An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
For Part 3 of this comment thread, please go here.
If you want to see the consequences of really lousy management, read the stories on the bankruptcy filing by Borders today. They now ackowledge the book chain failed to take advantage of the Internet's ease of searching for books, and didn't anticipate being taken over by Amazon from 2001-2007. They used to be a great book store chain, but that basic decision started a slide that has been nonstop.
Gannett's valuable advertising services subsidiary, PointRoll, generated about $45-$50 million in profit last year on just $90-$100 million or so in revenue. That made it a significant contributor to GCI's bottom line. Gracia Martore must get PointRoll back on track -- and soon.
11:34 Look at what Netflix did to Blockbuster as well. You have to be agile as this technology is shaking up entrenched institutions and businesses. That we still don't have a CDO speaks volumes of GCI's shortcomings on addressing how to slow the Internet's erosion of Gannett's business model.
We have not heard anything about weeklies lately.Does anyone have any reports of them being effected by all the layoffs ?Although,come to think of it,we never hear anything from weekly employees.I guess they are to afraid to come here and risk being recognized and therefore let go from their precious Gannett paycheck.
Gracia has no idea what PointRoll does. Do you know that she visited PointRoll ONCE since it was acquired in June 2005!!!!Do you actually think she cares about PointRoll or anything Digital? Most likely NOT. Ask Robin Pence to confirm how many times Gracia has visited PointRoll . It is embarrassing and unbecoming of a leader.Btw, that question goes the same for Craig Dubow.
In weekly-land here, we've been hit mainly through attrition and small news holes. However, we have so few resources, little would be served financially by cutting us more...one would think. It depends on a particular group of weeklies. I suspect they are handled differently everywhere.
To 2:09So,is your weekly profitable and making budget?That is probably the deciding factor.
Regarding investor's in GCI. Warren Buffett's Berkshire released it's 2010 4th qtr holding's. Berkshire own's 0.1% of it's holding's in GCI stock. Berkshire icreased it's ytd change 12.26% 4th qtr 2010. Once again asking if GCI future soo bleak. Why are these institution's increasing their holding's in Gannett stock?
Good question, 2:47 p.m. IMHO, answer is because GCI is a prodigious cash cow and, therefore, too valuable to die as so many here think is inevitable. The Street knows this and is predicting a transformational change that will allow GCI to transition to a profitable digital future either alone or as part of a merged digital entity.While it doesn't get discussed here by Jim, GCI generates a prodigious cash flow and is repaying debt at a very fast pace. This is not my opinion. It is demonstrable fact. This is something the investment community cares very much about, but nobody here does. In fairness, Jim does do an evenhanded job of reporting big upticks in stock prices and other favorable news.Buffett, BlackRock et al -- they ain't fools. GCI is undervalued at $17 per share. Now, is it undervalued by the employees who detail their woes here everyday? No. The employees probably have it 'bout right. But the market doesn't give a rip. The market only cares about value, not values.
Gannett is headed toward the end -- of being Gannett. The properties have value. Investors see how poorly management has been able to deal with transformation and how it (along with other newspapers) have not been able to settle on growth-oriented business plan. A breakup of the properties is inevitable. GMC is simply Dean Singletonizing the company to extract more profit.
2:30 -- Yes, all our weeklies are profitable, but probably not as much as some would like.
If CBS correspondent Lara Logan were a less-attractive woman, would USA Today and other media pay as much attention to her Egypt assault case? What if the incident had been 100% non-sexual?
If she was less attractive she'd be on CBS Radio and no cameras would have been around. Chicken v. Egg.
Who cares if she's attractive? The news is that a journalist was assaulted while covering breaking news. Someone attempted to keep her from reporting the news. That, in inself, merits coverage. That it was a sexual assualt is merely a detail that illustrates the danger faced by everyone -- journalists and Egyptians citizens -- during the event. Let's stay focused on the fact that people are still fighting for freedom while others are fighting against it. To make this a debate about sexuality and media play is cheap.
Jim, once again, like your attempted discussion on the death penalty, this is WAY off topic for this blog. It has nothing to do with Gannett, though I admire your attempt to tie it Gannett by throwing in USA Today.Are you trying to increase post count for advertisers? I don't understand the repeated attempts to drive conversation on controversial topics.I'm a fan of the blog. Please keep up the good work!
7:01 Thank you. Now and then, I try to start a discussion about the craft and practice of journalism, rather than about the business of same. My questions followed today's long USAT story about threats to journalists in Egypt.
Right-wingers are jumping on this story as proof of disturbed Muslims we can't trust, and I think USA Today is emphasizing it to offset the impact of Murdoch. Frankly, this story drives me nuts because I hate it when reporters put themselves in the story. It's sort of Geraldo Rivera journalism. Take a closer look at the pictures of her when she was on the Cairo square and you will see she is not dressed modestly at all. She's wearing one of those clinging T-shirts, a pearl necklace and she's not accompanied by any escorts although CBS would provide them for her. It violates the local Muslim codes to be dressed that way and if you are going to be a foreign correspondent, you need to dress like one. Cairo isn't New York and you must be careful what you do. Also remember what Christine Amanpour looked like during her trip to Iran, or CNBC's Erin Burnett looked like when she went there to interview local businessmen. It's not just the Muslim world, but you can't get into St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice if you are dressed provocatively (they station monks at the door). And you can't get into the Temple Mount in Jerusalem unless you are dressed properly and discretely according to local standards. Lara Logan has been around long enough to know all this, yet she appeared the way she did. Why? Could it be she wanted the attention? And exactly what happened in public on that square and why did it require hospitalization? Anderson Cooper was beaten up severely, and he didn't require to be flown home to a hospital.
@7:14: I find your remarks extremely offensive. Do you also believe other rape victims "asked for it" with the way they dress? Your comparisons are poor, too. It's one thing to be turned away at the door and another entirely to be physically and sexually assaulted. I agree, reporters shouldn't put themselves in a story. Anderson Cooper is a classic example of that. BTW, did Anderson Cooper "ask for it" because he's gay? Fundamentalist Muslim culture is anti-homosexual.Sometimes the assault, kidnapping or violent death of a journalist can become a story because there once was a feeling, possibly mythical, that reporters had some immunity.
Oy. Now, on reflection, I wish I had not asked this question. I had hoped this would be a discussion about how the Logan story was covered -- not about the circumstances of how she was harmed. Can we please steer it in that direction (or drop it altogether)?
When I heard Glenn Beck opine on the Lara Logan incident today, I knew it would bring out the anti-Muslim right-wingers.
Because the nature of the attack include sexual abuse, and the journalist was from a major U.S. news organization, the story did become a big deal. This would have been the case whether the journalist was male or female or from a legacy newspaper, online or TV/radio network. Being a journalist can be very dangerous work. So disheartened that the economic model has collapsed and that's not just for journalists, but for advertising, marketing, circulation and production colleagues as well. Serious journalism costs a lot, and content farms just don't cut it.
8:53 What is the nature of this sexual abuse, and is there a police report? I have read several stories on this incident and none say what actually happen. It was on a public square and there were TV cameras around. There does not seem to be a police report.
A police report ! During the Muslim Brotherhoodorganized protests ! Are you kidding!This was turmoil ,she was repeatedly raped and beaten by tens of Sharia law believing menuntil a group of women ,finally recued her with a group of police.
Between the lines, some breathtaking knuckle-dragging in a couple entries here. The USAT story is pretty good broad treatment -- includes first-person account of brief abduction in Egypt of a male USAT reporter and repeated groping endured by a woman photog working free-lance for USAT: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2011-02-16-attack_N.htmIt includes this on the charms of Egyptian men: "One study by the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights found that 98% of foreign women said that they had been harassed; 83% of Egyptian women said they were harassed. The same survey found that 62% of Egyptian men admitted harassing women and 53% of men blamed women for bringing it on themselves."
Jim, why are you surprised at the tone of the discussion? It's the same bitterness and attack philosophy that you have condoned for months.If you want to blame someone, look in the mirror. You are irresponsible and weak when it comes to issues of substance, likely because you don't have much base knowledge or common sense about a lot of things. I still wonder how you managed to keep a job with Gannett as long as you did.
Remember, Jim is someone who was so intimidated by a few flimsy posts here that he hired a bodyguard just to help him navigate the amazingly dangerous environment of the shareholders meeting.
The facts about what actually happened in the Lara Logan case are from a brief statement issued Tuesday afternoon by CBS News. It said: "In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next moring.'' It adds that there will be no further comment.For someone to suggest that her claim is suspect because there is no police report shows a shocking lack of appreciation for and understanding of what it is like to be a journalist in a conflict zone.
What the heck does all this have to do with Gannett?
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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