An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Jim, after reading your posts about adding advertising and looking for subscribers to this blog, I have to ask: Have you not been job hunting since you took the buyout? Are you just now trying to figure out how to make a living? I'm sure living the life in Europe over the summer was fun, but if you've spent the last 10 months mostly doing this blog and not figuring out your future I have to question your wisdom. Please tell me I'm wrong,
to 11:36... let the man take a vacation! after putting many years into a career with Gannett I'm sure he needs time to de-stress and get his bearings...I know I would (will)
After scanning the weekend papers here in Phoenix it is easy to see the problems that are present.The paper is full of biased opinions masquerqding as news stories,attacking one side of the political spectrum,any local candidate who doesn't kiss the ring,and demonizing any citizen who might disagree with the immigration policy(I guess that they need to pander to the hispanic community for sales)I truly feel sorry for all the workers in advertising and sales and wherever most of the work gets done as they are the first ones to get the axe.Meanwhile,there are two floors filled with 1960 burntout hippies who deep down hate the country.I can only make the latter assumption by reading their "opinions" and talking with them.It will be a fine day when I see them selling pencils on Van Buren Street.I remember when I was a kid when print jounalism was a respectable trade and all Americans read them.Now they play to such a small part of the total audience,while alienating the rest that they are now sleeping in the proverbial bed they made.I look foward to plummeting sales-Have a great week!
THANKS FOR CHECKING IN, MR. MCCAIN. You know what tipped me off? That "When I was a kid" line. When you were a kid, Gutenberg chased you out of his office.
Don't forget to keep the comments sharply focused on Gannett. Thanks!
I laughed out loud at Jennifer Carroll's statement to PBS:"We have 40 smaller newspapers that are part of our Digital Production Center Network, which means we handle their production for them so they can operate 24/7 websites and can turn around the content. Our test site for moving to a continous news operation was in Wilmington, Del. When we launched and they restructured their operation to do that, in the first month they had an increase of 2 million page views. So we realized that a news site needs to be a news site and be constantly updated."Give me a break. Wilmington is such a "continous news operation" that it doesn't have anyone on hand on Saturday or Sunday until about noon to handle breaking news. You can get a news assistant on the phone, and that's about it. And there's no one on site from about 4 a.m. until 7 a.m. They do have a very good update editor who does some breaking news stuff from home *on his own time* when he's able, but that's the exception to the rule.24/7?? Please stop lying to people.
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I worked with the Journal News in White Plains, New York and I believe they have a mission to fail. The circulation at the Journal News has consistently gone down to a ridiculously low level--yet the management of circulation remains employed. While I worked there I actually heard a director say that she would never hire anyone smarter than her.Perhaps the shirts in Virginia should review their management startegies.
Can we please leave the politics out of it unless it directly pertains to Gannett or unemployment benefits or health care costs or something directly related and leave the conspiracy theories on both sides for the 9 million other blogs out there? As if we aren't all bombarded with that stuff from every direction everywhere else.
Please, leave the political comments OUT of this blog! We don't come here to debate McCain/Obama, Democrat/Republican, left/right - we come here for information about Gannett newspapers. Many of us are concerned about our jobs, and arguing the merits of Obama or McCain's politics is NOT in any way helpful to anyone other than the people trying to stir up debate.
11:36 is absolutely right. Love this blog but when ten months go by in an economy such as this and you just haven't planned...it's no better than what happens in the newsroom. I too hope that's wrong but every other post seems otherwise.
this is a politics-free zone. Spew elsewhere.
Gannett has begun practicing some sort of dark humor. I left the company a week ago and just received a letter from the 401K administrator. I opened the envelope to find a completely blank piece of Gannett benefits stationery. Who knew anyone at GCI was that profound?
I love stock analysts ratings on GANNETT. MSN.COM stock evaluator has had GANNETT as a "Hold" (with no ratings change since last year....BRILLIANT. When will they tell me to sell? After it's lost 85% of its value in 1-Year.Isn't the idea to tell us to sell a stock BEFORE it drops 70%??
I hat to make anyone feel bad or jealous (don't worry-I'm going to lose my job), but my S.D. 401k 1-Year Return is UP 32.4%.Spotted this MEAN BEAR in the woods over a year ago.
ok, here's something real about Gannett, while Dow at this moment is up 477.97, GCI is down down 0.52 at $12.35! (this all will change by the time this posted, but still...)
10:25 anon: Congratulations on your prescient market call. I hope you're not a working journalist or otherwise employed by Gannett. Because people that good (who truly are that good and not just lucky) can and do make more in a morning on (and off) Wall Street that the typical Gannett employee makes in a year.
I just deleted a comment on politics that wasn't focused enough on Gannett.
I would like to talk about how Jim is going to raise some money. Does that get me deleted, too?
Only if you suggest some sort of members only photo gallery of the party scene in Ibizia. TMI !:)
Dear 10:49 - this is 10:25. You Honor me with the compliment. I'm not a reporter, just a blue-collar grunt trying to survive & I am with Gannett. But with the shock-waves in the economy, those on top will fall and those on the bottom (with skill & discipline) will move up. My non retirement trading acoount is up 94+% in last 8 weeksWithout being boastful or arrogant** If you've seen the movie "The Natural", Robert Redford's answer to the team manager about why -with his talent- he didn't get into baseball 16 years sooner, Redford replied "well I sorta got sidetracked." That's me.
Dear 10:49 - this is 10:25: Yes, I do understand about the "sidetracked" thing. It is true for many, I think, in all walks and not just for investing.You may be familiar with Warren Buffett's oft-repeated statement that he considers himself to be enormously lucky for knowing very early in life what he wanted to do. That's a huge unearned advantage, he always says, that he had and many don't have.I'm sure there are many Gannett employees (just to keep this on topic) who now regret the years they've given to journalism, given what's happening in the industry. Houses, cars, iPods--these things are all replaceable. But your time--that you never get back. There is a certain bravery on display at this site that, for me, is one of the payoffs of reading it.
GCI is down because of the NYT report that shows online revenues for newspapers have collapsed, although not as badly as the dead-tree revenues. This is the gang that couldn't shoot straight -- they can't get anything right. I think once the board of directors sees how horrible revenues have been, there will have to be a wholesale purge. How can you possibly screw up Internet revenues?
12:57, did the NYT report indicate anything specific about Gannett's online revenue? Or, did they report an average for the entire industry. The Gannett community paper websites are horrible as they all look the same, as we know. Also, anyone have any word on how Gannett's community papers did for period 9 and 3Q?
Todd 8:26: You are right, they are on a mission to fail in Westchester, NY. But they are still misinforming advertisers to the real circulation numbers. On their website there is a section ADVERTISE WITH US and list the circulation but in smaller print they have the following:Source, Circulation Data: ABC Audit Report for The Journal News, 3/27/06.March 2006? is that ethical, why won't they list the up to date circulation.Todd also states "While I worked there I actually heard a director say that she would never hire anyone smarter than her" There are quite a few managers that practice this. They put people in positions under them that will never be a threat to their jobs. It is not about putting out a good product, it's about job security for upper management that could never get another high paying job. That sums up the failure of the White Plains site.
@1:28 p.m.: I've posted on that NYT story -- with details on Gannett, earlier today. The link is here: http://tinyurl.com/3vfacu
Ok Jim, I just sent you $10. Would like to do a year, but hell I might not be able to after layoffs in December. :)
Now I understand why I am suddenly hearing about Jenny Carroll, as Internet revenues sink. That was an incredibly upbeat profile of Carroll that appeared a week ago, followed by the report of declining revenues of the enterprise she oversees. Looks like someone was trying to protect her job as questions about her leadership surfaced.
Amusing Google ad now appearing at the top of this blog:"We Need Bloggers: Get Paid to Blog. Easy To Use. Earn Income from Your Blog."Link takes you to this page: "Our Advertisers want YOU to mention and talk about their websites products and services in your blogs and journals. They want the publicity, the exposure, the Buzz! that online bloggers and internet journals can generate for their web site products and services. In exchange blogsvertise pays YOU in paypal per task/blog entry, for writing / talking about / mentioning their website in your blog!"There you go, Jim - product placement is the way to go!
I just laughed and Pepsi, the choice of a new generation, came through my nose.4 cents please!
2:30om Eastern time. Most Stocks up, but Gannett GCI still going down. What is the issue here? A lot of people are sitting on their hands.
Wait a minute, complainers. Get your stories straight.Gannett's online revenue went UP (not down), while the rest of the industry declined.Again...Gannett up; industry down.(Jim's headline is a bit confusuing on first glance, but sorry if some good news spoils everyone's crabcakes).
SOMETHING TO PONDER:Dubow's Annual Salary for past 3 years = approx $7,500,000.When Craig Dubow took over in July-2005 GCI was $72.00 Per Share.GANNETT Market Value was 2,188 TIMES CRAIG'S PAYGCI NOW $12.13GANNETT Market Value NOW 369 TIMES CRAIG'S PAYAny major shareholder's or Board members AWAKE!!!!
@2:56 p.m.: You are right; that first hed sucked. I've now fixed it.
we were just told that Dickey and Dubow were coming to our paper on Friday for a "Town Hall meeting" at the Courier-Journal... Wondering why they would come all the way over here for a town hall meeting... curious....
Jim's revenue quest has gone global. Read teh blog about the blog:http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2008/10/13/gannett-watchdog-needs-cash/
Way to go, Jim. If Gannett doesn't give you a grant, maybe Freedom Forum will!
a little embarrassing to be honest.where is your pride dude?
@4:20 - Dubow is also visiting Cincinnati that day.
@5:07 p.m.: Pride? LOL! You gotta be kidding! I'm the guy who worked 20 years for Gannett, remember?
Anon--I know I am right---The Journal News should be ashamed---actually Corporate should be ashamed--The Journal News Is the most poorly run branch of Gannett. ALL and I mean All the upper( sic) MANAGEMENT SHOULD BE DISMISSIED---OUTRAGEOUS HOW THIS PAPER HAS BEEN DESTROYED BY THE GANNETT CORPORATE STAFF!!!!!!!!!!
Has anyone else noticed new subscription billing that is devoid of any explanation of what time frame you are paying for? I've been on a six-monther forever and I just got a small subscription bill for what I assume is a month, but it isn't spelled out on the bill. No one ever called or notified me about a change; I never called circulation to make a change.What concerns me is how billing like this would confuse the senior population, and they are already confused by our billing practices. Perhaps this is a new way to generate extra revenue? Is a bill like this even legal?
Maybe Dubow and Dickey are going on the road to "encourage" employees to stop dumping company stock as soon as they get it.
The Dow was up 900+ points and Gannett is down---outrageous!!!!!!!!Time to clean house---especially at the Journal News---your directors are a joke---and the guy in charge of operations was FIRED from another Gannett Paper---How sick is that CORPORATE--I KNOW YOU READ THIS BLOG !!!!
I personally would not want the first name of Todd if I worked at the Journal News...;)
Forget the name Todd, I just wouldn't want to work at The Journal News.
Jim, I'm in for $20. That's half of the co-pay I pay my therapist and I have gotten as much or more relief out of reading this blog as I have from anything else. Thanks for giving us a place to speak up and speak out.
Thanks much, 6:39 pm!
According to Motley Fool today, many newspaper stocks are getting hammered because they are hurt by the credit crunch and some are missing interest payments.The creditors are ok for the moment because newspapers continue to turn a healthy profit, even with less revenue.
It is time for corporate to come forward and say what the $1.2 billion loan was for. This is a publicly held company, and there is disclosure to stock holders required. Was it, as said on this blog, earmarked to be used to pay annual bonuses to execs?
Has USAT said anything officially to employees about the price of the paper going up? I haven't even seen anything about it on the Intranet. (Maybe I missed it?)
At least Gannett wasn't the only stock that dropped on this historic day: http://tinyurl.com/52cekg
11:25 p.m.: USA Today confirmed that as true; I posted on that here: http://tinyurl.com/4rnl5l
11:05: The $1.2B was explained on Oct 1: It was to cover all of Gannett's outstanding commercial paper. As the whole commercial paper market froze up in the last month, Gannett didn't want to get stuck not being able to roll over maturing notes so it took on long-term debt to cover them. Gannett essentially traded short-term debt (commercial paper) for long-term debt. It will probably cost a little more in higher interest payments, but if credit markets thaw soon, it could reverse course.
Dickey and Dubow better not show their sorry butts in Pensacola... we'll tar and feather those two!
Everyone hold onto your hats---GCI was up 2 cents in after hours trading.Personally I would sell now and buy back at $7.00
The commecial paper exodus was pure genius by somebody in finance. All of a sudden Gannett doesn't have to worry about the ying and the yang of the daily commercial paper market. While not a Gannett lover it was a smooth, calculated, smart move. Kudos to someone.
Jim, I respect the fact that you spent 20 years at a Gannett owned paper--as did I. I noticed that since 1990 the company started to handle matters in a poor way. For Example--they put a man in charge in New York who them became head of the Atlantic region.The problem was that the New York ( Westchester) paper took a nose dive. The core of management there now are all misplaced and shouldn't have the positions that they have. As I have mentioned before the Operations Man was rated poorly on a corporate audit and relieved of his duties at the Asbury Park Press. What causes Corporate to position him in a position of authority at another paper?
A Corporate audit in the Gannett world is an instrument that can be used to remove someone who may have fallen out of favor (for any number of reasons). The results of the audit sometimes are pre-determined. If they want somebody gone they can be gone. However in some cases they may want them demoted or moved to a smaller site.
5:27 PMI, too, wonder about senior subscribers who just might stew and fret about an unexpected and unexplained bill. That's just wrong. I guess corporate will come up with a solution after they hire all those R & D people and workers who will do whatever they're supposed to do with audiences.
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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