An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Thank goodness, only 12 more days of 9/11 rehash.
6;12 that's pretty cold.
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I'd have to agree with 6:12. The endless localization and where-are-we-now stories are as useful as our boilerplate top ten story lists at New Years.Here's the template for nearly every story - Mr. Survivor/Child of survivor tells of their normal day, interrupted by the event. They tell of their disbelief, then of the people they knew that were lost. They talk about years of tribulations they experienced, maybe bring up bin Laden's death. Obligatory question on how they feel about Muslims. Does it need to be done? Sure. Does it need to be done over and over and over in Iowa City or St. George or Salinas? Why? How is that news - or even interesting?
I am so tired of the lazy fucks here who say they are waiting to be laid off. Do us all a favor and quit. I am the lone supporter at my house - I need to work. sit and listened to an outside sales representative on a personal phone call yesterday for an hour and a half. I was keying in orders and she was on the phone bullshitting instead of selling. I hear the sales people talking about meeting for lunch and they all meet up somewhere and bullshit for a couple of hours. meanwhile we are at the office handling their accounts for them. i work hard because I have to and that is my work ethic. I amjust saying that if you are waiting to be laid off - do us all a favor and quit.
My site was trying to monetize the 9/11 anniversary coverage. The advertisers did not buy into it and I am glad.
7:56 you sound like you work where I do, or this is a common practice everywhere. At my site sales rep come in late everyday, leave to "go see accounts" and never come back into the office, others leave early EVERYDAY, shop on-line thru out the day, etc etc
I agree how predictable and boring the 9/11 coverage will be. Oo, look, there's someone from right here in your town that had some connection to 9/11! I don't care. Funny how editors make assumptions about what people will or should be interested in. I think they should ask themselves, would I be curious enough to read this entire story? If not, we should produce something better.
As so many previous posters have said,the work conditions are so bad they are just waiting to be layed off so the unemployment kicks in.I know many others who will atest to this creed.They are just coming to work,doing the minimum and taking the check.I would bet a large percentage of still employed Gannett employees are doing exactly the same thing.This site now has so very little work to do.The ad counts are so pathetic ,the designers,yeah right designers,..more like assembly line workers,have very little to do.The presses and mailroom are gone.Circulation is way down.The editorial staff has been cut in half so the remaining reporters are so over worked that they don't give a damn and it shows in news coverage and layout.Constantly new Special Sections to try to generate revenue are all disasters with little content and very little advertiser support.Pathetic sections,pathic weekly editions.This exactly what happens when employees stop caring,stop giving a damn.A once proud of quality ,well respected,community loved paper,now a skeleton of what is was pre-Gannett just 5 years ago.
Wonder what this means for the tabloid plan in Cincy: http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/romenesko/144660/chicago-tribune-drops-tabloid-edition/
Silly advertisers. I know of a Wisconsin radio station whose advertisers have jumped all over being a sponsor of the 9/11 look back. Presented tastefully with the ad more of a "feel good, touchy feely moment type ad" as opposed to a "Remember 9/11 and don't forget to take advantage of our summer close-out prices" and there's no reason not to climb on board.
Tastefully? What is this 'tastefully' you speak of? I've been reading Cincy's Moms site so I'm not sure.
10:57...ever see a full page Easter ad for Hobby Lobby? That kind of tasteful ad. Could be as simple as a photo of flags flying at half-staff with the following caption - "9-11. We remember."
Add on to 11:22...obviously, the client's name after the caption.
Interesting question 10:36 AM, though, if experience is any guide that correct answer won’t appear until it’s too late; i.e. after Western Ave’s presses are shut down.
Or, if Gannett actually invested in content, they could come up with very meaningful. Sort of like the AP has done:* 9/11 charities misused funds intended for victimshttp://articles.sfgate.com/2011-08-26/news/29930055_1_charities-memorial-quilt-victims* With CIA help, NYPD moves covertly in Muslim areashttp://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iiwl_LiP3l8NwLPoSRUULZWhDPTgAlas, no. Let's keep stuff like this flowing -- corrections and all:http://yourlife.usatoday.com/mind-soul/doing-good/story/2011-08-22/Cantor-Fitzgerald-family-creates-fund-to-help-911-families/50094706/1
Marketing budgets rarely supported ads like 11:22 a.m. suggests before this recent economic down turn; more so even now as the few who do say “We remember” recognize that the customers they hope to reach will too quickly forget what they said.Special sections have there place but ones like this need to provide more thoughtful, lasting ways for advertisers to participate.
Hey Gracia, you ought to do a morale poll throughout Crystal Palace to see how upbeat and happy your worker bees are!
Here is an amazing story:Last Friday, the chief photo editor for the Dayton Daily News - a Cox Newspaper - was told that he had to lay off two of his photographers, plus four editorial assistants.The word had come down from editor Jana Collier.However, DDN photo editor Larry Price, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.... refused.Instead, he resigned on the spot.He then sent a letter to his staff explaining why he fell on his sword rather than follow corporate media's dictate for more cuts.All of this information can be found at the Dayton media blogger website (A sort of local version of Jim's Gannett blog) www.esrati.com/dayton-daily-news-to-stick-a-finger-in-their-eyesHe and DDN union chief Lou Grieco went public with the Price letter and his own letter to union members challenging the cuts.The letters in their entirety can be found on the website.What a shame. It is also a shame that Gannett does not have people with such integrity at the newspaper sites.
By the way, here is the text of Larry Price's letter to his staff: On Friday, I was asked by the editor in chief to devise a plan to eliminate up to four positions on the photo staff through selective layoffs based on perceived competence. I cannot and will not do this. I do not believe the layoffs are fair to you as individuals or that they are in the best interest of the Dayton Daily News and our readers. If these cuts are enacted, it will be impossible to meet the Cox initiatives for covering breaking news, sharing content with our media partners and growing our online presence. I deeply feel this decision by Cox and CMG Ohio management is misguided. The collective savings here are minuscule in comparison to revenue. They certainly pale in comparison with the value of what you as a team bring to the table.Wow. he could not have said it any better. And doesn't this apply to a certain other media company we all know?
Oh My gosh....there are still people in the world with integrity.Sadly, just not at Gannett.I am amazed at his courage for doing the right thing.Bravo!!!!
There are people at Gannett who have done the same thing, though not publicly as Price. And, with all due respect to him, Cox will find someone else who will do what it seeks. He’ll just sleep better knowing it wasn’t him.
Re 10:36 AM: From reading the Romenesko article, it seems the ChiTrib was printing two editions: a broadsheet for home delivery and a tab for street sales. I guess the cost of producing two was too much, so they went back to broadsheet. The Enquirer is planning the switch to a tiny tabloid to save newsprint costs, not attract street sales.
Re: 10:17am, many are just reporting to work, doing only what they "must" do in return for a paycheck, but, still doing their job and nothing more. Why bust your back for this evil rotten . ompany. Gannett would love to see everyone drop dead today so the corrupt, incompetent non- caring people at that blasted hq can get more bonuses for making the bottom line look good...short term.
To 7:56 and 8:10, much of what you describe is what goes on at this newspaper in NJ. The blame should be laid at the feet of the sales mAnagement (ha) and the useless supervisory people who are even worse and feed this culture. Need to plan a party at some local bar, just join in with our sales people. It's sad and sickening. Wonder why morale is so bad in all other departments?
Speaking of lazy ad reps - Our Sales Reps earn a base salary + commission. Why? All Sales Reps should be on a commission basis ONLY! A generous commission where hard work would pay great, but THE LAZY WORTHLESS AD REPS AT OUR PAPER would soon be working at McDonalds or hoping to land a gig at Wal-Mart! Yet they are treated with "kids glove" by (mis)management. Why? Yuk!
Unlike Gannett, Cox Media has a vast revenue stream coming in out of the wallets of its Cable TV customers. Maybe Gannett should have invested in Cable systems back in their infancy.
Another "Shudda, coulda, woulda....."
Speaking of Sales, it was outright disgusting how many tongue-baths were given and received when Craig and Gracia visited our paper. News was almost a complete and total afterthought. Not that that should surprise anyone.
3:12,Sounds good. And while we're at it, let's change the compensation structure for everyone else. How about a commission-only structure for reporters based on the numbers of articles they write or the number of user comments to those stories or an increase in circulation? See...I can come-up with stupid ideas, too.
Commission only for the sales folks is the right thing to do for all.sales people...now! No more special.deals for certain favored drones. Establishment of realistic goals needed to support the overhead of each paper plus reasonable profit for the paper and mother ship. Get rid of ant sales people who fail to achieve what us required if them. Eliminate costly sales middle management who do little more than shuffle papers, engage in personal business and just sit at the throne of their boss spewing bullshit and telling him what he wants to hear. Require these people to produce or clean house. Enough is enough. Been going in way to long. Now is the time to stop what has been going on in the past. Will Gannett fix these issues or keep treating the sales departments like country club members.
7:56, I applaud you and assure you not everyone in this company is as negative as most of those who choose to post here.Are we behind in our technology? Absolutely. But are we still producing strong local journalism and winning national recognition for our work? Hell yes. Are we still one of the healthiest media companies out here? You can bet your life.In fact, many of us DO bet our life -- our very livelihood -- on the job we have.Those of you who think the end of Gannett and endless layoffs are inevitable, and who choose to sit around tearing down your employer and compounding your misery, LEAVE.Find a company and a job that makes you happy. Work for a company where you want to boost your your team instead of tear it down. If you have the passion and the skills, you will find a job with a company that better suits you.I wish you nothing but luck -- somewhere else. We don't need you.
I agree with 4:17, though I think we should pay journalists based on the number of readers their stories pull in. Subscription numbers are down? Paycut time! Write the stories that will get those eyeballs back on the pages.
Jim,What are you hearing these days from the design studios? Isn't Louisville scheduled to begin producing the Enquirer sometime this month?
Here we go again..... Bashing The sales force. At least one of you had a good idea. 100% commision. Because now. No matter how much we sell. Most of us are getting paid shit. Thats right! This stupid company has completely demotivated the enitre sales staff, and revenue is sinking because of it.The next time you see one of those "looser" sales reps doing nothing. Fear not. They're making less than the overpayed newsroom staff. And THAT is why they're doing noting. Because it doesn't matter if they do sell anything. They still won't make anything more for it. WHY BOTHER?
@5:01 you do know subscription numbers are down because Gannett exacerbated it by tearing down print newspapers “pay walls” when it began giving away all that content online for free; even unique content that people willing once paid to receive. Good luck finding any suit willing enough to try to reverse that practice.
The annual let's bash the hell out of the sales staff postings. Blame them for the layoffs, declining circulation and whatever else. Sure, there's deadbeat sales reps just like there's deadbeat reporters, managers and directors at almost every site.All I know is, I bust my ass every day to make my numbers and keep my customers happy.I would love to be out on the road more to give myself a pad. I also have to place orders, layout my ads, babysit the GPC, check ads coming back from GPC, keep my accounts up to date in the CRM system, play collections agent and correct billing errors due to someone's mistake. Why? Because there's no one else to do it! They're gone!As for income, my base around $28K after many years. Commission if I hit my number is $1500 roughly $80K sales per month. If I'm lucky and hit my numbers all 3 months in a quarter, I get another $1000. Commissions are capped. That works out to about $50K per year, max or $28k if I miss every month. I hitting more than missing at the moment, but it's a tough sell.I love what I do, just not the conditions we have to do them under.
Speaking to the financial climate of the newspaper business...today's Cincinnati Enquirer reports that locally based E.W.Scripps Co. has named a new CFO. The print article states that "total revenue from Scripps newspapers fell 5.6 percent year over year to $102 million, while print advertising revenue was down 7.7% to $61.3 million. Profit from newspapers fell 67% to $4.9 million compared with the second quarter of 2010." I found it interesting that the online version of this story left out all the financials and reported only the fluff.http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110831/BIZ01/308310005/Scripps-names-CFO EQ business reporters...what gives? Did Scripps demand that the info be pulled from online or did the EQ Executive team pull the negative industry information???
To 7:03. Agreed there are bums scattered throughout but at my paper (in sales) there is more dead wood than in other dept. Quite a few reps who'be either been there way too long, and/or are barely more than useless. Why are they still there? Part of the answer is that the people they report to directly are nothing more than brown-losing paper suffers who should be made accountable by giving them personal sales goals based on business they generate. If they are bosses then they should have the skill to sell far more than a lowly sales person. Instead where I am these people.spend their time doing nothing much productive along with gossiping, surfing the web, personal phone calls and testing and (in at least one case) skirt chasing and arranging parties.
Not to start anything, and just wondering:Weren't reporters at one time paid "by the inch"?
At my site we have a digital team that runs around doing nothing...make them accountable. Sales is sales...in our group only one digital person is working and it is reflected in the numbers. The other digital people are piggy backing off the advertising people- break those numbers down and see who is actually bringing the money in...
7:56 I feel your pain. More tellingly was that you were probably facing a work day ahead of you and had to vent. Labor Day is approaching and those of us with a work ethic appreciate you and what you do. Never had anything given to me - I have worked almost all of my life. I am scared for my job. I know numbers are down but I come in everyday trying my best and doing my best. There seems that there aren't enough hours in the day to do what we have to do. We have people working two jobs to maintain a household and college tuition and grocery bills.
Turning on each other is not the answer here. Every single department is important. There will always be dedicated employees and not so dedicated employees. In order to make every day bareable you need to learn how to coexist. Turning on each at a time like this is not going to help matters here.
Last week, the retail sales folk in Greenville spent a few hours on a friday decorating cakes. This week, we'll all be watching "It's a Wonderful Life." The e-mail announcing it to the whole building says it's a launch for our gift guide sales blitz, so don't worry. Watching a long Christmas movie when it's 90 degrees outside is a good use of a Friday before a four-day week.
re: "lazy" sales folks. I got an explanation of this one day from one sales rep, a single Dad sales rep who worked very hard and brought in the dough. Because company has set salaries so low for sales reps, he said, the only people taking these jobs are "second income" people, such as well-off housewives looking for something to do. Married to lawyers and doctors, they really didn't care what they sold, and were happy to take it easy and collect a paycheck.Meanwhile, real hard-core veteran sales people, who could really bring in the accounts, would never take the gig because the base pay was minimal. Again, the company loses by going cheap. Oh, and that hard-working guy? He was laid off along with the rest of the ladies in his office. They offered him a chance to come back, but frustrated, he said the heck with it.
to the one who posted about the absurd amenities afforded to the GCS team in Nashville. Amen. It is no secret who the Ad VP favors here. There are a lot of smart people here who find it comical.The good thing is the smart people are looking for jobs while he tears the work horses down while building up the LOL GCS team. Unfortunately, if I don't make my goal it is because of something I did. Instead, take inventory of how many people work on GCS clients, how many of their absurd programs sell and how many they don't screw up. I'd be fired by now.
sorry, i forgot this. It is our annual season to raise funds for juvenile diabites. now our inboxes are flooded with pleas to pay $5 to wear jeans to work (oops, the gcs people do so everyday) or to lead walking teams. I also heard that the TN pubishes a whole section dedicated to this cause AT NO COST.that is great, so shouldn't we do this for all causes that our employees support? How many employees have diseases in their family that deserve this same attention?
I can't wait to be laid off. But I can't just leave with no other job in place (and, yes, I've been looking for months) - I have kids to feed, a mortgage to pay and we rely on my job for the benefits, such as they are these days.My job will (Soon? Eventually? Never?) be outsourced to a "studio." How's that for demoralizing?How would me leaving do anyone else a favor, as others here keep suggesting? It would just mean even more work for overextended colleagues who are also awaiting Dooms Day.
This is an interesting argument, but sales isn't the problem. The problem is Corporate. What kind of revenue does Corporate bring in? Corporate and the Crystal Palace are supported by the newspapers doing all the hard work to make revenue goals, and they are bleeding them dry. It's almost like the papers are paying protection to the point where they can't afford to stay in business anymore. Get rid of Corporate and their blood sucking ways, let the papers be self sufficient, and you'll see morale improve, and healthier bottom lines.
USA Today, much like Al Neuharth's column last week, can't seem to own up to Donna Shalala's stint on Gannett's Board of Directors in an editorial today; "Too much money, too little leadership, stain college football"USA Today does mention that Shalala was a former Cabinet secretary under President Clinton but just can't quite eke out that other, "salient" piece of info. Does USA Today's editorial staff suffer from selective memory?On-line version:http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/story/2011-08-31/Editorial-In-college-football-where-are-the-enforcers/50208604/1
To 7:04 PM: The version of the Scripps story that appeared on Cincinnati.com was an early version; the reporter later added more information for the print version. No nefarious intentions this time.
10:48, You nailed it. Family-owned newspapers selling to large corporations were deals with The Devil.Now pardon me while I eviscerate myself with a pica pole.
How about Al's column in USAT this morning in which in links Cheney's many disagreements with Colin Powell and Condeleeza Rice with Cheney's racism. I don'tr like Cheney either Al and he may well be a racists, but disagreeing with a person of color doesn't necessarily make you one. Might be time to retire!
@ 10:48PMCould be worse, they could "contract out" your job to a staffing firm. Then they could overpay the contractors they bring in to do what used to be 1/4 of your job. Sure, you still get the same money you did before, but now the guy next to you is making 3X what you do, to do 1/4 the workload, and is not allowed to clock any OT.Yep, when that happened, I looked for and found another job. Not sure if that would happen to any of you, but it happens in the IT side of things all the time.
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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