An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Good Morning! The following was posed late last night and would be an interesting topic to start off the day....has anybody heard of any success from the centralized Client Solutions teams?6/28/2011 1:08 AM
What stupidity awaits us today? Where's the Churchillish 'we're all in this together' memo from our fearless leader? Craig, can you put down your toys for a minute and talk to us? This is what leadership is about.
Wow, Crotchfeld tells local student newspaper that a "major restructuring" of news operations is underway, and this after Indianapolis cut its payroll by 81:http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=81986
When a TV station becomes the watchdog, the newspaper has officially left the building...From nbc-2.comNews-Press answers questions in Sunday editorialFORT MYERS -The Fort Myers News-Press responded to our series of Tracking Your Taxdollars stories questioning a taxpayer funded incentive to create new jobs.We first did the story back in march when Lee County awarded Gannett, the parent company of the News-Press, $105,000 of taxpayer money to create 35 new jobs.It happened to be during the same time the newspaper was furloughing employees. Then, last week, the paper laid off 14 workers due to the economy.We asked Gannett whether they would return the money to Lee County; and they hadn't responded.But Sunday Terry Eberle, Executive Editor of the News-Press, wrote an editorial on the subject.In it, he gave their side of the story saying:"Around the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, Gannett's digital division began looking to expand and considered several sites across the country. Digital executives decided to invest in creating 35 jobs in Fort Myers. It's important to note that the newspaper and digital divisions are separate entities even though they share the same building."So far, according to Eberle, Gannett has collected $54,000. The rest will come when they create five new positions.When we asked the county whether it still believes the money was a good investment they answered - yes; reiterating that the money went to a different division than the News-Press.
"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."6/28/2011 7:10 AM Curtis Riddle oversaw more cuts than Howard Griffin ever has in Wilminton. AND in case you hadn't noticed. All of the USCP just had cuts. Not only Wilmington. Not an apologist. Just saying.
New "suburban strategy" by September?http://www.ibj.com/more-changes-coming-to-emstarem-in-wake-of-layoffs/PARAMS/article/27873
General Manager and Executive Editor in Cherry Hill was on furlough during layoffs, returned yesterday and apologized to us! From what I'm told he did not say one word to the news department.
When will the shareholders rise up and oust these incompetent so-called Gannett leaders and the board? The lack of foresight shown by Dubow & Co. is astounding and any corporate leader who has driven his business into the ground like Dubow has would have been let go a long time ago. Instead we have more cuts, less business and an inferior product.
1:08,Client Solutions successes? Tear the whole thing down and start over. Some good people, but no leadership whatsoever. None of us thinks it will ever change...regardless of how many new marketing chiefs they hire.
Is it true that COBRA is now 102%? We pay 100% (which is the norm) plus we pay Gannett an extra 2% "administrative fee?" What the hell? Now they're charging us for the privilege of being fired? Martore is going to rake in big bonuses (or is boni?) now. She's developing a new revenue stream for struggling newspapers. How's this: Fire employees and then charge them a retroactive rental for the company ID. We should brainstorm new ways for them to f@¢! us and then charge them royalties for stealing the idea.
From the Indianapolis Business Journal, about job cuts at the Star. Feel free to compare with what happened at your non-union news operation:"Represented employees were offered one week of pay for each year served."
Cobra is always 102% of cost, not just at Gannett.
At my site, 1 week of pay for each year served up to a maximum of 36 weeks. Unfortunately, I had more than 36 years of service when job was eliminated.
Giving a company three or four decades of your life ought to mean something, 9:04. I'm so sorry. You deserved better.
Anybody know which eight reporting positions were eliminated in Indy? Not the names, but the beats?
Any job cut = fatter paychecks and bonuses for Dubow, Martore & Co.
Re: Gannett Production Centers - Has Iowa City moved onto this and is Phoenix next? - left in the dark
To 8:49, so what positions were lost as a part of this latest rif?? In cherry hill.
To any in Nashville, any info on MS resignation? Did he walk or was he pushed?
Phoenix has been dropped off the schedule. Love to hear the story behind that.Iowa City was supposed to be last week, Baxter County in mid-July. Last three sites.
Can someone confirm if Jill Fredel was laid off in Wilmington? I worked with her in Little Rock - good editor and a good person. I guess working with Kate M at the Gazette couldn't save her. If it's true that's a shame.
10:40: In the news department, a graphic artist was let go. The rest of them are most likely from the marketing side.A year ago, the GM/EE was very warm and gracious. I'm not surprised he turned into a Gannett-droid with these layoffs.
It comes as no surprise that Gannett appears neither of Fortune magazine's Most Admired Companies or Best Companies to Work For lists for 2011. Take a look at the latter: People are happier working at Build-A-Bear, of all places, and Olive Garden, CarMax, Starbuck's and the Container Store. It must be nice working for a company run by executives who have both a knack for business and a genuine concern for workers. At Gannett we have neither. Every time I see Margaret Buchanan at a presentation, I see a goon from corporate whose sole purpose is making sure we hit our numbers and remit our blood bounty to King Craig.
Yes unfortunately Jill Fredel was cut. Shocked everyone.
I was about to respond to 8:54 with a reminder that CEOs are seldom rewarded for doing the right thing. The whole point of serving on a corporate board is to make as much money as possible without doing any actual work, so they reward teams like the one running GCI. Doing anything else, including setting up the company for long-term strength, is irrelevant to such people. Then I saw the later note about good companies to work for and realized that there are employers, even giant corporations, who see the proverbial big picture and the long term. Unfortunately, I do not work for one of them.
12:39 Oh, I don't know about that. I think $9.4 in my pocket would give me ample incentive to do what I am told is the right thing, even if all my instincts told me it was terribly wrong. Money helps cover a multitude of sins and while posters on this board regularly rail against Craig as being stupid, I don't think he would have risen to that post without the brains.
7:10 Yes, you got it. Drip, drip, drip as the drip consolidates his grip over Wilmington. Don't cross his path, or you are next.
10:52 - is this for the ad production dept? Does this mean the artist in phx are safe?
For God's sake, please write clearer. It's taken me almost two months to figure out who Stoney LaDouce is, and the dime didn't finally drop until today.
Town hall meeting with the Brevard publisher today to discuss more impending layoffs or as it's been termed "future business plans."
How much time is everyone wasting, er, using putting together your passion topic plans?Can't wait for ours to be implemented so we can save journalim. Seriously, how have you re-structured your ever-shrinking staff to handle your passion topics? And will this latest initiative change anything?
Not directly GCI related, but related to the nature of this blog, and IMHO brilliant:http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/06/28/am-i-a-science-journalist/
1:43 is Bob Stover still forbidding staff to use facebook there?
Holy crap, 10:42! Who is MS? Is it the same MS I think it is?
No, 3:34. I don't think it's *that* MS. Though I had the same first thought.
Pretty sure 10:42 is talking about their Life/Ent editor. Boston Globe recruit who quit after 6 months.
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12:16, I can't ever remember if GCI ever appeared on any list of great places to work - nationally or locally.
4:19 PM Gannett was on the Best Places for Mothers to Work in the past. Quite a while back.
Seriously? The 4:18 post was removed? What was the criteria on that?
It's interesting to see Jackson, Miss., and smaller Gannett paper in Ohio advertising for reporters and designers today. Wouldn't one think that a company as large as Gannett would better track upcoming job needs and have HR coordinate to determine whether any of the 700 people laid off last week could fill those positions. Seems to me a progressive company, a company where one would want to work, would help coordinate hiring efforts on a national scope. They seem to do it when it comes to layoffs. Why not when hiring?
This is where I say there is a definite age discrimination issue going on. Seems to me like they're getting rid of the experienced reporters to save their higher salaries and hiring people off the street they can pay minimum wage to. How can it be legal to let all of these people go and then rehire for that same position a week later?
5:10 Apologies. I mid-read it. Please repost if you like.
Don Lemire must go !He is the person responsible for most of these layoffs - He haw wreck Westchester.
Don Lemire is a product of the courier post and piece of garbage Bob Collins. any wonder?
I see .. Now it makes sense reagarding Don.I remeber Bob Collins; The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.
Any insight on the Town Hall meeting discussing "Future Business Plans" with the Publisher at Florida Today. Rumors have it that print operations would be outsourced within 6-8 months after losing USA Today to a competitor in Orlando.
Someone told me that JJC is now in charge at the Courier News and Home News Tribune. If so, God help us all. If I have to read another of his stupid columns, I am going to gag.
Would have gotten a lot of work done today if the system had been operating. Terrible to start on a holiday week with early deadlines.
Any update on the Wave2 project?
Wave 2 feels like an afterthought. Going nowhere fast.
People have asked about Client solutions groups, they have hired some smart people. Give them a chance.
What Gannett doesn't realize is that Businesses with big ad budgets have agencies/marketing firms. Businesses with smaller budgets don't want to pay for the extra service.....they just want good ad buys that make sense. Small companies just want a community/local/small paper. It's not that difficult to figure it out.Large companies make everything toooooo complicated.
I came here to complain. Then I read the comments here. It's obvious no one on here has any authority to make changes. Gannett is a pile of s**t.
I wonder if anyone knows what is going to happen in ad departments, if anything. It feels like managers are fearful and worried and so many times take it out on the rest of us. Will there be any restructuring or reorganizing? We are in the upper Midwest and still have the AE/ARS system. What can we expect?
someone keeps bringing up bobby collins - the good old days when he would gift a young woman some jewelry when she did something good in sales (when the HR department was there to prevent lawsuits).....sniff, sniff...the good ole days bring tears to my eyes
Well, the Townhall meeting in Brevard came and went. Started out stellar with the Powerpoint presentation showing our demographic reader strongholds. The affluent, women and baby boomers seem to be in the cross hairs, then explaining the gap in the under 54 age group (weird cutoff I think), which we will promptly ignore in the future. Keeping that focus it doesn't take a genious to figure out, that even if the industry rebounds, Florida Today's readers will be extinct in about 20 years or so. This is pretty much in style with the Gannett way of doing business. A day late and a dollar short. Eventually someone mentioned the elephant in the room, and stated the fact, that furloughs and pay freezes, that only resulted in layoffs and huge bonuses for the top brass, did not sit well with the remaining staffers. This drew basically a non-response from MM. A few more chimed in on the same subject as well, and with the same result. When Mark was asked if there were plans to move the print of Florida Today to an outside company, he claimed it had been discussed but dismissed, and that Florida Today will continue to be printed in our building. The only reason that the entire print operation didn't go to Orlando was because they couldn't handle the amount of inserts we have (BTW, that is almost pure profit). That problem may have solved itself, since we shut down commercial and We-print last week. Look here in a year or less, when our advertisers figure out, that their cost just went up, and that they can get everything cheaper elsewhere, including distribution of their flyers and inserts. With this renewed focus in News, and more layoffs on the horizon, Bob Stover went on to proclaim, that we will put out a better product, more focused on our target group and less on the lower demographics. Someone asked, how to put out a more focused product, more indepth, and do it with less people. There was no magic answer to that, just a little washed out explanation, which basically came to nothing. How many people will be let go in September, someone asked, and the answer from Stover was that "they" didn't know. Just a bunch of BS. They do know, perhaps +/- 1, but fact is, that this is another round of cloak and dagger for the people waiting to be executed.A not so fancy Powerpoint presentation and a bunch of "I can't answer that" or "not to my knowledge" and a few blatant lies.In a couple of years Florida Today will look very different, if there will be any printed product here at all.Here is the basic facts:People buy a newspaper for the news content. Advertising pays for getting it put on paper and and delivered to the consumer. The people in various departments make all this happen. You must spend money in order to make money, so make the product attractive to the reader, and they will buy it. Cutting deep into the news department, and cutting content, will not sell more papers. That will in the end be a slow bleed until there is no more blood. An empty corpse is all there will be left of Florida Today.
So will the axe fall for the CD'S at USA Today? One layer of Management no longer needed. Interesting!
I will soon be happily out of gannett,I gave them 150%, too bad they never gave that to me. At least I am content with the job i delivered I hold my head up high,& I'm ready to shoot for the stars, yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,it really does feel like a mega ton of bricks are off of my shoulders, back to the real world thank god!!!!!!!!!!
10:08; you can count on a reorganization. Phoenix is the model ad dept. and they have GANNETT local up and running. ARS positions will not be needed.
10:08....what's Brad Robertson like at Gannett Local?
Bob COllins was (is) an evil tyrant who loved to belittle people and make their lives a living hell. he took great joy in dressing people down in public forums. I believe he truly enjoyed hurting people just for the personal joy he got. he loved to surround himself with cowering yes men who helped spread his reign of terror. some of his legions still remain at gannett but most are long gone. COllins reigned at the courier post for man years then was sent to the asbury park press to "gannett" it after gannett bought the property. There he proceeded destroy the place.
10:36 can you tell me what exactly GANNETT local is all about?
9:28, I completely agree. If companies could afford agencies they would already have one.
GANNETT local will reduce the # of territory reps. Accounts under a certain $ amount per year will be handled at GANNETT local.The focus is to drive sales across multiple platforms with a heavy focus on digital. Call centers scream LOCAL don't they?
Corporate client solutions, while great on paper, cannot serve the best interest of advertisers. sure they can come up with great research and fancy ad campaigns but in the end, they are just looking to upsell into our own products. Real agencies representing clients look across the advertising board and strategically place their messages where their audiences are at. Would gannett client solutions recommend a billboard? radio? a niche web site? or any other medium not affiliated with gannett? of course not! its like saying to customers you can have anything off the menu as long as you only eat at my restaurant.
So where are these Gannett Local sites going to "sit"? Does each group have a site and where? Does that reduce all sales support as well? Seems it would?
News-Press breaks off partnership with WGCUFundraising letter insults publisherBY OSVALDO PADILLAopadilla@floridaweekly.comNews- Press Publisher Mei Mei Chan terminated the daily paper’s partnership with the local PBS and NPR affiliate, WGCU. The move comes after the public broadcaster sent out a fundraising letter Ms. Chan found objectionable.The end of the partnership means that the two entities will no longer trade space and airtime to promote each other’s content — a deal valued at thousands of dollars for both. Perhaps more disappointing to readers and listeners is the end of News- Press writer Amy Bennett Williams’ weekly radio essays and the occasional news projects where the two entities teamed up to create content. The newspaper and radio station shared an award last year for a show about health care on WGCU’s “Gulf Coast Live.”“You make reference several times to other media as a way to bolster your own positioning. This negative portrayal serves to denigrate other media…,” wrote Ms. Chan in a sharply worded letter to WGCU Station Manager Rick Johnson last month.“It’s a marketing piece, not an academic treatise on the state of media,” Mr. Johnson said about the fundraising letter. “What was said in the letter is that there are some ‘Legacy Media’ organizations facing tough times, and I don’t think that’s untrue.”Both The News- Press and WGCU have had financial troubles recently. The News- Press, owned by the Gannett Corporation, laid off 14 employees last week. WGCU won’t fill a vacant reporter position as part of its strategy to deal with more than half a million dollar shortfall after Gov. Rick Scott eliminated the state’s contribution to the local public broadcasting station.“Some of the Legacy Media — newspapers, magazines and commercial broadcasters — are in trouble with paid circulations declining and advertising revenues cannibalized by cable, the Internet and every other form of ‘New Media’ digital delivery,” the fundraising letter that went out on May 23 reads. The document, sent to donors, portrays other news outlets in sharp decline and unable to report as thoroughly as they once did. The letter touts WGCU as “the new ‘bridge’ between the Legacy Media and the New Media.”Ms. Chan calls the terms “Legacy” and “New” outdated, considering that organizations such as hers have embraced the Internet and are taking steps to be more relevant to an online audience. Ms. Chan said this is not the first time WGCU has put down other media outlets in order to raise funds.Both Ms. Chan and Mr. Johnson spoke highly of each other’s organizations and said they would like to overcome their differences and partner again in the future. ¦— Disclosure: Amy Bennett Williams is the wife of Florida Weekly writer Roger Williams.
Just days after the layoff in Louisville Gannett posted an ad for a wire copy editor for Louisville's design hub.http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.aspx?ipath=EXIND&siteid=cbindeed&Job_DID=JB963068JJXM08DY45CCan anybody explain what's going on here? Why not just move someone from the CJ to the design hub? Some of those let go had copy editing skills and might have wanted that job. Is it because this way they can drastically cut salaries and benefits?
In Phoenix, Gannett Local butted heads with the territory reps big time. The territory reps might have a particular client on contract, and would still be called by a Gannett Local rep for digital. It was a mess, and finally the customers won out. The $$ value established in Phoenix is about $15,000, meaning that if a client spends $15,000 or less a year, it's handled by GL. It reduces the number of territory reps, and only proportionately for support. And all in all, Brad is a good guy, one capable of logic and reason. It was a bumpy start, and there are still bumps, but it's much smoother. Can you imagine a GL rep calling Dillard's?? Just a tiny bit embarrassing!
P.S. to 11:40 - Also, GL doesn't always operate on the same rate card, they have different rate programs. But for the exchange of a lower rate, the client has to choose from "templates". Eventually, some "small" clients complained loudly enough they were transferred back to territories, though they were below the revenue threshhold.
Love it when the blog posters are soo out of touch. Brad Robertson has not tumbled and continues to rise. GannettLocal is so much more than just handling small accounts.
Okay 12:45....you're either Brad himself; or about a 24 year-old who hasn't weened oneself off Kool-aid yet.
12:55 -- weened? Seriously? Moron.Moron. It cannot be said often enough. Stay off the board, moron.
Because spelling one word correctly means you know more about ad sale systems than someone else. Logic fail.
12:55Oh well. I write pretty well for an ad guy.....probably better than most journalist that need three editors to correct every error.I think my comments have a little more SNAP than calling someone a MORON for making a typo. You're Leno to my Letterman or Carson. DipShi*
Thanks 1:13.....High Five!
Here's a question. As one of the recently liberated from a job, I was given the information on the TPP unemployment supplemental pay and benefits. I didn't sign any documents - no nondisclosure, no noncompete, nothing. If I speak out about what has happened to other local media, can Gannett cut my TPP? Or now that I'm off the books, can I not be touched? Thoughts?
10:52am says "Phoenix has been taken off the list" does that refer to the ad production hub? If so, does that mean no consolidation for phoenix?
2:47 generally, as I understand it as a non-lawyer, if you didn't sign anything then you have no worries of violating anything. You owe nothing to Gannett if you are separated, and they only owe you what they promised in terms of severance benefits. This is not something they voluntarily gave you, but the barest of minimums they had to under various employment laws and Cobra. So I can't see how your free speech rights are affected from what you are writing here. You should also understand that non-disclosure agreements and non-competes are highly controversial and can be challenged in courts. They come from high-tech industries where employees have access to company trade secrets in the workplace and from businesses that have major competitors in their region. Gannett operates monopolies in the areas where they have newspapers, and so have no major competitors. And there's certainly nothing high tech in the machinery you saw that Gannett uses to publish newspapes. So I would suggest their use is nothing but an anal threat by control freaks to try and control former employees.
2:47 What possible trade secrets do you know? That Gannett is an asshole company run by fools who don't know what they are doing, and wouldn't even be hired for janitorial work at Boeing.
In MM's defense at Florida Today, I doubt he can answer any questions about the Corporate salaries because I am sure he is not in agreement with them either. How does anybody go about even trying to comprehend what they're doing in the CP? In terms of laying off people, he's not allowed to talk about that either. What I don't understand is how sending a paper to a competitor to print is in Gannett's best interests? I really need that one explained, please.
Concerning Bobby Collins, I hope it's not a hot, humid, summer day when they finally bury him. I'd hate to get heat stroke standing in line to pi$$ on his grave.
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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