An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Today, Corporate is expected to disclose Susie Ellwood's successor as CEO of the Detroit Media Partnership.Yesterday, Ellwood was named USA Today's deputy publisher.
Is it normal to have the volume of changes seen in this organization? It seems that instability would contribute to the bad times.
11:30: Funny you should say that because change in this company used to be a good thing. It meant that business was thriving and if you were moved it was a promotion. There was a lot of thought put into who would be the best person to transfer for each site. Now, it's all about who you know and not what you know. This is never a recipe for success. A move is rarely perceived as something good. Most people just want to hide and stay out of the limelight. How things can change in just 5 years.
Oh bother, the Barbie twins, Ken and friend arrive today to make everyone's life miserable. Wonder what the ROI is on salary and expenses for the Mattel team?
Oh bother. The Barbie twins, Ken and friend arrive today to make everyone's life miserable.
Wait - who is Ken? Yesterday during the sales rally the Batbie twins made me ponder if their next goal is hosting the today show.
Yes, they are after Kathy Lee and Hoda's job so they can drink while on the job - oh wait, they already do that
This is in today's Appleton Post-Crescent:http://appletonhub.postcrescent.com/article/20110606/APC0502/110606103/New-album-from-Mel-Flannery-Trucking-Co-featuring-Appleton-native-gets-nationwide-release?odyssey=tab|topnews|img|FRONTPAGE|pA story promoting an album by musician with local ties. Fails to mention it is the Executive Editor's daughter.
Makes me laugh. All these people from Detroit being brought in to rescue USA TODAY. Didn't the near destruction of the Detroit papers happen on their watch?
Let's give Susie a chance. Most of us who have worked with her respect her. This is a proven executive.The negativity on this blog is amazing. Mother Theresa couldn't make some of you happy.
I don't believe Mother Theresa could help this company.
Re: 8:44AM The destruction of Detroit did happen on their watch. But that's not important. Gannett's leaders never accept responsibility for anything. All of their ideas and initiatives are big successes. Just ask any of the suits in the Crystal Palace. Never mind the statistical evidence. If there is a failure or misstep it's the fault of the worker bees charged with implementing the fiats handed handed down from above. That's just one of the problems with the company. Top management is too insular and focused on one thing: protecting their own jobs at the expense of the community papers and quality of the product.
8:55 - Glad that you like Susie, but some of us who have worked with her don't have the same warm and fuzzy feelings for her and want to warn others that she will not be their savior. I think she will deliver more of the Hunke madness but in a better-dressed package.
8:10, for shame. "In the interest of full disclosure," wouldn't have hurt.
Oops, meant @8:19.
8:10 I am relatively sure someone believes she has real talent.
Two female executives out of Detroit promoted to top slots in the matter of two weeks.Janet Hasson to Publisher in Westchester and Susie Ellwood to USAT Deputy Publisher. Seems Detroit is the golden stepping stone.
10:29 AM The golden stepping stone? Ha! Is that what you call a property that is losing money and has a negatitive ROI year after year? Maybe they'll close it down like they did Little Rock.
All these folks from Detroit have been there for more than a decade ... and they have guided these two once great newspapers to pitiful shells of their former selves. It was Hanson, Hunke, Vega (now in SF), Ellwood, and Jenereaux, and Mike Quinn making ALL the decisions during the steep and sad decline in Detroit. None of them has launched even one successful new product in all that time and have continued to make decisions to lose hundreds/thousands of readers each month. The newspapers haven't turned a profit since 1999 and bleed the most of ANY Gannett property. What each is GREAT at is CUTTING. The whole three-day a week home delivery thing has been a HUGE FAILURE.They don't care about people or a great product ... they just protect themselves from each missed budget projection by continuing to SLASH. Expect the same at USA Today or any paper they move to...
The interesting thing about Detroit is that no one else has repeated it. It was a huge mistake, but Detroit seems still to be profitable or else it would not be around by now. I think it was profitable before when it printed 7 days, but that is water under the bridge. Once you make these decisions, it is very difficult to acknowledge your mistake and backtrack.Keep that in mind as this industry, which still makes a lot of money, considers scrapping print to go Web-only. The Christian Science Monitor did that, and who knows what that is anymore?
I have a bright idea for corporate: take Heather and the gaolers and put them in a new digital-only department where they can do as they wish in trying to manipulate news. They put out their own product, USA Today Digital. Then take Deal Chicken from Pheonix and give that to the new division to finance it, plus the other Deal Chickens that haven't started yet, along with their own sales staff. You might also throw in PointRoll as an additional financial source.
P.S. USA Today Digital sort of like the New Coke the Coca Cola Co. put out in 1985.
Did anyone else notice that the usually sunny Heather Frank looked like a thundercloud yesterday afternoon?
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Not sure if anyone has seen this yet, but The Motley Fool posted an article today on a breakdown of Gannett's "Free Cash Flow." Probably worth a read, especially at the bottom when you see how much of that free cash flow comes from "questionable cash sources."http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/06/07/heres-how-gannett-is-making-you-so-much-cash.aspx
With a stock price running at 5+ times earnings and 6+ times future earnings, Gannett's leading indicator tells us that investor confidence in the company is abysmally low. The benchmark, or bellwether, S&P 500 index trades at a trailing 22.8, the New York Times 12 and NewsCorp 15. Having a price-to-earnings multiple that is so much lower than its peer group (not to mention junk-rated debt!) illustrates how Gannett is not only an untouchable in the stock market, but in the company of its beaten-down peers as well. You won't read this in analyst reports because analysts are under pressure to go easy on companies so that their investment banking firm employers will have a better chance of winning their underwriting/advisory business. The bottom line is the general absence of appetite for Gannett shares has left them in the 75 percent-off sale bin with the "discontinued" and "irregular" items.
Jim take the 11:41 post down. This is the kind of post the editor and publisher of a Mirror Award allows to stand? Cancer is funny?
1:57 I have been in this business for more than 30 years, and I do not think I have ever written a story about melanomas. So why has Your Life had at least four, maybe five melanoma stories in the last few weeks?
2:14 Aren't these stories timed to summer beach tanning season?
Regarding the many melanoma stories, when you give a large portion of your site over to third party content, you take what you can get.
All this sudden attention to melanomas has been a mystery to me. Perhaps it is the summer beach season. I know this is a real problem for blondes with fair skin because I am one of them, and my doctor says I need to be alert to new moles, etc. because I spent a lot of time at the beach in the summer when I was younger. Maybe that's why I noticed these stories and read them, although one HealthDay melanoma story I thought was very unsubstantial and thin.
2:32 You should be alert. One spot undetected and nine months later, bang, you are pushing up roses after going through unbelievable agony.
news you can use.
Hmmm. An editor or an editor's child must have a melanoma outbreak and ordered up the coverage. Reminds me of how Lee Ann Ruibal (now Hamilton) used to order up airfare/air travel stories right before or after she flew somewhere.
The one that gets to me is the melanoma that grows under the toenail and so you don't notice it:http://www.nailfungusbliss.com/nail-fungus/how-to-identify-a-toenail-melanoma
My brother lost his life to melanoma at age 39 (died 3 months after diagnosis). I have had two early stage melanomas removed myself. Melanoma is the fastest growing form of cancer in America. Once it goes to mestasis, you have about 3 months to live. And it is a very difficult 3 months. This is serious stuff . Sun exposure can be deadly. I'm happy to see the media finally reporting on it.
Well done, sir or madam, whoever you are. I've been reading those melanoma posts and wondered what the aim was. This afternoon, it suddenly all became clear.
I have to agree with 3:29. Regardless of the rather questionable motivation behind the stories in the top-down mismanagement style of Gannett, the end effect of these articles can save a life. If someone in a shrinking circulation still reads Gannett's product.It's a sad situation. Lack of meaningful content has driven circulation down, and when there is in fact meaningful content it reaches fewer people.
As clear as an azure sky of deepest summer.
12:40 p.m.'s comments about the abysmal GCI stock price and sub-par price-to-earnings ratio do not necessarily contain anything factually incorrect. But I would like to point out that the low price and PE ratio can also be viewed another way: They show just how far GCI's stock price has to run on good news. You don't have to like it. But, if you like to make money in the stock market, you may want to consider it.
Your argument on low valuation made sense when the stock traded at $2. At $13, im not so sure, especially in a slowing economy.
Seriously, if you have an asymmetrical mole, a new mole, had severe sunburns as a child, or see any change in a mole on your body, go see your dermatologist immediately. Nothing was more unnerving to me than to get a "malignant melanoma" report from my doctor who performed a simple biopsy on a dark mole.I have no idea how good or bad USAT reporting has been. What I do know is that this cancer is growing faster than any other cancer and it is one of the deadliest cancers. It spreads VERY fast and is 100 percent fatal if it spreads anywhere in the body.Not trying to dampen the spirit here just want people to acknowledge that cancer coverage by the media (especially of such a deadly cancer that is growing faster than any other) is a very good thing.Take care and wear sunscreen!!!!
Good news doesn't sell.
But posts likes 6:24's trump all this.
And once again, where does the passion come from? Not Gannett. It's on this blog.
Melanoma is like all other cancers: the secret is early detection. But if you have a mole that develops into a cancer, don't go outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the Sun's rays are the most intense, and otherwise put yourself on the straight and narrow.
I've got Hispanic genes, so I'm not worried. Let's move along.
USA TODAY has a breaking news story about bodies found in Houston. Along the side of the web page, there are two attractive young women playing in the grass dressed in bikinis with a note about falling asleep. Click that and you end up at a healthheadlines.com site with a story about sleep and a sleep aid ad. The future of news. Click.
7:08 I clicked on one of the links, which took me to a Houston Chronicle page. There on the side was an ad for a Groupon clone called Shopbloom.com. I've never seen that before, but it looks like they are setting up a nationwide network just like our Deal Chicken promised.
There are now 100's of Groupon wanna-be sites and NBC News reporting up to 1,000 in the next few years. Deal Chicken is a day late and a dollar short and will never be a big player.
Why is gannets management so insular? Why do they rarely go outside the womb?
7:40 They have a lot of secrets to keep.
The U.S. Open Championship is at Congressional Country Club in the Washington suburbs June 16-19, 2011, so anyone want to take a bet where we will find Dickey next week?
Good grief! Don't you folks get it? Management is closing the frickin' company. They're going to run up the share price as far as they can by making more cuts and then let the company collapse.
After Mr. Neuharth a true visionary and risk taker, the cut your way to a profit started and after all these years the end is near
melanoma: say goodnight Gracie.
anyone know anything about layoffs today at Tallahassee Democrat???
7:40, what do you mean? They have done nothing but go outside the womb lately - Heather, Maryam, Rudd, Paul, etc. The good ones who could have saved the company were let go or left.
ANY NEWS ON LAYOFFS OR FURLOUGHS?(DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT THE OTHER CRAP)
The Design Center rollout in Phoenix is also delayed. Reno, the first paper to be designed in Phoenix won't go live until Jan 2012. After that it's staggered with a new paper every couple of months. The last paper goes live in Jan 2013.
In Louisville, the VP of Finance and Operations is gone as of last week. No details were given - he is no longer with Gannett.
9:56.meant on the print side. And mostly editorial. Very insular.
This is the type of position not needed.... VP of Finance and Operations. We have too many number crunchers. Centralize positions like that!
7:44 Mattel team, I love it. Sad we're laying off productive people to keep non-productive plastic around.
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."
Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.
Subscribe in a reader