An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
For Part 4 of this comment thread, please go here.
Anyone read the story about Gannett in Forbes? It's called "Paid to Fire". An interesting take on how our crystal palace execs are compensated. Go to Forbes.com and type in Gannett in the search bar. You'll see it listed.
I'm sorry this article apparently hasn't received wider attention. Or maybe I move in the wrong circles. This is good stuff.
Anon 8:12 AMI just read that article!"gannettblog" is honorably mentioned in the beginning. :)Good article!
Great article. But wondering why there hasn't been more so in mainstream business press over this remarkable string of behavior on the part of CD and Co.
Thanks for the link! Very interesting. Maybe the article will circulate more now that it got a mention here.
Here is the article link, copy and paste in the browers.http://blogs.forbes.com/adamhartung/2011/02/25/paid-to-fire-how-ceo-compensation-is-wrong/
Here is an old article from 2009, but what is interesting is that even though it is almost 2 years old, it shows that Gannett really has done nothing in the past 2 years, because all the facts present in the article still apply today. LOLhttp://www.thephoenixprinciple.com/blog/2009/05/frozen-in-the-headlights-gannett-and-other-newspapers.html
9 a.m. -- I suspect we haven't seen more stories like this because most media outlets today are owned by huge corporate interests, and many corporations work like Gannett. Why aren't Gannett papers more aggressive about reporting on corporate greed? Because they are just as guilty as most of the companies they would report on. The surprise, I think, is that Forbes actually ran this story. There's lots of talk about the media being liberal but anyone who examines things closely will see that it's actually quite conservative. Very few corporations are liberal, and almost every major media outlet is corporate. What's more, the broadcast world is completely dominated by conservatives. Print is the one area where a few so-called liberal voices slip in now and then ... yet the major decision-making for most print outlets is made by conservative businessmen. Why don't people report on CEOs making unethical cash grabs? Because other CEOs want to be able to continue the practice.
ALL media company CEOs paid a ton of dough amongst layoffs.Time Warner CEO paid $17.3MMAOL's Tim Armstrong paid 15.3MMBoth companies laid off a lot of people.This is widespread. Gannett is not alone.
what's going on with furlough and layoffs? there is so much rumors around?
Wow. I missed the Forbes blog entry first time around. It sums up the Gannett situation perfectly.
What Hartung says in that Forbes column is very true, but don't miss what he wrote about the Sara Lee company as well. What happened there is pointing to the same as what is happening to us now. I dearly wish I could say a way out, but I cannot turn back the tide of history.Reading back issues of this blog shows in detail how this company missed so many golden opportunities to diversify or try to stay ahead of the technology that was threatening its monopolies.We tend to blame the current management, but I think these bad management decisions go back more almost two decades. In the boom years, we could have taken profits from the enterprises and launched new businesses. Instead, we greedily went into debt to purchase other newspapers, and so magnify our vulnerabilities.I've said this before, but I hope some future business historian finds the remnants of this blog on the Internet and issue warnings to future American companies and executive boards. Perhaps the Greek playwrites had it right about hubris, and that which makes you great also contains the seeds of what will bring you down.
Re: Forbes story. Is this the type of industry leadership Dubow promised? Sort of puts "Its all Within Reach" in a whole new light.
Arizona Republic, union employees are forced to take 6.5% to 7.5% wage reductions and lose 1 week of vacation, they say no other gannett plant gets 4 weeks vacation.
Must be a union thing? I get 4 weeks vacation, non-union, and I know people here longer than me who get 5 or 6 weeks.
Must be a union thing? I get 4 weeks vacation, non-union, and I know people here longer than me who get 5 or 6 weeks.4/08/2011 6:14 PMI worked at the AZ Republic non-union and it was 1-2 years: 2 weeks vac, 1 week personal, 2 weeks sick = 5 weeks TOTAL; 3-10 years: 3 weeks vac, 1 week personal, 2 weeks sick = 6 weeks TOTAL; 10+ years (that was me) 4 weeks vac, 1 week personal, 2 weeks sick = 7 weeks TOTAL. Pretty fair I thought, couldn't roll anything though so used every hour of it every year and glad I did, especially the last year I was there had two week furlough so was getting 9 weeks off a year, couldn't beat it my boss got 11 weeks because he made over $90K a year. So I was getting a week off every 6 weeks I worked basically and my boss was getting 1 week off every 5 weeks. I have to admit I miss getting paid to do nothing.
5:57 and don't forget you also get to pay union dues for that reduction on pay and benefits. Respect and Dignity!
After 20 years, I got four weeks' vacation; three personal days (I think), plus five major holidays: July 4, etc. I don't know how many sick days I was allowed. In a bad year, I might have taken two, mostly because I'd work from home when I wasn't well enough to come to the office.
Did they cover your electroshock therapy, Jim? After all, you are a first-class nutcake who was thrown out of Gannett, and from what I hear, you are banned from Gannett properties.Your recorded performance at the shareholders meeting is proof. I wish someone would post that link again.
I'm assuming that Gannett's Board of Directors is aware of the points raised in the Forbes articles.So don't they care? I've seen posted here that the Dubow, Martore, et al are rewarded because they're doing what the board wants them to do.So what is that? Destroy G A N N E T T?
Jim, personal days at our paper are also measured in days, not weeks and 2 was the maximum, plus a "float" day, whatever that means. Sick is capped at one week. If you'd been there long enough to get 4 weeks vacation you could keep it, but no one else will be eligible for 4 no matter how long they stay. Three weeks is the new maximum for vacation. I thought this was standard across Gannett. HR sure made it sound like it was.Many people at my paper lost vacation days last year because with the furloughs and so few employees, it was difficult to coordinate days off. Many could not take the full week at once because of finances, so they tried to spread them out over the quarter. Plus vacation time is accrued throughout the year--no one wanted to take their vacations at the beginning of the year, else they might owe Gannett for those days if they were laid off/quit.
Seems the vac/sick/opt time is variable among sites. The standard is 7 days sick, 2 option and then a graduated vacation of 0-4 years 2 week, 5-13 3 weeks, 14 - 29 4 weeks and 30+ 5 weeks. That was my former property's amount and what I gathered was fairly standard across the company.
7 days sick, 3 floating, and a graduated vacation at my site. I know long timers have more vacation time based on old standards. Most at our site take sick time and use as vacation time. They should change it all to PTO.
Don't take vacation, personally. Can't afford to do anything and can't afford to have anyone realize they can do without me. Furlough is bad enough.
Don't look for consistency on vacation policies. They've cut deals in the past giving some people vacation in return for no pay increase, and other side deals. I know someone who gets 5 weeks because of this. Some people who operate tax businesses or other out-of-home businesses prefer the additional time.
Anyone else heard that the New York Times is doing a piece on mismanagement at Gannett and USA Today?
2:38 Where did you hear that? And who is the reporter?
EEOC files charges against Gannett for firing a worker after she comes back from sick leave. This now makes three people fired in the Phoenix area that I know of in the last several weeks for medical issues. 1,reported here about the woman fired while donating a kidney 2. Fired a pressman worker after coming back from industrial pay. Company Dr. says OK to work, his personal Dr. says not OK to work. 3. This brought about the charge from EEOC. A woman was off sick. She was determined to have a Bi-Polar disorder and after returning to work she was fired. Is this a new way for them to thin the ranks?
The Forbes story should be widely distributed to Gannett investors, the company's worthless board of directors, and the hapless rank and file employees still attempting to hang on.http://blogs.forbes.com/adamhartung/2011/02/25/paid-to-fire-how-ceo-compensation-is-wrong/
3:34 where are your ehtics? You should know better than to talk about people's mental issues on a blog. Geezus. What an idiot.
4/09/2011 5:07 PM once again proves incompetence by Robin Pence. Even Tara Connell knew better than to comment on issues such as this one but Pence's ridiculous and desperate ego has to be served by constatnly seeing her name in print.
Not only will we be seeing more of what is happening in AZ. You'll also begin to see a lot of terminations due to "performance" issues. All trumped up of course.
Absolutely, 7:02 pm. I posted a comment not too long ago about the unrealistic goals set for many of the sales staff. Seems like an idiot thing to do, but if you don't want to keep paying severance when you want to get rid of people, you have to get rid of people "for cause". Performance issues are a perfect catchall. A recent episode of The Good Wife (aired on 4/5) dramatized an extreme example of this. In that case, in addition to performance issues, the workplace was turned into a hell on earth, just to get employees to quit instead of having to lay them off.
Lightning KO'd power @ Louisville C-J again today. Had to reboot everything in production. Cross your fingers, sacrifice virgins in hopes this thing runs. Since there are no virgins here, I will make burnt offerings to patron saints Mike Royko & Lewis Grizzard.
1. Gannett is investigating PointRoll and the management team for various issues around harassment, financial numbers and major employee defections.2. Furloughs, layoffs and salary reductions will be on center focus for Q3. board is asking Ms. Martore and Mr. Dubow and Mr. Saleh to prepare a "worst case scenario" plan.3. Q1 2011 financial results will miss on top and bottom line. Severe decline in newspaper circuation and advertising revenues. USAT is in the process of losing another major hotel change to WSJ.4. New Chief Digital Officer has announced to his employees that he DOES NOT plan (or have any desire) to move to corporate HQ, but will commute back and forth from Atlanta. Apparently, this got back to Ms. Martore and she is not happy.5. New CMO is creating a tsunami of probems and Ms. Martore, Ms. Pence and Mr. Dubow do not know how to reel her in. She has already ruffled everyone's feathers. Corporate staff AND several Sr. Executives are predicting she will be gone by year end.6. As mentioned many times before on this blog, the Yahoo Partnership is in jeopardy and it looks like Yahoo wants to get out of it as the performance from Gannett has been substandard. Mr. Dickey owns this mess along with Mr. Williams.7. Confirmed that ShortTail Media was bankrupt when Mr. Payne sold the remained. Mr. Payne was offered the CDO job by Gannett shortly after he tried to sell them ShortTail Media. Knowing it was going bankrupt, Gannett waited to bring him on.8. Mr. Ehrman and Mr Gavanan will be announcing retirement in the next few months.
I for one will resign if they reduce my salary. I have no desire to stay with a company that rewards it's CEOS for poor performance and then asks its workers for a salary reduction. See ya, BYE!2. Furloughs, layoffs and salary reductions will be on center focus for Q3. board is asking Ms. Martore and Mr. Dubow and Mr. Saleh to prepare a "worst case scenario" plan.
All I know is newsroom grapevine says New York Times is looking into Gannett. I'd love to know more. As glad as I was to hear it I did feel a little ashamed that we haven't been able to stand up for ourselvs. I'd love to share what I've seen but I'm to worried about it being traced back to me. I wonder if that is why more of us stay silent.
9:44 Are you referring to USA Today's newsroom?
the presses in L,ville are running. No Derby 2010 repeat!
Yippee....My Boss is back!!! I most look forward to his/her posts. So good to hear from you again.That the new CMO has turned into a bull in the china shop in two months time is a riot. And that the new CDO has pissed off Martore over his relocation intentions is even funnier. WTF? She didn't ask that question in the interview???? What a boob!
Kids just so you know. This stuff that My Boss posted is either totally wrong or every day gossip in the Crystal Palace. The new CMO is fantastic and the post is just absolute BS. The rest is the every day speculation heard in the hallways. My Boss works for DP and is running scared because he has figured they are worthless and will be gone soon. Sorry if the truth hurts.
Word is out in the newspaper industry of GCI's troubles, so I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out a NYT reporter is gathering string for that session with Dubow and Gracia coming next week.
NYT did a story on Gannett layoffs citing several Phoenix folks in summer of 09 during the round of layoffs that brought us the hell of Transitional Pay. Here's a link to the story: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/27/business/media/27gannett.html?ref=gannettcompany (because of NYT paywall you may have to be a subscriber to reach the story :)
Re. 4/9 5:07 post...No one's name or department was disclosed...EEOC charge is public record. The Arizona Republic (Gannett) reprted in the newspaper Friday that they fired someone for mental ilness diagnosis. In the article it even mentioned what department..If you feel this posting lacks ethics. You must then agree Gannett totally lacks ethics based on your opinion
While I respect My Boss and his/her information, as a worker in the trenches I could care less about Crystal Palace in fighting. And seriously, do they really think they can cut the salaries of the overworked while these failed execs (Thank you, Forbes) get bonuses for failure. Cut my salary and suddenly those jobs I wouldn't touch due to income become viable options. Let's start looking for lifeboats. Get ready to bleed talent, Gannett. As for the corporate funded Jim Bashers, we all know you're pathetic. Thanks to Jim we have more info than corporate would ever give us except for another chirpy letter from Craigy about how he's sharing our pain until the next bonus comes in.
12:04am, No argument here, just an honest question: What about My Boss's remark that a major hotel chain is dropping USAT for WSJ. Is that true, and what's the impact?
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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