An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
USAT employees were treated today to a two-hour presentation by marketing that revealed one thing: The newly hired marketing execs had never read USAT before, and spent months and millions poring over data to come to the same conclusions that every other marketing study of USAT has come to. Sandra and Mariyam wasted our time and the company's money. And pretty much admitted it during the snoozefest. Their salaries represent much of the money that USAT has saved by decimating the newsroom. Seriously: This is what Maryam and Sandra have achieved in the past nine months? A destruction of a fine newsroom for a marketing study that says, basically, all the other marketing studies were on target?Thanks, Hunke.
Wow I couldn't disagree more. I thought it was a fantastic presentation. I guess there is no pleasing some folks.
Regarding a previous comment about "put up a paywall and sue the aggregators" - How much of your Gannett newspaper is filled with rewritten press releases? The Kentucky edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer Monday had a front page story feature (which took up about a third of the front page) which was just a rewrite of a press release about an upcoming alligator exhibit at the local aquarium. So they should sue anyone who rewrites their rewrite of the press release?
Maryam's compensation will continue to take bites out of local newsrooms.Why?Because "IT'S ALL WITHIN REACH."
Remember:A's hire A's.B's hire C's.And C's hire Gannett managers.
@6:14 Can you elaborate for those of us who weren't able to attend the presentation? What new insights did their research give us? Is there a new marketing strategy based on these insights? Thanks so much.
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Anonymous said...Just shy of the buyout, but I will take a layoff. Get a part time gig and be happy again, going to work sucks so bad, and it used to be a good feeling to go in and put out a great paper. I have over a million at my disposal, so I will milk this job until they have to pay me unemployment, and tell my boss and his boss what total yes men they are and have no balls to stand up for what is right. They just flat out lie to your face and it is so obvious I JUST CAN'T WAIT TO CALL THEM OUT ON IT, POOR BASTARDS, hanging on for dear life, no dignity anymore, what is this biz coming too?The happy pressman1/23/2012 10:24 PM
Jim Hopkins said...To the "Happy Pressman" at 10:11: No, I did not receive your e-mail.Jim I will resend them, They are a bunch of Community papers that are doing quite well, more in the emailThe Happy pressman
Tha ax to fall again at Florida Today and very soon. Expect another staff reduction in the neighborhood of 10 to 15 percent. And those going this time will include supervisors and some real suprises.
Agree 100% with 11:54. The presentation was a complete waste of time, but not nearly as much wasted time and money as whatever research these clowns dug-up to tell us all what we've known for years and years. It's only new to them! What's so galling is they stand there and pretend it's new information. It proves once again they have NO CLUE and are just biding time for the next TV gig to come along. Sad.
8:31, there will be no layoffs at Florida Today. And a reduction of 10 to 15 percent would gut the content generation center/information center to about 40 staffers and that would affect every aspect of what we do. This couldn't be possible and will not happen period. Who told you this? They are wrong, for sure.
6:14 thanks for dropping by Maryam.
Have to agree with prior posters on the stupidity revealed at Monday's staff meeting. Showman Hunke had even less to sell than his usual hollow crap. I don't know what MB paid for these consultants, but anything over a lunch was a waste.Glad to see they are finally up to speed after 9 months, telling us about the audience we already target.Why no reveal of marketing plans? We were told weeks ago at an earlier meeting that 30th anniversary efforts were going to be a sustained effort. When? And with tore input from existing burned out staffers from editorial?Why were no questions taken yesterday? Why was there no more substance provided? Enough hollow cheerleading and seldf congratulating. Enough vice presidents. Get it together, management team!
I may be completely jaded at the shenanigans of this crew by now. But I was really hoping for something substantive. Except for the free food, I left feeling annoyed and ripped off by these clowns. Most journalists hearing this presentation would have come away with nothing new to write about.Shameful. Utterly shameful
Much snickering after Hunke told everyone what an exciting ride we are all in for. if you like Edsals, this is the guy for you.i
10:52 I actually have almost 3 million, so I can take a layoff, it wont hurt, I wish more were in my shoe's, I am sorry you don't have the cash to get out., if its not to late invest all you can in safe bonds, have not lost a penny of it in 3 yearsPressmen with no worries=Happy Pressmamside note while i'm here, when I go to work I do the least amount of work I can do to get the job done, ut us, so I'm not killing myself on a daily basis. I would do this even if I didn't have the loot, cus GPS sucks big time
Heather's name still in USA TODAY. Lets's see if they can get the masthead right.
Free food? FREE FOOD??
I think they planned on revealing much more on the marketing plan, including the new tagline, but pulled back after the Facebook embarassment.Wasn't it Maryam herself who told we'd see the new marketing campaign and 30 year plans in her original e-mail announcing the free food dog and pony show?And Hunke's "wild ride?" Hope he means his retirement.
This headline appeared among the stories listed under the "Crime" heading on the Indianapolis Star website:Republicans make fresh effort to 'draft' Daniels into presidency
USA Today has become a sea of incompetency, from top to bottom, with only a few bright spots barely holding up the flagship. USAT products reflect the destruction of the newsroom and the ill-will of a staff that lost dedicated, hard-working colleagues in such an unfair manner that the brand may never recover. There is no magic wand that can be waved at this point. No hire, no new initiative that's going to undo the damage. If USAT heads ever fessed up to their mistakes (really, morale crimes against some pretty damn good people), maybe that would be a start to making some modest improvements, but that sort of honesty from the top has never been USAT's strength. Therefore, USAT will continue to fall.
Jim- Is "sheep" a bad word?
"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go."Please bring on those buyouts ASAP.
Is Gannett , particularly Indianapolis, rebuilding the local Marketing departments? CareerBuilder has the following Gannett newspaper job openings. Indianapolis: Chief Marketing Officer reporting directly to Crotchfelt. Also Indianapolis: Marketing Manager, Digital Marketing Specialist, Marketing Copywriter. Hmm… Must be time to rebuild after successfully dumping so many years of service. Other sites--Tallahassee: Sales and Marketing Director reporting directly to the Publisher. Louisville: Marketing Director. Detroit: Consumer Marketing Director.
Maryam is spending money USAT does not have to tell us stuff everyone already knows. Wake up Gracia. This woman has not a clue and therefore spends millions asking consultants tell her how to do her job.What a joke. Did we really need to spend all this research money (and fire people to afford it) to provide zero new information?Maryam, where is the marketing plan that will drive revenue?
Marketing plan to drive revenue? Is that what you folks want? It took 9 months to get research to tell us what we already know.I'm guessing another 12-15 months to actually show us a marketing plan.That should be enough time for these do-nothing marketing people to find new jobs.
Trying to interpret what it might mean when the 3 top editors at Florida Today are huddled away in a closed door meeting for hours?
They need a fourth for bridge.
9:24Yes,you are safe,just like all the others before you that have been layed off.There can be no more cuts we are to the bone already.Keep believing that,as you are shown the way outthe door.
2:40, I don't believe Martore cares what Banikarim is doing; she's given her plenty of control.
As long as the morons who run this company are forced out or fired, it will be like the Titanic, Something has to give, what that is I ma not sure off, were putting out a product with some news, just short 2 paragraph stories, Im sick of seeing this crap, Hell it can take me 15 minutes to read our 44 page paper, because their isnst crap to rad in it, The sports section is by far and away the biggest joke, The local news is like 2 pages and the rest are adds or fillers. Who the hell are making these damn decisions. The paper is going down the drain very quickly ans i sure is hell would not buy it if I did not print it. Example of a fine newspaper, when I was recently down in Florida, The Orlando paper for a Monday edition had I think 64 pages, and it had full stories not teasers, hell they even had jump pages to get to the rest of the article, when the last time you have seen that in a GCI paer. The Head morons need to take a look around and see what they are competing against, or it curtains for GCI, who knows that's probably what they want..screwed up way to run a company into the ground. Enough, I could go on but I am sure your tired of my rantThe Happy pressman speaks againHey Jim, did you get the email et yrtz/
6:07 I remove comments employing language largely designed to insult another reader.
4:44 -- get some new material.5:07 -- I tried asking you a question, but Jim deleted it. The general point was you like jumps. But many people think those are bad. I was wondering if you could explain that difference.Again, I am not interested in trying to piece together unrelated phrases, so if you could explain without lapsing into those, it would be appreciated.
Calling someone a sheep is insulting to whom? Another sheep?
@8:31 a.m.: Stop the BS posts about Florida Today. There are no staff reductions in the pipeline. You must be a former employee who was let go.
Astounding that this is the best Maryam and Micek could come up with. Fluff at best and just more rehash from what we already knew. Hunke, seriously, please enough with the ass-kissing of these two. The only "wild ride" any of us can hope for is when more of us are escorted out of here as USAT evaporates under your "leadership."
What were those USA Today party-boys doing all week out in L.A. at the American hotel conference? Can anyone justify this, Rudd Davis? Jill Heymer? Lee Jones? Maybe "event director" Jaret Christiansen can show us all the party invites (and receipts). More money wasted.
The no-jump policy was embraced by people who thought it would make their jobs easier. Didn't matter if it made sense. Didn't matter if readers liked or disliked it.Many of the things blamed on corporate were embraced by workers -- until those plans failed. Now the people here try to pretend they didn't support the awful ideas. But they did.
There are some really bizarre postings today... Especially 10:24! "Pressman" with with millions at their disposal??? If you are a "pressman" with millions at your disposal, do us all a favor and resign. And, if you have acquired these millions during your employment at Gannett, you should thank your lucky stars that you have been so fortunate in life... And, thankful that Gannett had offered you opportunities for advancement in life. Believe me, there are people that have accomplished far more in life and have earned far less. Many people are scraping by week to week and have school loans to pay off because they chose to educate themselves instead of running a press. I hope for everyone's sake, that you live up to your promise of living on your million(s)... If you have a shred of dignity, you will do the noble thing and resign, immediately, to save the jobs of others. ... Have fun with your million(s).
Well as a pressman's wife I do take a little offense at the comment of "taking the time to educate themselves"...My husband has a degree, but circumstances led him to the pressroom...It's honest work.That said, I too find it a bit of a stretch to imagine how a pressman, even without a family, would manage to amass that kind of cash solely from his pressman's salary.If we had anything close to that amount put away I believe my husband would leave in a heartbeat...It's honest work, but it's sh*t work too...So why anyone would stay if they didn't have to I don't have a clue.
Pressmen are the Visigoths of any newspaper operation. If someone has a degree and ended up as a pressman, then that person f-ed up in life.
9:25 It was a company-wide policy that newspapers should limit jumps. Individual newspapers don't set company-wide policies, however. Those come from Corporate.No doubt, some people supported the policy because they thought it might make their jobs easier.But for many others, "embracing" was the only alternative to getting fired if they didn't do what Corporate demanded.
@ 1:25 am - wow! Your comment shows how little you know. Press releases are sent to newspapers and media outlets because the person generating WANTS publicity. So your comparison to an aggregator who reprints news content without permission or compensation is way off base. The job of the PR person is to get press. The job of the newspaper person is to rewrite the release into English so the readers don't have to wade through five graphs of fluff to get to the information.
Jim, thanks for clarifying the obvious when you say that "Corporate makes company-wide policies."However, there was nothing in the original post that required that clarification. Whether it was a corporate policy or not, the point is that the workers mostly embraced it -- and many other changes -- because they thought their jobs would be easier. You could find countless testimonies from the workers about how readers don't go to jumps, etc. That's why it's entertaining to see someone praising another paper -- and not a very good one -- for having jumps.Now those plans have failed, so people here are trying to claim they were against those policies all along. They weren't.I'm really not sure what you are trying to accomplish with that response, other than to set the same tone of allowing people to misread things and then create responses that have little to do with the original post.
8:13 pm Nope, wrong. Still here and yes, there will be cuts, just open your eyes. Really hope you're on the list too.
College degrees don't mean shit. They don't get you better jobs, more money or happiness. You have to earn that by yourself, not because you spent four years at a university. And yes, I have a college degree. Two, actually.
like I said i have a love-hate job working in the pressroom, but with a couple million on hand, it gives me the freedom to hang on to some thing I love to do. If I get laid off, so be it, then it party time. Bill Gates still works and he makes more than I do, so why should I give up my job. By the way it's called investing very smartly
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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