An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
I've now been told that Florida Today's newsroom is eliminating between 18 and 23 of its 78 positions. That would be a reduction of as much as 29%.It appears virtually everyone will be required to apply for new jobs within the newsroom, according to one of my readers. Final decisions will be made by Aug. 11, my reader says.
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Godspeed to them all, and welcome to the growing group of those of us who have been shown the door. Jim, how small do you think Gannett will get in terms of overall workforce numbers?
Noted for the record:On June 30, Anonymous@3:02 p.m. wrote in this comment thread: "Ax to fall at Florida Today soon. Word has it 25 newsroom layoffs."
6:37 Gannett's official workforce size -- as of Dec. 31 -- is 32,600.I can easily imagine that number falling to well under 20,000 not many years from now. (This assumes Gannett remains in one piece.)But that's not based on any inside information; it's just gut instinct.
Additionally, I've just been told, Florida Today will be reduced in size to three sections from the current four. This will be on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, according to my reader.Thursday through Sunday, the paper will add a new fourth section focused on a series of rotating topics; these may be the "passion topics" that have been under discussion here recently, according to my reader.
The best part of the Florida Today team is leaving around August 26.They have held that place together thru the years & deserve the best.Godspeed
Sorry to see a once decent paper being ran into ground by incompetent management.
Bad management, favoritism and not having enough paper racks in the right locations seem to be the down fall of this paper.Good leadership is essential in any business.What an admirable & highly respected newspaperFlorida Today used to be.This is the beginning of the end.
Corporate doesn't know the definition of a good leader.
So much for no more layoff's Gracia! Or did the term "at this time" actually mean exactly that- whatever time she actually said it. Who knew an hour later, all bets were off?
Jim, that 6:38 post is peachy keen. But what about the crap like the one claiming The Tennesseean would be laying people off that Friday?Anything without a source is just someone throwing crap at the wall.
At what point does the SEC look at the statements made by corporate officers and question whether or not they are lying to the analysts and investors? (And employees, not that they care about us.) Yesterday's headline: Martore on more layoffs: 'We have currently no intentions of looking at further reductions'Today's headline: Florida Today fires up to 29% of newsroomWhat happened between yesterday and today to merit "further reductions?"
The writing is on the wall for Florida Today, and the days as a printed newspaper, if one at all, are numbered.It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see into the future here on the Space Coast, but in case it does we will have a lot of them available next week, when NASA's contractors lays off 2300 of them. Circulation will go down drastically, people leave Brevard for greener pastures and the housing market in the southern end of the county is one of the worst in the nation.This should be a time to hold on to advertisers and readers, but instead the wise men ships the print of the flagship (USAT) to a competitor in Orlando, bleeding money from the mothership. The commercial printshop with all its profit has been closed. Plans are to slim down the paper even more, making it less atractive for the reader. If I didn't know better, I would deduct that someone is trying to kill the once great product and turn it into a write off.I could go on about the complete lack of foresight in eliminating the entire prepress staff without a vision of who or what would take over their ressponsibilities (I have heard that news would be responsible for sending the pages to plate, but can't confirm it). It has been a good run, but I don't see a future here anymore, just time wasted, a lot of time wasted...I give the printed edition no more than 3 years, and the digital editions a few more.
Don't you think that 3 years is a big stretch? I would give print the most of six months.
Jim, i fear hunke's sucessor will slash the crap out of usa today, starting with all veterans (high salaried in their 50s). Theyll be replaced by know nothing technocrats who will aggregate news based soley on what is popular. Unfortunately, this will erode whatever reader base we still have. Beware the beancounters!!
I was going to post about the wrongs going on at FT, but you I'm not. I just don't give a damn anymore.
let a dead horse lay
There seems to be a lot of scared people spewing on here. Shame. Jim, it would probably be worthwhile to note that the number of staff members to be cut was an estimate. Executive editor Bob Stover outlined a plan that took the newsroom from its current 78 down to an estimate of 55 to 60. A minimum of nine of those positions were paginators who were already on alert that their jobs would be moving to the Nashville Design Studio, which looks likely to transfer in October. So let's take them out of the equation and go to the adjusted 69.The remaining 9-14 positions would come out of the existing staff and the writing on the wall is pretty clear.If photographers have been trained in shooting video, how many videographers do you need to keep on staff?If Nashville is taking care of your creative, do you really need a graphic artist? If you've got a handful ridiculously paid reporters who write one or two stories every six months, do you keep them - holding out for that pulitzer that as of yet hasn't happened though they think it will? Or do you cut them loose and keep your more aggressive reporters who understand the current climate, who aren't above writing five or six breaking news briefs a night in addition to a kick ass centerpiece?FLORIDA TODAY is still a great newspaper, though after reading the above posts my level of respect for its staff has dropped. It is not the Post or the Times. It never was. To assume that one can remain employed at any newspaper and continue to do the very minimum or just below the status quo is absurd. Before you point the finger at newsroom or local management, you might want to ask yourself what did you do today to try and secure your job? And that should be in any industry, not just ours.Has Gannett made mistakes in the layoff process in the past. YES. Seniority should never have been an issue. We should have saved the best. Period. We haven't. We haven't as a company used the opportunity to clear out those that are wasting oxygen in the building and are skirting by until they can retire. As far as shipping the flag ship to our competitor, well, that's a tough one to swallow. But the $500,000 in annual savings isn't.It seems to me that if FLORIDA TODAY is a sinking ship, there's an awful lot of whining going on when people, who claim to care about the newspaper and "journalism," should be trying to plug the holes.
1:58 -- I don't work at Florida Today or anywhere close but I do work for a Gannett paper and it's pretty clear that you still don't get what's going on. Every business has under- and over-performing employees. But Gannett managers don't take that fact into account when making cuts. In my experience it's been the suck ups and yes men and women who survive (regardless of their aptitude). Some of those people are very good. Some are terrible, but they're the ones who survive. If you're an underling, here's hoping you make it through this round because your sentiments are noble, but they are very unrealistic. Gannett isn't about keeping the best people. If it was, our entire executive management team would have been ousted long ago. Beyond that, I suspect some of the people that you accuse of doing nothing were good, motivated reporters before they gotten beaten down by all the formulaic corporate crap. Even the best employees reach a breaking point when their company repeatedly asks them to stop thinking big and shoot for the lowest common denominator.
3:14 I get it. I think if you ready my post again, you'll clearly see that seniority (and yes, suck ups) are the ones that kept jobs in the past. But at some point everyone has to prove their worth when the bean counters come calling for payroll cuts. Also see where I mentioned management issues at this local site are not the problem. The glass tower is the problem. As for the beat-down reporters, I'd be sympathetic if they made what I make... But considering the $25,000 per year pay and work load discrepancies - yeah, no tears for people who continue to think they can continue to phone it in everyday - Literally!
As a Florida Today staffer, I get that we need to cut expenses based upon revenue coming in. So my question is, based upon the need to trim costs, why do we need a six-figure publisher and a six-figure clueless Executive Editor biding his time until retirement?
I need a good reason as to why I should even apply. Hard to battle against friends for a job.
7:26 - that nasty expensive habit called 'eating' works for me. Damn kids want food nearly every day.
There's a list of editor jobs being offered to FT staffers who reapply. But no list of reporter jobs. Does anyone who's been through this before have an idea of what type of staff positions will be offered? I hear the freelance budget has gotten much bigger.
Or the 6 figure Asst. Operation manager who's priority is saving his job by laying everyone else off or the made up 6 figure position of Director of Strategic Marketing. Take your pick.
Wow. My sympathies and prayers to the good people in Brevard. What an amazing place this was! Built as a cathedral to Big Al's ambitions: A pond out front stocked with alligators. A long, broad central hallway -- a boulevard! -- that once saw employees' kids parade from end to end. Exclusive ebony-and-gold bathroom fixtures. TODAY, as it was once called, was where Al began to cook up USA TODAY. In the days of Al and Mike Coleman, it was cocky, ambitious and can-do, much like the manned space program it covered. Now, both are becoming hollow reminders of what was once grand and over-the-top about our business.In defense of Mark, their publisher: He is a good man, who cares deeply about Brevard and has worked hard to stave off the wolves (the economy, as well as beancounters and above from corporate and his group). I know his stomach is in knots and his heart is heavy to be placed into this situation. He rose from the Production ranks, so you know that outsourcing his pressroom was a bitter pill to swallow. He's the top guy, so he has to take the lightning strikes. He knows that. I'm not on the payroll at FLORIDA TODAY, and I haven't spoken with Mark in years, but I do know he's one of the good guys. Do you need a six-figure publisher? Yes, you do, because you get what you pay for. If you have any shard of a soul, preciding over the drawdown of a company is painful, horrible work. You carry it home with you at nights. It wakes up with you on the weekends. The battles you fight with corporate and group, and sometimes win, will never be known or celebrated by those who benefitted the most (the readers, the staff). All of this, and you still have to put on the brave, happy face and tell your advertisers that all is well and this is merely a restructuring and transformation, all the while knowing that the process of cutting will likely begin again at the end of the next quarter or by the end of the budget year. Gone are the days where publishers spent their days doing nothing but taking key accounts to the club for golf; now, the good ones like Mark are throwing their bodies in front of the train to slow down the dismantling of their institutions by corporate change-agents who can't assign a dollar figure to community leadership. Mark earns every penny of what he makes; what's sad is that our top leadership got multi-million bonuses last year for dispatching people like Mark to do the cutting and firing.Remember, ladies and gentlemen, Craig, Gracia and Bob don't consider this to be a layoff. It is a necessary operational restructuring. FLORIDA TODAY, while having unique market pressures (the declining Florida real estate money, the YOY drop in BP oil spill money and the end of manned space efforts), will not be alone in such restructurings, particularly in the South Group. Passion topics are really about taking what few resources we will have left in content and putting them to the areas where you feel we can do the most good. It is a recognition that we can't be all things to all people, and we can't even do what we did a year ago, so let's pick a few things we can do well and try our best at them.Godspeed, FLORIDA TODAY, in this new phase of your mission.
It's a shame the executive editor and local editor at Florida Today won't have to reapply for their positions. Suffice to say, each of them would be hard pressed to keep their jobs if they had to interview with HR. When the top newsroom editor can't look his staff in the eye and callously plays favorites, little else can be expected from management. Of course, isn't this straight out of the playbook for Bob Stover? Wasn't he a member of the Little Rock "mafia" that shut down the Arkansas Gazette? He's an old hat at laying off staff, all while adding to his fine art collection.
I recall being in a training program with Stover years ago and someone asked the question about what our top goals as being newsroom manager's were. Bob, an AME at the time, stunned me when he said, "Carrying out my boss' directives." From that point on, he had little cred with the rest of the program's particpants.
10:15 I was in Little Rock in October 1991. The decision to close The Arkansas Gazette was made at Corporate, probably in the Tax Department. Stover and other local editors including Kate Marymont and me did not shutter the paper. We were among more than 700 who got laid off during a recession that also killed off other papers as well.
10:58 Also in Little Rock, an editor -- not Stover -- who had just promoted me to a new job asked me to detail my responsibilities. He smiled patiently as I talked about the First Amendment and readers' right to know. Then he said:"Your job is to make me look good."And so, I got Lesson No. 1 in Gannett management.
My sympathies go out to everyone at FT. I see this as the beginning of the end of all newspapers in Gannett.
Does Stover has an exit plan and his golden parchute lined up? For sure. He's got to be mid-to late 60s by now. Not so sure about all the rest of his staff. Having to reapply and compete for jobs sounds totally humiliating. But I suppose it's the Gannett way. I agree with 11:51, this signals the end of the line for Gannett newspapers, especially since Florida Today was created and conceived by Al Neuhearth himself.
What a sad story. Florida Today was the "Best of the Best" Gannett's star paper for many years.Our beautiful building is in need of repairs, there are still so many glass offices filled with old timers that are overpaid/underworking and I guess they will sink with the ship.It doesn't have to be this way. Wake up. Get creative. Use Brevard as a think tank for all newspapers, where is the out of the box thinking!!!Goodbye Florida Today.
Bob Stover doesn't need my defense, but I'll provide some just the same. We worked together for 18 years or so at the Arkansas Gazette. He was a hard-working, enterprising reporter whose credits included getting the crap beaten out of him by thugs when he fearlessly refused to leave a meeting during the era of civil rights conflicts. He rose to editing ranks through the likes of first-rate beat reporting at city hall. As an editor he was fair, no-drama and unflappable amid high-stress breaking news coverage. When Gannett came along, for five years of big spending newspaper wars, it was Bob who saw to fruition quantum leaps forward in statewide news coverage, comprehensive business coverage and an expanded sports section. You wouldn't believe the number of pages, people and expense devoted to real news coverage in that five-year period. (How about an eight-page daily tab during the legislative session devoted solely to political news, not an ad in sight.) He certainly endeavored to carry out the wishes of his bosses. Shouldn't we all? But I also saw him contradict powerful editors on important issues. I know nothing about Florida Today. But I know if I was staffing a real newspaper of yore, he'd be one of the first people I'd call.
Sad to say but now Stover is nothing more than a corporate shill carrying water for Dubow and Dickey.
Last week at Florida Today I saw nine editors and five reporters.
I've worked at Florida Today for many years and after the meeting yesterday, I'd have to say it was the worst feeling I've ever experienced about the future of the newspaper. Here you had the top editorial employee at the paper simply dismissing the impending layoffs as a bridge to revitalizing the publication. He suggested through less coverage, smaller sections and diminished staffing this can lead to a boost in profits. He certainly didn't come across as very optimistic or sincere and I now firmly believe Florida Today could certainly close down for good with this management group at the helm.
6 figures--for what? A new boat,the 6 figures is certainly NOTwork related.Most liked ALL around publisher for FLORIDA TODAY:Frank VegaThose were the days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5:57: Was the publisher at the meeting? Did he have anything to say?
who cares!!!!!!!!Does it matter?
Gee, we've been talking about the FT's future (or lack of future) for the last month, I think. Just a thought from someone curious (from someone who doesn't live in Florida) and that is the Shuttle base is supposed now to be turned over to private industry for commercial shots. I certainly don't want that in my back yard, because I've seen and heard one of them. So maybe there's a huge future ahead if the FT sticks around?
little too late, competition will take over.
Right, a better paper with less staff to create it? I want what they're smoking!Mark doesn't have a choice in the matter, neither does Stover. The crystal palace needs more cash, so we must supply it one way or another.
I Have lived in Brevard county for 50 years. Being a loyal FT reader I feel very let down. Having a local news paper is very important to the community.Its seems like it is more important that a few get rich than it is that the community has a news paper that they can be proud of.How can these few greedy people let a newspaper that was at one time awesome just fall apart.This is a very sad time for all of us.It was bad enough that we lost our space program. Now we are loosing our news paper.SAD!!!
Simple, the paper sinks & someone else takes over, can't cover news if your site is not around.You don't have to smoke anything to see reality.
8:19 Yes, I understand the idea of community newspapers, but get a map out and look at the towns up and down Rte. 1 Likely to pick up from the FT is the Vero Beach or Stuart papers, both part of the Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. Scripps isn't the sort to jump in, but they will quietly infiltrate with one or two reporters, then perhaps a section covering Cocoa Beach and if it all works out, work the area into their papers, along with picking up the advertising which is what they really want. So the area loses is community paper and gets the Stuart News in its place. Clever strategy, and no one will confront Scripps with that money behind it.
I don't want to see reality. I just want to smoke something.
7:46 SOUNDS LIKE A HIGH SALARIED EMPLOYEE WITH A BROWN NOSE
Sorry to hear about this. The slow bleed continues.There are still many good people/journalists that work in the FLAT newsroom and many that are friends. I hope Stover chooses wisely. I just wonder why he doesn't have to reapply for his job. Its my opinion that he got the EE job by default after Eberle moved to Ft. Myers - corporate didn't want to spend any extra cash. Just money out of their pockets. In my years there it was very apparent that the FLAT leadership was led around by the nose cowering to anything and everything McLean ordered. No one wanted to buck the system - just sucking up to corporate. And Stover's statement about layoffs as a bridge to revitalize the publication... man that sounds scripted.Great writers and photographers (most using their own equipment!) that cover the space industry - what space industry?!!! Another blow. Best of luck to you all.Oh and Bob, how about a story covering your staff after they have been laid off (see link below-NASA workers after being laid off) or maybe a special section on how to find jobs and training. Gannett employees shown the door having to fend for themselves... Its all very hypocritical.http://tinyurl.com/3tv3w7g
As long as he is the one not shown the door,he does'nt care, they don't care!
3:38 raises many great points. Unfortunately, the higher you rise in the Big G food chain, the more corporate owns you. If you are a top editor in your 50s or 60ish, you are hanging on for dear life and will destroy anyone in order to stay even a bit longer. Not a personal knock on Stover, but an observation on any editor of ANY daily newspaper. It's all falling apart, and the next generation of "editors" will be paid $30K Patch.com type salaries, with skimpy to no benefits. And reporters and business-siders will be paid even less.
I find 1:58 a.m.'s comment to be a joke: "If photographers have been trained in shooting video, how many videographers do you need to keep on staff?" May I remind you the videographers put out 6 30-minute TV shows a week for WBCC-TV. Whoever made that comment: Have you ever edited one 30-minute TV show? Until you do that, keep your big mouth shut! One 30-minute show is a ton of work. The videographers put out 6 of them with a tiny staff. Obviously, the commenter knows nothing of TV production. Or of the deal with WBCC-TV.
While we are on the subject of layoffs, there was a story sometime ago that we ran about a new law being passed on August 1st about collecting unemployment with severence, Governor Rick Scott was not going to let you have both or something of that nature. Will this effect those that are leaving Gannett after August 1st? Anyone?
8:03 PM, true the publisher has no choice on cuts, but he damn sure has a choice on where the cuts come from.
9:05 Said it all, Could not agree more!!!
We're outsourcing and consolidating everything else, how about marketing? Might get some fresh ideas for once.
@10:49 I'm in Florida and when I was laid off the transitional pay information I received specifically stated it was NOT severance and not to identify is as such when applying for benefits. If you do receive actual severance (does anyone?) and the weekly amount is more than what you'd receive on unemployment you won't be paid benefits for that week.I know this because I received a notice in the mail about the changes happening after August 1 (you have to apply for 5 jobs a week, among other things). If Rick Scott had his way, there'd be no such thing as unemployment compensation, I'm sure.
I find it sad to think that people I work with have started to throw others under the bus by say do you need video and graphics people. Do you know how much time it takes to edit film properly? Ask the photo chief or one video people. As far as graphics what set USA Today apart from other papers at one time? The graphics. They will not be doing the graphics at the new design site. Do we need them? Maybe not. But the alternative is either having the Editor for the department doing them or not having any at all. We are all under the same problem. Lack of vision and the lack of good management that listens to people.
Do we need video at all should be the question. Are we a newspaper or a tv station? Or neither?
yes you need the video. the ONLINE site is where the future is going. The reading of a newspaper has not been cultivated in schools as it was when I was a child. I know its a new area for many of us but that is evolution. If you don't adapt to the environment you live in you die.
Again someone shows a lack of vision.1:24 p.m. questions the need for video and TV at all. Again, may I remind you that the deal with WBCC TV is for a substantial amount that covers the salaries of those involved, plus some. To me, that's good business sense. Just because you never learned how to shoot and edit video, and didn't further your skills when you had the chance, don't bust those down who did. You are not The Almighty journalist.
This thread reminds me of the time Jim decided to forge his own tongs. But he used them too soon, and they were still red-hot. There was screaming in Frisco that night! Hoo-hah!Moral of the story: You can act like you know how to do something, but if you don't, then you can burn your tookus. Just ask Jim or Spanky.
I can't help but wonder if this is the Gannett way going forward. I believe they did same thing in Westchester / White Plains less than a year ago - make everyone reapply for their job (or a new one at the paper) and rehire a much smaller number of people. First Westchester / WP, now Florida Today. Can the rest of us be far behind? My thoughts are with the people at FT being subjected to this slow torture.
1:34 says, yes you need the video. the ONLINE site is where the future is going.Really? Have you looked at our websites lately? Buncha boring, old crap, including the mostly amateurish, one-source video. How is that our future?
One of the things that floors me as an employee at Florida Today is the favoritism. This paper has systematically and routinely promoted the idiots and let the smart people just sit by the wayside. Why are there such talentless people on the so-called TV shows? What happened to the people who seemed as if they had actual TV experience? I'll tell you what. They left and went to greener pastures. How many of us, if given the opportunity, knowing we had no talent, would stay at an organization that promoted us? We all would, right? I'm actually one of those people who hopes that I get the ax.
((Continued from above 4:07 pm)... This paper is going down in flames. If I don't, I hope to leave within 60 days. Maybe I'll use John Kelly's columns as packing paper. He'll probably never notice anyway, since all he does is walk around the newsroom poking at his iPhone. I wonder how the bigwigs who sit in their offices or at their desks gabbing about their iPads and their nannies and big salaries feel now? The hard working people, who come in on the weekends, stay late and drive their cars all over the county just to write a 5-inch brief get looked over. This paper is getting what it deserves. Sorry Terry Eberle left. And by the way... where is Bob Stover and all of the big wigs while every one else is sent down the river? More than likely somewhere having a dinner party. FML...
To 3:21pm hate to say it but your wrong, this is the future. You just don't like it. Plus not all the video is like the RAW footage on the site. A lot of long intense hours go into editing video. Unlike some posters I don't wish for anyone to lose their job. Also people were given the chance to learn video and many did not want to. You are more than likely one of them. And yes I too almost hope the my job is eliminated. Not to put up with the over inflated egos that have only become worse since Mr. Stover took over.
1:34, no one is denying the digital future. But it also means that journalism is collapsing with its previous business model. Online is the future - and will pay "content providers" and ad reps measly digital dimes instead of a livable wage. Very few will survive - the NYT might because it is still providing high quality news and elites and others who don't want to drift through life in ignorance will find it worth paying for. Big G's mistake is slow motion suicide with cuts every quarter. The top robber barons are lining their pockets before dumping the company on a hedge fund, which will finish it off.
Keep ALL working management and get rid of the dead weight management.Just think of the money that would save. You will get better results from a person that makes under the 6 figure salary, at least they work and actually earn their pay.
As a former FLAT photographer this makes me very sad. It was a pretty great place to be in the mid to late 80's. Good luck everyone!
Hey 4:07. If you want to get the ax, why don't you save everybody some time and identify yourself instead of hiding behind an anonymous name. It would save a position for someone who actually wants to be there. Quit being a coward. If you're leaving in 60 days, let someone else have your job. Let's see you do something brave. Got the guts? Who are you?
7:57 PM, wishful thinking. It astonishes me how some managers don't do squat while others bust ass. If a low paid employee like me can see it, why doesn't the upper management do something about it?
Just saw job posting on careerbuilder for copy editors for US/National. Posted by Gannett.
Lets be real hereEverything is changing good for some, bad for others.Change is hard.We all have worked hard at putting this paper together and a lot of us never thought that we would see the day that this paper could be folding/ or just restructoring.Regardless venting, whining, moaning, groaning and bashing- its all good, but folks come on. This is change like it or not.Your just going to have to work it thru. Realize that you gave it your your best, and move on. I have enjoyed working here and I have met a lot of nice people & have a lot of great friends from Florida Today. I just wish eveyone the best in this change.
7:46 AMWe're outsourcing and consolidating everything else, how about marketing? Might get some fresh ideas for once. Where have you been? If you have been reading the Gannett blog you would know that Gannett marketing departments have gone away in most cases or whittled down to skeleton crews at a few remaning properties. Consolidating of marketing creative took place for several years back around 2001 with the "Miss a Day. Miss A Lot" campaign. Creative was developed by a corporate creative team with the expenses shared by the newspapers based on circulation size. It wasn't that bad but not that great either. But at least the marketing ads and materials were professional and consistent looking.
Regarding the reapplying for jobs at Westchester (was actually two years ago). Know this- All decisions have already been made about who they're keeping (this was inadvertently confirmed by a TPP person). The interviews are a sham- don't put any faith in them. If they liked you(if you were a kiss ass)- you will have a job. If you made any waves- start packing now.
7 am In thanking someone, are you really trying to suggest an anonymous poster's real identity?
@9:09 I've been here for quite some time, and I have a hefty 401K and benefits. LET THEM AX ME. At least I can leave knowing I gave it my all until the very end, despite how much I hate working for an organization that doesn't appreciate its employees. I would never call for an anonymous person to identify him or herself, but as for yourself, I can almost bet that you're in a glass office or one of the ones whose job is "safe". What a joke........ To the poster who said that if reporters wanted to be trained on video, then we should have signed up... Were you there when video training was announced? If you recall, all those interested put their names in a virtual "hat" if you will, and of those names, a few were selected. Like I said... FAVORITISM.
Jim - anon was thanking Jeff - who named himself in the post right above the original deletion.
There's nothing wrong with Florida Today that new management wouldn't fix. We were still doing OK 3-5 years ago until the "new regime" circulation wise got a hold. Right when we got the latest CD, then a couple of underlings, circulation took a home delivery at all costs approach. Making sure their papers were out ahead of single copy, taking racks off the streets to try and chase single copy buyers to home delivery. Now, since January, racks were taken away from single copy and given to home delivery. Add all that to thinner papers, still on occaision missing sections/ads, and two price hikes in the last few years. This paper was worth more at 35 cents than it is now.There is no reason the newspaper cannot coexist with the internet and TV. Just have to have people who want to and know how.
Of course there's favoritism. If you have to spend 8-10 hours with someone, the first priority should be if they're competent. But as I look around my department, everything else being equal - I'm going to make up the elimination lists based on who I can stand being around.Job's hard enough without having to put up with the whiners and complainers - as the crew shrinks and I have to ask more of fewer - I ain't going to keep the ones that argue every time.
Fair point you bring up but maybe those complainers and whiners as you call them might really do have a better idea. Fairly obvious when things aren't going right you are doing something wrong. All I've seen of management is that they don't consider any other point of view. Just because you get along with someone doesn't mean they know what they're doing, and if the ship is sinkong under your leadership, obviously you don't either. My "you's" are meant as a general term, not you specifically as I don't know who you are. Not meant personal.
Agreed - a good manager deserves a good team and vice versa - also, a bad manager deserves a bad team.The trick is knowing that the manager builds the team he/she deserves.
7am here Jim-I was going to answer you but 10 am answered it. Nobody assumed anything. Someone posted a comment with their name attached. The next poster said "Thanks, Jeff" in response. You deleted that, then deleted my question about why you deleted "thanks, Jeff". Now I want to know why you deleted the "Thanks, Jeff" post and also my original post asking why you deleted the post that said simply "Thanks, Jeff" Will you delete this too? Or answer my question so I don't have to ask why you deleted this post?
Florida Today is setting itself up to get slammed. The economic condition in the state is starting to show some signs of recovery. The loss of the space program is a big hit in Brevard but greater Orlando has been selected as a Top 10 boom town. The coast counties will get the trickle over time. The Treasure Coast papers owned by Scripps will move in, slowly, but make no mistake they will move into the south county. Daytona to the north will be looking at Brevard as well although the northern part of Brevard is the least desired. Neither want or care about Orlando. Both Scripps and Daytona are well run with good content and strong ad management. Orlando is less of a threat as they are still dealing with bankruptcy and Sam Zell. Scripps and Daytona know the value of print and dont waste time trading print dollars for online dimes. You have to own the print to get the digital. It has always been that way in the isolated markets. Florida Today is doomed and it started years ago.
9:03 Apparently, I misunderstood the original post. My apologies.
I'd like to weigh in on the situation at Florida Today. I've been there for some time and have witnessed the blatant favoritism that exists. If you are female, then you can do little wrong with the top 2 managers or at least they look the other way when they are taking 2 1/2 hour liquid lunches. The rest of us have had to accept that. I agreed with the comment about the local editor. Rarely see him look up from his iPhone while walking through the newsroom. I am not a whiner or a complainer and I've done everything I can to be retained. I want to stay, but without reservation, I can attest that management is abysmal and lacks inspiration, and that some who should go will surivive the cuts merely because they are "close" to management or management pets. I do not dare express my discontent because then I'd be selected for termination. To sum up my feelings about Florida Today in one sentence... Too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
11:26PM The question should be, where have you been? The marketing department is a group of prima donnas. Everyone at the paper wonders how they've escaped layoffs. It sure isn't their can do attitude that keeps them employed.
Liquid lunches. Wow. Under the current climate, dont you need a drink too?As for the local editor always having his head glued to his iPhone... Seriously? He has to stay connected to his iPhone so he can continue to answer email from the underlings that haven't developed the ability to think for themselves. The man has seven kids and goes home to them to get a break from the whining he has to contend with in the office. And I'm quite frankly amazed at his ability to keep a straight face and moderately calm composure when the whiners in the room stroll into his office (like he's got nothing better to do then listen to your latest gripe). At least he is doing work. Unlike a well paid reporter that completely roams the room spending his day wasting the time of everyone else in the building. Rarely reporting, rarely writing (although I'm pretty sure he's got a post or four above.)10:05... You are spot on. It isn't they don't pick the ones that argue. They want other opinions. The people theydon't want are they ones that argue and don't accept the end result. The ones that get pissed off at the slightestchange and then slam management on Facebook or twitter.
@6:55 pm, Wow. I need a drink after reading your useless rant! Sounds like you are justifying staff members taking long, liquid lunches and editors who aren't plugged in to what's going on around them??? Unbelievable. I wonder who the people are who are complaining to the local editors? I wonder if they actually had good suggestions that the editors simply didn't follow through on. I wonder if they listened to the suggestions you call "whining and complaining" if the newsroom would be in the horrible state that it's in now. Funny that when someone stands up to the system, they are ridiculed. Maybe you need to go down with the ship since you're so loyal. Glad I got out of that subhuman environment when I did.
God, I hope it's not that. He sucks at words with friends. :p How about everyone lay off John and Bob and just see what the outcome of the next two weeks will be. Realize we all answer to someone. And just move on.Seriously.Some will remain at the paper (hopefully those that truly want to stay for the right reasons) some will not (here's hoping Mr. 60 days doesnt take a spot away from one of the colleagues he calls a friend and just opts to not apply for a position). But bitching about the changes is about as useful as the Reporter mentioned by 6:55 (and it's pretty clear who that is ... Right 7:40?)
6:55 and 3:28, obviously you're both suck-ups trying to hang on at any cost, probably quasi-management too, or at least wannabes using a "senior" designation before your title. Stover and Kelly both need to be slammed for a lack of genuine people skills. Managers should be leaders and inspire confidence, these two haven't a clue as to how to relate to their staff. How about they knock a bit off their six-figure salaries in order to keep at least one more good person on the staff? Doubt that will happen. And whoever mentioned changes, where have you been? The paper has been changing and adapting for years, the problem is management remains the same. I can't cut Stover any slack when he previously targeted for layoffs a woman one week back after she underwent cancer treatments and another reporter who had a kidney transplant. How compassionate it that? Stover needs to go if you ask me.
Oh bother, interviews begin today!
So that explains all the ties today. I thought that I missed a memo or something.
1:08PM You're a SOB for a comment like that.
Its not hard to figure out how these managers got their job- hard work- whats that. They are just a bunch of quacks that nosed to the right big quacker. FACT. Try to show us other wise -- NOT.
Yes, Why 4:36. Is it because you feel like you are better than the rest of us. You feel like you should'nt have to re-apply. Get over it and yourself.
For heavens sake just stop and try to be nice to one another. We are all in the same boat. Can we at least try to treat each other with some kindness and dignity. It must be very tough on the ones going to interviews knowing they are going up against fellow coworkers and friends in some cases. I know I don't have the best rep with many of you and to tell the truth it goes both ways. But I would stop to help any of you if you needed help. Your all great people now live up to that potential.
I cannot believe this is going on at Florida Today. It used to be such a great place to work. So sad.
I agree with 6:11. There used to be a feeling of family working there. Interns used to put Fla Today at the top of their list out of several Gannett sites. Now, there's no internship program, everyone is at each other's throats, overworked, underpaid, unbelievable stress. Not sure why the sudden downfall. Other Gannett papers are going through cutbacks and downsizing, but has it affected the atmosphere in the newsroom like Fla. Today? What is causing the angst? Someone mentioned favoritism and management. Are those the 2 key things? Sad indeed.
11:29, you are illiterate. There are lots of people eating tainted crackers and then posting in this thread. There must be a discount on Wheat Thins in Florida.
8:33 Dude, stifle yourself. I will admit that I'm not 11:29's biggest fan, but he is far from illiterate. He makes a valid point. And unlike many of us on here, at least he said who he is and is trying to quell some of the poisonous spew. 8:26 To answer your question, if you need to understand why all the angst, the writing, as has been made so blatantly obvious on this blog, is clear.We have top scholars (read sarcasm) like the people posting on this blog sucking up paychecks. Truly the nation's best and brightest award-winning reporters (more sarcasm) applying to hold onto jobs that they've repeatedly admitted on here "suck." Several people who truly care and put thought into their work, instead of what their next excuse is going to be, are going to be forced out the door in less than three weeks.For months, the copy desk has been waiting for the transition to the desk studio. Does it suck yes. Did they bitch? sure, but certainly not to this extreme. And you selfish twits couldn't have bothered to care. "Oh that's too bad for them." "Wow, that blows, what are you guys going to do?" Your lives went on. Blue skies ahead. Hurray.Stover, Meesey and Kelly create a plan to allow the desk editors, some of whom have triple the years of journalism experience as some of our reporters, to fight for positions to remain on staff. The plan forces everyone to reapply and now, suddenly, we've got bad management. "Everyone has to reapply, but now that effects me. Whhaaaa. Grab the torches and the pitchforks. Get Stover."Really? Ad sales are good, you're all fat and happy and no one says a word about Stover and its a love fest for Kelly. Ad sales plummet, you're forced to reapply for your job and, abra cadabra, Stover is an idiot with way too many favorites and Kelly has his head buried in his iPhone therefore proving he's disconnected from the newsroom. Bravo! Bravo! Another illusion please. You brilliant metro and community sports reporters who have taken every cheap shot you could take this week should just drop everything and go start a think tank. No, really. You're absolute geniuses. How will we ever get by without you?
4:46PM, 1:08PM here. Have you heard of gallow humor?
@ 2:44 am, Management forces 20 or so people to reapply to save the jobs of 3 or 4? I don't think that's the real reason why they are telling us to reapply. I think it is poor management and they're just throwing their hands up. This is the result. Their loss. Surely, they will lose a lot of good people in the process. And when I sat on a copy desk, oh, let's say, 10, 15 years ago, I honestly thought to myself, let me better my skills and diversify a bit more. Copy editing and page designing is not the be all, end all. The writing was on the wall then. The copy editors at the paper have sat on that desk for years, not improving upon any skill. Taking fancy trips, long smoke breaks and even longer lunches. A few caught lucky breaks and forayed into TV. Not because they had talent, but because of who they knew (favoritism). You mean to tell me you sat on that copy desk not wanting to do anything else in the newsroom for the last 10, 15 years and now all of a sudden you think you're good enough for positions that top-teir journalists have gotten because of hard work and putting in long hours?? Lol!! Sorry, that's just hilarious to me!
8:33 Sounds like everything your hearing on this blog is fact -it's their time to say so. Who is going to say it to their face?People are getting screwed.No illusion here- FACT.We've had bad management all along- this blog just proves it.So go bow down to who ever you do- we are just stating FACTS-- my dear!!!!!!!!!!!
I am guaranteed to lose my job within the next 4 weeks due to outsourcing printing of USA Today to our competitor. I personally place 99% of the blame for this coming to pass on the management at Florida Today. Corporate asks for cuts, they give in without a fight. I'd bet 10 to 1, they gave more than corporate asked for. It really pains me to see long term employees having to apply for what few positions remain. I'm glad I don't have go through that.
Way too many managers at this place!!It shouldn't be too hard too figure out that several need to go.How about keeping the working managers and get rid of the dead wood.
Who is the dead wood and in whose opinion?
Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who works and who doesn't, look around!And that's A LOT of peoples opinions!
SOMEONE SOUNDS WORRIED
If you work at Florida Today you know which managers bust their asses and which don't. You'll also know as soon as the economy turns around because those will be the ones leaving.
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