was a great day for newspapers all over America.
    Editor and Publisher writes that USA Today had an overrun of a couple hundred thousand , as did the Washington Post.
    NY Times is being sold on ebay.

    Thank goodness we did not destroy the newspaper before this historic day. That would have made for a sad day for consumers....with no physical news momento.

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  53. People on here make NJ sound like a cesspool. I have to check the papers' websites ever so often to see if they can even get it together enough to publish. Maybe its just a few pissed off worker bees venting?

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  54. I went to a manager's meeting today and asked about unemployment after severance. If you get whacked, he said they would not fight it. But if you voluntarily "offer" to take the hit, he didn't know if you would be eligible for UC. Rules in Wisconsin are that if the "separation" is due to your own actions, you don't qualify. So don't offer yourself up thinking you'll be eligible for a vacation in a warmer climate while collecting checks this winter...also, if your severance amount is over the max limit, you won't qualify for UC until your severance is exhausted.

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  55. For the record to an earlier post, the Green Bay Press Gazette endorsed McCain/Palin.I cringed when I read the logic for it...not that it would make me feel any better losing my job to a Democrat than a Republican...great time to decide to alienate half your readership...

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  56. CLARION LEDGER IN JACKSON, MS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT OF ELECTION DAY AFTER PAPERS. WEB SITE STAFF DID A TREMENDOUS JOB ON ELECTION DAY KEEPING THE NEWS ROLLING. GOOD FOR ALL.

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  57. USA Today sold 500,000 extra copies and no papers to be found....not even in the building!

    Its a great day for newspapers in the USA!

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  58. I just went on ebay and USA Today is selling there for $20.00 bucks upward.

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  59. epolicy orchestrator is your antivirus product, nothing sinister...

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  60. This comment is actually for Thursday, Nov. 6. I would like to say that today was a very bad day at APP. Certain people think they are sure to be let go so they are sitting around doing NOTHING. Even LEAD personnel are spending their day messing with their iPhones and basically bullshitting the day away right out front for all to see. They just do not care. Our operations manager is a mess. She just has let everything go. In all my life I have never seen such low morale. It is so hard to come to work and be positive when the turkeys are so hellbent on getting you down. They are even making us attend these assinine "stress and organization" seminars. Two fucking hours of some jackass telling us how to deal with stress. Gannett can keep their touchy-feely seminar. I've got work to do. If I am one of the ones going out the door, well then I will go out with my head held high. I take pride in my work and I won't let assholes ruin my work ethic. I may be a fool, but I am a proud fool. My parents brought me up right. Unlike these sniveling ass-kissers who lay low when the chips are down, but flock to the forefront when the getting is good.

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  61. Great job, everyone. One day every four years we'll sell out. The rest of the time it's same-old, same-old dying newspaper industry, with Gannett leading the way with it's patent on confused plans and "let's see how few people we can put out a newspaper with" attitude.

    Did anyone ever consider that putting out a better, thicker product might be a way of gaining back old readers and developing new ones?

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  62. 11/07/2008 8:40 PM -- You must be from New Jersey.

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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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