Monday, July 04, 2011

July 4-10 | Your News & Comments: Part 1

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)


  1. In light of recent events with Gannett, the closing graf of this story is very telling.,0,1163343.column

  2. What the hell happened in Louisville? I was out for a few days, and came back to find the entire arts section of the paper evaported because of the layoffs, and the arts section has been folded into the main newspaper. Have they lost their mind? Ok, Louisville isn't one of the major culture centers of the United States, but it tries in its own way and locals like it. They're trying to keep that audience with a freebie tabloid, but few people pick it up because they are suspicious it is just a shopper. Madness, sheer madness.

  3. Unfortunately, I am unable to provide comparative statistics (although maybe someone else here is a better researcher than I am), but the population of Lancaster, OH is 37,000 (and change), and the July 4th issue is eight pages long. Eight.
    No classifieds, and one of those pages is comics.
    It's been getting thinner for a while, but this is the first time I've counted the pages. Note, to those who don't understand the problem:
    Lancaster, OH is the county seat for Fairfield County, Ohio, population 146,000.
    Admittedly this is not the biggest city or newspaper in the state, but surely there's more than eight pages of information to publish.

  4. If you fools would all leave..
    there would be no Gannett publications.
    No cash flow,no bonuses to pay ,no layoffs to be made and the fools at the top would be left holding the bag.But no,you are all afraid to leave the mighty kingdom of Gannett.
    On this Independence Day, gets your own personal freedom and make the decision to leave the Gannett empire and let it topple.What the hell makes you stay anyway? Knowing it is just a matter of time before you are shown the door.

  5. @857 Isn't everything a matter of time? It's just a matter of time before we retire. Does that mean we should do it now, since we'll be doing it eventually?

    It's a matter of time before we die, too. But I'll keep going, thanks, until that day comes.

    Same with this. I want to work as a journalist. I love this work. Is it a matter of time before that job is gone? Maybe so. But until then I want to work as a journalist. In my town, that means working for G A N N E T T - warts and all - or leaving the newspaper business.

    I am astounded that GCI's board of directors is so blind to the sad state of its newspapers and journalism resources. But they don't care what I think, so I focus on my work.

    And that's what makes me stay.

    Thanks for asking.

  6. Did anyone seem to catch -- however briefly it was around before it seemed to disappear -- the column/story on the wire from the Clarion-Ledger? It never mentioned G@nnett by name, but talked about the environment surrounding layoffs: how people are all of a sudden gone, with no sheet cake or fanfare, just perhaps a few remnants on the desk to betray that they were ever there at all.

    Then it ended with some quotes about how everyone should try to keep in touch with laid-off, presumably so they don't spiral into a pit of unending despair. It was like somebody wanted to bust Craig et al's chops but (deal)chickened out at the last minute, instead closing with the implication that this is such an amazing fabulous place to be that no one would ever want to leave or be shown the door.

  7. 12:42 I share your views, but I fear also that I am among the lonely few who understand that corporate is doing to this company. So it's a sort of suicide pact that I have joined in with GCI. In effect, we will both sort of go down together. GCI will eventually run newspapers that contain no news and lots of features and fluff (much of which they will get free from citizen journalists) and I will eventually find my name on a layoff list and I will wake up dead, as they say in the south.
    I have never felt like this before, and I really don't know what to do about it because my ethics tell me that suicide is a sin. Yet, by staying with this operation and doing my job as I have always done with acknowledged credit from my superiors, I am contributing to my own demise. It's a little sick, IMO.

  8. @12:42. I feel your pain, and have felt it in the past. I, too, had to face that option, and after many years have now left the industry completely as I'm not willing to relocate. Very sad, but I'll make the best of it somehow. I sort of thank them for putting me out of my misery, as I would not have left on my own.

  9. anonymous said... westchester site of 329 persons will shut down bye 2011 the cut will be half of 329 to 161 bye september to early spring. the hand writing is on the wall. No Future

  10. Craig Sevier7/04/2011 3:48 PM

    Fools, we are. Making basic assumptions in the great Amerikan Experiment, while thousands in record numbers are kicked to the curb, this is your definition of "fools." I might be wrong. Unlike most I'm only asking.

  11. Craig Sevier7/04/2011 4:05 PM

    It is so trendy to address insult as being one commercial away from actually breathing. Centered. No matter the graspy take, Gannett had reamed everyone, skill or not skill. It's crap. I will spare to words to describe it and its champions, their megaphones, their all that.

    Attack the premise if false. I dare you. Instead all you do is attack. You have no education, these types. They can't, alleged media, a nation already mislead to utter carnage, they can't spell, waving college degrees.

  12. Why does the poster above talk like Yoda?

  13. Craig, thanks for the found poem!!

  14. Strange: As I post this, USA Today is featuring as one of its top homepage stories, an article about AOL that it first published online last Wednesday -- five days ago.

    Is the paper now so short of stories (or art?) that it has to recycle articles?

  15. Well I guess if was good on Wednesday, it's good on Monday. Why do they bother publishing daily, and just do it all once a week, scrap the news, and just do features. What a way to drag down a brand we once were proud about.

  16. Corinthians 4:10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.

  17. Jim, the same is true for virtually every paper across the company. It is not uncommon these days to open up the website of a small-, medium-, or even large-market's site to see that the top story was originally published 2 or 3 days ago.

    This is particularly acute during holidays or when when the digital editors (if there even are any) take vacation.

  18. Can anyone comment on the ridiculous Fiat section that wrapped USAT over the holiday weekend? Don't know how much this was sold for, but I sure how they took into account how an advertorial section covering the entire paper would obliterate any single-copy sales -- not to mention alienate every subscriber.

  19. 8:08 What happened to the days when there was news in the newspaper. For God's sake, if we are printing what is now 5 day old stories -- even if it is on the Web -- then we might as well kill the newspapers and become a weekly magazine. Take a look at how the NYT does it, refreshing stories and putting new stories online everytime I look at it. Even the Drudgereport tries to redo its site a few times on weekends, and mmore frequently during the week. If we lose the news franchise, we might as well hang up our hats.

  20. Yoda, educated he is!!!

  21. To all those Tennessean folks who said nice things about Silverman: Don't delude yourselves. He's a corporate tool who will do whatever his bosses tell him to do. He may be better behaved in Nashville than he was in Detroit and Louisville, but that's because he's under the leash of a publisher. Finally, after Gannett sold the Detroit News, Gannett realized he was not fit to be a publisher/editor. Trust me, folks, he's still a toady.

  22. Westchester site will be closing before Labor Day.

  23. @ 10:29. Better behaved? In Nashville he throws newspapers at editors. What on earth did he do in Louisville and Detroit?

  24. How many more sites are yet to be consolidated to NewsGate? Does this affect areas other than news?

  25. The collapse of Westchester financially and editorially is a shame to the entire company. Westchester is one of the top markets in the country, where many of the biggest media and ad bigshots commute home. And yet Gannett treats it like a small market paper.

    Don't let anyone rewrite history: Westchester had its moments, but it was NEVER a player in the metropolitan area, never coming close to Newsday on Long Island or the Bergen Record across the river.

    A lot of good people came out of there over the years, but once the papers became unified and stopped covering the local communities, there was really no reason for The Journal News to exist anymore.

    This isn't an obit. The paper is not dead yet. And the sale of the building only means the operation is moving to new, slicker digs.

    The Journal News needs a total redo, though. Drop the idiotic "Lo-Hud" identity (it's not fooling anybody and it is quite racist and journalistic red-lining -- denying the market's Bronx/Yonkers/New Rochelle nexis. It's like people in Eastchester claiming to have a Scarsdale address. Advertisers aren't fooled and the average Westchester resident has no idea they are in a "valley.'' Idiotic for a decade now.)

    If Westchester won't invest in community reporting (there are a few markets as divided into very self-aware cities, towns and villages as Westchester is), then become a metro area powerhouse and begin covering the movers and shakers who LIVE in the county.

    Cover Albany again, like when people like Adam Nagourney and Jeff Stinson were there; cover New York City (fer crissakes). Be a player and stop quivering in the shadow of New York media.

    The irrelevance of The Journal News is not lost on advertising executives who live in Westchester. Shake them up with great reporting and relevant coverage.

    It can be done. But Westchester has one last chance to become a 21st Century player. It needs vision and something old (reporting), and something new (a digital attude). Showing photos of drunk Iona students on a Saturday night isn't cutting it.

  26. @11:45 PM Will never happen with this management team in place. We need to clean house of ALL department heads. There's more to Westchester than Scarsdale housewives. And even they don't read this paper.

  27. Without a doubt there needs to be a major clean up of management, directors, and the very people who brought this paper to its knees.

    I have said for years that the people running this place couldn't get a job elsewhere.

    Corporate has always turned a blind eye to this place.

  28. Silverman better watch himself. That could be considered assault under Tennessee law.

  29. More to the 7:17 post suggesting that, "corporate turned a blind eye to westchester". I believe that may be correct now. However,following Sherlocks retirement, and to a lessor degree Donovans move south, corporate felt that they needed to prove that that the legacy of the Westchester market being unique and different was a myth. They couldn't wait to get their hands on the operation and show what "they" could do with all of the "successful" corporate initiatives that worked so well elsewhere.

  30. What corporate initiatives have worked elsewhere?
    Huh? Name one. None have worked at our place. They confuse the heck out of everyone and before we can figure out what they want, poof, they're gone, and a new memo comes out w/ a new plan. Passion topics are on the stage now. Yet another way for editors to waste their time trying to reconfigure the shrunken newsroom. Corporate just does not have an f'n clue how few people are left to produce the paper.

  31. About Maryam Banikarim

    The career has always looked a little cooked, manufactured. I know someone who knows Maryam from back when.

    Here is the book on Maryam.

    1. Unrelenting self-promotion. The key goal is to manufacture the Legend of Maryam. More than vanity, causes real problems because it is used to justify the salary, job and protfolio she has now. If only she spent as much time on the job as she spends in seeking personal/professional awards, kudos, congrats and trade press for herself, there might be more real production. (Where is the real production so far?)

    (Look out for possible self-defense stuff from Maryam on this forum. Hi Maryam!)

    2. Scapegoats and cronyism. A key goal is to make some space and fill it with personal protectors, the Maryam Banikarim Singers. Watch out for weird "old friends" coming on line. Screw the job, protect Maryam.

    3. She is just in way, way over her head, which explains a lot. The experience, judgment and creativity just don't match up to the legend, which may explain always moving on before the jig is up.

    Craig and Gracia may have an issue here, they aren't the first and probably won't be the last.

  32. I have long anticipated the confrontation between Robin and Maryam. Wonder who wins?

  33. I am losing faith in Maryam fast as I haven't seen anything innovative coming from her. She's had plenty of time now to make her ideas known.


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.