An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Is there a reason why the Register is retweeting Fox news vote counts rather than keeping up with them on their own?"FOX News reports current results show Santorum up by 5 votes #iacaucus"
The Des Moines Register newsroom folks are Rock Stars. What a night! You folks did a great job! You owned the Caucus!
Des Moines Register did a great job. Would love to see the website traffic.
Are you kidding me? The Register reporting was great, but the site SUCKED. The IT/web staff was clearly not ready for the immense traffic. Throughout the evening, the site was either flat-out crashing or defaulting to a non-caucus results standard front page. And what was going on with the live video that started playing when you logged on? That goes against standard nettiquette.Good reporting doesn't do any good if no one can see it. The digital infrastructure team did a piss-poor job.
The Des Moines Register folks are finally posting here!We haven't heard from anyone there for ...forever?Blow your own horn now,oh brother.During layoffs and other disasters,not a word.
So Virginia is thinking about offering companies monetary incentives for telecommuting. Maryam and Sandra won't let anyone work from home - so archaic and ironic since Maryam works in NY. Wonder if they will change the rule for money. It might be an incentive to keep employees, although I really don't think they see value in anyone who isn't from NBC or time warner or for that matter a friend of theirs.
The antipathy toward telecommuting is a CP-wide thing. It's that stodgy, 20th Century mentality that managers there cling to, i.e., 'if I can't see you, how do I know you're working?' How do you know? By making people accountable to goals instead of resorting to the out-dated 'time clock' mentality.
Gannett=DinosaurMaryam Banikarim is not an innovator. All talk.Commuting is the NOW. It's not the future. Google, facebook, linkedin, twitter, yahoo....think those companies care where their employees work?
Telecommuting is offered by many companies who want to recruit and retain talent. Gannett won't do it for that reason but might do it for the reason that it saves money.New year, same old story.
Whine/blah/whine. Go find something to be happy about.
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Here's an edited version of 11:07's comment:Sorry I am a little late to catching up from yesterday, but I am still flaggergasted that Trujillo and Faherty are leaving the Republic. Trujillo had just gotten a cushy promotion (though it is true she would be outta her element handling Business stuff), has always been a favorite of Exec Ed. Nicole Carroll [XXXXX], and did very little work for the money they paid her. Plus, her family is all in AZ.Faherty is an OK writer, but very [XXXXX].This package deal makes absolutely no sense, none, so I am guessing there is way more to this than meets the eye.Anybody still at the Republic with the true scoop?
Hey mr. 10:39 I left on my own and got a job that values me. I care about the people that are forced to drive long commutes for no other reason than to be a mean boss.
I don't get the editing of my remarks. No swear words, just accurate words. Very frustrating.
11:30 I discourage name-calling, especially when the subject is less of a public figure.
In regards to JJC of the Courier News: It appears he is done being a columnist although I do not have first hand knowledge. Through reading (for the first time I should say) his last column and the reader comment, linked below, I make that assumption. Check out this reader comment - http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20120104/NJOPINION0202/301040006/Good-writing-deserves-praise?odyssey=nav|headHe says what the rest of us have known for a long time.
10:39, Gannett does allow telecommuting. It varies among the units/departments within the company. They have to consider the types of jobs within the unit/group, before they offer telecommuting. Some positions may require an employee to be available "on location." However, if you and your department have jobs that can be conducted remotely... You may want to ask your superior(s) if "telecommuting" could be considered for a workplace incentive. Not only are transportation costs a benefit, it is also helpful when employees or their children have health issues. Also, another popular incentive is "flex" time, in which employees make their own work schedule... One type of "flex schedule" is the "4x10" (four days of 10hour shifts. In some companies, the "4X10" was implemented as a mandatory schedule, in order to shut down a facility for one-day a week. The reduced week, created a cost reduction in operation-costs that ultimately saved some jobs. Also an option to consider when surviving in this economy.
Another Gannett pro, Philip Brasher, escapes. Good for him: http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowldc/cq-roll-call-makes-a-brash-hire_b60767#more-60767
When I worked for Gannett, non-management in my division were not allowed to work from home unless they had favored status. Management could work from home whenever they wanted. The reason we were given was that customer service reps needed to be in the office to answer phones and it wasn't fair to them to have other people work from home. Never mind the fact that not everyone in the office had to answer phones as part of their job description.We were even forced to take vacation time when we needed to leave the office early due to inclement weather, even though we continued to work once we made it home.I've never worked for a company that treated their adult employees more like children than Gannett.
11:58 - maybe you should talk to marketing. That policy doesn't hold for anyone in that group. The option was eliminated a few months ago even for people who don't go regularly to meetings.
Re: "flex" time. At my site, the flex time was arbitrarily assigned by the manager, not in one single instance (that at least I know of) chosen by the employee.For example, in my case, I would have loved to have worked four 10's, and I didn't even get the chance to request it. Granted, any schedule should be appropriate to a given workflow, but I didn't even get the opportunity to ask.Instead they put me on one 8, one 4, two 9's and one 10... all so they wouldn't have to pay overtime. (In my state, overtime only is paid after 40 hours, not after 8 in one day.)Ironically, I've always been very flexible, often coming in extremely early or on weekends with the only notice given at the end of Friday's shift. This, of course, was when the place ran at full staff every day.So, imagining myself some "team player," I accepted the odd shifts even though the schedule had less than honorable motivation (in fact, that four-hour shift created a hardship on my coworkers, walking, on orders, out the door at noon). And you know what?It still didn't matter. Laid off.
I don't care how productive you are, no one should be paid if they are home in their pajamas!
Local customers HATE Gannett. It's getting increasingly more difficult to keep them happy when the GPC does crap work and they doing get adequate time for corrections. Not to mention the collection specialists at CCC pounces at 31 days and upsets clients .
The state of Virginia is offering monetary comp for telecommuting because, like all cities, they are trying to clean up the bad air from all the commuting by cars. Of course, Gannett could care less. In today's technological world, nobody should spend two hours commuting,polluting the air, eight hours sitting in a soul-sucking cubicle, for 40+ years. I hope the next generation gets it right. Work hard (doesn't matter if you are home), raise your kids, stop with all the greed, do work you are proud of...not just showing up to "impress" some boss. Rediculous. Gannet is about as old school as they come. Wake up people. It's 2012. We have technology that is changing how we work.
2:12 I don't care if you are in your pajamas, if you are productive you should be paid well!
If gannett wants to be profitable they need to realize it's not 1970 anymore. It's one of the first questions new employees get at other companies "do you plan to telecommute?" if you want to retain good people you allow flexibility in the workplace but gannett is not interested in that - just a quick buck to get them out of this slump until the next one hits.
2:19You nailed it.This sentiment is countrywide and especially in the smaller, local community markets.Businesses no longer support their so called local newspaper and shopper outlets and will actively support any alternative shopper.They know full well that these are no longer the family owned and locally supportive publishers of the old days.The days when the advertisers actually knew the owner/publisher are long gone and taken over by cold hearted corporate ways of Gannett.
9:17AM, State of Virginia is offering incentives to companies for telecommuting. ...Virginia has a serious problem with traffic congestion. It's honestly the worst place I have ever lived, in terms of traffic and the resulting quality of life. It will take 1 hour (each way) to travel 11 miles to work.
If you have good employees who make/exceed production/quality standards and represent the company well, you should not care less if they wear PJs, sweats or Kangaroo underwear while working from home. Yet, this kind of mindset seems lost on stodgy GCI managers who don't get it and, as a result, will continue to lose talent as a result.Telecommuting not only saves employees on time/commuting costs and local communities in pollution/traffic reduction. It saves companies money in operating costs/office costs, etc. So it's ironic that the company that seeks to eliminate costs at all costs turns a deaf ear to telecommuting.
Yes 3:02 but Maryam doesn't get it because she telecommutes from NY and she took it away. It's a control thing. It will be interesting to see who is still standing at the end of 2012. Maryam and a bunch of people from NBC universal - look how successful they have been or she'll be out and a new regime in place hopefully with some progressive ideas.
Jim,You do a very good job with your blog, but it's very disheartening to see you post an anonymous (and cowardly) comment about John Faherty and Laura Trujillo, who are leaving The Republic to go to Cincinatti. They are two of the finest journalists and people you will ever meet. While I never have worked for Laura, she is well liked and respected throughout the paper. John also is an outstanding writer who has won numerous awards, and he's a loyal friend and colleague. They will be truly missed here. Cincy's gain is our loss.-Craig Harris
3:06 suppose you have a number of people who do a mediocre job and stay at home two to three days a week, have no accountability, and never meet with their client groups? Maybe there is another side of your one sided portrayal.
Let's see USAT was strugglingly nightly and the only thing the marketing folks were passionate about was working from home and then complaining when they were told to cone to work and actually meet with people. How inconsiderate of the managers
3:06That sounds like most of the advertising reps who have just given up and are waiting for the layoffs to happen.
Regarding "telecommuting", if you treat employees like children, they will act like children. My husband has been employed as a "work from home" sales exec for the past 12 years, and for 2 different companies (one was sold). His headquarters are on the east coast, so there's no way he could "be there". He is responsible for managing his time and his territory, and I'm the first to admit he has it made! Yes, some weeks he may only work 20 hours, but other weeks/months he may work 7 days straight for 2-3 consecutive weeks. Sales is all about deadlines (yes, he's also in the print industry, but not newspapers), and I say if you hire people properly to begin with, you won't have a problem. When I was employed, and yes, I was a manager, I sometimes worked 2-3 days a month from home, especially if I was working on "sensitive" material. And yes, on those days, I stayed in my jammies, but they were "work" days, not field days.I'm not sure Gannett will ever grow up, nor do they really seem to care about their employees. I now work from home EVERY day, and i LOVE it. The quality of life is amazing when getting rid of a very long commute.
3:31 PM: Then those employees should not be allowed to telecommute, and actually should be placed on probation and then fired if they don't bring up performance. You're speaking to a problem with employees that has nothing to do with where they physically are when on the job. In other words, do not assume that I'm saying all telecommuting employees are the gold standard. But a smart company will use telecommuting (full or part-time) as an incentive for proven performers. Why? Because it costs the company nothing (actually saves the company money) and does wonders to motivate the workforce to gain this kind of privilege/trust. Not only that, but the entrusted employee is far, far more likely to remain motivated to keep performance levels high, least the trust be taken away. This is basic Psychology of Management 101 stuff here folks. (The kind of stuff that flies over the heads of most managers at Gannett and, unfortunately, certain readers of this blog apparently.)
2:19, I have personally experienced locals' hatred for GPC, even confronted by the owner at some businesses I patronized personally where they knew I always handled their account; rather than assuming that my skills nor I were no longer employed, I was uncharacteristically sloughing off. "What the hell happened" was (and still is!) the most common, angry phrase. "My ad ran wrong!"Then I educate 'em.
Face it folks, the 1980s-style manager that populate Gannett will never understand telecommuting. Why do you think there's glass on the office doors? To keep an eye on the kiddies.
I'm confused. Who can't telecommute? At my site people are allowed to whenever it makes sense.
Having been a telecommuter in the past, and knowing many who telecommute now, I don't know how you can say the company doesn't allow. I mean, it is common place.
I telecommute, but not with corporate permission. I have a life-size inflated version of myself sitting at my desk riveted to the computer screen with a hand on the mouse. I programmed the computer to automatically flip among five different websites. And in case anyone thinks I look too lifeless, my replica lets out a little air two or three times a day just below the seatback. That keeps the skeptics moving on.
Back to the Trujillo story ... This is definitely an unusual turn of events in the game of musical chairs played by Gannett management. Let's parse it out:- Trujillo is an important part of Randy Lovely's Dec. 13 revamping of the Az. Republic's newsroom, and would report directly to the VP News/Exec. Editor. She would be a director and head the Business and Living depts.- Three weeks later, she is heading off to Cincinnati as the new Managing Editor of Digital for the Enquirer. - The ME/digital position was first posted months ago. One would think that if Cincinnati were interested in Trujillo (or she expressed interested in the job) something would have been worked out before the Republic's organization. Could Trujillo have been unhappy with her new spot in the Republic's newsoom and decided to jump ship?- According to the original posting of the job, "The position reports to the Director of Digital Content and Development. Responsibilities: Works with the Editor/VP of Content to set digital goals for content editors/key partners. Trains, coaches and manages the Enquirer Media content staff to achieve audience goals utilizing best practices." Reporting to the Digital Director (Brian Butts)? (This may have changed.) It doesn't make sense that Trujillo would take a step down the ladder to move to a smaller paper. - Then there's the money issue. The cost of living in Arizona is higher than Cincinnati, so one can assume that Trujillo was well paid prior to the move. Cincinnati very likely is absorbing two inflated salaries in this move (at least compared to the increasingly paltry Cincinnati lay scales), plus all those pesky relocation costs. (Now the Cincinnati workers know where the first quarter furlough savings will be going.) - The only reason for a major move like this would be a clear promotion path in Cincinnati (perhaps that was lacking in Az.). If this is the opportunity for Trujillo to make her bones in the digital news arena and move up the ladder to Editor at another Gannett paper, then she will soon be Washburn's right hand (wo)man. Where will that leave News Director Julie Engebrecht and Butts? Is Washburn setting up a major newsroom reorganization? That would be my bet. The next bet would be when the purges will come ... late spring or summer?
Well if you work for Maryam on the Gannett or USA TODAY side you can't work from home. It's not a company policy it's a Maryam policy. As for productivity - you can tell who's working and who isn't whether they are in the office or working from home. In fact on the days I worked at home I worked a lot harder and longer because I didn't have interruptions or a commute.
Thanks for the helpful insight, 7:44.
The cost of living in Arizona is higher than Cincinnati? Really?
Poor baby, 3:02. Despite the construction and traffic, am sick and tired of Crystal Palace worker bees living 5-10 miles away complain about their "commutes." You don't have a clue what the DC, MD, and long-distance VA people endure in getting to/from that hellhole.
Yes, I agree that it makes sense Trujillo must be on an editor or publisher path. Otherwise it makes no sense to listem to Jim's lunatic fringes for her to leave Arizona. The upper mucks think well of her at the Republic, so it would seem if she wanted a promotion in AZ, she would get one. And actually, with the reorg, it seems she did get a promotion, or at least more responsibility.Does she know anything about digital?As for the comments from Craig Harris earlier, well, this blog would have very few posters if they could not be anonymous pussies, for fear of their jobs or having to be right about things.Craig is a terrific reporter and does first-rate work. But notice how he says he never has worked for Trujillo...That is telling. No one who works for her rose to her defense. I could say more, but fear I will sound like the stupid person I am be edited, even though it would be the truth.Just sayin'...
@9:50: Your pathetic attempt at humor, if it could even be called that, merely reinforces that what I said is correct.
According to BankRate.com's relocation calculator, Cincinnati is 7% cheaper than Phoenix. (http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx)Housing in Cincinnati is a bargain.
Maryam Banikarim sounds like a nightmare. No wonder so many marketing people in Mclean have left in the past 6 months.
Interesting post by Mark Potts with links to blog posts by John Robinson and Clay Shirky...offering suggestions for what newspapers OUGHT TO BE doing in the communities they serve.http://recoveringjournalist.typepad.com/recovering_journalist/2012/01/must-reads.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Ffpbf+%28Recovering+Journalist%29
Why drive to Crystal City when you have one of the best subway systems in the country? Just askin'.
Cincinnati housing may be a bargain 7:44 but working for a paper run by Buchanan is anything but.
Anonymous said...I don't care how productive you are, no one should be paid if they are home in their pajamas!1/04/2012 2:12 PMTry telling that to Hugh Hefner!
What could be worse than working for Buchanan? Oh yeah. Working for Washburn. What a nightmare; what has this woman been promised??
Why drive to Crystal City when you have one of the best subway systems in the country? Just askin'.1/04/2012 10:54 PMIf HQ was in Crystal City, Metro would be a good answer. And when we were in Arlington, many utilized Metro. Since the move to the building in McLean there are still some who use Metro but not as many. There is a Metro line under construction but completion is still a few years off yet.
I have to reiterate Craig Harris' comments from earlier. I have worked closely with both John Faherty and Laura Trujillo Faherty and have met few journalists who love newspapers as dearly as these two. They are both loyal, talented and dedicated professionals — any newsroom is lucky to have both, or either, of them.Jen Cieslak
1/04/2012 9:50 PM asked: Does she know anything about digital?NO! Not a thing. This makes sense only in a Gannett World.
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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