Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nov. 28-Dec. 4 | Your News & Comments: Part 2

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)


  1. From Gannett Blog's morgue:

    Nov. 30, 2008: The Sheboygan Press publishes mug shots of 272 convicted sex offenders.

  2. Here's my Daily Deal: Groupon stock: 25% off the IPO price earlier in the month!

    Priced at $20, went to $26, an now in the low $15s.

    I'd call that an IP-DOH!

  3. 12:51, just a day in the life of Sheboygan. Ever been there?

  4. 2:38 No. But if I do, I'll make sure all my car doors are locked as I drive through at 100 mph!

  5. Gannett to hire 108 in Indy


    Wow - so I lost my job in June, not cuz Gannett couldn't afford me...it was so they could hire more people. B*stards!

  6. No Indy, it's so they can eliminate hundreds of jobs at other sites.

  7. 1,174
    Significantly Down

    The number of Cincinnati.com users who have “sounded off” about its plan to use Facebook comments – nearly all are against it!

    The number of thumbs up given to one post.

    The direction in which user usage and subscriptions will go as a result.

    Carnac the Magnificent

  8. it's that time of the week to hire another vice president again:

    Reminds me of the line in Gordon Gekko's monologue:
    "Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can’t figure it out."

  9. Doubt Buchanan will reverse the decision to move Enquirer.com comments to Facebook. She's strictly a corporate sycophant. Not a content person at all, other than to turn the paper into a cheerleader for the chamber, the econ development agencies and companies big and small. Pretty much what one should expect from a former ad saleslady married to a banker.

  10. Buchanan's like Gen. Custer. Once the order is given it's full charge ahead no matter what's against you.

  11. Martore ought to.call every veep.and senior manager to her office and. demand proof why their jobs are needed. if they arent bringing anything to the.bottom line or.enhancing product, they should be canned. enough already. Start at corporate and at Usa Today.

  12. 8:24 I'm sure those wages/benefits will be a half of what the laid off pros were paid. A young person just out of school might take the job, knowing they'll likely get laid off in 12-18 months as Gannett continues to slide into hell.

  13. We haven't even been officially told at our site about the Facebook comment switch, let alone saying anything to our readers. Who will be livid.

  14. @3:24, well, if you were drunk and mowed down a few spectators at the Brat Fest parade at 9 a.m., you'd fit right in. Hell, you could even be mayor!

  15. Sat in a meeting this morning where I learned yet another marketing VP will be hired at USAT. I think that makes 46, but I might have missed one or two in all the confusion.

  16. In an e-mail, a reader writes: "I've been reading the blog and have tried to post a comment, but I am unable to select a profile. I click on the pull-down menu and nothing pulls down. I don't know if others are having the same problem, but I thought I would let you know."

    Are any of you experiencing this problem?

  17. Thanks you guys, now I have to go fire up the grill and cook some Johnsonville's. Sheboygan's not that bad, their writers chase the weird stories because nothing else happens there.

    Could be worse, you could live in Fondy.

    Or god forbid, TRivers...

  18. RE: Trouble posting.

    I've been posting about a month or so now. The first two times I tried, nothing happened. Then I saw the "log in" link at the top, logged in with my gmail account, and voila! No problem since.

    I don't know if one indeed leads to the other, but give it a try. And don't forget to select your "Comment as". I forget EVERY TIME . . .

  19. 12:15, I pick the trailer park in North Fondy. That's about what I can afford on my salary these days.

  20. It seems reasonable to believe that some of those overly paid people are on their way out. With all the restructuring, it looks like a site will just have a newsroom and ad sales. So out goes the publisher.

  21. In a note to readers, USA Today says today it's the latest Gannett paper to switch to a Facebook commenting system. 

    Why? To "enhance the conversation that takes place in our comment sections."

  22. How sneaky. "Beginning today ..."

    The note has been up almost four hours and there's only one comment.

  23. 1:57 Where does this reader note reside? How prominently? I'm looking at the mobile site, so can't tell.

  24. It's under something called, The Oval, Tracking the Obama presidency. At least that's where I landed by clicking on your link. I never look at that site so that's all I can tell you.

  25. Sign of the Times... press maker Manroland files for bankruptcy.


  26. I was just poking around on USAToday's web site, and not sure what I clicked on but I got directed to Facebook's sign in page. So I just left the site and won't go back.

  27. The subject of this new Facebook-only commenting came up during Thanksgiving dinner. Three different relatives, who are local Gannett newspaper subscribers from three different states, complained about it. How's that change working for you, Gannett?! No wonder you've lost respect.

  28. 10:29, Martore needs to pass an eye exam and walk around the floors of her own Crystal Palace tower to clean house.

  29. Tennessean aims to elevate online conversation

    Starting Dec. 1, Tennessean.com will begin using Facebook Comments on articles to create a more civil environment for conversation and to give everyone an easier way to share with friends. The new system seeks to reduce anonymity and elevate quality by requiring a Facebook account to participate.

  30. Comments as they are now are a disgrace to journalism -- too many are racist, victim-blaming, rude and would not be allowed in any other form of media.

    Freedom of Speech does not mean you get to say whatever you want in a letters column (print or digital). The freedom also extends to the keeper of that "page,'' to edit as needed.

    If Facebook makes even a modest improvement, I'm in favor of it. A good move.

  31. Freedom of speech has nothing to do with how we police comments. As our readers(anonymously)point out on our site - it's the paper's sandbox, they make the rules.

    People can play nice with their neighbors, or go find their own sandbox and play with themselves.

    btw, Green Bay changes next week: http://tinyurl.com/blvyof9

  32. 3:16 . . . so, by your logic, reporters ought to name every source, because Americans do have the right to face their accusers. Anonymous sources encourage lying, misrepresentation and non-accountability.

    Perhaps Jim ought to make every contributor here name themselves AND their Gannett affiliation. Just to eliminate comments about Karen C. It's only fair, right?

    Every post on this blog is a valuable piece of the Gannett puzzle, from the dumbest comment to most erudite argument. The tone of a post is nearly as valuable as the actual information, or lack thereof. And don't tell me this site is different than that of a newspaper, because it is not. It exists to inform and make a profit.

    I'll take my information unfiltered, and make my own conclusions, thank you.

  33. Merry Christmas! First-quarter furloughs just announced!

  34. Furloughs? What a surprise!
    Jim said it: Expense reduction in Q1 2011 had to be matched in Q1 2012.
    The only way out of this cycle is for Gannett to make SO MUCH more revenue that they can break even without the furloughs. And if they had a huge increase in revenue, why would they want to make it disappear like that?

  35. Study says USAT brand stinks. http://www.thumbtack.com/blog/ab-test-new-york-times-washington-post-logos-help-conversions-usa-today-logo-hurts-conversions/

  36. Are USAT people spared furloughs this time?

  37. 4:29, i know you were being facetious when you wrote "The only way out of this cycle is for Gannett to make SO MUCH more revenue that they can break even without the furloughs."
    But it's important to note that Gannett isn't losing money (to my knowledge it never has), it's just not making as much as its accustomed to.
    In Q1 2010, GCI reported $178M in operating income.

  38. Oh boy! With the furlough savings, corporate can hire some more VPs!

  39. Can we take down the pokeahontass photos-we know what nudity they usually print- you only reinforce it. how about some guy buts!
    Anyway- keep thos furloughs and layoffs coming we've got to
    fillfill those exec bonuses up- what a BUNCH OF CRAP

  40. Can someone please post the furlough announcement?

  41. Furloughs announcement happening the same week as the United Way campaign at my site. We're required to turn in our United Way form letters with our names on them whether we choose to participate or not. Wonder how many people not donating to the United Way will be on a layoff list later in the year?

  42. Guys calm down, we have to make up for the 37.1 mil exit package for Craig...... it just a nice way to pitch in.... Gannett style.....

  43. USA TODAY not good...

    "And who was the loser?

    USA Today was the least trusted brand among both consumers and local service professionals, decreasing consumer signups by 25% and local service professional signups by 13%.

    USA Today is the second-most popular newspaper by circulation in the U.S. – and it has more revenue than Google does in the U.S..

    But placing USA Today’s logo on our site actually decreased conversions significantly.

    These results were measured across 15,000 visitors to our site.

    Takeaway: Placing press logos on your site isn’t a guaranteed winner.

    We were amazed at the difference in trust among brands between the two groups of people.

    The consumers on Thumbtack tend towards the high-income, female, and shopper demographics. These people seem to love their New York Times and their Washington Post – and not their Wall Street Journal.

    Conversely, the service professionals on Thumbtack tend towards the middle-income, blue-collar, entrepreneur demographics. These people seem to respect the Wall Street Journal a lot – and actively distrust the New York Times.

    As for USA Today? We have no idea why this hugely popular newspaper would have decreased conversions across the board. Your guess is as good as ours.

    Whatever the reasons, our tests showed that press logos can increase conversions – but certainly not always. Whether adding press logos to your site increases conversions depends on which logos you’re adding and what kind of audience visits your site."

    Anyone really think that USA TODAY has more revenue than Google in the U.S.?

    Does this type of analysis give anyone cause for concern? Stuff like this can move around the web pretty quickly.


  44. Cherry Hill joins the Facebook comments parade

  45. November 29, 2011

    To: All US Community Publishing (USCP) and Gannett Publishing Services (GPS) employees
    From: USCP President Bob Dickey and GPS President Evan Ray

    This year we’ve made great strides in enhancing the ways we meet the needs of our consumers and business customers. We continue to adapt, evolve and redefine who we are and what we do to help propel the company forward. It is greatly appreciated by the entire management team.

    However, we are all acutely aware the economy is not improving as quickly or as strongly as we wish and companies across America, and globally too, have had to respond to a difficult economic environment.

    We need to continue managing costs and lowering expenses to align with revenue and invest in future growth opportunities. While USCP has been successful in finding new digital opportunities and building digital revenue – which has been one of our primary goals -- this growth has not offset lagging revenue from some of our more traditional USCP advertisers. Those advertisers remain good, loyal customers of ours but their businesses are under pressure because of the economy and they have continued to reduce their spending.

    Because of these challenges, USCP and GPS will institute furloughs generally beginning first quarter of 2012, ending Sunday, March 25. A small number of sites will have a different furlough calendar because of the seasonality of their markets.

    Furloughs are difficult and Gannett’s management team does not take this action lightly. All of Gannett’s divisions are approaching these economic challenges in their own ways. Furloughs – however – are the best option for USCP and GPS to help manage their costs in this uncertain business climate and to help us mitigate other cost reduction strategies.

    The furloughs will impact most USCP and GPS employees. However there is a minimum salary level set for implementation. Your supervisor or Human Resources partner will notify you if you will be impacted by this furlough. We are letting you know as quickly as the decision was made so that you can make plans as needed.

    USCP and GPS employees in certain income brackets will be furloughed for five business days during the specified furlough time period. Exempt, salaried employees in certain income brackets must take one full payroll week within the pay period. Sales people and non-exempt, hourly employees in certain income brackets will also take five days at any pre-approved time – although the days do not need to be consecutive. The attached FAQ should answer questions you may have.

    We appreciate that everyone at the local level is focused on driving top line revenue growth. Please continue to support these efforts anyway you can. Your efforts are reshaping our division, our industry and our company as we steer through challenging times. Keep up the good work and we’ll keep building the future of our business together.

    As always, please feel free to email us with any questions or ideas.


    Bob (rdickey@gannett.com) and Evan (eray@gannett.com)

  46. Wow, the Gannett execs are getting so great at crying poverty that I'm expecting to see them wearing rags to the office. But if Gannett is so poor, where did it find the money to build a game room on the second floor of the USAT headquarters? For those who haven't had a tour lately, the photo/design desks/cubicles have been replaced by leather couches, a wood floor (dancing, anyone?), a pool table, foosball table, ping pong table, and air hockey. There's a beer fridge, and a wall has been cut out to form a bar. Maybe this is all part of some TV remodeling special, because the construction workers have been busy upstairs, as well. They've taken over the book room and kicked the Opinion section out of their offices in order to carve out fancy new offices for the new VPs and GMs. Is this how they're using all the money they save by forcing employees to take furloughs?

  47. Just so were clear, 10:51, that Google campus ripoff on the second floor is not for the News, Life or Money sections' use.

  48. 11:34 So, it's for the Sports Media Group?

  49. Yeah, the steely facts speak volumes: USAT is on the outs with readers, circulation has been slipping fast for 2 years, and advertising is at lowest point in 15 years (oh yes it is). And digital ain't gonna ever pay the bills. Never ever. Never ever never.

    And believe it, as goes USAT, so goes Gone-nett. The one and only national brand Gone-nett has is being poached and liquidated by banal corporate idiocracy. Verticals are never ever never going to work either. Boneheaded management listening to inexperienced wannabees.

    And hiring 108 in Indy is like painting the walls on a house that is burning down -- too little, too late. Indy. Really?

    My money says in 2-3 years Gone-nett will merely be a commercial real estate holding firm with all current content assets diluted by ubiquitous and instant digital information from all points.

  50. Sounds like in Des Moines and their subsidiaries, layoffs may still be on the horizon: (via the L.H. FAQ) "It is important to note that as we continue to consolidate some operations to achieve greater efficiencies there will be some position eliminations as our normal course of business but that is different than a division-wide layoff."

  51. The accelerated slide of USAT brand equity is Hunke's only legacy -- besides a three-fold increase in management committee size. What a loser.

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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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