Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Feb. 28-March 6 | Your News & Comments: Part 3

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45 comments:

  1. For Part 2 of this comment thread, please go here.

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  2. Question: If My Boss is correct and banks weren't interested in the USA Today brand, then what does that mean for the goodwill price GCI puts on the paper in its annual report. The bankers' action would seem to point to the fact that the USA Today brand is worthless.

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  3. Even IF USAT was being shopped, and IF investment bankers gave it a thumbs-down, that wouldn't mean USAT is without worth. It could mean that in this market, there might not be any buyers at a price Corporate would deem acceptable.

    But this is so, so, so much unconfirmed speculation!

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  4. From a Debow memo: Gracia, our division presidents Bob Dickey, Dave Hunke, Dave Lougee, Jack Williams, our CFO Paul Saleh and me.
    Geez, looks like the white middle-aged guys have a firm grip on Gannettland and its inhabitants.
    And to think that many Gannett publishers and editors once busted ass trying to diversify their staffs because 1. "It's good business (the minority will soon be the majority) and 2. It's just the right thing to do." Oh yah, and 3. Their bonuses were affected by their All-American scores.
    Yet another example of letting an important standard lapse in the "Dubow Era," a time in which GCI kissed serious journalism goodbye.
    Ethics, honesty and transparency separate real journalists from the pretenders. Dubow needs to learn more about each of those values and then re-incorporate them one-by-one into his "transformation plan for the company."
    Why not hire a tutor from the Times, Post or Journal?
    With some training, Dubow might be able to talk in a way that inspires, educates and comforts those who gather, prepare and present information at GCI's many outlets.
    Maybe if he shared his vision of what news will be in the future, he would calm the nerves of thousands who've invested their lives helping build Gannett only to see it disassembled by people who don't seem to know what they are doing.
    It would be to Dubow's advantage, it seems, if he could show leadership skills that reach beyond simple cost-cutting.
    Not to belittle for the sake of belittlement, but the Dubow/Martore Show needs to log some tangible progress or step aside and let somebody else take a whack at it.
    Seems like McCorkindale gave us a minimalist-accountant when a visionary-journalist was needed. Maybe Doug could atone a bit by explaining to Dubow the importance of diversity in the workplace as well as in the top corporate jobs.

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  5. USAT not being shopped.

    Jesus Christ Jimmy.

    Wake the Fuck UP.

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  6. I also would like to know why bankers would not be interested in floating USA Today as an independent entity.

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  7. RE: 12:48: "Maybe if he shared his vision of what news will be in the future, he would calm the nerves of thousands who've invested their lives helping build Gannett..."

    Given the track record that Dubow has shown over his tenure, you can't possible believe that he has ANY clue (or vision) as to what news will be in the future. (To give him the benefit of the doubt, however, no one does.)

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  8. Re 12:48 a.m....A lot of that has to do with Gannett's obsession with numbers. The purpose and meaning behind things gets lost because the typical Gannett manager - and this goes right down to the newsroom, ad dept., pressroom, etc., is simply driven by his or her supervisor to meet quotas, to make the numbers.

    There was a time at the Journal News, and this might have been the case elsewhere in Gannett land, where EVERY STORY had to have a "minority" presence. That was such BULLSHIT, and eventually it slipped away.

    If the powers that be simply sought more coverage of minority issues, that would have been fine and sustainable. But that's not Gannett's way. Gannett's way is never on the longterm. It's all about pleasing the manager, the supervisor, the executive of the moment. It's all about PERSONAL GAIN, not what's good for the organization.

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  9. 2:12 a.m. has the best post ever at this blog.

    It will be deleted, though, and so will this one, so I guess I should tack on one of the insults people throw at him. There are many to choose from. My personal favorite is the guy who calls him "Kim" from time to time, but I need something with more spice.

    Jim went to the shareholders meeting one time. He got paranoid and hired a bodyguard. Then he made a fool of himself in front of everyone.

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  10. Why do all the corporate announcements seem like Anna from the V's speaking with that sly smile... "We are at peace...always".

    If I wrote my reports to my direct boss or director with a page of words that really said nothing except buzz words, I'd be sacked. And if I see the word 'solutions' one more time in reference to a corporate initiative, I'm gonna faint.

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  11. Mark Silverman, editor of the Tennessean, in Nashville, has been selected to receive the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award, the National Press Foundation has announced.

    http://nationalpress.org/awards/winner/mark-silverman/

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  12. Traffic on this blog in February was the highest in nearly two years: about 360K pageviews.

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  13. And if I see the word 'solutions' one more time in reference to a corporate initiative, I'm gonna faint.


    LOL! You rock - this made my day (still laughing)!

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  14. Hey Jim: recently you took issue with someone who used the word bitch. So why didn't you censor the more serious breach of speech ethics reflected in 2:12? Why bitch and not the f word?

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  15. Did you get your annual review yet? If so, here's an article that says this process is nothing more than an effort to get employees to more fondly kiss their boss' a**, and do nothing to achieve what companies should be doing:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/opinion/02culbert.html?src=me&ref=general

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  16. 3:34 With many apologies to anyone offended, I often make exceptions when comments are directed at me. I err in the side of not abusing my ability to shut out my critics.

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  17. I find it laughable that Jim pretends to take the editorial high road. I've seen him pull comments that proved to me that he's completely biased and not interested in an honest or balanced debate.

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  18. 4:11 Can you recall any keywords from some of the comments you're referencing? I keep copies of every one removed. I'd like to review any you have in mind to see if they should be restored.

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  19. bullshit, Jim... plain bullshit....you've killed plenty of comments critical of you.

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  20. May I suggest that the keywords the gentlemen is thinking of include "tongs," "foreskin" and "exfoliation?" Based on the sheer volume and ferocity (and ad hominem attacks) that Jim puts up with, I think he can be excused of deleting a few here and there, on his turf.

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  21. Gannett is losing longtime executive Steve Thaxton to Cincinnati -- and not to the Enquirer. He's been general manager of WCSH-6 and WLBZ-2 in Maine for 13 years.

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  22. 7:35: Garbage. Jimbo made this blog about HIM...love notes to his lover, Ibiza vacation pix, very, very personal stuff about himself, etc....including demanding that Dubow identify him by name at the annual meeting! The Hopkins Ego usurped his original mission. Then, when readers called him on it, by God, he took umbrage. So no, Jimbo can't have it both ways. When it gets personal, yes, It was Jimbo who started the whole thing.

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  23. The attacks on Jim are obvious attempts to turn this conversation away from sensitive topics such as Dubow's blurred vision and lack of leadership skills.
    Jim's success with this blog is yet another source of embarrassment for the Crystal Tower crew. Jim's blog has taken control of the Gannett story away from Gannett bigshots. It's helped expose GCI's mercilous abuse of expensive senior talent. It's revealed shameless profit-taking by GCI's brass at a time of "economic stress" for the company. And, he's unveiled shocking information about how bigshots profitted from by draining Gannett Foundation funds.
    Given that track record of success, it seems reasonable for Jim to pull childish posts when he thinks it's appropriate. I trust his judgment a whole lot more than I trust the name-calling shills we all have to endure here.
    Personally, I'd like to see Jim kill more of them. I mean check out 8:47 PM again and join me in a rousing "so what?"

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  24. I agree. Don't let them draw you into arguments, Jim. In this case, you own the press and have already proved you are a fair arbiter of what's killed and what isn't. That's why your traffic is way up.
    Ignore their straw men and help us focus on the many substantial issues facing our company.

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  25. A reply from 7:35 (the poster of garbage): I suspect jim probably regrets the more personal tone the blog originally took. Not everyone who publishes on the Internet gets things right the first time. (I suspect this is something everyone in our industry can understand.)

    Obviously, since he's returned, the blog has a different, less personal tone. If you'd like to continue to hold him accountable for the past, that's your right. If you think that anything from the past justifies the level of truly reprehensible gay bashing that regularly fills this site ... well, trust me, that says far more about you than it does about Jim.

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  26. Yeah, Jim made a total fool of himself at that shareholder's meeting. But he has exposed the foolish, arrogant and moronic actions of the leaders of this company over and over and over. He gets a hall pass.

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  27. Yep 3:49, annual performance reviews are totally about control.

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  28. If there are fewer employees at GCI properties, how come Jim's usage is increasing? Is there any interest of what is happening to us in the outside world, or is it just an internal Gannett matter?

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  29. jimbo's done some good, revealing stuff, but, like a good personnel review, the full accounting shows a mixed bag. People come here for info and gossip. It aint about jimbo. he thinks it is. Proof: Continually removed comments critical of him. or will he deny that too?

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  30. Can we please start talking about Gannett and not Jim. If this blog didn't threaten corporate why would they set up one of the my bosses. Reminds me of what they are doing to the unions in Wisconsin. Trying to shut everybody up and “just be grateful for a job and a pay check” Cut me a freakin break. Gannett is just as corrupt as the politicians they cover in their newspapers. It's all about greed on both sides and trying to make the rest of their slaves grateful for their “master” to give them food on the table and pkace to live.

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  31. Kim has undone the few good things with all the gossip and innuendo he allows. 9:08's attacks on Dubow are fairly pointless, especially as an attempt to deflect the criticism of Jim. In fact, I'd say those vague criticisms of Dubow are more of a deterrent from fact than the attacks on Jim. The ranters and whiners here fail to realize the corporate leadership is going to do what it does. The battle for pay, benefits, etc. was lost some time ago when the workers failed to fight it.

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  32. 10:35. You are a nimrod. The "workers" don't fight the compensation battles. The deck is stacked far above that pay grade. Now go drink the koolaid and leave everyone else alone.

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  33. This seems to be a case of the pot calling the kettle black, to use a cliche. Gannett properties routinely turn off the comment box on the bottom of stories it publishes about itself when it is talking about the exit of a publisher or about its own layoffs. I know these are site-by-site decisions (I assume so at least) but it still happens on a regular basis. Although Jim may delete some overly bigoted comments against him on the blog, I think he largely allows far more comments that are critical of him to stay published than Gannett allows comments critical of its company to stay published on its sites.

    I for one appreciate the comments critical of Jim's work (starting conversations about celebrities or woman reporters being molested in Egypt) that have merit. But, I also appreciate the comments bashing homosexuality to be deleted. I'm not gay but those are very offensive to me. If that is how people believe they can downgrade Jim's work than that says far more about their character than it does Jim's work.

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  34. Jim must really be on to something now for all these Gannett trolls to come out trying to distract the conversation. Here's something you don't hear a lot. Many of the workers at Gannett are afraid to post here even at their home computers because they are afraid corporate can somehow track them. They can't! This is the one outlet we have for sharing what we know with the entire community. Dubow needs to be more terrified of this site than we are of him.

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  35. Jim, we have said this before but the vast majority of us, even those critical of you at times, would much prefer you delete all the homophobic and hate-filled comments. Please.

    Secondly, those still listening for "My Boss" predictions (or My Boss Said, who is long gone from the company), should know that both are just trying to appear important.

    This nonsense about USA Today being sold, or even offered for sale, is completely baseless. This will be shown more clearly during Friday's CEO call, which is about Gannett as a brand.

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  36. 10:16 asks: "If there are fewer employees at GCI properties, how come Jim's usage is increasing? Is there any interest of what is happening to us in the outside world, or is it just an internal Gannett matter?"

    Many of this blog's readers are former Gannett employees or never-worked-there people who are simply interested in newspapers.

    The "Where do you work?" suvey in the green sidebar gives a snapshot of what I'm talking about. Over time, the survey results have remained consistent: About 50% of the 1,807 respondents are current Gannett employees; another third or so are former employees, and the rest have never worked for the company.

    As for the pageview count, over the years, the average number of pages viewed per visit has been steadily rising. In February 2008, the average was 2.2 per visit. By 2010, it had climbed to 2.68. And last month, February, it was 3.21 pages per visit.

    I'm not sure what's driving this trend. It may simply be a function of how much there is to read. I've now published nearly 4,800 posts of my own. And readers have posted more than 72,000 comments.

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  37. When the trolls start ramping things up, news is afoot. Many predictions called for even more layoffs in the second quarter. Could it be we're looking at another huge round despite the several hundred corporate has already quietly let go? Doesn't seem like there's much doubt to me.

    Keep coming back trolls. Makes me want to check the site more often.

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  38. The lack of discussion at the newspapers about the ideals and standards of journalism and the ideals of our business is disheartening. With all of the turnover, some basic editing and reporter training and inspirational messages could be helpful. Do we still have the mantra of serving the community and the dedication of resources to make it so when profits, truly, are still rolling in. The hardest thing to accept is that we cut people and have furloughs while still clearing 20% profit. The cuts are not a survival tactic. They are a maximize the profit tactic at the expense of our mission. I'm not saying we should live with lower profits, but each location will need a tailored, measured response to their own conditions. Also, what budget actions are we taking to reinforce our stated mission. You are what you budget.

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  39. Anonymous 3/02/2011 11:35 PM said:
    "Jim must really be on to something now for all these Gannett trolls to come out trying to distract the conversation."

    Anonymous 3/03/2011 12:00 AM said:
    "When the trolls start ramping things up, news is afoot."

    Correct on both comments! Trolls are so transparent here on the blog!

    Will get ready for what's coming and stock up on more popcorn! LOL

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  40. In this case, you own the press and have already proved you are a fair arbiter of what's killed and what isn't.

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  41. Seems like a situation in which the CEO takes home a $1.45 million bonus after saving $2 million in furloughs cries out for company-wide union. Seriously, what would it take for GCI employees to unionize across all properties? Legally, can they retaliate against us for trying?

    Until employees stand up for themselves, the execs and the board will keep raping us to enrich themselves.

    Anyone familiar with labor law?

    (I left this question on the Green Bay thread, too)

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  42. God...this blog must scare the crap out of corporate. They can't fire it, demote it, or even disable it. Freedom of speech at its best.

    "Me thinkst thou doth protest too much."

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  43. Re 7:35 a.m....Those things would require Gannett to care about the quality of its products. GANNETT DOESN'T CARE ABOUT QUALITY.

    That should be more than clear by now. The company is sucking the community papers dry and desperately looking for a way to replace the income.

    Layoffs, pay and pension freezes, higher medical insurance premiums, more unfilled positions and reduced newsprint consumption will have to suffice for now.

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  44. The cuts at the newspapers have had an impact on advertising. Advertisers are not idiots, regardless of what Gannett Corporate thinks. They recognize that fewer of their customers or prospective customers read the paper, and they recognize that the product, in many cases, is simply not worth the cost.

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  45. That should be more than clear by now. The company is sucking the community papers dry and desperately looking for a way to replace the income.

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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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