An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Nothing like insomnia to inspire posting.I'm now going to try directing the recent conversation about layoffs in, I hope, a sensible direction. First, please read this post.Layoffs are ongoing. There may be occasional blips upward, but they have now become a slow drip-drip across the company.
Curious to know what you all believe are key traits of a good publisher. in the eyes of:-staff-public-corporate
A sensible direction at usa today seems impossible, given the misguided direction the paper is on due to Hunke and his merry band of vice presidents. With Susie Ellwood's arrival, we have nothing to look forward to except things getting worse. Just start cutting from the top before you drive any remaining talent out the door. Nah. That will never happen.
Haven't heard anything about the USA Today interns recently. Any developments/Taken care of?
How many were laid off recently?Please post any knowledge of co-workers that are gone or if you yourself were laid off.That is the key information and employees are not posting here .Why ?As Jim and others have said it is a constant mode of operation,so why no firm information here?
A poster in Part 2 asked about "voluntary" layoffs. At the Gannett site I work at they don't accept voluntary layoffs. I was told it's because of the Transitional Pay system. To get transitional pay, which is tied to unemployment, you have to qualify for unemployment. A person who "volunteers" to be laid off doesn't qualify for unemployment because volunteering for a layoff is technically quitting. You would think that a supervisor would take your offer and quietly (i.e. not tell the corporate HR Keepers of the List) and substitute a volunteer for a person on the list, but apparently that's not going to happen. At least not at my G site.
Wonderful piece on the death of journalism and crowdsourcing. Be sure to read the comments.http://newsosaur.blogspot.com/2011/06/value-of-journalism-sir-is-not-zero.html
One of the problems with voluntary layoffs was that the employees the managers didn't want to lose shot their hands up while the ones they didn't want to keep sat on theirs.You almost have to admire how diabolically clever that transitional pay system is. It has certainly made me re-examine how I'd feel about getting laid off. Before I would think "Well, at least I'd have severance as a cushion." With this new system I would not, because I have no intention of drawing out an interlude of unemployment just to make the company pay.That's the problem with being more moral than the company you work for.
I was told it's because of the Transitional Pay system. To get transitional pay, which is tied to unemployment, you have to qualify for unemployment. A person who "volunteers" to be laid off doesn't qualify for unemployment because volunteering for a layoff is technically quitting. 6/15/2011 8:51 AMI decided not to reapply for my job, so you could say technically that I volunteered to get laid off. Yet I am eligible for transitional pay, so I don't really see the difference in just letting employees volunteer to go if layoffs are going to happen no matter what.
The board needs lay offs in order to fund Craig's and Gracia's 2012 pay raises. They are thinking that about 1200 heads should just about cover it.
With all of the ongoing staff reductions, you have to wonder about the pension plan funding level.
10:02 I'm sure the layoffs will align company resources with top management's strategic priorities.
...because if you lay off enough people, it's all within reach.
I noticed recently that Dubow's annual compensation is about the same as the entire annual operating budget for ProPublica, the non-profit, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. I wonder how many Gannett newsrooms could be fully funded for ten million dollars annually.
10:02 A good compensation package is an important part of retaining top-quality management.
Interesting article at Forbes.com http://blogs.forbes.com/jeffbercovici/
Until we see a real culture shift in Gannett, which would have to be brought about by a hostile/activist investor, Gannett is fated to remain a content-generating laggard. Managers and skilled employees with a good career sense have either moved on or will do so soon. Those who stay behind are increasingly the second-rate Gannett managers who excel at survival rather at journalism or audience-building.
I'll bite..."10:02 A good compensation package is an important part of retaining top-quality management."Good. hopefully some day we will have top quality management.
11:01 a.m., where's the top quality management?
Does anyone know the date when phoenix ad production will be consolidated? How many papers are left that still have in house ad production?
"A good compensation package is an important part of retaining top-quality management."It is also an important part of retaining to-quality staff. How come no one is concerned about that part?
Phoenix consolidation is going this month, I believe there's just three properties left after this week.
Jiffy Lube story on the cover of yesterday's USAT Money section sure smelled like an advertorial:http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2011-06-13-oil-change-jiffy-lube-recommendation_n.htm
Interesting Read:Copyright Troll May Face Sanctionshttp://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/06/copyright-troll-may-face-sanctions/240506/
I read that Jiffy Lube story -- I don't agree that it smells like an advertorial.This is actually a topic that has been bubbling for several years. Many consumers who came of age in the era of regular 3,000-mile oil changes probably don't even realize that their newer cars might need a change only every 5,000 or even 7,500 miles.Quick-lube chains actually have a vested interest in consumers remaining ignorant, because they'll bring their cars in more often. So the fact that Jiffy Lube is addressing the issue is actually a newsworthy business story, I think.
The Jiffy Lube story could be a new version of the Advertiser Testimonial Ads.
What's the latest on GannettLocal?
I'm not 12:58, but I disagree with 2:10 because I didn't think it to be much of a story. If you have a new car that tells you when the oil needs changing, follow that advice. If you have an old car, the routine you have been following has kept it running so far, so why change? Even if Jiffy Lube has my e-mail address, which I didn't give them, I never hear from them now except for an occasional snail mail discount lube offer. I do use their service.
2:37 Maybe the August story doldrums are beginning early this year?
@ 12:28 - the end of the month for phx? That is only about 2 weeks away. Can the consolidation really be completed in that short amount of time? Doesn't seem possible there is no sign of it starting yet. It's been very quite, a little too quite! Unless its all being handled behind the scenes. Any insight?
John Reinan said: Many consumers who came of age in the era of regular 3,000-mile oil changes probably don't even realize that their newer cars might need a change only every 5,000 or even 7,500 miles.No one will ever mistake me for a professional mechanic, but I believe the reason for less frequent oil changes today has more to do with vastly improved oil formulations, not with any magical qualities inherent in new cars. Motor oil has changed a lot in the last 30 years, most laws of physics have not.
After this week it's Iowa City then Phoenix, that should be it for GPC.
"After this week it's Iowa City then Phoenix, that should be it for GPC. 6/15/2011 3:57 PM"And that should be it as well for lots of people's careers, as well as for the "local focus" Gannett falsely trumpets so often.But at least yours is straight-up info, 3:57... something Gannett repeatedly fails to provide.
Oh great -'that means gpc is about to get worse again.
Link to story in IBJ about the demise of Indy Metromix print pub. http://www.ibj.com/star-folds-publication-aimed-at-young-readers/PARAMS/article/27750
6:10pm, yes and the poor folks going live will be joining our hell.
Poor phoenix adv artists! they don't appear to have a clue. They think they dodged this bullet (ad production consolidation) from corporate.
12:58 I had the same first reaction when I saw the Jiffy Lube story headline. But then I read the story and decided it was just a consumer-oriented piece, the sort USA Today writes all the time.A year ago, however, I wouldn't have been immediately suspicious. This is the downside of Publisher Dave Hunke's drive to make the paper more advertiser-friendly: run-of-the-mill stories are suddenly suspect. I trust the paper a little less than I once did.
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The Chicago Tribune recently expanded and redesigned its paper. It looks so much better than the clusterf*ck my Gannett paper has become after its redesign an shrinkage. It makes me sad that it's only when I see another company doing good things that I remember what it feels like to be proud of a print product.http://apple.copydesk.org/2011/06/15/a-look-at-the-redesign-launched-today-by-the-chicago-tribune/
Jim, please don't hesitate to delete comments by jerks. No one will miss them.
Yo LTs here is the scoop: A. If you volunteer for a layoff and you are laid off you are eligible fir unemployment unless you are a moron and tell unployment you quit. B. Your Federal Government and the wait for it.......auto manufacturers unions came up with TPP. Gannett just plugged into it. I know, the truth hurts and Jim will delete the post but now you know the truth!!!
It is amazing to me (and other salespeople) how the digital people have zero accountability. At my NJsite today, the digital person who only has to sell daily deals was begging us to call our clients to help him out. Please.
Finally got my pension payout. Took five months of chasing them. I know some get it right away (and people on here get hostile if you say there is a problem) but many of my former employees have had trouble collecting through no fault of their own. All paperwork is approved but many excuses abound.Note 1. To hostile people: Just because someone else has a problem and you don't, it doesn't mean they did something wrong.Note 2, and much more important: I detect a distinct business plan in hoping not to pay out all pensions. Folks, they hope you don't understand you have a pension payment coming. File now! Leave no money in the hands of the Gannett monster. Watch out for yourself!
I am not the person who posted the Groupon test link. But I am a laid-off Gannett employee who applied for that job in Chicago and was asked to take that test. The "voice" is extremely important to them!
9:22 Excellent point. The pension is underfunded. If the funding falls below 80%, the payouts are restricted.
They are driving people to the breaking point so they leave and they don't replace them. My site just lost a handful of folks - 5 I know of off hand. The managers are not allowed to replace them. The shit pile is getting deeper.
If layoffs come, they arrive. It's like waiting for Godot. He'll show up, you just don't know when. It's sad to see the pointless demands for proof and names. Unless it's your property, you won't know the names. How sad for some people here to rant and rave. Jim does an excellent job in monitoring. We all can see the pathetic people who lash out. Shame on you.
9:34 That's why Saleh needs a corporate cash manager for the Gannett Treasury because that is the only person who can tell them when that 80 percent point is passed. It's sort of like this federal debt limit issue -- the government has already run out of money and the deadline has passed, but can shuffle some accounts around until Aug. 2 under current plans, and then faces real problems. Or will it ever come to the default day because the consequences are so dire?
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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