An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Is there any layoff or closings news?A poster wrote the other day about weeklies in Florida being closed.Any updates on that?
And so little news out of that N31 meeting. Did they threaten editors with firing if they breathed a word?
Sure is quiet this morning.
10:16 To clarify: It was a T-31 meeting of the top revenue-producing papers. The other group is called the NT-31 (for not top.)
There is any news? You can get new ipad5. Get now http://bit.ly/n7A1WD
Jim, I've been a FOJ on these pages (friend of Jim) but I think we need to be open-minded on the custom content thing.It should not be produced by designated "real" journalists (USAT and such). There should be a separate staff, a staff focused on specialty content.But to dismiss this outright would be a mistake. Custom publication is one of the few (only?) growing forms of content that heavily use print. It's very profitable, from what I understand. And there are custom pubs that are very well done. The best ones are not blatantly advertorial. They simply dovetail the interests of the intended audience with quality content. Of course, no content conflicts with the interests of the company bankrolling it. And there will be content that serve the branding/customer loyalty needs of that company. (Well, hell, they're paying for it after all.) But most of the content (again, at the good ones) is indistinguishable from that seen in, say, the Life section. For a good sample, check out Amtrak's Arrive magazine: Generally, it's a celeb cover, some travel-friendly features, a business feature and some other destination-framed content. And it's well done.Now, to say that Gannett could strive for the same level of quality of content/design/photography (all of which should be magazine-level to really drive the product's salability here) is a bit of a stretch right now, given Gannett's obsession with doing everything on the cheap regardless of how much it hurts the product in the long run from a business standpoint. But I wouldn't dismiss this custom thing entirely from the starting gate here. If Gannett approaches this in a smart way (again, that's a huge leap of faith given the leadership), it's a way to set up a highly profitable vehicle there that's distinguished from the "real" editorial function, yet remains one that can help support other areas of the company financially.Worked for quite a while with respect to the Wash Post and Kaplan, right?
So Jim, have you heard any news from the T-31 meeting?
Not surprisingly, there's been little or no report from last week's community news thinktank.Less is less, no matter how you strafe it.
Advice to Senior Management Management should be honest with their employees and stop being secretive. Find out why employees are unhappy after the layoffs.
After coming up lame on last week's earthquake, I see the Journal News is not about to let another 'act of God' catch them unaware. They have a big breaking news banner and photo up in anticipation of hurricane irene. 'Way to go guys' better to follow the lead of the local startups that ignore them and get beat twice in a week. http://www.lohud.com/
While washburn drones on about transformation, she forgets why people go to newspapers and news sites in the first place -- content. Her newsroom rewrites Gannett's own press release about the forthcoming shutdown of the Enquirer's printing plant, yet fails to note how many workers will lose their jobs or otherwise be impacted. Today the Enquirer reports that state Rep. Robert Mecklenborg pleaded guilty to DWI, yet the paper has not provided the juicy details about the stripper who was with him when he was arrested. You can transform format and channel all you want, but you still have to give people a damned good reason to come to your site. Washburn talks a big game about her favorite subject: context, only to fail to deliver in the Mecklenborg story.Oh, and the Enquirer blocked reader comment on today's story. If people can't comment on the misconduct of their elected officials, why bother soliciting comment on anything.
Washburn blocking reader comment on a story is no surprise. She banned publication of letters critical of the Register when she was editor in Des Moines.
1:46- The photo is an AP shot from North Carolina. Is North Carolina in Westchester, Rockland or Putnam county?
5:58 - Amazing. Actually, given LoHud's innate ability to drop the ball on any and all big stories, it's hardly surprising.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim, have you thought of applying for the job at Poynter now that Romenesko is retiring?
Apparently the Courier-Journal reporters had some sort of Come to Jesus meeting with the top editor today. You could hear yelling from the hall by the lobby. One of the newsroom people said it was a lot of complaining about how they are being treated. and the exec editor said something about how the whole company is going to be doing surveys and focus groups to find out what the reporters should be writing about
Reporters were offended by something the metro editor said.
Romensko has the best job on earth. If you think of it he just retweets shit all day long.
Poynter has a pretty good financial endowment, but is still heading downhill as much as other journalism organizations. The only money center with Knight money is NewsU, which is hit or miss. Poynter went through buyouts and then ugly layoffs and it shows. They started off paying Romenesko almost nothing but raised his salary nicely over the years because he's the only real draw. He's worth it and they're losers to let him go. Those who have supplemented him in recent months are lightweights who go for a lot of trendy stuff without much analysis. Romenesko has news judgment and kept himself out of the limelight. Jim, you ought to apply if they let you work remotely, as Romenesko did. You know plenty about investigating, reporting, curating information and keeping an audience engaged.
Jim, how many East Coast executives who are on furlough this week do you think are calling in to their newspapers on their spouses' phones in advance of the hurricane? I wager that publishers are even calling them. Corporate should spot-check those people, because I suspect some law-breaking is going on this week between the earthquake and the hurricane. Maybe the Feds will do a little checking of their OWN!Sound off if you have a boss on furlough this week.
11:28 Spot on. And 11:32 a.m. I am among those who are open minded but don't think Big G brass has the ethics to pull off massive custom content without screwing up news credibility. Too much pressure to make more money every quarter.
I've noticed our marketing department head is now attending editorial meetings. Is that what they mean by custom content?
Furloughs mean nothing. It's been discovered that EEs and MEs communicate with their underlings and pass on instructions via facebook messaging, texting, etc. when they are on furlough.
11:24, that's an excellent analysis of Romenesko and his surrogates. You're right - he's far, far better, and the service will be weaker when he leaves. His news judgment has consistently been strong. Also, the latest redesign of Romenesko was horrible - stringing out the content over more pages, jamming in ads, etc. I read it through RSS now so that I just get the headlines, not the junk. Romenesko will be missed.
Jim: So you leave up all the glowing chatter about you and Romenesko, and you take down at least one (perhaps more) negative post? NNNiiiccceee. I agree with the post you took down. You would simply be a disaster, unable to keep your own (many) biases in check. Dare you to take this down, too.
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.
Subscribe in a reader