An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
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OMG! Slipped THAT one by!
Jim, this blog can be at risk for defamation. Better warn your commenters on the laws that govern that. If you are sued for defamation as a commenter, your anonymity is no longer protected and will be revealed in court. Also, anonymous commenters on any blog are NOT protected by the first amendment. Just look at what happened to Courtney Love and her twitter suit.I dont say this to threaten. Just the opposite. People need to be aware that defamation is defamation ...no matter where...even on blogs.
@ 3/25/11 9pm Each January, Gannett insurance is "termed." I am still with Gannett and had the same thing happen to me just last week. Turns out I hadn't given my Drs office my new insurance card received after the first of the year. Make sure your Dr is submitting under the correct information.
p p.m.Duh. Really. Didn't know that.I did the same thing with the top who stopped me. Did you know that your license expires and it is no longer good? Darn. With I had read before.
I had just returned from my first-quarter furlough and received my Craig Dubow Paycheck -- it's just like a real paycheck, only half the size -- when I read your story about the obscene salaries and bonuses top Gannetard executives received last year, largely because they downsized so many and furloughed everybody.If there was any question whether these scumbags have any shame, this answers it.Dubow gets $9.4M for running a company into the ground? Astounding.Bob Dickey, who is basically a turd with legs, gets $3.4M for playing golf? Good work if you can get it.Pretty sure we could pay for a round of furloughs just by jettisoning those two useless sacks of excrement.
10:46 "a turd with legs" And we wonder why we are where we are today. With sophisticated, articulate minds like 10:46 we have nothing to worry about. Our futures are safe ad long as our business includes intellects like this. Oh my gosh.
Jim, don't listen to 8:41. The Digital Millineum Copyright Act protects web publishers from libelous statements submitted by users.
Right you are, 11:54 p.m., Westchester is positioning to be one "mean and lean newsgathering machine" - your words - and is gathering the resources to do it.It's going to be doing it with a lot fewer reporters, copy editors, and photographers. It's going to be like a big PATCH site before you know it.
I had just returned from my first-quarter furlough and received my Craig Dubow Paycheck -- it's just like a real paycheck, only half the size -- when I read your story about the obscene salaries and bonuses top Gannetard executives received last year, largely because they downsized so many and furloughed everybody.If there was any question whether these scumbags have any shame, this answers it.Dubow gets $9.4M for running a company into the ground? Astounding.Bob Dickey, who is basically a turd with legs, gets $3.4M for playing golf? Good work if you can get it.Pretty sure we could pay for a round of furloughs just by jettisoning those two useless sacks of excrement.3/26/2011 10:46 AMIt seems on this blog most people are always getting the compensation wrong. First off let me say that Craig Dubow and company are a bunch of tools, however, the pay that is quoted includes stock options which are currently underwater and the way the company is continuing to operate will never come back "above" water. So the pay quoted is roughly 3Xs the amount that it really is. Again, don't get me wrong Dubow and Co. are probably amognst the worst executives in corporate but lets at least get their compensation correct.
2:30 maybe Jim is protected against a law suit due to something a commenter says but 8:41 is right. ..the commenters are NOT protected from defamation. Defamation claims are valid even if you are an anonymous commenter. Look it up. It's becoming a very big area of law now in the blogosphere. And the bigger issue is the anonymous poster no longer remains anonymous. So be careful about defamation. Jim even seems to be more careful by removing comments that appear to defame.
John Paton speaking at the Newspaper Association mtng in Dallas.“stop listening to print people and put the digital people in charge - of everything” #printnogoodatdigital #naamxc11 #jrc
2:30 is another one of the mental midgets who think everything is protected. Read the law, you pinhead.Jim has allowed a lot of negative stuff for far too long. It would be great to see some action taken.
From the Media Law Center in NY here is an article about anonymous blog commenters' law suits on the rise. If you even say "my dentist stinks" you can be sued. http://www.talkleft.com/story/2010/8/23/161436/894
Sooooo, I guess we should have nothing but praise for the selfish pigs in the Crystal Palace executive sty?Let's not say anything negative about folks to borrow $1 billion and watch it go to dust in a matter of months, then need to slash payrolls to compensate for their incompetence.Gee, I wonder who these people might be?
5:39 and your buddies enough with the references to the stock buy back. It's an ignorant comment. No one saw the crash coming. Millions of people lost their homes because they didn't see it coming. Thousands of businesses laid off millions of people. Yet you clowns sit back andmake your ignorant, uninformed sad commentaries. Meanwhile your fearless leader, the alleged former business reporter can't even read a ledger. Just remember the One time he wasn't begging for your money he was being embarrassed by Craig Dubow! Snap! That must still smart!
So, 5:45 p.m., Mr. Dubow never saw it coming, huh? Well then, all's forgiven!But see that the ceiling did fall in, does Dubow, Mortore and the board deserve to be rewarded for their faux pas? Is G A N N E T T justified in larding his pay and pension?I don't believe so.
What papers have sent folks to the NAA Meetings in Dallas? Would be interesting to see the number of Gannett emps who were authorized to attend and do the mental math on cost/expense reimbursements. While some are stuggling to make ends meet with furlough pay and others have been cut altogether, the liquor is flowing and the steak dinners are adding up in Big D.
5:45 When Dubow & Co. were buying back Gannett shares, I was selling mine as fast as Corporate deposited them in my 401(k) account as the company's match.And I wasn't the only one. For Corporate to buy back shares, other people had to be selling them, too.Indeed, I sold the vast majority of my GCI stock in early 2004, when it was trading for nearly $90 a share.
5:45 Not true that no one saw the crash coming. Look back on Noriel Roubini's blog and you will see he clearly forecast it. There were voices, but like the Cassandra, they were not listened to. It is a very old story, and there are lessons in retelling it correctly that we need to know. There are also voices today that are not listened to and some might be right. As for GCI, it was somewhat reckless to buy newspapers as many business experts forecast the Internet would undermine the business model. Corporate saw it differently, and didn't realize the serious threat to its business model represented by the Internet. Corporate also made a basic mistake of not diversifying out of the newspaper industry to protect the company during a rocky period. They could have once done this with all the money they had, and they didn't.
Great hindsight 6:25! Nice speech from an arm chair quarterback. Too bad you didn't send an email to the rest of corporate America.
Wow Jim with all that stock cash it's hard to believe you still have to beg for money!
It wasn't that much, relative to what I need to retire. And it's now in my IRA, waiting for that retirement.
The stock buyback was seen at the time for what it was -- a greedy effort by corporate to increase the value of the stock so their options would be triggered. They stood to pocket millions if it worked. But it didn't work out that way.Stock buybacks only work when companies are debt-free, rolling in cash, and have a solid grip on their markets. This was not true of GCI. I sat through a conference in 2003 when an analyst urged publishers to scrap their presses and get on the Internet before it was too late. There were many I remember in his audience who snickered at his suggestions, but what is happening is showing he was right.
6:33 Some in the newspaper business got it. Look at Scripps. They diversified in the 1980s with cable TV, and then sold that off to Comcast. They then used that money to launch Home and Garden TV, the Food Channel, and other category TV channels. Now they have split that off into a separate company, leaving the remnants of the newspapers as sort of legacy trophies. The owners don't mind the poor showing of the newspapers because they are living off the profits of Comcast and Scripps Networks.
Gannett apparently has more than 300 at NAA, many getting there on the corporate jets. It's amazing the gall of these people
Anonymous said...westchester and rockland and putnam. tony simmons will name new pubilher and president of trouble site groom and ready.
7:46 must be some big jet! Tell us how you cane up with 300? Are you there? Of course not much easier to just make it up.
So 6:47 Scripts is your idea if a company they got it? Ah your example is from 31 freaking years ago when Gannett was and continues to kick their ass. You've got to do better than that!
So here is my question: there are some real unhappy folks here who appear to post with regular frequency. All managers, directors, VPs and up are stupid, greedy and have no idea what they are doing. Ok message received. So WHY are you still working fir Gannett? Please don't tell me hiw much you love journalism. You can do that anywhere. WHY are you still here? You have a crap attitude and quite frankly I can't stand working next to you. I love it here. I love my job and my boss is great. So do us all a favor and rake your hate everyone oh poor me attitude and go get another job with a company that will "appreciate" your watch the clock, I better get mine, attitude. I can't wait til Monday!!!!!
I too sold my Gannett shares when they were in the $90 plus range. I had no crystal ball, but I knew two things for sure: I was unloading with a nice profit, and Gannett was a company on the skids.The latter was obvious by the executive ranks. Ass kissing and yes men/women became the emerging corporate culture.
8:17 While many, if not most, of the readers on here are frustrated with upper management -- particularly the benefit packages and disastrous stock buy-back -- many of us also still believe in the core journalistic mission of the company. Regime change is all that's needed. Not at the local level; at the top.
10:20 thank you . I do like my job.
We are not alone.Washington Post Publisher Gets $500K Bonus As #WaPo Stock Slides
Did Dubow buy his vacation-retirement home in Cashiers on a toxic waste dump? Look at the ratings on this blog, and Dubow's property in Cashiers, N.C., gets the highest rating of any of the homes listed:http://www.hot-people.info/Cashiers_NC_Jack--Drummond_J-Fields_6164.html
Jim is moving up on the two-year anniversary of his futile battle with the microphone at the shareholders meeting.Someone should make a children's book out of that escapade. The illustrations alone would be priceless.
Sunday comic: A lean, mean newsroom for the new millennium http://ow.ly/4nc5y
Four jets, took 40, the rest flew commercial.
In today's Sunday Arizona Republic, among the many internal ads was one announcing the newspaper's Customer Service was returning to Phoenix. Finally the odd "Center For Excellence" experiment that cost many employees their jobs and cost Gannett a pile of money is being reversed. Did any corporate people lose their jobs over what cost the newspaper subscribers and I'm guessing many millions of dollars? I know of one person spearheading the mess who's been promoted to Publisher in Indianapolis.
Buying shares back is a lousy strategy unless thee stock price is depressed. It is not the best use of co. Cash unless you want to artificially inflate earnings.
10:20 Get real. The board will never NEVER fire Dubow, Martore, or any of the other top executives. The only way a board ever does this is if the board member in question is if:• The subject of a major scandal (See NPR's Vivian Schillar, who, incidentally, would make a great Dubow replacement)• There's some kind of public outcry (See Tony Hayward at BP)• The Board's compensation is directly and exclusively tied to stock performance -- i.e. they're paid in stock (which is not the case at Gannett)If you're interested in more about why the 11th Floor has nothing to worry about, check out this paper by a Wharton finance prof: "Why CEOs are Rarely Fired" - http://www.afajof.org/afa/forthcoming/6426.pdf
8:17, I no longer work for Gannett. I was one of the thousands laid off.It took me over a year to find a new job. True, part of that was due to the economy. But part of that was the skills that I had acquired at Gannett were obsolete. The paper I was at was still using Quark, when everyone else has switched to InDesign. In other words, I was behind the 8-Ball compared to other candidates for the mere reason that I had worked at Gannett. And please don't say that I should have been taking classes in my spare time when I was working for Gannett. What spare time? That's not to say my year-plus of unemployment was 100 percent horrible. I got to do plenty of things with my family that I had not been able to do when I was working. I actually got to spend weekends and holidays doing fun things, rather than slaving away at my paper.And now I'm at a new position, where I have hope that I'll be able to make a living for longer than the next fiscal quarter. And the sad thing was, for the first 2/3 of my time there, I enjoyed working for my Gannett paper, despite the sacrifices. Yet, things went from good, to OK, to bad, to worse, while corporate just kept collecting higher salaries while telling us to be happy with 1 percent raises that didn't cover the health insurance increases. But at least, I felt that I was doing good journalism, in spite of the constant new initiatives pushed by corporate that was forgotten about 6 months later.But then I saw colleagues laid off. Good, hardworking people who had won awards for their work, who were respected in the community, who had been there for twice as long as me. And for what? So the profit margins could stay at 23 percent while corporate continued to slash and burn, while floating some latest initiatve, and while the stock price continued to crash.Then I became one of the layoff victims. And strange as it may sound, I almost felt relieved.But at the same time, I'm still angry at Gannett, and its top brass, for putting me in the position that no matter how well I did in my job, I was going to get laid off so Dubow could collect a a bigger bonus. There is a right way, and a wrong way to run a business. The right way is to make a profit, build the business for the future, and to be fair to its employees. Gannett only chooses to do the first thing. And that's why we're all angry on here.
Nice post, 2:09, but one nit here:While I've been on the opposite side of the management toadies, can we once and for all stop attempting to equate newspaper awards with performance value? Especially in editorial. Geesh. Given the wealth of editorial awards that exist out there, it's really difficult to navigate a career WITHOUT winning at least a handful. Maybe this stuff meant something in high school, y'know? But in the real world, journalism awards about to minor resume polish. It means nothing -- zero -- with respect to your day-to-day value to a company.
Just an FYI: At my Gannett paper, the daily poll asked if people would pay for access to a news Web site. The results: yes, 1.6 percent; no, 89.3 percent; and maybe, 9.1 percent. Interpret that as you will.
8:17 PM First, remember that not EVERYONE on this blog is from News. There are lots of current and former employees, including managers and VPs from Advertising, Marketing, Circulation, Production, Finance, IT and HR. I am one of them.Second, I was NOT unhappy with my job and I loved my manager too. I LOVED my job. And I was most certainly NOT a clock watcher. Dedicated and loyal to the max. Kept up with and embraced technology.Third, I was still laid off and you could be too. Nothing is guaranteed. Will you be happy when you are laid off? It is wonderful you love your job and manager. Granted, anyone who doesn't should look for another job. But that doesn't mean that people who are unhappy shouldn't have an outlet for their complaints. Hopefully they'll get it out of their systems and move on because that isn't good for anyone long term. Have a happy Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hear they are going to bring Gary Sherlock out of retirement to run Westchester again. That will hasten the end...
4;52 you are absolutely right. I apologize.
Right place, 6:49, it's not Sherlock but Bob Collins.
Referring to 10:43 a.m., saying that Centers of Excellence are being reversed. Does anyone know if that's true company-wide?
@3:55- who would answer they WANTED to pay for something? That's the stupidest poll i've ever seen.
3:55 PM – The info you shared is more proof why Gannett should bundle print and online subscriptions/access. It gives print subscribers added value helping to retain them as well as assigns a value to internet content that they see as having zero value now. Why? Because they’ve received it for free for far too long. The greater depth of content provided to “subscribers” (especially unique, local content) over non-subscribers, the better.
i just want second-quarter furloughs announced BEFORE two weeks of the quarter is over ...
It would be amazing if 300 people actually paid to go to NAA mediaXchange 2011. Like most industry organizations, it has laid off about 80 percent of its staff in the last three years. They still charge expensive dues to the handful of newspaper companies left.
Someone said regime change.How does one set that in motion?Angry emails?A march?An onsite strike? go to work but do nothing.How?
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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