An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
I"m searching for details about Al Neuharth's 1991 demand that Gannett buy back $650 million in company stock from the original Gannett Foundation. Did he threaten to put the shares into possibly unfriendly hands if the company didn't accept his terms?
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How many times a week do you check the blog for information and updates? Once? Twice? Everyday? Several times a day? Well then... IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO SEND JIM A DONATION!! All he asking for is $5.00 donation although everyone can afford to do more! Don't be left in the dark - like management would prefer - SUPPORT THE BLOG!!! ---Gannett's Lowest Paid Employee
If I at a weekly's salary can afford $5, so can you!
New publisher annonced in Iowa City. Man is from Fort Collins ad department.
Correcting post. A new GM at Iowa City.
Thank you, 5:49. I've now posted that on the homepage.
Fort Collins has named an inerim publisher. Kim Wilson is no longer there.
what exactly does a GM do?
I know few care about the lack of an appointment of a chief digital officer for Gannett, but the New York Times just appointed Randall Rothenberg to that post at the NYT. He's been the chief executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau since 2007, and is a former NYT reporter and an Advertising Age columnist.Since he knows both sides of the business, digital and print, he's ideal for the post. So why didn't corporate get hold of him first?
8:33 Perhaps Corporate did, indeed, contact him first. Maybe he wasn't interested, or maybe Corporate took a pass. Anyone out there know whether he was ever a candidate?
That picture of Jim in the right column is much improved. Better than the old, dour one.
10:21 Thank you. I've been meaning to replace it for a while.
8:50 am…You are correct in every word you say. I am sending a $25.00 check off to Jim in the morning. I am looking at this as Jim being that paper boy who is delivering the news to me each and every day. The very least I can do is make a donation towards "the cause" for Christmas sake. Everyone needs to rethink it. If Jim goes away because he just can't afford to be around it sure will leave many in the dark.
GM = Mostly publisher responsibility without the pay or as much potential for bonus. GM = Just run the place and we'll bug your Ad Director for more revenue.GM = Take our directives and apply them. Don't worry about your own ideas unless you clear them through us first. GM = Wagged by the tail
Concerning Desert Sun layoffs,This is probably the beginning of the December/January cost cutting.Did anyone believe that the layoffs were finished? That will only happenwhen revenues increase and budgets are being met.Is there anyone out there who knows their site revenue side, that actually affirm meeting budget for 2010 or one site that is actually not projecting a downward revenue trend for 2011 ?Then your site may be safe.Otherwise,there willbe slashing of costs,and that can only meanlayoffs.After 2 years of cost cutting in every manner and department possible,even including not maintaining equipment ,vehicles,buildings,no software upgrades,what is left besides,yes,employees must be all that is left to cut.This is a sad fact that we all know ,but unfortunately a real one.
8:39 -- It won't happen ... and it wouldn't matter with the ridiculous golden parachutes ... but there's plenty of room to cut at the top. Dubow, Martore and company should be cut and replaced by people making a salary that is the "right size" for a company like this.
8:39: I couldn't believe new Desert Sun publisher Mark Winkler, in his non-explanation explanation to staff about the firings, said "some positions and headcount were eliminated." I thought they were people, coworkers, and friends being fired around the holidays, but ok. The last time Mr. Winkler had to do this he said "we had to RIF" a staff member, and talked about how bad it made him feel. In my department we didn't know what he was talking about, but finally figured out that means "reduction in force." You may want to work on your word choices, Mr. Winkler. Unfortunately, I guess you'll have more chances to practice this.
*****Breaking News!*****The Clarion-Ledger, a.k.a. the Titanic, is definitely in full fledged sink mode! Publisher Larry Whitaker has announced his "retirement"-effective immediately. Leslie Hurst has been named publisher.Hurst as publisher is a telltale sign the paper and its workforce are doomed.
Tell me what you know about Hurst.
8:33 Randall Rothenberg is going to Time Inc, not the NYT.
Way to keep allowing those attack posts, Jim.
1. Randall Rothenberg was a candidate for the CDO position as were several other industry professionals. Unfortunately, Gannett made four offers and all four offers have been declined. Senior management suspects that all of these people asked the advice of Saridakis and have all immediately removed themselves from consideration shortly afterward.2. Gannett's internal short list for CDO was Josh Resnick, Jack Williams, Matt Ferguson, Michael Maness, Jason Tafler. All have either been rejected by the leadership team or are leaving the company at year end.3. Aside from Jason Tafler, CEO Pointroll, there are over 12 people at Pointroll, including most senior management, that plan on leaving Pointroll in early Q1. No mystery that Pointroll has been missing their operating plan this quarter and have also lost several large clients to the competition. It seems like there is no love lost between Gracia Martore and Mr. Tafler.4. Like Pointroll, Careerbuilder is going through a mass exodus at year end and it is causing much heart ache for Jack Williams, the executive sponsor and board member of CB. The are no plans to replace Matt Ferguson and it is clear with CB's number declining rapidly, they need someone to come iand turn around the business. Jack Williams has dropped the ball on this investment and not only is Gannett disappointed, but so are the other investors in CB.5. Broadcast division is planning a major reorganization for 2011. Several General Manageers will be shuffled and many people "retiring". Mr. Lougee has been trying to retain a top member of his team, but it appears that she is not biting and that this departure will create several changes across the organization.
There is also no love lost between Pointroll and Jason Tafler either. Probably one of the worst leaders ever!!! I hope we find someone with a personality and without the arrogance.
Jason Tafler is the Barack OBama of management. No experience, a lot of buzzwords and financial failure. His management team are also inexperienced, save Rob Gatto, and lack industry knowledge. Good riddance!
As an earlier poster suggested:How about a list of perks that top dogs enjoy? Free tickets for publisher and spouse to every event in town, instead of sharing "in-kind" gifts with fellow workers? Greedy Gus!And more examples of their crazy behavior, such as Larry Whitaker eliminating employee Christmas bonuses ($35 gift certificate for a ham ...) and then having fine hardwood floors installed in his office. Boy, that was a great year for company morale!
They have box seats to all the professional sports teams and attend scores of big money theater events...and have employees drive them there. The whole bunch go on retreats to lavish offshore resorts and call it team building. The list goes on and one. To say nothing about six weeks vacation each. It criminal.
So we're partnered with Yahoo! for ad sales and Yahoo! announced a bunch of layoffs yesterday. Sounds like we tethered one sinking ship to another one.
Does Robin know who My Boss is?
Cincinnati looking south
There's much, much more to the decision of Randall Rothenberg not to come to work for GCI as CDO. R2 told his friends he wanted the job because he loves newspapers and GCI's board of directors have signaled they want the new CDO to be the next director of the company. But the more he found out about the corporate culture at Gannett, the less interested he became. It wasn't just Saridakis that warned him to stay away. All of us need to realize what a sour reputation we have earned in this business.So in the end, R2 took on Time Inc., although it faces even more formidable problems than newspapers, as we all see from Newsweek's turmoil and the closing of several notable numbers.It is all too bad. R2 was exactly what we needed.
Just announced...Letter from Bob Dickey to all USCP employees I am pleased to share some good news about changes we are making within our division. Today we are announcing that John Zidich has been promoted to president of the West Group. John is a longtime Gannett executive who fully understands all aspects of our operations and he assumes this responsibility on top of his current role as president and publisher of The Arizona Republic in Phoenix. Please join me in congratulating John and wishing him well. At the same time, we are making other changes to our group structure, based on some geographic considerations, the strengths of individual people within our leadership and the opportunity to name a new East Coast president following Curtis Riddle’s recent retirement after 28 years with Gannett. Curtis provided outstanding leadership and was a mentor to many of us during his career. We’ve created a new Midwest Group and have chosen Laura Hollingsworth to lead it as president. Laura did a great job heading up our West Group since 2008 and now turns a portion of it over to John. The Midwest Group includes our media operations that were formerly a part of the West Group located in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and South Dakota. We also added our properties in Wisconsin and Louisiana into the Midwest Group so that now Laura covers the mid-section of the country, from north to south. Laura knows this market very well having started with us in Wisconsin in 1989. Laura also continues in her role as president and publisher of The Des Moines Register. Michael Kane, who has been president of the Interstate Group since 2008, will lead our newly defined East Group as president. The Interstate Group has merged with the East Group and includes U.S. Community Publishing media in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia. The Wisconsin properties previously in the Interstate Group moved to the Midwest Group and the Asheville, NC, and Greenville, SC, properties moved from the East Group to the South Group. Michael has delivered outstanding results as president of the Interstate Group and with this expanded group, he will bring that level of performance and commitment to our customers and readers throughout this important region. Michael also continues as president and publisher of The Indianapolis Star. Carol Hudler, who has been president of the South Group since 2008 and president and publisher of The Tennessean in Nashville since 2009, has brought positive energy and change. She adds our media organizations in North Carolina and South Carolina from the East Group to the South Group’s current roster of media properties in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee – while shifting the Louisiana media properties to the Midwest Group. These changes make a lot of sense organizationally. The appointments round out a very good management team and also play to the respective strengths of each of these talented leaders. I know they each will do an exemplary job as we continue to meet the changing needs of our customers in today’s dynamic and evolving media landscape.
Anonymous 12/15/2010 9:31 AM said...So we're partnered with Yahoo! for ad sales and Yahoo! announced a bunch of layoffs yesterday. Sounds like we tethered one sinking ship to another one.Yep! I saw the article. 600-700 People! Google it!
Gannett’s culture is a key part of its problems. Its cost untold millions in profits, lost enterprise values and more importantly, the loss of great people both internally and in the top talent it fails to recruit. The bright ones who do stay all to often play it safe -- then again many careers have been ruined for those who didn’t. To be fair, Gannett’s rid itself of many execs who perpetuated it, but continuing to retain the most notorious of the remaining lot (many outed on Gannettblog) won’t help change it anytime soon. Too bad as Gannet would profit more if they were gone.
Rothenberg is exactly what Gannett needed, but it's no surprise at all that he stayed away. Gannett's reputation for mismanagement, indecision, and general ineptitude is taking a toll. So what we will be left with is a weak management team and no hope for reinforcements from the outside. God help us.
Bottom line - smart, strategic, decisive senior execs are NOT coming here. We are left with the dregs who are already here and those still to come.
If you think customers will blindly support an uncompetitive product or brand, ask Best Buy. Other retailers more in touch with consumers knocked BB's socks off.
On Dec. 8, My Boss posted the following comment; he/she was off by a couple weeks. Otherwise; this was correct:A big re-org is being announced in the USCP division in January.
Dear My Boss -Thank you very much for all the information you have provided. While some posts have downplayed the validity of your information - you are very accurate and generous to share it with us. Thanks for "sticking your neck out" for your fellow employees - it is appreciated more than you will ever know.
My Boss,I'm convinced you know a great deal about what's going on around this mess, so question for you. What in the world have the Hunke gang of VPs accomplished so far. We saw them make fools of themselves at the Hunke announcement in September. They stay around for a few minutes and then have disappeared ever since. Please tell us they are actually accomplishing something!
You need to post the second memo sent by Dickey today. It shows what properites the regional VPs now control. APP's Tom Donovan no longer oversees Cherry Hill or Vineland.
4:33 I would post that memo if I had a copy.
Jim - here is the body of the 2nd memo... I cut off the top portion because it would have ID our locationWest: John Zidich, President – PhoenixMark Winkler, VP – Palm Springs, Visalia, Tulare, Salinas, RenoSteve Silberman, VP – Salem, Great Falls, St. George, Fort Collins, Guam Midwest: Laura Hollingsworth, President – Des Moines, Iowa City, St. Cloud & Sioux FallsLinda Ramey-Greiwe, VP – Springfield, Mountain Home and all Louisiana properties Genia Lovett, VP – All Wisconsin properties South: Carol Hudler, President – Nashville and all Tennessee propertiesLeslie Hurst, VP – Jackson (MS), Montgomery, Pensacola, HattiesburgMark Mikolajczyk, VP – Brevard, Fort Myers, Tallahassee, Greenville, Asheville East: Michael Kane, President – Indianapolis, Rochester, Binghamton, Westchester, PoughkeepsieHoward Griffin, VP – Wilmington, Cherry Hill, Staunton, Vineland, Burlington, SalisburyTom Donovan, VP – Asbury and all Northern New Jersey propertiesMargaret Buchanan, VP – Cincinnati, Louisville, Richmond, Muncie, Lafayette, Lansing, Battle Creek, Port Huron, MNCO
My Boss is a hero Jim. Every time he or she writes, it gets the corporate executives up in arms. Clearly this person has the info and is not afraid of sharing it.Bravo My Boss. Jim...another $50 is coming your way.Btw, I work in Gannett Digital and she/he is dead on accurate about Tafler leaving Pointroll and Matt Ferguson leaving CB.
Al Neuharth put GCI stock in play when he lead the Gannett Foundation because GCI leadership disparaged him publicly. After making multi-millionaires out of Curley, McCorkindale and others, this ungrateful lot decided it was amusing to speak ill of their former boss. And then Neuharth did what anyone who knew him would have expected, he threatenend to sell GCI stock, essentially the motherload of the Foundation's portfolio. After the dust settled and Gannett ponied up copious amounts of money to buy out those shares, ties between what was the Foundation and Gannett were severed, and the Freedom Forum was born. Love him or hate him, Al wasn't someone to "F" with, and he taught a valuable lesson to all those smart asses who were in-charge at the time, don't bite the hand that feeds or once fed you, dummies.
I haven't been an ardent supporter of My Boss but I have to admit he/she has moved my opinion more favorably in recent months. This guy/gal knows something or knows someone who knows something and is sharing it. Either way, keep that intell coming My Boss. Lately your track record isn't looking too shabby.
Cherry Hill is 40 miles from Wilmington, so that's not a surprise. Probably in the same Philadelphia area numbers. Asbury Park is in North Jersey, more than 60 miles away. So the jersey move makes a lot of sense.
I thought the Reno publisher was a VP in the west group. Was he removed from this role?
2:15 Yes, he was.
For Part 2 of this comment thread, please go here.
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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