Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Document: GCI's global workforce fell 7% in 2010; U.S. newspapers once more led way in cutting jobs

[Table shows company-wide employment at year's end]

Gannett's worldwide employment fell again in 2010, but at a slower rate than in the two previous years, according to a new filing the company made today with government regulators. Indeed, two of GCI's major divisions showed an increase in workers from 2009.

The company had 32,600 employees as of Dec. 31, down 7% from 35,000 at the end of 2009, according to the annual 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (See table, above.) That decline was considerably less than the 16% plunge in 2008-2009, and reflected the company's more stable financial position as the world's economy emerged from a deep recession.

U.S. Community Publishing -- the company's biggest division, with 81 small and midsize newspapers -- once more shed the most workers: 2,300, or about 9%. The U.K. newspaper subsidiary, Newsquest, eliminated nearly 6% of its jobs. The two divisions gaining jobs were employment site CareerBuilder and the broadcasting division, which includes 23 U.S. TV stations.

Although the company owns barely 51% of CareerBuilder, it counts all 1,700 employees as though they worked entirely for GCI. (Tribune, McClatchy and Microsoft own the rest of CareerBuilder.) GCI bought control in 2008. So, the employment figures in the table, above, prior to 2008 don't reflect CareerBuilder's workforce.

Today's SEC filing shows that under Craig Dubow, who became CEO in 2005, the company has now eliminated 20,000 jobs -- more than one in every three.

Next month, GCI will disclose Dubow's 2010 pay in the annual proxy report to shareholders. In 2009, he got $4.7 million, which included a $1.45 million cash bonus, based in part on his success in saving money through layoffs and furloughs.

Following is a breakdown of employment by major division:

U.S. Community Publishing
2008: 29,200 employees
2009: 24,700
2010: 22,400
Change 2009-2010: down 9.3%

2008: 6,600
2009: 5,100
2010: 4,800
Change: down 5.9%

2008: 2,700
2009: 2,500
2010: 2,550
Change: up 2%

2008: 2,000
2009: 1,600
2010: 1,700
Change: up 6.3%

One year from now, will you still be a Gannett employee? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. Strip out Careerbuilder and we are close to the number My Boss predicted. Also, Gannett has decided to add full-time consultants to this 2010 number which is about 7% of the headcount.

  2. WIth such huge headcount cuts I keep rememering Dubows comments at the Phoenix Dog and Pony show...Err town hall meeting..He said he isn't asking anything he hasn't taken himself. Wonder if Craig will take Unemployent?

  3. So glad I left!

  4. I'm curious about the job loss numbers. How many properties did Gannett sell in that time. That would certainly impact the overall headcount. For example, I believe that the Hawaii paper was sold last year or in 2009. How many people did that account for? How many other papers, etc. were divested? Jim, do you have access to that information?

  5. I think I'll never get over the concept of giving a CEO a big cash bonus in the same year that he fires thousands of dedicated employees and creates cascading waves of pain through their families. Gannett is far from alone in this practice -- heck, it's far from the worst offender -- but doesn't this just seem morally reprehensible?

  6. @8:52 i'm with you...makes me so mad that he made $4 million and now we don't even have enough ppl left at my site to operate in an efficient and accurate manner for the customer - and THAT'S why it keeps going downhill...and i wish ppl would shut up about lazy sales reps...come to my site for one day and lazy will no longer be in your vocabulary...

  7. 7:23 The Honolulu Advertiser was sold in spring 2010; that accounted for 600 of these jobs.

  8. for the three papers in New Jersey that are being this just the press or is that the whole sites that are being consolidated?

  9. Fairness is in the eyes of the beholder. Shareholders risk their money and the CEO is paid to protect their investment. Employees risk none of their money, so their interest is less important. People who hate fatcats have no understand of how business works. Life is not fair. Money flows to those who protect the cashflow to the owners and investors who bear all the risk.

  10. As an employee, I've risked my money as a shareholder in this company - in my 401K, in the stock purchase plan. I don't feel my investment has been protected very well over the past six or so years, so I have every right to complain about this board of directors, CEO, CFO, etc.

  11. To 2:26... your comments are the simple-minded arguement that is usually given to support the high compensation of CEO's, Wall Street, etc. "People who hate fatcats have no understand (sic)of how business works." Well unfortunately, these people flunked out of Business Ethics 101. I would submit that CEO's and corporations have a responsibility to more than just the shareholders... they have a responsibility to the community, their employees, their customers and the environment, to name a few. But your thinking is the reason that, for example, an automaker will know about a major safty defect in a vehicle but refuse to issue a voluntary recall. You see, the risk-management department has determined that the cost of fixing the problem outweighs the potential cost of litigation in the future deaths the defect will cause. See that is good for the shareholders!Similarly, there are numerous examples of companies doing harmful thing to the enviornment such as dumping toxins in wetlands because the penalties (if they get caught) are much less then the cost of disposing the toxins properly. But hey, it's better for the shareholders. So the issue is about doing the right thing... and if you don't want to do the right thing, people like you seem to justify it by saying that 'we have a responsibility to the shareholders'. Gannett is a sad company and Dubow/ Matorie are heartless pri@ks... but they are no worse than than a lot of so call leaders. It's sad that this country has become a place where the love of money trumps ethics, integrity and righteousness.

  12. Gannett's whole management team reminds me of the Muppet Show: Management that is ineffective, especially when they are attempting to look like they are by doing a lot of running around and using business power words that are often used out of context. They move their mouths and flail around a bit, but accomplish little to nothing in the end.

    Or the Roomba example: Roomba Management is the management technique of blindly trying out ideas and then randomly changing direction until an idea works, a lot like the Roomba vacuum cleaner. While entertaining to watch, and pretty effective for vacuuming a room, Roomba Management is very painful to experience.

    Or the widely known management by spreadsheet:The employee is required to fill out blanks in the spreadsheet instead of remaining engaged in useful work. The intent of the micromanager is to to attain control over all knowledge, gaining a sense of omnipotence. The inevitable end result is that spreadsheet maintenance becomes the only work performed.

    When all this doesn't work the old lay-off management method is used: The practice used by marginally profitable companies to compensate for ineffective management by releasing people from their employment.

  13. Hi, linked to your blog from my column on Forbes. Check it out 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."

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