Monday, May 09, 2011

USAT | Amid Wilks questions, a related job posting

[Updated at 2:02 p.m. ET. That didn't last long: Barely two hours after I posted about it, the listing has changed to read: "The Job You Selected Has Expired."]

Earlier: Following is an excerpt of a job opening notice I found this morning for a vice president marketing/brand development at USA Today. The listing says it was posted a week ago. That was just days before Gannett Bloggers began wondering in this comment thread about the employment status of Jeffrey Wilks, named USAT's senior vice president of brand marketing on Oct. 19.

Listing excerpt
This position is located in either McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C., or New York City and relocation to either of these areas would be required.

Gannett’s USA Today Brand Development Department is seeking an innovative and motivated individual who will be the voice of the consumer and customer by understanding and anticipating their needs and using those insights to drive audience engagement/development through the creation and execution of progressive, productive cross-platform marketing plans. The role leads integrated on/offline teams in B2B and B2C marketing along with communications and events.

Earlier: Needing juice, USAT's Your Life vertical gets new editor.

Related: the newspaper's at-a-glance plans for verticals.


  1. Good riddance. He's done zero.

  2. Just what we need another vice president. When will GCI freeze these postions just like they do with the daily's. I'm sure there is enough VP's to take on some more work just like we do.

  3. They'll continue to make silly hires. This is Gannett, where no exec is underpaid or has enough lackies/reporting to them.

  4. Any idea what happened? Wilks seemed to be a rising star and Hunke's new favorite pet for a while. Was there a falling out between Wilks and Hunke or was Wilks just not necessary any more once Maryam came on board?

  5. Hunke is no longer the darling of the CP he once was, as reality has dawned and they now see through the bluff and guff at someone who isn't bringing more revenues in at USAT.

  6. So, how much longer do we think Hunke will be around? Will he make it through 2011? If the revenue is really that bad, it seems like Gracia will make a change sooner rather than later.

  7. Hunke's future depends on whether USAT's revenues are growing or are as stagnant as the rest of the newspapers. He's around for the time it takes for corporate to see this verticals idea isn't a viable business plan for the future. When they reach this conclusion is anyone's guess. But hastening the hour is the fact that USAT has signed on some high-salary execs in recent months, many from AOL, and corporate is going to want to see either results or signs of results of these payroll additions. You can read this in many ways from just page views to return readers. These figures can be fudged just as Hunke fudged the USAT circulation figures. But revenues eventually will determine the outcome, and the green eyeshade types are the umpires in this game.
    I'm forecasting a very rocky period ahead for USAT this summer. These are people who fought themselves to their positions, and will fight to keep them. After all, what job does David Hunke have after USAT? But I also see no sign the verticals are working, and some signs that even they are designed not to work. We also all need to remember that when the elephants fight, it's the ants that get squished.

  8. To be fair, the new organization announced in August wasn't built entirely on the verticals concept. But Hune sure did give them a lot of attention, including through new hires.

  9. Verticals are a disaster. Newsroom reorganization@ usatoday equally bad. Give these editors something to do beside attending meetings. Enough already, mr. Hunke.

  10. This is just a rehash of the same position Wilkes set up as VP of Marketing reporting directly to him. It isn't marketing at USA Today that needs the help. It is the lame client solutions department that continues to slow down advertising and bankrupt the budgets under Andrea Gingold's directionless leadership.

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

  12. As far as USAT is concerned, I've said it before & I'll say it again.....Get a management group & a sales staff that knows how to hunt & bring back the spoils.

    All this vertical-this & vertical-that is just a smokescreen for a lack of people with decent ideas & the ability to sell those ideas.

    This ain't brain surgery.

    You just hunt it down & kill it.

    And you don't come home until you do.

    I knew the advertising sales group at that paper would get fat & lazy someday & it's even fatter & lazier than I'd ever imagined it would be.

    Good lord.


  13. Gath - too much time smelling horse shit.

  14. 9:20,
    Agree completely. Client solutions is a disaster. Wilks did nothing to improve it.

  15. More losers to wrestle with megalomaniac heather frank.


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