An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
For Part 5 of this comment thread, please go here.
How'd that publisher call go? Do general managers also get invited in, or is it just the company car crowd?More to the point, are we going to have to cut our bodies to make up for some other under-performing property... again?Late Friday call rarely means anything good happens Monday morning.
11:31 pm I use the word lemmi g trolls because you and your pals call anyone who disagrees with you a troll. You believe in free speech unless of course said speech doesn't agree with you and then that individual is a troll. I once again call you out. When lemming trolls boast about their great new jobs, fabulous pay and wonderful new bosses they never identify the companies. When they boast of starting new companies and they encourage folks to quit they NEVER identify the names of their new companies. Like big bad Gannett is going to come get them. So until Jim starts taking down my posts I am going to call out such behavior. I am going to keep it civil but I am going to tell another dude of the story. If you can't handle it, don't read it.
Lol another side of the story!
Well, 8:26, I guess that's why those of us who have went on to better things question your motivation ... What is this "other" side of the story you claim to present? All you do is say 'tell me the name of the business or you're a liar" like some grade school kid. For what purpose? So we can out ourselves, right? Because that's essentially what we'd be doing. But we don't wish to because that's our choice. This is an outlet for anonymous blog posters. So get over it. You haven't revealed your name in all of this either so it's a two-way street.If you claim not to be a GCI troll seeking some kind of professional payback for these postings (which is the sad, likely case) and really are an employee looking for job leads (highly unlikely), revealing where we are now won't help you: We already got hired for the work you'd qualify for. (And, yes, pay is much better than GCI would ever consider, thank you. But we'd work there for less pay, given the tradeoff in being treated like a valued professional instead of an gallery slave who should just 'be glad to have a job.')So if you really are looking to get out, stop wasting your time attempting to create cynicism on this blog and do what everyone else does to reinvent their careers: go on job sites, rewrite your resume, network, pick up part-time or contract work and use that to prove your worth for a full-time job, etc. Unfortunately for those who simply prefer opportunity to land in their laps, looking to start a new career IS a job in itself. It's not easy and past performance is no guarantee of future results. But it's worked for plenty of us who have moved on. Now, go ahead and accuse me of being a lying, pathetic soul still stuck in a lowly, dead-end position in GCI somewhere. I know it makes you feel better about your own sad state of being.
I'm not seeking to enter the debate about who's lying about what new job, but ... what's with the guy who tends to show up every Monday with that same soliloquy, the one that always starts with him wishing luck to all Gannettoids and imagines our lives are spent soullessly sitting at a desk, wondering if this second will be the one in which our editors descend from their offices to suck our blood?Every week, the same comments, but the concern seems fake -- in fact, generated in a way to make us feel worse about ourselves. (Serously, if he's a sincere motivational speaker, he might be the worst since that guy who lived in a van down by the river, presumaby after getting laid off from Gannett.) Any theories?
Nice speech 8:53. When a lemming troll says Gannett is going to sell USAT that is a lie pure and simple. What is this silly stuff about outing people. Read the post LT. I said share the names of the new companies or your fabulous new company you started. What could possibly be wrong with that request. How could a hater former employee be outed? See anyone who challenges LTs is called names or told to leave. You refuse to participate in a conversation. That is the definition of a Lemming Troll!
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How would spinning off USAT benefit Gannett?
10:11 That is a good question. I don't think it will happen because it won't really benefit Gannett. It's necessary when you have two operations going in separate direction, like the Dallas Morning News and that newspaper's TV operations, or Scripps newspapers and the Home and Garden TV channel and Food channel. The advantage of splitting them off is that it makes them easier to concentrate management. In the case of both Dallas and Scripps, the newspaper segment left behind has been sucking a little wind, but then so have we all.In the case of USA Today, the differences between Gannett and USA Today are not that different that it strains management. Spinning it off does give investors a brand to put their money in and make a bet on the future of national newspapers. My opinion is that it would help the community papers by removing some of the hidden costs of running USAT. It might really make more business sense to spin off the TV networks, except they are so small I doubt they would get much investor attention.P.S. I don't give the idea much credence.
Thanks, 10:30. USAT and Gannett have been making such an effort to work together, build a network, USAT is printed at many Gannett locations...it seems it would be difficult to unravel some of that but maybe my assumption is wrong - they wouldn't have to unravel? USAT would simply get charged for the printing, etc. I do think something is up though based on an exercise I was asked to go through at USAT about 6 months ago that involved Gannett.
11:01 Yes, as separate companies, they would have to unravel. USA Today would need a new building separate from Gannett headquarters and the community papers would have to pay for USAT copy. I saw Florida Today on a recent trip, and it struck me they are now using an awful lot of USAT copy. Florida Today also prints USA Today, so that would need to be unraveled. There are a lot of advantages to the USAT-community paper relationship that would end or be put on a arms-length contractural arrangement. That poses new economic issues that would make the spinning off USAT unfeasible. I should note that others here disagree with me on the cripppling costs still being borne by community papers for subsidizing USAT. Some insist there is no subsidy. I think clearly there is, and it is dragging the USCP under.
To all GannettoidsWhy in the hell do you continue to stay and put up with Gannett abuse and stress and being dealth with like you are just a disposable piece of machinery??I left in 2008,after the mass layoffs at my site,which was a profitable location.But still saw layoffs.The handwriting was on the wall,Gannett could not be counted on as a plan for retirement no matter how well one performed.This is near 2 and a half years later and you still are with them?WHY? You come to this site to whine and complain,or is it that you hope someone here will say "everything is OK now ,the layoffs are over and your job is secure now" . That's not going to happen folks.So complain away and just keep waiting for your turn to be walked off the cliffand into unemployment.But,remember it is your choice to put up with Gannett and no one is forcing you.God, just wake up!
Answer to 1:08--Like the company or not, having a paycheck is a big deal. Many people at newspapers are passionate about doing their jobs correctly, on time. They know their business and that doesn't translate to other industries (that are hiring) easily.I successfully left newspapering at Gannett behind several years ago but, honestly, it took 2-and-a-half years of looking. I consider myself fortunate.Saying "just get out" is one thing, having it forced on you is another and having to do it without a paycheck has got to be awful.You seriously need to find a bit of compassion in your thinking. Seriously, how many mouth do you have to feed and put through school? Everyone is in a different and unique situation, but a single thing (a paycheck) is a big deal.So, 1:08, get over your over dump, stupid ass if you are strong and smart enough.
Y'know, 1:27, I was there with you until the last, totally unnecessary sentence. We understand your frustration and the pressures. 1:08 was just trying to provide some perspective. Maybe not particularly eloquently. But it is a perspective that many at GCI could use. Yes, it takes time before you can get out. For some, "time" may be three months, six, a year or two. But you simply can't sit there in your cubicle and hope that something awful won't happen to you. Given that the ax has been swinging for a couple years now, those still around should have been using that time wisely. And if they haven't, no better time to get started than now. I think that's what 1:08 was trying to say in his or her own way.
OK, lecture time, and it's long overdue. @1:08 You sound like a cross between Cassandra and Eeyore. Glad to see I'm not the only one sick of your gloomy haiku. Give it a rest, for our sake as well as yours. @8:26, the person who keeps contesting that people are finding jobs after Gannett: Stop projecting your own insecurities about your abilities on everyone else. Look at USA Today, which has higher-profile announcements and are a matter of record. Hunke's oh-by-the-way disclosure that "we're going to be a smaller company by the end of summer" got people sending their resumes out pronto, and their efforts are bearing fruit: Two more people this week announced they're leaving, one for Bloomberg and another for the federal government. Remember, it is easier to find a job while you still have one. So if you're at all worried about your future with Gannett, use your position of advantage and get your resume out ASAP. But don't just walk out the door, as Cassandra Eeyore seems to be suggesting. And don't be discouraged from trying, as our resident heckler is trying to do.
2:29 p.m.: When did Hunke say, "We're going to be a smaller company by the end of summer"? Are you referring to last year's infamous staff meeting, or is this a new pronouncement that I missed?
I meant the infamous staff meeting last year, which I believe is at the root of the ongoing exodus of USAT staffers. They sent out resumes then, amid all the uncertainty, and their efforts are continuing to bear fruit.
Yet another reader has e-mailed me to warn of rocky times ahead for human resource services in the ongoing consolidation of HR departments. HR folks do important things. They help process annual performance reviews; answer questions about paychecks; deal with paperwork for the occasional hiring and more frequent terminating, etc.Since August, Corporate has been shrinking HR overall, consolidating fewer jobs at fewer locations. In place of actual people, there will be a new online manager system.But the software for that system hasn't been fully tested. Meanwhile, many of the HR people losing jobs in the consolidation are already leaving. Bottom line: You may experience longer-than-usual waits in getting answers to questions in the weeks ahead."This is going to be a cluster of great magnitude and the employees are truly going to suffer,'' one reader tells me.Says the second reader: "I can verify the HR consolidation has been a bit of a disaster. . . . There were problems with some of the reporting software. That had been ongoing, though, and probably got worse as more of these duties were placed on Corporate staff."
1:08 HereHey folks ,sorry if that was a little brutal.However ,it took me 6 months to get away and yes, I was very reluctant ,to say the least.I accepted lower pay, less benefits and so on.I have a wife a child,so very difficult at first.I was so miserable at Gannett though,my wife finally said take the lesser job and get the hell away from them.I was making us both very miserable.I was a manager with very good salary ,but still ,the produce more,get hell,produce even more and still get hell from top ,and produce even more attitude ,and still no job security.That is what made me near nervous wreck,knowing that no matter how well myself and my team produced,no matter how many hours I worked,none of that mattered.If it was your turn to go ,nothing mattered.So I was harse,because it has more than 2 years and I cannot begin to imagine what I would be likeif I had stayed after all this time.Surely a divorce would have been a possibility.In that 2 years I have worked my butt,ahving started at the bottom,but now still not at the salary level ,but climbing and getting better.But you know what? I am happy ,my wife still is with me and WE are happy and child is great.It has been definately worth it all.
It is hard to believe that 1:08 was a manager after reading the style in which his post is written. Leaves you thinking "of what".(Re: last post)
"This is going to be a cluster of great magnitude and the employees are truly going to suffer,'' one reader tells me.That pretty much refers to everything about this company. Welcome to Gannettland......
This will sound obvious amid all these layoffs, but the fact is that things are very very bad.The online effort company-wide seems a comedy of digital errors and lost portals; the print products are squandering whatever local advanatge they could still leverage; newsroom cuts cannot continue before people implode from overwork; and the overall leadership of the company has no clue what the enterprise is about, or what the company stands for or could become.Oddly, the stock has recovered and one would think the leadership would take some risks and invest in some true digital and editorial building blocks instead of listening to the frightened bean counters who increasingly sound like they exist in a Charles Dickens chapterplay.Gannett needs to stand for something beyond trying to find higher ground amid an imaginary flood. The company is making money, the stock is at least stable. Let's go forward instead of hiding in the basement.These latest layoffs are close to obscene; the company is not as threatened as it is acting.Balance sheets are one thing. Soul is something else. It is time to start breathing again. I am ashamed to work here, and I have never felt that before.Gracia, whoever, please get a backbone and make the truly hard decision, which is to TRY.
You Gannett employees are unbelievable.You are critical of writing in a post that is written in two minutes to explain thoughts and feeelings as though it were written as an feature story. Sorry, the "style "wasn't up to your high standards of perfection, .....I take the apology back. May you be laid off on Monday by your precious Gannett,you deserve it .Get a life jerk.
1:08: Thanks for clarifying. You still sound a bit stressed out. Take it from someone who did end up with a broken marriage as an outcome from the GCI experience: Your career isn't your life. There's a whole world outside of it. When you leave work, leave work at work. Tomorrow is always another day and no problem is too great that can't be dealt with then. In the time between leaving work and arriving, be the best husband and father you can be. Because in the end, that's what will matter about your life, not 'job stuff.'
There you go Jim 7:52. It simply isn't true. the HR reorg is a success. Your "readers" don't know what they are talking about. He'll they've even added HR reps at broadcast sites where there was no one for a few years. so don't tell me it's raining while pissing on my leg. I know it's not what you want to hear Jimmy but it's true.
Consolidation of human resource departments can only be bad for the employee - no advocate for them at their site, but then again, at our site we've been sent to a website for several years now anytime we needed help or had a question, so consolidation won't mean change for us.
I don't know why I continue to read Gannett Blog. It's like I have a desire to be disheartened again and again and hurt to my core as a company continues to destroy a newspaper I love and others around the country. First, I am proof that you can find life and work after Gannett. It's terrifying to be shown the door, especially when the economy stinks and so many others in so many industries are getting the same boot. But I am working. Secondly, were you to ask any of the readers of the paper I once worked for if the consolidated production centers were a good idea, I imagine not a single positive word would be uttered. The "design" stinks, stories end in mid sentence, headbusts are common, sidebars and other story extras are left out. Credibility is shot to hell. How can we expect to grow circulation even in good times when we've turned into a joke? Pity the dedicated editors, reporters and photographers who continued to give their all, keep the standards high, only to have some just-out-of-college types (I would say journalists, but in some cases this is not the case) screw it up in production. Word is extensive training will be given to those at the new design hubs. At this point, it will just be nice to get spellchecks done before being sent to the hubs and the practice of proofing pages instituted once again before they hit the press.
I wish everyone would quit referring these terminations as lay offs. With lay offs, you have a chance of recall. These people were fired and they are not coming back. Lay off is much too compassionate of a word that the Gannett of the past few years is not worthy to use.
@11:35"Consolidation of human resource departments can only be bad for the employee - no advocate for them at their site..."HR is never an advocate for the employee. They exist to protect the company from the employee.
10:09 pm said: "...No problem is too great that can't be dealt with (tomorrow)... Because in the end, that's what will matter about your life, not 'job stuff.' Excellent advice! Hurray! The only thing I would add is it is just as important for wives, moms or just men or women alone wanting a healthy life.And 1:31 am: You are correct. Anyone who EVER thinks HR is for the employee is deluded beyond hope. I was a VP and can promise you .. HR is entirely there to protect the company; never you. And sadly, for so many of them, they have learned they reap what they sow.Things at Gannett are so much worse than most people can even imagine! It is sadly true.....
LTs the majority if sites still have HR reps so once again your claims are way off base. In some cases sites that didn't have reps have or are getting one. Just keeping it real!
True trolls tell you they have a horse and ask you how magnets work. Corporate trolls fill the site with pudding posts until your head hurts trying to wade through to get to the gems.
So, was there a late-Friday, high-level call with the most-senior execs or not? Seems by now if there was, something would be trickling out by now.
Nice speech 10:08. No one has any idea what you mean but that's how LTs roll!
I'm not sure what the HR "business partner" at my site does. The response to our questions about anything is a Web site or a toll-free number. No actual local help, as one of the previous posters mentioned. As local HR services shrunk, so did some of the quality control. Once upon a time, HR used to request a copy of our car insurance cards every since months. Not any more. That seems a liability issue if an employee is in an on-the-job accident.
As someone with the opportunity to observe Gannett’s HR function from the publisher/OC level, and at other companies from similar ranks, it’s comparable to others. However, where it’s not is in the egregious behaviors it’s knowingly allowed from Gannett’s top executives, publishers and managers alike; many frequently named here. It’s cost HR’s credibility. It’s cost this company value and profits through the negative consequences that result. And, it’s created a culture far from the Googles, Facebooks of the world with whom it needs to compete. One Gannett won’t recover from anytime soon.
10:33 am, that has been the response for years from my site's HR department. I never did figure out what they actually did. To fill an opening in my department, I had to write the ad for the newspaper, get it placed in the paper, review all the resumes received, manage phone interviews and personal interviews, and fill out all the incoming paperwork for the new employee. This was not how other companies had handled new staffing, but it was a learning experience I've been able to add to my resume.
As an employee of USA Today I posted a question last week concerning the lack of involvement of USAT with the Sunday morning talk shows, in particular "Meet The Press". Well good news, on today's show of "Meet The Press", a portion of an article written by Oren Dorell, was featured.
I remember at the Enquirer Human Resources took pride in telling people that were losing their jobs. Now that the shoe is on the other foot glad to see them lose their jobs.
10:13 pm yesterday. If you're referring to adding HR representatives at broadcast sites such as, say, Denver: Those are the reps at the newly-designated regional hubs replacing several local reps.Bottom line: The purpose of this reorganization is to reduce costs by eliminating jobs. In no way is this about a net addition of reps.Consider the Centers of Excellence customer service hubs; the finance centers, and the Gannett Production Centers. Do you or anyone else believe these resulted in better services?
What they really need is news hubs. Regional hubs where reporters and write and their work can be taylored over several marketplaces to save on costs. K
Oh Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy the only thing larger than your ignorance of the HR restructure is your ego. They are adding additional reps and Denver isn't a hub. In fact the HR restructure has no hubs. This is going to be fun as you trot out "tips from your readers" and you continue to get it wrong. Thanks for making my day Jimster. Oh I needed a good chuckle!
1:07 you have no idea what goes through someone's mind yet you write this tripe. What a sad, sorry accusation. Even the haters have to turn away from that post!
I'm sorry, but I don't have much sympathy for HR staffers based on my personal experience of dealing with them. I am not 1:07.
In response to 2/18/2011 11:23 PM,It took me a while to know, like, and then, completely appreciate Bruce Holtgren. He did his job well. In doing so, he made me SO much better professionally and personally. He has this thing, Tourette's. It is obviously mild. Most folks would have never known. Only reason I figured it out is because I am from Kansas City and a Royals fan from the 80's. I thought I was the only one that knew because it was never an issue or public banter.Bruce made me choose to listen. I did (finally) listen and after 3 or 4 conversations, I realized how cool one person could be. I also realized how much better I was for the conversation and how great good leadership could be.By my simple opinion, Tourette's is a darn good thing--when people listen, all sorts of good stuff happens. Now if only people would listen...My best to Kathy, Bruce and the cats. -mo and Elvis
HR department at USA Today? Never helpful. More important, they lack basic knowledge of key elements of employee benefit plans. Not to worry, though, we've had a new Director of Employee Engagement - Hunke's former secretary - since summer. What she does, still unlear.
4:41 here is a question. Ever wonder what they feel about having to deal day in and day out with people like you? No, I didn't think so!
Unhelpful, unsympathetic, and unknowledgeable...won't be missed.
Just have to say it's a shame the Gannett cronies didn't read this article way back in 1995 and heed its advice. Perhaps it could have saved us all some grief: http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=1461
Wondering how many NJPA winners (New Jersey) were folks who were given the boot a couple weeks ago?
NJPA winners? The DR and CN are crammed full of them, since those papers are in the under 40,000 circulation category. When you don't have to compete with the Star Ledger, Record and APP, the NJPA award isn't much to boast about.
Honestly, awards are pretty much crap. I won plenty of them, and it didn't help me keep my job. That's a favorite Gannett trick: Devote a lot of resource to couple of things that might compete for an award, but screw decent day-in-day-out daily coverage.
I had completely forgotten about the new Director of Employee Engagement. What is this job exactly and when will we some results? Anything....even an e-mail saying they are working on a e-mail would be good. We have hired a lot of people at USA Today who have collectively produced just about zero!
Have to agree 100% with the post about HR employees protecting the company from its employees. Once I learned this (firsthand, sadly), I ceased dealing with ours. (Who will be leaving the company shortly.)I view that round of targeted downsizing as good for the rank and file.
Human resources has been nothing but a Gannett lackey for years now. As other posts have indicated, the HR people in Westchester are useless except to get giveaway tickets and coupons to stores and Rye Playland.Why they're even here is beyond me!
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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