An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
For Part 4 of this comment thread, please go here.
There are a lot of reasons I don't think USCP will offer any more "Voluntary Redundancies" or buyouts. They make too much sense, give too much power to employees (choices are power even when there are no good ones) but mostly they are just too expensive. Gannett's current way of laying people off, through the transitional pay program, is many times cheaper than offering them buyouts. UK labor laws are almost certainly different from US labor laws and probably offer more worker protections which make buyouts as cost effective as mass layoffs.
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I worked under Brad R.for a short time in DM/IC Community papers, 3 piece suitand nothing behind it .Nose in the air ,better than everyone else, a legend in his own mind.Good to hear from one DM Reg person,anyone elseknow how deep that ship is sinking?
Anonymous said...westchester site Bob Dickey President USCP need to promote tony simmons President and Publisher at westchester site. after H. freeman retire and m.fisch and V.P advertising jandell was ask to step aside what do we have to loss.
In Des Moines, just like at every other paper, we're just trying to do the best job we can with fewer staff. In addition to several people quitting and not being replaced, everyone is taking their furloughs. That leaves many sections so short-staffed it's hard to keep up. There were some layoffs last week, as has been reported here. We also lost one photographer in special pubs. But there have been several people who have quit in the newsroom in the past month or so. This includes a courts reporter, editorial page editor, designer, online person and others. That likely prevented us from experiencing more layoffs. It also means those left behind are working 50 to 60 hours a week — and some with no overtime pay because they're exempt.
P.S. We also have a new editor in Des Moines. Seems to me, from the perspective of a newsroom employee, he is working hard to take everyone's ideas into consideration and trying to keep up morale. This is a tough time for everyone and it's easy to anonymously add comments in this blog that try to blame and badmouth the "bosses." But all of them that I know are just trying to do their jobs too. I think one way this blog could help all of us is to contribute ideas about how to continue to do the important work of journalism — the watchdogging work we all think important — with dwindling staff.
Brad was actually groomed by Mary Stier, who WAS excellent at identifying future leaders. And the whole company would be better off if she was still part of it! Brad does have a lot to say, but he is definitely among the most promising leaders left at Gannett. One of the very, very few....
The poster who thought Brad hurt the Press Citizen in DM knows very little. It was a mess when he arrived. He cleaned it up, worked hard to help them compete, create new products and improved their important Ankeny connection.
Brad fans are in the house. They pin his supposed ability and knowledge to who picked and groomed him. Those of us that worked with Brad know that even the best make bad hires.Brad got far with his gray hair, smile and incessant talking that masked his inability to focus and follow-through. He made the simplest things overly complex.
Sounds like 1:21pm post has it all figured out. Hope you are leading and not just being a back seat driver.
To 1:32 - Within Gannett at the local level it's hard for anyone to truly lead effectively. True leaders are limited by the "Culture" that is Gannett. Good and nimble initiatives that could increase revenue and impact the bottom line positively are overly scrutinized. If they somehow don't fit into "THE MATRIX" or norm.....they are denied. In today's world local leaders need to be nimble and act quickly.....two things Gannett will never allow....to their detriment.
to 2:12pm I think your simple view of how to move an organization forward is flawed. Immediate fixes that provide a short term gain are not always the right decision.
To 2:37 - What they've been doing sure isn't workin' for Gannett. They run small papers like they're big papers.....silly to do. And don't take the comment to an extreme. You put good people in place to run the property, make good decisions according to the situation and community with an eye toward the bottom line. Yet, Gannett doesn't do that.Imagine the change in attitude and infusion of energy if local leaders and employees felt they had more control. That alone would improve the bottom-line and moral.
I'm curious whether anyone thinks the Des Moines Register's strategy a few years ago to quit covering the entire state is now seen as a good move, or a bad one. The paper used to circulate in all 99 counties, but pulled back drastically over the years to focus on the metro des moines area
I AM CURIOUS AS TO WHY NO ONE HAS WEIGHED IN ON THE NEW REGIONAL RETAIL DIRECTOR IN THE NJ GROUP. THE WORD IS THAT SOMEONE WITH MUCH MORE EXPERIENCE WAS PASSED OVER...SUPPOSEDLY THIS PERSON HAD NO RETAIL EXPERIENCE...
9:54, I wait for the day when you stop posting here. In every thread, you have a negative comment about some executive.Please go away now.
Is Brad R. then, the reason that the Press Citizen sold it's presses,moved it's printingto it's closest competitor,(yes non-Gannett).Also,the reason that they're their relatively new building is for sale and most of the long time staff was laid off? Wow ,yep, he lead them right to the top before heleft for greener pasture and more money ,naturally.
3:469:54 hereYou are wrong ,know-it-all ...First time that I have posted anything about a specific executive.So,you take your know it all attitude and go away.
Ok, why all this talk about Brad Robinson. I don't know him, and he's not at a paper. So what is the fixation with the guy?
Anonymous said...westchester site 3vps step aside and tony simmon only one left standing he need to be reward and promoted to President and Publisher of westchester site what are waiting for T.D
Brad R. started in Des Moines just maybe 6 or 7years ago and climbed the ladder quickly to Phoenix.Des Moines had the latest announced layoffs etc.
To 4:08I wouldn't call it fixation.....just an example of someone getting rewarded for the perception of their knowledge/skill rather than the actual performance. Think Politician.Brad was into social media, internet, blackberry early on in his career before all that stuff was mainstream. He’s great at regurgitating info and it made him appear to be an expert to older less-informed Gannett folks. He sold himself and presented himself as such. That perception caught on and got him promoted. In short.....it's not what you know, it's what people think you know. Again, think Politician.
Is there any word about Des Moines Reg affiliatedweeklies and or IC Press Citizen in Iowa?Are they sinking as well as the Register itself?
4 PM, no. You are in here all the time making the same attacks.
3:44- Retail advertising or Retail copy sales?
"I'm curious whether anyone thinks the Des Moines Register's strategy a few years ago to quit covering the entire state is now seen as a good move, or a bad one. The paper used to circulate in all 99 counties, but pulled back drastically over the years to focus on the metro des moines area"Sounds like Jackson, Miss. It can barely cover the metro area now with its reduced staff. Because of its inability to do so, other publications are springing up all over the place vying for ad dollars.
To 11:14's hope that we continue the investigative journalism work we all think important — with dwindling staff. Journalism as we knew it is over, unless you can support a family on content farm wages, or are owned by a privately held company that is willing to give just a bit to adjust to the new economic reality (most have been almost, but not quite as brutal as Gannett or Journal Register). And while your new editor may be trying to inspire you, s/he is another Gannett cog who will do whatever it takes to save their own neck and livelihood. Including downsizing you or cutting your meager pay with a furlough.
5:20... well put! I worked with Brad and that is so true about him. I also worked with a lot of other people just like Brad that talked a good game and were fast tracked up the ranks at my property or somewhere else in Gannett. Empty suits that really didn't know much, but like 5:20 said, "great at regurgitating info". And they always dumped on others to do their work.
The more success you have the more people that get jealous and want to sling negative comments about someone. So Brad if you read this feel good about your success.
Speaking of Des Moines....Are Stier and Hollingsworth good friends? friends? cold as ice? Mary "retired" and Hollingsworth took over after spending some time as Mary's 2nd.
Re: the Des Moines pullback in coverage, it's sad -- but they are not alone. Many, many papers did the same thing over the last 10-15 years. It was driven by the cost of trucking papers to far-flung areas, but even more by advertising concerns.A store in Des Moines didn't want to pay ad rates to reach people two or three hours away who were unlikely to shop in their store regularly. If your ad rates are based on a circulation of 200,000 -- but 50,000 of those readers are well outside the Des Moines metro area -- then the advertisers don't want to pay to reach those 50,000. So the papers were pressured by advertisers to adjust their circulation to more accurately reflect their business area of influence.That hurt their journalistic area of influence, however -- they no longer covered the entire state, and what they did write about didn't reach as widely. But many papers made the same decision for business reasons -- not just Gannett and not just Des Moines.
I showed up late to this Brad comment fest. You are going to bash the guy for early adoption of trends? "He was into social media, internet and technology before most". That makes him a bad guy? Tough crowd here at Gannett.
Brad Robertson is a good person, a solid leader and works damn hard. It is easy to criticize others in a blog. Until you have walked in his shoes...
Go to YAHOO FINANCE type in GCI and read "PAID TO FIRE"
I worked directly for Brad for a number of years. He wasn't always right, but I'd give him 80 percent, which I always found amazing. I'd work for him again. His ideas are his own. He reads and educates himself, which the simple probably take for regurgitation. And I never once saw him in a three-piece suit, although he does sometimes wear a chicken costume.
CR at Westchester used to care. Not anymore. Sad.
Anonmous said... westchester site tony simmon in the running to be President and Publisher at westchester site. good luck without rabbit foot help.
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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