An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Was watching a show about world war2 general George Patton the other day. A hard charging jerk who got the job done. A leader with a vision and a guy with firm resolve. Someone quick to replace ineffective subordinates. Where is our Patton?
Gannett has plenty of jerks in leadership positions already.
Jerkoffs is more like it. This gang couldn't handle a night shift at 7-11...
Oh, USA Today... http://apple.copydesk.org/2011/07/06/you-need-a-dirty-mind-to-be-an-editor-in-this-business/
Official statement to Times Herald employeesColleagues,Today it was announced that the Times Herald will experience a work force reduction. Effective September 6, 2011, the Times Herald will consolidate its press and mail room functions into the Lansing State Journal. The last day of production in Port Huron will be September 5, 2011. In total, the reduction in our labor force announced today affects 26 full−time employees and 27 part−time employees. Affected employees will receive severance pay commensurate with their years of service.This was a very, very difficult decision, and I am deeply saddened to lose these dedicated employees. As our business continues to change and our economy continues to struggle, the Times Herald has been forced to look at reducing expenses in all departments. In every case, we explored ways to drive costs down while minimizing the impact of the reduction on local employees, readers and advertisers.Consolidating this portion of our operation allows us to retain resources vital to our core mission of delivering local news and information to our readers and the most desirable audience to our advertisers; all while weathering this difficult economic time.Moving press and mailroom functions to the Gannett production plant in Lansing, Michigan will allow us to continue to produce the same quality products and ensure they are accurately packaged and delivered on time.It is my expectation that our readers will notice no loss in quality as a result of this change. It is also my expectation that customers will notice no loss in service or quality as a result.I also want to emphasize: the Times Herald is NOT closing. We are not going away!I wish I had better news for you today. Even in these difficult times, I am very proud of the work we have done here and the people who have made that possible. Of course, that makes these decisions even more difficult.In spite of our challenges, I believe that together we will persevere and will emerge stronger with hardened resolve to continue the vital work of a community newspaper. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with each of you.Thank you, Lori
Has anyone reported layoffs this week?Hard to believe that there have been none,after the second quarter disaster.
Answered before posting !
From yesterday's Lansing State Journal link...Joe Grimm, a journalism professor at Michigan State University wrote, that the "Survival [of legacy media] will require them to operate in new ways as smaller companies with owners who will accept slimmer payouts.”Interesting comment. Isn't this where newspapers were before familys sold out to corporate investors? How things come full circle.
Just heard 22 more lay offs tomorrow at the Tennessean. They said that will bring the employee count down to the lowest it has ever been at the Tennessean since they have existed under Gannett.
"The Deal From Hell" by James O'Shea...An earlier poster asked if anyone was reading this book? I raised my hand. I'm not quite half way through it (slow reader!) but there are plenty of "Ah-ha" moments in this one... One, especially, the sale of the L.A. Times to Chicago Tribune is a page right out of the sale of Central Newspapers, Inc. (Indy Star & AZ Republic) to Gannett back in 2000. The Impermeable, unbreakable family trust suddenly and inexplicably dissolves under the weight of money thrown at it. And lots of it was made during these transactions by a few well placed players and I can imagine just as much money will be made by a few when corporations such as Gannett are broken up. The author also mentions in his book the "Wall" between business and editorial being slowly but surely dismantled by corporate's desire for ever increasing profits. From early on, as far back as when I threw my paper route, I had this misconception that newspapers were different creatures than most businesses. That they were some how more lofty, a cut above the norm. But I guess this resided only in my mind. As a long time production employee I have never known a benevolent Gannett. I have never had the protection of the other side of that "Wall." I have always known a ruthless, anti-employee employer in Gannett, where money rules everything.
We should start a topic on jerk bosses at Gannett that we have worked for. I can say Silverman was a real ahole. I watched him tear down and humiliate a co-worker in the hallway in front of anyone that walked by.
@7:14: There are so many intangibles that define leader ... Presence, intelligence, articulation, ability to lead by example and sacrifice as you expect your people to make sacrifices. (A qualities lacking at the top at GCI.)While still there, I interviewed Roger Staubach once. I walked away thinking, "You can absolutely see why men at the Naval Academy, Vietnam and on the football field absolutely were willing to do anything under his watch ... He absolutely exudes the intelligence, command and integrity of a leader."At the same time, our 'leader' was just starting to do whatever he could to destroy our company and lose any semblance of respect of practically every single employee under him.
11:18 You are absolutely right. I always was puzzled by Gannett's defense of the First Amendment because I can't think of another newspaper company that has more examples of suppressing Free Speech when money is involved.
Dribble, dribble, dribble. Layoffs continue with Times Herald and Tennessean. Can USA Today be far behind? Gracia must be confronting a frightening drop in revenues she's got to defend later this month when GCI unveils the Q2 report.
Huge story out of England where Rupert Murdoch is folding the News of the World, a major scandal sheet involved in a scandal of hacking into people's cell phones. The tabloid will publish Sunday with no ads, which doesn't mean much because big advertisers have dropped plans to buy ads in the paper since the scandal erupted. Obviously, Murdoch concerned the scandal would result in parliamentary investigations into his satellite TV monopoly BSkyB.What's the connection with Gannett? You may well ask, but consider how quickly Murdoch brought down one of his most lucrative projects when it got involved in a scandal. That's the risk ahead for Gannett as it heads into passion news and community journalism relying on freebie contributions from people unfamiliar with the technicalities of libel law.
11:46-USA Today layoffs have been ongoing for 3 years. It may not get the publicity that other papers are receiving, but it definitely is happening. One here, two there, market consolidations, you name it, we've seen it in the field at USA Today.
Wait, if Marc Hansen was moved back to sports as a columnist then laying off Keeler would be a violation? Can they reduce a position and then immediately fill it? Sounds fishy.
Good times in Louisville -- the air conditioning went out at the CJ Wednesday and is still out as of this posting. Newsroom temps are around 80 degrees and expected to rise -- the high outside is supposed to get into the 90s. The HVAC system at the CJ has long been terrible -- and that was back when the company had money.
Never heard any updates on the CinDee Royale tire slashing incident in Westchester. Was the culprit ever apprehended?
Wow. New lows. Good think Clark waited until after the layoffs.http://bit.ly/rq8B7p
Loved that Apple picked up on USA Today's unfortunate weather graphic of last Friday. Thanks to 9:11 a.m. for the link.
2:15 You are right. Sometimes you can be too clever in advertising and instead of making people laugh as you intended, you make them cringe. The Gannett branding campaign is an example of how you avoid all this by making the dmandest blandest ad I've seen in a long time. I go to sleep now when it runs. It's like a Pavlovian response.
Three Usa Today veterans have announced they are bailing in the past few days. So forget about layoffs. People are tired of the oppressive malaise and bullshit espoused by management. Pretty soon, only editors,vice presidents and ex AOL types will be left.
So the headline in Louisville would be:Oppressive sweatshop conditions hit Courier-Journal newsroomThat's hardly news....
in regards to the central acquisition, I would argue that was bought on the cheap as the sale of the broadcast unit brought in close to the entire purchase price of the company.
10:38 do you know which department(s) they'll be drawn from? There's nobody left in that building to lay off....
A play off "Tap That Ass" is racist, misogynist and ageist. A triple play!
Tap That A**...gee, I have a good number of national agency contacts. I should inquire with them if they're aware of this.
@7:14am Patton = Robert T. Collins, don't believe me, ask him.
Oh, Lordy. Despite having moved to different locations over the years, the Morristown DR managed to roast, toast and freeze us always in the wrong season!
Jim...this is worth a takeout...http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/romenesko/138328/gannett-newsman-blasts-companys-tap-that-ad-campaign/
No layoffs at the Tennessean tomorrow. 10:38 is a liar.
5:23 Are you in HR? are you positive of this fact? You must be in the know yourself then to make such a statement? Maybe YOU are the Liar?
5:28, I am positive. Guess we will see tomorrow but don't hold your breath. No layoffs.
That notice for Times Herald mentions they will receive severance. Does that mean they will actually get a severance package or is that just what they are calling the transitional pay?
10:38 a.m. has no source and no proof. Why would anyone believe that bit of nonsense?
Nope 3:09, three leaving is hardly enough to match the size of the layoffs they are mapping for USA Today. I think we will hear the news next week, but that is speculation and I am not My Boss. It's certain there will be more layoffs.
USA TODAY has already laid off or driven out a large percentage of veteran journalists who were the backbone of the newsroom. They weren't driven out because they couldn't handle transitioning into a modern newsroom or any other b.s. reason given by top editors and managers. In fact, some have gone on to do quite well in digital jobs. No. Many of these people were driven out because they were a perceived threat to someone. That someone could have been a two-faced, lying ladder-climber or pathetic greed monster trying to hold onto his or her spot. It could have been someone with virtually no journalistic credentials who couldn't stand having someone on their staff who knew 10 times more than they did. The point is that many of the people picking who got laid off were in fact some of the most despicable phonies to ever hold a management position at USAT. They rose up into management for one reason and one reason only. They were good at playing the game established by the newer regimes, and even by a rather lame HR department that pretends to be on your side -- with an open-door policy (trap) - only to side with the attorneys and those occupying corner offices when push comes to shove. Don't trust HR -- not ever.When you look at some of the people who weren't laid off and you compare resumes with those who were let go or forced out, well, you will see that USA Today management is about as back-stabbing and petty as it gets in this business. If anyone at the top was paying attention during the last three years, I guarantee at least half the people who were cast aside would still be here, still contributing and making things a little better for everyone. Many of those folks were some of the most reliable,hardworking people I've know in this biz. Instead, a lot of dead wood was left behind -- people with poor judgment, language and design skills -- and this is exactly why this has become a horrible place to work for anyone with an ounce of pride and ability. Some of these people don't even know what it's like to work weekends or late nights. They don't even know what's going on in the world of news!What a tragic place this has become.
Heather has become my weather vane on the layoff/Hunke leaving for personal reasons front. She's back to bubbly and sitting happily in her office.
11:57 Do you think Corporate would close USA Today if it got into a scandal or ran erroneous stories like the News of the World did?
I think USA Today is so vulnerable it could not survive another Jack Kelley-style scandal. The News of the World is dying of shame, so it's possible I think. What surprised me about the Jack Kelley scandal was how it tore the newspaper apart. There were defenders of Kelley and they did not fare well. Editors walked the plank, and Karen Jorgensen was dumped (retired). It was a huge black eye and the investigation lasted a long time. Without our diminished staff now and weak editorship, I can't really say what the outcome would be. I hear on the news there were commercial reasons for closing the News of the World, and the paper was said to be profitable. It had a huge Sunday circulation that was the largest in England. It looked healthy to me, so maybe there will be a replacement that will appear soon.
There is no severance at Gannett anymore. it's all transitional pay.
I just saw a Deal Chicken commercial on TV. Very cool commercial.
I find it interesting that the DM Register can bring on Tad Cahill and now Stan Howard, who are certain to be very expensive, yet at the same time they choose to lay off 13 others.
@1031 I don't know who Stan is, and I don't really know Tad, but he is one of the few who actually talks to other people just to be nice on that floor. Of course he is new, so hopefully he doesn't get corrupted!
louisville pressroom is 2 hrs behind schedule due to....wait for it....electrical problems!!!! this following last nites over-heating troubles with cooling towers out. and Arnie, this time you can't put blame on 'lightning'.
If the Port Huron pressmen are union their contract might specify a better severance than the shameful Transitional Pay Program. I can't over the fact that there isn't more of an uproar over a profitable company (Gannett) forcing taxpayers to subsidize the bonuses for Dubow, Martore etc.
Those Louisville press guys are majic! Despite electrical woes (again) that delayed the start of late Metro edition an hour & a half, they pulled Arnie's incompetent management's asses out of the fire. Thanks guys!
4:59, I hear ya. I can recall some nights in the summer when I'd go into the library or the bathroom just to cool off -- and it was our own building! Each night, I'd literally sweat at my desk as though I were riding an exercise bike or something. One time, someone from the outside came in to the office to bring me something and simply could not believe the working conditions. We were always told it was being worked on. What a complete joke working for Gannett was. Easily the worst, cheapest corporation in America!!!
7:15pm, Hunke is leaving for personal reasons? What have I missed?!?!
Good riddance. Now comes the long knife of Susie Ellwood. Cut from the top, Sus!
Yea, that's right. The 1000 other major companies that have been using TPP for 30 years are just as bad. They should all be in jail.
People in charge of press were also the ones handling getting the AC fixed in Louisville from what I understand. If it weren't for the competent people there I think the whole building would collapse.3:35's comment made me laugh... sad but true. It was truly awful that day. The lights were out over most of the building trying to bring the temperature down even a little bit.CJ raised prices on paper delivery in areas outside city while also cutting content. Then management wonders why we can't retain subscribers.Apparently, we can't afford to deliver the newspaper for the same price anymore. Then why did you cut half our content and fire 50 people for?
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