An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
I personally do not mind a furlough. In my state, we can apply for a week of unemployment. I have low expenses. However, it is probably a hardship for most. Especially in states where two consecutive weeks are necessary for unemployment. I get calls and emails 24/7, so a furlough is a true break for me. The additional hours put in the week before and the week after are grueling. It is also hard to schedule and plan, supervisors and staff knowing in advance would ease the planning burden a bit. Furloughs are a hot topic, but I am awaiting changes to benefits. The recent survey that seemed to guide everyone to benefits changes/reductions seemed to be foreshadowing things to come.
I was recently directed to this blog and have found the comments about Karen Crotchfelt to be highly entertaining - especially the positive ones. Those comments about her trying to find out who is posting about her are classic Karen! She is an absolute master of self-promotion, intimidation and manipulation. Karen was chosen early on as a member of the Gannett executive "family" and was groomed, largely by John Zidich, in multiple cities in a variety of roles for relatively short periods of time. She played the game, left many a corpse in her wake, and has finally ascended to her own role. Although I know many of the folks Karen brutalized out of her way, does anyone know who she is grooming within the organization as was done for her? Has anyone followed her from Reno to Phoenix and now to Indy?
I agree with 12:38. Bring on the furloughs! For those in my pay range it ain't so bad (low 30's). My unemployment check is only $72 less than my actual check. It's like buying a weeks vaction for less than a hundred bucks. It's the overpaid middle managment crowd that bitches so loudly about them.
Good point 7:04. Gracia - hit the low earners two more times next year.As the writer points out, it's not that big a deal for them. And us overpaid middle managers usually have to do or redo the line-workers' stuff anyway. Even when they're here they're drunk, stoned or stupid.There, 7:04. Now we both said something dumb and made ourselves feel better by denigrating someone else.
My unemployment check is $200 less per week than my former Gannett paycheck. I was also earning low 30s.I definitely notice the difference.
I moved to a different state and no longer work for Gannett. If I was to go on unemployment here, it would equal what I made when I was at Gannett.How insulting is it that I would make more money to STAY HOME, than I made to slave for 80 hour work weeks?Yes, leaving was the right call.
I wonder why everyone is so focused on the furlough scenario.They should be focused on layoffs.The third quarter financial report was one of the worst since 2008.If the fourth quarter continues the this trend of 8.5% percent drop or more Gannett will nees a lot more than 1 week furloughs as expense cuts.I know that no one here is talking layoffs and this is speculation,but all you need to do is look at what Gannett has done in the past.Layoffs,layoffs and more layoffs followed by furloughs for those who remain.
1:51 am The positive comments about Karen are very amusing. They are baseless assertions. I'm still waiting to hear what stategic initiative she launched to reach the demographic targeted by the defunct Metromix. In an interview with the IBJ this summer she claimed she had "something up her sleeve."
Perhaps what Karen had up her sleeve was just an illusion.
Plans for early 2012 RIF to include newsroom managers at Florida Today?
In my company, they get around any unemployment by first, calling them "unpaid days" and not furlough.Second, we take them one day at a time, never more than two together.Is this legal? I can't get any answers.
I like referring to it as being "future endeavored" because the e-mail that goes out announcing someone's departure always includes the line: "We wish them luck in the future endeavors."
What's wrong with the furloughs besides the hardship on workers? Gannett pushes its payroll expenses onto the taxpayers, who pick up the tab. The savings are then popped into the pockets of Gannett's upper management. Laws should be enacted to stop big corporations from implementing furloughs year after year. It's like welfare for big business.
10:31, Gannett managers were told they had to take furloughs as a whole week, and that week was the company's pay week, not your regular workweek.
Note to 9:46 AM... If there is another layoff imminent at Florida Today, it will not be newsroom managers going. Those individuals are salaried employees. That means they can work them longer than 40 hours a week and not pay overtime for their increased workload. So if there are furloughs and layoffs ahead as have been rumored, the cuts will come once again from the pool of those paid by the hour.
In an e-mail, a reader who's definitely in a position to know tells me the following about some of Gannett's community newspapers: "There are layoffs planned for December. Right now, they are deciding whether to do it before or after Christmas. . . . It is not company wide, but on a case-by-case basis."The reader's e-mail is the first direct confirmation I've heard about any planned layoffs, which have been the subject of recent speculation here on Gannett Blog. On the other hand, we've been hearing firmer reports about furloughs planned for the first quarter.Another reader wrote yesterday in this thread: "We've been asked to put the furloughs in the first and second quarters. Also, each site (depending upon revenue) was given a payroll reduction number, but no specific instructions on how or when to implement. An important caution: This is very, very early in the budget process. The budget will likely not be real until mid-January, or even later, if the last two years are our guide."It's worth noting that GCI eliminated 255 jobs through layoffs and other means a year ago, n November 2010, according to Gannett Blog reader estimates at the time. Those layoffs came less than two months before Corporate ordered most U.S. newspaper workers to take one-week unpaid furloughs during the first quarter of this year.
Laid off Lansing Gannettoid turns into OWN protestor: http://www.americanindependent.com/201496/laid-off-gannett-reporter-turns-occupy-protester-feels-burned-by-ceos-37-mil-pay
OWS...sorry for typo, friends.
Cox Media Group to restructure newspaper division: http://www.daytondailynews.com/business/cox-media-group-to-restructure-newspaper-division-1275688.html
What I find interesting, if not sickening, from all this is the only answer to declining sales and revenue is to cut and slash the product and the people who put it together. tell me what other business acts like this. You mean to tell me not one of Gannett's upper braintrust cannot figure out their product needs to be better for people to buy it and for businesses to advertise in it? From what I read any management positions need some kind of degree. Are our colleges really spitting such inept people?
I don't see how they can possibly get rid of anyone else at Florida Today. The place is like a ghost town now as it is. Empty desks outnumber staffers 10-1.
4:24We have had the same thoughts since they first began the layoff rounds.They can't possibly cut any more people and still put out product!Yet,round after round they found ways to cut,and to continue to layoff. Let those remaining figure a way to get the work done.I would bet this round will be no different.
OWN instead of OWS is not a typo. It's just you being wrong and not checking it. Own it, correct it, and move on. But don't make excuses.
The active advertising accounts must be down by a huge percentage.Each advertising manager has easy access to account lists, sorted by account reps, that are stored in data base.The lists are broken down by active customers active within 60 days and so forth.One would believe that with so few customers being active that many accounts lists could be merged and therefore many fewer reps needed to handle this diminished workload.Why would you have the same 10 reps as then when their account base is now 50% or less than it was 3 years ago and easily handled by 5 reps.Yet we have not heard of accounts reps in the layoff numbers.
4:16, yes, our strapped colleges really are spitting out such inept people.It is bad enough when one answers to a superior -- especially in this industry -- who cannot spell without using a spell-checker, and even then, with degree in hand, does not know which word to choose. Even one of those types is one too many.It follows then, given Gannett's evident greed for executive self-enrichment at the direct and significant expense of both product and staff, that members of the upper "brain trust" are likely cut from the same cattle-herding cloth.After all, the arrogant and entitled by definition never need know they are inept -- especially with their perverted salaries representing nothing more than compensation for failure.
4:40 Sounds like you haven't been posting comments from an iPhone. The auto-correct function can be a pain.
Northern California's Bay Area News Group (BANG), in which Gannett is a minority investor, has reversed its decision to combine its East Bay papers into two mastheads after getting negative feedback from the community, according to Jim Romeneko's blog. BANG also announced today that it will halt home delivery on Mondays of three San Francisco Bay area papers: the Oakland Tribune, The Argus and the Hayward Daily Review, starting sometime in November. Monday papers will still be available at stores and news racks; there will also be electronic versions, according to this Oakland Tribune story.
4:16 - Why isn't it obvious to everyone on the blog that corporate is not interested in improving the product? They are interested in destroying this company so that they can collect every dime possible before its bankruptcy in approximately five years.
6:07 pm Exactly. Members of upper management are lining their pockets as much as they can before the company goes under.
I agree with 4:35. Florida Today still has dead wood staff drawing paychecks. Every department has at least one or more persons that could go. I also agree that no managers will be sacrificed, who will be available to attend the weekly supervisors meetings if that happens?
4:57, I think the same thing when I read the posts here. How were some of these people ever given degrees? They cannot write. They cannot spell. They cannot think.Jim, nice try at 5:11. But that's one of your weaker excuses, and with your portfolio, that's saying quite a bit.Also, are you going to comment on that Cincinnati rumor? It's been more than 3 days since there were supposed to be upper management layoffs. Either get some info or admit it was never true.
7:32 had wood when he made that post. The people who keep posting the same weak attacks must be pleasuring themselves while they type.
Plenty of deadwood at usa today in the editor ranks, verticals management and under performing bureaus. gracia could do much to change the culture by whacking.
Ok 7:35, please tell me that there are staffers still not pulling their weight despite the cutbacks. More layoffs are coming. maybe not as drastic as this summer, but finances assure that they are.
Florida Today's new products are a hit with the readers and we're all working hard to put out a great newspaper. So why are people on here talking about layoffs? I firmly believe there will not be any further staff reductions. It wouldn't make any sense.
Keep on dreamng there 8:21. A strong clue could be the lack of ads sold for the new "products." And no, house promos do not count as "ads." This place is doomed. Gotta get a resume done and pronto.
8:21, you're kidding, right? Is that your way of trying to make corporate care? They don't.
8:21PM, I too agree that it doesn't make sense. However, remember who we work for, has anything they've done made sense?
10:31. The rules on furlough from the federal government are very specific. For non-exempt (hourly) employees, it must be taken in whole days. The same applies to the advertising sales force. For exempt (salary) folks, such as managers, it must be taken in full one-week increments based on the designated work-week. This is based on the law that exempt employees must be paid for a full week if they work any time during the week except with a few exceptions. I had to call a couple of furlough "fouls" when I was still there. Pretty stupid when the person on furlough calls HR with a question.
Just checking out Jim's note begging for handouts, and I realized something.I have been a reader (sadly) of this blog most of the time it's been around. (I missed a portion after Jim came back from his insanity attack.) Not only have I never donated a cent, but I also take pride in various actions that probably have left the woodpile lower.I'll toast to that this weekend.
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Take it from someone who knows: The Cincinnati rumor was just that, a baseless rumor. There are lots of rumors on this board. Take them with a grain of salt. Cheers.
Hmm. The trolls are out. Layoff rumors must be true.
I interviewed a newly released Gannettoid this week. He had been making $80,000 as a copy editor, he said. 20+ years. Third one I've interviewed that gave that figure. All from the same place.Difference is, of the other two, one asked for $35k and one for $40k. Realism; right on mark for the market. Would be good pay for a copy editor in this (large) town.This guy that was just laid off said he expected $75-80k. What is with this? Does he not have friends or acquaintances to talk to? Are those left behind now this blinded by their own longevity? For heaven's sake, has he never read this blog? (Or a newspaper lately?)Are there really people still hanging around Gannett by the skin of their teeth who believe they'll replace their income - in news?Just wondering.
4INFO Closes $14 Million FundingGannett invests more in a company that does very little in revenue, if any at all.Good job Gracia! Throw more good money at bad companies.That guy Zaw has really bullshitted these executives.
10:39 one day you will wake up and realize that the right people, the good people at Gannett are reading this blog. You might not like everything here or even care for Jim...but management is held accountable here and that's the only voice we have.So keep bashing. But one day you will see why the employees (and many on the outside of the co) see the blatant wrongs of a CEO who takes $37MM and lays off 700 in one year...nobody can say that's a good thing. Or a moral way to run a company.
I would seriously liek to know what Al Neuharth thinks of the current state of Florida Today.
Her at Florida Today they could start letting go of some of the press guys that just sit there and watch, the ass istant production manager that takes up dead space, the creative artists that don't know what they are doing- but thats ok because the boss is only there to be in the styles section along with the publisher- what do they know. As for whats left of the newsroom, you think your putting out a paper that readers like- that's a farce. The new format that we have to work with is evolving to be printed elsewere.There is hardly anything to read in it except maybe the obits page and the comics, we put the classifieds in a bad spot-not everyone is wanting to look thru the sports section to get to them. This place is a ghost town with a lot of dead weight. Too many errors being made and some of my co workers should have left long before the good ones. Pat the people on the back that actually carry the place thru-they should be the ones that get the money and the thanks. So tired of this same ole shit.
10:39: What goes around comes around. Don't choke on your toast.
On Thursday, OWS called for a nationwide general strike for Wednesday, Nov. 2.
BPDT - I understand what you are saying about "furloughs." However, my media company is refusing to call them "furloughs." Instead they are called "unpaid days" when the newspaper offices are actually closed (around holidays) but newsroom floks still have to work, so they must take other "unpauid days" during the quarter.How does the law apply here? No one seems to know!
4:16 - Kodak. They just filed for bankruptcy.
12:41 As I post this, Kodak has not filed for bankruptcy.
10:58: "OWS called for a nationwide general strike for Wednesday, Nov. 2."LOL. Bring your bongos and bongs.But people who've never worked going on strike — how the devil do you tell?
80k for a frigging copy editor?
Re: 1:29 AM - I am definitely NOT a troll. I was laid off from Cincy and still keep in touch with the remaining serfs toiling there. And as with any comment board with mostly anonymous posters, there is a lot of static here. Cheers.
OWS is a joke.
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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