CEO Craig Dubow's letter to shareholders in the just-out 2007 Annual Report is chock full of interesting observations and facts(?) about the two-year-old strategic plan -- and Gannett's rapidly shrinking employee base. Selections follow. Read, and discuss!
- "At all times, our customers pressed us for quality journalism -- and the plan delivered."
- "Gannett has always led the industry in innovation."
- "Our program to train hundreds of print journalists in the use of video has been much lauded. More than 800 journalists are shooting video for their newspaper Web sites, and now more than 55 advertising/non-news employees have been trained to create video advertising solutions."
- "Gannett's newspapers and television stations are our heart and soul. They give us our identity, our principles and our culture. And under our strategic plan, they are pumping up, acquiring all sorts of new muscles while maintaining their constitutional vigil under the First Amendment."
- "Every accomplishment I've talked about in this letter -- our solid financial base, our commitment to the customers, our innovation and our top-notch content -- is possible because of our employees. Every one. I expect a lot from them, and I get more. They are hardworking, loyal and, increasingly, strategic. They have shouldered a difficult burden in the past two years -- maintaining our successes while carrying us through the transformation. Transformations are emotionally challenging, stressful processes. But our employees are coming through it with their creativity, senses of humor, perspective and their devotion to the company intact. I am in awe of their dedication and reserves. I deeply appreciate all their work, and I thank them."
- "Our executive team has great talent, intellect and belief in the power of Gannett. Our employees tell us they are ready to go. 2007 helped put all the pieces in place; 2008 will see it through. I assure you, you will see great progress."
Meanwhile, back on Earth: Gannett's stock closed today at $30.23 a share, down 4.8%. Over the past 12 months, shares have plunged nearly 51%, after scoring the industry's second-worst performance of 2007. Now, remember: A smile is just a frown -- turned upside down!
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