Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Week Dec. 20-26 | Your News & Comments: Part 2

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58 comments:

  1. For Part 1 of this comment thread, please go here.

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  2. Quite honestly Jim, this blog is not iPad friendly, so sometimes it captures name/URL and other times it does not capture anything. Furthermore, I stand corrected, Mr. Dondici is the CTO of Pointroll, not the head of operations. As for the first point, CafeMom, this has been confirmed, but the price is most likely $150 million!

    1. Gannett is buying CafeMom for several hundred million dollars and will be closing down MomsLikeMe and removing the local newspaper MLM advocates.

    2. Major executive will be leaving Gannett in Q1 2011. Rumors have been focused on Dubow, but looks like Mr. Hunke will be announcing his "retirement".

    3. Pointroll will name Sandy Dondici (current head of operations) as the new CEO of the company to replace Jason Tafler. Mr. Dondici has already interviewed with Mrs. Martore.

    4. Large budget miss within GannettLocal and Yahoo Partnership has caused a downward revision in budget for 2011 and will require large layoff's across USCP local sales team.

    5. Furloughs will be announced shortly for selected areas. Bonus payouts have been reduced significantly for 2010. Most bonus eligible employees with see upwards of a 40% reduction in payout.

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  3. Just noticed that they are using Meebo on the newly redesigned Newark Advocate web site. Meebo is used by CafeMom. I know the Columbus, Ohio Metromix office is closing, not sure exactly when.

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  4. Well, if Hunke does leave, I hope he takes Lee Jones with him. That guy has not had a strategic idea come from his mouth in the year he's been here, and I have not met more than four people (literally) in Advertising who have something good to say about him. Former employees from Tribune aren't kind, either. With his indecisiveness, I'm surprised he can dress himself in the morning. His wife must pick out the day's clothes for him.

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  5. I'm on board with My Boss with hesitation. I think Jim should try to vet that post more. 2-5 are quite plausible. In fact one could deduce those statements all on their own. The CafeMoms is way off the mark though. Momslikeme.com is definitley history. The website is paltry, and the print product is a disaster for advertisers. I saw a post from someone who said "it's doing quite well at my paper". That must have been it's editor. Because Moms is a publication only it's editor could love.

    So let's look at this more carefully. Where the hell is this company going to get the money to afford an overvalued internet company? Even if they could scrape the cash together (by wrenching the remaining lifeblood of the uscp) it would be yet another monumental waste of money.

    On second thought. It's stupid enough for Gannett to go throgh with. I guess My Boss IS right on that.

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  6. As I posted on several occasions...
    layoffs are happening and in small amounts
    across Gannett sites.Just as several posters reported yesterday.Many are under the radar
    or not being reported here. This is a great
    and informative site ,no doubt about that,
    but as far as layoff accuracy,not so good.
    My brother works at a weekly, and I formerly,and he knows of layoffs that took place.They were not reported here.
    The workers there ,much too timid and afraid
    they might be discovered some how, and then their jobs would be in jepardy, don't report here .Yes it sounds
    odd,but not every site checks into this blog
    and reports what is happening on local levels.
    This is a great site for the large percentage
    of Gannett happenings,dailies and USAT and Digital,but as far as being in the know about the hundreds of weeklies and so forth,with smaller amounts of employees ,I don't
    believe those sites and many others are being represented here.

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  7. 8:27-agreed.

    There has also been a huge amount of "early" retirements across the company as well. Add that to general attrition (jobs are easier to come by these days) and you have a substantial voluntary reduction in force.

    Unfortunately for Gannett these are usually the more talented individuals. It would be interesting to somehow quantify the impact of this on the company as a whole.

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  8. My Boss point #4 does not make sense. Since this blog has started there has been no sales layoffs. No way that will start now. My Boss usually is only right 2 out of 5 statements.

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  9. 8:58
    Sales layoffs are rare for sure.
    But consider that in the past, account reps
    had,as an example, 100 active business accounts,
    now they may have only,let's say 50,well
    simple math says one rep can accommplish what
    2 used to handle.
    Of course,I know that sales is more than having a body out there,it is a relationship business,
    but certainly Gannett does not care about that
    important detail as long as expenses are cut.

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  10. This post is out of pure ignorance, but I thought Moms Like Me was floated in order to show off the power of PointRoll and Ripple6. So if Moms is shutting down or being folded into something else, does that mean PointRoll and Ripple6 are also headed for the ashcan.
    IMO, someone in corporate needs to look at the wasteful expenditure of cash and effort on these wasteful and very boring projects.

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  11. Sales layoffs are rare because sales people find better sales jobs to go to. The turnover was, is and always will be huge. Especially in comparison to the news and production sides.

    To reduce the sales force. All you have to do is not replace them when they leave.

    To reiterate a previous poster. The ones who leave are usually the ones with talent.

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  12. 7:41 you must be one of the folks who simple punch a clock and never meet your sales goals. Jones is one of the most motivated, creative people at USAT. Enjoy your new job in 2011 because you will never survive now that you actually have to make your goals. What a sour puss!!!

    PS: I bet the folks at Tribune didn't like him. He actually expected they'd produce. Yeah, they are doing great!!!!!

    12/22/2010 10:51 AM

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  13. @8:20 a.m.: This is the poster who said the Moms print product is doing well at my paper. I'm NOT the editor; don't even work on it. However, I pay attention to the niche products because I worked on one previously at my paper and still trade story ideas with the Moms folks. I also talk to the advertising head about how things are trending. While the Moms Web site linked to my paper IS paltry, the print product sells enough small, reasonably priced ads to specialty retailers to sustain itself and make a justifiable profit. I work this inhouse intel just like I work my beat.

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  14. Lee Jones kinda rocks, one of the few top dogs who give the rest of us hope. 2011 will tell but I'm optimistic.

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  15. Sales layoffs do happen. Three of the four most recent layoffs at our site were in Sales, not Production or Circ.

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  16. The moms site in Cincinnati did well early on when its message board took people on stimulating voyages into anal sex, how to give a proper blow job and how to detect when your man has gotten an out-of-wedlock BJ (look for the lipstick ring). The excitement has faded considerably since those raunchy early days.

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  17. More Publisher changes today.

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  18. Michael Kane is out as publisher at The Indy Star; a Karen Crutchfield (sp?) is taking his place

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  19. Sorry - that's Karen Crotchfelt (what a name!)
    http://www.indystar.com/article/20101222/BUSINESS/101222007/Star-Media-names-new-publisher?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|IndyStar.com

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  20. Sales people were laid off at my site as well, and I work at a mid-size paper. Just because sales people haven't been laid off where you work doesn't mean it hasn't happened. More important, it doesn't mean it can't be part of the future plan.

    The good news for sales people is their skills translate directly to many other fields. In fact, they should probably be trying to move to another field even if their job does seem solid. Newspapers are a shrinking industry. There are good sales jobs in industries that are still growing.

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  21. Rochester publisher/president Ali Zoibi named to same positions today for Lafayette (La.) Daily Advertiser. Just introduced during meeting in Lafayette.

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  22. My Boss is absolutely right. CafeMom is selling to Gannett for $125 million (according to Josh Resnik). In fact Andrew Shue, the founder and investor in CafeMom has been seen in the Crystal Palace cafe. Everyone knows about this deal. CafeMom only does $8 million in revenue and is barely profitable.

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  23. Wait, 3:32, you don't mean THAT Andrew Shue, do you?

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  24. Oh, sorry: It is THAT Andrew Shue. Who knew? From pro soccer to Melrose Place to foundation work to the CP. That's quite a path.

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  25. Great.... Another overpriced piece of crap I have to sell.

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  26. I hope they pay for this in stock. It's a waste money.

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  27. speaking to the whole sales rep layoff thing. Our ad dept. got hit just like everyone else in '08 & '09. Not one sales rep though. All support, admin, and mgmt. We infact have 6 new reps since the layoffs (and we too are a mid sized paper).... and from what I hear. We'll need to hire two more new ones soon. I can't beleive XXXX XXXXXXXX got that sweet job! i totally thought they we're gonna hire me.

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  28. News from Tucson:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/John-Humenik-Named-President-bw-3718446682.html?x=0&.v=1

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  29. With Karen in Indy and Laura in Des Moines, can the two of them kick ass and fix GPC East and West? I mean give those people some resources so they don't have to hire the semi-literate to send ads to India.

    If I see one more ad totally done in helvetica I'm going to throw up.

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  30. If you have had issues with the benefits company that is on the Gannett employee benefits website to purchase discounted tickets to events such as six flags you can contact management at the following gandrews@entertainmentbenefits.com I had to file in small claims court to get this resolved however once Gary Andrews found out he took control.

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  31. Great news about Humenik being promoted in Tucson! Bet there are some nervous VP's around that place about now!

    http://azstarnet.com/news/local/article_d204096c-0e23-11e0-bb18-001cc4c002e0.html

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  32. If Sandy Dondici becomes the CEO, Pointroll will be screwed. It is bad enough we have a robot in Jason Tafler as the CEO (btw, has anyone seen Jason in the past three months?), but to have a operations and technology guy running a creative and media business just shows how messed up this company is.

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  33. Let me guess: 10:52 and 11:27 were Lee and Stacy. Am I right?

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  34. I cannot believe Gannett would buy CafeMom, this company is a piece of crap. Even Josh Resnik is walking around here saying it is the stupidest idea. I think Stacy Cunningham is the one pushing for this. She has been bragging about how she has had lunch with Andrew Shue, the washed up Melrose Place actor.

    I did here that MomsLikeMe will be shuttered and that the head of the Digital Moms product, Carla, will be gone along with the local MomsLikeMe employees in USCP.

    This might also be the reason why they are shutting down Ripple6. If the buy CafeMom, then you do not need Ripple6 for the MLM platform.

    Either, a bunch of us in technology will have to support another crappy product purchased by yours truly...Gannett.

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  35. An Ethics 101 question: Under what circumstances is it appropriate for me to report that a newspaper publisher or other senior executive has a DUI on their record?

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  36. *************Breaking News***************

    Philadelphia Media Network in talks with Gannett for a JOA with Cherry Hill and Wilmington or an outright sale of both sites to the Inquirer. Deal expected to close before the end of Q1.

    It's the begining of the end for the USCP.

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  37. LOL. True. Most of us in Wilmington have known this for a while....

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  38. Sale to Inky? If so what happens with those with gannett pensions? Do we get our funds or lose our shirts?

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  42. in regards to the questions about pensions due to the sale of gannett assets to the Philadelphia Media Network.

    Pensions would be fully convertable.

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  43. Following is an edited version of a comment posted by Kathy Wetmore at 9:44 p.m.:

    I was so saddened and shocked to learn that the Reno Gazette-Journal's Managing Editor Mark Lundahl died Tuesday morning.

    I worked at the RGJ for 15 years leaving in February for greener pastures. I was hired as a newsroom editorial assistant, and Mark was an assistant city editor at the time. I guess what struck me was the fact that he was so happy-go-lucky and seemed to really love news. He immediately reminded me of a childhood friend who died way too young. He had the same fun personality and an easygoing way with people. He also didn't turn his nose up at a lowly assistant like myself.
    [XXXXX] Mark was always nice to me and I will never forget that.

    My last few years at the RGJ, I worked on the copy desk. It's funny, when I was an editorial assistant, my desk was in the center of the newsroom near the city desk where Mark sat. On the copy desk, my station was near Mark on the city desk once again. I enjoyed listening to him and editor Kelly Scott discuss the day's news or other tidbits of the day.
    I enjoyed talking to him about sports or whatever - he was so easy to talk to. [XXXXX]

    Rest in peace, Mark.

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  44. Executive shuffle at the Arizona Daily Star

    Following the November departure of Tucson Newspapers head Mike Jameson, the Old Pueblo's remaining daily newspaper shuffled its executives around, according to a Wednesday announcement.

    http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/122210_humenik

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  45. Wow that's some editing of Wetmore's insensitive posting. Readers took her to task and you killed their posts. You will remove this one too but before you do so both of usvwill knownyou sir are a hypocrite.

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  46. Does anyone with even half a brain in their head want to think about how much money the Philadelphia Media Network has on hand right now? And how unlikely it would be for them to buy anything more than a cup of coffee?

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  47. For Part 3 of this comment thread, please go here.

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  49. I didn't know Mark well, but in my experience with him he was a wonderful person and editor. If people are using his passing as an opportunity to air other grievances, that's a real shame. Thanks Jim for removing any offensive posts.

    Rest in peace Mark. You are missed by many, many people.

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  50. Jim:

    You asked when it would be appropriate to report that a publisher or other high-ranking Gannett executive has a DUI on his record. I would say in all instances. For the purposes of this blog they are public figures, and I think their backgrounds -- personal and professional -- are a reflection of who they are and their ability to represent the company.

    Beyond that, DUI arrests are a matter of public record. If they don't want the fact that they were arrested for a DUI reported, they should avoid getting DUIs.

    If the DUI occurred years in the past, say when they were in college, it's less relevant. But I think even that would be fair game as long as you put things in proper context and noted that they've been squeaky clean since.

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  53. Agree about Wilmington / Cherry Hill & hope this sale goes through...both are a pain in Gannett's side from many angles. CafeMom will be part of the stable at the end of the month.
    And about the DUI...unfortunately, it is almost as common as warts at this point. After the wonderful expose on FF, I would let sleeping doggies lie for now...you really could be sitting on a load of TNT with the F information.

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  56. what's "f"?

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  57. My Boss point #4 does not make sense. Since this blog has started there has been no sales layoffs. No way that will start now. My Boss usually is only right 2 out of 5 statements.

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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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