Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CEO Dubow's sneaky math vs. your Blasted Blog's

Craig Dubow is the Atlanta TV ad salesman-turned-chief executive, so it's no surprise he's still selling regular employees a bill of goods.

Case in point: Yesterday, Dubow brought his Corporate roadshow to South Carolina's Greenville News, where he once more told a staff meeting that he feels their financial pain. Gannett Bloggers say he reminded his audience that he, too, has taken mandatory unpaid weeks off, so he also knows the sting of a pay cut.

Well, not exactly. Here's why.

Rank and file newspaper employees who were forced to take a furlough during the first quarter effectively got a 1.9% pay cut.

But Dubow's pay fell by just 0.2 of a percentage point after his week off, assuming he's paid the same amount this year -- $9.4 million -- that he got last year.

That is because the effect of his furlough week only applies to his base pay, which he has voluntarily set at $1 million. Last year, he got another $8.4 million composed of a cash bonus, stock awards and options, and a bump in the value of his pension account. Unlike you, his base pay is just a fraction of what he gets overall.

Losing a week's pay costs him $19,231. That's a lot of money to the average worker. But it's just a rounding error for GCI's richly rewarded CEO.

Indeed, even if Dubow took three unpaid weeks off -- one for each quarter so far -- his overall pay would fall only 0.6 of a percentage point.

On the other hand, many higher-paid employees without bonuses, who are being forced to take three unpaid weeks off this year, are seeing their paychecks plunge 5.8%.

A new name for Gannett Blog!
For the next 24 hours, I'm temporarily renaming this website after a remark Dubow reportedly made during yesterday's staff meeting.

Anonymous@8:44 p.m. says: "Dubow gave this blog a shoutout in the Greenville on-site today. Told us not to pay any attention to 'that blasted blog' and to ask him directly if we had any questions. He also feels our pain about layoffs and furloughs. He has to take furloughs just like us. Too bad no one asked if his paycheck takes as big a hit as ours from those furlough days."

(Note: the screenshot, top of this post, shows what the page looked like.)


  1. TBB- That's funny, Jim. I think you should keep it for a while! Can you also now refer to CD as "That Blasted Dubow"? If all posters did that from now on, THAT would be even funnier.

  2. Now that I think about it, my bonus was not affected by the furlough, either. Of course, my bonus is a small percentage of my income, unlike that blasted Dubow's bonus.

  3. I think this "Blasted Blog" has taken on a life of its own now. But in the early years they could have limited the impact of this "BB" if they had been open and forthcoming with plans. Of course that presumes that they have an interest in being truthful with employees, analysts and the public.

    The one thing we've learned through the years is that it is not in their DNA to open and forthcoming about anything. The leadership at the Blasted Crystal Palace believe it's necessary to treat us like mushrooms. Keep us in the dark and feed us sh!t.

    Two weeks ago, Blasted Dubow's fellow traveler, Martore, said no more layoffs for the time being. The layoff process started at Florida Today within 48 hours. That lie alone and its obvious transparency should trigger some kind of an SEC investigation.

    Without this Blasted Blog we'd still be like mushrooms living on sh!t in the darkness so Thank You Jim for bringing a little light into our lives.

  4. That blasted Dubow must think employees are idiots. He should know better than to think he will get sympathy for a furlough. Cry me a river Dubow.

    That's like an executive saying they are sorry they were not around during layoffs because they decided to stay in Spain an extra week (after finding out about the additional furlough).

  5. If Dubow performed his job competently, he'd have nothing to complain about. But, when as Forbes magazine points out, he's done nothing for the bottom line except cut staff, how can he expect anyone to trust or respect him?

  6. Anon 8:21 AM -

    "That Blasted Crystal Palace"

    ROFLMAOOOOOOOOOO that's even funnier!!!!!!!

    In wake of Jim's 24 Hour use of "That Blasted Blog" in all fairness during the 24 hours, we should also use "That Blasted Crystal Palace" as well!!!!

    Too funny!

  7. Oh good....we can call Dumbow directly if we have a question rather than visiting the "blasted blog."

    And we'll get an honest and straight answer to our questions...right Craig?

  8. Forget how much he may or may not have lost taking a furlough - that's meaningless. The fact that he makes that much money running this company in such an inept way is borderline criminal.

  9. That's capitalism!

  10. Furloughed Fury7/27/2011 9:24 AM

    Want to really make Craigy-Poo and dis-Grace angry? Everyone make a donation to that Blasted Blog, even if it's only $5 to show him how much creditability he has among the rank and file.
    Meanwhile, Jim should work on the screenplay for "That Blasted Blog." Maybe it will be the next "That 70's Show."

  11. I'll donate my site's total DealChicken revenue.

    Oops, I'm NT31, we only get ChickenShit.

  12. All together now..."Good morning, Craig." Afterall, we do know that you or your minions are reading this.

  13. 9:10,
    I'm all for capitalism, just not criminality. And paying these people millions for what they actually accomplish everyday is criminal.

  14. Jim, thanks for making me laugh out loud. It's been a while.

  15. As effective as this Blasted Blog is, we need to vigorously call attention to the rapacious executives who are destroying media outlets and employees' lives to enrich themselves.

    What better way than a little (Wall) Street theater?

    Every single one of the 700+ people who got laid off in the last round needs to send Dubow a symbolic check for the exact amount of the salary they won't be getting for the next year.

    In the memo line, your choice: "Your bonus for laying me off" or "Contribution to alleviate the hardship of your furlough."

    Anyone game to design a downloadable "check" drawn on The Bank of No Shame and post it in Google Docs?

    Let's do it. As a reporter, I can guarantee you this would make news -- and make a laughingstock out of Dubow and his cronies.

  16. Hey Craig, you and your "travlin' roadshow" did a wonderful job yesterday in Greenville answering the "softly tossed questions" Did you know the questions had to be cleared by department heads? Oh, we are sure you did.

    Yeah, we know you clowns feel our pain!!! The top five or six of you made what last year??? Over $20,000,000. Much of it was bonuses and awards for running this company in the ground. If we underlings performed as well as you guys do, we'd be out on the street.

    So maybe you can answer some of the questions here that we wanted to ask yesterday but it wouldn't pass the vetting process.

    1. You just put 700+ of your employees out in the unemployment lines. We all have taken furloughs and years without pay raises. So how do you justify your pay and bonuses. It can't be production... stock was at $74+ plus per share when you came. It dipped to as low as $2.00/share and still in only slightly over $13/share today.

    2. In light of the layoffs and reduction in revenue at most all properties, how can you justify spending money for jet fuel and limo services as your band of clowns travel site to site selling your snake oil?

  17. Sigh. I read this and I recall a blog post I posted several months ago on a sunny Saturday afternoon:

    Where is our Steve Jobs?

    Why can't we have a CEO that is willing to share our sacrifice and only reap rewards when all of us prosper?

    Jobs came back to Apple at the salary of $1 a year, that's 100 pennies folks. He chose to be paid in stock and stock options. As he made the company successful through inspiration, visionary leadership and a dynamic personality, the value of his stock grew from the low single digits to where it is today. And now, his stock and stock options reward him with the riches he deserves.

    Craig wants you to like him, folks. When you see him in person, or find yourself seated next to him in the First Amendment Dining Hall in the Crystal Palace, he can be charming and gracious. He wants you to think of him as a fellow Gannettoid, doing the heavy lifting to save the company for all of us. He's sharing our pain by taking a furlough. It ain't easy being the CEO of Gannett and he will give you a "we're-all-in-this-together" pat on the shoulder or reassuring look when in your presence.

    But we all need remember this: His pay for one single year of service (last year) is generational wealth, enough money in a single 12-month span to make his grandchildren wealthy. Assuming he surrenders a third of his compensation in taxes, he could take the remainder of his yearly package, place it in an investment that only pays a 3 percent return, and realize an income of $186k a year. Let's also not forget he gets a guarantee payout for leaving the company under almost any circumstance, save committing homicide in the presence of witnesses.

    Perspective: Craig's pay last year was enough to pay the salaries of 175 people making $40k a year plus benefits cost. If he would have just settled for half of his package, a mere $4 million plus, and ordered the remainder of his compensation to fund the addition of 87 more journalists, can you imagine the good Gannett could have done? Or, better yet, if he would have funneled half of his pay into a true Innovation Division (not that stupid DIG crap), God only knows what we could do.

    But, no. He's flying around from site to site, parading a literal parade of new Chief Officers of this, Chief Officers of that and a bevy of vice presidents at USAT and corporate. He lays his hands upon the poor local leadership tasked with doing the actual dirty work and asks them about their furcations. He sighs, talks of shared sacrifice needed to arrive to our new happy place, then he, Bob, Gracia and whomever else they can fit into the Corporate Jet fly off into the sunset -- all millionaires several times over, each of them knowing that if the end came tomorrow, they would still be wealthier than their wildest dreams.

    And, oh yes, let's not raise the taxes on the wealthy CEOs and suits. After all, the GOP says it would dampen job creation. Suuuuure.

    Blasted Blog.

  18. The Big Biz Professor7/27/2011 10:51 AM

    Well said 10:28. I have no problem with paying a CEO who innovates and either grows the company or puts it in a position for long term growth in the future. Craig is not that individual.
    Steve Jobes and Bill Gates get it. They know their companies must continually innovate or perish. The CEO of Ford gets it. Dubrow does not.
    His thinking is locked in the 21st century and in the world of corporate doublespeak. Synergize this, Craig, you are a failure. If you were a rank and file employee, you would get an unsatisfactory review for poor performance and be shown the door. Instead you get bonuses for nothing at the expense of good employees and shareholders.
    As for tax breaks for the wealthy job creators, this should be the litmus test. If your company added new jobs (and not top exec jobs) you get a tax break. If your company laid people off, you pay a tax penalty for killing jobs.

  19. If Dubow is inviting us to call, I'm sure he'd love to get mail ... bags and bags of it.

    I'm still employed, by the grace of God, but I'll gladly send Dubow three "checks," one for each of my past three furloughs. They hurt financially, but they hurt even more when I learned those bastards were getting bonuses while my family was going without. I might as well have written real checks and deposited them directly into their bulging bank accounts.

    How can Dubow even keep a straight face while professing to feel our pain, financial or psychic? Seriously, how out of touch can one person be?


  21. DuBOZO still gets a pension!? WTF? I thought Gannett froze those in 2008? I guess not for the hoi palloi. Sad.

  22. Would you buy a used car from this man?

  23. At last, you got under his skin. Now you have to get into his mind. Try a logic block.

  24. What Blasted Dubow also is clueless about is that those same employees he claims to emphasize with didn't have their pay doubled last year.

  25. He runs a multi-billion dollar company with thousands of employees and he has to have his questions scrubbed for him? Geez, how pathetic!

  26. How does the Q&A portion work?

    Does someone read the questions out loud from index cards, where they've been written down after being screened?

    When all that's over, does Dubow say, "Are there any more questions?"

    Then what? The sound of crickets?

  27. I wanted to add to what 10:22 a.m. said about the Greenville "travlin road show". The questions to Dubow were not just vetted, they were given to particular employees by management, verbatim. Those employees were essentially told to ask those specific questions during the Q&A portion of the meeting. And every single one of the questions was greeted by Dubow with, "What a great question!"

  28. Send this guy where he belongs; dude ranch greeter, complete with tiny cowboy hat, cap pistol and stick poney.

  29. So what happens to the employee who doesn't play along and refuses to ask Craig a supplied snowball question? Do they get a black mark on their permanent record? Sent to the woodshed? Furloughed?

  30. ""Dubow gave this blog a shoutout in the Greenville on-site today. Told us not to pay any attention to "that blasted blog""

    Isn't he intelligent enough to know that speaking of such will most certainly guarantee an ADVERSE EFFECT?

    Jim, do let us know how many unique visitors visited your "Blasted Blog" since that statement by Craig was made! ROFLMAOOOOOOOOOOO

  31. 95% of companies would have canned this idiot years ago. At the rest, they are either members of a family controlled board or too inbred to know better. How much more frigging lame can this management team be? Where is the leadership, vision and right minded care for employees? Where is the common sense stewardish on behalf of shareholders? This guy gets angry about a blog? Look in the mirror, Craig. You only have yourself to blame. No snappy branding campaign or over the top pay deal can change the fact that by wall street and your hard pressed workers' standards, you are an unmitigated failure.

  32. The "blasted blog" comment is validation of the effect of the Gannett Blog. Way to go, Jim.

  33. Spoonfed questions? That's a deal for chickens.

    It's what public-relations types, politicians, and Hollywood agents like. We should all skip such events, now that we know how it works. There's too much work to do to waste so many people's time with such self-indulgent monologues.

    Let the Blasted Top Chicken talk to himself. He apparently likes his life in an echo chamber.

    Poor blasted soul.

  34. Told us not to pay any attention to "that blasted blog" and to ask him directly if we had any questions.

    Craig, don't wait for people to ask you questions. You need to start the dialogue. Tell your employees what's going on. Be honest and forthright. Give them some facts and some context -- the present and future of the company and how they fit into it. Take some initiative here.

  35. Hey Jim. Normally right with you. But facts are facts. He never has received an $8.4 million bonus. He did get a $200k pay cut plus furloughs. He makes a lot, not out of line with other CEOs but never a $8.4 bonus. Think the most he every got was a couple mill US.

  36. 10:09 Right you are! I've tweaked the wording to make clear his bonus was part of the $8.4 million payout.

  37. AHHHH, name calling!

    We're winning. ;-))

  38. How pitiful. It must've been painful for those Greenville folks to listen to this crap. Seriously, he's feeling their financial pain? Don't think so: he must've stopped by his NC vacation home afterwards for a couple of rounds of golf.

  39. That "blasted blog" is just too funny. Good to know SOMETHING gets under his skin. By jiminy you know he really refers to it as that "MF blog." That asswipe deserves to have a "blasted blog" critical of him and his cronies. Look at yourself in the mirror much Craigie?

  40. I like the fake check to Craig idea, I would send 42 of them, one for every year I worked for Gannett before RIF

  41. Great post, 12:44. That's why journalists never win these battles. They think F-list insults = "winning."

    By the way, Jim, you suck. And you have for two years now. Improve, please. Soon.

  42. Nobody's trying to win you over @3:49. You're safe in your silage.

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


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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