An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
This is a big news day. In addition to Gannett's first-quarter earnings report, Columbia University is set to announce this year's Pulitzer Prizes at 3 p.m. ET.
Start cleaning out your desks.Put your planning files in your vehicleand be ready to now use them.This may be your last week of stressing out over being employed by Gannett.If your Plan B is a good one be prepared to live a good life,one that doesn't include being treated like a commodity that is used and abused.Working for Gannett is like having an abusive marriage,once you are in it you just live it,no matter how bad things get.Maybe this is your lucky week and Gannett will push you out,something you haven't have the ....to do on your own.
Just a few minutes and counting until they release how bad it is.The fate of employment status is upon us once again for upteenth time in 3 years.What a damned way to live .
AND HERE YA GO....Total revenue from the company's publishing operations dropped 6.2% to $929.8 million from $991.5 million in the same quarter last year on softer ad demand. Advertising revenue dropped 7.3% to $601.7 million from $649.3 million."Our publishing segment results for the quarter reflect the current state of the domestic economy with strength in the auto and employment sectors," Dubow said. Management vowed to continue its efforts to lower expenses to increase efficiencies, "particularly in the publishing segment," Dubow added.and if you were wondering, YES - there will be more layoffs and YES - there will be more furloughs.
It's currently down 2% and they are still blaming the economy for their situation and that the Olympics and political ads are not around; blah, blah, blah. Hello....it's like they are saying normal advertising is when the Olympics and political races are going on and when that isn't around well it's not their fault the revenue is down. What a laughable organization, you can't even take them seriously!!!
9:49...revenue is down because they don't publish anything close to the newspaper they once produced. People with any kind of throw away money are not purchasing a newspaper because they don't consider it a good value. here in Brevard the Monday and Tuesday editions in particular are not much thicker than school flyers one puts in car windshields in parking lots. The rest of the week isn't much better and there are complaints of seeing more USA Today content in it prompting one customer to exclaim "If I wanted to buy the USA Today I would". Not to mention a single copy operations manager sticking his face in the carrier's business (where it doesn't belong as they are independent contractors) upsetting good relations and trustwortiness they have with their stores.The worse thing this, and I believe most, newspapers did was raise prices AND reduce content at the same time. That chased a lot of readers away and they are not going online instead.I believe newspapers will always have a place and a good market share, regardless of what's online. The biggest problem with newspapers are the newspapers themselves.
Based on the financial results I guess it's a safe bet that there will be a fairly large round of layoffs coming in the next quarter. The questions are how many? and how will they be handled? Of course much of this could be avoided if Martore, Dubow et al voluntarily gave back some of their ludicrous compensation packages and turned down future bonuses. I have no real expectation that they will give back any of their package, I'm just sayin...
10:13am said... "The worse thing... newspapers did was raise prices AND reduce content at the same time."Couldn't help but reflect what another corporation (Cox Communications) was doing to me a couple years ago... And it sounds so much like what Gannett has done. Had my cable bill raised twice within a years time; got glowingly wonderful fliers in the mail telling me that I was getting new digital channels (not in my area), upgraded optics (not in my area), and a HD picture (not with my package.) Called them and asked them when I was going to receive all that. At least the representative was honest and told me that it was a "nice" way of saying your rates are going up. OK, I said. I put up an antenna. Remember those? I now have an HD signal which is something Cox wasn't affording me. My point here is, Gannett realizes the world is changing but their mindset is still that they're the only game in town. I was perfectly happy with Cox Cable until their rates went up and their quality did not. Gannett raises their rates, cuts quality and quantity... What do they expect subscribers will do?
Someone mentioned Metromix on this blog the other day. What is the status of that whole concept? Has Metromix entered the Zombie Zone: still walking but already dead?It has shut down in Baltimore, Los Angeles, Orlando, Hampton Roads, Lehigh Valley, South Florida and Hartford. It has devolved into a truncated, largely content-free listings page in the following markets: http://albuquerque.metromix.com/http://austin.metromix.com/http://birmingham.metromix.com/http://boston.metromix.com/http://charlotte.metromix.com/http://columbus.metromix.com/http://dallas.metromix.com/http://grandrapids.metromix.com/http://greensboro.metromix.com/http://harrisburg.metromix.com/http://honolulu.metromix.com/http://houston.metromix.com/http://jacksonville.metromix.com/http://kansascity.metromix.com/http://lasvegas.metromix.com/http://memphis.metromix.com/http://miami.metromix.com/http://milwaukee.metromix.com/http://neworleans.metromix.com/http://oklahomacity.metromix.com/http://philadelphia.metromix.com/http://pittsburgh.metromix.com/http://portland.metromix.com/http://raleigh.metromix.com/http://sacramento.metromix.com/http://saltlakecity.metromix.com/http://sanantonio.metromix.com/http://sandiego.metromix.com/http://sanfrancisco.metromix.com/http://seattle.metromix.com/
Wow, corporate hired the new CDO just a few weeks ago, and digital revenue is soaring. This guy is golden. Unbelievable performance.
12:31 is being facetious. (I hope.)
Let the bloodletting begin. Start at the top and shed the excess b.s.
What does My Boss have to say?
The stock market is having a bad day after U.S. debt was downgraded. But GCI is doing fine and improving. I really do not understand this. My impression is that this was a very bad quarterly result across all categories, with an overall y.o.y decline in revenue in spite of (because of, I contend) all the layoffs/furloughs/cost cutting. Yet the market is carrying the stock higher. Go figure. I guess it is the suggestion that digital strategy seems to be working from this report. Anyone any suggestions?
1:20 I'm equally puzzled by Wall Street's reaction. Perhaps investors were braced for even worse?
Senior execs had to approve the launch of Deal Chicken to have any proactive measure to report for the Q1. Same thing happened with Yahoo deal. No vision, just desperation resulting in approval of anything that might divert attention from results.
"We probably aren't going to be giving out numbers because they really don't reflect the totality of platforms. Not just a print product. Combination of print, web, mobile, iPad -- a lot of different devices."Wow. When bean counters don't want to give numbers they must be low.
1:20 and 1:27 I think it is because they telegraphed this report, and the market already discounted the stock. When the report came in line with what they were told it would be, then it wasn't really bad news. I don't pay much attention to hour-to-hour or day-to-day trading, because I don't have the money to play those games. But I do note that GCI is falling below its 200-day average, which is often an indicator of declines in the price ahead.
Our future is in the hands of a chicken.
As a stock, GCI's price/earnings ratio is better than most. Thanks to all those furloughs.
Anonymous said...Our future is in the hands of a chicken.4/18/2011 1:53 PMThat explains all the chicken sh!t coming out of Corporate.
All you you making fun of the name Deal Chicken would have made fun of the names Yahoo, Google, Yelp, ....... The truth is Deal Chicken is exceeding everyones expectations in Phoenix. Gannett is doing the right thing to leverage something that has been successful elsewhere.
2:12 thanks, Craig appreciate your insight. By the way can I borrow a few bucks?
Making fun of Deal Chicken???? Fie.
can't wait looking forward to furlough and layoffs coming!!!!
All you you making fun of the name Deal Chicken would have made fun of the names Yahoo, Google, Yelp, ....... The truth is Deal Chicken is exceeding everyones expectations in Phoenix. Gannett is doing the right thing to leverage something that has been successful elsewhere.4/18/2011 2:12 PMOk....blah, blah, blah... The deals on Deal Chicken are actually good, but the problem is that it is a CHEAP knock off of Groupon and Buy With Me. Deal Chicken isn't actually making ANY money for Gannett, while Groupon and Buy With Me actually have ads on their sites like Google, Facebook, etc. do. Again it's trying to get on the ship when it has already left port.
I don't think anyone is making fun of Deal Chicken. I think they're making fun of the executive floor in the Crystal Palace that is piece by piece destroying the company while they line their pockets.
My bad, I thought it was Dead Chicken.
3:35 -- I agree that Gannett is late to the party, but there's no reason an organization as big as Gannett can't be late to the party and still make money with the idea. By using its media outlets, Gannett should be able to make people aware that Deal Chicken exists. From there, it has to win people over on merit. Where Gannett typically fails is that it tries to mimic good ideas on the cheap, presenting knock offs that are nowhere near as good as the original concept. You don't have to be first with an idea. MySpace was popular before Facebook took off, but Facebook added a lot of things that made it better than MySpace, so it's now dominant. I don't have faith that Gannett can be the best at this coupon thing, but if we had better leadership the possibility would exist. The problem with Deal Chicken is not that it's a copy of Groupon. The problem is that it's being run by Gannett.
The president of the University of Nevada, Reno, had the poor taste to die Saturday night. Since there is no staff left to cover the weekend, print readers had to wait until Monday. Way to go, Reno.
We are grabbing at fads with this chicken thingy, and we are much, much too late. By the time they do the consumer surveys, check with corporate, assemble the staff and make the sites, the fad is dying. Wait and see what happens. Yes, I can see how Deal Chicken might be making money in Pheonix, but there are a proliferation of these deal sites now that Groupon has established the fad. GCI-owneed Clipper Magazine has already been running one of these sites that hasn't got much attention, but it looks to me that it is flagging. It's like the auction sites: they look like great deals until you realize you are buying a ticket to a restaurant you would never otherwise go to, or a service you have previously had no interest in. After one experience, you look at the bill, and there is a decline in repeating the experience.
Newspapers starting coupon sites makes all the sense in the world...they already have relationships with local businesses. Why would any of these newspapers BUY a groupon -like company when they can create their own far cheaper. Maybe a little late but it can work.And stock is up today. Go figure. Gannett was first to report Q1. Jim, when do other newspapers report?
If we are going to jump into these Internet enterprises, we have to devise a way of doing it early. We do have some heft with all the Web sites that we could have an impact. Waiting 12-18 months after Groupon made its impact for our response is much too long. Someone in the Crystal Palace is sleeping on their job.
If Deal Chicken is making money in Phoenix it won't be after corporate gets it's hands on it. They kill any good idea that they get their hands on. I can't think of a single successful product they have developed. Any product they have taken over (Moms, Metromix, etc.) has died a slow death. Looks like the chicken is not long for this world.
Re: 4:31 p.m.:McClatchy skedded for Tuesday, April 26.
>> Looks like the chicken is not long for this world.4/18/2011 5:12 PMIs someone going to choke the chicken?
It all seems like diversions to me.Trying to take the focus off of the upcoming layoffs.I didn't hear one comment or question regarding the fact that Gannett always follows down revenue reports with megga layoffs forecasts.
Anybody worked recently for Lee Enterprises (newspapers)? Wondering what their company culture is like. I can't find much dirt on them, and they don't seem to be as cutthroat-minded as Gannett.
We just felt a small-seeming but sharp earthquake here in San Francisco.
Why is Gannett putting money into the "start-up" Deal Chicken - we all ready own the online coupon company Double Take deals dot com???
Lee? You gotta be kidding. Not cuthroat? Wow, ask anyone at the St. Post Dispatch, although I doubt there is anyone left to answer a phone. They are reporting a revenue decline of 3.5 percent to 4 percent for Q1, which is less than GCI. But they are loaded down with $1 billion in debt, which they are scrambling to renegotiate because it expires next April.
Lee seems great. Someone form our paper just left to go work for them. They seem happy so far.
Just an FYI No layoffs that I'm aware of. No furloughs either.
Let's discuss these quiet furloughs. Look at how many people of color are taking them or not taking them and they are doing the same jobs as others. By my calculations, we lag behind in salary by the 10's of 1000's. We're doing the same jobs - most of us better. An eyeopener and something to keep in the files---just in case.
8:41 Very interesting.
8:41. Oh please. There are plenty of qualified white males who have been routinely passed over promotion because this company is committed to promoting minorities. And you want to play the race card? If you think you are doing the job better and arent making enough pay to be furloughed, then make a legal case of it.
Really. At my paper, we have a diversity editor who looks at color before competency. Shouldn't the playing field be equal? I mean come on already.
funny how how industry keeps cutting positions.....positions that generate revenue and then when revenue is down Craig and company scratch thier heads wondering why revnue is down.....so lets cut more revenue genertaing positions that way we will have less expenses to offset the revenue shprtfalls. So my question to the newspaper industry is "How is that working for you"?The economy is coming back, my other srtocks are rising, MY IRA is increasing.WE need to re-invest in our business, How can we with straight faces expect advertisers in invest in our products wehn we have no faith in them?Gannett, McClatchy, Media News, etc..GREAT JOB< you folks are frigging geniouses
Why do you think they aren't using some other judgements in making furlough decisions? They did that when they decided to dump the middle-aged during the layoffs, and they are now defending their actions before the EEOC in one case that I know. Others here have detailed what they feel were discriminatory actions, and have been told to take the case to the EEOC or lawyers. I wouldn't put anything past this management and if someone feels they have a case, then taking it the EEOC or a lawyer is the proper course.
Ad executives were told today at our site, in so many words, that if they don't like it at Gannett, they can leave and that they would hire someone else to replace them. Now that's a real morale booster!
The touchy feely we're all in this together attitude is similar at usa today. Where would these tools be working if not for gannett?
Here's an interesting read on newspaper companies who have filed bankruptcy and reorganized. I guess that will be Gannett's next move??? Can't you feel the crushing weight of the debt burden on this company?http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/newspaper_turnaround_stories.php
"Management vowed to continue its efforts to lower expenses to increase efficiencies, "particularly in the publishing segment," Dubow added." I know five places they could get BIG Cinco De Mayo savings, cutting all bonuses and raises for five failures until they start thinking long term and come up with a decent business plan for the 21st century, now in its second decade. There is an opportunity to get rid of 5 of the most inefficient workers in Gannett and save a pantload of cash. Do IT! I, for one, can't wait for the economy to recover so the beleaguered, over worked SEVERELY underpaid front line workers in all departments can get that better job and tell them farewell. Booking the lifeboat now....
It's more of an "AGE" thing rather than a "color" thing, which I find very hypocritical in that.... a company lays off most of their aging workers then one of the "Shirts" quickly makes a date with Miss Clairol so that they can try and change their appearance to "look younger so as to fit in!" SMH
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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