An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
News of a USA Today staff meeting in two weeks spurred yet more speculation about Publisher Dave Hunke's future at the paper. This may well be nothing more than one of those regularly scheduled publisher's updates. Or not.Here's the note that went to staff:Please join Dave Hunke and Susie Ellwood for a USA TODAY company update on Monday, December 12th at 2:00 p.m. ET in the Tysons auditorium. Q&A with staff will follow the presentation. For those outside Tysons, webcast and call-in details will be posted on the USA TODAY intranet homepage shortly.
Great job of reporting there, Jim. So something might happen. Or it might not.You really earned your donations with that one.
3:23 -- You sure earned your fee with that zinger. Nobody requires you to come here. Or maybe somebody does.
What kind of package (if any) does Hunke walk away with if/when he leaves Gannett under his own accord?
6:16 AM--A nice one!
Does anyone know if USA Today still has any Circulation Directors overseeing Circulation Managers. All the "regular" Gannett papers removed their CD's and I'm just wondering if anyone else knows what USA Today is planning to do with their CD positions? They could start cutting more top positions.
There will be layoffs. A few in December, but most in January. They'll be of a more discrimatory nature than we've seen in the past. The entire USCP is going through a reorg. The jobs lost will be due the redundant positions created through consolidations of pressrooms/administrative functions.
Oh oh. It's Saturday. Can you smell it in the air? ::sniff sniff:: Mayhem Day.
It makes me sick when I think about the vast amount of talent that has been escorted out the door at my local daily. Despite what those morons in Virginia think, people still want newspapers, but they certainly aren't giving readers reason to stay by raping and pillaging the local properties. But hey, maybe that's what they want, a weaker third estate that will not hold the corporate-owned government accountable.
To 7:54 yes there are still USA cd's
Does anyone know anything about the reorganization that will take place soon? Which positions will stay? Which will go and what the new positions will be?
I'm interested in hearing about any fallout after workers protested at the Indy Star. Any Indy folks out there? Have to say I admire their courage to speak out. As much as I've dreamed of doing the same, I'm afraid of the man and losing my job (before I successfully find a new one, which I am actively searching for).
Hey 8:06, re: Layoffs?Will photo staffs get hit now that US Presswire is functioning as a de facto addition in many of the markets?
8:58am – How true!College kids making slightly more than the minimum wage, with no benefits of course, are being hired piecemeal to do my former job. The have little more than the basic skills or training for the task, and zero knowledge of the local community. And I have to listen to it every time someone asks me what's happened to make the paper so thin.If a few short years, Gannett has destroyed the value of its properties, created a great deal of ill will amongst the current and potential customers in its markets, and led the downfall of the journalism profession.
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8:03 am - Circulation Director overseeing a Circulation Manager???? Dang! Where do YOU work??Where I am we feel darn lucky if we have a Circulation manager at all! Let another ANOTHER person above him or her!
Wanted to follow on the vision thing. there isnt any at usa today. just sprinkles of fairy dust bringing false hope and bravura. and magical vive presidents dancing around the gannett money tree.
In yet another example of a corporation hiring an investment banker to advise it in the divestiture of a struggling business unit, Charming Shoppes has retained Barclays Capital to drum up potential buyers of its Fashion Bug subsidiary. If Martore has any sense of fiduciary duty to her shareholders, she will do the same for Gannett newspapers. Gannett certainly isn't interested in bolstering the news content of its newspapers/local web sites, but other, deep-pocketed buyers would be. Just float one or two on the market, and see what kind of offers come in. No obligation to sell. Just testing the waters. In the name of f-i-d-u-c-i-a-r-y d-u-t-y.
I think USAT hasn't announced furloughs because we have goals to reach for Q4 and they don't want the bad news to derail that push. Once that's settled, i believe furloughs for Q1 will then be announced. Who knows, maybe as early as the Hunke meeting. He's usually good for a couple of bombs at these meetings when he's not busy taking credit for other people's work.
Susie Ellwood already told the USAT staff that no furloughs are planned for 1Q 2012, although they were discussed and are always going to be an option.
11:14,"always going to be an option"Exactly.
Guess which paywall-friendly site I've heard had a 9% drop in viewers last month over the previous month, and a 12+% drop in viewers when compared to the Nov. 2010 numbers?
11:32: I don't know, but if 2010 inventory sell-throughs were at typical Gannett levels, if they increased their average CPM for providing more qualified leads and if they've gained a paid online base, with only a 10 percent fallout, that's a huge win. Where is this place? Nice job.
After cutting too much and going too far in running off people with some vision and skills, they will have to turn the corner on investing in their properties again or face a free fall. They will collect revenue against severe expense cuts in 2012, but it'll be much softer than it could be. The tires are not spinning in a forward direction to take advantage of any economic/election boost. get on with the press consolidations, but spend some money on tools, people and content. Watch digital and print get back on track.
As previous posters noted yesterday, usatoday has lost many people the past year. So layoffs aren't as much in the cards as reassigning people to perceived needs (digital) and persuading reporters to produce faster and more often fo on line content, a story every couple of weeks or will no longer cut it. Fiefdoms and beats will no longer be protected. Even editors will be encouraged to write content. (smone likes like Fred Meier already do). As far as the verticals, look for some big structural changes. The current crew is way out of it's league.Hunke? Wether he leaves next week or next year, his days are numbered. He handled this Hillkirk demotion very poorly, along with every staff meeting and promotion he has made recently. He is not trusted, respected or liked. Whatever effort he is doing to reach out to demoralized staffers is too little and way too late.
Hunke not trusted, respected or liked?What Gannett exec/manager is?
I am a USAT/GPS employee and was notified by the new management team of a furlough in Q1. I never received an email from corporate. Honestly, nobody has a clue what is going on with the GPS/USAT merger. It seems like they are throwing crap on the wall and hoping some sticks.
@8:58 said: "But hey, maybe that's what they want, a weaker third estate that will not hold the corporate-owned government accountable."That is the same conclusion I reached when I tried to figure out why the Board kept rewarding CD every time he laid off people and every time the stock price declined.
9:24 "protest?" it was a bunch of retIrees hanging out with old friends. Current brave union employees??? Still waiting for them to show up
2:01 so every manager in Gannett can't be trusted? Is that what you just said?
3:58:I'd sooner trust Benedict Arnold.
I don't trust the employees. We're even.
2;01's comment is just ignorant. You can't disparage an entire group like that. Is this where the blog is now? Shame on you.
Benedict was misunderstood...
There are managers that I respect personally, but not professionally. If they don't have the courage to disagree with corporate dictates, they shouldn't have become managers in the first place.
And yet you post anonymously here, 4:46. Where's your courage?
11:00 AM, re: floating the sale of a few Gannett papers.As Jim and commenters in other threads have noted, Gannett may have maneuvered itself into a position where it would be difficult if not impossible to sell many of its papers.The reason: they've centralized so many functions that many of the papers can no longer operate independently. They rely on centralized design, production, circulation, printing, ad services -- I'm probably leaving some things out. All of those shifts have been documented here over the last 3-4 years.I don't know how many papers would be unable to function independently, but I bet by now it's easily a majority of Gannett's titles.
I love the deals from funky chicken but send me ads I want, such as where is the cheapest place to buy milk or pop or bread. Let me pick the ads that are sent to me. Better yet someone get that chicken to start gas station wars to offer low gas prices with a free paper for an hour. Why can't the chicken lay eggs all over town with gift cards inside and send out a daily hint to find them? The map of the eggs get published in the paper.
This year all the top digital sales people left USAT. If Lee Jones thinks print sales people can fill those shoes he's nuts. We need to bring Neil Ford back and show these guys what it takes to be a leader.
Who is John Reinan and what makes him some sort of media expert?
4:46 you should hear what your managers think of you! Hysterical!!!!!
11:32 Reinan's point is correct: Gannett has, indeed, strip mined its community papers to a level where they would be impossible to sell as standalone operations.
Perhaps they figure they can sell the newspapers and provide -- for a handsome fee -- the services the standalone newspapers no longer have.
We were notified this week that USAt will be taking a first quarter furlough in 2012 .Had to give our CM the week we will be off Friday.
12:19 is lying. There are NO first quarter USAT furloughs
There are no First Quarter editorial or advertising furloughs at USA Today; whether there will be First Quarter circulation or production furloughs at USA Today (which are now technically part of USCP), is another question.
3:42 Aren't those USAT circulation and production employees actually now part of the new Gannett Publishing Services, which is separate from the USCP?Both GPS and USCP are slated for Q1 furloughs for most workers.
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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