Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Memo: GCI eliminating dozens more finance jobs

In another jobs consolidation, CFO Paul Saleh has warned finance department employees across the country that their work will be shifted to the two Shared Service Centers, in Indianapolis and Binghamton, N.Y. At least one of the centers was established, I believe, in the summer of 2008.

Saleh's memo, dated May 9, lists nine tasks that will be moved over the next 18 months -- from posting cash receipts to customer accounts to handling property and sales tax returns. He doesn't say how many jobs are at stake. I obtained a copy of the memo from a reader last night.

Two newspapers have been testing the move: those in Indiana's Muncie and Richmond. More than a dozen others will follow in June: papers in Cincinnati; Salisbury, Md., Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and the Media Network of Central Ohio group.

The memo does not say whether the consolidation includes other divisions, such as Broadcasting. These job eliminations will come amid a broader consolidation of work that has contributed to more than 20,000 cuts through layoffs and attrition since Craig Dubow became CEO in July 2005.

As with all such communication from Corporate, Saleh -- named CFO in November -- manages to avoid the use of the word "layoff" to warn of the obvious consequences. He writes:

"Further centralization will most likely result in the loss of some positions at our field locations. Local management at each site along with SSC management and division finance VPs will work through a process for determining position reductions. To help determine remaining staffing needs, functions remaining at the local unit will be identified along with the skills, knowledge and experience required to do them."

His memo continues: "The termination dates for employees losing their positions will be determined by the implementation timetable. Employees not being retained will qualify for the transitional pay program (TPP) as long as they are on active payroll on their termination date. This next phase of the Shared Service Centers is an important part of Gannett’s strategic transformation, and I appreciate all of your help and support during this time."

Shortly after Saleh was hired, Corporate disclosed that he received a $150,000 signing bonus simply for coming to GCI, on top of his $600,000 in annual base pay. He also is eligible for a traditional annual bonus.

Related: So far this quarter, Gannett has cut 36 jobs at six worksites, according to the reader estimates in this spreadsheet. Plus: read the full Saleh memo on Google Documents -- or see it below:


  1. Wow. I was in Finance. I know a lot of the people this move affects are long-time employees. You had to know this was probably coming down the pike.
    All I can say to my former co-workers about this is Good Luck in your job search.
    If you're at a company for a long time, there are a lot of skills (and software knowledge) you may not acquire simply because of the way your job is designed. This may be a negative factor in selling yourself to a new employer.
    Make your plans now. The TPP is better than nothing, but a good job on your own timetable is better than TPP and Unemployment.

  2. Makes sense to me. Why didn't they do this before?

  3. 9:36, I've been wondering the same thing. If ads can be sent overseas, why can't finance be outsourced? And would somebody please tell me what all those people in HR do all day?

  4. How long before Gannett cuts the vp positions. Why do you need upper level managers with no functions and no people left to manage?

  5. I'm trying to figure out how our useless marketing department has not been touched in the 4 layoff rounds at my site.

  6. And I'm trying to figure out how so many useless, cemented fixtures at Corporate GCI have not been touched.

  7. No matter what department you're in...you will eventually get laid off! Think Gannett can't slash another 10K or 15k+ employees? Think again. If you have not updated your resume, started looking for a new position, you are only kidding yourself. Watch your back.

  8. Peter (formerly of Poughkeepsie)5/17/2011 11:47 PM


  9. Clearly this news is underwhelming to the majority of Gannett Bloggers. Most of you are apparently reporters or sales people, judging by the few comments on this story.
    What this means to the customers is that it is going to be increasingly difficult to get any problem resolved because there will not be any local control over the billing and adjustments. Sales people will find that their numbers will be adjusted without their input to satisfy those few customers who actually managed to talk with someone about their dispute.
    Finance has always run lean, and now has to run leaner with poorer customer service and staff that is too remote to care.

  10. The Questioner5/18/2011 9:15 AM

    TPP, code word for taxpayer subsidy. Where is the outrage Tea Party people? Oh, right, corporate America never does anything wrong and should be given the PIN number to the Treasury's ATM card....

  11. 8:59 raises a good point that I should have made clear in the story: This consolidation isn't just about lost jobs -- it's also about weakening customer service. Don't forget what happened when GCI created the Centers for Excellence. . .

  12. Anonymous said...
    And I'm trying to figure out how so many useless, cemented fixtures at Corporate GCI have not been touched.

    5/17/2011 7:54 PM

    Answer: They never will be - it's the circle of friends/bootlickers/don't know why they are really there employees (and no, I don't speak of the blue collar kind - at least they are contributing). After the 2009 kill they ushered out the dinosaurs, making sure that these still got their severance payments (speaking of people with titles) and right after that GCI started TPP with the lay-offs at the newspapers.

    And now the taxpayer subsidizes this crime! Wow, that's not a smile in the face of every employee - that's a slap in the face.

    Another reader makes the following statement: TPP, code word for taxpayer subsidy. Where is the outrage Tea Party people?

    Sweetheart, the Crystal Towers are a GOP members wet dream! Should have seen them almost crying when Bush was cheered off into La-La-Land.

  13. 8:59 Sorry there's no crocodile tears for your woes. We're all so numb from what we've ALREADY been through; don't you see that? Circulation, IT, copy desks, ad building, have all been through this already, some for years. No customers are getting satisfaction anymore. Where have you been?


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