An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
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1. Mr. Payne is working very closely with a consultant named Tish Squilaro to redefine the Gannett Digital executive team. This will absolutely result in many losses in jobs across all of Gannett Digital.2. As if Point roll was already in bad shape, the "new" SVP of sales has already taken a "leave of absence" due to work related stress. Apparently, Ford, Point rolls top customer, is looking to cut back their spend or leave Point roll altogether. This follows four other top client departures recently.3. Mr. Dan Ehrman and George Gavanan and potentially Jack Williams will be announcing their retirements shortly.4. The My Boss team has some very good insight into some major changes, but need some time to confirm everything we have been able to pick up. Some major changes planned at Gannett this year.
No kidding? What did I post yesterday about Q3 major hits to all departments
In the last thread, a recent college grad asked for some advice and about the best places to work. Frankly, it's difficult for me to be encouraging. I'm a mid-career professional who the profession has treated relatively well financially, and my advice would be to find another career that you enjoy that has a more settled and predictable shelf life. I loved what I did for years but can barely stand going to work now because Gannett is so bottom-line oriented. It now seems like I'm working for an advertising agency or PR firm but for less pay than I could make in either of those industries. What's more, Gannett isn't honest about the fact that it is completely controlled by advertising interests. PR and advertising firms are admittedly attempting to put their spin on things. If you are absolutely set on being part of the media, realize that the chances are you will never reach the pay levels that the older employees around you did. Those were the old days, and the pay scale for print journalists has shifted downward. Also, find a company that makes you comfortable. If your goal is to do great journalism, don't work for Gannett. If your goal is simply to make money, Gannett is probably as good as any other media outlet. All of them are struggling. If you don't see journalism as a calling, get out now. There's no reason to make yourself miserable and with just a little more schooling you could probably slip into something like teaching or even some of the less education-intensive medical fields.
In Gannett's never-ending push to cull as much print readership as possible, it is now increasing the cover prices at some of its newspapers in "outlying areas." In Poughkeepsie, the Journal will cost $1 per day in places like Ulster County, which is in the newspaper's DMA. In Binghamton, the Press & Sun-Bulletin costs more in "outlying areas." I'm sure if you check other front pages at Newseum, you'll see the same thing.
Corporate needs to learn the lesson from the Pointroll debacle: keep to things you know, and don't get into technology you really don't understand. A very expensive lesson, I fear.
6:01, you obviously haven't learned the lesson of Point Roll, and hopefully Gannett execs don't continue to think like you.The real lesson of Point Roll is invest in people, not products. Acquiring a great product is pointless if you don't have the right people in place to manage it. And having "Verticals" is a wast of time if you don't have the right people to make them work.Gannett can't be afraid to take risks, but all those risks will fail if they don't have good people in place and stay out of their way so they can succeed. The number one asset of this company used to the be people who got things done, and Gannett should do everything they can to keep them happy (and I'm not referring to the Point Roll higher ups who Gannett tried to woo after Sardakis left).Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure Gannett won't ever learn that lesson.
Doubleclick has been trying to do this for years, without much success. It is now part of Google, and they are throwing money at it to try and do something with all this data they are collecting and massaging. But I just can't see what advantage this gives advertisers, and I think advertisers are waking up to that as well.
Good points on retaining and hiring the right people. Certainly, that is not the case at Usa Today, which is littered with the wrong people on the editorial side, particularly running on line and the verticals. The right people would make both showcases for interesting and compelling journalism. Instead, its amateur hour. Management refuses to acknowledge problems or contemplate changes to try to turn things around. So we have an on line editor who has never written or edited much actual copy and a vertical chief and her minions with little to know daily journalism experience.
7:38 Who the hell is reading these verticals? I don't see any evidence they are getting any attention. I look at them because I am curious about how they really work from a business sense that I work in this industry. But I doubt readers pay them any attention and it's another one of these cases where someone is to blame, it has to be an editorial issue. There are long-standing reasons why USA Today is divided into four sections, so add these verticals and you are giving people too much to read. We have yet to see the new sports vertical, which apparently will be involved in covering under-covered sports. I am eagerly waiting for Buesse to roll this out because I am sure it will solve all problems. Readers love sports.
Why haven't they promoted the verticals? Hunke needs to tell the flacks to get busy and put out press releases telling the people about them, and what stories they can find there.
The My Boss ....post didn't seem real.The content was not as to the point as normal.Point 4 meant nothing.We all know major changes are coming,just not where and when.
Gang, this My Boss post is just recycled gossip running through the halls of the CP. By the end of today you will realize how little MB actually knows.
Wow. Gannett has an ad for Point Roll on Major League Baseball's website.
9 and 9:07 Sometimes, today's gossip is tomorrow's news. Also, bear in mind that perhaps 97% of employees don't work at the Crystal Palace, so don't have your access to these developments you think everyone already knows.
Also, it's noteworthy that the post referred to "the My Boss team." I've never seen that before.
Building on 2:49's advice to recent graduates: Consider small dailies or even weeklies. There are still flourishing community papers out there (generally family owned or small, indy chains). These papers have Web sites in addition to print, so you can hone your multimedia skills. The high-quality small papers rack up awards at their state press association contests each year and some have won Pulitzers or been finalists. It's all about the leadership.
If the post about Payne using Tish Squillaro is true, it just sounds like more recycling. From Squilarro's bio on her Candor Consulting Co. Web site:"Her strategies for pointroll, Cadient Group, Johnson Matthey and the Granary Associates, cut costs and liabilities as they improved productivity and efficiency."
We've always known MB was more than one person. It's obvious. Would have been gone by now if it was just one person.
They seek him here, they seek him there...
The consultants are back. God help us!! It's amazing how these over-priced execs come aboard with apparent experience and knowledge to get the job done and the first thing they do is hire consultants!
They aren't promoting the verticals because there's very little to promote. Have you actually read Your Life? More news can be found on the side of a cereal box.
The mythical My Boss is about to be proven wrong again, later this afternoon in fact.My Boss with a NEW boss?An amazing development later today.
11:31 a.m., thanks for today's laugh!
Speaking of consultants, most of Heather's, and she herself, were of that ilk @ the time they were being courted by Dave Hunke. We could do better than overpay for managers who have a rudderless mission, but all think they know how to steer the ship.
11:34 is right. Everything at USA Today is about to change, and My Boss knows nothing about it. Today.
So what's up with the USA Weekend correction in Sunday's newspapers? Someone made mention of it here a few weeks ago, but how in the world could the dads and grads gift guide story not have been published? That's some serious egg on the face.
Top managers called to Hunke's office. Rumor is there's going to be an assistant publisher named!
Undoubtedly some Hunke screwup.
Someone asked recently for advice to young people in college about whether to get into this profession. It is nothing to do with Gannett, but here is my response:http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110606/FEATURES/106060312
Susie Ellwood will manage day-to-day operations... http://www.finanznachrichten.de/nachrichten-2011-06/20448884-gannett-veteran-susie-ellwood-named-executive-vice-president-and-general-manager-of-usa-today-008.htm
Regarding Ellwood, I called that one in April 2010:http://gannettblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/in-award-for-ellwood-sign-of-more-to.html?m=1
Usa Today just named its 22nd vice president in the Hunke era. Susie Ellwood. Is this the woman who will replace him? 8 ball says most definitely. Maybe she can clear out most of the other veeps and deadwood.
Just for the record, "My Boss" missed not only the Susie Ellwood move (widely rumored on Monday morning), but also the actual changes at Pointroll.The My Boss "team" seems out of the loop.
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2:42 That's absurd, as I've noted before. No one source -- including the various My Bosses -- has claimed to be all-knowing.
Looks to me that My Boss covered themselves with No.4, which stated there was a lot going on. Think the announcements today qualify and the afternoon is not yet over.
Regarding Ellwood: is she already at the Crystal Towers today or still in Detroit?
This is moving too fast. We need Twitter for these occasions.
Another exec who'll come aboard, hire a consultant, and then disappear into the night.
I have to laugh. The blog was so focused on a press release redundant quote and some extreme fictional stories. All the while real news was happening at Corporate. Major new executive at USAToday!NOBODY leaked that one.....Corporate wins.
OK, I get it. Another one. But, please no RA-RA sessions telling us all how great they are.
Isn't it getting a little crowded in this lifeboat? Some bodies are going to have to go over the side or the lifeboat will soon founder and sink. Now, who....???
I am being very, very quiet and crouching down behind my computer screen so they don't see me anymore. You don't want to be too visible at these times.
3:58 - that's the problem! We keep adding and adding, but no one ever leaves. We've created the great welfare state for senior executives.
Ho hum. Another thing us rank and file workers at the community newspapers don't care about. Have fun all you Crystal Palace wannabes with your new deputy whatever.
Really, who cares who's at the head of USA or wherever? NOTHING will change anywhere, it never does. Did anything change with the NEW ULTRA SECRET Branding Campaign? NO! Did anything change with any of the other hires? NO! People are still losing their jobs all over this company, and executives are still getting their huge and undeserved bonuses. Is anyone's job better by all these hirings of the upper echelon? NO. Has any newspaper changed for the better, have they started hiring people? NO. Have they realized they have really screwed everything up with these consolidations and started calling people back? NO! Are you having to work harder or work less since all of these changes? So stop with all the crap about things changing just because she was hired. It was another way for corporate to line the pockets of someone they liked.
4:12 dunno, could affect you. They have to replace her in Detroit, and that used to be a plum assignment for execs moving up the ladder (Hunke and now Ellwood). So a community paper might lose a pub, and that could upset the applecart where you work.
Or someone could call out of the blue, and suddenly an exec you know is working the next day at the absolutely-wholly-independent-from-Gannett Freedom Forum.
@ 4:15 PM: I was actually naive enough to think that, given some time, surely the "leaders" of this company would realize they've made fatal mistakes and take corrective measures (i.e., get some their career talent back for that "local feel" they like to trot out so much).Nope. That would require knowing what they're doing.It might be different at other locations, but at least from what my former contacts have told me directly as they complain about erratic content and poor ad results, they are not happy with the consolidations.These consolidations were not meant, then, to improve the reader/advertiser relationship.Evidently by their real fruit they were meant only as a self-aggrandizing vehicle for board bonuses in the last years of Gannett.
Was told today only a few people will be getting a raise this year, they called it not a wage freeze, but based on your job review, in which was stated if you average a 4, you may get one. What a bunch of bull, nobody gets a 4 due to the fact if you get a 4, that means their is no room for improvement...so in a nutshell a wage freeze is in effect for good. Its all down hill from here, they have taken away any incentive to do above and beyond. No more for me, go in do my 8 hours of jail time and go home. I am done going all out. This company sucks big time
Jimmy Bubby Baby---USA TODAY Has been dead for YEARS, AND YEARS, AND YEARS. ( As the Gannet work space goes---give it away and DRIVE----our circulation numbers up!!!!!Which brings me TO THE MORE IMPORTANT MATTER---THE NEW YORK MARKET---I have heard from very "RELABLE SOURCES---That "Teflon Tony" is in a "DISSY" AS He didn't get the "Publisher" Job at the JOURNAL NEWS---Jimmy Please let the man down ----SLOWLY----And tell him----NO WAY MY BROTHER---YOU DROVE THE NUMBERS DOWN YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!YOU DO NOT HAVE A CLUE!!!!!!!!!!
Susie was not only visiting the Towers today, she was honored this afternoon with a big meet-and-greet reception for senior managers to welcome her officially to the corporate fold.
"Mr. Payne is working very closely with a consultant named Tish Squilaro to redefine the Gannett Digital executive team. This will absolutely result in many losses in jobs across all of Gannett Digital."My Boss, or whoever is masquerading as him/her today is completely off based on Ms. Squilaro. She is not helping with the reorganization, although there will be one compliments of Mr. Payne. As part of the plan, there's also a new dedicated digital HR staff member who started today, Kim Durazo, who is ex-AOL. She will be helpling Mr. Payne with the reveal of the plan, which will include blood letting and new hiring. The new plan is rumored to be scheduled for mid-July.
So turmoil at corporate will stave off changes at the local papers?
5:33 I don't think so. I somehow sense a huge broom is about to sweep clean, and that would stretch to all corners of GCI and perhaps even the FF.
Wonder if they broke out the good china for the Ellie meet and greet today. Cost-cutting has its limits after all.
The most recent My Boss post has all the trappings of an imposter. The original My Boss has a consistent writing style that is not evident in the latest post.
5:30 has no idea what he is talking about. Digital is growing not retracting. Another wanna be
No one here has any idea what they are talking about. In other words, it's just another day here at Gannett Blog.Great job, Jim.
6:45, you are the one who is incorrect. While digital will grow, there will also be some changes that will result in firings/layoffs. Not everyone who's currently there will get to stay, despite the fact that the size of the organization will likely increase substantially. If you were really in the know, you'd also know that there have been some other fairly recent firings within digital at lower levels that weren't highly publicized. Make way for change. And watch out if you're not on the right side of Payne.
Anon@520AM: The Poughkeepsie Journal has never targeted Ulster County because the Hudson River forms a natural coverage boundary. People in Ulster County read the non-Gannett dailies from Kingston and Middletown.
Gannett this year started using ACS to process their flex spending account for employees. What a pain this company has been. They declined every charge that wasn't made by my primary physician. They Requested more information. I complied. Then sent another letter still declining all but one of the expenses. Now the doctors statements aren't good enough. They want the Insurance statements also. I am spending hours just to get the money that I am owed. Last year, you submitted a bill, and the company Gannett contracted with Direct Deposited the money quickly. This company is making it utterly impossible to satisfy. Even though the Visa Debit card they issued would "Make it easier". I wonder if they get to split half the money with Gannett they steal from us because we give up satisfying legitimate claims?
Have to agree. I think this My Boss post is BS. The real My Boss states facts not what was posted here. The really good source, the original My Boss was laid off and things have been down hill since then.If there is one true My Boss left I say you change your screen name. That way corporate can't use these hacks to pretend they are you.
How can a 20k circulation newspaper afford a $160k GM even if he is also the ad director. Doesn't make sense. Eliminate that position and reinvest in more reporters and sales staff who actually do some work.
Jim, you should take a look at this website: http://www.sorrysilverman.com.
10:59 It's pretty strange, that site.
Yes, it is. It would interesting to call The Tennessean and ask about whether the information on the site is true.
10:30, If that is true that's f***ing absurd and someone needs to be let go. Highway robbery.
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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