Friday, December 16, 2011

Mail | My boss was 'some officious bureaucrat type who never even bothered to read the reviews of his new minions, let alone get their names right'

In a comment, Anonymous@5:25 says changes in the company's direction are "more evident to those with a long history of service -- eyewitnesses to the deterioration." Here's the rest of their comment:

Gannett was once an umbrella organization extending relatively free reign to its local properties, rightly appreciating that each knew organically their respective community's needs.

Then this crew came in. It was getting bad, but it really got bad with the arrival of Craig Dubow, et. al. As in unbelievably.

There was a palpable change in content, and in the character (to say nothing of the background) of its on-site executives at least at my plant -- and likely many more.

We still lucked out with a few good execs, but not for long. Soon, I was not answering to people who knew my name and my job and my work ethic, but to some officious bureaucrat type who never even bothered to read the reviews of his new minions, let alone get their names right.

To not all but to too many, their staff, rather than an award-winning asset was suddenly the "unwashed." One new Gannett-approved director, completely foreign to the area, didn't even bother to familiarize himself with the in-house dynamics of the workflow.

To him, it was all magic, and anything he asked could be done in a split-second. And if it wasn't, owing to some dose of basic reality, it was considered the height of incompetence from very competent and cohesive staff.

His was a, "Do you know who I am?" kind of personal affront. In my case, I was always tempted to answer, "Sure, I know who you are. Do you know who I am? No peeking at my nameplate."

But I wanted to keep my job. I still loved my job, it's what I do. (Or now, did.) I saw those types as fools, an extraneous pest, and my work entirely separate from their meddling. And it was meddling indeed, not some informed oversight of a leader.

But eventually the equally uninformed corporate culture finally emasculated everyone, including directors and, yes, publishers.

Even these puffed-up folks, these ghosts to the profession, had to endure the embarrassment of finally confessing to us that they frankly no longer had any idea what would happen next, nor when, or even if they would have their own "jobs" in a year.

I had a pang of sympathy. But it lasted only about one second.

As always, other views are welcome. Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. @8:39, I could probably go there too, depending on your definition of 'awonsome'. Don't get me started on 'wholesale electronics' -- arrgghh, palpitations!!

  2. Mirrors exactly what is now happening at Usa Today, where the top down b.s. is thick enough to stand on. The worst is still to come as the "experts" gear up to save things.

  3. I will say that I have spent 20 years at Gannett across many different divisions and have had dozens of bosses that were usually one or two levels below the GMC level and I have only met one senior executive who knew who I was and the work I did. He even thanked me for my hard work. That executive was Chris Saridakis the former CDO.

    The rest of the past and present GMC members and their direct reports are worthless. It is no wonder why Saridakis was smart enough to leave this place in such a short period of time.

  4. 8:16 in the short tine since his departure it has become clear that CS was nothing more than a superior investor. He made a lot of money investing his money in technology but he was an extremely poor project manager. He couldn't and didn't ever think up , create and produce a final product. He knew your name, great. Trust me my friend Al Neuharth never knew your name and he created USAT.

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

  6. Saridakis rocks! Without him Pointroll is FAILING miserably!


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