Friday, January 21, 2011

Week Jan. 17-23 | Your News & Comments: Part 3

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)

54 comments:

  1. For Part 2 of this comment thread, please go here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wish I could be more specific about the circumstances that have inspired this comment. Unfortunately, all I can note is the following:

    Bob Dickey has just done something that once more proves he's completely out of touch with what's happening in the field. What does he expect when he continues to cut and cut and cut? It's outrageous.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Everyone at Pointroll knows Saridakis is expanding GSI's marketing services division. He is practically buying every great company out there. He has already built a rich media solution for their own ad agency. I am certain he is going to commercialize it and compete against pointroll.

    He is a top investor in Medialets. He and a group of friendsinvested $6 million in that company. Take a look at their site http://www.medialets.com/who-we-are/investors/ and you will see Saridakis and his fund, Great Barn Ventures invested in the hot mobile rich media company. This is the same company that Fox decided to use for The Daily.

    I think Pointroll should keep an eye on him. Especially now that everyone at pointroll is planning on leaving.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh and you are in touch with the field? You live in the mist expensive city in America on what $7000 a year? Yea your one of us!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "No surprise here that copy editors can't find another job. I have never met a more obnoxious group, composed of losers determined to root out any original thoughts or phrasings and translate everything into one-size-fits-all pablum. So what skills do these curmugeons carry to another employer? Maybe there are some out there who are looking for back-stabbers, chronic complainers, and vicious office gossips.

    1/20/2011 11:58 AM "

    Sounds like an all too-typical, egomaniacal writer who thinks not one word of their prose should be touched. One who forgets how many times a copy editor saved their sorry ass.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yeah so I was a layoff victim over a year ago and i'm making a living freelancing. Not getting rich, but supporting my family, paying my bills and putting some money away. I'm luckier than most as I had zero debt when I was let go, and money in the bank so I wasn't going to starve. Got about 20 weeks of transition pay which because of that ridiculous structure which terminates when you start another job, I chose not to work until I got every last penny I could out of Gannett. Thanks for the four month paid vacation which I used to spend more time with my family, educate myself on some software programs, create a website, resume and start looking for work at my own pace. I took work in fields I never worked in before and used that as another education- jobs like construction, landscaping and painting. Also got back into shape. I got happy. Took the transition pay and bought equipment I needed to start working in my field- okay trolls...it's photography. Took on some corporate clients and made decent money but the work is, i'll admit, sporadic. I now shoot for Patch.com and get steady work from several sites in my area and that money pays most of my bills. Don't know how long that work will last but for now it's not bad.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 11:58: One thing we copy editors can do is correct misspellings such as "curmudgeon" in reporters' golden prose

    ReplyDelete
  12. Furloughed Fury1/21/2011 12:38 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @11:18

    Your comment made me smile. I will be laid off within the next few months and I'm considering freelancing but I have doubts. Am I talented enough? Am I confident enough? Well, I work my butt off for Gannett and I've realized that if I put that same energy into working for myself, there's no way I can fail. It won't be easy, but I know I'll be much happier. Thanks for sharing your story and I hope your work continues to be steady and abundant!

    I've built up a good savings so I won't need to find another job right away. I can't wait for Gannett to foot the bill for my vacation too!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm lining up freelance writing gigs now to 1. help cover the furlough shortage and 2. cover my a** if I'm laid off. Gotta have a plan B. I'm doing it ethically, with full disclosure to my bosses and every attempt to avoid conflicts of interest. It's not a lot of money right now but is a way to build a portfolio and client list.

    ReplyDelete
  15. 8:58, please get started NOW. I can't stress it enough. Get an infrastructure of paying clients who will provide repeat work (try shooting for one or two) and have that in place BEFORE your last day. Does it mean working harder for the next couple months before your exit? Yes. Will you thank yourself for the effort? Yes.

    As for not working until severance runs out: Risky proposition. Yeah, I wanted to suck every last dime I was owed from GCI. But with the way the Dickensian system is set up (don't you dare do any honest work or we'll take away your severance), you need to ask yourself, "Is it worth it to 'stick it to GCI' by maximizing severance, or do I get on with my life/career and start contracting?" Keep in mind that a contract job well done is the key to getting more contract work, not just from the same client but from other ones. That takes time.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well, let's see, if post 100 a day that's $500 a week which gets me going. Thanks for the news tip.

    ReplyDelete
  17. More "rightsizing" to come (i.e. mass firings) in a collapsing industry, this time touched off by MediaNews shakeup:

    http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/01/the-shakeup-at-medianews-why-it-could-be-the-leadup-to-a-massive-newspaper-consolidation/

    ReplyDelete
  18. 9:15 has the right idea: Get started while you still have the job. Go for total disclosure with your manager(s) -- but not necessarily your co-workers. Do it on your time, not company time. Make sure you're at least meeting if not exceeding company expectations on your annual review. Avoid any and all conflict of interest. Then 'find a rhythm' that works for you to avoid burnout and never seeing your family.

    If you can do that (and you can, 9:15), you'll be fine no matter what happens. You'll start out with just a few, relatively low-paying clients but, if your work is good, you'll eventually latch on to better paying ones where the work doesn't take as much time.

    Don't limit yourself to simply consumer mags/newspapers either. Think trades (which are easy to write for and many pay decently) and other non-mainstream outlets.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jim 12:38 tells someone to die and you leave that post up. Great standards.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Heads up Des Moines?

    Oh Jim you have to give us a little more than that!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nothing grave, 11:44. I'm hearing about a possible management appointment.

    ReplyDelete
  22. 11:40 I've taken it down. Now and then, I miss comments such as that one, and must rely on readers to flag them. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. where's My Boss? i'm ready for some updates...

    ReplyDelete
  24. I (heart) My Boss.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Dejected in Jersey1/21/2011 12:55 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  26. JJ Cook to the rescue!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Following is an edited version of a comment posted by Dejected in Jersey at 12:55 p.m.:

    What happened in East Brunswick this week is shocking and wrong on almost every level. As most readers of this blog know, three Gannett papers in New Jersey -- East Brunswick Home News Tribune, Somerville Courier News and Parsippany Daily Record -- were due to get 50 percent staff reductions (layoffs), effective Feb. 4. This week was the time designated for editors at those papers to re-apply for their jobs. Next week, the reporters go through the same thing.

    At the decision-making table are the executive and managing editors of the Asbury Park Press in Neptune, as well as the general manager of the Courier News and Home News Tribune (one person, PG, formerly of only the Courier News) for those papers and the publisher of the Daily Record for that paper.

    What was so shocking? The organization chart for the reduced staffing at each paper was posted online. The chart specified two editors at the Courier News and only one editor at East Brunswick (even though the Home News is supposed to have the larger reporter pool and has at least 50 percent higher circulation than the Courier News).

    Two editors were selected from the Courier News editor pool to remain at the Courier News. But the editing slot at the Home News is being filled by one of the other Courier News editors, and two editors with a decades of tenure at the Home News are being laid off.

    This favoring of the Courier News people has been going on ever since PG was promoted to general manager and the layoff of the Home News' former executive editor, a man of enormous experience, vast knowledge, unquestioned ethics and genuine humanity -- all things PG lacks.

    One hardly needs a crystal ball to know what will happen next week with the reporter selection process. [XXXXX]

    The bigger question is why one man is allowed to get away with such destructive and unethical behavior. How can it be that the rank and file reporters and editors know all this and understand the situation, while the brass in Asbury don't get it?

    A layoff of 50 percent is painful enough on its own. But to have the process turned from one based on merit to one based on nepotism, favoritism and long-held grudges is iniquitous.

    The Courier News folk long have had an inferiority complex regarding its relationship to the Home News. Apparently, it's time for them to get even.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Why the removal of the post by "Dejected in Jersey"? The post very accurately described the situation.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Shocked in Jersey1/21/2011 1:18 PM

    The real shocker in Jersey was the news that a long time editorial page editor, political columnist and ex-county reporter at the DR was told he will not be keeping his job. This is an insightful guy with 25 years plus at the paper and on that beat, the dean of Morris County politics. To add insult to injury, the EE said he could apply for a reporting job. Many movers and shakers in the county are utterly shocked at the news. Can you see the coming boycott of the paper coming? What a great way to garner good press and good feelings for a dying industry!
    Stellar, stellar management move! Is that an iceberg I see?

    ReplyDelete
  30. 1:15 p.m. I was surprised by that, too. Why allow some people to be identified by name, title or initials and other's not?

    This person will be laid off like everybody else and didn't even apply for a job.

    ReplyDelete
  31. 1:15 I only edited out one sentence; otherwise, it's word-for-word.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hey 1:14 pm

    The same happened with the advertising and ad production departments. Look how many HN people were let go at the favor of CN people. Same two production managers at CN remain the last standing. With the level of quality of the CN brought to the HN, it too, will be dragged down to nothing. Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Jim at 1:28 pm, if you lived the situation, you might not have taken out that sentence. It was an important one.

    ReplyDelete
  34. It's wrong t blame the rank-and-file at the CN for what's happening. The blame falls on one man's shoulders, and everybody involved knows who that is.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Dejected in Jersey1/21/2011 1:47 PM

    Hey, guys, I was unsure about that "one sentence" myself. It merely was an example of an instance of nepotism. It didn't affect my post all that much. Don't blame Jim. Everyone needs editors, even me!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Asbury Park knows what's going on and doesn't care. Why should the APP brass care? Whatever happens has no impact on them.

    And yeah, you can expect reporters to be cut, just as there will be more reporters cut at other papers in the chain.

    Anyone who thinks they work in a bare-bones operation obviously doesn't know how deep Gannett can cut in pursuit of a better bottom line.

    Have 10 reporter today? Get the job done with seven. Have eight reporters at what used to be a mid-sized daily and is now slipping into the under 20,000 range? Let's cut to five.

    As profits and circ decline, so will the staff.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Jim you are barking up the wrong tree with Des Moines. It was in the works long before. But you will take the negative spin I am sure.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I think we're talking about different appointments.

    ReplyDelete
  40. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Where is the NJ org chart?

    ReplyDelete
  42. 3:52 needs an editor. Badly.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I don't think so.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Yikes: I knew Green was going to announce an appointment today, but TED POWER?!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Jim,

    Thought you might be interested in a story about MediaNews and Singleton. It is from the Denver Post today.

    http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_17159597

    ReplyDelete
  46. Des Moines is announcing the Editorial Hub director

    ReplyDelete
  47. As Hollis Towns loves to recite when workers complain, "If you don't like it, you can just walk through that door!" I heard that one first-hand. Sad that such a tyrant is calling the shots on so many people's lives.

    ReplyDelete
  48. For Part 4 of this comment thread, please go here.

    ReplyDelete
  49. When USCP is down to 10,000 employees will Craig still get the same salary and bonus? (I know that he is retiring next year)

    ReplyDelete
  50. One imagines he would get paid even more, given that top executive wages are inversely related to payroll size.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Sounds like Hollis Towns went to the Bob Collins Charm School.

    I don't know what it is about Gannett, but it seems to foster a lot of nasty managers.

    But hey, things could be worse. Word could come down that Mark Silverman was en route to the Jersey Shore!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Re 6:06 p.m.....Heck no. His salary and bonus will get bigger and bigger the smaller and smaller the staff becomes. Why do you think Dickey is cutting so many heads?

    And those who stay - for what? Salary freezes, furloughs (equal reduced SS, 401k, etc) and higher benefits costs.

    ReplyDelete
  53. what's going on with rumors about the layoffs on Feb.4?

    ReplyDelete

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."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.