Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 27-July 3 | Your News & Comments: Part 3

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45 comments:

  1. Is the ax going to fall on USA Today this week?

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  2. So Monday the CN masthead had KR as Editorial Page editor, Tuesday it has Jim Namiotka as "Community Conversation" editor. KR was there a long time and received many awards.

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  3. I about choked when I saw this article (below links) on the front page of the Metro section in The Clarion-Ledger this morning. To me the headline is somewhat misleading and an obvious attempt to foster goodwill after the recent layoffs.

    Misleading in that, to me, it appears to infer The Clarion-Ledger is giving $1.5 million to non-profits. But that figure is the Gannett total. The CL is only giving $27,000 to local charities, which pales in comparison to gifts given during my years in Jackson. During one such year, the CL gave $40,000 just to Habitat for Humanity to fund a home that CL employees built. Just one of many, many gifts totaling six figures.

    http://tinyurl.com/68gg8sf

    http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20110629/NEWS/106290334/Gannett-gives-nonprofits-1-5M

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  4. No layoffs at USAT for now from what I've heard. What makes you ask about this week in particular?

    And don't say because everyone is in meetings. They're always in meetings.

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  5. The Des Moines today invites readers to submit articles to the opinion pages for publication on the Web site and says they maybe actually be printed in the newspaper. Anybody want to bet on whether the Register will pay? Ha. It's a way to fill the pages for free at a paper with a dwindling staff. A side note: On Tuesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann's former chief of staff wrote about how she's not ready to be president because she lacks leadership skills. Today's op-ed pages asks readers, "Do you agree? Why?" The message: Keep your opinions to yourself if you disagree. What's important here isn't whether Bachmann is qualified, etc. It's about the Register sending another message to its readers about what is acceptable opinion for the newspaper. It's why conservatives wrote off the place years ago and why it has become less relevant than ever.

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  6. The quarter and also the half year revenues numbers are now in. Those numbers will be disected by the financial gurus.
    These revenue numbers will be very dismal once again,and for at least 14 quarters in row.
    Not meeting projected goals has got to mean more layoffs.There is not even a hint of an up-ward trend to count on.
    Sorry everyone,but I think another big round of layoffs are coming as none of the new revenue gimmicks have worked.Once again Gannett will coldly and selfishly cut apart lives and then try to explain it as good thing for the corporation as a whole.

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

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  8. 9:30 a.m. thanks for the link. Interesting story! Here are the two reader comments so far.

    So you Gannett people are saying that you gave less than .003 of Gannett's total profit to charity, and you are proud of that? Are you kidding me? You give 3 1000th of one percent of your profit to charity and you want to write a story about it and toot your own horn? You have no shame. This is the equivalent of a working family that brings home $50,000 a year giving $140 to charity. Wow! What a blow for humanity!

    Well, good job, Gannett....you gave a bunch of money away. Of course you still fired all those people last week, but it's cool now since you gave money away.

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  9. Anyone who thinks cuts aren't coming to usa today is crazy. The shifting resources required to meet verticals chief heather frank is already meaning payouts for her merged Weekend crew. All her pricey AOL hires also have to be funded by cuts elsewhere.

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  10. Make that reduced salaries for the Weekend crew. Im so disgusted with that Frank fiasco that my anger takes over for my fingers.

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  11. Just heard the remaining 2 COEs (customer service centers) are spending about $250k to upgrade software to enable screenpops to quickly identify subscriber accounts as they phone in. Really? The managers met in Louisville last week to get a sneak peek. What a waste. Soon there won't be any subscribers to service.

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  12. 9:53 AM, did you have actual revenue numbers to cite? Perhaps a source? Or was that more of the pessimistic, wanton speculation we see so often around here?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy with the way things are going, but I'd like to think some of us can keep a level head about things. Your doctor will tell you it's not good to get so bent out of shape over everything, and with this company's history, bad news will kill you if you freak out over it every quarter.

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  13. I just received a shipment from another USAT office and found a note inside requesting that I take the empty box to the nearest office so it could be reused. That nearest office is 130 miles away. Is it that bad in the field that we have to keep an empty cardboard box?

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  14. Tennessean newsroom round has begun. Assistant editor got the call on way to family funeral. Nice.

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  15. @3:12 - keep the cardboard box. You'll need somewhere to sleep soon.

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  16. 3:12 Is it one of those cardboard boxes they give you when you are laid off to pack up your desk in a half an hour before you are escorted out? Aren't they now asking the laid-off employees to bring back the boxes when they are finished using them? Betcha that's how you ended up with it.

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  17. Was the box from Wilmington? If so, then it was one of the boxes given to departing laid=off employees here.

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  18. Salisbury?

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  19. @ 5:06 Ruthless bastards. They have no soul.

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  20. All of the posts here, expect for 1:55's asking for proof and, of course, this one, are worthless and should be deleted. No one cares about empty boxes or where they came from.

    Get lives, people.

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  21. Big dustup in books section of USA Today this week, just as the BIG books vertical is about to launch. Two of the four books staff were removed from beat and reassigned. What's going on? No one knows, but that's not unusual these days at the nation's paper...Story is it's a power struggle between old world and new world...staff being used as pawns....

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  22. The Tennessean's decision to screw us out of an extra month of pay before the layoffs would have been so much easier to take if they hadn't made us sit through an excruciating presentation on Deal Chicken first.

    First they showed us a big mockup of a Deal Chicken deal page. 50 percent off a haircut! ("Yum!" says the Deal Chicken cartoon in the corner of the screen for some reason. Deal Chicken wants to eat your hair. And possibly, your job.)

    Then they dragged out a terrifying 6-foot-tall cutout of Deal Chicken. We can only presume that all the vacant seats in the newsroom will be filled by giant Deal Chicken cardboard cutouts. Deal Chicken is the future of journalism!

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  23. Oh, 8:21... if the sword falls on your head, you have a future in comic writing. That was bitterly hilarious.

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  24. 8:10 I care for empty boxes, because I think it shows the bottom line attitude this company has taken, trying to squeeze savings out of everything from expense accounts to pads and pencils. So we have an empty box that is 130 miles away from its origination. So how does that happen. Maybe someone got laid off from their newspaper job and used the box for the belongings on their desk. They take the box home and because there are jobs elsewhere move it along with their belongings to a new area in the Washington, D.C. area. They put away their belongings and eventually come to the box filled with their desk supplies, which they put in their car and take to work the next day. They empty the box on their new desk, discover the note on the bottom asking the box be returned, so on their way home drop it off in the lobby of USA Today in the Crystal Towers, The cleaning staff find it, and put it with other usable boxes.
    That cardboard box tells volumes of what is going on in Gannett. The loss of jobs, people having to move to new jobs probably not with Gannett, and the pressure to save of nickels and dimes on cardboard boxes. It is one of the most eloquent stories I have followed on this blog and you, too, should be interested in it, not trying to dampen it down unless you work for corporate interests.

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  25. 8:10 I find this "move along young lady, nothing here to see" attitude of some posts quite disturbing. Whose interests are represented by those who rudely don't want us to discuss such matters? If it is of no interest, it will die of natural causes. That others are commenting show that it sparked some concern. It is, after all, only a cardboard box like the one you can buy for $1.50 at Staples.

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  26. 8:17 The trouble is Heather and her gaolers are not doing anything. They just come to work and pretend to be active, but aren't really in terms of production. But there is a newspaper to fill up, so you draw working talent from elsewhere to do the tasks that need to be done. It's going to get much worse after the next round of layoffs at USA Today because it will be the worker bees who are laid off, and the do-nothing but favored few who will be retained. Watch and see if I am not correct.

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  27. Yes, if I don't want to read a dozen speculations about a box, then I'm with corporate. Brilliant deduction there, Sherlocks.

    Here's a speculation -- maybe the note was left inside from a more reasonable request, similar to the one you describe. But if that's the case, then we don't need 12 posts about it, now do we?

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  28. 9:32, I think it's just a slow blog day so people are writing about a box. Not a big deal, really, just something to talk about.

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  29. Not such a slow blog day in Nashville, bub.

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

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  31. As you see from the survey Jim posts on the right, we have all sorts of employment represented on this blog, including reporters and editors. Reporters in particular are a peculiar lot who are trained and have instincts to sniff out something that is usual from what appears to be a bland picture. So throw a cardbox box with a note from 130 miles away out there perhaps as an aside, and reporter instincts kick in and they want to know more about it because it is unusual. To those in other lines of work at GCI it is just a cardboard box, but to reporters it could also be a story. Thus endeth the lesson.

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  32. @ 8:21 PM Yes, it sucks that they are going to drop the ax early in Nashville, but what do you expect from the heartless leadership there? Deal Chicken will FAIL. The Pub was excited about $90M in revenue in 2013? That was company wide...Groupon has been making $800M. When is this company going to think of ANYTHING creative or forward thinking?

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  33. 10 p.m., that made no sense, but it did give me a laugh. So you put on your Woodward and Bernstein hat for an empty box, AND you have the arrogance to deliver it as a lesson? All for an empty box?

    Pardon me -- hahahahahahahahaha! I'm not just laughing at you. I'm laughing at you hysterically!

    Please, get a life. Get a life soon.

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  34. Gannett pulled the plug on InJersey.com today:

    "After two years of running InJersey, we have made the difficult decision to suspend publishing our community blogs, knowing full well that the larger hyperlocal movement that we belonged to is as vibrant and innovative as ever."

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  35. THINK OUT OF THE BOX

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  36. With everything else going on at least we have summer hours. I am looking foreward to going home at 1 pm Friday! How about you?

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  37. What? I want summer hours!!! Where are you at?

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  38. Nothing like having a raving review and then being told you will not be getting a pay raise and will have to do four times your normal work load.

    I wanted to just walk out the door and never look back. What is the incentive to stay? What is the incentive to work harder? What is the incentive to even show up every day?

    Let's see — Craig gets millions for driving this company into the ground and I cannot even get a lousy 25 cent raise for bringing in over $100,000 in revenue in a single quarter.

    Something is very wrong with this picture.

    You reading this corporate? And you wonder why you can't retain your employees.

    Lets just drive the nail in the coffin now and be
    done with it.

    I WILL walk very soon.

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  39. 11:28, me too! It's just a matter of time and I can't wait!!

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  40. The only upside of these layoffs is that every person in the company has sent out resumes.

    After the layoffs, the deluge.

    They won't have enough warm bodies left to put out a church newsletter.

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  41. Church letter? You're forgetting our ever accurate (and cheap source of filler) Religion News Service. Usa Today's crack on line team will vouch for it.

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  42. Why am I not surprised to find some corporate goon laughing at reporters. The way this company operates is to scoff at the abilities and activities of the very people who make the product that causes readers to buy a paper.

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  43. Speaking of corporate goons, Hunke and his band of incompetent vice presidents must go before they destroy what's left of Usa Today.

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  44. The days of reporting are over at Gannett, as is the ethic. Now it is all marketing, and running storiees (free to Gannett) submitted by readers in some form of community journalism. Even the work of cartoonists is going to appear free to Gannett. It is the ultimate cost-cutting step. Merge the newsroomm with marketing, and let the marketers decide the "news" that will be published. Move back out into the suburbs in the fall with dressed up shoppers and copy provided by citizen journalists and gradually get rid of the old reporting staff with layoffs and attrition. Yhat is the future, I fear.

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  45. Are there any sites that have some advertising staff reporting to editorial side?

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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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