Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bulletin: CEO Dubow earned $9.4 million last year; includes $1.8M bonus after more layoffs, wage cuts

Dubow
Gannett just disclosed that it paid Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow $9.4 million last year -- double his 2009 pay -- as the company laid off hundreds of workers and imposed wage cuts on thousands more. His pay included a $1.75 million all-cash bonus.

Chief Operating Officer Gracia Martore got $8.2 million, more than double her $4.0 million in 2009, according to the new shareholders proxy report filed this afternoon with federal regulators. Her pay included a cash bonus of $1.25 million.

Martore
The bonuses were awarded partly on the basis of cost-cutting that included layoffs, unpaid furloughs and other austerity measures, the report says: "The company achieved substantial expense reductions through a variety of efforts, including continued centralization and consolidation efforts and salary freezes, positioning the company for growth as economic conditions improve."

The proxy report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosed pay for GCI's six highest earners. The other four were:
  • Chief Financal Officer Paul Saleh: $2.9 million; includes a $225,000 bonus, after joining GCI last November.
  • U.S. newspapers president Bob Dickey: $3.4 million, including $600,000 bonus. (His total 2009 pay: $1.9 million.)
  • USA Today Publisher Dave Hunke: $2.5 million, including $375,000 bonus. (Total 2009: $1.9 million.)
  • Broadcasting President Dave Lougee: $2.2 million, including $450,000 bonus. (Total 2009: $1.3 million.)
Dickey
For all the executives, their pay last year includes stock options that may never be worth their estimated future value. This table shows full 2010 details, including figures for 2009 and 2008.

Dubow's and Martore's pay last year is the most they've earned in a single year, a review of previous proxy reports shows.

Their seven-figure paychecks came despite a poor performance for the company's stock. Shares ended 2010 at $15.09, virtually unchanged from the end of 2009, when it closed at $14.85. During the same period, the widely watched S&P 500 index, a broader measure of overall market activity, rose 13%. Indeed, GCI's stock in 2010 underperformed competitors for the third consecutive year, the company acknowledged last month.

Hunke
This afternoon, shares closed at $14.93, down 2.9%, after Martore forecast more publishing revenue declines losses in the current quarter.

During 2010, GCI once more slashed payrolls. It eliminated 2,400 jobs worldwide, many through layoffs. Plus, thousands of employees were required to take unpaid furloughs early in the year -- a requirement that equaled a nearly 2% wage cut.

Earlier: forecasting big 2010 bonuses and pay for Dubow & Co.

98 comments:

  1. From the footnotes to the summary compensation table:

    Hunke's $97,107 in "all other compensation" included $19,473 "to reimburse him for closing costs incurred as a result of the purchase of his new residence in connection with his relocation to USA TODAY headquarters following his promotion to President and Publisher of USA TODAY in 2009 and a tax gross-up payment in the amount of $13,084 to Mr. Hunke in respect of that relocation benefit, each as provided under the Company’s relocation policy applicable to management employees generally."

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  2. Pure and simple, a laugh in every employee's face.
    And of course nobody will confront or challenge.

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  3. Oink. Well, I guess they figure The Freedom Forum will collapse by the time they're ready to go to pasture, so they're grabbing $$$$$$$ now.

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  4. Have they (the CEO, COO and others) no shame?

    It takes no leadership skills to layoff people, to order furloughs or to cut expenses. Why is the New York Times rolling out significant changes for new media and Gannett does little beyond layoffs, furloughs and expense reductions?

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  5. G R E E D
    It's all within reach
    When you are destroying
    A company and its people.

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  6. Jim: second to last graf, should be revenue declines, sted of losses. No reported losses I know of.

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  7. The larger the revenue declines, the more the bonus payments become. No wonder we are heading in the toilet. Someone screwed up the formulas to reward these turkeys for failure.

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  8. HO-LEE-SHIT! What a shameless band of thieves!

    I really feel sorry for anyone left working in that shithole of a company.

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  9. Craig and company: I hope you are reading every single comment here and hope you know in your hearts that you are, beyond question, morally bankrupt and criminal in your destruction of your own company in order to line your own pockets. You will leave this earth made richer or poorer by the impact you had upon the lives of others. That being the case, you are all a collection of extraordinarily shabby, poor people indeed.

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  10. To be fair, how much can they spend. And how much is double counting? Who knows how to read this stuff?

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  11. Just more of the same old, same old. Just the numbers are getting bigger!

    G A N N E T T, where the G R E E D Y thrive.

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  12. 7:16 At a minimum, look at their salary and bonus; those are paid in cash. In Dubow's case, he got about $2.7 million.

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  13. I think you all spend wayyyyyy to much time on thus subject. This is America, executives are well paid. No different at Gannett. Gracia Matore is a brilliant executive. She's forgotten more about business then most LTs in this blog will ever learn. She's running a company facing enormous technical and economic challenge. She deserves every freakin penny they are willing to give her! So keep complaining about her pay, continue to bitch without ever submitting an idea that would ever attract a reader, advertiser or heaven forbid make a profit and continue to rip folks you could never replace. Ahhh I'm feeling good. Trollin and lovein it!

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  14. Why is Martore worth so much? Because she's leading a failing company?

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  15. 7:28pm: Great post! Two Twenties for you today!
    xoxo
    Gracie

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  16. 7:28pm: But what about me? I deserve my executive compensation too. And you'll agree if you want another Twenty... and want to keep your job.


    Craigie.

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  17. All you haters clearly don't understand corporate America. This is fortune 500 company that has billions in revenue. Dubow and Matore have paid down huge amounts of debt while keeping the company from going under. They inheirted a horrible balance sheet when Dubow took the CEO position. Then economy tanked and investors stopped believing in newspapers. This company is the best of breed in the publishing sector. I don't think they are over paid at all. If the company was not saved all of you would be out of work. The company had to many employees to start with and had way to much overhead costs. So all of you who hate this company shut your mouth and be happy you still have a job. To disclose I am a trader and own a large portion of stock in my portfolio.

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  18. Oooh snap 7:52 that one hurt! Gracia deserves it because she is tasked with an unbelievable responsibility. You might not agree with her but then you don't have the responsibility either. No one on thus blog has ever come close to the Pressure, the decisions and the myriad issue that she deals with each and every day. The haters can sit back and take shots because it's easy to hide in anonymity and take hateful, vulgar shots at someone. You go Gracia!

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  19. Yes, the 'brilliance' at work here is a study of Wharton School proportions:

    (A typical morning conversation at the CP)

    Craig: Gracia, how many employees have we shredded so far this year?

    Gracia: 4,568.

    Craig: I thought it was 4,569.

    Gracia: Oh, right. We gave notice to Hal in circulation in Jersey, but for some reason it's not showing up on my computer screen here.

    Craig: Oh. OK. Do you think that's enough for the year?

    Gracia: Not if you want us to make our bonus/base pay incentives.

    Craig: Well, it depends. Do I have to take my bonus in that crummy GCI stock?

    Gracia: Hell no, Craig. You get it all in a direct deposit to your savings account now. Remember? You pleaded hardship to the board on the GCI stock portion of the bonus a while ago and, of course, they bought it.

    Craig: Hahahaha. Yeah. That was great.

    Gracia: Hahahaha.

    Craig and Gracia: Hahahaha.

    Craig: OK, let's get back to RIFs. Think 1,000 more will make our numbers?

    Gracia: Let's make it 1,500. Just to be on the safe side.

    Craig: Gracia, you see things so clearly. I simply can't buy that kind of insight anywhere.

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  20. But the $1 billion debt was all of Dubow's creation! He didn't inherit one single cent of that, and that appears to be the impetus for much of this cost cutting at a time when there should be more investment in the company.

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  21. 7:55 what child came up with the inane idea that Gracia or anyone else would pay someone $20 to post on the blog! That's too funny! By the way where's are digital girlfriend My Niss these days. Pretty silent. New boss got her a bit busy????

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  22. Wanna bet when Jim gets back from his union break that all the pro Gracia posts suddenly disappear? So much for fair and balanced. By the way did you hit your revenue goal in the first quarter Jim?

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  23. 8:05pm: How do you know what pressures people here have handled? Your pressures or Ms. Martore's may be a picnic compared to another's.

    8:03pm: If you are a trader deep and long in this company's stock, you are even dumber than your post indicates. Employees here got out of the stock when they caught wind of the incompetence and misdirection at the top. But good luck to you! We appreciate your investment in our future.

    For the corporate lackeys here, one thought: Maybe employees would be supportive of strong executive compensation if they could see value for the company. Here, clearly, there is none. They lead the company into the destruction of the one thing it has that is an asset that could be marketed, its ability to create original content. When that is finally gone, this company will have some great apps for devices and advertisers, with no reason at all for readers, that's "consumers" to you, to bother reading them.

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  24. 8:07 you prove my point. You compose a humorless ditty while Gracia is still at work looking for our next revenue stream. See all you've got us ignorant rants. One never, ever sees an original idea here. I know, I know I'm a troll and Charlie Sheen's your hero. Winning!

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  25. OK, 8:17, soooo like where are these next revenue streams? She and Craig have had plenty of time to find revenue of recurring value as opposed to finding it simply by slashing heads. The former takes vision and innovation (which they both lack). The latter requires none. When they've been steering the ship this long, dear, it's well beyond the time to be "looking for the next revenue stream." Those revenue streams should be in place already.

    The rants here are not rants against corporate bonuses and raises. If these corporate leaders add value to a company's long-term financial health, then by all means, pay 'em. Craig, Gracia and Co. have done the exact opposite to GCI, and they pocket all the more for doing it. This is bad business, pure and simple.

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  26. 8:16 your entire post is the same old tripe. Nothing new, nothing offered. you take your regular unimaginative shot and quite frankly it's getting old. Thanks to Ns Matore's work 35,000 of us still have jobs. Thank you Gracia. Folks there are 100s of thousands of jobs on Careerbuilder. You hate it so much here go get one. Go to Patch they are looking for thousands of folks who want to make small money; work out of their appartments and have no benefits. Complainersand whinners wanted!

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  27. 8:10pm,
    Gee, I'm sorry. You are right. Nevermind. I guess you weren't included in the $20 per post offers. Some executive bootlickers don't need the incentive so it wasn't offered to them.

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  28. 8:22 and you base hour opinion on what. Gannett's doing better than every other major newspaper company. Gannett is far ahead if every other newspaper company in their efforts to play a role in the digital arena. Now that's not what you want to hear but it's true. If you want to work for Google go ahead. But first they have to call you. sorry

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  29. this is the biggest bullshit i have ever heard! How much lower were earnings in '10 than from '09? And they get more money?

    As a sales rep I generated 13% more rev yoy from '09 (my paper had an 18% decline) and I made 19% less money. WTF?

    World Class Theives........

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  30. 8:17pm,
    Actually, the ditty was quite funny. And sad.

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  31. Disgusting

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  32. Now those bonuses and salaries are what I call defending the First Amendment is all about. Isn't it cute that the leaders of a company that boasts it is out to defend freedom of the press is pocketing an obscene mint out of it. But look at the numbers and the direction of the revenues, and you can see this gravy train is slowing down rapidly and exhausting itself.

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  33. See folks I disagree with 8:33 and I'm a bootlicker. There's no debate here without attack. There's no discussion without being called a troll or heaven forbid "a manager!" heh I like working here and I respect my leader. And most of all I like to share with my peeps here.

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  34. 8:35pm: Right you are, sir. Get it while you can, before this gravy train runs out of track.

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  35. Here's what I found very interesting:

    "The bonuses were awarded partly on the basis of cost-cutting that included layoffs, unpaid furloughs and other austerity measures, the report says: "The company achieved substantial expense reductions through a variety of efforts, including continued centralization and consolidation efforts and salary freezes,..."

    So if there were salary freezes, how did Ms Matore and Mr Dubow end up making twice as much as they did in 2009?

    Oh wait. The freezes and layoffs are only for the peons. Gannett Board, was this the best use of these funds? In a time when offices are scrutinizing the need for manilla folders and computer paper, Gracia and Craig are doubling their salaries and "earning" million dollar + bonuses.

    Shame on them.

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  36. 8:41pm,
    Gee, would you prefer, "brown-noser"? Getting closer, right?

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  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  38. How in the f--- does this even make sense? If the company is so hard up that it has to lay off people to save money, then why isn't that money being put to use in the day-to-day operations of the business instead of in the pockets of the bigwigs? Don't they understand that people see it as, "You laid me off to save $40,000, and that just went into a bonus pot with your name on it"?

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  39. Symbolism matters, and the disconnects between executive comp and speaking in what, even giving benefit of doubt, comes across as cold-hearted cliches while laying people off and others go years without raises are reasons why GCI lacks the unified sense of common purpose you see at companies like JRC, which at one time was the pits of the newspaper business. It can be done.

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  40. 8:45 first one: thank you for once again not letting us down. When all else fails, and one has no argument, well then just insult someone.

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  41. 8:16 PM thanks for saying "you are even dumber than your post indicates". I must of been really dumb for making thousands of dollars when I bought a boat load of shares at $3.89 and $4.28. But hey I only have cashed out half of my position because this stock is worth at least $29. But hey then again I am an idiot. haha you are a joke who clearly knows very little about the stock market and how large corporations work. Thanks for working for such a shitty salary it helps my shares go up. Enjoy being a moron and never having the insight to make a dime in life. Regards 8:03 PM.

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  42. 9:14pm, Kisses to you too. If you have a bigger wallet, I guess you win. What a genius you are, sir, and what a great contribution you are making to the well being of all.

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  43. 9:13pm: You are close. But when all else fails, take a bonus! The workers are all dumbasses, so screw 'em and help yourself. What did they ever do for this company. Right?

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  44. Hey 8:16pm, Since you've got all that money from your capital gains, why don't you take a course in English? Try to get your grammar and writing skills up to middle school level, so it matches your overall brilliance.

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  45. There is a special place in hell waiting for these greedy people.

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  46. haha all of you who hate Gannett so much I don't understand why you continue to work for the company. The economy is rebounding to a point you can find another job. All of you who stay are a just making fun of your life. Grow Up all of you.

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  47. The real issue is an industry addiction to high revenue returns. There is a point where the cuts prevent strategic and innovative thinking at the properties . The lack of belief that investments and risks giving the properties latitude give way to momentum for expected losses. You gotta believe .. To win.

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  48. I really miss the back-stabbing and childish gossip of a few butt-kissers in USAT Brand Marketing.

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  49. I would support these salaries and bonuses in a heartbeat if this corps of classy corporate execs had the imagination or good sense to push Gannett in a direction sustainable for the future. I'm sitting here worrying about what happens to my pension after these characters drive the company into the ground or dip into the pension funds and turn the responsibility over to the feds ala United Airlines. This is just so hard to read ... can we really reward people for doing this to a company, really????

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  50. I don't think the exec pay is cool. Shame on them. But, shame on all of you for continuing to work for this POS company. In a sense, you're more pathetic than the big execs. At least they're cashing out on the backs of you sorry losers. They're pieces of s***, but as least their rich pieces of s***.

    You all just come to a blog to complain about being taken advantage of for their benefit. You rant about who has a special place in hell waiting for them and bitch about how hard it is to pay your mortgage. All the while, the execs are busy collecting checks off your hard work! The best part is you all are going to get up tomorrow and go back into work and continue to help the big execs land their next large paychecks. That is the ultimate definition of pathetic.

    Wake up! Get a new job! Even cleaning the crusty, dried up s*** off a truck stop toilet would be better than your pathetic jobs, where all you do is bend over and take it again and again and again just so someone else can have another million in his or her pocket. Find your pride! Get your dignity back! Stop allowing yourselves to be the victims!

    And, hey, 9:27, I dare you to critique my grammar. Jesus. I feel sorry for you if the only way you can make yourself feel better is by bashing the grammar and writing style of someone who is making a ton of money off your hard work.

    Get off the train, people! It's time to take your lives back!

    - A former (and damn happy about it) Gannett employee

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  51. "And the beat goes on, and the beat goes on, drums keep poundin' rythmn to the brain, ladi dadi dee, ladi dadi da." Seems an appropriate tune for these bonus revelations.

    Face it people, compensation in corporate America has run amuck. It's not that gannett execs shouldn't be paid what they're worth. A better question is what have they done and what is THAT worth? And I agree that most people couldn't spend 5 minutes in Martore's chair without their heads exploding. She's smart and thoughtful and shouldn't be painted with the same stripes as Dubow. Dubow is the dead weight that needs to be extricated, why is he still here! Think of the millions to be saved by giving him the boot. And I see Hunke's bonus didn't rise as generously as his division counterparts, and that's the ONE thing that seemed to make some sense. But here again Hunke's bonus shouldn't have increased a penny because 2010 was a miserable year financially for USA Today.

    Here's what's missing, a realization by these execs that everyday it takes thousands of employees to make this company successful. If they don't begin a more equitable distribution of this largess (no, everyone's not going to be paid the same but this compensation structure has to repaired to hold top to bottom accountable for results and paid a competitive wage relative to their worth and contribution to the company) then we are going to lose some very smart and capable employees. I hate this time of year because the best employees get to see just how disingenous GCI leadership has become and they grow more disheartened by it all. The most talented employees are not going to sit back year after year and accept crappy raises or no raises, layoffs, furloughs and higher healthcare premiums while this exec group fills its pockets, oblivious to the need for shared sacrifices AND shared rewards.

    I'm not a troll or blog cheerleader, just a weary traveler concerned for a company once revered and fearful for its most valuable asset, its people.

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  52. 10:58 -- Good points all. Trouble is it would probably be even more expensive to give Dubow the boot than to keep him on board. It's not only executive compensation that's out of control, it's the golden parachutes that go along with it. Nobody but these ridiculously overpaid corporate heads get hired into jobs that promise multi-million dollar severance packages simply for getting canned.

    As for the people who say Martore faces stress unlike anyone else, I have to respectfully disagree. She may be smart, but if she is, she has already amassed millions in personal wealth. Unless she runs her personal finances more poorly than Gannett, she could walk away at any moment. That kind of freedom relieves stress like you wouldn't believe. There may be a certain degree of emotional stress involved with laying hundreds of employees off, but we've never seen any indication of that. Her willingness to double her pay in the midst of a recession while furloughing her entire workforce indicates that this doesn't bother her.

    Not everyone is trained to make the sort of decisions corporate executives make, but the job is not as hard as they -- and some on this blog -- would have you believe. In most cases, these people are guaranteed a fortune whether they succeed or fail. That leaves them in a position to take tremendous risks with other people's money, and there's very little downside if those risks don't pay off. If, on the other hand, they do pay off their rewards are obscene.

    Give me a multi-million dollar job where I'm allowed to gamble with other people's money, and I'll be a lot less stressed than I am today.

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  53. 10:58p and 11:27pm -- Great posts. You should read them, 10:42pm. If you can.

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  54. I can read just fine 11:42. Those posts are well written and thoughtful. But they don't change the fact that the situation is what it is and isn't going to change. They get rich while you get screwed. Get out. Respect yourself, your time, your life. Newspapers don't pay well, so is not as if you can't find another job that pays you more. Even if it doesn't, at least you will have your dignity. If you have any left, that is. But, sure, go ahead, criticize my post if it makes you feel better. You're still the chump working for the POS company. I'll sleep better tonight than you will, I guarantee it.

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  55. 12:52am. I sincerely doubt it. You are the one that seems worked up and awfully concerned about us. We're just saying these executives are greedy shtis. Pretty hard to deny that when they are stuffing their pockets with treasure while the ship founders. But you approve, so good for you. Have a heaping serving yourself if it's all within your reach. And to you sir, sweet dreams. May you wake up a happier person.

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  57. I worked as a reporter for Gannett paper for 10 years in California and then spent 21 years as an editor for a major consumer magazine corp. Was laid off by the magazine folks a year ago. Here's what I have learned:
    1. If times are good, the corporate honchos get big pay and bigger bonuses for achieving those results by demonstrating that their brilliance turned company stock into gold.
    2. If times are difficult, the corporate honchos get big pay and bigger bonuses by demonstrating that their brilliance saved the company stock from slipping any further than it did.
    3. It is good to be an upper level exec. Win, you win. Lose, you win.
    4. And, in those rare, rare cases where leadership heads actually roll, those cushy parachutes insure a gentle landing!

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  58. 10:02, I think it's unfair to piss on Gannett employees for staying with the company. You act as if it is so easy to get another job, let alone one in journalism. You're just full of hate and you want to pass it to everyone. Focus your anger on these CEOS, who already made a lot of money. It is just unethical to accept huge six-figure and seven-figure bonuses and pay raises when you layoff thousands of people and the company is still failing. It's unspeakable, but I admit all too common

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  59. So I had to crunch the numbers a little to find out what was gained and what was lost between 2009 and 2010.

    Of the top executives listed above (not including Saleh, who hasn't with the company very long), they earned a total of $13.8 million in 2009, and a total of $25.7 million in 2010. That's a one-year change of $11.9 million in 2010.

    Also in 2010, Gannett laid off 2400 people. The median salary of a newspaper employee is around $35K. Tack on health care costs and other compensation, I'd guess the median total compensation of a newspaper employee is around $42K. Multiply that amount by the 2400 layoffs, and you get $100.8 million.

    So, Gannett saves around $100.8 million in 2010 due to layoffs, and they give their top executives pay raises in 2010 totaling $11.9 million. That means the company gave 11.8 percent of the money saved to their top executives.

    My question: What is the proper compensation for executives who saved their company $100 million in one year?

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  60. Dubow and his gang have been running the company for five years. They haven't enhanced shareholder value. That's what you're supposed to do when you are running a publicly held company and you are supposed to answer to shareholders and a board of directors that supposedly represents your interests.
    Has Gracia saved the company from even worse financial doom? Most likely. But where is the justification for bonuses when you are not boosting the stock price and you are affecting the lives of thousands of employees via layoffs, furloughs and salary freezes? Look at what's happening at other media companies and other industries where the business model has collapsed. Their managers aren't getting bonuses or larger pay packages. At Gannett, no one seems to care. The sense of entitlement outweighs any compassion for the workforce.

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  61. I don't get why Hunke deserves a bonus and raise. USA Today is a post transformational mess. The product isn't getting any better. Its leaders are MIA. News judgement is suffering. Too many senior managers are left justifying their jobs. Too many good people are disgruntled and leaving or thinking about leaving.Maybe he wants it this way. But in the wake of internal meltdowns, there are a rash of promotions and new hires that make absolutely no sense because they aren't bringing in any advertising revenue or improving content.
    Hunke seems intentionally clueless about how bad things have gotten in the newsroom and the nascent verticals.

    And for this he's getting a fat bonus and pay increase?

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  63. Seriously, fuck these assholes. That's my gut reaction to Dubow, Martore, Hunke and all the rest.

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  64. Every time they lay someone off, order a furlough, freeze or cut salaries and freeze hiring, they are putting more money in their own pockets. And it's ridiculously easy! The sheep may whine and moan, but they keep taking it. The people in charge must laugh themselves to sleep.

    I am so grateful that I no longer work for this company. The problem is not them. It's you. You allow them to act this way.

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  67. For those Dubow and Martore cheerleaders who believe they are worthy of these Enron type salaries, I'll remind you that these two hacks are the very ones who gambled this company back in 2006 when they purchased millions and millions of Gannett shares when the stock hovered around $62.50. Instead of investing a few million in new technologies like Facebook or Yahoo, they believed Gannett was undervalued by Wall Street and the stock would soar to $100 a share. Then, less than 24 months later, the stock plumetted to less than $2 a share and this company was on the brink. The collateral damage was unprecenteded and Gannett was left with more than $3 billion in debt. $3 billion is 3,000- million!! All of us have been paying the price since for their arrogance and stupidity. Their huge gamble resulted in the loss of thousands and thousands of employees, pay freezes, repeated furloughs, etc.

    This so-called "management" team deserves no praise, only scorn and contempt.

    These people have no shame

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  68. People, please. You don't get the big picture. The big bucks are being handed out to annoy employees, who will be so disgusted and demoralized that they'll quit. Gannett lowers its costs, leading to more profits and more money next year for management. If they do make hires, they'll be the young cheap kind, who will drink the kool aid.

    See?

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  69. 10:04 -- I would say the answer to your question is $0. They should be living on base pay alone because -- as they like to remind employees -- these are extraordinary financial times and company revenues continue to decline. If the company makes it out of the recession intact and in relatively good shape, then bonuses should be considered. As of now, they've done nothing but attempt to stop the bleeding and all efforts so far have failed because they continue to go back to the drawing board. What's more, their moves to keep profits up in the short term have arguably done long-term damage to the company. Anybody with a high school degree could walk into the CEOs office and say, "Times are bad. Let's fire people." A bonus-worthy visionary might come up with a more elegant solution.

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  70. 10:13am is correct. USA Today has been rendered dysfunctional by this reorganization. And he seems not to care or even notice. It is as if corporate executives want it that way. They choke the life and breath out of the product, then walk away from it and blame others for failing to attract readers and advertisers. What is more astounding is that the company's board of directors doesn't seem to notice or care either. Are they awake?

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  71. Great post 10:53! What journalism school did you go to? Articulate, sophisticated and mature. I am impressed. And we wonder why we are struggling.

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  72. 1:18 how is USAT dyfunctional? You put out a five day a week daily. You produce a 24/7 website and compared to your peers outside of McLean, you get paid very well. So other than you have less people (like every other news organization in the country) how is it dysfunctional. What aren't you getting that you want? Stop the jargon and get specific. And please don't tell us how overworked you are. It's tough all over, in every industry.

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  73. For those of you supporting Martore, this bears repeating from my post:

    Gannett's stock in 2010 underperformed competitors for the third consecutive year, the company acknowledged last month.

    You may think she's the cat's meow, but Wall Street is turning a thumbs down on the company's direction as it relates to industry peers.

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  74. Jim, the outlandish compensation for a job done poorly made MediaPost's afternoon update: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showEdition&art_send_date=2011-3-25&art_type=41.

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  75. 1:18 isn't saying she's overworked, she's simply agreeing with the earlier poster about the growing dysfunctionality at USAT. You have an overabundance of senior editors presiding over meetings where nothing is decided. These editors had their titles taken away during the transformation. Unlike those that were laid off, they are still employed. But these people should be producing content, not looking for busy work or second-guessing reporters and mid level editors.

    This has lead to slow responses to breaking news, or simply ignoring the news rival organizations are covering. Why? In a top-heavy organization, no one is sure who is in charge any more. We thought the transformation was supposed to empower content producers. It hasn't. Things are worse than they were before.

    The mobile platform team, for the most part, displays soft features rather than the news. No one with news judgement or experience is overseeing that operation on a daily basis. Its been left to managers w/o substantial newsroom expertise or background. Jim has compared our website display to others. But forget about what the website is emphasizing. The dot.com team is so focused on getting stuff up on the website and mobile platforms that they don't understand the basic functions of the reporters and editors who product the content. They want it earlier and earlier. Since most have never written on deadline, they are clueless about the process. So the product has been weakened by the constant demand of copy for assorted platforms with a reduced staff - adding to more superficial stories than ever before.

    Don't even get me started on the verticals, which are top-loading managers who are ethically challenged when it comes to content and are unable to sell the broader concept to advertisers.


    You want more evidence of dysfunctionality? The tech team introduced a new production system several weeks ago called Newsgate. The system has serious bugs and training has been inadequate, frusting editors and the copy desk.

    Want more specifics of dysfunctionality, or does this still seem like "jargon" to you?

    Check out the number of corrections and clarifications the paper has posted over the past couple of months and stack them against errors from last year. They're up considerably.

    The dysfunctionality will likely get worse. As those who are producing and editing daily copy get wind of what Gannett is paying its senior managers, it will further pummel morale and sour the work environment. Like most Gannettoids, we've gone nearly three years w/o raises and have had our share of furloughs. We've been told that the salary freeze has been lifted, but so far, there's little evidence that anyone except Dubow & Co. are being rewarded.

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  76. Get off the train, people! It's time to take your lives back!

    - A former (and damn happy about it) Gannett employee

    3/24/2011 10:42 PM

    Maybe it's harsh, but I have to agree with the statement of this poster. For the longest I was one of the moaners, came home depressed and angry and had to witness that my paycheck was used to fill the pockets of non-deserving schmucks (and no, their names werent' all Gracia and Craig). I was the one, who's paycheck was shortened by furloughs, only to be loaded by the work left behind by layed off staff. Every Christmas the same delivery of bonuses to the ones sitting in offices, and hearing comments of what for sacrifices they shared with us common peons by also taking a furlough (but the bonus pay, which more than made up for the furlough was conveniently left out).

    Did I see the upper echolon ever come up with an idea that catapulted the company forward? No, never! Taking into consideration that's that what they actually should get paid for, little or nothing came out of that pool of "talented" VPs, SVPs, and whatever else made-up title was given. If they even showed up for work.

    And no, it was not my job to come up with ideas - I didn't get paid for it.

    Now I am happy standing up early in the morning and going to work. No more anger clouding my day and I contribute where it is appreciated.

    And no, I am not young by all means. If I have done it, so can everybody else.

    Nothing, absolutely nothing is worth losing your health, well-being and self worth. Trust me - your family will thank you for it.

    If you just sit and think anything will change or get better, sorry, no cigar. This carnage of a company will continue, until nothing is left.

    All of you that remain think that loyalty is worth something and will pay off, but remember greed is hard to battle: The feeding frenzy is out of control and you all are the prey!

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  77. 5:25. You nailed it. You forgot to mention a key politics editor announced she's leaving this week, a photo editor left last week, a Washington correspondent left the week before and Life lost its movie editor and star reporter a few weeks ago.

    Pretty soon,they'll be able to lease desk space to "Peggy" and the other phone reps who take credit card call complaints.

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  78. cha ching. Like Charlie Sheen, at least this crew is winning.

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  79. What was it Marie Antoinette said?

    Dubow is one fake farm away from creating his very own Versailles.

    How'd that work our for Marie, Craigy?

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  80. Nobody who works at Gannett should whine about the bonuses. You don't deserve a pay increase if you work at Gannett. You deserve to be furloughed or laid off. You should never get a promotion or any benefits. Only the CEO and a few elite executives deserve any recognition for making Gannett a giant in the media world.

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  81. 6:29 I believe she said, "Let them eat pica poles!"

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  82. Anybody who is long GCI or any newspaper stock is either stupid or very well hedged.

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  83. Oh god Jim, thanks for the memories. Pica poles, indeed! I used to have one permanently affixed above my left ear. My, how things have changed, eh?

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  84. Here's a question for our bonus-baby pair of top dogs, Gracie and Cragie. How does it feel to walk into the Crystal Palace each morning and know that everyone -- and I mean everyone -- who falls under your gaze hates your guts?

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  85. 3:20pm, what jargon has got you stumped? Should we stick to one syllable words for you?

    Here's dysfunction for you: The nation's newspaper earlier this year ran a story that it had published two years earlier, by mistake. And led a section front with it.

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  86. Rumor has it the Gannett Board of Directors was last seen supervising what appeared to be a rather large dump-truck backing its way into Dubow's driveway. Dubow watched with glee while lighting a cigar with a flaming $100 bill, proclaiming, "It's good to be the king."

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  87. I captured this oddly surreal scene with my INFORMATION CENTER camera. See what occurred after the Gannett Board of Directors handed over large wads of cash to Gracia Martore and Craig Dubow: http://tinyurl.com/4hwl549

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  88. "You laid me off to save $40,000, and that just went into a bonus pot with your name on it"?

    My thinking exactly, how many laid-off employees salary's or pay cuts did you just give to the suits? The rich get richer. There may be left leaning in the editorial content of newspapers but they sure like the thinking of the right as far as their way of running their business.

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  89. Was in elevator alone with Martore the other day. No conversation, no eye contact. Don't know which one of us was more uncomfortable, but I sure as hell couldn't wait to get off.

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  90. 11:32 why didn't you say something?

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  91. These bonuses are a fucking disgrace.

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  92. Just wanted to say thank you to the person who wrote that fake dialogue between Dubow and Martore. My god, that's funny. I read these comments are realize the one thing I truly love about newspapers: knowing the good quality folks who actually have the talent ... reporters, copy-editors, and designers.

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  93. These raises and bonuses are the very thing the U.S. Government should be looking into in this country to save jobs. Pure grade "A" BS.

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  94. Then lets outsource what's let of our jobs to India or the Philippines. What's wrong with this country.

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  95. Congratulations, Gannet executives, on making more last year than I have made in my entire life :)

    Well done!

    Signed,

    A guy who lost his house and filed for bankruptcy after you shuttered the Tucson Citizen.

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  96. Cons, thats what the Gannett board of directors are. Why in the _ _ _ _ are you making so much money? What happened to the everyday guy who makes your company runs. I will not ever buy another paper published by Gannett.

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  97. I was the guy that if the pager beeped, I would fight to get to work and resolve any issue. In my earlier years I lost many potential significant women because of my loyalty to this job. Ten years ago I found a woman that would forgive my having an overly protective feeling of the staff at my newspaper and have been married since. Being an IT person at a newspaper is demanding. I always felt my position was that of an EMT as so many could be affected by a single issue. Now I am a little shy of 60 years old and have been without a job since late last year and feel my loyalty was extremely misplaced. I was at the top of my class, one may say, and was the guy that created and maintained the workflow. We all know where the workflow went. The hardest part of this is, that it is known that I was the best at what I did, and now at 59 I have no marketable skills in my profession. Regardless that I can make any system interface with any other or can make file servers manage themselves or report in an email if things are not perfect. The fact exist that in 9 months I will be 60 years old, and no IT dept wants to hire anyone in that age group. Yes, I am a little disturbed by my situation as the school taxes on my house is $10,000 because of New York's way of taxation. But more so, because I was at the top of my profession and all that has been removed and tossed as a result of my age. The newspaper did not fare well either as they now have only one IT person and had not completed their conversion to total corporate systems support as yet. Things that I have learned: do not put the company first; do not think because you are the one that makes things happens that that means anything, (if you don't throw it in everyone's face on a daily basis); if you are the nerd that sits in the corner desk and just resolves the issues without being the one that reports all your successes don't expect that counts for anything; If your job makes you go home every night brain dead make yourself find a private place to go and escape even if you can't quit thinking about the problem that you are trying to resolve, (You may then and usually will, come up with the answer, don't struggle with it at your desk); Do not at any cost have lunch at your desk it is not worth doing what you are doing to yourself and it provides time for your mind to maintain itself; and most of all remember that Gannett does not care about you at all regardless of the propaganda they create to create that illusion. Keep your resumes current and keep a running list of your accomplishments. It may be ok, if you do not do that, but keep all of your evaulations,recogitions, and major communications concerning projects in the same folder that you keep you resume for easy assembly. More than anything, I would like for you all to consider that you should use ten percent of your time per week in school to maintain an up to date level of training. Depending on your job make the training as diversified as possible, if you do this you will be marketable and should not suffer from gannett's failing management and advertising revenue. If you meet anyone that has a job that is within your expertise, talk to them about how you might fit in, you could be surprized, I was seven years ago and did not take the hint. Most of all, (relates to the last sentence), if you are offered a position outside of the newspaper, consider it well and give it 4 points on a 10 point scale just because it is not in the newspaper industry. I feel you are all family and wish you the best of futures, be kind to yourself and family, be smart and plan.

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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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