Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 18-24 | Your News & Comments: Part 3

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57 comments:

  1. For Part 2 of this comment thread, please go here.

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  2. Let's start the conversation about coupons
    again.What a joke.
    The real and only problem/issue is the upcoming
    layoffs ,EVERYTHING ELSE is trivial nonsense.
    Wake up !!!!

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  3. You don't
    need to insert carriage returns
    when the space runs out on the
    line you are typing.
    Makes it hard(er) to
    follow your thoughts.

    Just put a return at the end of paragraphs. The internet doesn't have a bell for when you only have three characters left.

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  4. Well Gannett is so cheapskate and can't afford to get raises and taking someone's furlough money!!!!

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  5. Re Harry Blauvelt's death on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge: I was crossing the bridge as they were cleaning up the accident. Not only was Blauvelt killed, but just as I was crossing some guy stopped his car and jumped. He died. A few hours later, someone else jumped. That one was fished out alive, but critically injured.
    That was one weird friggin' day on the bay.

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

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  7. Top 32 Gannett newspapers raising single copy rates June 1st, to $1.oo daily and $1.75 Sunday in their non NDM markets. Let's see, economy sucks, unemployment still high, competition in those areas selling their product at half what Gannett wants to charge. It looks like they are wanting to board up the doors and windows and just close her down!

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  8. Re Harry Blauvelt's death on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge: I was crossing the bridge as they were cleaning up the accident. Not only was Blauvelt killed, but just as I was crossing some guy stopped his car and jumped. He died. A few hours later, someone else jumped. That one was fished out alive, but critically injured.
    That was one weird friggin' day on the bay.
    4/20/2011 11:00 AM

    ...and they another guy pulled up and he sprouted wings and flew away.... stop the BS already, there was only one accident that day.

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  9. 11:19 am
    http://bit.ly/dVxyiB

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  10. I just read the story on mddailynews.com, and these are the last two lines.

    Blauvelt was pulled from the water and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

    Emergency workers were called out twice more Monday to rescue men who jumped from the bridge. One of those men died.

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

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  12. Please watch your language: Blauvelt's family may be reading this thread.

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

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  14. What's going on with LEE.
    It's getting crushed.
    Down over 15%, on no news.

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  15. What's going on with LEE.
    It's getting crushed.
    Down over 15%, on no news.
    4/20/2011 2:49 PM

    Nice, watch the 50-day moving average and if the stock starts moving back up and crosses make a big buy.

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  16. From the chart, looks like it's been moving down since the warrants news on the 11th. Just not at such a precipitous pace until today.

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

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  18. 2:49, you are a miserable excuse for a human being. And if you're trolling for CD, well, then it all makes sense.

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

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  20. 2:49, you are a miserable excuse for a human being. And if you're trolling for CD, well, then it all makes sense.
    4/20/2011 3:46 PM

    LOL... luv it!!! and trolling for CD? what does that mean?

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  21. CD is CEO Craig Dubow.

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  22. 2:49 here-
    Hey 3:46, TAKE YOUR MEDS.
    NOW.

    What has a falling stock price on LEE got to do with being a troll for Duhbow?
    I'm a stock trader, and LEE is looking pretty interesting at this level.

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  23. Is there any word about layoffs ??
    The end of the week after a bad financial report is the normal procedure for layoff announcements.
    Will Gannett try to fly under the radar with this round once again and not have formal across the board layoffs and make these site by site to
    try to ensure no negative publicity?
    There have been layoffs with each of the last
    reports which have not been nearly as bad as this report.

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  24. This Friday looks to be the day. But for what?

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  25. Gannett, Lee and Journal Register are all awful to work for.

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  26. Jim,

    Perhaps this question has been answered again and again. Anyway, have all the USAT photographers taken a buy-out? Took a brief look at today's edition. Don't believe I saw a staff photo. Plenty of agency and wire service shots. As well as a special or two.

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

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  28. 7:45pm: No.

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  29. sick days May 2 and 3. who's in? I know it will be a drop in the bucket, but don't you think we need to do something?

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  30. 7:45: Buy outs? What planet have you been furloughing on? There haven't been buyouts since Jim left!!

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

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  32. Another Thursday ,after quarter financials
    have been given.Another week of layoff worries,
    stress and overworked conditions, just get it over with all ready .Make the drastic cuts for the year right now and end the speculation that each quarter brings.We could then have at least some relief,even if short termed.Is that what everyone would like to know.Employed or unemployed,let everyone know.Then they can concentrate on the current job or focus on getting a new job.This seems like an obvious better plan than the constant stress of not knowing.

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  33. That would go against the strategy of making employees compliant and subservient to bosses. Fear. Gannett's way of managing its workers. Im sure it/will be a new award category at corporate next year.

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  34. The Craig Dubow Strategery Award!

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  35. Maybe Dubow or Martore could fund The G A N N E T T School of Management at their alma maters.

    Among the classes could be FEAR 101, GREED 202, SMOKE AND MIRRRORS 201, and PROFIT FROM LAYOFFS 202.

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  36. 10:03 -- Believe me, I completely understand your worry, but at some point Gannett employees need to take control of their own situations. I don't advocate simply leaving, as some people suggest. That's unrealistic in most situations.

    You do, however, have to be as prepared as possible for a layoff. I'm looking at it almost as a foregone conclusion. Because I have resigned myself to the fact that I no longer have a career with Gannett, it eliminates some of the stress. I'm not leaving my job because the pay and benefits package I have now is better than anything else I've been offered in this dismal economy. But if I'm canned tomorrow, I won't be surprised, and I think I'll be only mildly disappointed.

    I am building up a freelance business and training in new areas that should help me land another job when the eventual happens. It may not pay as well as what I have now, but it may. I feel like I have options.

    The best advice seems to be: Don't worry, prepare.

    Even if Gannett were to execute a mass layoff this week and you were spared it wouldn't really allow you to concentrate on your job, would it? We've been having layoffs every three or four months for several years now. I have survived numerous layoffs but don't feel comfortable about my job.

    In other words, the stress won't go away simply because you do or don't survive another round. Gannett is in full-on cost cutting mode and the company is shrinking at an astounding pace. So, everyone needs to pretend as though they just got laid off, even if they haven't. Cut expenses where you can. Look for other opportunities. Enjoy life outside of work.

    I know other people have said this same thing, and I don't want to sound preachy, but it doesn't seem like the message is getting through. If you are still employed with Gannett and pulling down a decent paycheck you are in a better financial place than you would be if you got laid off. But you can't be complacent and feel like everything is in the master's hands. There are things you can do to make the transition easier if (more likely when) it comes.

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  37. The NYT says it got 100,000 subscribers after imposing a pay wall. Look at all that new circulation money and ask why Gannett doesn't impose a paywall on all its papers, including USA Today. Why should people get for free what costs someone else a considerable amount of money?

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  38. Take me now Lord, I have seen it all!

    Cherry Hill today devoted its center package to a play on the old chocolate easter bunny cartoon.

    Eat the ears or eat the butt.

    http://webmedia.newseum.org/newseum-multimedia/dfp/jpg21/lg/NJ_CP.jpg

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  39. I wish everyone would read 12:25's post. It is very much on the mark. All of us should operate within that mindset: That the company really doesn't value or want to offer long-term careers; they are very much living and operating in the moment; and they welcome opportunists, journeymen and others who aren't trying to build lives in a particular site or are wedded to the quaint, old philosophies. It's not personal; it's just business. As long as our relationship is mutually beneficial, it will endure.

    No strings attached, no promise of better times. Just here and now with no emotional baggage.

    We are the new version of The Paper Chase: Look to your left and look to your right. One of the people you just saw will likely not be here at the end of the year. We should all prepare accordingly.

    Sadly, you can do everything right, meet every expectation, deliver upon every task handed down from above and still be canned. New Gannett must be smaller than Old Gannett or it will be Dead Gannett.

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  40. 2:50 You are absolutely correct. A lot of us grew up under the old Gannett when there was an incentive of a pension for people to stick around. They were proud of their tradition as a family-oriented concern that offered careers that people stayed in until they retired at 65. Managers cared about what they were doing and how they handled those below them.
    That's all gone now. The pension won't be coming back and we have a barebones 401K program as a substitute. The lifelong career aspects have gone, too. We are widget makers, lowly despicable widget makers at that. Morale issues? Not their problem. It's yours. Don't like it? Leave. Resent their bonuses? Tough. Just man up and take your due.
    Got an idea? They're not interested. They have the playbook and widget makers just follow orders and aren't in the big-thinker club.
    You are just hired for your 8 hours, and if you have problems with that, then use your health plan and see a shrink. They don't have time to listen to you and they are not interested in what you think or say. They don't respect you for what you do because they know they can hire another widget maker just like you tomorrow. They are not the least sorry for pocketing all that bonus money while widget-makers with families struggled to make bills on furlough-reduced salaries. They see those bonuses as their due.
    Don't agree with that. Well, it's just a job.

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  41. 11:18...have a list anywhere? That would just about put another stake through the hearts of my paper. That and the single copy manager treating the carriers like employees and some of them know the difference. They can ill afford it if one of them, especially any who left recently sicked the IRS and DOL after them. This paper sure ain't what it used to be, but then again which one is?

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  42. And then there's this headline on a Wisconsin Gannett paper website...

    "Warm weather means snow will melt soon"

    Thank you, Gannett, for making me smarter with that headline.

    http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage

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  43. As a close friend of the former Ad VP in Louisville, I am compelled to
    shed some light on the environment publisher Arnold Garson has created there.
    He was on a two-year campaign to sabotage the Ad VP and finally succeeding in running her off. How? By removing her from decisions that affected the business and intentionally putting her in a bad light.
    For example: he laid off a key direct report to the ad vp without
    including her in the discussion or decision. He would not allow her to
    hire the retail director she wanted, instead made her hire someone who she subsequently demoted because of poor performance; later agreeing she wasn't the right choice. They went one full year with no digital manager but was expected to exceed a budget that was way more than the previous year, he continuously threaten her with bogus 'write ups' about her personal life. Randi Austin, the HR VP was his partner in crime and corruption. Who better than an HR executive to have as a lap dog? The icing on the cake was Bob Dickey and his favorite, Michelle Kranz when they visited Louisville. The ad vp had a comprehensive presentation prepared to show them how advertising would improve. They never gave her the courtesy of completing the presentation, instead Bob went on the attack and it became clear what their plan was. He was rude and insulting, all the while kissing Arnold's butt, and this happened in front of about 20 people. Bob is far from a class act, and my advice to him is it's time to take a close look at your buddy Arnold and place the blame for Louisville's poor performance in the right place: squarely on Arnold's shoulders. Since the Ad VP's departure, no less than 5 people have resigned, including the top key account rep. What Arnold didn't care enough to realize, is this: he may have run off someone he personally disliked, but in doing so he destroyed the stability of the department and any shred of hope that business would improve. What's left are mediocre managers and reps who have stopped caring because they're scared.
    Arnold, one question: how can you hold a VP responsible for the performance of her department when you don't allow her to make the key decisions, when you sabotage her by alienating customers and never giving her the support she deserves? Your time has passed, retire and give Louisville a chance to succeed.

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  44. 5:11, yeah it seems obvious. But to defend the headline writer that part of Wisconsin did receive 8 to 10 inches of snow on Tuesday, which is unusual for this time of year.
    And no, I am not from Wisconsin

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  45. The Post-Crescent has since changed the headline. ...

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  46. I am from Wisconsin, and the original headline was lame. The snow will melt "soon?" When is that? Maybe the scads of money they pay for web hed training is all for naught?

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  47. Re 5:16
    I hate to tell you, but this scene is repeated over and oever again in Gannett, and was for the entire 16 years I was with them. Saw it happen to some really good AD VP's and then they would hang on to the horrible AD VP's who destroyed the ad dept and ad client relatioships. I've been in the room with that kind of presentation that became a set up with one of Dickey's predecessor's and it was vile and humiliating. At that moment it would have been a relief to get fired, but I think they actually enjoy letting you twist in the wind instead. I hate to paint a broad brush, but I have worked at other public and private newspaper companies, and I have never seen the culture of fear and intimidation that I saw in Gannett senior management and their ability to hire & constantly promote those same types of people in key postions.

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  48. For those who are waiting for a mass layoff is a fool. Gannett has learned that mass layoffs only stirs uncertainty and hatred of Gannett Management Committee. Layoffs have been more strategic and low key and are spread out by site with no formal communication of any kind. This is the method of choice. There will be more layoffs in each department and they will continue each year. The largest will be the consolidation of the presentation desk, Advertising sales restructure and possibly finance and circulation reductions. Every department is back on the table for review and it will be reviewed site by site.

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  49. I agree completely with 6:43!

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  50. Today I kind of questioned a coworker as to where she had been all week. She didn't look at me when she answered so I know she must be in the $80K and above furlough bracket. My site can't afford anymore layoffs - they would probably have to close the doors, so why is this do nothing, butt kisser being paid over $80k is beyond me. A sad realization came over me - I will never be where she is because I do work hard, come in early and stay late. I don't lunch or party with my boss.

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  51. 5:16 p.m., couldn't agree more. Gannett has developed the "club" attitude - either you're in or you are out. And certainly it isn't based on how good you are at your job, but how much you are "liked" and how you look. I have watched this for over 10 years from the trenches and even though I was a "worker bee", some decisions on hiring and firing made me shake my head in disbelieve several times.

    Intimidation and fear tactics were used on an every day basis and with that every thought and idea was killed in an instant.

    I am glad I left and found a new position were this "club attitude" is off the table and employees are judged about their contribution and hard work ethics and not about how they can "kiss" behind or if they reach magazine standards in the look department.

    I completely understand that the heart hangs on the job that you have been doing for a long time, but in the end effect my family and my own well-being was more important than a company that could care less about me (dead or alive).

    After enduring furloughs after furloughs and shortening of my benefits in every way imaginable I found my dream job and for a change my ideas are heard, put to work and I get a PAY that I wouldn't see at Gannett if I stayed 50 years with them.

    If you think this "club" will change you are sorely mistaken. Wicked is too good a word for the leadership at Gannett - evil fits perfectly!

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  52. A sad realization came over me - I will never be where she is because I do work hard, come in early and stay late. I don't lunch or party with my boss.

    4/21/2011 8:21 PM

    Rest my case! You would be surprised at the pay some of these "do nothings" receive at some sites and most disturbing at headquarters. More telling it's not really clear "what" they are doing - that's probably more disturbing.

    Well con-man/or woman is the new way to go at Gannett. On top of the $80,000 they also get a bonus.

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  53. If you are younger than 40 or 45, have talent and you've been with Gannett long enough and have read this blog long enough to know how the corporation treats workers like excess baggage, ask yourself how much more of your life you want to devote to it. It's pretty clear by now that Gannett is in wind-down mode. Oh, it's racking up the profit, mainly by pushing workers off the train. But the company is destined for a breakup. In some instances, the new owners will be grateful for its skilled workers and will reward and praise them. In other instances, they will be no better than Gannett. A smart move would be to devise your escape plan and volunteer for the next layoff. That way you'll get the unemployment benefits and severance pay that you wouldn't get if you quit. Of course, Gannett being the sinister company that it is, you'll need to delay starting that next job. Otherwise, Gannett will cut off your severance pay.

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  54. "A smart move would be to devise your escape plan and volunteer for the next layoff."

    They don't take volunteers.....everyone knows that, positions are eliminated so you are either eliminated or not....you can't volunteer for it!!!!

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  55. They accepted volunteers for the first couple of rounds of layoffs, at least at my Gannett site. They don't take volunteers now because the "Transitional Pay" is tied to state unemployment benefits and in most states if you quit, or volunteer to be laid off, you don't qualify for unemployment.

    Gracia and Craig have decided the extra bonu$e$ they get for laying people off are more important than treating people civilly or giving them a respectable severance package or allowing them to volunteer for a layoff. There are several people in the newsroom at my Gannett site that would volunteer if they could.

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  56. Why are some of you crying for the AD Director got screwed over? O, she did a wonderful job, yada yada yada, Do you know how many people she canned in the last couple years? Please, all of us are just numbers, some make more than others. Start your job search and stop bitching and get on with it. If I was let go today, I would jump for joy. Been in Production for over 25 years, great run, no regrets..just to bad we have an idiot running the company today

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  57. To 5:16 who wrote about the VP being pushed out -- I was in the same position. New publisher came in and I wasn't deemed good enough for her. I had 10 years of highly positive performance reviews from 3 previous publishers at various other Gannett sites. I was treated to public humiliation, bereating, and treatment so unprofessional and horrendous that my peers asked me how I could tolerate it. My response was that I would have to care what that a-hole thought to have it hurt me. She never forced me to quit, and I am proud of that. Instead, I continued to work hard and tried to improve in the areas she thought I was deficient. At her first opportunity, she laid me off. For awhile my pride was hurt, and I really missed the job I once loved. But ultimately I realized that being forced to leave was a good thing. The thought that I would still be working there in this time of layoff and understaffing is much worse than the fact that I am now living on far less income. I am an older worker and I have pretty much given up finding a job at my previous level. But I am getting used to the idea of living on less and enjoying life more. The fact that Gannett executives continue to use abuse and intimidation as management tactics to compensate for the fact that they have no courage -- with impunity from above -- is really the worst part of it all.

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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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