Thursday, June 12, 2008

Readers: In GCI pension freeze, 'screwed' again; who are secret '120' execs exempt from changes?

[Gannett's headquarters: Some executive pensions protected]

Comments are pouring in about the sweeping retirement plan changes CEO Craig Dubow announced yesterday. A mystery: Who are the 120 exempt executives on Page 7 of the "key messages" document given to employees? A sampling of comments:
  • "As usual, the rank and file that do all the real work get screwed again while the yahoos at the top will continue to live comfortably for the rest of their lives, job or not. And for those of you that haven't thought about it, it's the group at the top that has gotten the company to where it is with the decisions that they have made. And lately, they haven't been very good decisions."
  • "The CEO pay complaint is the most tired horse out there. I've written dozens of business stories for newspapers about companies that are tanking, and workers always complain about how much the top brass earn. I'm not particularly impressed with Dubow, but consider for a second if we pay him $50,000 a year and make him drive a Honda. Talent requires money. You pay to play. I have nine years at Gannett, and the future of the company scares the hell out of me. But it's equally frustrating to hear all the veterans around me piss and moan about the good old days, while they check their personal e-mail every half hour and refuse to acknowledge the media landscape has changed."
  • "The 120 most likely include: Corporate officers; division heads; Gannett management committee; corporate VPs; regional presidents and regional VPs in the newspaper division; GMs in the broadcast division; selected others, such as the key talking heads in the TV newsrooms."
  • "What everyone should understand is that this is just another step on the changes that will be coming to the company in the next 12 months. Expect more shoes to drop. The feeling is that it is better to get these changes done with now, fully knowing that they will be disruptive and will cost morale, than allow the company to drip into oblivion. There will be many fewer Gannett employees in the near future. The business/operational model will be vastly different with much less local autonomy/staff. The CEO and the CFO have publicly stated as much. You can do two things about what is obviously coming. You can either let it happen to you or you can take charge of your own situation. Ask yourself, is my job one that could potentially be consolidated? Do I work at a regionally significant location? If the answer to the first question is yes and the answer to the second is no, it would be worth your while to review your options and begin to make contingency plans. No one else will look out for you."
Join the debate, in the original post.


  1. This is bullshit. I called my attorney and he said that we have a good case to go after the company. I was not offered the buyout and now all those who were offered and took it, have made out the best.

    I am going to sue Gannett.

  2. what are you gonna do - i own you, you have no choice - take it peon mwuhahahaaaaaa

  3. Dubow and Martore should go! Let's start calling for their heads. Notice how their SERP's are not affected.

    Let's take away his big black Mercedes and her nice silver Porsche!!!

    Does anyone notice how they are running this company into the ground?

    Look at that stock price. I have lost my shirt in my 401k with the stock.

    Get them out!!!

  4. 1. Unionize now.
    2. File the lawsuits. This is concealed discrimination aimed at reducing the older members of the corporation.
    3. The private equity owners ought to be fired up to remove the two top executives.
    4. Demand a 20% reduction in the salaries of key corporate staffers.

  5. Most of you never paid attention to the stock incentive plans of the highly compensated officers.

    I myself had stock incentives that matured every five my former life.

    There are those publishers who ruin their local property in the qwest for greater profits...and then selling their incentives.

    ...and then some of these "no talent" callous bums either leave or are promoted elsewhere.

    Gannett never had any great depth of talent for the future publisher ranks.

    Worse? You figure it out.

  6. Seriously, are there only 200 big wigs in the program (not the 120 that keeps being written about)? That seems so very small. I just assumed every publisher, GM, station manager, etc. would get a special deal.

    Then, from what I read, it seems everyone gets cut.

    If true, that is admirable.

  7. I couldn't believe it when I read it (that there were 200 or less bigwigs) in a company of 45,000. Maybe what we need are more bigwigs, not less.


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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