Friday, July 29, 2011

July 25-31 | Your News & Comments: Part 4

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  1. Reno Deal Chicken sold 585 deals With local specialty but her shop. Way to go Reno!!!!!

  2. Oops, Butcher shop!

  3. Deal Chick
    Oh Boy ,Gannett's problem's are now solved and everyone cane rest easy as their job is no longer in jepardy !!!

  4. Jim,
    Thanks for pointing out the NYT story. Can I suggest that you take a deeper look into the story and what the NYT is doing vs. what we think we're doing here at USAT. Sure, they've had lots of problems, but I admire them for sticking to their guns....content, content, content. All you have to do is sit a USAT side-by-side with a NYT and WSJ - any day M-F would be fine. Those pubs are content machines and USAT pales in comparison.

    So, maybe a separate piece for the blog would be of interest. Bottom line is they are far better newspapers than USAT and their commitment to content, quality reporting, and (dare I say - NEWS) is making this so.

  5. So if the feds default come Tuesday, what kind of effect will that have on all the debt that Gannett has?

  6. First the Republicans crash the stock market and now the money markets. ENOUGH, USE THE 14TH

  7. Looking forward to your coverage Jim - as I always do. I think the divide between the three publications has never been wider.

    Those pubs have just as much of a commitment to digital as we do, if not more. And yet they are still also committed to a first class printed product. Yes, we can do both!

  8. Laura Hollingsworth told the Shrevepor Times' OC during an on-site visit Wednesday that the paper needs to boost it's revenue, according to one of my readers. What's new, right?

  9. Timothy Standish7/29/2011 10:49 AM

    Someone made the comment yesterday that they hoped I wasn't a writer. I'm not I am/was a graphic artist. I will always be an artist. I will make it through this and come out better for. I hope all of the others can do the same.

  10. Just thought you all would be amused (NOT!) by this note we got at the Arizona Republic about a session being offered.
    It boggles the mind that this is what management thinks is important. And more than one of us noted that the onus in the boss-subordinate relationship is placed all on the subordinate.
    Really, is this how we are supposed to spend our time???
    The person leading the class was, during her (thank god) short-lived time at the Republic, one of the editors who loved being fawned over and sucked up to. The fact she is "teaching" this session is beyond rich.

    October: Managing your boss
    Managing Your Boss
    When and where: 8SW, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Oct. 5
    What you will gain: Your relationship with your immediate supervisor is the most important professional relationship you have. And it’s up to you what kind of relationship that turns out to be. We’ll cover what you need to know about your boss, how to communicate with him or her and other tips on how to manage up (without sucking up).
    Instructor: Kristin Gilger, associate dean at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and former Republic editor

  11. When I was with a largish Gannett paper, there was a lot of talk about "managing up" -- which can range from keeping one's boss informed about problems so he/she isn't unpleasantly surprised (a good thing) all the way to toadying (a bad thing. Holding a class like this is basically a sign of a f*cked-up management culture, but we know that already, don't we?

  12. A good analysis of the mess Lee is in and what that could mean for the JOA with Gannett that holds the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. Lee has to shrink the horrible debt it took on at the worst possible time by buying Pulitzer in 2005, even if that means a trip into Bankruptcy Court as MediaNews and Freedom have done.

  13. Good post, 11:38. Just think how poorly the higher-ups in Gannett are "managing up" to those at corporate. Who "manages up" to Dubow and Martore? And if they are doing even a passable job, why is the stock languishing and why are revenues sliding? Frankly, Gannett has always been about "managing down" the plans from the visionaries at corporate who got us into this mess and continue to dig us ever deeper into the hole. Maybe that's a session reserved for management - how to "manage down" by dumping more and more work on your smaller and smaller staff without pay raises to speak of at the same time you're bowing to foolish corporate dictates (examples abound) with a big smile on your face.

  14. Hey, 11:38, do you think Gilger will give advice to staffers on how to "manage up" for raises this year - even though pay is frozen? Now, that would be a training session worth attending.

  15. Revenue for print is sliding at EVERY newspaper company. Every magazine company. Wake up. It's not a Gannett-only issue. Far from it.
    Consumers have dictated this global shift. Newspapers will survive, only much smaller.
    Anyone who is still questioning that has been living in a cave for the past 5 years. Seems like such a irrelevant discussion at this point.

  16. @11:38 a.m.:
    I wonder if attending the "managing up" (read: sucking up) session is mandatory. Will the bosses be taking notes on who is there and who is not?. Will those who do not attend be on the block in the next round of layoffs?
    And, it is only July. This class is not til OCTOBER! Do people seriously have to plan that far in advance for something so useless taught by someone so useless?
    I hope this lunacy gets picked up by Romenesko, HuffPost and other industry blogs. Just plain, flat-out embarrassing.

  17. 1:06 The New York Times isn't getting much smaller. It's invested heavily in a quality news product and a superior website. The result: hundreds is thousands of new online subscribers. Ditto for The Wall Street Journal.

    Quality sells. Cost-cutting doesn't.

  18. Well said, Jim.

  19. It was reported yesterday that the LA Times had another round of layoffs starting due to falling movie advertising revenue.

  20. Right on Jim. We are using the fall of printed newspapers as an excuse to dumb-down our product even further. We're moving away from what sells newspapers in the first place - QUALITY CONTENT.

    And what makes us think we'll be successful in the digital age if the content sucks? The NYT and WSJ are moving into the digital age more quickly than we are....and they're bringing great content with them .

    What will we bring?

  21. Heard through the grapevine that any designers who stay on through the design-studio switch (date still TBD) would receive a lump sum worth four week's pay in addition to transitional pay if they were then laid off.

  22. What would Jesus do?

  23. Anon 3:02, that was included in one of Kate Marymont's memos about the design studios.

    Of course, it also said that each paper would have their local staffing analysis and would know how many people keep their jobs at each site by the end of April.

    So take it for what it's worth (not much, being from her).

  24. Jim, etc....the NYTimes had 2nd Qtr loss of $114 Million. Print ad revenue down 6.4% and digital did not offset this.

    EVERYONE knows the NYT is the premier journalistic product in the country. They have cut tons...don't kid yourself. BUT even they can't stop the print revenue slide.

    Stop spinning the facts. Of course they are a great paper....they've always been far better than metros and USAToday. But they ain't making money.

  25. 4:55:

    1. The NYT Co.'s loss was principally because of a write-down of assets. here's what they said:

    "The Company had an operating loss of $114.1 million in the second quarter of 2011 compared with operating profit of $60.8 million in the same period of 2010. Excluding depreciation, amortization, severance and the special items in 2011 discussed below, operating profit was $82.9 million in the second quarter of 2011 compared with $92.6 million in the second quarter of 2010."

    2. Gannett's print advertising also fell in Q2, by 6.5%. 

    3. NYT Co.'s digital subscription momentum is strong. 

    Yet, one year after starting digital subscription tests at three newspapers, where is GCI going? We still don't know. 

  26. Nobody really has the guts to manage "up" once you get past middle management. The higher you go, the fewer guts you possess, and it becomes a bunch of "yes" people. They once told the folks in Phoenix that with the "world class" transition, they would begin a bottoms-up structure; however, that philosophy NEVER got off the ground, as nobody really cares what's said at the bottom, just a bunch of lip service. And, if you dare mention "poor morale", YOU pay the price for saying it out loud, and the higher ups just want to belabor the point. It's all pointless, and there aren't many words that come out of Gannett mouths that can be trusted!

  27. I agree with 4:55 - I think we must be careful in characterizing NYT as any type of success story. This is the same NYT which has yet to "keep it trill" about how much that pay wall cost them...

    Meanwhile, WSJ is a special case. Assuming that it's not burned by this NewsCorp dustup, it's a strong publication in general because of who it serves: The Street. Nobody on the street is going to not read the WSJ, and none of them are so broke as to refuse to pay through a paywall. It's a NICHE PUB and to judge it up against generalists is like comparing apples and oranges.

    With that said, there's no shortage of online chatter about how WSJ isn't what it used to be either...

  28. Craig Sevier7/29/2011 8:26 PM

    Really? "Reno Deal Chicken sold 585 deals?" Post the stats. First, there is nothing "Reno" about it. Despite my wished-for reputation, I know a lot about clients close enough that they noticed right away when their campaign was sent to Indiana or India. That's not some brag. They lit into me when I patronized their stores. They liked my work.

    They say directly that "Deal Chicken" means nothing, first, and business owners are actually, heavens, imagine, vegetarian.

    Some do say they buy the contract, but they also say it's the last time. Track it.

    Deal Chicken. It's first disgusting. And second completely wrong. Get a brand with words.

  29. Craig Sevier7/29/2011 8:35 PM

    I can tell you first hand about manipulated stats.

    I can tell you first hand about how any wipe the asses of the managers.

    I spent 25 years believing in the medium. Still not cool with believing that somehow it became a world that was sucking/licking the last drip of waste.

    Some people here attack me. I don't care. They're just defendin' their trip.

    Who knows? Maybe like all the other victims ransomed with kin and hearth so silly and academic, that utter contempt is completely uncalled for.

  30. "Heard through the grapevine that any designers who stay on through the design-studio switch (date still TBD) would receive a lump sum worth four week's pay in addition to transitional pay if they were then laid off."

    Yeah, I heard something similar during the ad production consolidation. Didn't happen.

  31. Bravo Reno! Despite what sour puss, no one ever paid any attention to me Severe thinks, Your Deal Chicken offer was a huge success. Keep up the good work and don't pay attention to Haiku Craig!!!!!

  32. OK, success or failure of Deal Chicken, you need to understand that as with any new ad venture by Gannett (front page ads, young person pubs, specialty pubs, etc.), it is nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. If Business X has an ad budget of $500 or $5,000 to spend for the year, that is what they are going to spend more. So you took money they were going to spend on an A section daily ad to Deal Chicken does not mean that is new money ... it is just moved money. So congratulations you took money from one account to another account. And by having all these new ventures to advertise with us just tells the advertiser they should no longer value a daily newspaper ad or an online ad with us ... and in most cases you downsold them from an ad in the daily or Sunday for dollars to whatever the new favor of the month for dimes. Bravo.

  33. Boy 9:44 I hope you aren't a sales professional for my company. Maybe just maybe we are taking money destined for Radio, outdoor, web etc. If you are in leadership we really are in trouble.

  34. 9:44 is absolutely right.

  35. 9:44 is right, and to make things worse for newspapers is that money spent with DealChicken goes straight to DC and that Blasted Crystal Palace. So it's actually costing the newspaper money and will hasten the downward spiral and ongoing hemorrhage of jobs.

  36. Reno chicken deal, a little more info.
    4 deals so far.
    1 netted about 27 buys...Some Casino deal
    1 netted about 586 buys.....12 steaks for 22 bucks.
    1 netted about 21 half price
    the latest deal has been running for almost 2 days, and has sold 5 units....that's 5 buy-ins for a tan.

    It's Reno, in the summer I think you can tan while walking to your car.

    Not a great start..One good deal..Meat, not chicken, beef.

  37. "Sales professional"? Boy, that phrase is a dead giveaway. Makes me wonder if Gannett's PR department has interns. Anyone know?

    10:13, I recognize your writing style as the same poster who was super-duper excited about the Your Life vertical and had like a gazilion ideas for it, none of them good or original. And when you were told that, you just decided people were being negative Nellies.

    Seriously, aren't you way up past your bedtime? Go to sleep and let the grownups worry about the collapse of the company.

  38. So what's the real revenue on Reno's dealChicken?

    If we get to keep around half, that's about $6,000 on the steak deal.

    I honestly can't remember the last time I had steak so I don't know if that's a good deal for the customers. Not vegetarian, just can't afford it.

    Hopefully it's a big plus for the meat place - because if sinks them on volume or cost, everyone in town will know it and the Chicken will be on the grill next.

    (btw, all 'sales professionals' know about switch money - why do you think we had to hire new sales monkeys specifically for DC,, internet sales, etc.? To go after money not already budgeted to the paper.)

  39. Let's do the math, $6000 times 50 sites. $300,000. Five days a week for fifty two weeks = $78 million. Yeah we couldn't use that.

  40. With projections like that you should run for Congress. No basis in reality whatsoever.

  41. DealChicken or Groupon- who cares. This form of deals will get boring. I have already seen many offers in Phoenix that are NOT great deals. I also know some business owners in this and other markets that can see that low offers like these won't build their business. Price sensitive customers are seldom that loyal. Gannett was late to the table. (Didn't they read Guerilla Marketing- be there first.)We will always have some deals but advertisers will grow tired of this. It won't save the company or anyone's jobs.

  42. Deal Chicken might be good for the company's bottom line and what appears to be the shift from news to marketing.

    It's not going to do a darn thing for the community papers. Dubow and Martore aren't going to throw anything at the papers. In fact, a huge chunk of what the papers make winds back at corporate.

  43. Craig Sevier7/30/2011 10:18 PM

    I love it when people post anonymously and can't even spell my non-anonymous name right. So Gannett. No facts to argue their view, just personal jabs and slights. Gannett, again.

    Dude probably can't even speak French. So any pronunciation is incidental.

    I mention this because it demonstrates the terminal disconnct regarding this company. Lot of folks, their noses wiped clean, holding nothing but derision for those who did and those left who did and do the job.

    And not anonymously.

  44. 10:39 Jim: your posts creates the Impresion you were there. You don't refer to a source. Unless you were there you should indicate a source shared this information. You are a Mirror Award winner right?

  45. Craig vous assumez l'orthographe de votre nom etait dans l'erreur. Vous savez ce qu'ils decent sur assumes? Bon door mon ami!

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

  47. 10:41 Please re-read my comment. You will see I attributed that information about Hollingsworh's onsite visit at Shreveport to "one of my readers."


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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