An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Gannett Blog's June traffic was nearly 415,000 pageviews from about 38,000 unique visitors. That is the second-highest ever.Highest: 541,000 views from 63,000 uniques in December 2008, when Gannett laid off more than 2,200 workers.Context: Gannett has fewer than 33,000 employees worldwide.
Happy 4th of July !This would be as good a time as any to get laidoff. Ah FREEDOM! from Gannett.Yesterday,according to posts, there were layoffsbut the posters didn't say which sites.The layoffs continue,no doubt,but once again under the radar and not publicly announced.So these need to be reported here ,otherwise who will know.
Fun fact I've learned since the Deal Chicken ate my job yesterday: How transitionsl pay actually works.For the benefit of my still-employed colleagues, here's what happens when Gannett cuts you loose.They tell you that you'll get a week's pay for every year you've been with the company. Now, if you're a trusting dumbass like me, you'll be all, "YAY! Lump sum payout like the folks who took the buyout back in 2008/2009!"But no. This is "transitional pay." You only get the Gannett bucks as long as you're still drawing state unemployment. The instant you find a new job, poof, your severance package disappears.Since a lot of people probably jump to a new job before their benefits expire, Gannett must save itself a fortune this way. I salute you, my cunning, evil, former overlords! Way to nickel and dime even my unemployment!
This is nothing new, for at least the last two years it's how RIF's have been handled. Was there a site that hadn't encountered any RIF's since it changed?
No, but it sounds like there was a department that hadn't...
Who in the hell is the Einstein who decided to run an ad cover on USA Today on one of the highest single copy days of the year? Hope Fiat isn't looking for that ad in my area, because they won't find them.
9:42 -- Even worse than the fact that they are saving money on unemployment is that they have shifted the burden of severance pay to state governments, many of which are already strapped. Now, I suppose they could go a step worse and simply not give any severance, but the way they are doing things is still a sham. And to think Gannett willingly takes government dollars for "job creation" in some areas. What a joke. Any company that operates like this should be banned from government handouts, as it does far more to hurt local communities than help them.
Can we assume that lack of followup from comments early Thursday means the Florida Today cuts didn't happen?
11:46 Don't understand that. Unemployment insurance is a federal program that is administered by the states. So what shifting is involved here that is different from the traditional ways? I can see why states would be unhappy with additional costs, considering their well-publicized problems with bond debt and inflated teacher pension plans, etc., but how does this result in any different burden on the states than previously?
11:51, that's probably a safe bet. When the monkeys come in here flinging poo about layoffs, their intention is to hide from the prediction if it doesn't happen.
11:57 - Actually, the states pay for the first 26 weeks of unemployment using state-level business taxes. Many states' unemployment trust funds went bankrupt in the recession, so they have to borrow from the federal govt to pay that initial six months of benefits. But in normal times, unemployment is largely a state-funded thing. Since the recession the federal government has also stepped in and added months and months of additional assistance to the unemployed, and that money is handed down through the states.
To all tthe folks who complain about TPP here is the real irony: In its origin in the mid-1950s, the TPP Plan was implemented for the union employees of large manufacturers and was designed to provide unemployment benefits at a much lower cost than employers had experienced before. For many years, the TPP Plan was used mainly in the union environment; it is only in the last decade that employers within other industries have discovered its value. So it was a Union idea!!!!
Shifting topics, is anyone else coming to the conclusion that our editorial pages might actually be doing us more harm than good? At my site, our story about our own layoffs had hundreds of comments from people saying they stopped subscribing to protest against the liberal stance of the editorial page. For the most part, the only thing interesting or surprising to read on that page is letters to the editor. All the wire columnists from NYT and WashPost are freely available the day before on the web. There's a huge hole for the editorials, but they usually just repeat the stories with some kind of yawning "this is a prudent approach" drivel to make it sound like an opinion. In their personal columns, the editorial writers are too lazy to get out of the office and form opinions about LOCAL issues, so instead they write about their vacations or their dogs or Obama getting a bad rap for this or that or what Michael Jackson meant to them. And you know they are big drag on payroll because they're all dinosaurs left over from the golden days. I think editorial page used to serve a purpose in the days when people really looked to the paper to tell them what to think because information wasn't freely obtainable elsewhere, but now the whole operation seems outdated and badly in need of some innovation.
Yes, the "wrap" around USA TODAY's front page is pretty pathetic, but the holiday edition is certainly full of ads today, even if most are patriotic holiday ads. It almost looks like the successful days of the late 1990s.Hope it lasts, wrap or not.
12:12 Well you know what happens when monkey poo is flung around, things begin to smell. The fact that the layoffs haven't happened yet doesn't mean anything, except the poo really becomes more and more objectionable and really becomes obnoxiously stinky in the monkey house.
What's the latest about the car-keying in westchester? Was it really Cindy Royal's car? Were surveillance cameras on in the parking lot? Hope so.
Great post, 12:45. Correct on all counts.12:49, it does mean something. It means the poo-flingers were wrong.
Who cares about the editorial page? I'm in news, and I never pay attention either to editorials or columnists. I find the columnists generally too far right-wing for my tastes, and I don't find any theme that works for me reading editorials. They never carry ads, so that shows you what the local business community thinks of these pages. They are just yards of print and perhaps maybe an unfunny political cartoon. As far as my reading habits are concerned, kill the editorial pages and turn them over to news. If the editorial writers have something they need to say, let them buy an ad.
The trouble with the wrap is you no longer can tell it is a newspaper or USA Today when you see it on the supermarket stands where I buy my paper. It looks like the shopper I never pick up. So I bet those businesses that bought ads because this is a holiday weekend won't see any draw from all that money they spent. The first sign this has happened will be when circulation sees a flood of returns of papers they expected to sell over this three-day period.
Recently moved to the Rochester area. Subscribed to the WSJ because I could get it for $9 a month for the first year as opposed to $18 a month for the D&C (which I can also read online). Today, my WSJ was bundled with a copy of the D&C. Sad to see a paper with such little newsreporting. Made me glad I am getting the journal, for half the price!
RE: 1:11The fact that you are "in news" and (a) never pay attention to the editorial pages and (b) think they should have ads speaks volumes about your own lack of credentials for the newspaper industry. A well-edited editorial page is one of a newspaper's most valuable assets. Unfortunately, those are in short supply in Gannettworld, where interns are handed columns to regurgitate the latest left-wing rhetoric they've picked up in class, and editorial writers do little more than rewrite news stories, complete with direct quotes. Maybe "in news" would profit from reading a quality newspaper once in a while, instead of the one they are working for.
11:57 Well using that method of raising funds for unemployment is certainly going to make the local business community feel real good everytime the local newspaper lays off people. That's because local business leaders see business tax increases coming to pay the additional costs of replenishing the state unemployment fund, and I think you can guess how business feels about increased taxes. Way to go, Gannett. How to make friends an influence people in the business community: lay off more employees.
1:26 Have you ever read an editorial page from one of our papers? Recently? Seriously?
Only a third of those who regularly read newspapers look at the editorial page, and those figures are consistent. So far from being a valued asset, it's really a drag because twice as many read the local news. You could easily kill the editorial page and letters to the editor, and I bet you would hardly hear a wimper. But we are already hearing about our lousy coverage of local news, aren't we?
1:26 - You missed the point. Quality newspapers have editorial pages that are assets. At no time did I suggest that a Gannett newspaper was a quality newspaper.
Today's editorial pages are frozen in amber. Not only do they act as if "The Daily Show" never happened, they act as if the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s never happened, either. They are a time capsule from 1952 that someone forgot to seal.
Nice info graphic in USAT: http://yfrog.com/h3omlepj
If you advocate killing the editorial and they do, it won't be to give the news hole to local news, it will just be to tighten the paper and save money. (Save money doesn't mean save jobs either, it means bigger bonuses)
I am appalled at how many people within the company (for a while; you'll be gone soon) don't know how TPP works. More denial. More evidence that you don't believe it will happen to you, so you don't bother to learn what is in store for you. So many of you are totally convinced that there was something wrong with the tens of thousands already gone. But no, not you. You are golden. They value you.(Yeah, how many times was "indispensable" used on my reviews for more than a decade. Ha.)TPP not only disappears if you take a job, if you lose unemployment for any reason (even failing to file on time, or a system snafu in some cases) you lose it. And Gannett only pays the difference between your unemployment and your former salary, when they do pay.It's not a "buyout" and not "severance" and it is shameful that so many people posting here still don't know that. Because, when they actually still gave out those things? It was limiting bonus sizes. Can't have that!(And shut up monkey poo people. We know you post because you are told to discredit this blog. Gannett is the only thing you discredit, but hey! You are too late. No credit left to "dis")
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I rise in defense of editorial pages. At the New Jersey location I worked at for about 25 years, they were one of the most popular pages in the paper. Strong commentary on local issues is what helps define a good local newspaper. The poster who griped that there are no ads on the editorial page is quite clueless. That is by design. The idea is that this is a page that belongs solely to the paper in the form of editorials and the community in the form of letters and columns. The quality of editorials id a different matter. At the NJ papers these days, the quality is quite sad. Layoffs have resulted in statewide edits that completely ignore local news and issues. But that problem has nothing to do with the larger role an editorial page should play.
3:37 is another of the New Jerseyites who are seven steps behind on the evolutionary chain.The statement is irrelevant to modern human beings, and it should be disregarded.
Regarding TPP and state burdens:If Gannett would pay proper severance, you'd have to delay applying for unemployment until the severance ran out. It's possible one could find a job during that time and wouldn't need to apply at all. With TPP you are forced to apply for unemployment.
That USAT infographic is a hoot. Who designed that, and what were they thinking?
Here's exhibit A of lousy editorial pages: USA Today, today.1. America can learn from lessons abroad. My response: yes, certainly, but we don't, do we?2. Robert Gates leaves with non-partisan success. My response: yes, certainly because he's non-partisan having served Bush and Obama as secretary of defense.3. What Greece's Example Could Teach America; My response: yes, but I've heard that over and over on TV, which is why the media is tracking Greece's turmoil so closely.Then there's the Al Neuharth weekly column.See what I mean. None of it really would be missed by me. It wasn't really a challenging intellectual exam and I got little out of it.
4:51 Aren't 1 and 3 the same?
I think Al's column is ghost written. Remember all that Jetcapade stuff was written by Jack Kelley.
10:56...it is typical of USA and even the local anymore to be finding ways to lessen sales. I have seen with the last ad wraps that they sell 20-40 percent less than usual. Add that to above average draws fro Friday that will equal more waste of resources. Sure they got a bunch of money for the ad but to lose sales of any kind just doesn't make sense.
12:13 Instead of Deal Chicken, we need Yfrog. Imagine that as a graphic for a company-wide ad campaign. The Utah papers would be the first to go ballistic.
How the hell did that USAT graphic happen, and how did it check through the barriers to get in the paper? Oh, ok, yet another case like the Delta-Jews where something got through the barriers.
Corporate said this afternoon that it will release second-quarter financial results on Monday morning, July 18.
That graphic really doesn't work. I guess the idea was the Sun as a rock star with a guitar. But the expression on the face is too old for anyone but Bob Dylan, the sunglasses are 1950's butterflies, and....well, and for the guitar, maybe it's a thermometer, or....
Wow, that USAT graphic is wild. I have to say, it moved me. ...
To 4:25 pm, if severance is paid in lump sum, then former employee can collect unemployment immediately.
8:14 Yes, but that way they don't control you. Remember, this is a company run by control freaks, even after you are separated. It's somewhat akin to a lovestruck former lover: it's irretrievably over, but they yearn for someway to regain or keep control of the relationship.
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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