An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Interesting chart.Might put things into perspective.CEO pay versus job cuts.Time period is from 2009 to 2010https://motherjones.com/files/images/ceo_cuts3.png
It is my understanding that The larger metro's like the Indy Star will print state wide editions, allowing Gannett to close more printing plants and thus more layoffs. Has anyone herd this, it can be done very easy, and with little effort
If it can be consolidated ,you can bet your ass that it will be done.If any of you think layoffs are finished ,think again.Remember last year when we all thought that there can be no more layoffs as they have cut to the bone already? Well there is still extra meat out there and they will find a way to cut more.
That blasted graphic should be mandatory reading for any Gannett folks going to Dubow's dog and pony show during his site visits. A good CEO would never let him / her self get on that list. Dubow will put it on his resume.
In all likelihood, today marks the last time you will see Gannett's print front pages on Gannett Blog. Here's why.For years, I've published copies of these pages, and always credited them to the source: the Newseum's front page database. Other bloggers also have published these images.I originally started using them extensively after contacting a Newseum administrator in early 2008, who then provided to me a useful link that shows only Gannett's front pages.To the best of my knowledge, in those more than three years, no one has ever contacted me with any objections or concerns about my using these images.Today, however, the Newseum posted the following on its website:"Starting today, the Newseum is testing a watermarking system to prevent illegal downloads of the newspaper front pages."Through a special agreement with more than 800 newspapers worldwide, the Newseum displays these front pages each day on its website. The front pages are in their original, unedited form, and some may contain material that is deemed objectionable to some visitors. Discretion is advised."Anyone seeking permission to use a front page must credit the Newseum and contact the newspaper directly for permission. U.S. copyright laws apply."Such a policy is unworkable -- for this blogger, anyway. Time is of the essence in reporting news online. It would be impossible to get timely written permission from individual newspapers in order to publish these images, especially from papers that don't provide easy-to-find contact lists on their sites.
It's also worth noting that, sadly, the Newseum's database has included fewer and fewer Gannett front pages in the past year.I suspect this is due to the ever-shrinking copy desks, which leave less time for folks to post their pages to the Newseum's website.This is another way we're saying goodbye to print.
The newseum is begging for page views, so they want you to link. Has James Duff taken over? Is Overby already gone with accumulated vacation time and whatever other dough he could grab as Paulson shakes in his loafers in Nashville hoping not to be noticed as new guy cuts/consolidates? All those FF satellite offices are useless and costly, not to mention all those senior execs.
10:50 I have always linked back to the Newseum's homepage. But now I won't have any reason to.
Appearances to the contrary, a reader tells me that the Newseum's "new" policy actually started May 9!Administrators apparently forgot to remove the "starting today" test from the website. And the watermarking -- well, it's not clear that's being done anymore.
Question to others who were laid off in June - Do you recall how long they told you your health benefits would be continued? I thought I was told through the end of August but I found out today it was cut off as early as July 5. Unhappy surprise.
Was that information not given in writing?
health benefits were covered to the end of the month you were let go, then you should have received papers about cobra. You should be able to pay what you paid while still employed for 3 months, then it's full cost for cobra after that
@11:43 - That explains it better than was told to me. I was told the premiums were coming out of the TMS check and like an idiot I believed it. No matter, it's not like I could afford COBRA now anyway. Just one more bill to add to the bankruptcy and one more person (the doctor) getting screwed by Gannett.
I was laid off in June. My benefits expired at the end of June. I received my COBRA application in the middle of July. I sent back the application plus payment ASAP but COBRA didn't start until the beginning of August. My first COBRA payment was for the employee portion that I usually pay. I just received a bill for next month's payment at the full cost! I was told I'd have at least two months at the employee rate. I'm single and they're asking for $458/month!
Jim at 10:44 a.m., the crack IT team in Wisconsin worked it such that our front pages automatically get sent to the Newseum site sometime in the early morning hours. The copy desks used to have to send the pages, but not anymore.
I see no reason for you to discontinue showing front pages, as long as you credit Newseum as a source. A front page, like the cover of Time Magazine, is a public image and you have every right of fair use, as long as you do not use it for commercial purpose. This is a news blog and you can show any front page you want, as long as you show the entire page.This nonsense about seeking permission of the newspaper is just that -- nonsense.
The Baltimore Sun continues to drown:http://thedailyrecord.com/2011/08/10/baltimore-sun-looking-to-buy-out-up-to-25-employees/
Heard that Iowa City laid off its executive editor and longtime city editor today
Deal Chicken or Groupon- they are both bad for local mom & pops. Not surprising that Gannett would get into the deal business. First they adopt policies that destroy their local newspapers, now they jump on a practice destined to destroy local businesses. Read this:http://www.imediaconnection.com/article_full.aspx?id=29593##
2:43 I agree. I could photograph a front page, then post that. Here, however, the issue is use of an electronic file created by the newspaper. In the end, this new policy will deny papers full access to publicity via social media. It's a big step backward, courtesy of the Newseum.
Just heard editor and city editor of Iowa city press citizen are gone.
It's about time. Other talented and dedicated Iowa City employees have been eliminated while that dead weight has continued to draw pay.
More layoffs coming to the CJ in Louisville.
Crossthread...you mean, Jim, that you have been making money using free content?
3:37 I've never come to this site to look at front pages, Gannett or otherwise, then sent Jim money for said front pages.
In USAToday's case, they are making money off of their breadth of content, too; in this case videos. Some they produce, some come in for free, whatever. Jim produces some content, some he just links to, some comes in for free. Seems just the same to me.
Copy editors should be the first to go. They produce nothing, and the latest slams against reporters for bad attitudes and mediocre writing (their words) just underscores their insignificance. As one posted noted earlier; they have no clue how to produce and write on deadline. Easy to criticize when you sit and watch others toil under pressure? What's yours? Making a headline fit?
4:26 says: As one posted noted earlier. ...Yup, you don't need no stinking copy editor!
Really, 4:26 & 4:41? The copy editors at my paper regularly write stories and columns and have on innumerable occasions saved the bacon of writers who have let grotesque grammatical and spelling errors slip by, not to mention the occasional factual errors. You really should be careful about painting with such a broad brush.
I can say from having worked in Iowa City that neither of the editors involved deserved this crap. How in the world can the GM say with a straight-face that getting rid of two editors with decades of news experience is going to somehow enhance coverage? Give me a break.http://www.press-citizen.com/article/20110815/NEWS01/110815005/Press-Citizen-announces-restructuring?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage
Could someone interest Carl Icahn into buying a stake in Gannett? Surely he could unlock some value in this Pandora's box.
If gannett copy editors are regularly writing (and reporting) on deadline on a consistent basis, my hat is off to them. That is rare and should be commended. The rest should not speak ill of those generating copy. Who are they to judge? Do they want reporters judging them on the bacon they dont save? On lousy headlines? Seems to be a double standard here.
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5:21...exactly what the Crystal Palace powers-that-be want...the worker bees fighting amongst themselves and ignoring the real issue. The incompetence at the Crystal Palace.
5:05, I am 4:41, and I was pointing out an error in 4:26's screed. "Posted" sted "poster." Guess you missed that, too.And the copy editors at my site also paginate the newspaper, so we're a little busy all night long. I wasn't even going to get into the whole "Who needs copy editors" crap.
Copy editors' screed; focus on the trees, not the forest. Or in this poster's case, the leaves. We are supposed to work in a collaborative environment. Diminishing a reporter's work and writing isn't collaborative. Either is name calling. If they are that bad, they should be canned. That is a decision for management. If you think you can do better, become a reporter or a writing coach. Until then, you operate in a vacuum. So put a hose on it, will you?
@5:36. Nope. Let me guess..you were a reporter.
The people here who continue to bash copy editors are exactly as they have been described -- bitter, obsolete, rusted-out pieces who should have been cast aside long ago.They have no idea what other employees do. This blog is their hiding place. In the real world, they struggle to grind out one poorly written, 10-inch piece each day.
I am a senior level manager. I know what reporters do. I know what copy editors do. There are good ones and bad in both. I'd take a mediocre writer over a good copy editor any day.
12:19 pm - You should have received a termination letter that spelled out the extension of health benefits at the Gannett subsidized rate for two months. When I got my first bill, they'd also messed up the payment amount. All I had to do was include a copy of the letter with my payment. The guy on the phone gave me the correct dollar amount to pay. We figured that by the time they got the payment, it would be fixed in the system. Also, COBRA payments are due by the end of the current month. Your coverage did not stop at the end of June. You just had to get the payment in to them by the end of July. That was plenty of time to sort out your snafu. $438 is a lot to shell out per month. Try Tripling it for family coverage. Now you're talking about real money. On a sobering note, though, I had not realized how much the crappy health plan was being subsidized.
From what I understand of fair use, there is liberty for some of what Jim does with the front. Where he gets them is part of the issue. If he scanned them himself and wrote an opinion or article about the cover, he might fall within fair use. The front is in the public domain. While the images and items on the front are protected from being used to promote or sell - or to be parsed for use, they do become part of the editorial product for the purposes of inspection and critique.Sure, you have to be prepared to argue the point in a court, but using the fronts as a display image for critique purposes might be protected. Other Fair Use lawyers care to weigh in? Example: I can take a photograph of a Coke can with a Polar Bear image on it and publish it alongside: This is a great design and a new design for Coke. Check it out. The images and logos are part of the product. As long as I am writing about the product, the image of the product is fair game.
Anyone at the local site could photograph any newspaper front you request and send for use.
For the life of me, i dont understand what copy editors are so bitter about. Do you make 10 calls on deadline for a source or info? Hustle for sources? Create copy from scratch? Worry about competitors? Fight traffic or the elements to gather news? Get screwed around by conflicting bosses? Stress over unfinished tasks? Fret about unpaid overtime? I mean, really. We know your job may be thankless and anonymous, but dont take it out on some poor, young mainstreamed reporter. Like someone said earlier, if you think you have what it takes to do better, get off your duff and do some other newsroom job. We'll see if you can do better. You were trained to be a journalist instead of some backstabbing chair dwelling expert on writing and reporting, weren't you?
You have a lot of supporters out there, Jim. Even the attorneys are rooting for you. Ha!
I feel awful for anyone laid off and now responsible for covering a family insurance plan. Dubow and Company have lifetime coverage. On Gannett, natch.
7:40, that post shows you have no idea what you are talking about. OT is always a concern of the copy desk.Also, don't pretend most reporters are out there scratching for the next Watergate. They are entrenched at their desks and struggling to piece together a 12-inch article each day.This back-and-forth shows Gannett has brought a lot of obsolete pieces into its employ. Most of them are the bitter, rusted-out reporters who could not write a brief without screwing it up.Want to see something really amusing? Find a newspaper Web site where raw reporter copy is posted. You'll see then whose skills are in need of development.It's a safe bet to say most newspaper reporters are not good writers. The fact they consider themselves to be professionals is laughable. Long ago, newspapers should have raised the bar on the quality of what reporters were allowed to turn in.
7:03, I'm not surprised you would accept a mediocre writer. That's probably been your M.O. for some time.That's why most reporters today are below-average to awful writers. The standards start out low and then fall. Just check out a site where raw copy is posted. Many of today's "writers" are just bumblers who can't bang out a complete sentence,
Jim, the Newseum's had that policy for a while now. You must be clueless if you are just now discovering it.
@8:14. And you're blind if you didn't notice Jim already acknowledged that!
Copy editors never had it so good. Ask the jobless prepress folks for examples of literary acumen coming out of ad sales.... and we fired all of them too.Nobody will pay more for quality. Truthfully, we do more for our brands by putting errors in our headlines so they'll show up on Leno.
I want to bring another example of how management are setting up employees to fail. I was a programmer for a bad Gannett newspaper until this past April when I left for fresher, greener pastures. The Executive Editor of this property last January wanted me to create a newspaper app for the iPad. I told them about the project scope and what resources I need to complete the project, like: a Mac, an Apple Developer account and programming software and an iPad to test the app. Throughout the whole ordeal, management never gave me what I wanted. Being the "workplace a**holes" they were, they still insisted on getting this app done without a Mac, an Apple Developer account and software and an iPad!!! I would have had to pay out of my own pocket.Plus, putting things into perspective, I was given a deadline of Friday, April 1 to get it done. At the same time, I had to finish implementing the website re-design and the technical day-to-day activities.But thankfully before the "train-wreck" occurred, I received a gracious job-offer at another employer and was able to give my two-week notice. From here on end, I didn't worry about a thing and counted down the days till my swan-song.Oh, and the iPad app? When the deadline came, management never asked me if it was completed. It felt like the project never happened. It was just a long April Fools prank they played on me.Screw them!
I just know I see lots of mistakes in the paper and on the website. Typos. Grammatical errors (of course, that should be on the reporter). But what about catching that stuff when you get the copy. What about lazy headlines that repeat the lead and uninspired captions? Is that the fault of a bitter reporter or a lazy copy editor watching the clock until her shift is over? I cant understand why lousy writers/reporters remain on staff? Ditto with the unproductive. So if you feel the need, speak up to their supervisor. Granted, there are lots of useless reporters, encrusted burnouts and youngsters.It still begs the question. How do we rate the competence of the copy desk when it fails or does uninspired work?
I like @7:03's seemingly sound analysis. Good and bad among copyeditors and reporters. But at USAT, the sports copyeditors are probably the some of the only people left not being forced to tackle digital platforms. Their jobs today are about as the same they were in 2001. How many others can say that? All the rest of us bust our butts on multiple fronts. And they are protected while they perform functions solely for print.
8:23, he just discovered this at the start of the day. Then, after someone pointed his mistake out to him, he figured it out.Sadly, you are still waiting for someone to point out your mistakes. Until then, you will be a sad lemming troll.
8:39, you would be rated as incompetent. First, those things are going straight to the Web, without going through a copy editor. Have you been asleep for the last few months, or are you just willingly stupid?Second, those mistakes are originating somewhere. And that's with the incompetent, burned-out writer who never should have been hired to begin with.Try to do better. That effort was pathetic.
Today's scoreboard:Jim: Grossly incompetent. We've known that for some time, but today's Newseum fumble was just another in the recent line of tragicomic missteps.Most newspaper reporters: Incompetent. Just check out the Web sites with the raw copy.Lemming trolls: Beyond incompetent. Their weak defenses of Jim are hilariously stupid.
Hello Gannett employees, In order to help keep our multi-million dollar executive pay packages coming, please fill out this compensation survey. We do not want to contribute to your 401K accounts in the future, so we will ask you a long series of confounding questions on puzzling scenarios regarding your "choices" and "preferences." Later, we wil crunch the numbers to our satisfaction and puke back the results to justify our future cuts to your compensation. We care a lot.
Reporter write on deadlines? Really? Most of the reporters I work with are out the door by 6 p.m. and only have to work maybe 1 weekend every other month. Seems to me the real deadline is just before all the electronic stuff is sent over and turned into actual matter on the press in the late hours of the night when the reporter is probably already asleep.Must be fun to write one or two stories a day and call it a night. But you see, copy editors are there long after you are gone reading 10 times or more the amount of stories written, including wire, as well as writing headlines and cutlines, designing pages, making sure the copy and pages are flowing, etc. etc.There's a reason Gannett is so behind with the Design Studios...it's hard to do all these things well on deadline. And 7:03. You lost all your credibility at "I'm a senior manager...."
As a reporter, I think it's shortsighted to dismiss our copy editors out of hand. At my site, most copy editors have been there since time began. They know the region intimately. That's an invaluable resource when dealing with a staff of reporters and managers collected from across the country. Well, invaluable to me anyway. They'll be laid off soon, we expect.When they are gone, it will be a great loss to our readers and reporters. It's a thankless task, but let me offer this: Copy editors make me look good in print. My deepest thanks to every one (everyone?) of you.
Hey, isn't tomorrow the day when the big three-day confab at corporate begins on "how to do more reporting with fewer reporters" begins?
10:10: That was a good explanation. But today's reporters are dumb, and they won't get it. They think wire, cutlines, etc. just flow in.The most humorous thing on a shift is when a dimwit reporter gets a "scoop" and announces it to everyone. Usually it's something like the gem Jim unearthed today.Then they end up with a poorly sourced, short article because the news is old. And of course, it's poorly written, too.Most of today's reporters are about a week behind and nonproductive. What they do produce is poor and in need of serious editing. Newspapers really needed to do a better job of deciding which writers to bring on board.
Maybe it's because I don't work at a Gannett paper, but our reporters and copy editors get along just fine. Due to staff cuts, everyone is working harder. Reporters have their deadlines to meet and copy editors have their deadlines. Each position has its own demands. A story I wrote recently involved a good deal of discussion among the page designer, assignment editor, copy editors and me regarding whether a string of four paragraphs should be included. We resolved it collaboratively with everyone understanding and agreeing with the decision. I'm sorry those of you caught up in this string of anti-reporter and anti-copy editor comments don't have better experiences.
@9:25. Sadly, I am NOT a troll. Shoot, I'm no longer even employed by Gannett, but it was my choosing, and I didn't work in editorial, but could dance circles around some that do.
10:36 is correct re: editors' mtg starts Tuesday for new, desperate marching orders.
9:27, go back and read 8:39's post carefully. It mentioned mistakes in PRINT and the web. Pay attention. That copy does go through you. The post also ackowledges that mistakes START with the reporter. WTF is wrong with you? Is "winning" blinding you to any observation outside your own? Talk aBout pathetic. As far as subsequent posts about incompetent, lazy reporters and awful writers. Seen it throught Gannett for years. Makes more work for editors. Bores and annoys the copy desk and yea, makes the rest of us semi-competent reporting staff bitter because we are shouldering more work as the veterans quit or get canned. Try to see what we have to deal with before slamming us with the self righteous attitude.
Sorry for all the typos. I just gets SO mad.
Do you all feel better after you piss on each other? Really?
Jim, the blog has sucked the past few days with this immature infighting.Geez...dad, can't you control the kids?Seriously, enough already.
Re: 10:39 I don't think it's fair to dump on the young reporters. While most of what you describe is true we need to remember that they're being put into beats and stories way above their skill levels. They're not getting much help from editors, who in some cases are only a year or two older than the reporters. What we see happening in our newsrooms are the absolutely predictable result of what Gannett corporate management has done to our newspapers.
Betty Ford ads are now running on the blog.Seriously, one serving me right now.
I feel better.The reporter/copydesk backbiting is a welcome break from hearing about insufferably incompetent management.
3:33-- can you give a source, area or time frame for the CJ?
10:10 Reading 10 stories a shift!! What a strenuous workload. I hope you get hazard duty pay. You must be exhausted by the end of your shift.
So much passion! So little newsprint!http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20110815/NEWS01/110815003/Free-Press-launching-innovate-Tahursday
I'm not a copy editor (far from it) but they do a lot more than "read" 10 stories a shift. They're supposed to go through it with a fine toothed comb. Check spelling, grammar, context etc. The best copy editors also have encyclopedic knowledge of world affairs and current events. So if a reporter writes (for example) that Sandra Day O'Connor is a former chief justice of the Supreme Court, then the copy editor catches it and amends it to former justice. At least in a perfect world. At my Gannett site, reporting positions have been protected during the last couple of rounds of layoffs but copy editors have been decimated. The copy editing staff at my paper was cut by about 20% during the July 2011 layoff. They just don't have the time to give the stories the hard look they should and as a result more mistakes are getting into the paper. It sucks, especially when you consider that more and more reporters are fresh out of school with little real experience and no time to learn. I'm not a copy editor, but I work in a newsroom and I have tremendous respect for the work they do.
Give copy editors, and reporters, a break. Everyone's working very hard and pointing fingers is stupid.The company is in a very crucial place right now. Maybe more big layoffs are coming, maybe they've slowed. But either way there does seem to be an attempt to figure out where to go from here, whether at USA Today and the new digital strategy (Remember verticals? Ending!); at Content One (where the word is that USA Today may take over the heavy lifting); and at the community newspapers themselves, where meetings beging in Tysons today to try to figure out how to proceed.Passion or not, everyone may end the week knowing the beginnings of a "plan." Given the total chaos in the company over the last four years, anything that sets a direction, even over the falls, is at least something.
11:39, you still don't get it. Probably too many years of struggling to crank out a single, crappy 10-inch article during each shift.Some of the greatest, classic stories of stupidity are centered around reporters and their awful writing. One guy didn't even bother to have sources spell their names; he just went with phonetic spellings! How do these people get hired?
I had a dream that I was late for my 4th meeting this week where I see a bunch of people talking like Charlie Browns teacher.Then I woke up and relalized I wasn't late but my schedule has become more and more packed with useless meetings about fixing things when it would be better if the 10-15 people always meeting would get out in front of customers and sell them!
It is so obvious- there is nothing wrong with reporters or copy editors. Here is what is happening- Reporters tend to be young recent grads- Copy editors are older with more community and world knowledge. Together they made for an aggressive, young news gathering staff and seasoned editors that perfected the words. Who is Gannett going to get rid of? The bigger salaries and benefits (and possible expense to healthcare). Damn the end product.
Wow, 12:31, nice catch. Does the Burlington Free Press publisher really think he's fooling anyone? The commenters sure see through him. "Essays by local business people" = "free content we don't have to produce" + (we hope) more ad sales.Also, note the typo in the URL ("Tahursday" sted "Thursday"). I'm a reporter, not a copy editor, but I pay attention to the basics.
Point fingers where they belong, dummies: At Dubow and Crotchfelt and every other expensive-buzzword-of-the-moment CP sea monkey who's turning your future into today's bonuses.
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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