An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Today is the winter solstice. According to Wikipedia, it's often termed "midwinter," the "longest night" or the "first day of winter."For me, it represents my favorite point of the year: From here until June, the days start getting longer.
As they say, "Like"
It is also exactly one half year since 700 people were laid off, on the summer solstice. I've heard quite a few people laid off with me on that day refer to it as that, the longest day of the year. Here's hoping for more light in those lives in the coming months.
2:25 a.m.: From my site, only two folks have gotten full-time jobs out of more than 20 laid off in the newsroom last June. Only one of those positions is in journalism. None of the rest are working full time and some are starting to give up. It is heartbreaking to listen to some of the stories you hear from former colleagues. They might not have lost their homes, but they are burning through 401Ks, savings and pension money. They are taking part-time jobs at Walmart. They are frustrated and depressed. A lot of posters on this blog say there are jobs out there. For people with long-time roots in communities, moving is not an option, particularly as parents get older and infirm.I wish some of the folks in corporate could see the misery they inflicted on people by trying to extend the "Gannett brand" homogenously across the company. They should have left web site development, projects likes Moms Like Me etc. in the hands of the locals who knew their communities better. They should not have left marketing folks run web sites until as recently as a decade ago. They also should have thought out the implications of corporate mandates that required reporters to start shooting and processing videos, efforts that took eight, nine or 10 hours to produce such legendary videos such as the one in our LIC about "How to Make a Sandwich." Yes, leadership starts at the top and Gannett really hasn't had enlightened leadership for years, just lawyers, TV guys and bean counters. They failed miserably and their former employees are paying the price as this nation's starts turning its attention to celebrate Christmas. For many, there is no joy this Christmas, just more worry, uncertainty and perhaps financial collapse in the year ahead.
"We’re excited to announce a significant investment in our newsgathering tools. This week, we have purchased thousands of new devices for many of our journalists."He then went on to say....."The sales staff will continue to use their turn-of-the-millenium brick sized RIM devices. We will make one Ipad availble per site. We expect that this will increase revenue by 50% for all that digital crap we need to sell".
6:51Here's a prayer for those who are still trying to recover from being a Gannett victom.My site was a tremendous place to work.Gannett boughtit in 2001.For 2 or 3 years,they let us run it as if it were still family owned.That included editorial, advertising,and printing.Revenues were always up,year to year inboth advertising and commercial printing.This being a weekly site, with 5 newspapers and 3 shoppers,had 50 to 60 employees. Then the mother ship started instigating rate increases,contracts,centralized out of state billing,very strict collection service and on and on.Needless to say revenue dropped drastically in all phases including circulation.Presses were sold,mailroom gone,layoffs hit hard.That was in the last 2 years or so.Now maybe there 15 employees struggling to hold on and produce week after week.Some of those layed off had found better carreers,many stillare umemployed.I would guess this story could be repeated with the same scerario a hundred times.
I had to share this with your readers. I have been in the circulation business for 40 years. My two terms with Gannett total 17 of those years. I’m now at a 4th generation family own newspaper. Last Saturday we had an old fashion Christmas party. The editor asked me what Gannett used to do for their employees for the holidays. I had to think about it; then answer him they laid people off. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year
9:28, you have repeated that story a hundred times. Probably a thousand.Get some new material.
Thanks, 9:28. I appreciated what you wrote.
9:28's scenario continues to play out across the country. And too many of my friends continue to be unemployed or severely under-employed. Don't be smug 11:39, for you could be next.
9:28's scenario continues to play itself out because he continues to post it over and over and over again.
For those in need of a chuckle:Adjacent headlines on CBS3 Philadelphia Web site:Chester County teens sentenced in feces-filled cake prankYummy history of chocolate coming to Betsy Ross HouseAn example of what happens when you don't employ experienced editors!
Cincinnati's Christmas party? Always in the dreary conference/training room on the 20th floor, where workers are herded to hear about new corporate mandates. Soda, cold sandwiches and sweets from Kroger. No alcohol, which is sorely needed in order to pretend that you're having a good time.
2:54PM. Individual depts in Cincinnati may have used the conf rm for their Christmas party but they discontinued the huge company affair sometime in the late 1980s. Heck, the last year we even got a gift was 2005. I think it was a book but I can't remember which one. Daugherty maybe? Whoever still had unsold copies sitting in the Customer Service Center.
What's Christmas? Does Gannett believe in anything to do with Christmas. We will be working that day to get out the much anticipated Christmas day paper. No parties here, who wants to celebrate if you know they don't appreciate you. No bonuses either couldn't have that.Merry Christmas anyway despite the Scrooges that run Gannett.
If Gannett had lavish parties the same folks posting today would cry about the waste of money. Please find another job so I don't have to work next to you anymore. Please leave.
Can someone tell me what Gannett's long-term disability plan allows? Can you keep your insurance during that time?
Agreed, 3:45. Many people here need some new material. And lives. But not necessarily in that order.Here's hoping 2012 brings some changes.
2:45: Actually, it was an Enquirer canvas travel bag. Mine split open on my second trip with it.
Reno cancelled its once very popular annual Holiday Party / Employee Awards Party back in 2007, citing lack of attendance.I cite this because it's a pretty good sign that starting in 2006 (just a year after Dubow's arrival as CEO), morale on the ground -- at least in Reno -- was significantly slipping as everyone witnessed the paper becoming more of a compliant Gannett automaton than a community newspaper -- its own managers, powerless; its new crop of directors, many of whom saw no need to introduce theirselves, Gannett bureuacrats, hatchet men and women with their eye on some clique rather than their alleged profession.To be fair, along with significant layoffs, a lot of those types are gone, too. I bet they neer saw it coming. But any rate, Reno has managed to make some much appreciated content improvements since the beginning of 2011 (despite Gannett).It still has the Gannett brand, though, like a scar on some cow heading for the slaughter house. A clunky Web site, replete sports scores leading over local, national and international news, all. The mug shots. The Metromix "slightly buzzed" hotties. Little copy editing, etc.But any improvement is improvement. Yay.
3:45 You spend your day reading this blog then ask the people posting to leave the company? That seems pretty small of you.Why don't you leave this company so we know that we don't have a rat working next to us.
9:28 hereI am a she and no I have not posted this before.Contrary to what smug 11:39 posted.
Hey 3:45, who would complain if the company put on a proper all-you-can-drink Christmas party like the Best Places to Work For do? Not anyone I know. It was a little easier to let bygones be bygones with all the kiss-asses and backstabbers once I got past the 0.05 level. Too bad we can't be that way when we're with them during business hours.
5:00 so you would rather work with a person that whines about everything and anything related to their job? Not me. See I like it here.
Folks, call it what you want, but do some background. Gannett Blog is a good forum. A great forum. Compare to having been raped and one can't ever tell anyone.Because it's the healthiest thing in the world, what some smug others term "whining." No, we are describing. We are seeing others' equally namelessness... not here, but in the mistake of working for a company run by amateurs essentially.First off, when there is an overriding need to deride others, victims of fairly shit treatment, that's a pretty good sign that now all the oars in the water.People should have compassion, not snarky derision. Even the corp types who use this blog. Some of 'em in real life are actually just decent people scared shitless. It's classic.But when I read this derisive admonishment crap? "Stop whining?" I seriously wonder about their overall judgment. Of anything. Which is ironic because the corp types have no judgment.
7:22 I totally agree
There are two disability plans, Short Term (STD) and Long Term (LTD). They are administered by a third party administered (TPA) so HR has no say in determinations. If you had an illness or injury that would take you out of work for more than 5 days, you would first apply for STD. The first 5 days is a waiting period where you would have to use sick/vacation/option time if you want to be paid. After that, once the TPA (I think it's currently Aetna, but can't remember, they changed it this year) approves your STD, you'll be paid 60% of your base pay (at our site it also included 60% of average commission) for a maximum of 25 weeks. Remember that the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave runs concurrent with STD. FMLA is unpaid leave, but the STD payment would substitute.If your illness/injury lasts longer than the 25 weeks, you'll be sent LTD paperwork. LTD is an insurance plan paid for by the company. Again it has to go through the TPA for approval. It also pays at 60%. It can run as long as until you are Medicare eligible, but you'll have to provide continuing proof of disability. I believe you can keep your insurance, but it may be at a higher rate. I don't have a copy of that SPD hanging around that I know of, but I'll check over the holidays.I hope this helps.
5:00 You like it here. Can you get the paper out by yourself? I prefer a whiner as you have labeled them who cares about their job and this company. You might not appreciate that in your glass tower.
The "stop whining" commenters are most likely still employed ... little do they know they could be axed next.
So 9:21 you are saying that the only people who can get the paper out are sad, complaining, negative, hateful individuals? Sorry what was I thinking? Yep we need more of them.
9:19 your percentages are off. It's Cigna not Aetna as well.
You peps crack me up. Talking about Christmas parties and stupid crap like that. How about talking about the issues facing the company. How GPS will work or not, what is the status of the so called hubs, printing plant consolidations, shall I go on or do you want me to talk about what Crocty had to drink at her Christmas party. No wonder the company is going down, we have a bunch on cry babies who now work for GCI and I for one are sick of all your petty BS posts. INFORMATION IS WHAT I THOUGHT THE BLOG IS FOR JIM. Not BS cry baby stuff
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
9:27 Who said anything about sad, complaining, negative, hateful individuals? I was talking about hard working, caring, thoughtful, loving individuals.That's what I read on this blog. Yep we need more of them to get the paper out.
9:42 Are you new to this blog. This is the comments section where you can post about anything related to Gannett. You are responsible for filtering out what you read here. Have you read Jim's statement near the bottom of these comments?
What's a pep? Why do they crack readers up?
11:11 I believe that was supposed to be: peeps.
5:01, you have posted it before. Hundreds of times. We always can tell. Always. Don't lie.Your statement of "I'm a she" is funny, too. How would we know that? How should we know that?Get some new material. New year, new material. Let that be your slogan.
Jim, thanks for correcting peeps, some people are not in the know, and yes I post to the blog all the time. Just get tired of the stupid BS such as xmas parties..whatever. I'm into more important topics.. agreed?
4:11 and others:Regarding questions about Gannett's disability policy, a Gannett Blog reader who's one of our best resources of accurate information about benefits has provided two useful documents:1. An October 2010 letter from Corporate describing changes to the policy2. A one-page brochure highlighting Gannett's then-new CIGNA disability insurance benefits, which became effective Jan. 1 of this year.
The Gannett that stole Xmas. Starring:Gracia as the GrinchBob Dickey as Tiny TimMariyam as the Ghost of Xmas futureHunke; ghost of Xmas present
10:28 I care about relevant news about GCI, not xmas parties and other stupid BS that High school kids care about,,stuff it suit!
Best or make that worst Christmas gift at Cincinnati enquirer a real cheap cheap robe the late 90’s. So bad that the Goodwill did not take it . One Co Worker turn it into a chair cover in the Newroom. Might be some photo's of it out there As one of the 700 good luck
Left Gannett five months ago for a better job, and I have been pleasantly surprised to see how many other companies handle the holiday season. I was stunned to receive a Christmas bonus, and attending our company holiday party, complete with open bar and tables of fresh food, was an eye-opening experience. It's amazing what the world looks like outside of Gannett. Imagine, a company that values your work, recognizes you as a person and understands that employees with high morale will be more invested in the company, thus making for higher quality of work and more revenue. Until I left Gannett, a place like this sounded like a fantasy. Turns out, that's what successful businesses do...which explains why Gannett doesn't.
11:09 what is the name of that great company? I'd like to apply
11:09 That is why it is relevant to the company. Most good company's I have worked at have had Christmas parties and usually a significant bonus check.Some times prizes as well. Gannett doesn't seem to value it's employees or care.
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."
Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.
Subscribe in a reader