An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
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Someone made a comment about Sam Sicilano in the NJ group not being let go...i can say this about Sam. Yes, maybe it is time but Sam listened to his market and cared what the people were saying. he cared about his sales teams. He was a class act and to see him trying to fit into this new mode is sad. Maintain your dignity and go out with style Sam.
Cherry Hill was 10 that we can confirm; were told however, there were 14 (did not know about Circulation layoffs)
Gannett layoffs are a sign of permanently shrinking newspaper biz, says Rick Edmonds, who lists 7 reasons they made cuts http://ow.ly/5nzkr
All: Please don't post off-topic or silly comments. That slows things down for readers, and adds work for yours truly when I've already got plenty to do. Thank you.
So I keep reading that some people who were laid off were given a 5 week notice. Does anyone know why that is? What is going to happen in 5 weeks? Anyone have any ideas on this?
Any word on positions lost in New Jersey?
Is there any news from all the weeklies.I haven't read any posts,have they been spared?
Still looking for a MNCO (small Ohio papers) report.
Has anyone else noticed how corporate started out by imposing a new round of furloughs for highly paid employees, then decided that wasn't enough and expanded the furloughs to everyone, then decided that wasn't enough and turned to layoffs? Has advertising revenue dropped that sharply?
Could the layoffs, with a big number and a national announcement, have been meant to goose the stock a bit and take attention away from falling ad revenues?
Ironically, the head of the Cherry Hill paper was on furlough, and couldn't lay off his own secretary himself.
I was one of those that was laid off and given a 5 week address. I don't really understand why. As the weeks went by there was less and less for me to do. Maybe they kept me so long because of the GPC rollout at our site.
Woops! Meant to say 5 week notice
from APP.com (this is an AP story)NEPTUNE — Pink slips went out at four New Jersey newspapers owned by Gannett Co. as part of 700 layoffs nationwide.Thirty-six positions were lost at the Asbury Park Press, the Home News Tribune of East Brunswick, The Courier News of Bridgewater and the Daily Record of Parsippany.Thomas M. Donovan, president and publisher of the Press and vice president of the company’s East Group says all departments were affected.Tuesday’s cuts marked Gannett’s largest round of layoffs in two years and the latest in a string of austerity measures imposed since print advertising began to fall in 2006.Like most newspaper publishers, Gannett has been hurt by technological and cultural shifts, which have driven readers and advertisers to the Internet.
Any word on Detroit?
People in Phoenix are being allowed to work through the end of July if they wish to get us through furloughs that were instituted late in the quarter and will bleed over through July.
8:25: Not here in Lansing. I was a casualty.
So if they eliminate 700 positions at $52,000 a year (which is surely high), that is $700,000 a week or about $35 million saved for the year. (probably a lot less if the average annual salary is less). Gannett's profits for the first quarter were $27 million less on a year-over-year basis. So all the pain and suffering basically equates to 1 quarter's worth of falling profits. What do you suppose the brain trust is doing for an encore?
Are they killing all the Metromixes? I've seen some mentioned -- is that companywide? And if so, can they legally do that? Not sure what the terms of the contract with Tribune were, but seems like that might be a problem.
Here is the issue I have 10:07 a.m. That money should be put back into the company for the long term and it is not. It's gone in to paychecks for the top 5 execs who have no vision. Layoffs and furloughs don't take a Harvard MBA to think of. Innovating technology so Gannett has an app for IPads, Iphones, Droids and other smart phones and tablets is the future. All that corporate talks about is a mealy mouthed "app for USA Today". The should be using the money for innovating and preparing for a digital future instead of giving that money to Dubrow and Company for decisions a high school econ student could make. A new slogan and marketing campaign mean nothing if your product isn't worth marketing.
Last night, in Louisville Ky, a local news station, WHAS, quoted from this blog about the bonus' given to higher ups for laying off the employees in Gannett. I was SOOOO glad to hear this,letting the public know what is going on "behind the scenes".
I was in finance for a number of years before I left. I wonder if the company is still laundering money thru Nevada in the form of leasing the mastheads. This company is pure evil...
RGJ.com reported no layoffs to take place in Reno. But it did report 700 layoffs for Gannett as a total.http://www.rgj.com/article/20110622/BIZ/106220345/Gannett-newspapers-laying-off-700-workers?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s
And Kate Marymont has what to say about all this?If she's talking to executive editors, it's not filtering down to the troops at our site. Anyone anywhere hearing anything, even second- or third-hand, from our supposed corporate leader of journalism?
"Layoffs and furloughs don't take a Harvard MBA to think of."Good thing, because none of the Big Five at Gannett have anything past a bachelor's degree. Maybe that's part of the problem...
10:24 and anyone else who knows, could you enlighten us on what it means to lease mastheads?
I hope that everyone who is reading this blog today -- whether employed or not (I'm not) will send Jim his well-earned $5 (or more) contribution. Most of us find this blog to be an important source of information. And we all know what happens to information when the revenue isn't there to support the operation. Come on, guys, no one should understand this business model better than we do. p.s. I am not Jim, just a believer that Gannett top management needs us to hold their feet to the fire.
Kate has been amazingly quiet about a lot of things, including the disasters known as design hubs. Maybe it's because she is in the middle of another sure-to-fail project: passion topics. Anybody remember News 2000?Real Life, Real News?Passion topics is just another I'll-fated initiative put out by corporate to make it look like they are doing something in the guise of journalism. In reality, it's yet another project for under-staffed newsrooms to try and make work around furloughs and staff cuts that have made just getting the paper out a nearly impossible chore. Why Kate and others can't see what they are doing to their newsrooms is incredible. We are laying off good people and forcing other good people out of the business. If we ever go to the design hubs -- and the way they are flailing and failing, I'm not so sure they'll ever get fully implemented before gannett cuts its losses and shuts them down -- that will be the end for many of our newsrooms, because if we are routinely missing deadlines now we will start blowing them out of the water when we try to make things work w/ even smaller staffs and the design being done elsewhere. It will not work.
Should we hire an attorney and file a class action suit?
What positions got zapped at the courier post in cherry hill. nj.
I agree 10:39 and just sent Jim a $50 check
The Tennessean was not exactly honest about all who will be impacted by the layoffs that occurred on yesterday. Most of the persons on the list were told on yesterday. However, several of the news employees have not been told yet, Joe Biddle, Meg Downey just to name a few and one advertising person is still here because I still see her here today. What happens next??? The saga continues.
I just put $20 in the mail to Jim. Now's the time to pitch in.
11:13 said: "a study of human nature and what we'll all put up with for a paycheck or the fear of the unknown."Well said, friend. I was laid off in 08 as well. At the time, it knocked the wind out of me. But, today, nearly 3 years later, I am working a new job, in a new field, making far more money than I ever would have in Gannett and have less stress. Being laid off was the best gift I have ever received. Of course, it didn't all happen overnight and the first 12 months after the layoff were difficult professionally and personally, but there was a brighter, happier future ahead of me once I was FORCED to look for it. But, you're right. If I wasn't laid of back then, I would still be at the same newspaper, doing the same job, collecting the same low pay and hoping every couple of months that I could quietly keep my head down long enough to avoid the next round of cuts.
I found this interesting and quite lengthy story on CEO compensation on JSonline; it's a Washington Post story. Studies cite CEO pay as significant cause of wealth inequality For years, statistics have depicted growing income disparity in the United States, and it has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression. Now a mounting body of economic research indicates that the rise in pay for company executives is a critical feature in the widening income gap.http://www.jsonline.com/business/124329979.html
1 person was laidoff from thr phx ad production team. Could this mean that the consilidation for that dept has been put on hold? Or will they still be gone by july?
Indy News Guild Prez Bobby King's take on the layoffs is a must-read: http://einkling.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/indy-news-guilds-response-to-latest-round-of-layoffs-at-indianapolis-star/
Four gone in Wisconsin. Surely someone can post what sites?
Why oh why can people here not understand that Detroit is not part of USCP? This was a USCP bloodletting, as most of the layoffs have been. No way Detroit, USAT, broadcast or anything else would be affected. PLEASE stop asking.
From a comment on the Columbia Journalism Review site titled, "Gannett’s Multimillionaires Regret to Inform 700 Workers of Their Layoffs." The commentator is proposing the top six executives scrap the "multi" and agree to accept low-seven-figure salaries."Here’s a thought experiment: If all six of these Gannett executives worked for a million bucks a year would they work less hard? I doubt it. That’s still a whole lot of money. So why not try it and take the money saved and hire some of those workers back? Heck, we’ll even give the CEO $2 million to salve his ego and pay for whatever it is he needs so badly to make it through the day. That will keep quality from deteriorating further at already gutted Gannett papers and perhaps even retain some of the energy, experience, and ideas that are needed to help find a way out of this morass. Might even give morale a shot in the arm, too. What’s the alternative? Throwing it down the executive-suite sinkhole? No, thanks."http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/gannetts_multimillionaires_reg.php
I don't understand why yesterday's layoffs bothered me so much. I've been gone awhile. Even after that, it mattered to me because people I cared about were still there. Now there is no one at all I care about left. Oh, I cared about many of those left at one time. But the way they've treated me since I got the axe has changed forever how I feel about them. Some people I particularly don't care for (because of their unkindness to others) were among those RIF'd yesterday. I can't be very sorry for them.And yet, I am so very sad. Perhaps it is because this action seemed to cross the line. It can't be a marketing organization; they've eliminated most of the marketing people and functions. And we know it isn't a news organization any more!Gannett is now officially a hospice.
Laid off yesterday. Self medicate today? Why not.
Hello:I see the spreadsheet still does not show an entry for Great Falls.Not sure about the news operation yet, but their commercial print operation, Rivers Edge, lost 1 worker.
@ 11:29How do you know this information? Does this person in Advertising know that her job is eliminated? Do Meg and Joe know of their impending doom?
12:12 If you think Detroit or USAT are not effected by this, dream on. Yes, community papers first, others to follow. Stay tuned...
"Being laid off was the best gift I have ever received. Of course, it didn't all happen overnight and the first 12 months after the layoff were difficult professionally and personally, but there was a brighter, happier future ahead of me once I was FORCED to look for it."Now, I could chime in here and SUGGEST to those laid off and those who surely will be that there's nothing stopping them from marketing their skills for contractual work right now and essentially see how it goes with respect to being your own boss. At least until you land a full time job if that's your preference. It's a viable option, whether you're part of editorial or in another department. And the best way to present yourself as a good job candidate for full-time work is to keep working.But when I offer this as an option for those who may now feel there's nothing but hopelessness, I routinely get mugged on this site. So nevermind. Just collect unemployment and wish really, really hard that something good will happen.
Not by this layoff. People keep writing saying, what about Detroit? Why not Detroit? Why not broadcast? I was addressing that.
The Deal Chicken on the Arizona Republic's website is offering a $110 meal for TWO that includes FOUR margaritas for just $44. Let's hope that it also includes cab fare for the ride home, or legal fees to fight a DWI. Or maybe it's the layoff special, for the Republic employees who lost their jobs yesterday and need to drown their sorrows.
Two gone in Jackson, TN ...
My Boss is correct. This is the first phase. Reorgs and hubs will be used to hide the next round.
I started actively searching for a new job after the last round of furloughs, landed someplace else, and I'm so much happier and less stressed. Please take my advice, if you are not part of the layoffs, start thinking about a job in another field. Don't wait until circumstances force you to rethink your profession. Life after Gannett is so much nicer.
I totally understand why layoffs and downsizing are necessary. Newspapers are smaller now. But...PLEASE enough with the executive pay and bonuses. That is where it becomes impossible to support anything management does....it's beyond comprehension. How can senior managers take all this money and then lay off so many? It's immoral.Where is the brave soul willing to forgo his/her bonus? Jim, find us one example.
The 6 from Palm Springs were from a GPC conversion. Were there more added to the count with this layoff announcement?
CMO Maryam Banikarim's job just got a LOT harder. How do you market and brand something that is decimated? How do you connect businesses to products that are rapidly losing audience? I hope Ms. Banikarim has a Plan B too. She's too smart to stay around Gannett for long.
It's criminal and we should do something about it!
12:32 Trouble is that after drinking FOUR margaritas, you will inexorably feel the need for a FIFTH.
Here in Fort Myers a total of 14 layoffs.
Anyword on the Asheville site?
To the people here who commented that the layoffs were done to keep the stock price higher, please note that as of this moment Gannett stock is down .27 per share.
"CMO Maryam Banikarim's job just got a LOT harder. How do you market and brand something that is decimated? How do you connect businesses to products that are rapidly losing audience? I hope Ms. Banikarim has a Plan B too. She's too smart to stay around Gannett for long."By all impressions, this seems correct. Question is: Why the heck did she come here in the first place? Surely someone with her experience and savvy would have better options, no?
Brevard: 11 RIFs yesterday. About a dozen more production RIFs in August when USAT printing moves to the Orlando Sentinel as was announced last night to us.
A few things to remember:** Top executives don't think they are being mean or cruel. They congratulate each other on being strong enough to make the "tough decisions,'' and then go to a cocktail party to celebrate.** They serve the stockholders instead of the readers or employees. That is what is upside down. Remember: Gannett is still MAKING money. The company could go on for years making a tidy profit, trimming where needed, experimenting as needed, without this armageddon every four months.**There is no reason for this except Wall Street.
Its time USA TODAY senior managers share the layoff pain. Too many vice presidents, publishers, print side editors and do nothing vertical managers. The cost savings would be massive.
11:26, are you saying Biddle and Meg got the axe? I thought Tennessean wasn't announcing Info Center layoffs until Aug. 1. Do you have additional info?
10 RIFs in Jackson, Miss.
Do we have any news concerning weeklies.There seems to be a mysterious silence here.Are they just not posting or is there a mandate that they were all spared? They are small in numbers in comparison,but as a whole they employ a huge total.
So, will Gannett be issuing a $42,000 rebate?Gannett expanding in Lee County, creating 35 full-time jobsVIA PRESS RELEASE (naplesnews.com)October 14, 2010FORT MYERS — Lee County’s Economic Development Office, announced today that the county has approved financial incentives for Gannett Co., Inc. to expand operations in Lee County...This will create 35 full-time jobs … (for which) Gannett will receive an incentive of up to $105,000 from the Lee County Job Opportunity Program … Mei Mei Chan, publisher of The News-Press, said, “...We look forward to creating valuable jobs for the residents of Lee County as we continue to improve our products and services.News-Press announces 14 layoffsBy HEATHER CARNEY (naplesnews.com)June 21, 2011FORT MYERS — The News-Press laid off 14 employees Tuesday, including three from the newsroom, after its parent company, Gannett, announced 700 layoffs nationwide.Executive Editor Terry Eberle said … they had been preparing for the layoffs but that final decisions were not made until Tuesday. “We lost some very good people but it could have been far worse,” he said. The layoffs are the biggest in the company’s history since 2009, when about 1,400 jobs were eliminated.
Salem, Ore., had four layoffs. One person in circulation and three in production.
I was laid off in 2009 from the Lansing paper. I've seen several folks get laid off or "retire", only to be re-hired at a lower pay and then get laid off again. Makes me wonder if this wasn't planned far in advance. It's got to be profoundly cheaper to pay a severance package or unemployment bennys to a "new employee" at less pay, right??What a bunch of douchebags. I hope I see them in the after-world. I'll be sipping the kool-aid then, and they'll be dying for a drink. Can't hardly wait to see you!!! >:P
Have to agree with earlier posts about USA TODAY overhead. Weekend,too. Many, many high salaried managers throughout the building and Crystal Palace. The real stress is going to meetings and figuring out how to disrupt real workflow.
I am one of the 6 from Palm Springs that was let go prior to yesterday's bloodletting. From what I've heard, Palm Springs was spared any laoffs this time around. Anybody hear differently?Word is that the Publisher in PS had a meeting regarding the 700 layoffs and assured everyone that heads would roll at that site if revenue didn't increase. Good thing it's summer and not season out there. Half the business close down for the summer or scale way back until season hits again.From what I understand the Publisher and Sales & Marketing Director have been making the sales staff's lives hell. They have meeting with the sales folks both collectively and individually ripping them a new one quite frequenlty.Way to treat your employees with respect. Classy.
It's all within reach...that is your unemployment benefits!
I have to say that Saridakis saw the writing on the wall and got out of this place at the right time. He even sold his stock at the highs!Smart guy!
Anyone heard where the cuts in Greenville were?
How does the 700 break out by department?
The NEW 700 Club! How sad.... As for the "weeklies - I think they are all under "Hush Arrest!"
3:08 I am one of 6 also laid off in Palm Springs, but I don't quite agree with your statement that the Publisher & Sales Director are making sales execs lives hell. I think they finally have a fire under their feet to actually make sales and they are being taught and are learning new skills to do this. A valiant attempt to make them true professional sales people instead of order takers. Yes, that change is tough, but they have had it pretty easy previous to the new Publisher and Director, who I think are doing a much better job than anyone previously. Just my take on it.
2:56: Did you work in the LSJ newsroom?
I'd like to see a list showing the age and years of service of employees who have been laid off since January 1 of this year.
While Rome burns, USA TODAY is caving into Heather Frank's persistent demands for private offices for herself and all of her non performing AOL buddies she's hired as managers. WTF?????!!!!!
Stock is down .55 from yesterday. I don't think Wall Street has any confidence in the leaders of Gannett either.
You have to be kidding, 4:31.
USAT is next. But the headline will read 90% of USAT workers still have jobs.
Anyone have the breakdown on the Lansing layoffs by employee?
Anyone advancing the idea of age discrimation lawsuits clearly has no idea how much Gannett vets layoff lists through legal counsel. Trust me, they're not that stupid.
Six figure salaries, private offices, flailing game plan, no advertisers and few readers. The verticals are a big success!!!!
A 10% reduction in management would be too low. 25 to 33% sounds about right. Susie, your move.
Personally, I was horrified to learn that at some sites (and you know who you are), the publisher was not even on site yesterday. I don't care about furloughs and whatever rules you think you are following, these were your people and you should have been sitting in your office and available for anyone who wanted to talk, vent, cry or bitch. Leadership is NOT having your secretary send out a company wide note with Dickey's memo attached and tell people to come see you next week when you return. I have been a manager, executive and department head - yes, in Gannett. And, I was also laid off - also by Gannett. I know that laying people off is painful and despite the rantings of so many on this blog 99% of the leadership at your papers is taking no pleasure in what is being done. Still, that doesn't mean that they are standing up and taking ownership of it either. It is a spineless, jellyfish who can't even be on site during this painful and uncertain time. You know who you are and you should be ashamed of yourself.
@11:39 -- Heard there were 2 positions cut in Green Bay and one at Central Wisconsin papers. There was one more somewhere.
I'm 11:39 and thanks for the update.
USAT continues to shed jobs 1 at a time. A 2% layoff would be around 25 jobs, or 2 a month. Trust me, that has been happening and will continue. Our office has shrunk by 40% in less than 3 years.
11:39 - One at Action, one in Wausau, two in Green Bay.
6:52. Of that purported 40% reduction, how many senior managers have actually left? The paper is more top heavy with managers and veeps than ever. The proportion of editors to reporters is pretty balanced. Add in Hunkers vice presidents and verticals managers and reporters are almost a minority.
What does Minie Stanly do at Westchester in Hr?Everytime I have to ask her something, she either gives me a sheet or tell me to call the Corp office. Do all the HR Departments at Gannett work like this? What a waste of $$$that could have saved our jobs. Remember what Clint Eastwood said in one of his Dirty Harry Flicks: "Personel is for Assholes" True at Gannett
1: 03pm, same at our site.
9:02 If they are going to do top-down management, they need that bloat to come up with new story ideas. Editors can only come up with so many, but with the ample number of managers there's time in the day to dream up new ideas. The trouble is that with retirements and departures because of boredom, the pool of those with the best ideas is dwindling. Top-down also retains control, which I think is the real aim of why USAT does it this way.
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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