Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 14-20 | Your News & Comments: Part 2

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40 comments:

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

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  2. To think or even dare hope that Gannett would ever do something like the Journal Register Co. is laughable. No. They TAKE a weeks pay from us. The vision, patience and spine required to do something like that is totally missing from the GMC.

    What we should hope for is that Gracia's (and am I the only one that finds that name ironic?) big idea to pretty up the house for sale works.

    Gannett executive managemnet is a failure. At every base level. Being sold off to someone who actually knows how to run a company would be a godsend.

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  3. They take 1 week......
    Hell I think they have taken 6 from us since the first one.

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  4. Before you guys start breaking your arms to pat JRC on the back, you need to do a little research on what kind of company JRC has been over the years, and how it has treated employees.

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  5. I'm all for new talent. Maryam seems qualified and certainly has the experience and pedigree. I understand the need to "re-engineer" the company from a newspaper one to a digital one. But can we PLEASE keep good people, reward them, and motivate them to succeed? At all levels of the company.

    That's key to success. The old guard still protects too many of the old guard....whether they are deserving or not. How about a GREAT digital chief who is not some small time entrepreneur but a player? How about a head of news who is committed to journalism? How about recognizing the newspapers who are doing a great job moving into the 21st century? Some are doing great things with digital. The CP digital folks are some of the best in the company!

    Too much to ask?

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  6. Hah! Can only imagine the stroke that would befall one CD if HE were the CEO who was somehow forced to write this paragraph in a memo to rank and file:

    "I promised you would all share in that profit, so look in your pay check tomorrow – you will all find an extra week’s pay. All, that is, except for our senior executives. They have a bonus plan and it’s enough already ..."

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  7. Jack Welch, one of the most admired CEOs of all time, reengineered that company from a giant slow moving corporation to a great company. Took it from 13B to several hundred billion. Yes he laid off over 100,000 people. But he also took care of high performers (at all levels of the co) and demanded excellence or you were fired. A lot of rank and file got rich. Neutron Jack. I have no problem with highly compensated management if they are exceptional and move a company forward. Everyone at GE was expected to be excellent.

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  8. Here's a Facebook status I saw posted on a still-Gannett employee's fb page. Pretty much sums things up:

    Fun Furlough Fact: The Gannett company generated $588.2 million in net income last year on $5.44 billion in revenue. Guess my week of unpaid leave really is helping! Go Team!

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  9. Hi, Jim.

    I haven't written in a while. As Uncle Frank used to say, "it's been too long"!

    Nothing much to report from here. The Canadian geese are messing up the back lawn, but they'll be gone soon. Spring is coming!

    Hope all is well. I'll write again soon.

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  10. 12:49 Welcome back. It HAS been a long time!

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  11. Wonder what new and wonderful things Gannett will be telling us after the first quarter earnings are out.Jim or anyone else hear about second quarter furloughs? I certainly can't see where they say this economy is on it's way back !

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  12. 11:02 Yes and look what Jack Welsh's GE left behind as its legacy. Those reactors blowing up in Japan are GE products. Neutron Jack certainly earned his title.

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  13. The Wall Street Journal's ads are milking the #1 Newspaper status for all it's worth, Jim boy. I miss the glory days here.

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  14. Don't know how many have seen this, but it's an interesting survey to what we all know is happening in the newspaper industry.

    For the First Time, More People Get News Online Than From Newspapers
    http://mashable.com/2011/03/15/online-versus-newspaper-news/

    Here's the full report: http://stateofthemedia.org/

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  15. yes but 40 percent of adults PAY for news which is in print. Therein lies the economic issues of print vs digital.

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  16. The dwindling few are paying, and they are aged and decrepit, not shoppers, and have no interest in computers. So sell advertisers on the idea this is the audience you want to reach.

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  17. Geritol. Assisted living. Living wills. Home aides. Wheelchair and crutch/cane rentals. Electric blankets. Hearing aides and dentures. Battery chargers for motorized chairs.

    These things don't equal all older people.

    How about: cruise lines, savings vehicles for grandkid's educations, automobiles, restaurants, drugstore discounts, weekend getaways to Vegas, Atlantic City, NYC, etc., plastic surgery, adult communities, lawn and yard maintenance.

    Older folks - let's say 60 plus, often have more free time and cash for discretionary spending then anyone. I think advertisers are wrong to neglect them.

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  18. How to take an $8 billion/year business to $0.7 in 10 years.

    CHECK OUT THIS QUICK CHART: The sad state of today's newspaper help Wanted Classified Business:

    http://yfrog.com/h816dhjj

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  19. Aging baby boomers might not excite the Gen Ys but they are THE largest consumer base in the country. And are active rich and underserved. Those are the facts. And they are used to paying for things they like...a newspaper being one. The worst mistake ever made in business is giving away news content (or anything ) for free (the internet). I'm hoping the next generation of echo boomers will figure it out. Because the "free" internet is now a very hard drug to get people off of.

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  20. More ads for trusses, wheelchairs, walkers and Depends isn't going to sustain a newspaper's payroll. No segment of the population spends like those 14-25, as they form their own households, buy cars, big screen TVs, etc.

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

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  22. Our elderly reader checks in...

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  23. I get the impression that a lot of people waited until the final two weeks of this quarter to take their furlough. True?

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  24. jim, 6:32 here,
    i apologize. must be the merlot.

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  25. Alan Mutter has a good piece on a paywall he says works
    http://newsosaur.blogspot.com/

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  26. Like a ghost town in our newsroom today, Jim... furloughs, call-outs, woundeds and such. Grim, you might say.

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  27. 3/15/2011 12:14 PM, your fun fact makes me sick to my stomach. Thanks for sharing.

    2nd quarter furloughs?? I am not the betting type but I would wager a yes on that. Economy is NOT better, Main Street USA is still suffering.

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  28. My previous paper has a ton of folks gone this week - but it's spring break here. It's happened the past 2 times as well. Next week has quite a few as well. Now if this temp job goes to a perm one, I won't have to worry about a furcation.

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  29. Hope everybody filed for unemployment during their 1st furlough week so they can get unemployment benefits for their 2nd week of furlough during the 2nd quarter.

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  30. Really 10:19? I hadn't heard such a thing? If that's so why wouldn't our HR department or E.A.P. let us know?

    Does corporate have to take furlough? Who is exempt from furlough and why?

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  31. Really, 10:37, I'm not making this up. You can file for unemployment benefits when you are furloughed. When we took furlough 2x two years ago the 1st week was your waiting week and you got unemployment for the 2nd week if you kept up with filing it every week in between your furlough weeks. HR wasn't spreading the word then and they aren't now. The last I heard only people associated with newspapers are forced to take the furlough, although Dubow said he and Gracia were taking a week's cut in pay to feel our pain. But their bonuses, like upper management at the papers, won't feel the crunch because they receive bonuses too which make up for their week or two of furlough. I don't think HR has to take furloughs as they are now corporate paid instead of local paid. TV stations have been exempt in the past because they took a cut in pay but not sure if it happened every time.

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  32. If you receive unemployment during your furlough, doesn't that count towards the unemployment you'd receive if you are laid off?

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  33. 10:37 pm - HR doesn't HAVE to tell you about this, so they don't. Actually, I think I might have seen something mentioned in the January letter to the employees, but I'm not sure and I don't have the letter any more.
    Some states have a "waiting week" for unemployment. If you take your entire furlough in one week, as exempt people have to do, you can file for unemployment for that furlough week. You won't get any money for it the first time, because you have to have a "waiting week", but any additional furloughs in 12 months, which you take in one entire week, can qualify you for unemployment pay.
    This is not cheating the system, but it is a benefit you are entitled to. Admittedly, unemployment isn't a lot, but it's better than nothing.
    The hourly people, who take their furloughs a day at a time, are not eligible for unemployment because it is figured on a weekly basis.
    Does having employees file for unemployment incur a cost to a company?

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  34. That stinks. Too late for me.

    They should make everyone take furlough not just the papers. Their dumb asses are why we are in this position. The papers have too much pushed down from them corporate twits that dont know jack about being in the community and what it's like to deal with all their ass backward "systems" and rules.

    Bunch of fucktards if you ask me (excuse the language... Forgot to buy kool-aid with my short paycheck)

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  35. Most people aren't going to get laid off so it won't matter. You can always put that $ in savings if you don't need it now. In my state it depends when you are laid off as your unemployment allotment starts over after a year, not a calendar year but the year from the first time you file. So when I take my furlough next week, then I take it again in May, then again next January and I keep it updated during that time then I will get unemployment benefits for the weeks in May and January. But if I had taken my furlough in February of this year then one in May and one in March of next year it would start over in March because it wouldn't fall within a 12 month period.

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  36. My friend who got laid off last time had a choice: take Gannett severance OR file for unemployment but NOT get the entire amount for his severance. If he filed for unemployment during the time he was receiving his severance then Gannett would only pay him the difference between what they owed him less his unemployment benefit. The company incurs some of the cost of unemployment benefits...years ago it used to be called unemployment insurance but don't know what its called today.

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  37. I heard the customer service centers, finance centers and the credit centers don't take furloughs, not sure why.

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  38. 10:59 Not all exempt people have to take their furlough a week at a time. I have friends at one paper who are exempt and they get to take their furlough a day at a time instead of the entire week because they are in advertising.

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  39. GPC skipped furloughs too.

    States & sites vary on the rules for furlough. Even in the same state, one site might run furloughs Sunday to Saturday, or Monday to Sunday.

    I did not know about the 'waiting week' in some states. It makes sense to not announce second quarter furloughs until first quarters are done - if people didn't bother to file for the first week, they aren't able to go for the second.

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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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