An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
How did you spend/are you spending your furlough?
NIce work Journal News!!! A 5-Alarm fire destroys a 100-year old church in the heart of New Rochelle. It's still going on and you post an AP STORY???????????????
6:49 - Really??? Wow. That's bad.
Well ,a new week and no doubt, more layoffs.I will bet everyone is happy to be at work in Gannettland once again!Most people are probably sitting at their desks or covering a story or selling an ad,but I will bet that the their minds are mostly focused on.... Will I be gone after today or tomorrow or this week? Just been at that point and it is hell!
"HAPPY VALENTINES DAY"
Thanks 10:14. I'm sure CD and Co. will be waltzing about the CP, leaving candy hearts on the desks of employees today. But because there are so many empty desks -- not to mention entire offices -- they'll have PLENTY of leftovers for them to gobble up all day. Another win for the GCI Greed Team!
The Gazette-Journal in Reno often posts wire stories about things that would have been reported on locally in the past. Sometimes it follows up later. Sometimes it doesn't. When you cut staff to the point that you don't have any reporters around, you take stories wherever you can get them. In fact, the AP stories on local events represent times when the system works out well. At least somebody wrote the story. There are many things that simply go unreported.
Thanks for asking, Jim. I had nice plans for my furlough week. But Gannett decided I don't have to take a furlough this year after all!Now I'll be moving out of my house that week, since I can no longer afford the payment. They laid us off right before our (piddly) bonuses were to pay out, but still. One more way to pay themselves instead of us! It was going to help me get through tax season, but it will probably just buy a fine box of cigars for Craig now. Or maybe Gracia. I'll bet Gracia smokes cigars.
Spending my furlough week looking for a new job.
A word of advice for those leaving Gannett, either by buyout, staff reduction or whatever....When I took a buyout in '09, I rolled my pension into an IRA. But I timed it wrong. I should have waited until the end of the quarter when the interest payment is made. Cost me quite a few bucks.Just something to consider.
anyone heard anymore about the OC getting layoffs? praying our AD gets it....or me....tired of making money for Gannett while getting treated like a sweat shop worker...and trust me, i've put in plenty of applications with no avail...
10:51, and that's why I, an avid newspaper reader, stopped reading the Reno Gazette-Journal. Occasionally it has some great local stories, poignantly painful reminders of the serious award-winning journalism it used to do, but with staffing now destroyed those stories are few and far between. Result: Corporate has removed the ability of the so-called "community newspaper" to cover the local stories as it once did. In so doing, it has also eradicated any motivation to read the so-called "community newspaper," let alone buy or advertise in print or online.
Once again and no surprise: GCI didn't made it to Fortune Magazine's 100 best companies to work for.
This article raises an interesting question - has Gannett left Tucson? http://tucsoncitizen.com/dataport/2011/02/13/tucson-newspapers-inc-is-dead/
11:34 -- Couldn't agree more. Each cut made the paper increasingly irrelevant. It seems like even the good reporters who are there ... and there are some good ones left ... have to spend most of their time filling space rather than doing serious reporting like they used to. As you mentioned, there's a great story now and then, but there's no reason to subscribe to the paper for that. You can just check out the rare gems online. I wonder if they really think they can build a business model around a Web site filled with photo galleries and wire copy and one really good local story a week. Doesn't seem like there would be much money in that.
Any more news on any other young reader pubs being discarded at Gannett sites?
12:13 If it were the case, Gannett would have announced that it sold its half-interest in the Tucson joint operating agreement. Indeed, as recently as Dec. 22, GCI's Bob Dickey was quoted in a news release about a change in CEOs at the JOA, indicating the company remains a joint owner.
The behavior of the company's management suggests nothing less than a drive to maintain profits all the way toward the ultimate dissolution of the company. There is no real growth plan and no real innovation. They will aim to satisfy shareholders until they can land the plane without blowing a few tires. There is no turning around of print; there's only the discovery of where it will settle, which niche it will occupy. For digital, the winners are the companies that are not news companies -- the Googles, Twitters, Foursquares and so on. Journalism will survive in non profits and academia and McDonald's-like Patch sites and books and niche products. But the general interest newspaper and news site are done, a ghost. The Gannetteers who proudly served that product -- Phil Currie, John Quinn, Gary Watson, et al, those legends of Rochester and Rosslyn -- are through, and their era is over.Ride till the landing or parachute now; either choice depends on your individual circumstances. But the end of this company is coming. I give it till 2015 max.
RIP USATBig Jim picks up MinnPost story referencing Lil' Jim's blog:http://www.minnpost.com/johnreinan/2011/02/14/25707/rip_usa_today
I have seen little news or discussion over the merger of Huffpost with AOL. AOL, as you know, owns Patch.com, the local news startup that depends on overworked and underpaid reporters for its content. As does Huffpost. But nonetheless it is an interesting dynamic, the sudden creation of 800 local papers with a national presence. Gotta give AOL credit for that much, even if they are bleeding money to make it work. This is what Gannett has always wanted to become but has no clue on how to do it.
2:12 -- Well said. You hit the button on the nose. Print newspapers are going to become a heavily consolidated niche media with a few standout publications that are funded by tax dollars or academia. Look at what happened to radio and you see exactly where we're headed. NPR is great but most commercial radio is weak at best. A handful of personalities and nationally syndicated shows providing the content for a dozen radio stations. That's clearly what Gannett is looking to do with its production centers, hubs, etc. And you can bet the company will sell its print interests if it finds a buyer willing to spend anything for them. You're also right that the company is attempting to squeeze as much profit from the company as possible before it either sells or abandons ship altogether. That's clear from the way management is continuing to gut its core product in the interest of keeping profits high while revenue continues to fall. A company looking to the future would be satisfied breaking even in tough economic times, so that it could maintain its brand loyalty and kick ass when things got better. Gannett wants to make as much as it can now because the execs are convinced there probably is no tomorrow.
Poynter's Romenesko cited Gannett Blog's rumors of USAT being sold or set off on its own. Others will follow as the news spreads, like ripples riling a once calm pool of water.Even the hardest headed GCI shills must see the growing influence of Jim's blog.Ah, the power of the written word, printed on paper or transmitted online. In our open society, the truth always finds a way into the public forum. Jim's blog has certainly lifted Gannett's veil, revealing little good, lots of ugly and a heap of bad judgment. Go, Jim, go!
Hey Al:Look what they done to your McPaper, gramps.On the auction block: your "crown jewel."I hear that for an extra $9.95 from the winning bidder, they'll throw in your over-sized statue!"Get in there and BUY, BUY, BUY!"(word verification: ransid, LOL!)
3:20 Repeating what I've said before: For now, these USAT rumors remain just that, rumors. Although Corporate apparently has yet to issue a statement today on this latest round of speculation, its silence doesn't necessarily represent indirect confirmation. As a matter of policy, companies usually don't comment on rumors unless they are moving stock prices.
3:13, you're painting with an awfully broad brushstroke in your comment on radio. There are hundreds of radio owners across the country who are doing very, very well with a combination of syndicated and locally-originated programming or all locally-originated programming.
Thanks 11:18. I'll keep that in mind. I should be able to time my rollover nicely with the end of the quarter since it seems to take Gannett a while to send out any paperwork of any kind.
Longtime Cincinnati business reporter James Pilcher, who left the paper a week or two ago, just tweeted minutes ago: "Just found out my former employer is going to be laying people off - less than 2 weeks after I left." Look for that to include business and features folks. New editor Carolyn Washburn has stated openly that she regards those departments as overstaffed.
Remember when they used to Super Glue pennies on eyes of the Al Head at Rosslyn? Somehow that seems appropriate. Defacing the vain monument to a robber baron who was succeeded by soul-less bean counters.
The Arizona Republic rolled out yet another new look today ... in conjunction with Arizona's 99th year of statehood. A new look? I believe this is what the Republic looked like 99 years ago ... Awful typographical changes.
Haven't seen many Gannett troll comments lately. Maybe they were laid off or are on furlough.
Here's a job opening with Nickelodeon that sounds similar to the corporate MomsLikeMe content director position:http://www.mediabistro.com/mediajobsdaily/nickelodeon-seeks-seo-savvy-site-editor-for-parentsconnect-com_b5763
1. USAToday is cleaning up it's financials and dressing the pig upmfor a sale.2. Pointroll is announcing the departure of Jason Tafler, current CEO, tomorrow. Mr. Tafler is joining a Canadian media company.3. Rob Gatto, VP of Account Management, will be named Pointroll CEO, replacing Jason Tafler. 4. Showing Ms. Martore's desperation, the Pointroll management team negotiated a very large retention package with Ms. Martore and Mr. Ehrman that pays them over $15 million over 3 years to stay on. This is to be divided among Rob Gatto, Sandy Dondici and Sarah Ripmaster.5. It has been confirmed that layoff's will start in full force after all furloughs have been completed in Q1. Gannett will reduce 5,000 employees in 2011.6. Six people have departed Pointroll to join Saradakis at GSI commerce recentlyIncluding top sales executives.7. Bold Italic has received an expense of $9mm to roll out another city.8. Yahoo Partnership is NOT going well despite what Ms. Martore announced to analysts. Sales are way below expectations from Bob Dickey.9. Investment in ONGO was done in order for the executive team to develop a paid content strategy since the current pay walls have not proved profitable.
#4, above, makes me gag. I hope it is not true.
So, My Boss, what happened to the idea of spinning off USA Today instead of selling it? Is spinning it off the fallback position if a sale doesn't happen. And since the word has gone out that it is for sale, has anyone expressed any interest in it?
How can a small daily 28k daily and 35k sunday still have a publisher making over $200k. How can a small daily 18k daily and 26k sunday have a GM/EE make $160k. What a joke how these executives are being place in sites that have no business make such wages when the rank and file are being laid off or required to take a furlough week. Why are the group presidents keeping these overpaid ass kissers? Wake up and hurry up on the chopping blocks of some of these excess weight.
Dear 12:05 - maybe Gannett made the Forbes top 100 crappiest places to work. Upper management put APP reporters on notice they're expected to generate one A-1 story or centerpiece a week and they are being recorded on a spreadsheet. What the staff hasn't been told, but has learned, is that management is also keeping a byline count as well. To what end, I can't imagine, since a merit raise to the reporting staff hasn't been handed out in 5 plus years. Even line editors are grousing about the clampdown. Looks like Mr. Towns has forgotten all his make nice with the staff training he got in Cinncy.
Hey 10:51 p.m....What you relate is like a nightmare. I guess the higher ups have so much free time that they can devise these "story spreadsheets" and story position counts.Either that, or they're just trying to make life as miserable as possible with the hope of trimming the troops WITHOUT HAVING TO PAY TPP OR WHATEVER CROCK OF CRAP THEY COME UP WITH NEXT!No one minds producing. That's what you're paid for, but this spreadsheet idea is PURE GANNETT BULLSHIT!And what hurts, the ass-kissing execs will eat it up!And Towns? Heck, he'll get a prez ring for finding something for his ass-kissing cronies to do!
No merit raises for the people who produce the product?What the heck do Towns and Donovan and their gang of ass kissers do to get their bonus?Oh I know. They watch their circulations decline and their advertisers wave bye bye.
3:20, you are dumber than dirt. First you refer to rumors, then you describe them as news.That post is an example of what this blog has to offer -- very weakly sourced "information" that is suspect as soon as it is posted.
Good for Saradakis! Seems like a man with a vision and respect for his employees – plus he threw Gannett under the bus after he made millions from them. Now there's a man I can admire!
3:55 -- And I suspect there will be financially successful newspapers in the future just as there are financially successful radio stations. But radio, although still viable, is a shell of what it used to be. I think niche market is a good way to categorize it. Only a handful of stations offer anything of unique value to their listeners. Yeah, some of them play good music, but that's easily duplicated with no resources. Most do very little in the way of local news, information and personalities. Even more important to the people reading this blog, only a handful of people make a decent living in the industry. That was my point. Newspapers will continue, but as a shell of what they used to be. Radio used to be a game changer. Now most stations are nothing more than big corporate machines that play the same music everywhere and employ far fewer people than they used to.
I think if things unfold, as My Boss has said, I honestly think we will all be fine, maybe better than when we worked for Gannett. I have been with this company for a very long time. I love my job and give my best each and every day. I do it for myself and my co-workers, not for Gannett. Since the layoffs I have expanded my interests in numerous other areas and have gained expertise in these areas. Things would be rough at first but I know I can succeed outside of this company. I am not a believer in putting all my eggs in one basket nor being a kiss butt person. I do great work and I don't need someone to give me credit for it. I know I will be ok. And so will the rest of you. If I can do it, you can too. It is not the end of your life. It is just the beginning of something new and exciting. We can all move forward. Jim did, and so can the rest of all. We are all unique and skilled in so many ways. Now is the time to find your niche and give it your all. Use that time when you collect you're weekly salary to find your passion. I have found mine and I know you can find yours too!
If My Boss' #4 and #5 are both true, it speaks volumes about the poor leadership we have. Our paper has to hire freelancers left and right to do the work FTEs used to do.Isn't that some sort of federal violation anyway?And My Boss is saying it's gonna get worse?When our EE is writing all the blogs, covering all the news and sports events, taking all the videos and photos and building the website 24/7, then I guess he'll be paid appropriately.Oh, I forgot one thing:He'll also need to deliver the paper to the 12 subscribers we'll have left.
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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