Thursday, May 05, 2011

May 2-8 | Your News & Comments: Part 3

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.)

60 comments:

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

    ReplyDelete
  2. All I want to hear about is about the pending lay offs -or furloughs?
    anyone?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Osama who? It's back to American idol in USA Today's front page top 10 stories. So much for ....

    ReplyDelete
  4. 11:15-

    Furloughs have already been announced for the second qtr. If you weren't told too take a week off then you don't make enough to qualify.

    There will be no more mass layoffs this qtr. July could be a whole other story.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Our local television newcast gleefully reported on newspaper industry circulation losess. They did mention USA Today had a circulation increase, but reported more and more young people are getting free news on free websites. You could almost hear "snickering" in their tone.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Look for bloody heads in digital real soon. Nancy Kerr, features digital editor for the WPost and all-business ball-breaker who battled to become second in command of the breakthrough post.com is coming to USA Today.
    Look for a huge shakeup in the sleepy digital operations. I'm expecting a bloodbath.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Does anyone know the new ABC circulation numbers for papers beyond the "top 25?" I really want to see how smaller papers around the country stand now.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Re. 8:32's post: Yeah, it's in Romanesko this morning:
    http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/romenesko/131126/five-washington-post-departures-announced-today/
    Here's the text of the memo he posted:

    We’re sorry to announce that Nancy Kerr is leaving the Post to join USA
    Today, where she will be editor of the new Your Life feature and lead a
    team that produces print, Web and mobile products focused on wellness,
    parenting, beauty and relationships.

    Nancy joined washingtonpost.com in 2004 as editorial director of Jobs, Cars
    and Real Estate. She quickly transitioned to features where she managed
    online coverage for Style, Food, Travel, Magazine, Books, KidsPost and Home
    & Garden; she was the editorial lead on Going Out Guide, edited multiple
    blogs including Celebritology, revamped the nothing-but-pageviews
    Diversions area (comics, horoscopes and crosswords) and coordinated our
    coverage on countless award shows and feature packages, most recently the
    150th anniversary of the Civil War.

    Before joining the Post, Nancy was the director of women’s programming for
    America Online. She worked extensively with AOL’s partners — Oprah
    Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, Meredith Publishing, iVillage and Time Inc.’s
    InStyle.com and RealSimple.com. Before her stint at AOL, Nancy worked for
    CBS New Media in New York where she developed the CBS Daytime web site.

    Nancy’s last day is May 13. Please join us in wishing her all the best in
    her new adventure.


    Kerr is one of five WaPo staffers leaving for other pastures.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting how many reporters and editors Bloomberg continues to vacuum up from all over the country.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Am I off-beat, or is USA Today putting an awful lot of emphasis on Your Life? I find this wellness/beauty stuff boring, tedious and repetitive, but from the emphasis corporate is putting on it, Your Life looks like our future.

    ReplyDelete
  11. They want to transform USA Today into a tip sheet for people who want to be sane dieters, savvy shoppers, a short-order family cooks, and energetic co-workers plus supportive partners 24/7...

    ReplyDelete
  12. The new flag and new name unveiled in Wednesday’s Asbury Park Press turns the paper into “The Press.” Might have well included the tagline “The newspaper from nowhere.” This was the first issue produced with the new editorial computer system, and most of the staff evidently did not have advance notice about the flag and name changes.

    Here’s the unhelpful front page note to readers from editor Hollis Towns: “You likely noticed a new look in today’s paper. We have been making this transition over the past month. Our goal was to make the paper more vibrant and easier to use while still maintaining our unwavering commitment to investigations, local news, sports and features. Drop me a line at htowns@njpressmedia.com and let me know what you think."

    From the Newseum front page archives:

    May 4, http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/hr_archive.asp?fpVname=NJ_APP&ref_pge=lst

    March 24, the last normal newsday I could find on the Newseum site, http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/hr_archive.asp?fpVname=NJ_APP&ref_pge=lst

    May 5, also pretty bad, http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/hr.asp?fpVname=NJ_APP&ref_pge=lst

    ReplyDelete
  13. Worth reading:

    Bill would cut legal ads from newspapers
    http://new.bangordailynews.com/2011/05/03/business/bill-would-cut-legal-ads-from-newspapers/?ref=latest

    From the Article and taken from the "Bill":

    "Allowing advertising in the FREE WEEKLIES and THROUGH OTHER ELECTRONIC METHODS would be a cost savings for communities, said Conrad. While he didn’t have exact dollar estimates, he put the number at “hundreds of thousands, if not more.”

    If this Bill goes through, who's to say other Municipalities across the country won't follow?

    All eyes are watching!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Look at the premium rates newspaper companies like Gannett charge for legal announcements 10:56 a.m. and you’ll see that they enjoy a great deal of blame for why legislation like this is repeatedly introduced.

    When Gannett acquired our papers years ago one of the first “suggestions” from the VP of Advertising for Gannett was to significantly shrink our legal ads (by a factor of 4 plus) all while raising our rates so we would net the same revenue. He left and we didn’t as they were already our highest rates.

    Like it or not, this day is coming and Gannett’s own aggregated audience sales materials could be used against it to show how many people in a designated market use the web.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The future's so bright, I have to wear blinders5/05/2011 11:31 AM

    Dear 10:35AM. That so-called unwavering commitment to local news includes pushing up deadlines 90 minutes while the new system is implemented, making night meeting coverage almost impossible to get in print for the next day, even more so than the previous deadline of 8:30 pm on a Monday night when most governing bodies in the region are conducting business.
    The disclaimer to staff that "we can get it on line" doesn't seem to be holding true as some of us were told not to bother covering some meetings while CCI is being shaken out. So where is the value added to the reader? (excuse me, to the content customer?)
    Meanwhile many of us have Patch, other on line hyper news sites and weeklies competing for the same readers. Now where do you think circulation is going?
    But the bright side is that all the Jersey Gannetts a nice new flag that is the same shape as the flags on the HNT, DR, C-N and APP. They look like they were designed by a "graphics 101" student. Who get the President's Ring for that?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Re: 10:56

    Pulling legals from legacy "mainstream" newspapers has been moving around the country for a while now. It gets mentioned from time to time in Arizona (where I live) and is usually promoted as a cost saver to local government. The main sponsors of the bills are frequently from the political right - it's a part of their crusade against the "liberal" media. Collectively it comes from the same folks who want to defund NPR.

    To date it hasn't been very successful. In the past arguments against the legislation have been not everybody has a computer or internet access but that argument loses steam as our circulation drops and newspaper raise rates but cut content leading to less valuable product and furthering the circulation decline.

    If (or more accurately when) such legislation passes it will certainly be another threat to financially struggling newspapers. I hope our suits in the Crystal Tower are planning for that day. My guess is that they are not.

    ReplyDelete
  17. That's pretty much the situation in Wisconsin, regarding legal ads. The newspapers of course would editorialize against it on the grounds of transparency, and they'd say, not everyone has a computer. They never mentioned the scads of money they collect from government entities, however.

    ReplyDelete
  18. 11:33 AM said:
    "To date it hasn't been very successful. In the past arguments against the legislation have been not everybody has a computer or internet access but that argument loses steam as our circulation drops and newspaper raise rates but cut content leading to less valuable product and furthering the circulation decline. "

    I could be wrong, but I believe this is the reason the "Bill" mentions going the route of the "FREE WEEKLIES" that are delivered to ones doorstep! That in itself, kills the "no internet access" theory as internet is not needed when one if receiving the notices for FREE through the courtesy of the Free Weeklies! Don't cha think?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Me thinks receiving legal notices through the "Other Electronic Methods" could possibly be through the iphone.....

    ....just a thought ...

    ReplyDelete
  20. Not everyone has a computer. Hah! Most people don't subscribe to PRINTED newspapers.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The Phoenix New Time calls out the Arizona Republic...

    Arizona Republic: Osama bin Laden 'Unharmed' When Shot in Face by U.S. Special Forces. Oops

    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2011/05/arizona_republic_osama_bin_lad.php

    ReplyDelete
  22. oops Phoenix New Times

    ReplyDelete
  23. The verticals are a disaster. Content sucks, ads non existent,reader engagement virtually nil. Heather Frank more interested in empire building and hiring all her old/aol cronies for outrageous salaries. She is accountable to no one. Morale is terrible unless you are part of her know nothing management team.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Touche, 1:02!

    ReplyDelete
  25. So, is Denise Brody out as YourLife GM? Any truth to the rumor that Jeffrey Wilks is already on his way out too?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Note, regarding 3 p.m.'s comment: On Oct. 19, USA Today announced:

    "Jeffrey Wilks has been named to the newly created position of senior vice president of brand marketing for USA TODAY. Wilks will be responsible for overseeing brand marketing, client solutions, communications and event marketing and research at USA TODAY. He will be headquartered at USA TODAY’s New York City offices. The announcement was made today by USA TODAY president and publisher David L. Hunke."

    ReplyDelete
  27. Jeffery Wilks is out as of yesterday. He is no longer with USAT.

    ReplyDelete
  28. 3:12 - my goodness, that was a quick tour of duty for Wilks! Any idea what happened?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Indirectly, at least, that would represent the first scalp claimed by Corporate's new chief marketing officer, Maryam Banikarim.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wilks' voicemail is still active; I've left him a message, asking what's up.

    ReplyDelete
  31. We were told today in a meeting lead by Hunke and Maryam.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wilks a goner. Didn't do anything. It is clear they were expecting big things (and big bucks) out of this branding thingy.

    ReplyDelete
  33. If Wilks voicemail is still on---not a goner.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I don't understand what Wilks' "branding thingy" was supposed to do to drive big bucks. Isn't that the job of Lee Jones? Why wouldn't he get fired if revenue is down?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Wilks was a smart man, don't understand why the ousted him over Jones...seems to be the common way around here.

    ReplyDelete
  36. 3:44 What else came out of that meeting with Hunke and Maryam?

    ReplyDelete
  37. I left Gannett 4 months ago and my voice mail still works.

    ReplyDelete
  38. 5:28---Have you left yourself a message?

    ReplyDelete
  39. 5:45PM---Yes I call my old number and say--------"Whazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz up?"

    ReplyDelete
  40. My manager was laid off and three weeks later called to ask me to tell IT to please shut of his email account..... Not so bad you think? It was when he still had access to it on his smart phone. And no. They didn't shut off the work line that was also on that phone.

    The moral of this story: It's Gannett. Not a real company. Of course Wilks phone hasn't been shut off yet.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I noted on this board about two months ago that strange things were going on with these new verticals, and we had a series of announcements of new things that never came to fruition. Someone commented that I needed to wait and see.
    Well, I've waited and seen. Still nothing. I guess some in corporate may also have noted that nothing much has come from these verticals. Or, at least, they are seeing no income improvement as a result of them.
    Here's what I am talking about. Look at this announcement last November of impressive new features in Your Life. Now tell me how many of these can be found:
    http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/2010-11-09-letter-to-readers_N.htm

    ReplyDelete
  42. David L. Hunke decapitated tweedle dumb (Jeff Wilkes) on Tuesday. Now let us hope David L. Hunke decapitates tweedle dumber (Lee Jones) soon. Major salaries to good old boys and best chums/chumps who did nothing but fly back and forth from Madison Avenue and increase their frequent guest points at the Ritz Carlton

    ReplyDelete
  43. So Hunke finally grew a pair of balls. Maryan hanging on one side and Banikarim hanging on the other side.

    ReplyDelete
  44. It is craziness at USA Today right now. Wilkes indeed is gone. There is desperation in the 'vertical' air.

    New top-level appointees don't know the product and are full of feel-good mumbo-jumbo (Wilkes was nothing but empty management rhetoric). Rudd Davis is just as foolish but he's in L.A. chortling at his foe Wilkes leaving.

    Heather Frank at least knows what she is aiming for, but Your Life isn't working at all.

    Bringing in yet another AOLer, from the Post or not, is almost comical after the disaster the last ditz was at heading Your Life.

    Good stories, good information by good people is the only way out of this and that's the last thing anyone's thinking about.

    It really is an incredible mess, with VPs literally bumping into one another, all at cross-purposes. There is no unity, no common goal.

    It's not the different from The Office.

    ReplyDelete
  45. How many VPs do you need to run it? Seems like they need more, more, more.

    ReplyDelete
  46. More, more, more
    How do you like it, how do you like it
    More, more, more
    How do you like it, how do you like it
    More, more, more
    How do you like it, how do you like it


    But if you want to know
    How I really feel
    Just get the cameras rolling
    Get the action going
    Baby you know my love for you is real
    Take me where you want to
    Then my heart you'll steal

    Ooh, how do you like my love
    Ooh, how do you like my love



    More, more, more
    How do you like it, how do you like it
    More, more, more
    How do you like it, how do you like it
    More, more, more
    How do you like it, how do you like your love

    ReplyDelete
  47. At the site I work at the Online person and IT person were let go almost 3 years ago, both of the phones ring at least 4 times a day and both phones indicate that messages are waiting. Hope noone is still waiting on help.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Although not yet announced, Brodey is out as Your Life GM (and has been for a while) and now has a cross-vertical, women's audience role to help foster partnerships and sales in that area. Christine Allegro, also ex-AOL (video and account management), is the new GM for YourLife. All are former colleagues and close personal friends of Ms. Frank.

    ReplyDelete
  49. The Asbury Park Press overlaps some coverage with the Press of Atlantic City, which has branded itself as The Press for ages. Now APP is calling itself ThePress, too? Awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  50. This is all depressing.

    ReplyDelete
  51. All of the vertical managers do as little as possible. Allegro is a babe, nothing more. Matt Greenberg does nothing all day. Heather shops on line, lunches and makes demands, like offices for all of her out of work friends hired for unspecified *jobs*. She is sucking the lifeblood from an already thin and demoralized reporting staff. A major mutiny is brewing. People are sick of her bullshit.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Frank may be a complete joke as is her nonsense she calls consumer media but at least she wears a stupid smile and pretends to work on her weekly trips to manhattan so she can join her vertical pals shopping and going to the opera. As for the reporters? Who wouldn't want to move over and get away as fast as one can from the Usa Today terrible trio of the missing in action Hillkirk, teh vacuous Colton and the mean spirited and uninspired Weiss.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I love all this USA Today drama. Shit should be a reality TV show!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Adopting a competitor's name - The Press? Those Asbury Park execs must be idiots!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Adopting a competitor's name - The Press? Those Asbury Park execs must be idiots!
    05/06/2011 1:53PM

    Gosh, 1:53, what made you think such a thing?!?

    ReplyDelete
  56. WTF is a cross vertical? Im still trying to figure out what a vertical is. And what all those vertical managers do all day.

    ReplyDelete
  57. A cross vertical is a vertical with a horizontal crossing it.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Here is a clear powerpoint discussion of cross verticals:
    http://www.opentravel.org/Resources/Uploads/PDF/CrossVertical.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  59. Jeffrey Wilks did absolutley nothing during his time at USAT other than writing long-winded, cliche and jargon-filled e-mails. Probably pulled them directly from a text book.

    Good riddance.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I left my job a couple of months ago now - but my name and old job title are still printed every issue. I'm really not surprised they're taking their time deleting voice mail accounts.

    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.