Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Oct. 3-9 | Your News & Comments: Part 1

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28 comments:

  1. What the hell.... First!

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  2. "Anonymous said...
    12:30: Plans to create wire copy editing desks at design centers have been scrapped. Don't quite know why, but it was a decision made quietly.

    10/02/2011 6:10 PM
    Anonymous said...
    Papers are keeping some copy editors -- but there are copy editors at the new design studios; they will edit wire copy (AP.,etc.). Local copy continues to be read by editors at the individual papers -- but those papers will have fewer editors than before.

    10/02/2011 6:26 PM
    Jim said...
    6:10 and 6:26 You are offering very different takes on whether there will be wire copy editors at the design centers. Can you resolve this?"

    Hey Jim, this was from last week's comment string, but I think it's interesting and I have a good guess what the truth is and how we got there.

    The Design Studios have been one big Kate Marymont game of bait-and-switch from the start. First she said papers wouldn't lose their individuality and it wasn't a move toward a "cookie cutter" look. She said it was about saving money by centralizing common tasks, and all control and copy editing would be done at the local levels.

    Then everyone switched to a common font family, it came out that the "designs" would be from a list of templates, she now claims this isn't saving money at all but is about improving quality, and the individual papers are paying for the Studios (a key omission at the start). In short, when Kate has spoken about the Design Studio, she's lying.

    On the copy editing, corporate's last change of path was that all wire copy editing would be done at the Studios. Then they gave each paper the number of people it would be able to keep, lower than expected pretty much everywhere and they got to use the excuse that wire copy editing will be done at the Studios and not locally.

    Now I think they are quietly going to drop the wire editing plans so they don't have to hire people to edit the wire copy at the Studios, and obviously they won't increase the people who get to stay at the individual sites.

    That way, they have to hire fewer people at the Studios, keep fewer people at the individual sites and just dump more work on the people who remain. They'll save money on both ends (even though this is just about quality).

    I'm not "connected" in any way, just an educated guess.

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  3. There is a third (and true), option everyone is skipping -- editing of wire copy will be done by a new Content One/USA Today editing desk in Tysons.

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  4. As Gannett chases the illusionary holy grail of more revenue through web video, the publishers and others in the Crusted Palace should read this column:


    http://jrnteaching.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/newspapers-should-jettison-most-of-their-web-video-efforts/

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  5. Video at most sites is a joke. When we began at our site, we were in the midst of using a popular and successful program called Soundslides. We(staff photographers) combined a gallery of images from an assignment with sound we recorded either on our cameras or small, portable recorders. The results were excellent. It gave us the opportunity to shoot more complete photo stories on assignments and we got to publish more images than we normally would get. They were presented in an interesting format that combined the quality shots with decent sound to produce a compelling package. Title slides and credits were added easily and when you got good at the process, you could produce a top-quality slideshow in a matter of minutes. Then came video. All the rage. We sent a no-talent editor, a reporter and a photographer to go learn "the new wave" for a week-long training session. What they brought back was substandard examples with little knowledge of what we were supposed to do now. Everything was video, video, video. Shoot it on every assignment along with stills, spend hours downloading and editing using Final cut which we given a total of about an hour of training on. Photographers now had to carry video equipment, lights, microphones, wireless mikes, and their regular camera gear and were expected to make video segments for the local newscast we undertook with a local low-budget cable network (it failed). The results were bad video, bad photos and missed shots. We can't do both effectively we told them. It's good enough we were told back. Spent thousands and thousands of dollars on outfitting photographers to shoot lame video which made the stills suffer. Everything was substandard. Any guesses as to which paper this is?

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  6. I can hear it now over at Pointroll..."This only validates our circular strategy and business"

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-03/google-takes-page-from-sunday-newspaper-with-new-circulars-ads.html

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  7. Any truth to the 10 VPs let go?

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  8. 1:01 - That sounds exactly like what we experienced at The Home News Tribune. Aside from the local news cast I would have thought you were there with me.

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  9. 1:50 In the original announcement about the creation of Gannett Publishing Services, Corporate said the move would result in the immediate loss of fewer than 20 jobs, mostly at the management level. Those jobs were not identified, however.

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  10. I'm not sure why the GPS thing is such a big deal. Yes, it allows them to cut some high-ranking salaries now and in the future.

    But people have speculated it's being set up to be spun off. I'm not sure what value there would be in spinning off a company that exists to print and distribute a bunch of crappy Gannett newspapers.

    Yes, it gets those expenses off GCI's books, but they'll still have to pay *something* to have their papers produced. Unless this is part of Gannett exiting print.

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  11. What's the word on the "Sales Excellence team" that is working alongside the Winthrop Group to make us excellent and World Class?

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  12. 10:56,
    Soundslides and video suffer from same thing - low impression totals, and not necessarily due to quality. The soundslides is flash-based and thus can only be counted once when the visitor enters the presentation. Video is the same way if it's flash/html5, you only get one hit per play.

    Video was all the rage at our site (non-GCI) a couple of years ago. Today we rarely do it. Instead we spend entire shifts doing photo galleries of fun runs, awards gala's, and the like.

    Have you all noticed how big photo galleries have become at newspapers? When we first started posting galleries we might put up 5-10 images. Today we're told to post as many images as possible. Two to three hundred image galleries are common. If it's a big event - 1,000 - 2,000 images will be posted.

    This is why all newspapers have started pushing photo galleries.
    More clicks, more money.

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  13. Anyone know the impact this hub business is going to have on the digital side? Are local websites going to start being produced non-locally too?

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

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

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  16. Mass exodus from Reno continues as excellent Metromix producer hands in his resignation. In the past six months, a half dozen talented folks have left for better opportunities for a happy future.

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  17. Hey 1:01PM yeah, Soundslides is a great way to display solid photojournalism, but the bean counters don't care about that.

    They're happier with a 400-photo gallery of crappy iPhone photos of the exec. editors junket. They haven't figured out that the reason that gets so many clicks is because people are just trying to find some content worth their time. Meanwhile, the viewers are irritated at having their time wasted. Have any studies been done on that?

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  18. Deal Chicken overkill:
    www.tallahassee.com

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  19. Deal Chicken overkill:
    www.tallahassee.com

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  20. Correction, makes that:
    http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage

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  21. 12:10 Those DealChicken ads, covering the entire web page, appear on other Gannett sites, too.

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  22. S who are the top 20 manager/ directors to be let go? Answer..none if any, just another Gannett ploy to make the lower level employee fell like we are not the only one's feeling the pain. Who are they people? Lets see how many we get in the next few days

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  23. So, can anyone give an update on DealChicken? They've been running the ads here for about 6 months and still no rollout. I really think this is one ad campaign that has literally laid an egg.

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

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  25. Perhaps the brood of chickens do appear on other sites, but they're not charging viewers $15/month to have ads shoved in their faces.

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  26. Still no names, interesting

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  27. GMTI is offering its current employees a $2500 finders' fee if they can help recruit for any of 6 openings the company has. Sadly, $2500 is more than 1 months' pay for some of those people. There should be no one in the IT industry making that little, unless they just finished school, which is not the case with most of them.

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  28. I wouldn't let my dog work for Gannett, let alone refer a friend.

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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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