An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
For Part 5 of this comment thread, please go here.
The Cincinnati Enquirer gets worse and worse. People I talk to -- the kind of higher-earning, college-educated people that the paper wants to attract -- are totally turned off by the absence of serious local journalism, the disproportionate amount of wire copy and USA Today pages, and the lack of must-read columnists or features. Carolyn Washburn is showing she is a poor assessor of talent as well as a corporate stooge. Requiring workers to submit in advance any questions they might have for the Dumbow visit told us all we needed to know about her integrity and independence. The fact that she relishes her act as a hometown girl made good guarantees that the paper will grow in irrelevance.
I'm not My Boss, but this much I know for sure: Group officers have been given expense reduction numbers for the Last 6 (Period 7 through 12), from which group controllers have been determining site-specific numbers based on revenue size and expense footprint. Group presidents have told publishers/GM not to fill any vacancies without group approval, except for sales positions (but, in our group, we were told to seek an OK before we fill any jobs, period). Meanwhile, yet another sweep of non-payroll expense is underway -- but, sadly, we've squeezed all we can from that orange. That is only expected to take sites about a quarter of the way toward their goals (perhaps less). So, what's next? Layoffs, along with job elimination through further consolidations. I've heard some groups are recommending no more furloughs... But don't get your hopes up. Rather than messing with the hassle of scheduling furloughs, publishers have been told they can instead impose across-the-board pay cuts in one of two options: 1) Five percent cuts for everyone or; 2) Five percent for those below $50k to $75k (depending on site size) and 10 percent for those considered "highly compensated." Here's the timetables: Plans due to group by the end of May; review by our new uber HR structure and corporate, with feedback by June 15; publishers given green light by the last week of June with instructions to execute immediately so that impacts take effect on or before the start of Period 7.Happy Memorial Day to all! And get ready for a terrific July 4 holiday, which in Gannett is the start of the annual Last Six Bloodletting.
thanks 5:10 we seems to be having the same information. Department heads have already recieved phone calls and emails about expense reductions for Q3. If you can function with out it, you will not be getting or filling it. I was given a number that needs to be obtained. My department has nothing left to give other than employee salaries. Some managers do care and these kind of moves make us sick.
Our new Advertising director decided for his monthly meeting to put on a little skit. He made one person stand up and pretend that person was Craig Dubow. Then he made four people stand up and say they reported to Craig. Then he made the entire back row of people stand up and say they were laid off and actually leave the room. Then he proceeded to tell the sales reps that if they didn't bring in more revenue, then more people would be laid off because of them! He also whined about having to take a furlough because of the sales reps. This guy needs to be on serious medication!
Thanks for being truthful. That means alot.
The marketing and sales people now in command of USA Today know what stories sell, and what don't. That how they made their careers. So why don't they just order up the stories they know readers want and tell the reporters to forget about the other stuff. That's what they are being paid for, that's how they operated at AOL, and that's what they were put in the newsroom to do. So why don't they just do it and get it over with?
"""So why don't they just order up the stories they know readers want and tell the reporters to forget about the other stuff.""" That's just crazy, and shows what a gulf exists in the newsroom. What other stuff? Whether our soldiers are safe from IEDs? Are our schools threatened by toxic emissions? If readers want to know how to hang a door they don't need a USA Today vertical. There's no reason USA Today can't serve both goals. The sad thing is, that was no troll who posted that. There are people from AOL at USA Today now who honestly believe we should write about foot blisters instead of foot soldiers, that we should write about sun screen tips instead of cancerous chemicals in our water. What a travesty. It is NOT an either/or.
6:50 where does this idiot AD work? Sounds like a real leader.
I think the days of the end of a print edition of USA Today are very close at hand, and that is because the next round of layoffs will hit hardest and the overworked and underappreciated corps of USAT veterans who currently are putting the paper together.I hate to say it, but these veterans don't rank large in the big picture of marketing USAT and attracting more ads. They are largely anonymous and they don't make waves.So who amongst these marketing nimrods we are taking on has ever put out a paper? Who among them knows how to pick off a wire service story, edit it, put a headline on it, and lay it out on a page. In talking to some of the nimrods, I found little knowledge of newspaper software and little inclination to learn more about it. They knew how to do it AOL, so what's the difference? And they are too busy dreaming up stories readers want to read.So when this next layoff round comes, will it be the new hire and nimrods, or the veterans. I think it will be the veterans, and the ability of USAT to publish will evaporate overnight. Could Hillkirk come out of his office and pitch in to get the paper out? Perhaps in a blue moon that might happen, but does even Hillkirk know how to work the software?So I think overnight we will be forced to shift to Web only publication which, as we all have complained, doesn't produce the sort of revenue needed to run a newsroom. That means draining money from the community papers and broadcasting to make USAT's payroll, which in turn will have devastating knock-on effects for the community papers.This is a picture of a company in free-fall collapse, and it is something I fear is very near. It may even be too late to turn back the clock.
So at the community papers plans are being made for salary cuts; at USA TODAY new hires from AOL are saying reporters aren't writing the right stories.Is this the new normal?What hasn't changed is advertising, which across the board remains mired in the past, whether locally or digitally.Newsrooms pay the price while ad people seem immune to their failures.
12:15 comments about educated people avoiding the Enquirer.The problem is those ideas have been out there for years, and they are the concepts people here reject. Try pointing out the mistakes here, and five lemmings ALWAYS spout the same nonsense about people here not being writers.If you point out Jim's inaccuracies, we get a lecture about how Gannett is evil.No one here really wants those papers to improve. They just want to whine about how workers should have been allowed to keep their jobs for decades, regardless of their worth.
When the next round of furloughs and pay cuts are announced, expect a mass defection of web developers, much like what Indy went through last year -- only this time it'll be spread across all of the top markets, effectively decimating USCP's digital operations.
The US Dept of Labor has released a smart phone app that allows workers to track their hours independent of their employer. Employers fear it could make it easy to sue for wage and hour violations. Sounds like an app tailor made for Gannett employees. Everyone with a smart phone should download and use it. More here: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TRACKING_WAGE_THEFT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-05-21-23-49-20
6:50 I don't know why people are down on this AD. Yes, that demonstration seems a little silly, but this is a reality -- the sales people carry the responsibility for revenue. Revenue drives everything else. Now the problems of the newspaper industry don't all fall on ad reps shoulders, but it's true -- if we had a sales staff that really could sell multiple products, and understood digital better, and could wake up out of the 20th century, we'd be in better shape.The reality is that the newspaper industry can't attract top sales talent anymore. We're left with second stringers, for the most part.
In reference to the previous posts about the AD director. They are speaking about Wilmington.I'm sure the AD is an afable fellow in his personal life, and I have no hard feelings about him in that regard.The fact is. He WAS a publisher. And it's clear that his sensibilities and loyalties lay with Editorial. It's kind of like having an EE in charge of the Ad Dept.From the very start of his reign he has treated the sales force with an almost dismissive disgust. He's made it crystal clear time and time again that he thinks we're useless and easily replaceable. Last Friday's "recognition" meeting drove that point home hard.To make a few points to 2:42 who obviously doesn't understand the players (or numbers) all that well in Wilmington.We do have a sales staff that can sell multiple products. It's the local territory group. Not the Digital team or the Niche Publication team.You would think there would be recognition at a recognition meeting. The local territory team BLEW away last year's numbers for April, and Actually hit the abusively high goals set by senior management. It was with out a doubt something to be conragulated. It was that team that put 90% of the retail digital rev, and 70% of the Niche. All the while putting in 95% of the "core" money. An AWESOME effort.What did we get in return? A dog and pony show about how we're ruining the lives of the editorial staff, and the same old and ever present "I'm interveiwing your replacements because you suck" speech.
Heard from more people this weekend saying they've stopped buying the paper because of more and more inclusion of USA Today material. "If I wanted to read USA Today stuff I'd buy that paper" is the quote most often heard. Is this a deliberate sabotage of the local product?
8:01That's a good job ,to say the least.Your team should be heros.Instead you are treated like non-producers.This is a testamentto the fact that Gannett just doesn't give a damn about performance at any level or department. Reaching rev goals is near impossible in todays atmosphere.I was once an ad manager in a similiar situation.It is a moral killer,why should you give a damn afterthis achievement goes un-noticed or worse.Everyone of you should be gone or soon be gone.
@9:03 a.m. - I get that a lot too. Gannett has made a huge tactical error in fucking with the layout of papers that have had established visual brands for decades. I'm not saying that you can't redesign things and make them look better, but as other people have pointed out, the redesigned Asbury Park Press looks horrible and they're already losing ad sales AND readers because of it. It's not just the shitty design - I've heard from many readers that they resent having to pay for what amounts to a shallow grab-bag of AP and USA Today stories. A large chunk of the newspaper reading population does NOT like USA Today at all and resents what they see as a sudden intrusion into their regularly scheduled programming. I say this all the time on here: whoever is making these decisions at Gannett needs to understand that the consumer is a lot smarter than they give them credit for being, and they will not simply continue to consume a product blindly as they steadily reduce its value.
10:56 PM – You’re clearly confused as a solid majority of people ranting here aren’t seeking the failure of Gannett, just the careers of those leaders who’ve spent years driving this company and its papers into the ground. Regarding the Enquirer, 12:15 is spot on about how many in-the-know, well-educated people have written it off, though that started well before Washburn’s arrival all of which is still being driven from a few floors above her. Pre-approving questions is too and it captures one of Gannett’s greatest faults; it really doesn’t have any interest in hearing what employees have to say. And, that’s unfortunate as more and more of Gannett’s Forutne 500 peers are leaving this company further behind as they benefit from truly listening to employee ideas and they move far more faster for it.
8:01 with all due respect, I am not sure who was in charge before the new AD but the ad department was one of the worst performing in the company for the last two years. You took a once great adv dept and put it in the toilet so your post falls on deaf ears. Nice job
As I write this, there are 122 comments on the Heather Frank item, and they seem to be still coming. So using the new USA Today story formula, here's a story that has legs for Jim. Clicks mean cash for him. So what other USAT issue can Jim come up with that will get a similar rants? Everyone I met was talking about the rapture, so why did that story not get more rants?
Can we talk about what NOBODY will talk about? Gannett doesn't need the Associated Press other than the club membership it provides for usage of content across properties. It's true that some local-local operations (the ones who have little wire) can get by with a much cheaper wire replacement. Sports content data and related content can be obtained through another vendor AND through the national cooperative that is gaining momentum. Talk about an expense savings. USAT can take care of the giant domestic coverage. In fact, some of the saving could be used to boost USAT domestic operations. We are there folks. Someone should look at the plug.
AP has anticipated that loophole (those guys know how to market) and won't sell to chains unless all of the papers take the wire.
What about weeklies owned by chains. That doesn't make sense? Maybe Gannett has to eliminate the AP altogether in order to renegotiate later for the metros. What happens to AP when they can't have access to 80 domestic markets? They already cut their bureaus, leaning on local newspapers to round out coverage of the states.Someone just has to be willing to walk away, having an option in the pocket. Paying a premium for content streams that get minimal use means eliminating staff to keep the AP? That just doesn't make sense at smaller papers?
We have to stop pretending AP is the best thing or the only option. Their spreadsheets don't even indicate they need our newspapers for their bottom line, other than redistributing our content in many ways. Heck they tweet stories; they reuse our stories to link to their Web. SURE, we get credit (usually), but AP is making money off us in a major shift. We get some payback in content sharing but the balance is tipped and AP isn't as good as they once were The flash point in OH a couple years back didn't result in an ending. It was a prelude to what really needs to happen. Ap went around and sweet-talked all the chains and reduced rates enough to placate -- thinking the economy would rebound and everyone would forget about the expensive AP. WAPO, McClatchy, Reuters and our own network handles things pretty well. Don't forget AFP and some others we might get. Sports Network ain't half bad. AP has good people (so don't get me wrong). If we are going to cut MORE people, this needs to be faced
Jim,Is that 'loophole' true? Or is it an urban myth among publishers to stop chatter about the possibilities, "We can't do anything about it, so stop bringing it up." I risk my publisher knowing who I am, but I think it is too important.
AP is not our problem. It is a distraction. We rely on it for everything from national news to sports scores. WAPO, McClatchy, Reuters, our own network doesn't cover sports like AP does, so what do we do with that? Stop printing sports scores?
10:31, you are confused if you think those comments about the Enquirer are anything new or deep. That's a big problem with this site: People run on here breathlessly to write things that most people already know.If you were disturbed by the dumbing-down of newspapers, you should have been saying something 15-20 years ago, when the problems began. Look at comments like the one at 10:07 a.m. That person has no idea why people buy newspapers or what do they do with them once they buy one.We can't afford to waste any more time listening to in-the-darks like you and 10:07 a.m. If you can't look ahead and come up with an idea, rather than presenting a reheated complaint from 1992, then you're worthless in this venue.
When you start debating what cuts to make, you have given into corporate's mindset. If there were easy ways to cut, they would have done it. We have been through four waves of cuts, and a fifth is in the works.It's just like the federal deficit debate in Washington. It looks easy to cut but there are consquences if you take away $400 million in federal funds for NPR, or if you cut Head Start. Just like federal programs, there were reasons people were hired at the papers, and workloads they were handling.I think we are now down to the nut-cutting point. Newspapers will collapse for lack of staffing before long. Look around you, and you see people are already working like hell and doing things they never did a year ago. There is a breaking point, and where that is I don't really know. I do know we are very close which is why I think we have heard no official layoff announcements.
How many hiring freezes have we heard of, yet how many hires have been made in the middle of all these layoffs. The largest and latest look to be these AOL Mafia and marketers for USA Today. And in spite of the layoffs, they certainly found money to give Gracia and Dubow very hefty bonuses.
1:24. You rely on AP for everything? Also, AP is NOT the ONLY source for the stuff you mentioned. Seriously, you must know that AP gets stuff from Sports Stats for many of its products. AP outsources sports data and resells. If you only knew how much AP costs versus the 10-20 person staff, you'd find a way.Plus, to keep just doing things as we always have is not an excuse to ignore a major opportunity for Gannett's bottom line.
You're wrong, 1:34. There are things that could be cut, but those are the sacred cows people won't give up. The funny thing is, they don't even realize it. They think they are the innovators.
In some markets, 7 days a week is just idiotic under the current advertising flow. Go crazy online on Monday and Tuesday, going to a 5-day printing cycle. Think of the payroll and expenses saved versus the very few ad dollars and circ dollars lost. People who want their paper will still want their paper and a small price adjustment down (truing up too)) in their bills could save most - if not all -
Keep the ideas coming. We actually can make some bold moves to reset for a move forward instead of trimming the marrow out of the bone. Do we need all of those syndicated columnists on the editorial pages? I mean, we need to narrow to a few regulars and only pay for them instead of mixing it by paying for a bench. And don't people want more local ones anyway. May not save, but we could shift dollars to local columnists (maybe a few former Gannett writers who still want to play).Also, we need to keep AP to fill pages because we don't have staff for all of the pages. Now, if we can take that money and hire some staff, I'm for it. I'll collect sports data as a trade for two more sports writers.
Sports. Love it, but it can't rule our day. Got to keep it going well, but find another way. (Local sports is another issue.) When you can tell me why it is so crucial but no advertisers want to be in the section, I'll bite on protecting expenses for box scores and agate (for the very vocal minority).
One of the points missing here: Gannett will not let local properties make their own decisions about cuts. Experiments are dictated from the top instead of letting a paper try something like "find another way."
2:29 Oh yes? Give a couple of examples of these sacred cows.
2:38 We pay about $5 for each column, so they are not costly. The writers are normally employed by another newspaper for their paychecks, and the syndication deal is extra money, not their paycheck.So you save the $5. What do you put in the space? And are you willing to man the phones the morning after the notice appears in paper that the column was cancelled?
For all the people that have been laid off or bought out at the Cincy Enquirer -- or who left out of disgust -- why is it that there are still a lot left who are proven dregs as editors and reporters? We all know who they are. But management keeps treating them as if they were indispensable. With another round of layoffs on the horizon, as we're led to believe here, management could offset the drop in morale by dumping people who deserve to be dumped, people whose overstay at the Enquirer has sealed its fate as the worst paper of its size in the nation.
Some of these so-called "dregs" are indispensible. Can you layout a newspaper page, or edit a column, place it on the page, write a headline and do that all error-free for a week on a deadline you cannot miss? Editing functions are not easy and when I did it, i found it intellectually challenging only periodically. You have popular writers who are coasting, but if you load them down with additional work, they will quit and you will have trouble replacing them with someone as qualified or as able. Take a second look at one of these "dregs" and see what he or she is actually doing. Could you do what he/she does daily, and do you have his/her sources. This is a business where favorites come and go, depending on the move of the oligarchy that runs it.
P.S. So they let go one or two of these "dregs." Do you want to pick up the work they used to do, and can you do that? It may not look this way, but they are doing someone higher wants.
The Enquirer just let go of its statehouse reporter, but it says it is going to replace him. But who wants to work in Columbus? I think it is a very dull city compared to Cincy, but others might disagreed. Would you relocate your family to Columbus to take this prestigous job, or would you do the two hour rush hour drives in the mornings and evenings to get there and back at $4.60 a gallon or so, plus extra car maintenance. Since there's a hiring freeze, it has to be someone already on staff, so will the editor decide the paper would be better to leave the reporter where he is, or send him to Columbus.Bottom line: they will not refill this position.
Good point 3:23. We can fill the paper with wire and syndicates. The page cuts plus staff cuts really mean we should save the wire, the shared features and the syndicates. It'll be all we have.
Give me an ALL local paper with good local content, and it will survive any beating by readers who long for national stuff. BUT, do keep the comics, crosswords and beef up the commentary. Even my mom checks USAT news online, has a Facebook set of news "likes" and watches CNN. We can wait to become a side dish -- or change our flavor.
4:11 Yep, we can do that, but I'm hearing complaints about how the paper isn't what it used to be, and readers will have less interests in picking it up. That means less circulation revenue, which in turn means less advertising and less ad revenue. So when corporate comes for its cut, there's less money to be sent to McLean, where they need the money to pay the executives, make the regular debt payment and give a cut to USA Today. So corporate orders the paper to come up with more money, because they really need it.
It's those greedy bankers, again.
I think Fifth Third in Cincy will be helpful to us, because the Enquirer was real nice to them about that SEC investigation -- you know, the investigation by the same agency that let Bernie Madoff skate eight years after being told he was running a Ponzi scheme. Publishers have a number of chits in the community they can call in from community heavies to help us out in these straits.
Jim, the USA Today - Heather Frank post and thread is still drawing heavy comments and traffic. It's a subject of keen interest to many of us. Why don't you put that back near the top of your blog, or at least on the front page? As someone else noted, it's a story with legs.
Anon@233 has a good point. Several non-Gannett dailies have cut back on distribution or eliminated publication days for cost reasons.The Atlanta Journal-Constituion used to be available all across the South; now their print edition is available only in metro Atlanta. The Frederick News-Post in Maryland stopped printing a Monday paper last year and moved their Monday features to Sunday. In New Hampshire, the Union Leader is a statewide daily but their Saturday edition is available only in and around Manchester.
USA Today, USAT online, and big CP online sites under the Big G would collapse if AP is dropped. Gannett won't have the staff to fill the space.
Let's see some bold moves from the big bonus guys. Give us something to say, "I don't know if it'll work, but let's try it."
Wall Street put a value of $9 billion on the social site Linked In when the stock was floated this week, so how much would corporate get if they sliced off Metromix and floated it as a separate company? There must be parts of this company worth money as independent entities.
I think it is a disgrace that an AD would blame sales reps for layoffs in their company. It is Gannett corporate that is destroying all the properties. IT doesn't matter how much money is brought in. If corporate wants to cut, it will and always has. What ever happened to encouraging people? Bottom line is – Wilmington is making a profit – it always has and always will. It just isn't enough for the greed of Gannett. That is the bottom line. So stop your fear tactics because they aren't working. You are actually causing the good sales reps to go else where and the ones who can't leave to go in even a deeper depression. Did you ever think to take a look at your top heavy management? Maybe that might be the real problem. If you have a lousy manager it's tough to perform to the best of your ability.
4:32 That's a good suggestion. I've now moved that USAT-Frank post back to the homepage.
10:46 said:"You took a once great adv dept and put it in the toilet so your post falls on deaf ears. Nice job"If my post fell on deaf ears it's fortunate that I typed it out....And speaking to your full post. I find it hard to believe that if you don't know who preceded the current AD that you could have any sort of an idea as to what the numbers are. Information like that is held tight. And everyone in that club knows each other.But I'll give you a hint (Den!s $heely). As far as wilmington being the worst performing site. A patent falsehood. Are we making the 40% profit marging of years past. Years when WE were the cash cow of the east group. No. And that catastrophe lies with national and classified advertising.Unless you have a great plan to sell more house, or hire more people, or stop the bloodshed from the "top 61" you can take your bitterness and shove it.
3:17, I can tell from your phrasing that anything mentioned specifically will draw scoffing from you. Plus, shouldn't you and others here already know? I mean, we are supposed to believe most people here are experts about how to make Gannett successful. Just ignore the bad writing, ignorance of how benefits work, ignorance of finance as a whole, inability to understand any level of management style, etc.To help you out: There are many things that have been created within newsrooms as vital functions, yet they have little to nothing to do with what customers look for in the final product.
7:25 True. Probably 60-80 percent of our OC is vital but not known by customers, but that's just a guestimate.
7:25 It's like what you see in a pro football team on TV. On the sideline are coaches and assistant coaches, plus an array of support staff for the team from bus drivers to physicians. Without the support, the team doesn't play.
3:25 Next time you are in the Enquirer OC, approach one of these "dregs" who are reporters or editors and just ask them what they do during the day. Don't be afraid: you are paid in the news business to ask questions and talk to people. I think you will find a story there and those you think are dregs really are not so much so. Just a suggestion who himself has never set foot in the Equirer newsroom.
Got the Monday morning blues already. Another week where the life will be sucked from great people and a once great company.
You said it all 5:22!! You are so right.
To all the Wilmington posters,as with all newspapers the economy and the loss of critical advertisers have led in our decline however unless you've been under a rock in Wilmington the downfall began with Riddle hiring Sheely and the demise continues after Sheely and Riddle walk away. Sheely laid off critical people,sat in his office and played with whatever new electronic gadget he could get the company to pay for. No sales training sessions, no motivation and no recognition. All were so afraid of losing their jobs that they endured the stress. Top notch reps are gone, a few terrific managers try to keep us afloat while a few other managers are useless. I don't blame the new AD but perhaps folks should take off the blinders and see that if they don't perform we'll all doomed.
The sad reality is that this is a dying industry. Gannett hopped on the digital bandwagon too late and it now cannot make up the lost print revenue. Same with the branding campaign — way over due. Consumers still only think we just print a paper. I would suggest going back to school or learning another trade — because this ship is sinking.
11:10 I agree with you and think the chains that were formed after WW2 are all going down. Lee, McClatchy and Gannett. But there's still a chance for strong local papers if they reinvent themselves quickly perhaps with weekly print Sundays and the rest a much improved local report on the Web. But the chain currently has become an anchor around their neck and is drawing them under.
The Enquirer is another example of what happens when publishers meddle in news operations. As we are seeing with USA Today, it's an utter disaster, but some publishers can't seem to stop themselves from getting involved in news stories as Buchanan did under the Callinan regime. It's the touch of death, and Washburn isn't going to get anywhere until she declares war on Buchanan, which won't happen.
Everything we have is rigged for print. We're like the guy who bought an expensive plaid red sports coat with pink socks so he could go to a white tie dinner. We are overdressed and conspicuously out of place. We've paid lip service to aligning ourselves to the Internet, but everything we do and look like is the old print model. We need to get hip and get with the fashion.
The Enquirer's downward spiral accelerated when Carolyn Washburn arrived in January. Talk about mediocrity? She's brought nothing to the table and marches to the cadence shouted out from the 20th floor. Publishers should concentrate on making money, not running newsrooms, but then if Margaret Buchanan didn't get involved the business section just might get a story on Fifth Third or one of her many other sacred cows in the newspaper and then her telephone line would light up. And Margaret doesn't like that.
everyone in Elmira and Ithaca took a 5% pay cut in Jan from the braintrust in Binghamton.
8:20 Now that GCI needs some cash, perhaps Buchanan can get her buddies at Fifth Third to cough up a bridge loan for us. After all, they owe us because she responded to their complaints, and I know they have tons of money, and GCI has gold-plated credit having never defaulted on a loan payment. Should be easy for Buchanan to set up.
...Or maybe Charles Lindner's family can be hit up an investment like Carlos Slim made in the New York Times. It might get the stock up if Lindners were interested and they have been treated royally by the Enquirer over the years (except for one minor slipup on a banana peel, instantly regretted.).
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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