An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Who's on furlough this week?
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Lookie at this study: Facebook is driving users to newspaper sites like USA Today. What we need to do is harness all this energy and drive more power users to USA Today, which would bring in tons of new revenue...http://www.interaksyon.com/article/3220/facebook-drives-more-traffic-to-news-sites
A blurb on todays front page of the press & sun bulletin in binghamton touts how placing the nation world page on the front of the 2nd section will allow them to give the readers more national and local news. In actuality it is because of more cuts in news space, do they really think people are that stupid?I also hear some of my co-workers chattering about cutting the comics down to 1 page, from 2....OMG.....The day that happens will see a lot of subscribers jump ship and will certainly prove the level of stupidity that exists and the management level.
Comics are one of the major reasons I still subscribe to a print newspaper (LOL). The print editions do a nice job of consolidating a lot of comics in one place. Yes, I could go out on the web and go to the various cartoonists' websites, but it's far easier to get it in print, delivered to my door. Eventually, however, I might have to rethink how much I want to pay for comics.
1. Big reorg in Digital coming soon. Mr. Payne is still figuring out his team and what he inherited. Should amoutn to many senior level departures.2. Pointroll management still does not have employment contracts. Seems like Ms. Martore and Mr. Dubow are holding out to see if this team can produce. The jury is still out and Mr. Gatto is not making any friends.3. More layoffs coming soon. USCP, BCast and USAT are all sharpening their pencils and are looking for ways to reduce costs before Q2 is over.4. New CMO is already looking at the exit door. Confirmed that Maryam has already threatened to leave once already.
Maybe we can make this the topic for the day and get some more opinions. What have the people in the Gannett universe got to say about this....comics are very important....or not?
Comics...The topic of the day! Right,that'sreally important !How about reading my bosses post about the layoffs we all knew were coming !!!Is there anything more important than the unemployment facing everyone at some point or other.Do you think a page of comics is going to change the cuts that will be made.I think not.
At the Asbury Park Press at least comics have been squashed down into a single page already. The situation is a little better on Sunday, but...I think people have been more tuned in to the rapidly shrinking newshole and the endless physical redesigns of the paper. Now that it's simply called "The Press" I think a big chunk of the people who were still subscribers now feel a disconnect from the product they'd become accustomed to. In my opinion, that's the real danger zone. When you make such severe changes that people look at the thing that arrives at their doorstep, and it looks different enough that they no longer just take it for granted, and then they start running the value equation in their head - more often than not this is why people cancel subscriptions. It's a "fuck it" moment. I hear from people in central Jersey over and over that there's nothing worth reading in the local papers, the coupons suck, and if something big and/or interesting does break, they just read it online.
9:16, And is Hollis Towns uttering a single peep of complaint about the downsizing of the paper? Towns sees himself as a Great Journalist and he talks a big game. But when the chips are down, is he throwing himself on the rails to save the last vestiges of journalism? Or is he just another in a long line of Gannett editors simply following daily instructions from his corporate bosses?
If you want regular readers (and we do, either print or online), then you have to offer an array of things people use in a newspaper. That means furniture like the comics and crosswords. I am not interested in either and only look at a comic when someone recommends one to me. But there are people who buy newspapers for the comics, and they are regular buyers. As we shift to the new age, we also need to create loyalty that keeps readers coming back. News alone won't do that because the offerings vary each day. Comics are a constant.
Maryam is too high class to stick around. She's finding exactly what Saridakis found about how clueless this company is, and I am not surprised to hear she's looking for a quick exit.
@9:29 a.m. - I think most people had Hollis pegged from day one. He's a company man, shunted off to this place and that to insure nothing more than the bottom line being met.
So sorry to hear that Maryam is looking for an out. Gannett needs smart marketing direction desperately. This seems to indicate that management was not completely forthcoming during the hiring process. How surprising.
Why doesn't corporate see that Gracia is so territorial that no one _ including a Madison Avenue marketing hotshot like Maryam _ is going to make it in this company? She's so insecure she sees everyone as a threat to her position, and poisons the well against well-meaning and needed changes. We saw this before several times now and I only hope someone steps in before its too late and people like Maryam storm out.
9:14 - Everyone knows layoffs are coming (and they've been happening all along). My Boss is now confirming it, but I don't see what else there is to say unless someone has details. As for comics, I don't read them, but I think they're important. As 9:32 correctly noted there are many things that people read papers for and each one that we cut makes it a lot easier for people to simply drop the product. At my paper, the editorial leadership cut the things that I most cared about more than a year ago, and I no longer subscribe (after years of paying for home delivery). First it was one thing, then another, then another. Finally, it reached the point where the paper had very little that I cared about, and the things that I did care about could easily be scanned on the Web free of charge ... often at somebody else's site. At most papers, readership is even lower today than it was then. So, if you cut two or more things, you'll probably see more people give up the product completely. And once someone leaves it's hard to convince them to come back, especially without major improvements.
Jim, how long has Maryam been with GCI? It's just been, what, two months? Would this be the shortest high-profile hiring stint ever for this pathetic company? At this point, wouldn't you say that any outside hotshot who can bring real innovation to the table (as opposed to what the homegrown leadership 'talent' can provide) will stay as far away as humanly possible?
The ABC audit numbers for period ending March 31 are now posted online http://abcas3.accessabc.com/ecirc/newsform.asp
11:32 Corporate announced that it had hired Maryam Banikarim as chief marketing officer on March 13.Note: I would be extremely surprised if she was already talking in any public way about leaving.
Do you think Maryam was pissed off when she arrived to find Gannett has already lauched a branding campaign? Do you think she might have some input in the damn thing?
Rumor mill alive and well. The person who posted it called her "Maryann" and referred to ABC. Her name is Maryam and she comes from NBC. Poster lacks credibility. Also, all the job postings can be found on the Gannett website. No secrets there.
Three sacred cows at my paper are the crosswords, obits and comics.
It is also ridiculous to think that she didn't know about Gannett's new branding campaign when she accepted the job. If that were true, everyone would be better off if she did leave. It would represent a remarkable lack of knowledge and common sense if she didn't do basic homework on the company she was considering a job with.
12:14 I don't think the branding campaign played any role in her decision. Did it really change this company to call it something else? Of course not, and it had such little impact that she could put together an alternative program if she wanted. As several people have commented here, it was a meaningless campaign, albeit expensive.
12:07 "Also, all the job postings can be found on the Gannett website. No secrets there."Under that argument, there's no need for newspapers or TV stations because, to cite just one example, court documents are available online.
As an employee, while I could grab a defective first-run copy for free, I felt it appropriate to subscribe to my paper -- which I read front to back every morning, even things that didn't interest me, each page, including checking ads. I often caught either credible or revenue damaging errors in news stories (in the former case) and in ads (in the latter), which were then corrected.Yet no one seemed to care that managers and supervisors were not doing this on any regular, professionally motivated basis -- unless some took credit with their superiors for errors which I brought to them. I was no supervisor; just a lowly dreg.Nonetheless, after decades of reading the paper in this manner (even years before my employ there), I ended up cancelling my subscription when they dropped the features that did interest me: mainly a favorite comic strip gone just like that, and then local writing.And by local writing, no, I do not mean rah-rah stories tied to the weekend sales at the mall as if lashed to the mast of the Pequod.
...nailed, not lashed.
xxx More layoffs coming soon. USCP, BCast and USAT are all sharpening their pencils and are looking for ways to reduce costs before Q2 is over. xxxxMy suggestion is to cut the reporting staff and the ad sales staff. That way this huge corps of execs and vps can sit around and muse about how dismal is the future of print since stories aren't coming in the way they used to, and advertisers no longer seem interested in newspapers.
Be careful with that kind of thinking out loud, 1:10, or they'll promote you to senior management in the CP and then you'll be torturing yourself to figure out how to spend all the money you'll get for coming up with such nuggets of wisdom.
GroupOn is going mobile. And, their logo is eerily similar to the old Gannett G. http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/09/technology/groupon_now/index.htm
Not the only chicken in the coop? It's true. Gannett's Deal Chicken, part of a flock of hundreds of Groupon wannabes, is not even the only chicken-themed contender. There's also Gaggle of Chicks, which is aimed at moms: http://www.gaggleofchicks.com/home
wave 2 sucks
What's up with HR dept.? Will that be central also?
5:04PM, I'll second that! It's one of the most unusable and expensive pieces of crap out of corporate. Right behind the GPC!
obviously no one has seen the World Class Sales Organization. THAT is the most unusable POS out of corporate.
way to go brad Jones in circulation. you bought the usat increase. Extending the grace period for expired subscriptons and buy electronic editions for schools using education funds. The increase is electronic not print. You bought the slight increase. Hooray for you.
HR? What's that? Managers are doing all the functions of HR.Just look around at the equipment sales reps have and you will see exactly World Class GCI is. It's easy to say a company is "world class" about as easy as it is for someone to polish a turd and call it a diamond. Just because someone said it, it doesn't make it true.
World class sales organization is the most stupid and waste of time and effort idea ever thought of! Whoever it is that came out with this idea should be shot!!!!! Total FUBAR form of marketing.
Maryam Banikarim came from NBC but has hired ABC execs to investigate Robin Pence and her department. Interviews are taking place all over the building. Maryam wants to be rid of Pence and bring in her own team but Dubow is still blocking that firing.
9:27 But why ABC? What does any TV network know about communications at Corporate?
I called it two months ago. Somebody is gonna owe me some beer!
Not to ignore layoffs, furloughs elsewhere in the company, but things are really collapsing at USA Today. A true sense of panic as the "verticals" continue to draw almost no traffic (Travel does OK, but it was thriving before all this), and virtually no revenue.Lots of closed-door meetings. Hillkirk has given up. The workflow in the newsroom grows. Good people are working very hard while new VPs just walk around.The mantra seems to be discarded '90s management exercises while the 2010s move faster than all that. A very bad time and only the honesty and grit of the people who put out the newspaper and the website keep everything afloat.
This whole "Maryam is leaving" rumor isn't even a rumor -- it is just mischief by someone here probably smiling at how viral it got. (The Maryam wants to get rid of Pence thing is equally nonsense, by the way).What did happen is that Wilkes left VERY abruptly. Could have been a blow-up, could have been weeks in the making. No one is saying but it happened very fast. Maryam is still finding her way and she did not orchestrate it. Wilkes vs. Rudd was affecting ongoing projects so something had to give. But Wilk seemed to be all vapor and no substance and may have been found out as a fakir on his own. If there is credit to give Gracia and Hunke it is that they do not suffer fools very long. Poof. He's gone.But seriously. Please do not believe everything you read here. Maryam appears to be a source of positive energy and no one believes she had anything to do with these events.
It is totally beyond my scope that the company is spending all of this money on world class sales organization. We are doing all we can simply to get people to advertise so how about let's get back to the basics. Many properties don't even have full sales forces and many don't have the time to devote full days to do nothing but making phone calls from the office. Am I the only one here who feels this way?
IN NJ Group we are being led by people who don't get it. They are too busy trying to impress those around them and throw their weight around and make a statement that says I am in charge here. It is a pathetic picture to watch. But don't say anything...they will get mad and not talk to you!
8:15PM, Oh damn, I forgot about that one too! We're having the World Class Training dog and pony show this week!
i'm ready looking forward to get layoff soon and don't look back at Gannett again!!!!
Heh8:53 what are managers doing that HR isn't doing. Not holding your limp, leaderless hand like they used to?
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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