An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
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Forget March Madness! The morning line in the office says the second-quarter furlough email will come about noon local time today or next Friday.
@8:43 AM, I wonder if they'll include a table with officers' 2010 comp in that note, just so people remember why we need furloughs?
It's a great year Gannetteers.More furloughs !!! More Lay offs !!!More attrition losses !!!More stress !!! More broken families !!!!Let just give even more bonuses to the title holders for making Gannett life a wonderful thing !!!!I am done,last day the hell with them all !!
The Journal News has a story about how Westchester, Putnam and Rockland have added 55,000 residents to grow to a population of 1.36 million. Yet no mention of the fact the Journal News circulation has lost over 100,000 subscribers from a one time high of 149,000.
The Journal News has a story about how Westchester, Putnam and Rockland have added 55,000 residents to grow to a population of 1.36 million. Yet no mention of the fact the Journal News circulation has lost over 100,000 subscribers from a one time high of 149,000.3/25/2011 9:17 AMPopulation increase has nothing to do with circulation now. Newspapers are an OLD form of media and they are holding onto some subscribers and losing the rest, no growth will ever exist again. In Phoenix Metro area the population increased by almost 1 million people over the last 10 years but the circulation of the Arizona Republic has gone from appx. 500,0000 to somewhere around 250,000 to 300,000 depending on how it is counted these days.
A question for Jim:Is there a way you can compare what past Gannett executives received in compensation (adjusted for today's dollars), so we can compare executives like Neuharth, Curley, McCorkindale to today's Dubow and Martore?Flamethrowers aside, I don't think most of us begrudge executives making big executive salaries, options and perks. But is what the current leadership getting out of scale with what was paid in the past?Interesting no matter what you find.
I don't begrudge big salaries as long as there are big results. I don't see any from theG A N N E T T executive suite.
How about the VP of Advertising in Louisville. Heard she was gone.
More layoffs and more furloughs means less revenue for Gracia to report at the next stock analysts meeting. Where the hell is the board of directors on this mess, because it is driving down the stock value -- the only thing they care about.
More layoffs and more furloughs means less revenue for Gracia to report at the next stock analysts meeting. Where the hell is the board of directors on this mess, because it is driving down the stock value -- the only thing they care about.3/25/2011 10:18 AMGannett is one of those companies where the board of directors are all yes men and women to the CEO and President. You usually only see this in a company where the founder or a member of the founding family is in control (i.e. Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Ford) to see this in a company like Gannett which doesn't even have a seperate class of voting stock is very unusual and is probably because there is some quid pro quo going on. Regardless with revenue declines continuing into perpetuity the overall revenue will get so low that their debt covenants will be breached, then hasta la vista Gannett.
Undeserved bonuses, fat cat hiring + branding campaign = layoffs + furloughs + poor raises. Simple as ABC.
D'ya think that the revenue declines have anything to do with the layoffs/furloughs. The way Gracia looks at it, layoffs/furloughs save money, so that should be positive to the bottom line. Hmmm. Maybe something wrong with their strategy. D'ya think?
The corporate attitude: If you can get through furloughs and vacations without requiring OT, then you have too many people. If you have too many people, then layoffs are needed.
Looks like WashPost reporters aren't afraid to speak out ... Won't find a single GCIer willing to do the same, which is why the conduct at the top is even more disgraceful:http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/washington_post_newsroom_ire_over_R8AHid0dUQXHL9q2QZ5xSI
The VP of advertising in Louisville was canned yesterday after a site visit from corporate last week. It reportedly did not go well.
That "It's All Within Reach" corporate slogan certainly applies to the top executives' pay. Except maybe "Reach" should be changed to "Grasp" or "Grab" or "Skim"...Their personal slogan apparently is "Take the Money and Run (Before the Company Collapses)"...
This happens everywhere. NOT just at Gannett. In 2008, CEO of Time Warner Jeff Bewkes received $21Million. The company lost 13B that year compared with profit of $4B the previous year. Thousands of employees (many journalists at Time/Fortune/People/etc) were bought- out and many others were fired. This is corporate America. Sux but we aren't the only ones.
But...But... They are short on ADV VPs all over the company. Des Moines, Phoenix, Tucson. More in jeopardy. So kill another one?Did it ever occur to anyone that perhaps the problem lies ABOVE? Sure, the existing VPs need to go – most of them – because they are so entrenched in the old ways. Ain't gonna fix this model until you CHANGE this model. That would involve a real SALES structure that attracts and retains people who really SELL. And then REWARDS them for selling, not sitting.The broken model worked when it was impossible NOT to make money in print. Clear out the jokers. I could fix this model. Honestly. (But I still have some more TPP to draw, so forget it.)
Get new jobs people. And, if you say you can't find one "especially in journalism," as some like to repeat here again and again, then shut up, quit your bitching and get back to work. There are options out there. They may not be another job in journalism (which I know you all love so much) but is the job in journalism really worth being puked on by your bosses again and again? If it is, and you still refuse to leave, than you get what you deserve. "It's not easy to find another job" or "There aren't other journalism jobs hiring" or whatever other excuses you all give yourselves to continue being crapped on. You don't have to work for this company. If you all quit, the management you complain about would have no company left and the entire thing would implode. But, rather than do something about your situation in life, which is shitty, you just sit around and complain about people other than yourselves getting rich off your sacrifice. It does suck. It is unfair. It is unethical. So, what are your going to do about it? Yep. That's what I thought. Go back to work.
12:09 You can't compare GCI with Time-Warner. TWX is an entertainment and cable-TV company that happens to publish a magazine. The print part of it isn't significant in the future of the company, unlike GCI which is dependent on publishing and TV. TWX also doesn't have the debt problems we have, and isn't dancing on a knife's edge of violating is debt covenants.
12:09 AOL merger sank the stock from the &70s to the teens. You have no idea how similar they are.The only saving grace for TWX is they had profitable cable operators. AND you are right, they OWNED ZERO newspapers. However, the CEO and others made tons of money while thousands got laid off...the same thing.No different.
Well, I definitely agree with 12:34, even if he (or she) is a jerk. After 10 years as a reporter and editor for Gannett, I left the company last year (on my own). I am now a residential real estate agent. First six months on the job I struggled. Didn't know if I was going to make it and began to regret the decision to leave Gannett (if you can believe that!). But, the last eight months have been better, much better, and I am doing well. In fact, I made my annual salary at Gannett during the first three months of this year. I am hopeful that will continue, but can't promise it will. But, I am happy. I have clients who sometimes treat more poorly, they call after hours, and I have to work most weekends. But, I don't have to worry about someone giving me a pink slip and my only boss is me, so I can't get too mad at him. I have a friend who was not in journalism but her job sucked. Around the same time I left Gannett, she quit her job and took $50k she had to her name, mortgaged her house, sold her kind of expensive car and got a small business loan from a bank to open a frozen yogurt shop in town. She struggled at first too but has really begun to see her business take off the last couple of months (winter nonetheless!) and I think she is going to make it. She has the new stress of owning her own business, hiring high school kids who don't show up, broken equipment, etc. but she is doing well, has less frustration in life and has lost weight. She did it. My point, it's not easy to make a big career move. And, if you are only looking to make a lateral move (from one sinking ship to another) than it becomes even harder. But, if you want it bad enough, and are willing to risk taking the chance, whether its selling homes or ice cream cones, you can make it work for you. You just have to want it bad enough. Full disclosure: I miss being a journalist. It was a fun and rewarding job. There is nothing like it in the world. But, the benefits of my current path (although not as much "fun" as newspapering) far outweigh what I left behind. Good luck everyone!
10:32 -- USA Today did an interesting article on the way boards work a few weeks back. It noted that once board pay reaches a certain level (and the pay for all our board members is really good), a member is less likely to rock the boat because they become more interested in keeping the massive salary than in protecting stockholders. I dare say we have that going on at GCI. When you are raking in a quarter of a million dollars for an extremely part-time job, it takes a special person to start a fight that could bring an end to that paycheck. Just one more problem with the corporate culture that we have allowed to go haywire in America.
12:45 -- Good inspirational story. It helps to hear things like this now and then. Thanks for sharing!
Does Weschester still have a newspaper? I could not find a copy at New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal.
NYTimes reporting GE will pay NO TAXES this year.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/economy/25tax.html?_r=3&ref=business
I can't believe all this fuss about pay, here at the Arizona Republic we have part time employees making $40,000 a year so its no biggie on these furlough days and weeks. We LOVE the announcement and are hoping and praying for one every quarter.
Westchester commuters arrive at Harlem or Grand Central via Metro-North, so that's where you're more likely to find The Journal News.
2:44Go to Westchester Airport and try to find one that's not hidden.
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20110322/GPG03/103220569/1225/gpg02/Appleton-native-named-Gannett-Wisconsin-Media-advertising-VP?odyssey=nav%7CheadI believe as part of this announcement, one of the Sales management folks at The Post-Crescent was tossed overboard.
Not only has the Westchester group gone bad, but the Poughkeepsie Journal is barely breathing. Used to be a fine paper across all departments. Often jerky or nasty people in the publisher and top editor seats over the decades, but a good staff. Now it's all gone to hell. The affluent and smart audience all along the Hudson is dumping Gannett in droves for the NYT and WSJ.
Here's another announcement that came out this week in Wisconsin. Still rearranging the deck chairs, I see.http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20110323/GPG03/103230659/John-Rowe-join-Press-Gazette-advertising-director?odyssey=nav%7Chead
2:44 is full of sh--. I know of no part-timer making $40,000 a year. And no one I talk to -- and I talk to a lot of people -- is praying for furlough every quarter.
I wonder what sort of pay is given to Kate Marymont, the vice president of news for the community newspapers?
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Ahhh, Time Warner -- whose celebrated CEO Steve Ross made $78 million in 1991 while laying off 600 employees. He would be dead of cancer within two years yet his legacy of corporate greed is continued among the Fortune 500 to this day.For the record Time Warner Cable was spun off from Time Warner last year and is now a separate company.
2:44 is full of sh--. I know of no part-timer making $40,000 a year. And no one I talk to -- and I talk to a lot of people -- is praying for furlough every quarter.3/25/2011 5:59 PMCheck the advertising department, with hourly plus commission there were a few people
I'd like to see a thread here regarding the COBRA insurance and the result of Gannett's machinations in the that regard. Not only is the Transitional Pay program questionable for legality while another notion was published in an employee handbook and never revised (admittedly not a contract,yet a published premise under which one assumed to have worked for years), but the complete lack of coordination of transitioning laid-off loyal employees into COBRA, some dropping off the scope. Like me.My doctor's office just called and said my insurance was "termed" in January, and I've paid COBRA every single month. That's what's waiting for folks still on board with this shitty example of a company.I am mulling over pursuing a class action. Risky, since there's no "contract" per se for the worker bees. But printed material is still something. And so are e-mails not signed as having been read.I had no time to read anything from corporate, let alone sign receipt for it was not asked; I was scrambling to break my back for Gannett.This, all of this, isn't right. In the least.Some line, somewhere, will be drawn.
Now here comes the upbraiding. You had no time? What? Nope. No time. No staff. No Nothing. Get it?
What mistakes have been spotted in your paper as of late that are likely a result of furloughs and newsrooms being squeezed too tight?Recently I saw an article on the front of a section and the same story - word for word on page 2. OOOPS!
Why is there always so much Westchester bashing here? Makes me wonder if it has something to do with the competition in that market. It's cut-throat there. Why would anyone think they'd find that paper at the Port Authority Bus Terminal? That makes no sense.
ANONYMOUS SAID...WESTCHESTER SITE 90 NIGHT DIVERS GONE AS MARCH 27 2011 OUTSOURCEING WORK TO UNKNOWN GROUPS MORE COMING.
Hold on to your hats advertising kids. If you thought it couldn't get any worse. It's about to. Corporate is about to roll out a new sales structure and commision plan.I like to refer to it as a "Third World Class Sales Force".Your goals are about to go through the roof (and that's saying something), and your payouts will be minimal.The intended effect is not revenue increase. It's to get you all to leave so you can be replaced with younger cheaper recent college grads.Because the S*^t sells itself right? Everyone NEEDS to be in the paper, and there isn't any administrative work to do at all!Morons.
Anonyous said... MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT COMING SOON TONY SIMMONS WILL BE TAP TO BECOME NEW PRESIDENT AND PUBILHER TO LEAD AILING WESTCHESTER SITE.
9:49, do you have details? Will this rollout be company wide or only some sites? We've heard some buzz about World Class Sales Organization but it all sounds like B.S. - World class organizations treat their employees AND customers world class. Seems to me like staff is treated 3rd rate and customers are lucky to get half way decent service between furloughs, minimal support staff and reps running a million miles an hour trying to make goal to remain off of PIP's and stay employees in an awful economy.
Last i checked advertising was compensated quite competively with base pay. Bonus plan doesn't need to be great with high base. Another area higher ups lack common sense. Great sales reps love to sell an be rewarded for doing so. Commission potential should be HIGH and base low to get the most out of reps that are there to sell. Duh.
Last i checked advertising was compensated quite competively with base pay. Bonus plan doesn't need to be great with high base. Another area higher ups lack common sense. Great sales reps love to sell an be rewarded for doing so. Commission potential should be HIGH and base low to get the most out of reps that are there to sell. Duh.3/25/2011 10:18 PMThat won't work because there is NOTHING TO SELL and what they have NOBODY IS BUYING!!
Poughkeepsie planning to put bigger, 2 x ads on page one. It replaces thin strip at the bottom. Another sign of economic deterioration that they need to do this. Sickening.
Such a good point 9:37. Westchester rejects come back with their vitriol time and again here on his site. Meanwhile despite the rumors we are adding more resources and will be a lean, mean news gathering machine for years to come!
I see that the CEO of ING Bank decided to give his $1.78 million bonus back and urged other managers to do likewise. Seems the news of those payouts produced a public outcry and pissed off customers, who said they'd boycott.The CEO said ING underestimated the possible negative reaction the news might produce.At least he has ears. He's not just a suit. He can change his mind.No, no, I don't expect anybody at GCI's penthouse to listen or respond to protests. So far, the outcry from the trenches has been little more than muffled screams.But it sure would be nice to hear something from you "leaders" - all of you, any of you - Craig Dubow, Gracia Martore, Karen Hastie Williams, Donna Shalala, Duncan McFarland, Arthur Harper, John Louis, Marjorie Magner, Neal Shapiro, Howard Elias, Scott McCune.Do you have anything to say to us besides that blather about shared sacrifice and how much you appreciate your hard-working, committed employees, blah, blah, blah.You cut the pay of the little guys, work 'em all harder, cut the jobs of some of them, and double the pay of your pals around the mahogany table?I feel sorry for you if you don't get why your decisions are cruel. Someday the light will shine for you. I feel even sorrier for you when that happens.I hope your grandchildren never find out.
ING has to respond to the public, in that case, the Dutch public, which doesn't like giving money for nothing. On this side of the lake, we have a different idea, and that these bonuses and extravagant paychecks are the end product of the American Dream. I happen not to think this is so, and that the American Dream is a Madison Avenue concept and myth. But we have to live with this until companies like Gannett collapse under the weight of the overhead.
"I'd like to see a thread here regarding the COBRA insurance and the result of Gannett's machinations ..."I wouldn't. People here never understand how benefits work -- especially COBRA. I remember a discussion here a couple years ago before Jim got stressed and quit the blog. Many people did not understand the difference between not having health benefits and having COBRA. In their mind, if they had to pay for the benefits, then they didn't have them.It was very sad, and it shed a lot of light on the type of people who were being laid off by Gannett. If they couldn't understand that issue, then hard telling how many other things they were clueless about.Jim doesn't really understand benefits, either, and he was allegedly a business reporter for years.If you do have the thread, it will have to go very slowly, and a lot of people will have to be taken by the hand before they can understand.
9:29 p.m. asked about mistakes in the paper due to furloughs. We've had plenty, including running a story that was on the USA Today page elsewhere in the paper. We've had heds that don't make sense or are misspelled, we've had "photog name" under a cutline on page 1. A cutline said 30 people attended a meeting and right next to it in the story it said 50 people. And the story editing is an embarrassment. And that was just last week.
USA Today also recently ran a story that had run in the paper TWO YEARS earlier.
Which story was that? You know, a sensible person would have included that tiny detail. This way, it seems as if you are lying (which you probably are).You can always spot the liars here because they don't include specifics. Chief among them are the people who fantasize about starting successful businesses, but they never say what they are doing.
3:35. It was a 2008 story about SUV sales declining by auto writer Chris Woodyard.How can you make something like this up? Everyone in Money knew about it. It was the biggest gaffe since we hired CBNC's Maria Bank Skank Bartiromo to do fluff q&a featurettes.
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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