An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
For Part 2 of this comment thread, please go here.
All I want to hear about is about the pending lay offs -or furloughs?anyone?
Osama who? It's back to American idol in USA Today's front page top 10 stories. So much for ....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 USAToday, where she will be editor of the new Your Life feature and lead ateam 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, Carsand Real Estate. She quickly transitioned to features where she managedonline coverage for Style, Food, Travel, Magazine, Books, KidsPost and Home& Garden; she was the editorial lead on Going Out Guide, edited multipleblogs including Celebritology, revamped the nothing-but-pageviewsDiversions area (comics, horoscopes and crosswords) and coordinated ourcoverage on countless award shows and feature packages, most recently the150th anniversary of the Civil War.Before joining the Post, Nancy was the director of women’s programming forAmerica Online. She worked extensively with AOL’s partners — OprahWinfrey’s Harpo Productions, Meredith Publishing, iVillage and Time Inc.’sInStyle.com and RealSimple.com. Before her stint at AOL, Nancy worked forCBS 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 inher new adventure.Kerr is one of five WaPo staffers leaving for other pastures.
Interesting how many reporters and editors Bloomberg continues to vacuum up from all over the country.
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.
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...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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=lstMarch 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=lstMay 5, also pretty bad, http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/hr.asp?fpVname=NJ_APP&ref_pge=lst
Worth reading: Bill would cut legal ads from newspapershttp://new.bangordailynews.com/2011/05/03/business/bill-would-cut-legal-ads-from-newspapers/?ref=latestFrom 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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
Me thinks receiving legal notices through the "Other Electronic Methods" could possibly be through the iphone..... ....just a thought ...
Not everyone has a computer. Hah! Most people don't subscribe to PRINTED newspapers.
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
oops Phoenix New Times
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.
So, is Denise Brody out as YourLife GM? Any truth to the rumor that Jeffrey Wilks is already on his way out too?
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."
Jeffery Wilks is out as of yesterday. He is no longer with USAT.
3:12 - my goodness, that was a quick tour of duty for Wilks! Any idea what happened?
Indirectly, at least, that would represent the first scalp claimed by Corporate's new chief marketing officer, Maryam Banikarim.
Wilks' voicemail is still active; I've left him a message, asking what's up.
We were told today in a meeting lead by Hunke and Maryam.
Wilks a goner. Didn't do anything. It is clear they were expecting big things (and big bucks) out of this branding thingy.
If Wilks voicemail is still on---not a goner.
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?
Wilks was a smart man, don't understand why the ousted him over Jones...seems to be the common way around here.
3:44 What else came out of that meeting with Hunke and Maryam?
I left Gannett 4 months ago and my voice mail still works.
5:28---Have you left yourself a message?
5:45PM---Yes I call my old number and say--------"Whazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz up?"
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.
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
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
So Hunke finally grew a pair of balls. Maryan hanging on one side and Banikarim hanging on the other side.
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.
How many VPs do you need to run it? Seems like they need more, more, more.
More, more, moreHow do you like it, how do you like itMore, more, moreHow do you like it, how do you like itMore, more, moreHow do you like it, how do you like itBut if you want to knowHow I really feelJust get the cameras rollingGet the action goingBaby you know my love for you is realTake me where you want toThen my heart you'll stealOoh, how do you like my loveOoh, how do you like my loveMore, more, moreHow do you like it, how do you like itMore, more, moreHow do you like it, how do you like itMore, more, moreHow do you like it, how do you like your love
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.
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.
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.
This is all depressing.
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.
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.
I love all this USA Today drama. Shit should be a reality TV show!
Adopting a competitor's name - The Press? Those Asbury Park execs must be idiots!
Adopting a competitor's name - The Press? Those Asbury Park execs must be idiots!05/06/2011 1:53PMGosh, 1:53, what made you think such a thing?!?
WTF is a cross vertical? Im still trying to figure out what a vertical is. And what all those vertical managers do all day.
A cross vertical is a vertical with a horizontal crossing it.
Here is a clear powerpoint discussion of cross verticals:http://www.opentravel.org/Resources/Uploads/PDF/CrossVertical.pdf
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.
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.
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.
Subscribe in a reader