An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
So now it is over, do we have any early word on how Period 6 went, and what the Q2 report is going to look like? Not good, I fear.
This will be a period of reevaluation and adjustments to the last round of layoffs, consolidations to the unfortunate few, who's supervisors have felt the momentum to cut and will have to join in.
Q2 will be worse than 1
President Obama said Saturday that "We can't simply cut our way to prosperity."Gracia et al: "Challenge, accepted."
7:06 Don't think so. I think there are other shoes yet to drop real soon.
When we had our meeting informing us of the most recent layoffs, the 'manager' giving us the news also quietly slipped under the radar that all other avenues were being explored for the future, including more furloughs and pay cuts. Pay cuts. Great.As far as My Boss' predictions for more job cuts goes, I wonder how they will crunch the numbers for the Design Studios. Lose 5,000 designers from small papers, hire 1,000 back at the hubs? That's one way to make those numbers work.
I've heard the design hub hiring process is not going well. I know no one at my site has any desire to apply in Des Moines. Most of them already are looking for another job.
I'm interested to hear if there was a standard package across the corporation. Did any sites receive severance weeks...i.e. one week for each year with Gannett. Any medical or just the door?
6:53I think when you say now it is over, you haven't been paying attention.Nothing is OVER it is just over for this one round and not even that if some posts are right.It is just beginning,revenues are still way down with no uptrend predicted.The only way this is over is if suddenly revenues go up and budgets are being met.Not gonna happen .
9:50 asks about design hub hiring. A reader I know and trust told me in a recent e-mail: "All studio hiring has been frozen" due to software-related problems that have delayed the rollout.
10:26 Standard severance packages are a thing of the past for all but relatively few, higher-paid employees. In its place is so-called transitional pay, which supplements unemployment benefits. COBRA health coverage is offered immediately, rather than after a period of company-subsidized medical. This has been true since July 2009.
Doug MacGregor at Fort Myers got 1 week for each year with Gannett.
The comments for this book review are particularly damning...http://www.usatoday.com/money/books/reviews/2011-06-24-deal-from-hell-newspapers_n.htm
I heard through the grapevine that someone vandalized the new car of the Exec Editor in Westchester? Happened just after the latest round of cuts. Short list of suspects?
12:30PM... I guess the "short list" has 47 names on it.
I'm wondering how many sites are having to push the noses of remaining workers even further to the grindstone with all the layoffs. Had overtime last week. Going to have a few hours this week and more later next month, and that's just me, personally. I'm going to appreciate the extra cash, but I'd rather it didn't come off the backs of my former coworkers, and I imagine before July's out I'll just be pleading for a real weekend.
Not sure how your getting "extra money" for the overtime. At my paper it is implied that you need to work over but don't even think about putting in for overtime. I've had a few higher ups tell me as much but of course we fill out time sheets each week that say we are only working 40 hours. What can you do?
A&E editor at Tennessean turned in his resignation today. Was hired away from Boston Globe back in November to much hoopla. He didn't even last a year. 1 down, 19 to go.
someone vandalized the new car of the Exec Editor in Westchester?Company car? Company gas? Insurance?DONEWORRYABBOUTIT!
For those of you not claiming overtime on your timesheet...if you are an hourly employee, it is AGAINST THE LAW not to report it, unless you get comp time in the very same week. Your manager cannot force you to do that. I'd go to Wage & Hour if I were you!
I've had a few higher ups tell me as much but of course we fill out time sheets each week that say we are only working 40 hours. What can you do? If you are an hourly worker, call your state labor board.Been there, done that.They may get all blustery and threaten, but it works.
No one from my old site applied for a job at the design hub in Des Moines. We all agreed on one point: it would be better to work at Walmart than Gannett's hub in Iowa. We heard reports about not allowing any creativity in your work. Also, your performance would be based on unrealistic quotas. Gone is the day when you could work with a customer on getting the right look for a printed ad. I'm so glad I found a parallel career to the one I had as a graphic designer with Gannett. The ads in my old paper today cost a lot of money and look awful. The ads I built ten years ago looked great and were highly profitable. I am able to prove those last two statements as true.
Jim at 7:13 am in the previous thread:Personal preferences and relationships have always had more to do with staff movement than individual community needs. The communities are just checker squares seen by Gannett as largely interchangeable. Leslie had experience and background in the "Suncoast," as it was called then, so there was more thought in this move than most. But she didn't want to be in Lansing. The fact that it was a gift (the move) was a term used by her. Yes, I am 1:55. And remember, local politics tend to be more personal than party-based.I'll bet Leslie is enjoying those classy floors in the Publisher's Suite in Jackson!
The scales just fell from my eyes, and I now understand more about Leslie Hurst than I thought I would ever know.
All of the newspapers in the NJ Group that are not APP, should really be concerned. All buildings half empty - not much time left.
Random question, but I was thinking about it this weekend - has USA Today done anything in the mobile space since its big announcement last year that it was restructuring to focus on digital and mobile? I hear a lot about the Verticals, but unless I have missed something, I have seen no new mobile products launch. There have been updates to the USA Today news apps, but no NEW (as in something other than just the current free news app) mobile products at all, correct? Any idea what the hold up is?
Wow. Waterloo Courier and Los Angeles Times break news about Iowa's butter cow creator dying before the Des Moines Register. Too funny.
There are intimations out here in BFE-by-the-Sea that the second half of 2011 will see more expense cutting, with the aim of increasing Community Publishing's profitability.Are there any psychics reading the blog? If so, can they tell me if this means Gannett is pumping CP's value in the hopes of selling it off in 2012?
Employees laid off last week can stay on Gannett's group health insurance through COBRA (federal law) for 18 months but must pay 102 percent of the premiums. Before Tuesday they were paying 25 percent of the premiums. Now they have to pay 100 percent plus two percent to Gannett for administration.
5:59 BFE-by-the-Sea? Was that?
Yes, someone "keyed" Royle's car with the words "B---h" and "H-," and the list of suspects is far from short.
6:25- Thought they said it was the new publisher's car. Royale is the EE. So which was it?
6:17: I'm not 5:59 but I think BFE stands for Bum F*** Egypt, or the boondocks, and by the sea maybe a reference to the Atlantic or Delaware Bay. These waters are some distance off, but my guess is the question he/she wants answered is Cherry Hill CP for sale. He/she has been told before that is unlikely. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my guess.
Some wild and weird posts today. Remember we work for a communications company and it is best to keep things simple.
I don't know about the Nashville design hub, but in Jersey, they've hired about a half-dozen new folks in the last couple of weeks, apparently at entry-level pay and experience. And interviews are continuing. Gannetteers from other sites are probably too expensive for this stage, but when other papers are added, they'll prolly have to hire some more experienced (and higher-paid) people. Maybe.Creativity? Think templates.
I was a graphic designer with Gannett for a decade, and I never made over $30,000 per year. I worked on accounts that generated millions of dollars. Even if you figure in all my benefits (insurance, pension, 401K), I was still highly profitable for the company. How in the hell could I be considered too expensive for one of the design hubs? I'm too damn smart to be manipulated by any more Gannett managers. Print ads are dying, and I'm glad I found a new direction in my career. The design hubs were created for one reason -- to better manage designers and paginators until printed publications become obsolete. And they will become obsolete!
Since top news people in corner offices at USA TODAY haven't told the truth about much of anything in recent years (but they still want to be our friends and to trust them), I am turning to others who might have some inside knowledge about any possible layoff announcement that might be coming USAT's way this fall. I see a fair amount of jobs being advertised there, but that doesn't mean the powers that be aren't going to chop more positions, especially in light of what happened at other Gannett properties recently. Of course, if you have gray hair and earn more than an entry-level salary, you're always at target at Gannett. Been that way for years. Wonder if the newbies who enter this company are aware that they have a premature expiration date, regardless of loyalty, talent, etc.?
Jim, 6:25 and 6:33 are inappropriate. An editor had her personal car vandalized. Are you trying to encourage that kind of trash by leaving those posts up here? Whoever did it deserves to be cut and prosecuted.
@ 8:12 - since when do journalists try to cover up things that have happened? Oh, that's right. We're talking Gannett here.
6:25 and 6:33 are not advocating vandalism, they are reporting on an incident of vandalism. Since most of us posting here work for a newspaper, we should understand the difference.
The Des Moines Register had two reporters to cover all education in the state, from preschool through the universities. One got laid off in the sweep last week. The other quit today and is going to work for the governor (like another former employee at the paper). She likely won't be replaced and another reporter will be told to "cover" education the same way they've been doing when people quit and are laid off for the past few years. So while all the focus is on the design hubs now, including in DSM, one can't help but wonder: what are they going to be putting on the templated pages?
Jesus wept, 8:47 p.m.Out of morbid curiosity -- for those of us still waiting to get fired here in Nashville -- what was the sorting algorithm for layoffs in Des Moines?Did they eliminate all the beats where there was more than one reporter (education, courts, statehouse)? Did they go after the highest salaries first? Did they just eenie-meenie-miney-moe it?Are they going to make us battle it out in the Thunderdome? Two reporters enter! One reporter leaves (with double the workload)!
@ 8:45 p.m. was JMK the one who quit today?
For those who were RIF'd last week, they'll be eligible for one week of TPP for every year of service with the company up to 26 weeks with a minimum of three. When I was RIF'd earlier this year, I was given two months of benefits at the company rate before it kicked in to the full COBRA rate. You have 18 months of COBRA coverage unless you have another qualifying event (birth, death, marriage, divorce, adoption) within that period. If you do, you are eligible for another 18 months for a maximum of 36 months.
9:20: OMG! That is hilarious, even though it is true. The real winner is the one who stays in the Thunderdome watching the poor slob leave with twice or three times the work load! My time is almost up here in Atticus. Thank God! Freedom begins! Maybe I can find a newspaper somewhere along the line to read that actually has real news, not something from the INFORMATION CENTER! Remember, if it is news in XXXX County, it is news to us! We'll have it in our Pulitzer Prize winning paper (NOT) in two or three days!
8:12- 6:33 here- WTF are you talking about? What was inappropriate? I'm not encouraging anything. I asked whose car it was- heard two different stories and want the correct info posted. I know that doesn't matter to you- you are a company soldier and not interested in accuracy in the media. Well- you certainly work for the right company! Do you think I should be"cut" too?
You asked about Usa Today cuts? They are most definitely coming, but not just due to lower advertising revenue. Hunke is bowing to Heather Frank's demands; Her own hires instead of newspaper people on staff, who despised her and vice versa. She is creating her own 5th floor fiefdom, complete with new offices for verticals managers. Steer clear of this fiasco if you can.
9:20. So are you saying Susie Ellwood is Warrior Woman?
Is the World Class Sales Rally still going on? The hype at my site really seemed to die down before I got the boot. How did the ol' WCSR pan out?Also, has anybody heard of any success from the centralized Client Solutions teams?
The RIDDLE is this ... with the big man gone and Stoney LaDouche in charge will the cuts continue? Protection is gone from the old group site. No AME, No Photo Editor, cuts in sales, editorial continue.
1:08, it died at our site too. The laughable execution by the Barbie twins hurt the cause.I have not heard any success stories from the centralized csg. More smoke and mirror.
Several folks truly in the know shared just how messy the design hub conversion is going with me recently. There are many leaders who check this blog. If something is off base,they do jump in and say so. They use this blog to confirm what they surmise from. Comments made in OC meetings.
7:10 am - my RIDDLE is this -- why is TNJ no longer a group Pres site and the crown went to APP?
11:02 Tom Donovan. Duh.
11:02 and 12:39: Double duh. The group site is Rochester, not APP. The group president is Michael Kane, not Tom Donovan. This has all been published. Doesn't anyone check facts before posting here?
1:04 I am now so confused by the table of organization of this company that I no longer pay it attention, and instead look at the activities and functions executives are handling. I think Maryam had the same difficulties figuring out what Robin was in this company, and while I certainly don't disagree with what you say about Rochester's exec, it looks to me as if the APP's exec is far more active in major decisions/actions. I want to tell you this is one screwed up company, but anyone who reads this blog clearly knew that to begin with.
Rochester got the title for historical reasons, being the original hometown of this company. But the APP is the natural leader of NJ-NY ops.
You know this all really didn't matter in the old days when the papers ran themselves and told Corporate to go whistle when they didn't agree with a company wide policy. Today they all snap to attention in unison when Corporate says anything for sneezes. The company has gone from an assembly of independent newspapers and TV stations to a centrally-planned operation run by the Crystal Towers -- and very ineptly run at that.
When I get laid off and apply for another newspaper job, I am certain to put on my resume that I worked for the New Jersey group of the East Coast Division of Gannett Corp. That's far much better than saying I covered the mayor's office for the Asbury Park Press, and I know a new employer would be impressed with my credentials.
(This is 2:34 stressing that I made that up and don't want to get anyone at the APP in trouble for that post, because I have never worked there. It was just an example of how unnecessarily paranoid we all have become.).
Can anyone confirm what is happening at the Westchester paper? I heard classified has been moved to Asbury Park and there last day is July 15th.
The northern papers in NJ of HNT, CN, and DR are toast. They will be absorbed into the APP (sorry, Press) and same goes for Westchester and Cherry Hill. TD, Sam S and KG with their "shoot from the hip" management style will put the final nail in the coffin. Too many good people are gone.
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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