Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May 23-29 | Your News & Comments: Part 1

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90 comments:

  1. Hello. How are you today?

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  2. Rah Rah!!! Go sales rally!

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  3. This is the week we find out our fate in Asheville! Good luck to all...

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  4. Just read the story about the possible purchase of the Journal News building in Westchester County, N.Y.
    I couldn't help but feel very sad as I worked in that building for many years when the product that was put out was of very good quality.
    The current product is quite embarassing, and it makes one wonder how much longer this will continue.
    I read this blog fairly regularly and I know the trials each of you have gone through working for this company.If you want results from your employees, then you treat them with a degree of respect and dignity.I don't believe GCI knows them meaning of either word.

    As for the westchester newspaper, corporate people should really take a very close look at what is being marketed here--it is disgraceful!

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  5. VAIL, Colo. (UPI) -- A former Gannett Inc. editor, unable to make the payments on a $1.8 million second home in this posh ski resort, has listed his collection of nine so-called "president's rings" on eBay to avoid foreclosure.

    The editor, identified only by his eBay user name of "Dumbdowner," put an opening price of $9.99 on the rings, which contain 25 percent pyrite and 75 percent lead.

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  6. Next time the quarterly conference call plays, they should intro it with this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxrd_jZJxkg

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  7. Non-OC member should scoop up one of those G rings and wear around the office. Talk about making those boneheads feel stupid.

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  8. Had to bite on this one.... I found no Gannett rings, no presidents rings or "Dumbdowner" listed on eBay. Why don't you supply the link anonymous at 10:41am?

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  9. Also no UPI story found anywhere. Nice try.

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  10. Ummmmmm. knew off the bat that this was a joke,..... good one.....

    Sadly, like many things in life, there is truth in humor....

    Didn't Robert DeNiro say that as Al Capone in "The Untouchables"?? hahah

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  11. The subtle irony of 10:41's satirical post is that pyrite is, of course, "fool's gold.'

    How appropriate.

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  12. Ha Ha … Sticky note sales initiative ?? Are we all doing this stupidity ??
    Dear Craig Dubow.. you are clearly retarded … lol

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  13. 10:41: I don't believe the post. President's Ring winners do not own that many rings. The first four awards would include the ring and then three additional diamonds added to total four rings/awards. The fifth award is the Chairman's ring - has a platinum top and four diamonds. Any rings won after the 5th would be a check. So the most actual rings any winner would ever have would be two.

    That said, President's and Chairman's ring awards are just plain stupid no matter how many anyone owns!

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  14. I knew 10:41's post was a fake, and I knew there would be no shortage of stupid people here who would fall for it.

    I would bet the story already has been circulated as true across several minion platforms. Admit it, minions.

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  15. Actually, after six rings you get a plaque with an engraving of an ass with lips attached.

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  16. Looks like we are going to need a permanent end of life reporter. Preacher Howard Camping remains the most popular story on USA Today as well as some other sites I checked, and now Billy Graham is getting into the end of life theme. Since marketing is now determining our coverage, this all means a full-time rapture reporter, I fear.

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  17. 1:46 Certainly. After all that's the way news really operates. Thousands of outlets are crying for this Gannett president's ring story, and the phones are ringing off the hook.

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  18. 1:46 Howard Camping, the preacher who came up with the idea the world was ending, broadcast his forecast on the radio. So why not try that medium instead of a Gannett blog?

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  19. 10:41's President Ring deadpan post was hilarious! People need humor. Lighten up! Besides, everyone knows the same kinds of people are recognized by Gannett's Mutual Admiration Society. Everyone else who's not a member, they're less than meaningless(if that's possible) -- but at least we're not incestuous.

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  20. Here are two actual ebay posts:

    Someone trying to unload a USAT polo shirt:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/USA-Today-Shirt-Polo-Media-News-Sz-L-patriotic-Gannett-/270751829015?pt=US_CSA_MC_Shirts&hash=item3f0a110c17

    Someone trying to unload a Gannett polo shirt:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Gannett-Newspapers-Lands-END-golf-shirt-Small-NWT-/230396947797?pt=US_CSA_MC_Shirts&hash=item35a4ba6d55

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  21. Hey, the ring thing was pretty funny. It was a joke, folks, nothing more.

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  22. Just looked at the Springfield (MO) News-Leader website to get the latest about the tornado that struck nearby Joplin. Pitiful coverage. Most of the photos were from the AP and Tulsa World. Most of the stories seem to be lightly rewritten wire copy. There was a time when the News-Leader would've owned that story.

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  23. Just picked up a copy of USA Today for the first time in close to two years after being stationed overseas in a place where most American newspapers are not sold. Holy cow! What has happened to that publication? Many of the features and the look and feel aren't there anymore. Saw a few typos and really poorly written headlines and captions. I am not a newspaper expert, but I do still read print products, and this one has gone downhill. While I can't articulate all of the specifics of what isn't in USA Today anymore, it's clear that something is missing, not just pages but quality.

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  24. Sales Rally take 2 - How did your Barbie Twins do today?

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  25. Can someone please find out if The Spectrum & Daily News employees are going to have forced furloughs in Q2? Things are looking scary over here

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  26. Rob Gatto of Pointroll is totally screwed and desperate. Looks like major detections from both employees and clients. Rob Gatto is trying to figure out how he "hides" these problems from Gannett.

    Sarah Ripmaster has taken a mysterious and unplanned sabbatical to take time off. Everyone believes she is interviewing with Saridakis at GSI Commerce.

    Head of operations at pointroll quit abruptly along with the head of publisher channel development.

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  27. Something is clearing going on at Gannett; I have not been on this site in quite a long time. I just became a little curious during the last couple of weeks with seeing some close door meetings and such then questions directed my way on cost savings ASAP. Just makes a person wonder but after reading the blog for a couple of days it's all making sense.

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  28. That sound you are hearing are the wheels coming off.

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  29. I'm betting on cuts around mid-June. How was the 2nd sales rally?

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  30. Who are the "Barbie Twins"? If they're really Barbie-shaped, could you please post some pictures? :)

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  31. NJ is not hitting it's numbers, despite the layoffs in the last quarter. Word is the APP is next in line for a haircut, actually a scalping.

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  32. I hear all this stuff about more layoffs, 8:23, but I don't see how they can do that and continue publishing. I guess it's possible to have yet more rounds, but eventually they HAVE to come to the conclusion that what they are doing isn't working, and in fact is making things worse. It's not me telling them this, it is the financial reports they are pouring over.

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  33. Furloughs hell,those of you with just furloughs will be lucky (unlucky) ones.Everyone knows
    layoffs are coming and once again the dramatics continue at the top.Scare the hell out 100%
    to let the 10% go .I am sure the remaining Gannetteers,as myself are well prepared.Let the blood letting begin !!
    To the ones who actually want to stay...Fool you once...oh it's been fool you 4 times...wow are you folks gullible.

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  34. I don't know much about this business, but I do know one thing: you can't engineer news. Hell, after all of these years working in newspapers, I can't even tell you what a news story is. But I know one when I see it. So please, please, corporate, go back to the days of an old fashioned newsroom, get these marketing and financial people back in their world, and let us do our jobs. We know how to do it and these meddlers do not.

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  35. Your job.....will be gone, stop trying to plan asthough you have a future with Gannett...
    Geez wake up !!!!

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  36. Pointroll employee5/24/2011 9:16 AM

    Pointroll is in bad shape. We are missing our numbers and Gannett is starting to ask Tonya and her finance team to report daily numbers directly up to senior management at Gannett.

    The new Chief Digital guy has been here once and clearly hasn't a clue about our business or any work that we do. Rob Gatto was mocking the new CDO and telling his team that he now has both Gracia and David Payne wrapped around his finger.

    Meanwhile, Sandy has been interviewing and trying to find an escape!

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  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  38. A scalping only takes place at the top. In the case of the APP, that means the overpaid blowhard EE.

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  39. any truth on James Jackson leaving?

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  40. 8:44, word is specialty beats will be reduced and 2 news bureau closed. Meetings coverage of fringe towns will be dropped. EE is safe.

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  41. Most deadly tornado in decades strikes less than an hour away from the Springfield Missouri News-Leader, and their front page photo today again is from the AP.

    Didn't Kate Marymont used to work at that paper? I wonder what she thinks about such lazy coverage. Heck, I wonder what Kate Marymont things about anything these days.

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  42. Regarding cutting at the APP in New Jersey, the word is that they're considering eliminating some ancillary products because doing them in the design hub with the new software is more time-consuming and requires more almost 200 percent of the person-hours than needed using the old, passe' software.

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  43. Can someone smarter than me (just an OC member) tell me what stock dropping below support means? Here's a link to tradershuddler.com http://bit.ly/l9ocYf

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  44. This blog is dying again. Look at how few posts there are, and look at how lame those are.

    Jim is on the verge of flipping out again and running off to an island.

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  45. 11:21 Roll out more verticals, lard the news operations with more marketing vps, bring strippers in to entertain the sales staff during work hours, and watch that stock soar.

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  46. Why is this calamity happening to me? I was pretty certain I was one of those select souls destined for rapture Saturday.

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  47. No personal knowledge of James Jackson leaving the Enquirer, but you have to wonder how he could work under a corporate wind-up doll like Margaret Buchanan for so long. If he really has any inclination for entrepreneurship or desire to work for a growing company, he should have left long ago. By waiting as long as he did, he undoubtedly lost a ton of money on Gannett's bargain-basement stock.

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  48. James Jackson is still the VP of New Media and Product Development @ the Enquirer.

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  49. 8:44 -- Everybody who keeps saying there is no more room for layoffs simply isn't thinking like a business person. Don't get me wrong. I think Gannett has cut the quality of its products so far that its chances of recovery (at least as far as newspapers are concerned are slim). But there are still many ways to cut expenses and personnel.

    1) Cut existing sections of the paper (i.e. features, business, whatever a particular property is still publishing outside of the section front). This allows you to cut staff and newsprint costs.

    2) Stop publishing certain days of the week. Again, this allows you to cut staff and newsprint costs.

    3) Go weekly. A more dramatic version of the above.

    4) Go online only. This allows for a dramatic reduction in staff and saves a lot of production costs. Presents problems on the advertising end, though.

    Just think about how few people a weekly paper works with compared to a daily and you can see just how much Gannett can conceivably cut in the future. I wouldn't expect these things to happen all at once, but I do think we'll see variations on some of these measures in the future. It's simply the only way the company will be able to continue drawing huge profit margins from a dying industry. It would be nice if the company was more interested in rebuilding and bolstering the products that it has, but the executives running the company have made it clear that they are looking only for short-term profits regardless of what that means for the future.

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  50. Has anyone heard anymore news out of Asheville?

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  51. Curious, how many newspapers have a 6 page A section anymore? How in the world can such a place survive?

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  52. Has anyone noticed Gannett's gradual obituary shift to Legacy.com? Is this the latest cost-saving measure? http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/htrnews/
    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/courierpostonline/

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  53. Stock looks poised to drop.

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  54. Question for any on-site ad traffickers dealing with stuff coming back from the GPC: Does anyone think these are jobs that will soon be eliminated company-wide?

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  55. 12:21, yes, good points all. I'll add these:

    * Cut out computers. Reporters can file on their own smartphones. Bought with their own money.

    * Stop distributing print copies to save on trucks, drivers, fuel, etc. Stop home delivery for same reasons. Readers who are still subscribing clearly are 'diehards' who will come to the printing plants to pick up a copy. Set up a small counter there with a cash register (one sales clerk only, again, to save costs) to ring up sales.

    * No travel allowed. Even local travel to cover city hall, fires, plane crashes, etc. to save on mileage/travel. All such reporting can be done, again, using employees' personal smartphones.

    * Similarly, no sports travel to events. Watch the games on TV or, for high school and such, wait until a parent posts it on YouTube, Facebook, etc.

    * All editorials to be written by local bloggers, as a 'guest of the week/day' concept. All letters to editor run unedited. This will allow us to cut all salaries associated with editorial pages. Just a bunch of pompous windbags anyway ....


    ... More TK ...

    Best,

    CD

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  56. 11:21, there's this new thing out there called Google. You could try that.

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  57. We are all waiting for news, including Ashville. I don't know this for sure, but I think there has been a hitch. Anyone watching what's happening on the 20th floor?

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  58. 12:21 Even if any of those schemes were adopted, why would you think they would be successful when the copy running in them is overseen by marketeers who are involved in sales rather than professional news people who are striving to be independent voices?

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  59. @2:32 A hitch? What kind of hitch?

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  60. A hitch as in someone making a decision. Period 5 is ending this week, so I am thinking they will be forced to do something when they see the results come in next week. I do not expect good results.

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  61. 11:12 It appears to mean this is a stock in search of another bottom, or is in free-fall. Corporate doesn't seem to care about the declining stock, so why should we?
    http://www.zacks.com/research/get_news.php?id=144l9768

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  62. Craig Sevier5/24/2011 4:40 PM

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  63. puff puff pass, Craig.

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  64. Oh please, please, PLEASE lay me off. I'm going to retire in a little more than a month anyway (I've not yet given notice) and I'd love to soak up some unemployment and that bogus transitional pay, or whatever they call it.

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  65. Five layoffs coming in Ashville. New Ad Director not doing well. Revenue is down and she is not getting the job done.

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  67. 7:02 Miss Hooters of Colorado is certainly hot, hot, hot, as are the girls of the Jersey shore. Not so many porkopolis locals, however, for obvious reasons I guess.

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  68. Who was it who escorted Dumbo across the river to the Taylor Park casinos in Newport?

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  69. The critics of the Springfield News Leaders coverage of the tornado in Joplin are wrong!

    There coverage of Springfield is just as weak. There top reporter name is (AP).

    No wonder their circulation is sooooo small.

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  71. Press manager in Burlington is leaving after 30+ years. New publisher is causing havoc many longtime employees jumping ship.

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  72. Our place has cut back on news gathering expense other than regular staff. Circulation is down at most papers compared to last year. Advertising is a mixed bag and the bag has holes in it. Stock is in decline because of weakened future and an economy that is not very strong, so you should sell it out of your 401k frequently. (Dropping below support means it has gone below a line on the chart that the price doesn't usually go below.) Corporate should bet the farm on improving and preserving the products rather than trying to maintain bygone high profit margins.

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  73. "So please, please, corporate, go back to the days of an old fashioned newsroom, get these marketing and financial people back in their world, and let us do our jobs."

    Sorry that would make too much sense. What would all the faux editors — who can't write, report, edit, or manage people —do all day.

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  74. Cuts coming up will rival if not exceed the cuts in the summer of 2008. When will the shareholders get rid of these incompetent "leaders" who are running Gannett into the ground? Cutting is not the answer. But I guess as long as they get their bonuses, everything is okay.

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  75. Well, this is odd.

    GateHouse's paper in Utica, N.Y., run by a publisher who was elated after Gannett jettisoned it a few years ago, is shuttering its press and printing at Gannett's press in Binghamton.

    The whole reason Gannett sold Utica, part of the then-UBIE group, was because when it consolidated press operations from old presses in Binghamton, Ithaca and Elmira into a new press in nearby Johnson City, it couldn't figure out a way to add Utica to the press because of the snowy, one-lane-only 75 miles between the two cities.

    Not surprisingly, the publisher glazes over the layoffs. The local TV station reported more than 14 people will lose their jobs.

    I guess in the long run Utica won out being cut out of the equation by Gannett. It benefits from a new Gannett-owned press without having all of those pesky Gannett-mandated layoffs.

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  76. 1:43 xxx Sorry that would make too much sense. What would all the faux editors — who can't write, report, edit, or manage people —do all day. xxxx
    Plus editors who never dummied a page. I always wondered how print would end, and I think we are seeing how it will happen. A craft will just die out, just as those generations of linotype printers and stereotypers are no longer around, and lead type is a memory.
    One day, someone will turn to an editor and say "will you layout the page." And the response will be "I can't. I've never done that." And print will die.

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  77. Who are the Barbie twins?

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  78. 6:39AM...One is from Brevard and I forgot where the other one was from. Not really sure what the hell they do. I'm sure they are paid well though.

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  79. Who is EE at the APP?

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  80. Those Barbi Twins (and it is spelled Barbi) are
    pushing 50 already! But - what ever floats their boat, not to mention - it is a sinking ship already....

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  81. 8:17, you may want to check your spelling before you criticize or correct someone, that of course is unless you came up with the name.

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  82. From Brevard, it must be MM. I bet the other is Krans' assistant.

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  83. The EE at the Asbury Park Press is Hollis "I Am Such an Ass" Towns.

    From Romenesko a few years back:

    Cincinnati Enquirer managing editor Hollis Towns recently went to a leadership center to learn more about himself. The weeklong experience was “an eye-opening trip down the highway of self-awareness,” he writes in the Enquirer’s newsroom newsletter. “I knew that sometimes I could be an ass. And insensitve. And unsympathetic. Insufferable. Demanding, among others. But, boy, I didn’t know how much.” Towns tells his staff that he’ll spend 2006 “working on me if you’ll do the same about you.”

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  84. Regarding the comment about Legacy and Obits. Legacy hosts obits (and pets and legals) for many newspapers. The newspaper pays a fee for each obit. Legacy reviews all guest book signatures before posting as well as many other services that newspapers could never do without hiring more help

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  85. 9:04 AM said:
    "8:17, you may want to check your spelling before you criticize or correct someone, that of course is unless you came up with the name."

    GOOGLE IT!

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  86. 11:24, I did.

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  87. 8:12am, no they do not have Barbie's shape. I think the label was more for how they acted. Like you know?

    8:17am, Wow! No, not those Barbi twins! I wish they looked that good! :)

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  88. ANONYMOUS SAID... THE NEW CORPORATE HEADLINE THE RUMORS THAT 3000 TO 4000 WILL BE AX BY END OF YEAR AND REDUCTIONS IN PAY FOR EVERY EMPLOYEE AT ALL SITES TAKE TO THE BANK. PLEASE DO NOT WATCH WHAT SAY. PLEASE ONLY PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT THEY DO. I MEAN CORPORATE.

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  89. It's not going to be a good year.

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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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