Sunday, September 04, 2011

In highest unemployment places, GCI's stake is big

Labor Day weekend started with grim economic news: There was a zero net increase in jobs across the country last month, and the unemployment rate remained 9.1%.

That's worrisome for Gannett employees and investors, because the company has a heavy presence in areas with the highest jobless rates. The top 10, with July's rates -- the most recent -- and subsidiaries headquartered there:

1. Nevada: 12.9%
Reno Gazette-Journal.

2. California: 12%
KXTV, Sacramento; Desert Sun, Palm Springs; Salinas Californian, Tulare Advance-Register, and the Visalia Times-Delta.

3. South Carolina: 10.9%
WLTX, Columbia, and the Greenville News.

4. Michigan: 10.9%
WZZM, Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek; Battle Creek Enquirer; Detroit Free Press; Lansing State Journal; Daily Press & Argus, Livingston County; Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, Detroit, and the Times Herald in Port Huron.

5. Rhode Island: 10.8%
(No businesses.)

6. District of Columbia: 10.8%

7. Florida: 10.7%
WTLV, Jacksonville; WTSP, Tampa-St. Petersburg; Florida Today, Brevard; The News-Press, Fort Myers; Pensacola News Journal, and the Tallahassee Democrat.

8. Mississippi: 10.4%
Hattiesburg American, and The Clarion Ledger in Jackson.

9. North Carolina: 10.1%
WFMY, Greensboro, and the Asheville Citizen-Times.

10. Georgia: 10.1%
WATL and WXIA, Atlanta, and WMAZ in Macon.

Related: State-by-state unemployment rates, and GCI websites by location.


  1. That's a really interesting map of Gannett's. I thought it might be outdated, but it's copyrighted 2011. OK, why is the Ohio group called "Newspaper Network of Central Ohio" when they changed the name in 2010 to "Media Network of Central Ohio"?
    Also, and maybe I'm just out of touch these days, but the Cincinnati Enquirer was *never* part of the Ohio newspaper group. Over the last few years, admittedly the lines have blurred, and the Group was decimated so that jobs could be transferred to Cincinnati, so maybe the Enquirer is now part of the group....?
    I was interested to see that even with the Gannett layoffs, Ohio didn't make the Top Ten list. As many layoffs as there have been, the Group operation has run fairly lean for years, and its woes just don't have much of an impact on state unemployment.

  2. 7:10 Gannett doesn't have enough employees in any one state to single-handedly move the unemployment rate -- through a conventional layoff, anyway. That would require a complete shutdown. And even an operation as big as, say, USA Today -- with maybe 1,500 employees -- probably wouldn't move the needle.

  3. Closing USA Today might cause a problem in Great Falls, where a lot of the execs live. They certainly won't get the price they paid for those McMansions, as local real estate blogs clearly point out. And Obama is about to unveil plans to release pent-up houses and a new jobs program aimed at putting Americans back to work. Hmmm.

  4. Here's my retirement dream home:

  5. Yes, I know: dream on. But sometimes dreams come true, and I think mine will someday soon. I'll die happy either way.

  6. I suspect further layoffs are in the works - we are seeing scary numbers as are the business owners in the community we serve. The economy has not improved, in fact on the front line you see how it has gotten much worse.

  7. Re: 9:58 AM - OK, I guess I'm missing something here ... is this the estate of one of Gannett's klepto-executives? Is he or she trading up?

  8. Brevard county, home of Florida Today, is really having a tough time with the end of the shuttle program. No one is spending money.

  9. Good insights Jim. And it also shows why so many still employed and poorly treated by the Big G can't just quit. It's very, very hard to find a job - much less change industries - in this environment. But we all have to keep looking ahead (and saving what we can while we can to prepare for when we get discarded by Big G). And to lend a hand and compassionate ear to friends who have been without work for way too long. Good luck to all.

  10. Jim, you might want to avoid the phrase "move the needle." Just saying.

  11. Plenty of jobs out there, good paying jobs, too. No worries this end.


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