An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Two years ago today -- Dec. 31, 2009 -- on Gannett Blog:Capping a second consecutive year of tumultuous change, stocks of major newspaper publishers today staged a huge comeback from a year ago, with company shares soaring well above broader stock-market averages.Gannett's stock rose 86%, ranking it No. 4 among companies I follow, according to preliminary closing figures moments ago. Shares finished the year at $14.85 -- a huge turnabout from their 52-week low of $1.85.
This new CCI system is a disaster. God help those who are still awaiting it. Whatever system you are running now, you'll wish you still had it, bad as it may have been. Even after you learn to use CCI, the glitches will drive you crazy, and is it ever SLOW. The loss of productivity it causes surely has not been calculated at all by the bean counters.
Here's hoping 2012 is a better year professionally and personally. Happy New Year, everyone.
12:38 - don't forget the 15-20 system crashes that are routine every night. I spend half my time hitting the "save" button to avoid losing my work to the constant crashes. It must have taken a whole army of Danish mental patients to come up with this Edsel.
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The stock didn't "rise" 86%...It recovered some of it's loss. Why act like it performed well. People "rebound" after losing the loves of their lives, don't they? Doesn't mean all is well.
I worked for three years on a CCI system, every angle of it.-- Writing (we learned to write in regular Word and cut-and-paste to avoid the quirks).-- Writing from the road (type a character, wait 3 seconds for it to appear, type another character, all on deadline).-- Copy editing (h&j a story and it disappears, even from the 'version manager').-- Designing (worst of all).It's a nightmare. Congratulations, Gannetteers. Instead of having your computers work for you, now you work for your computers. Good to know who's more important to the honchos.
5:50 (to the poster who loves Florida Today) Florida Today is the best paper! WHY?Please expand on your comment! Because----
All the writing about Florida Today in the past being the jewel of Gannett is not quite true. It was Big Al's pride and joy. His pet project if you will...FT was a s show piece of technology and was always at the forefront of new initiatives by Gannett. It was the go-to place for testing new ideas. If you wanted to move up in corporate world, a short stint at FT was a good move. It was a newspaper that happened to be at the right place at the right time (the space race in the 60's), and it endured the financial disaster in the 70's when the Apollo program came to a halt. Much like now, the housing market collapsed, because once proud rocket scientist just pulled up stakes and left their houses, looking for employment far from the Spacecoast, but this area bounced back when the shuttle program came. This time it is a double whammy. Not only is the shuttle program gone, leaving 6000 space workers unemployed, but the national housing crisis also hit about the same time. FT can not survive on borrowed copy and editorials in an increasingly thinner product. The paper must be filled with local coverage and in-depth reporting and with a smaller, or at the most, equal size national news.Customer Service is almost non-existing, and if your paper isn't in your driveway, no one will deliver it. Instead you are credited one day on your account. If you as an advertiser have problems with your account or your ad, good luck to you. Nothing can be fixed on the fly as done in the past, leaving the advertiser unhappy and willing to take their business elsewhere.FT and other local papers need to have more control of their product, both print and online, to better serve the community and our customers. Happy New Year!The one size fits all approach is killing FT and all the other community papers
Does anyone know about the Gannett long term disability plan administered through Cigna? I know a colleague that may need it and is waiting for the actual policy to arrive. The coordination of benefits info recieved indicates the amount may be reduced if the employee qualifies for disability through Social Security. They have paid for the "60% level" but will have a hard time if that amount also includes the other benefits. Does the company also reduce the amount if you have other private disability insurance as well?
Jim: Thanks for all you do with the blog. And keep your heads up, fellow Gannetteers. Wishing the best for all.
12:38, you're a perfect example of individuals who attack (verbally) people that implement new “systems.” The new system is excellent, and our people have systematically ironed out wrinkles in record times with minimal resources. We have had a number of people, in fear of loosing their jobs, make spiteful statements against systems and people. My advice to vindictive people who attack others, when they themselves can not adjust to simple changes is: "Go back to school, further your education and empower yourself instead of attacking systems and people that aid the company in a progressive manner." Any company will go through a series of system changes, to stay competitive and survive in an industry. Pitch in and do your part... And, in this economy you really should count your blessings that you still have a job.
10:51 call employee services. It's a siMple question with a simple answer and don't slam the folks at ES. They know the answer to thus question. I'm on STD and they helPed me through the whole process.
NewsGate is Danish for piece of crap. NG truly sucks. I can see why corporate likes it, outsourcing work is very easy with NewsGate but for users in the newsrooms across Gannett land it is an unmitigated disaster. The only people who like NewsGate are the IT and tech support types. It is a full employment act for them.
Florida Today poster, it's nice to get a reply on your Florida Today is the best --please confirm and back up your statement- still waiting! It's the best why? Because-----
Just a reminder: 2011 begins and another round of furloughs announced. Everyone figures better than layoffs, so we hand in our furlough dates like good GCI drones. Turn them in on a Thursday and by the following Monday of the brand new year there is an editorial staff meeting informing us that entire news staff laud off and must re-apply for half the # of jobs and in some cases less money. Be wary if you think 2012 will be any different!
This blog is longer a free post zone.Censorship is the rule here.Removed posts for no good reason!
To the one asking why Florida Today is the best paper, you can stop now.The troll hooked you, and you are still chomping on the bait.Here is your answer:Since Hometown News basically pulled out after a short stint of delivering free papers, Florida Today is the only paper in Brevard County.
"And, in this economy you really should count your blessings that you still have a job ..."Well, that's the perfect Dickensian, er, Gannettian response to employees who are bringing up a valid point about the horrible CCI system ... "Don't like that we're forcing crappy computer systems down your throat to save money? Just be glad you have a job!" The system is an obvious, proven disaster and to defend it in any way at all as "excellent" is yet another example of how tone deaf this company is. What a great book someone is going to write about this company someday. Too bad Dickens still isn't around to write it!
Dear 12:29, NewsGate offers a more streamlined system that is essential in a world with multiple media-platforms and devices. Content can be easily re-purposed for different output-sources/devices. I think “NG” is an example of how systems allow businesses to keep up with changes within the newspaper industry... Do to new media-technologies, consumers have many more choices. To stay competitive in the in the industry, it's necessary to adapt to the new consumer choices. Business can evolve or dissolve. And, I think the implementation of NewsGate is an example of a company making evolutionary changes, to conform to a rapidly changing news industry. I fully support the implementation of NewGate, and I believe Gannett made a good investment with the NewsGate system. 12:29, I'm curious about your background and your angst... Are you from one of the departments that is being phased out?
2:37 PM, I went through furloughs, myself. It is very difficult to accept on a long-term basis. When we had our first round of furloughs, I felt like we were all contributing to the "preservation of jobs." However, after the third round of furloughs, it was having a significant impact on me. Yes furloughs are terrible. My suggestion for everyone is to brainstorm on some possible solutions for your struggling company. Think of ways to generate revenue, contibute as much as you can, and most of all work as a collaborative team. Think in terms of "what is the best for the company." Because if you think of the best solution for the company as "a whole," then you are taking all parties in consideration. I think Gannett should develop another think tank project, similar to the "DIG" project that was widly successful.
3:12 I'm not censoring; I'm editing, and that means removing posts for a variety of reasons. They're demonstrably inaccurate; they're posted by people posing as others; or they simply repeat the substance of another recent comment.My readers tell me they don't want to wade through comments that don't advance a discussion. And that's what I aim to do.Now, 3:12, what is the commenting policy on your blog?
12/31/2011 12:28 PM - No one has slammed ES. They are the ones that said to wait for the copy of the policy before the question about long term disability could be answered.
3:27 PM, I agree with the statement:“ And, in this economy you really should count your blessings that you still have a job.” If you truly believe that the new system is that much of an issue, in “this world/economy”, may I suggest a program that employs the intellectually challanged... You should count your blessings, if you still have a job... This is a pivotal time, in history, within the precarious world economy. Work hard, stay positive, contibute your best work efforts. And, most of all, respect your co-workers and their efforts. Happy New Year to everyone. Stay positive and make an obstacle into an opportunity.
A fundamental issue at Gannett is lack of interest in the opinions of actual users unless they are part of the annointed and accepted group. Those opinions should be part and parcel of any system redesign. Consider Saxotech, which required you to cut and paste paragraph by paragraph instead of being able to copy a story intact. This is not the way Digital First should work.
Re: 3:30 I agree with almost everything you say about the need for software and a system with NewsGate's functionality. The problem is NG is not that system. It's slow, buggy and crash prone. It feels like beta software rushed into use. It needlessly complicates workflow and is responsible for pushing up deadlines at the site I work at. We should be trying to move to the latest deadlines possible. Instead, because of NG we're going to earlier deadlines. I am not in a dept being phased out btw. Although that's a specious argument argument since ultimately all Gannett newsroom will be phased out.
Retirement Plan question:I got my "2011 Personalized Pension Statement" in the mail. However, it gives my estimated lump sum benefit as of Dec. 31, 2010. Is that right? The 2011 statement has the benefit calculation as of 2010?
5:20PM: I know, from experience, that some users, in the past, had not cooperated during interviews and general process walk-thrus. There was one person who did even come into work on the days of scheduled interviews. - Talk about avoidance behavior. He also created social-strife against the interviewer... His "friends" made every (extreme) effort to make the interviewer's life miserable.... So, if the traditional "user-interviews" have been abandoned, I can completely understand.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!I am going to stay home with my sweetie, do a couple of fireworks, not drink- but we will watch Tickle and Tim on MOONSHINERS enjoy themselves some shine. Then maybe get some new year cuddling! This is what us 50 year old fart gannett couples do!HAPPY NEW YEAR AND God Bless!!!!
Received mine today as well. If the amount is correct for 17 years of service the lump sum is $2000. What a joke. My kid could make more selling lemonade.Seriously this is why I give up 4 months a year vacation (ratings). Almost every and all holidays, as they say "The news never stops"HELLO new year and HELLO to a new career!
RE: Pension benefit. Got mine in the mail today, and it DOES say December 31, 2010You KNOW the mail always runs slower during the holidays . . .
Wow, with 4:53 and 11:18 tag-teaming with the "There are no faults with the horrible system ... Be glad you have a job, peons ... Now, put a smile on your face and do not speak ill of Gannett before your colleagues" routine, it's as if CD himself is here in the room.
6:18 the calculation is one year behind because it's got to be out by January 1 by law. Since it is calculated before the end of the year they can't use 2011 data. It's a timing issue all companies face in order to be in compliance. Plus it tells you the valuation date in the letter.
Do 7:41 you mock anyone whose opinion differs from yours? Happy New Year!
The Journal News
For the record Gannett is following the specifics of US law. It is a legally mandated thing to send statements out every few years. The date to be use is correct. My company recently did the same thing. So when my wife's Gannett statement came in it was the same as mine.
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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