Thursday, April 07, 2011

April 4-10 | Your News & Comments: Part 4

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)

23 comments:

  1. For Part 3 of this comment thread, please go here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So where is the dissent in executive ranks over policies that are ripping this company apart. Are they all yes-men and women, or is there some secret dissent there from those who came up through newsrooms and realize the damage being done to newspapers? Are they all bought off with high salaries, and sit silently compliant? Or are there any no-votes from realists in their 50's who got into this business yearning to follow in the footsteps of Woodward and Bernstein and shine light on society's shadows. They all must now realize the party is coming to an end, and they need to burnish their resumes for another job they will have to find to avoid a decade of living off savings and unemployment? There must be some in those ranks who know this credential won't carry well for another executive job, and that it all is wrong and corrupt.

    ReplyDelete
  3. OK, any other stealth layoffs yesterday or this morning? Drip-drip-drip.
    @Jim: are you adding the Montgomery jobs to the spreadsheet or starting a new spreadsheet?

    ReplyDelete
  4. GCI stock showing bearish technicals.
    http://www.marketintelligencecenter.com/analyfav/1264445

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is why the anger. It is not about the necessity of layoffs, but the failure of management to take prudent actions that would likely have made them less pervasive. It is anger out of frustration at our leaders, who have embarked on a disgraceful and greedy effort to grab as much as they can before the company collapses around them.
    4/06/2011 9:07 PM

    Listen, I agree with the anger & some of the other comments related to the running of the company. But, quite frankly this is not a surprise, again, I got laid off almost 2 years ago, and worked for Gannett for over a decade, but it was ALWAYS apparent to me that the executives did nothing or had any vision of the future. I found it amusing in fact how they could claim to be cutting edge and yet at one meeting I went to and suggested the do an app for the iphone for the newspaper, they didn't even know what an app was. So I still find it amusing that Gannett is trudging along, blind as all get out and still think they are cutting edge. I had a good job there, basically did nothing and was paid fairly well in middle management, but I always knew my days were numbered from the moment I took the job but milked every penny from the company I could, so I have no ill regrets and I suspect all the way up to Dubow, that is exactly what they are thinking, they will keep the party going until the last dollar is spent. LMAO

    ReplyDelete
  6. "Want to use your severance as a cushion while you start freelancing (for newsroom employees)? Sorry you can't ..."

    OK, for the last time: Freelancing is simply another word for doing work on a contractual/as needed basis verses fulltime employment, ok? Meaning ANYONE can do it ... Not just those in the newsroom. If you ever got $5 as a kid for cutting a lawn, you were a freelancer.

    And speaking of which: I was doing just that for nearly the entire time I was employed by GCI. At least one-third of the people in my department did too. (No, not all were newsroom. Production people had their own thing going on weekends/after work/before work, etc. All of this was above board and approved by our managers. As long as we were accountable to our jobs -- and we were -- and there were no conflicts, we were fine.)

    We're so very glad we did too. It meant we had no problem whatsoever after we got the inevitable layoff notice. Our clients/customers were thrilled to give us more work! Those co-workers who didn't have something else going -- who adopted the 'if I work really, really hard for GCI, they'll never lay me off' route -- got hit with a very, very hard reality when they too were shown the door. (The same exact time for all of us, btw.)

    So take care of yourselves first, folks. It's obvious that what you do matters not to GCI with respect to your likelihood to stay or go.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @4/06/2011 10:20 PM

    I have to call B.S. on the comment that the executive editor conveniently disappeared when the layoffs were made in the Montgomery newsroom. I and others witnessed her attempt to speak to and comfort the graphic artist but he (understandably upset) blew her off. As far as the photographer, the executive editor's first action was to go to talk to his fellow photographers but most were out of the building on assignment or taking days off for other reasons.

    I know people are hurt and hate to see friends and talented journalists lose their jobs but there's no need to besmirch someone's reputation undeservedly.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Breaking Now: New York's embattled schools chief and former Gannett employee, Cathleen Black, is out, a person familiar with the situation said.
    ..WSJ

    ReplyDelete
  9. 4:24 -- Most of the Gannett executives I've met do seem to be Yes Men and Yes Women. In the culture that Gannett has created, those are the people who get promoted. Gannett has never liked people who rock the boat. Generally speaking, those folks can't be easily pressed into molds and Gannett is all about producing the same paper in Detroit that it produces in Visalia that it produces in Phoenix, etc.

    Not all Gannett managers are idiots. Some are smart Yes Men and Yes Women, but I doubt we're seeing any hardcore battle to make us a better news organization. Like everyone else, these folks are just trying to squeeze what money they can out of the company before they leave.

    The time for fighting was several years ago, as we've gone too far down the wrong road now. It would take some real innovation at the top to change things now.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Why is it taking NYT.com 2 hours to get a story up about the Japan earthquake?

    ReplyDelete
  11. So it probably isn't a good thing when your dept has to start documenting their work to show how busy (or slow) they are on a daily basis.

    ReplyDelete
  12. why does Google have to pay for studio produced TV shows but not for publisher produced news? Really messed up model.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Is there a new layoff list prepared ?
    I am thinking it will be needed in the next
    few weeks ahead and beginning soon.
    Individual sites know already how bad the revenue numbers are for Quarter 1. The layoff lists are probably being developed right now.

    ReplyDelete
  14. 9:24 Yes, I've started a new layoff spreadsheet for the second quarter; I just haven't posted it yet.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This company spends millions upon millions re-branding. It awards top executives and board members many millions more. There's no telling how much they spend on flights, motels, dining and other luxury items each month. All the while, we peons are furloughed or either in lay off situations.

    Here's another interesting circulation tid-bit. Indepent contractors are really taking it on the head with increased fuel charges. In most cases they weren't making much profit/month anyways. Now... this company refuses to help alleviate their increased expense load by helping with a fuel credit. As the saying goes... the rich get richer... the poor get poorer.

    ReplyDelete
  16. 12:56 For some sites, I believe the answer is: yes.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yikes ... breaking news at Romenesko:

    Report: Gannett to give page view bonuses to writers.

    Jim, time to spring into action. Inquiring minds want to know more.

    ReplyDelete
  18. 4:55, all for getting the facts straight. 4:55 did say goodbye and, given the tacky lack of acknowledgement that day by those in charge, 4:55's was surprising and very appreciated -- the only one in fact, the only one with some humanity to do so: an executive from an entirely different department and function.

    However, my post did not speak to an executive to whom one did not report, but rather and quite reasonably to the more likely executive directly in charge of the department affected, as well as his boss -- both of which afforded in the face of livelihoods and loyalty only their complacency and silence. Did I say tacky? I should have said cowardly.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Here's a new interesting mess in Phoenix- http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/4-7-11.cfm

    ReplyDelete
  20. There's an odd omission in that news release: It doesn't give the full name of the dismissed employee. Anyone know more?

    ReplyDelete
  21. - Wouldn't it be great if that was the one thing that opened up a huge can of worms against Gannett. No company ever wants the EEOC on their back no matter how big. Because one you have them filing suit against you, you have a permanent bullseye - and open to very close scrutiny by the EEOC. I could see this totally snowballing not just here in Phoenix but through out all of Gannett. That is what private law firms wait for... a legitimate EEOC complaint to start banding individuals together for class action suits.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Gannett is not Walmart a large class action suit would bankrupt them and drive their stock into the toilet.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Go EEOC! Thank you for revealing GCI's kind of hardball -- against people with disabilities? Really? And thanks to the gutsy woman who pursued this claim.

    "The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Gannett Company, Inc. and Gannett Media Technologies, Inc., Case No. (CV 11-00675-PHX-DKD) in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in Phoenix after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency is seeking monetary relief including back pay with prejudgment interest, compensatory damages, and punitive damages. The agency is also seeking an injunction prohibiting future discrimination and any other curative relief to prevent the Gannett companies from engaging in any further discriminatory practices."

    ReplyDelete

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."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.