An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
For Part 2 of this comment thread, please go here.
It's time for a companywide check-up on the sales rally. Are any sites having success with this boondoggle?
Yes indeed--The Journal News sold three more papers yesterday!
Just curious, but wondering if this shift from USA Today being a newspaper to being a "is a multi-platform news and information media company" will jeopardize White House and congressional credentials held by the reporters. Since we are shifting to becoming a company that markets news rather than gathers it, I think those credentials are now in danger. The White House Correspondents Association and the Standing Committtee on Capitol Hill is pretty strict on enforcing its rules because press space is so limited. Just a random thought:http://whca.net/whcabylaws.htm
Did you have your sticky note filled out so you can get credit for those 3 sales?
Yes, our Barbie Twins are far from the Barbi Twins. Ours are just airheads and plastic, so no need to see any photos of them, but I'm sure there are some of them on the World Class website.
Jim, Was there some big decision about massive layoffs and salary cuts yesterday that we missed. Heard things were going down but not found on your first page. Please direct.
Dear Gracia: If the new CDO wants his family to stay in Atlanta, that really is his business. But the company shouldn't be paying for a corporate apartment, a driver and travel expenses to and fro. I'm sure he can afford to pay for these things himself. Be firm. If you must, pretend he's one of those many faceless people you've laid off or furloughed over the past few years.You're welcome, dear. If you need any more sensible advice, just ask.
Here are the Senate press gallery credential rules:http://www.senate.gov/galleries/daily/rules2.htmAnother consideration is that if USA Today is no longer a newspaper, does it qualify for reduced mailing fees under U.S. Postal Service rules. This probably would be of greater concern to the community papers, I would think.
Yesterday's posts were kind out there and random.There was serious talk of layoffs and consolidations and then the rambling and argueing began about trivia.Is there any serious news concerning jobs etc.
Typical of these fools who run this place. I bet they didn't even think through what they were doing by turning USA Today into a marketing vehicle. No press credentials means reporters will have a difficult time getting into any building in Washington in these days of tightened security. It also clearly means no more Hillkirk dinners with Obama.
Who the hell cares where CDO lives !Does that effect anyone here ?Get real,this may be your last week of employment and folks are writing about how great Atlanta is !
8:29 I care where the CDO lives because if he's not willing to move his family to be with his new job, it indicates he's not planning to be with this company for a long time. He's insecure about something, and maybe it is the future of GCI. He's not alone feeling that way.
I have three or four rising star awards, one big gigantic eagle Publisher award, does anyone know if they can be sold for anything..... even brass weight? Before I toss them in the circular file.
Like 8:26 a.m., I'm more interested in the layoff/furlough/pay cut prospects than where the CDO lives. However, the My Boss comments (from the poster who's consistently predicted layoffs, furloughs and corporate changes) if accurate, indicate a floundering corporate management. That scares me, because drowning people will take down anyone within reach.Geez, my verification word is "later". As in, it's later than you think, get out now?
I cannot believe these jokers are running a major U.S. corporation. Where is the Chamber of Commerce or the Business Roundtable? Why isn't the business community up in arms about how these people are destroying this company by what have to be some of the stupidest decisions in U.S. business history?
Asheville laid off 12 people yesterday and I'm trying to find out what departments were affected? Anyone have a clue?I also had heard Mr. Hammer wasn't happy with the Adv. Dir. and her name was being tossed around.
We don't need no stinking press credentials. Even though we are now saying USA Today isn't a newspaper, it looks like one and publishes like one. What do you think it is?
I thought Payne was filling the job of chief executive officer-in-waiting. If it is true he is not moving, does that mean he doesn't want to be the successor to Dubow and Gracia? If this is true, is that why Gracia is so upset, if indeed she is?
Any other Clipper Magazine people out there who read this blog or am I the only one? I've seen some cost cutting measures being taken lately and I wanted to know if we need to brace for furloughs or layoffs.
from a previous post -someone had mentioned that Phx's ad production (art) department should be consolidated by July 1st. Do any of you think there is any truth behind this? Not sure where they got this information. Phx's consolidation date has been pushed back twice before so it could just keep getting pushed back? People are very very tight lipped about it in Phx not sure whether to start preparing for it or not? There are 23 production artists at the Phx location so that could be a sizable layoff. Insight anyone?
For everyone poo-pooing the predicted layoff numbers, are you forgetting about the FIVE upcoming design hubs? That's going to shed a bunch of positions at ALL the sites.
11:28 You are correct. Hillkirk had a three-hour dinner at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, and he doesn't have either a White House or a congressional press credential. I know this happened because I watched it on C-Span, and there was a picture in the paper the next day. So we can operate fine without press credentials, if it comes to that.
I think the Asheville newsroom got hit with 11 layoffs yesterday. There was a total of 18 planned for the building but not sure about those outside the newsroom. There were 3 reporters who chose not to apply for the limited number of positions. Of the rest, two were in sports, two news clerks, two on the multimedia team, one beat reporter, one of the copy desk and one part-time photographer. Plus an unfilled cops reporter position.
Does anyone know who Trish Squilaro is? She is the consultant advising Mr. Payne on the sweeping management changes across Gannett Digital executives and Point roll. Apparently, she has done work with Point roll and is now advising Gannett on how to "clean house".
Bosses take raises when everyone else has to cut back. Leaders do not. We are managed by bosses not leaders.
11:52She is a managing partner with Candor Cousulting ... Here is a quote from Josh R. posted on their website."In such a rapidly shifting landscape for media businesses, we needed someone who could quickly get up to speed on our organization's dynamics and work with us to customize a new approach. CANDOR immediately established deep trust within our team and gained an understanding of our people. Those relationships, combined with CANDOR's background in the digital media industry, allowed them to tailor a program that effectively aligned and energized our team." Josh Resnik, VP and General Manager, Gannett Digital Media Network
Re: Where execs live. This has a corporate history of unease that predates Gracia. Sue Clark Johnson tried to buck her boss and stay in Arizona; it was resented. She in turn tried to move other people to corporate once she had to go East. Several refused and it was ugly. These are just examples; I watched these kinds of power plays for years.There are people who are encouraged to live in other places, like Austin Ryan, for instance, whose real home is still in Iowa; others have been allowed to commute long distance because of family situations or to be near special health facilities. There used to be some really decent people in this company who accommodated their employees in very kind ways, but they are getting few and far between (even those who were decent aren't anymore.)But for others, it's all about the power struggle.To summarize why it's important: There are very petty people at the top of this company, and it is nothing new. It is amazing that they are fussing about these things and throwing huge money at commuting execs while thousands have been tossed into the cold without a second thought as to what this did to their lives.Honestly: Execs get INCREASED bonuses for laying people off. I know because I have got those bonuses. It was creepy. Something to keep in mind as you carry your little boxes out the door. Your overpaid now-former boss (I won't say manager; there is no longer any management going on) will get a nice bump for the "anguish" of having to let you know your salary is gone and your house and perhaps your marriage are now in jeopardy as a result of the strain that is to come – especially if you are over 45!I'm sure you'll find that comforting.
I've slept on it, and I still think "Lemming Trolls" would be a great name for a rock band.
It has been well over 4 months and I still don't have my pension cashout. They say it is "pending."Is anyone else having this problem? My 401k is safely elsewhere (as safe as anything can be in this market, that is!)I honestly believe they hold up the pension hoping you'll forget about it. And I've met many ex-Gannetteers (isn't that what they used to call us?) who didn't even know they had pension money to claim.How about you? Did you get your pension money? If not, let's storm the fortress! Don't wait. While, yes, the government requires certain levels of reserves, they don't do anything to ensure that you, the individual, will ever get your money.I want my pension money. I've already lost a house over this. I need to buy some groceries.
Since last weekend, I'm announcing that I will no longer refer to myself as having been laid off from Gannett.I was raptured from Gannett. The rest of them, after all, have been left behind.And I do feel I was rescued. So PTL!
someone had mentioned that Phx's ad production (art) department should be consolidated by July 1st. Do any of you think there is any truth behind this? Not sure where they got this information. Phx's consolidation date has been pushed back twice before so it could just keep getting pushed back? People are very very tight lipped about it in Phx. There are 23 production artists at the Phx location so that could be a sizable layoff. Insight anyone?
I've been trying to get a pension cashout for over a year. My paperwork keeps getting "lost." Maybe next week I'll start the round of calls and emails again ...
You can get your pension. It takes a while but they'll get it to you. Fill out the appropriate form and it comes a few weeks later. I strongly advice an IRA rollover. But if you need it for groceries, I'm sincerely sorry to hear that and hope things get better.
I've been informed by HR that my day of "rapture" will come June 3. I also feel as though I am being saved.
12:54 I may be dreaming, but I have the distinct impression I've seen this movie before. Looks like Payne is doing what they want, and has hired a consultant to clean house in Pointroll because the revenues aren't up to what Gracia expected. So heads will roll, and Payne will conclude the job-cutting phase is over. Fast-forward a couple of months, and revenues have not improved but declined largely because the cuts reduced the ardor of the division in getting their tasks done. But Payne will be gone by then, and we will search for a new CDO who is capable of taking over from Gracia, and Gracia will tell the new candidate that she wants more cuts and the production of more revenue....Hit replay...
Hearing that HR visits are rollin' slowly to avoid radar of GB. Anyone else? Memorial Day is last weekend of work for many?
Gracia: you broke my heart.
1. Numbered lists give authority to the rumors I spew. I haven't been right about much since 2008, but everyone still trembles at my words.2. Gracia misses you, 2:38. Call her. Now.3. Under Craig & Co., a new era of enlightenment and reason has been ushered into the GMC. Layoffs and furloughs are no longer options, but mass hirings are expected at USCP.
Someone thinks they're funny?
@2:45 You need to study his writing style more closely.
8:12 a.m., stop acting as if Jim has a clue. He doesn't. He is on the verge of closing this place and running off to an island.You'd be better off getting the info yourself. Oh, that's right -- you have no idea how to do that. Never mind.
1:27, I bet your workplace feels even more saved than you do. In fact, I bet they have a party to celebrate your departure. Another waste of space will be gone.
Jim doesn't have a clue. I do.
I'd take Atlanta any day over snooty, sooty McLean - it is not an attractive place and will never be what Fairfax County wants and envisions it to be. There is absolutely no character or charm about the area, and I can't blame Payne for not wanting to move here.
It has been well over 4 months and I still don't have my pension cashout. They say it is "pending."Is anyone else having this problem? My 401k is safely elsewhere (as safe as anything can be in this market, that is!)I honestly believe they hold up the pension hoping you'll forget about it. And I've met many ex-Gannetteers (isn't that what they used to call us?) who didn't even know they had pension money to claim.How about you? Did you get your pension money? If not, let's storm the fortress! Don't wait. While, yes, the government requires certain levels of reserves, they don't do anything to ensure that you, the individual, will ever get your money.I want my pension money. I've already lost a house over this. I need to buy some groceries.5/26/2011 12:58 PMI had my money within 30 days of being laid off. Got the forms filled them out and the money was wire transferred to my IRA. You must be doing something wrong or just incompetent.
3:57 PM. You are right if it was a wide spread problem of people getting their pension then that would be a problem. But it's just a few people here and there that can't seem to get it, thus that would be their own fault. They probably are not following the instructions exactly (with financial and retirement instruments you MUST cross all your t's and dot those i's). I too had zero problems receiving my money. It's typical the people that complain and bitch the most about others don't need to look any further than their nose because of their incompetence only have themselves to blame.
3:26: I love how you try to divert attention away from the validity of the employee's complaints yet other publications aren't picking up on what you're saying because the proof is in the puddin'. Nice try though.
I would like to see one positive coming out of the current management team that impacts the rest of us. No, not a branding campaign. Not some unintelligible dubow memo about more planning for a plan. Something that would actually be morale boosting and positive. Does anyone have an idea? No dubow resigning doesn't count.
I have been told that USA Weekend has made a MAJOR goof in their edition schedule for next week.Seems there was a big mistake in the "Grads and Dads" special section inside the slim magazine, and now the whole special section has to be PULLED OUT!However, the front cover will still promote: "See special Dads and Grads" section inside... and it won't be there!Damn, what a cluster____ again! How much is this mess going to cost Gannett in lost revenue?Does anyone know the details on what happened?
Riddle me this Batman: Under Federal law how long does any company have from the time you first apply before they have to get you your pension payout? Do a little homework Lemming Trolls. Let’s assume you’ve done your homework. Aren’t you shocked? Yep they have that long by law before you have to get your money. Sorry I am not telling you the answer. You have to do the work.
The fact is, we love to assume that all the Gannett sites are the cookie-cutters Gannett wants. No. Staff makes a difference. From my site? Local (keyword: local) HR was outstanding, and I regretted not having worked directly with similarly conscientious folks instead of the steely-eyed reptiles I got stuck with. Weirdly enough, HR was the most "human" experience I had, working for Gannett.So I had no problem with the pension -- but I did have a problem with COBRA health insurance, big-time, because this was the beginning of the remote HR. Gannett, this wunderkind of consolidation, had changed my insurance,no letter, no e-mail, no new card. It's the luck of the draw.
Got the officials "no raises, just merit pay" announcement during publisher meeting in Shreveport today. Publisher Pete Zanmiller said it's a corporate initiative. Quarterly merit pay for "high performers" and "key people" but no details on how we'll be judged or the amount of the pool. Sites must submit merit pay requests to Group, which approves them. Zanmiller encouraged people with questions to come ask them individually.We're holding our breath on worse news if the blog predictions are accurate.
For Retirement Plan information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor--Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration website. Click on Retirement Plans. Go to What You Should Know About Your Retirement Plan. Chapter four covers payment of benefits and Chapter 10 addresses what to do if you have a problem.
5:45 The powerful and dynamic Heather is now in command of USA Weekend.
So how long do you have to work for Gannett before you qualify for a pension? No one said anything about it when I got raptured, nor was it mentioned in the paperwork I received and I just assumed I hadn't accumulated enough time. The anger, shame and sorrow surrounding the event prevented me from asking questions.
5:45, how about a TIP rally, with popcorn?
7:09 p.m. - If you are covered under the Gannett Pension Equity Plan, you are vested once you have five years of service. Keep in mind the pension was frozen July 31, 2008.
Let's be honest. If you were Payne, would you move? He's done his homework on Gannett. Or any company really. There is no job security. He's a very senior guy with lots of employment options, he has kids in school, and yes Atlanta beats the heck out of McLean. If it doesn't work out at Gannett, he is stuck in McLean VA....really? Would you move?Bottom line....it doesn't matter. He is a hired gun. Do the job.
I left in November, and received a lump sum payment of the pension about four weeks later. Give or take a day or two.
Again, at least 20 at corporate don't live in the area. What's the deal about Payne?
Riddle me this Batman: Under Federal law how long does any company have from the time you first apply before they have to get you your pension payout? Do a little homework Lemming Trolls. Let’s assume you’ve done your homework. Aren’t you shocked? Yep they have that long by law before you have to get your money. Sorry I am not telling you the answer. You have to do the work.5/26/2011 5:54 PMThe problem is that the people on this blog that aren't getting their pension in a timely manner are obviously not following procedure. If you don't do the paperwork correctly you can't receive the money. It's that freaking simple!!!!! I received mine in a little less than 4 weeks. The amount of idiots posting on this site about how things are messed up with their money, benefits, etc. Is their own damn fault.
Believe they have 180 dáy àter rêcipt ò all paperwork.
The only deal about Payne is if it's true that corporate is paying for all this travel back and forth to accommodate his desire not to move...just like they bought Bob Dickey's house in Arizona. Another example of the haves at the top forcing the havenots in the trenches to fund their extravagance, which has always been the Gannett way.
Gannett actually has a book out called summary plan description. Retirement plan. Also you can request the amount you had in your pension as of July 2008. There is a slight adjustment for Cost of Living Expenses yearly. The rest is frozen. If you can't afford to roll it over, expect a 20% penalty and 10% more at the end of the year for a total of 30%. The address to write to is Gannett Benefits Department, 7950 Jones Branch Drive,8th Floor McLean,VA 22107. All of the questions you have along with how long they can hold your distribution is in the book. I hope this helps or answers some of your questions. Good Luck !
8:18 At least 20 people at Gannett Corporate did not relocate. Including the former USAToday publisher. Whatever they pay these people to travel and hotel it in McLean is not the issue. The relocation package would be very substantial. It's expensive for a company to move its executives. Move on. Next topic?
AD in Asheville is an airhead. Just have a conversation with her sometime. She has brought no new ideas to the table and only ideas are piped down from McLean. Why pay her $130k?
@8:41PM - She never had an original idea when she was the classified ad manager in Richmond. Makes you wonder how she got a President's Ring. Maybe a 1K per ass kissed?
I was listening to Market Place tonight on NPR. They did a story about newspapers offering "groupon" type services and mentioned two papers, Boston and I think one in Seattle. What struck me was there was no mention of the nations largest newspaper publisher and their fowl deal provider. I haven't heard any buzz about Deal Chicken lately. Has it flown the coop already?
Remember that Payne is a lawyer, so I really doubt there is any contractural or legal issue involved in this dispute. I'm opting for the power struggle. Gracia does not like people she regards as competitors for her seat. Saridakis fell from grace after the board of directors indicated they were looking at him as Gracia's successor. She's got a few more years left, and at this salary and bonus, there is one hell of an incentive to cling onto what she's got.
Deal Chicken: yet one more of those programs they announce and launch with considerable enthusiasm, and then absolutely nothing happens. Corporate seems to have lost control in havings its orders followed through. The changes are being ordered so fast and thick that no one respects corporate anymore, and then there's the huge unanticipated screwups like this precipitous moving of marketing into the news operation at USA Today that I know they are still trying to sort through.
8:53 - President's Ring? You have to be joking. I am going to mess with her tomorrow. This is what is wrong with Gannett.
Lot of effort with Deal Chicken, minimal returns. ADs and salesmen prefer big contracts not nickel, dime stuff.
I'm calling their bluff about these upcoming layoffs. How long now have we heard big layoffs are coming, and yet only minor steps made. Look at the consequences of what they've done already in really lousy papers across the country, and that's causing big headaches because advertisers don't see any reason to buy ads in papers no one is reading. I think they are floating the rumors of more and heavier layoffs just to try and get everyone concerned about their jobs. But it's backfiring and no one cares or is surprised anymore. I've never seen morale this sour for so long.
If you Lemming Trolls actually paid attention you might realize the national introduction of Deal Chicken hasn't happened yet. So why would any media site write about it? But then again facts aren't a big deal in the LT community! Nothin but Love
Precisely why deal bird has it's own sales force. Existing salepeople too busy missing goals to sell it.
Brace yourselves because layoffs are coming and I'm hearing big numbers. Not the 3,000-4,000 posted in an earlier comment but somewhere between 500-1000. An earlier post also slammed the blog and Jim but I saw that as an attempt to discourage further reading. Seems to always happen when the "s" is about to hit the fan. Time for Craig, Gracia and the entire management team to freeze their already bloated salaries, cut their bonuses, sell the plane and in general stop living like they occupy a different planet than the rest of us. Lead by example and for once in your lives step-up to the shared sacrifice needed to save this company. So you're going to fire even more people, well please don't drag this out. Don't cut some now and more before Christmas. Get it done so we can move forward, as survivors of this latest round but still planning to leave, or chosen ones having to start over somewhere else.If we lose our jobs maybe it won't be such a bad thing. Management is destroying this company and at least we'll get their TPP and collect pension money while they can still pay the bills. At some point this is all going to end badly so getting out now could be a blessing, maybe.Good luck everyone.
USA TODAY MEs (or whatever they are called now) got paid bonuses for hiring minorities, regardless of experience or competency level. This is not an editorial comment -- just a fact that I felt compelled to share. Occurred for many years and created some, well, let's saying interesting situations and decisions in the hiring and, later on, the evaluation process. No idea if it's still going on. Discuss.
10:17 I hear you, but I've heard that over and over again. Yet: no action. So when?
8:18...what do you mean by Gannett bought Bob Dickey's house? Do you mean it's still there for him to use when he's in Arizona, or it was bought as part of the relo package for the company to sell?
To 10:34pm - in the second-half and soon
8:18...what do you mean by Gannett bought Bob Dickey's house? Do you mean it's still there for him to use when he's in Arizona, or it was bought as part of the relo package for the company to sell?5/26/2011 10:34 PMNo, they buy it so that he doesn't have to worry about paying for it anymore. Linda Griewe's house was bought too when she left the Arizona Republic to be president of the NCCO and now some southern division. Also Karen Krotchfelt when she went to Indy. It's pretty common for anyone being promoted to a president or sr. vp job.
On house buying for execs. Yes, it is very common across industry. They get an outside appraiser to come by and put a value on the exec's house, then buy it and put it on the market. They can lose money this way, especially if the appraisal is way over the local value. They will also pay in full other relocation expenses, such as putting you and your family up in a very good hotel while you find a new house and negotiate the purchase. If the kids are in school and you want to wait until they are finished the school year, they will help pay for that. Then they pick up all the other moving costs.Life is good for execs. Very good.
If Payne wants to avoid the House of Pain in McLean, that's his choice if Garnett failed to make that part of his contract. If he can help turn this company around, he should live wherever he wishes. Gracia's successor? Doubtful.
I thought they did away with the home buying for everyone. I know directors aren't getting that perk anymore. Are publishers?
~10:19 Not surprising. There are also bonuses for minority hires and promotions for editors. Off and on, the minority hire and promotion policy has been on Gannett policy at community paper for at least 25 YEARS. Most gannettoids know the deal.
10:19, that encouragement of diversity hiring and promotion was true and backed up with bonuses and raises for the managers before. I'm not at the level to know for sure, but I wonder if it's one of the many, many initiatives that are just being forgotten.
O seriously, who cares? Minority or not, we're all in the same leaky boat.
Anonymous 5/26/2011 11:52 PM said:"O seriously, who cares? Minority or not, we're all in the same leaky boat."TRUE DAT!!!!!
Another great site:http://newspaperlayoffs.com/
anonymous poster warning of 1,000 Gannett layoffs = Harold Camping predicting the rapture .... just saying look at the source
5/26/2011 8:06 PM and other INCREDIBLE jerks:I have been told by corporate that all necessary paperwork is filed. Nothing else needed by me. It's just "pending." Some go through quickly, some get lost in the quagmire.But what makes you so incredibly nasty? That may be the even bigger question. If this is typical of people in this industry, then it deserves to die.
Heh Lemming Trolls Gannett doesn't buy executive homes anymore, period. You can lie, oh sorry, speculate all you want but it doesnt make it true. But then again truth doesn't appear to matter to most, right My Boss?
@9:28PM - She got the President's Ring as AD in Muncie. A publisher on his way out promoted her from Classified Ad Manager to Advertising Director.The promotion had nothing to do with talent or ability.
Let's not forget the first class travel and nights at Ritz Carlton suites for this group just to travel to McLean for a couple of meetings every week. Plus their weekly commutes to and from their homes. Someone should check in with Emily Hanson who handles these jet-setters for full disclosure on their travels.
5:36 AM, None of this would even matter if people felt as if the corporate folks were in the same boat as the rest of us trying to save some money for this company by way of furloughs, salary freezes, etc. The fact that you keep finding ways to compensate yourselves for your losses when the rest of us have to put up and shut up is disgusting.
heh 9:25 take a look at the hotel rates in McLean and you will see that an average room at the Ritz is actually less than the same room at the Hilton. So much for class warfare. Grow up
All Usat related morale and work life issues will now be handled by Hunke former secretary. She has had several months to get up to speed as his designated director of employee engagement. A few more months and she will be promoted to vice president of employee engagement.
An average room at the Ritz is over three hundred a night during the week. These special gannett executives usually opt for the pricier five hundred dollar suite. Room service is outrageous in either.
4:08 you are wrong RM rates start at $159. Another Lemming Troll that doesn't let a fact get in his jaded way.
Hey, my morale would improve if Hunke announced tomorrow that he's going to forgo his bonus this year and next and save some of our colleagues from getting the ax. Anyone else have suggestions for Angela to take to Dave? I get the feeling that she doesn't know where to start, poor thing, considering she seems to have done nothing since she was handed the position back in October during massive layoffs at USAT.
What has Angela been doing since October?
Hey 6:00, you seem to know a lot about what's going on with the corporate cronies. I'm guessing you're Debow? Too funny because like I said before, you're in the minority and no one cares what you really have to say. All publications are listening to the masses and not what the one true Gannett lemming troll (you) has to say.
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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