Saturday, October 08, 2011

Listing all the forces running against Gannett

"The newspaper business is awful, the economy is not helping, USA Today is not having a good year, the local newspapers are not doing well. They’ve done what they could, but they’ve been really swimming upstream." 

-- Douglas Arthur, managing director at investment banking firm Evercore, in a new Washington Post story about newly appointed CEO Gracia Martore. The Post also quotes yours truly saying: "If the board wanted big change, they would have looked for someone outside the company. But I think what they wanted was more of the same."

27 comments:

  1. I saw that. When I read it I thought, "and she's (Martore) not sure of layoffs yet? The layoffs are coming. They're going to be deep and painful."

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  2. Jim shouldn't have been quoted. Bad decision from a lazy reporter. The editors dropped the ball, too.

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  3. Some context: Many of Gannett's employees beyond D.C.'s Beltway don't know The Washington Post is the hometown newspaper for many members of Corporate's top brass.

    The inclusion of my quote makes this a difficult story to clip, frame and hang on the wall.

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  4. This blog's history in the making. Telling the story one post at a time. I love it!!!!!

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  5. NPR relies way too heavily on calling up the local editor or journalist when they need to cover anything outside of Washington, LA or Afghanistan. Aside from the hottest stories or when it's impossible, I'd rather hear from the people in the story, not those covering it.

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  6. They forgot to list a string a bad ideas from a bunch of cult like zombies spewing happy bs. That's definitely working against them.

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  7. Jim, the self-promotion grows tiresome. You are starting to sound like Gannett with this stuff.

    If you think what you said passes for deep analysis, then you are wrong. More and more, you just sound like a bitter ex-employee with an ax to grind.

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  8. 5:21 I don't think it was deep analysis; I merely stated the obvious. But it sure struck a nerve with some of my critics.

    My more important contribution to the Post story is something you don't see inside quotation marks: the reference to Dubow's $37 million going-away check.

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  9. “It’s my desire as we execute our strategy that we come to a point where those are issues of the past. But I don’t control the economy or business conditions.”

    Yeah but you can say 'no' to millions in bonuses while others suffer. Greedy Greedy Greedy.

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  10. Jim's quote was fair. You can take opposition to the reporter calling on Jim as a source but frankly, his quote was fine. And as a watchdog reporter on Gannett brass, the payout to the brass is important information for readers to know.

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  11. The brass mostly ignores this blog. But they shouldn't. Jim's quote definitely poisoned an otherwise glowing story about Gracia. Pence needs to sharpen her toolkit.

    The analysts quote is exactly how analysts look at companies. Management is doing all they can but they are losing a very tough battle.

    Let's see what Ms. Martore can do. I wish her well. We all need her to be successful.

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  12. I've never closed the door on communicating with Corporate. It was Pence's predecessor who initiated a boycott in 2008.

    How's that helped burnish the company's public image over the past three years? I'll defer to you all for an answer to that question.

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  13. Glad to see both you and the financial analyst quoted in the Post story.

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  14. I found it ironic that the Post calls a guy for a quote about the first Gannett female CEO And he runs a blog that routinely denigrates female executive. Not Jim's fault but it is the Post's fault. And before you all go into denial you've allowed crude posts about Laura Hollingsworth, Karen Crotchfelt and by your own hand Susie Ellwood. You've got great credibility Jim. Strike One for the Post

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  15. Ka-ching! Another happy paid poster rings one up on the GCI budget!

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  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  17. 9:39 do you deny my statement?

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  18. 9:39 doesn't know what he believes. He only knows that Jim is always right, no matter what.

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  19. Gracia'S to do list: prune redundant layers of management. Kill Usa Todays
    Money sapping verticals. Fire dickey andmarymount. Hire a new p.r. Manager.

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  20. Al, tried to buy the Washington Post. Katie would not sell. It would have been interesting if it would have happen.

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  21. Jim, do you know if the Dubow's deal includes a gross up on taxes? Meaning did the company agree to pay the taxes on that payout so he gets all $37 million or will he have to pay taxes on it?

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  22. 10:31 There is no tax gross-up. Dubow or his heirs will eventually pay taxes on some portion of the $37.1 million.

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  23. Jim said, "There is no tax gross-up. Dubow or his heirs will eventually pay taxes on some portion of the $37.1 million."

    Tell you what: I'd bear the burden of that tax if I could have the balance of the payout, having done a demonstrably shitty job for the past six years to boot.

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  24. Will the payout be covered by an insurance policy on his health or is it cash out of Gannett?

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  25. No use dealing the sexism card, 9:10. Agree that there are too many sexist and homophobic ranters. No one deserves to be referred to in vile terms, so I'll simply say that these female execs have been as cruel, clueless and greedy as their male counterparts.

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  26. 5:25 is this blog's version of an Uncle Tom or an Aunt Tommy.

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  27. 5:25 what a cop out!

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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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