An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
For Part 2 of this comment thread, please go here.
Everyone should consider that even if Gannett is shopping USA Today and other newspapers there's a realistic chance they won't be able to find buyers ... at least those offering prices the company would accept. The newspaper industry is not in favor right now, and revenue continues to decline. So, who's going to take that leap. And why wouldn't they just wait another six months to a year when they could buy the properties for even less?
My Boss has been punked. The USAT sale rumor is a fabrication. It is a leak falsely planted an attempt to confirm the identity of My Boss, who is a Digital division employee. Expect a post from My Boss soon about being shown the door.
Yeah sure .6:44and who are you? Come on where's your gut now .Let us know your identity and sourceof how YOU know this !That's what we thought....no reply.
Why's the stock going up?
Sorry folks, but there is not just one "My Boss", there are several that represent a few different Gannett divisions. There have been many attempts by the GMC and OG members in Corporate, USCP, Digital and USAT to determine who "My Boss" really is. Much harder than you think. The information "My Boss" presents is sourced from many of the current and former employees across all divisions. "My Boss" then confirms and reports back to this blog. Some people work at Gannett, some people do not. Some information is gleaned from GMC members themselves. In fact, most information is received from divisional Presidents and their direct reports and their assistants. Perhaps it would be more effective if Ms. Martore puts a gag order on her management team and their lackies.
6:44 You sound like a USAT employee who is afraidhe is gone !
Does anyone in Pointroll think Sarah Ripmaster and her team of whiners EACH deserve to make over a half a million dollars in commissions, when we are busting our asses everyday dealing her crap? Seriously. When is "enough", enough?I know Jason was a weak leader, but he is still a nice guy. The rest of this management team is just plain greedy! None of these people even started this company, nor did they assume any risk, yet they all act as if they own the place.This executive team needs to get off their high horse and start interacting with the rest of us here. All we hear them talking about is how upset they are with Gannett and "wronged" they are because they do not have a new contract. Haven't you all taken enough? The business here is NOT good. Why would anyone want to keep this management team around any longer?
I don't think My Boss has been punked He is actually, very close to being right on the USAT spin off. Stay tuned. A lot of bankers checking into the front desk these days. LOTS!!!!
Jim at 1 am: I am a former company executive, and I can assure you this blog has that much power! And those who matter all realize it at the crystal palace, too. Might as well enjoy what you have accomplished and the power you continue to wield, especially since you stopped letting them drive you around the bend and came back battle-worthy.
Yeah, Jim, don't be modest. Your blog DOES command that much attention and power at the highest GCI level. Why do you think an exec troll made a swift, tacky remark about 'wet dreams' this week to poo-poo the notion that this blog has this kind of influence on GCI interests?
There are a number of reasons why USAT wouldn't be an attractive purchase for very many potential buyers. Getting the thing printed and distributed would be a major headache for an outfit not already in the newspaper biz.Which raises a question: How many (if any) Gannett sites still do the USAT printing?
Mutual fund giant Vanguard Group, one of Gannett's biggest investors, told federal regulators this morning that it had sold abut 1 million shares of GCI stock between Sept. 30 and Dec. 31. That came in a notice to the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission.After the sale, Vanguard held 12.9 million shares. Following recent purchases by other large investors -- money managers BlackRock and AllianceBernstein -- Vanguard's stake would rank the investor in the top five of all major holders.
What does USA Today offer a buyer? There is a national brand, but I think we all agree that it is now considerably tarnished. But there is little else, and there are joint publishing agreements with community papers that would haave to be unraveled or put on a regular commercial basis. I think that means USA Today is unsaleable without the community papers that print it. A new buyer could take the brand and make it into a an all-digital product, but as we have seen, that doesn't have the revenues yet to float a newsroom and associated staff. Look at $315 million for Huffington Post and you get an idea what the digital product might be worth to someone.
Blackrock is an investment company that takes a very active part in advising companies it invests in about how to cut costs, and cut them severely. This cannot be good news if we are being considered a turnaround prospect.
6:44 -- If you're right, and I doubt you are, our management team is even worse than I thought. If they're spending an ounce of time trying to stop the sort of leaks My Boss is offering up with all the legitimate business concerns they have, then 5-year-olds are running the company. One would hope they are at least smart enough to know that, in this day and age, leaks of that nature will happen no matter what they do.These people are not only supposed to be adults, but intelligent ones who are making millions. Do you really want us to believe this is what they spend their days doing?
Yo 11:36 I am not a corporate clone, I just know who she is. She made a mistake and I saw it. So relax, I am having fun with this disclosure. She has been unkind to folks in the past, this is payback.
1:26Sure you're not a troll ..yeah right.We wouldn't want any negative information about the precious USAT to be credible,would we.So once again,the focus is off of the informationgiven and on to the messenger of that info.Good try though.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Please delete the irrelivant above.
Oh the guys at management are getting crazy. Ready to out MY BOSS or say bad things on the blog. ANYTHING to get the eyes off the information. Especially if they have people looking at the numbers and the viability of spinning segments off.
can we get back on the subject of layoffs please? don't feed into these guys that are trying to take the focus off the future of YOUR future!!!!!!
I was told by a manager that corporate is watching this site and has personnel monitoring it. Could just be a scare tactic to get employees to not post but there could also be an ounce of truth to it. Corporate is very cautious to not let the blog get out information before they do.
Is there any more info on layoffs and orclosings ? Any new reports?
Let's say it again. Please delete 1:53.
Any info on the Dickey visit to sites?
"How a notorious PR puppetmaster infiltrated the Tennessean's op-ed page":http://www.nashvillescene.com/nashville/how-a-notorious-pr-puppetmaster-infiltrated-the-tennesseans-op-ed-page/Content?oid=2236966... For more than six months, the blogger Southern Beale (an actual Tennessee voice) has blown the whistle on such Trojan Horse op-eds. Earlier this month, a few weeks after Wilson's plastic-bag column, she emailed Lewis and Silverman to say the paper shouldn't be running billable shilling disguised as community opinion."They misrepresent themselves and who they work for," she wrote them. "And The Tennessean falls for it every time."
Two just laid off at The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware.
3:49 Which department(s)?
Administrative assistant and someone from advertising - print plus (inserts)
@4:40 - what do you mean when you say "print plus (inserts)"? Is it the insertions position or printing of inserts?
For a recap of the events in Wilmigton today. There were 4 postions total (so far).1. Advertising-national accounts coordiator. She also coordianted inserts and front page adhesive ads. KF- your work ethic and knowledge base will be sorely missed by all.2. Advertising- Ad traffic coordinator3. Receptionist4. Mail clerkI wouldn't be surprised to see the list grow from losses in Editorial this evening.
Responsible for the organization of preprints and inserts. Not involved in printing or inserting. Sales position.
I believe one possibility not discussed here as yet could involve a deal like the purchase of HuffPo by AOL, which in a sense is as much merger as it is buyout. Could that happen with GCI? Oh yes. The logical merger candidate: Yahoo. Hear me out.Both AOL and Yahoo are fallen high-flyers from the late 90s go-go days of the 'Net. Both are increasingly irrelevant and both face extinction if they don't act. AOL, which did act, can now mesh HuffPo with its nascent, hyper-local Patch.com start-up. And they will do that to produce a national publication (HuffPo) that also carries content from your local market via Patch.com. It's alll low cost, because there's no newsprint -- just a website. You'll be able to customize it for the news you want, just as you now can do with Yahoo if that's your chosen Internet portal. The GCI equivalent of HuffPo in this scenario would be USA Today, with the 80-plus community papers acting as the hyper-local equivalent of AOL's Patch.com, bolstered by AP news.As I understand it, the individual Patch.com sites operate on shoestring budgets, with lots of them being one-, two- and three-(wo)man shops. Do you see now how GCI's relentless downsizing over the past two years would fit into this plan? GCI's community papers needed big staffs to carry on the proud 20th century tradition of print journalism. But in an age where Patch.com is the future, you need only a couple paid journalists -- augmented, of course, by the legions of unpaid writers who want to take part in the fun. Can't work you say? Arianna Huffington would beg to differ.So let's review the bidding ... a GCI merger with a name-brand 'Net entity (Yahoo) whose chief public face becomes a perfectly named, already well-known national news outlet (USA Today) all being fed by 80+ community sites that are downsized to a mere shadow of what they were 10 years ago but still capable of claiming to be the Centerville Gazette (or whatever -- insert your site's name in there) with lots of unpaid help (whether you want to call them "reporters," writers or bloggers.)I have absolutely no inside information. But I believe something like this is more probable than not. And I wouldn't be shocked to see it in 2011. If you think the community papers have been hard hit by layoffs so far, you haven't seen anything compared to what you'll see if this scenario comes to pass.Do I lament this? Sure -- just like I lament the way the 'Net facilitates kiddie porn. So far, my lamenting hasn't changed anything.
Which ad traffic coordinator? Please use initials only, not actual names.For a recap of the events in Wilmigton today. There were 4 postions total (so far).1. Advertising-national accounts coordiator. She also coordianted inserts and front page adhesive ads. KF- your work ethic and knowledge base will be sorely missed by all.2. Advertising- Ad traffic coordinator3. Receptionist4. Mail clerkI wouldn't be surprised to see the list grow from losses in Editorial this evening.
I haven't bought or read a USA Today in three years. Just not enough unique and credible content anymore. The print edition has become a bad advertisement for the digital versions. Doubt a potential buyer would see it much differently. Seriously doubt Gannett will be able to unload this clunker -- a clunker that self destructed rather quickly after working years to become a pretty good product.
Match.com is lining up singles it surveyed to agree to interviews by USA Today for a "special"Valentine's Day story.Is there a Match.com/USA Today connection?
Yes but Huffington Post is viable with tons of great journalism that expresses opinions, it's exciting and encourages discussions. The same cannot be said for USA Today. USA Today is old and the content comes from dinosaur thinking.
Facebook, Google in talks to buy TwitterTwitter valued at $10 billion; merger could create Internet powerhouse.Life moves fast.
9;10;Match.com will be the 1A wrap on the 14th. Make sure you cuddle the heart the paper will be shaped in that day.
I'll only believe that one when I see it.
I was annoyed by 9:34's dinosaur's comments. Then I realized she's mostly correct. It's about too many many bad managers offering too many lousy ideas to overworked "content ring leaders" with too few content providers. Streamline the top and the process. Wasn't that the whole point of the transformation? Nurture good ideas from reporters and lower level editors. Get out of the way and let them do their jobs. Then take credit for the work.
Regarding layoff potential, for what it's worth. I'm told the APP in NJ had a series of meetings this week so that the writers and editors could learn the NJ group's vision of regional reporting.The EE reportedly told those in attendance that Gannett is watching them to see how this slashing and burning of papers, and then regionalizing content, will work. This person's take-away was that they're studying it for possible implementation in other regions.Take it with as much salt as you like, this is how it was reported to 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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