Sunday, March 06, 2011

Feb. 28-March 6 | Your News & Comments: Part 7

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  1. For Part 6 of this comment thread, please go here.

  2. I always thought the Gannett logo was a little scary, so I'm glad to see it go. But this new one is bland beyond belief.

    Seriously, our copy desk and graphic artists could have come up with something much better on nightly deadline between doing a hundred other things.

    And what is "It"?

    Also, if they paid attention to what readers think out in Community Newspaper Land, they would know that being perceived as part of Gannett and not locally owned is not a good thing.

    I really don't understand the people running this company. They are unbelievably out of touch. I guess that's what happens when you wake up one morning and realize that you can furlough people you'll never see, cause them undeserved financial and work difficulties, and then take the lion's share of the savings.

    Who's going to stop you? Apparently not the board of directors.

    Meanwhile, the self-important lords feast on their plunder and offer the few serfs in the building on a Friday blue-and-white cupcake crumbs while they pat themselves on the back because they've redesigned the coat of arms.

    It's all very, very unsettling.

  3. 7:49 nailed it. Why on earth do stockholders tolerate a board that allows -- even encourages -- such utter mediocrity to exist at the top?

  4. Since they can't fix the company they why not design a new logo. It allows them to feel like they are doing something productive. This campaign will not bring in a single dollar but we just laid off over 200 people to pay for it. Sickening.

  5. "It" is a load of ---- (think of an appropriate word that rhymes)!

  6. I'm a Jim Cramer fan and particularly enjoy his interviews of CEOs from companies of the world. Jim gets to the point in a nice way.
    I'd love to see him interview Dubow or a designee to get an understanding of what GCI is doing to save itself. Some potential questions: How might the creation of a new logo put Gannett back on track? What is Gannett doing to protect the credibility of the information its properties gather and disseminate? Why hasn't Gannett come up with a profitable way to deliver its information online, ala The Daily and others? What, other than cutting people, does Gannett plan to do to save itself?

  7. Wait, Jim: Have you reported on the actual cost paid for this new logo and slogan? If you did, could you please re-post that?

    Either way: It's safe to say it took a lot of time and expense -- resources that would have been vastly put to better use since this 'massive team effort' won't change the fortunes of the company in the least. And, as many posters have noted, it's more likely to have negative revenue impact because it further links local newspapers to Gannett.

    Count on Gannett leadership (yes, that's you Craig) to be absolutely, utterly tone deaf to what the people 'on the street' are saying and what the current wave of trending is: local, local, local.

    Count on Gannett leadership to resort to navel-gazing, do-nothing 'efforts' like this logo/slogan when it should be invested in innovation. (Oh, wait. That would require innovative people. Thinkers as opposed to empty suits.)

    Count on Gannett to come up with something so uninspiring in look and text, a logo that any sixth-grader could whip up in two minutes on a computer, and a slogan that aspires to mean something, but is ultimately just as empty and insipid as the latest in the series of empty and insipid memos from CD.

    Count on Gannett to puff its chest over something so trivial and banal, while at the same time not doing anything to improve the quality of its products so circulation/ad sales can actually work with it to bring to market for success. Count on Gannett to be lose itself in the forest of an insignificant, empty 'achievement' while Rupert and Bloomberg invest their resources into allowing their people to create quality products that (this is the key word here, Craig and Co., so I'll spell it for you this time): S-E-L-L

    So, please, let's get the hard details on how much this sad, pathetic joke actually cost.

  8. The only stockholders that matter are the institutional funds like Ariel, who have the weight to get the attention in McLean. The mass of individual stockholders really don't have a voice, witness the quarterly discussions with stock analysts which excludes the general public. The individual stockholders only have a chance to say something at the annual meeting, and there have been cases of some individual investors who have been successful at embarassing company leadership. All these investors care out is that the stock goes up, so they can attract more 401K pension fund investments. If you want to force changes at the top, you have to persuade Ariel and the other big investors to dump the stock.

  9. Alan Gomez (USA Today) story, "Tea Party leader blasts Boehner over cuts" from Friday's edition of USA Today was used for discussion on "Meet The Press" this morning. Glad to see continued progress from our Editorial department "appearing" on the Sunday morning talk shows. Good job Alan...

  10. Realistically, we're not going to unionize. But all is not lost! Time for some merry prankstering!

    We've been misled and taken advantage of. So I think we deserve to have a little bit of fun at their expense.

    I say we design obviously bogus numbered checks, and every time we are forced into furlough, we download one, write a "check" for the exact amount we're out and make it payable to Craig Dubow and put "bonus" in the memo line. No need to sign your real name. Just go by your check number: Gannett employee #1, #2, etc. We're just numbers, anyway.

    Drop it in the mail to Jones Branch Road, and sit back and watch what happens when word gets out that Dubow is getting hundreds of bogus check from employees. It will get us media attention since we're clearly incapable of covering this ourselves.

    We can even do it retroactively. I know I'm out $3,000 over three furloughs, and I know exactly where it went. It sure didn't do anything to help the overall financial health of the company, as we were led to believe.

  11. That is the worst idea ever 11:59. You actually think the media would cover that? How would they know? And furthermore, what would they cover? During a time where more than 13 million are out of work some employed people are playing a meaningless prank on a CEO because their pay was furloughed (not cut) this year. Get a life.

  12. Anonymous said... ex-Pubilher fisch ran out of time. ex- VP freeman retiring and ex- VP jandell walkout. the clear heir apparent tony simmons stand alone to become Pubilher at the westchester site.

  13. It's far from meaningless. Every unemployed person in this country would stand up and cheer.

    The business media would eat it up.

    How would the media know? Have you never heard the expression "Alert the media"? Believe it or not, it's not that hard to do.

  14. 12:16 should get a sense of humor. He/she is obviously not open to a little healthy street theater.

  15. @12:16: You sound strangely threatened by this idea. But if it makes you feel better, ex-Gannett employees absolutely could send in checks, too -- for wages lost because they were fired so the GMC could continue to stuff their pockets.

    (By the way "get a life" is the last refuge of the inarticulate. So try to use it sparingly.)

  16. 11:59 i love it!

  17. Street theater, yes, as in "Wall Street"!

    I think this press release is going to practically write itself ...

  18. AMEN @7:49 AM
    You nailed it.
    Best way to destroy the community papers: rename them using the USA Today brand.

    ie: "Subscribe to the USA Today/Ft. Myers edition by clicking here."
    (Of course, that pretty much describes most of the smaller USCPs now, sadly.)

  19. Re: 11:59AM -
    Someone make up the fake checks, post the web page and the exact address, and I'll be sending mine in!
    What a GREAT idea!

    You must work for Gannett, and not have any power.

  20. @2:04, That was my first thought when I saw CD's e-mail - that they were going to rename everything to emphasize USA Today. I still won't be surprised if it happens down the line, and it would KILL my local paper, and most of the USCP, I imagine.

  21. I think the check idea is great. 12:16, you apparently work in media but haven't a clue about what reporters would and wouldn't cover. And your 'how would they know?" remark is staggeringly uninformed about how media works these days. (Hint: It's fueled by the very format we're using now ... social media>)

    So write the checks, photocopy and send 'em to CD. Anything that puts this completely ill-fit 'leader' (and his team) on the spot can only help. Make him go on camera before local media and national business press -- the other suggestion of putting him in front of Kramer is a good one -- can only further showcase his inability to express anything but empty, inane blather. After watching that, how could anyone conclude anything other than the fact that CD and Co. are probably the worst CEO/leadership team in any major company in America today?


  23. Hey Gracia, why don't you and your bean counters disclose what this logo change is costing -- and how it could have saved jobs and furloughs?

  24. 11:27 I do not know the cost of this corporate branding campaign. It is not one that I believe Corporate will make public.

  25. Yeah, this fake check writing campaign is a great idea... Every minute you sorry losers spend "playing a prank" on CD is one less minute you are spending looking for a viable alternative to your miserable jobs. Sure, go ahead. Knock yourselves out. If I were CD I would keep all these fake checks in a three-ring binder and every time I had to initiate layoffs I would pull it out and remind myself that I am letting these simple minded people go and the company is better off for it. I'm surprised Jim promoted this to the front page. Usually, I respect his editorial decisions but this one is over the top. As for those of you who say the business media will jump all over this, I too question how they will know. A bunch of people on a blog say they are sending fake checks to a CEO of their company anonymously. The CEO declines comment. That is a story to you? Yeah, I am sure the Wall Street Journal will be tearing the walls down to report on that one. Jeesh. No wonder this company is failing to produce meaningful content. It has people like you playing journalist everyday.

    And to 12:55, I hope using phrases like "over the top" fits your narrow minded view of what defines bad communication. That would "make my day" if you get my drift.

  26. 7:10 If nothing else, I just want to see someone dummy up one of these checks.

  27. I can't believe that so many posters on this site are so myopic. I don't even work for Gannett and I can tell the new branding isn't aimed at consumers and your daily newspaper readers. It's aimed at the national business and advertising community, as a way of highlighting the vast number of platforms under the Gannett umbrella. I'm not breaking new ground here - this has been posted already on this site. How do you people not get this?

  28. 8:09. I attended the Dubow dog and pony show. No one articulated well WHY they were doing this. And if this is an effort to attract the national business and advertising community, why does the plan extend branding efforts to all local Gannett properties? It makes no sense. How is emphasizing the Gannett brand on local mastheads and TV stations going to matter? Doh!

  29. Sure, let the advertisers know the platforms--but does corporate have the statistics to show reach? Subscriber numbers? Clicks? Average time per Web site user? My site's print subscriber numbers have nosedived: under 60K on a Sunday, when it once was 70k-80k.

  30. This week, the "transformation" will be four months old at USA Today. I cannot see one substantive impact of the restructuring. Not one. The place functions like a bureaucracy. No one sees top managers all day. Lesser editors scramble around to satisfy late whims and half-baked ideas. Then second guessers appear late in the day, to provide needless opinions. Thanks for nothing but a lot of angst and bloodletting lower down the food chain. Hope your raise and bonus is solid this year

  31. 9:25.

    And you expected, what? A sense of fairness over who was let go, who was shuffled to a non-essential job and that things would improve the caliber of journalism and speed with which its delivered to consumers? You are a naive twit.

  32. Anyone else getting password protection on

  33. Well, 7:10, I hate to disabuse you of your ad hominem fantasies, but I'm far from a sorry loser. In fact, I'm a respected journalist with a wicked sense of humor, an eye for irony and, right about now, an inflamed sense of justice because of the bonuses that are being taken on our backs.

    I'm not going to call you names back but I will point out the obvious: that you have a very, very slim grasp of what makes news, and how reporters operate. Do you really think Dubow and the board will be able to dodge the questions? Do you really think they would survive the scrutiny and the ridicule to be flipping through that three-ring binder?

    You know they wouldn't, and that's why you're being so aggressive, and so very clueless, in your disdain.

    Jim, thanks for starting a separate thread. Anyone else with an eye for irony, a wicked sense of humor and an inflamed sense of justice? Meet me over there for a brainstorming session.

    First order of business: What "bank" do we draw these checks on?

  34. 10:19 -- How about Jimmy Buffett's "Bank of Bad Habits"? Seems appropriate for Dubow and company.

  35. You sorry losers? You're a naive twit? Who is this abusive poster who is so inarticulate that he has to resort to name-calling?

    So not cool.

  36. 7:49 a.m. here

    7:10 p.m. said: "Every minute you sorry losers spend "playing a prank" on CD is one less minute you are spending looking for a viable alternative to your miserable jobs."

    Wow. You sound like a feudal lord talking down to his "miserable" serfs.

    I like my job. It's far from miserable. Why should I leave the company? I'm competent and smart -- and far from greedy.

    I think Craig Dubow and his ilk should leave instead. I'm not running the company into the ground. They are. Someone needs to shine a light on this.

    Think of how utterly embarrassing it would be for Craig DuBow to receive thousands of "checks" that reflect that exact amount that each of us was forced into donating for his bonus.

    Oh, but you already have, and for some reason, it's gotten your knickers all in a twist. Keep posting and insulting your colleagues. It's keeping me amused.

  37. 9:49 Corporate's site is password-protected because, I imagine, IT is now loading new pages to reflect the new branding campaign.

  38. @9:25 PM: There's been a significant budgetary reduction. HR came over to corporate; Marketing is significantly smaller; Edit lost a bunch of heads, as did Circ. What's not to like, from an 11th-floor perspective?

    Oh, yeah, revenue still sucks, readership is still dropping, and the USAT market position overall continues its downward slide. But we're saving money!

    Luv ya!

  39. Anonymous 3/06/2011 8:09 PM said:
    "How do you people not get this?"

    Speaking for myself only -
    I "Haven't gotten a Gannett product in years"
    and that is NOT likely to change!


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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