An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
What's the story about USAT's Rudd Davis?
Noted here for the record: Rudd Davis was named president of USAT's newly launched Travel Media Group barely two months ago. That followed his elevation to vice president of business development, a controversial new position, in September 2010.Prior to that, he had been the chief of BNQT, the action sports site that USAT bought in January 2008.
Party on bro! Kickin it West Coast style. The weekend started a lot earlier than usual Gone from Gannett.The Ruddster.
Another one of Hunke's brilliant senior managers bites the dust. Keep showing them the door. Another 1%center's salary out the door.
Jim: was the buyout stuff just BS or maybe some corporate a-hole using you to jerk our chains.
Can't wait until Tophat Hunke is sacked.
So the buyouts aren't happening? Hard to believe Jim would be wrong on one of his "scoops." Of course, he probably never cited a source, so he can pretend the alleged source wronged him and get away with it.
The people who criticize Jim on here need to quit reading the blog or start their own.
Entertainment reporter given new beat as event planner for civic engagement. http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=T0ImTgaOwOgGannet will launch and market new site welovesalem.com to target < 40 demo with social media. New direction? Any other markets targeted?
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When the buyouts get announced, who will return and say, "Gee, sorry, you were right?"
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2012/jan/18/straight-hip-boss-psycho/Above article could apply to any number of bosses at USAT in the last 10 years. More than the recession, it's why USAT is in such decline.
Can't wait until Don Lemire is sacked.
What's with the love affair between the Arizona Republic and Gov. Jan Brewer. When Brewer confronts the president and wags her finger at him, it's a hot story on the website and comments run strongly against her. But the next day's story buries the confrontation in the last two paragraphs. Similarly, the Republic buried a reference to Brewer freezing for 14 seconds while giving her opening statement in a debate two years ago. Here are the latest stories:http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/2012/01/25/20120125brewer-obama-exchange-tense-words-immigration.htmlhttp://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/2012/01/25/20120125obama-manufacturing-key-part-economic-plan.html
Buy outs hell.That would the humane and caring way to let people get out.That is NOT the Gannett way.Those layoff lists are being compliled and fine tuned everydaynow that the 2011 financial reports are close to being released.
Hunke needs to go. He his reorg, promotions and inability to sell ads make jis completely expendable with Ellwood here.
Talk about a short presidency. Rudd, we hardly knew you.
How are those iphones, everyone?
9:51 - I was thinking the same thing. For people, the majority here, that are supposed to be wordsmiths there sure are a lot of typos.
@10:13 - it's called "new wave" journalism!! It's one of my biggest pet peeves, because there are this many "typos" in the paper daily, too!! But, I also understand the "why", so learned to accept it years ago, even if it still grates!
11:38 Here's what I've said before, and I believe it remains true: Buyouts are planned at at least one newspaper site, according to one of my readers who has been 100% accurate about these sort of things over the past three years.Some readers here have speculated about details of buyouts: that they might target employees in their mid-50s and up, and that two weeks' pay could be offered for every year of service up to a maximum of 52.I have not been able to confirm those details, however.
Michael Davidson lost Marriott and Choice for USAT, and Rudd Davis blew Hyatt and Hilton accounts. So what's left? Is this that "wild ride" you promised us, Hunke? Hey Micek and Banikarim, how are those 30th anniversary USAT parties coming along?
Michek and Banikarim need to stop taking meetings with "consultants" and start doing some real work themselves. In any other company, a CMO on the job 9 months without a marketing plan to show, would have been fired.
Please share the names and results of the great CMOs you know about.
The criticism of the the corporate staff at Gannett is unwarranted. They, with a couple of notable exceptions, are good hardworking people that are being asked to do things that they know little or nothing about. Even if they know a little bit they are not given the time to do things correctly thus you have all of these half baked poorly planned projects they they constantly throw at us. It's not that they are bad people they just don't know what they are doing.
12:34 The sad thing is that those folks that don't know what they are doing get raises and those of us doing real work do not.
" It's not that they are bad people they just don't know what they are doing." poster writes about Gannett corporate.Then why are they being paid to do these jobs?What a complete disaster.
Exactly 12:58. There are way too many people in positions that are over their heads. They don't know what they're doing. The Journal News is a perfect example and why we are dying a death of 1,000 cuts. Slow torture. Buyout Please!
For what it's worth: Media General is one of the big losers on Wall Street today after reporting 4Q results.Print revenue down 7%, broadcast down 15%, overall revenue down 12% for the quarter.Stock price is down about 9% at mid-day.No way of knowing what this portends for Gannett, but I wouldn't look for revenue gains when they report on Monday. But all a public company really cares about in the short term is whether they hit their per-share estimates. If they're on target, then the stock price will be OK for now.
I am a designer at a west cost newspaper and I am thinking about joining a design center after my paper goes to the hub. The problem I am having is there has been no information about how CCI is working so far and what the workflow in CCI is like for designers. It seems as if everyone who is at a design center has been told to not say anything about them. In order for me to make a decision I would like as much information as possible. Can someone who works at a center please let us know how things are working out? Thanks
11:21,You and I both know that, but unfortunately we have a beancounter for a CEO who is uncomfortable with anything outside a spreadsheet. Banikarim will last just long enough to get her next job because her boss doesn't know any better. Then again, maybe we should ask the consultants.
Rudd Davis follows Jeff Wilks and others who had zero impact on the brand or the business. They will not be missed.
From what I know, Blue Chip labels,which are the hotel labels that go on USA TODAY newspapers, are going away in April. Hotels were paying good money to put those labels on. Just more revenue that Gannett is losing in trying to cuts costs.
They "are good hardworking people that are being asked to do things that they know little or nothing about. Even if they know a little bit they are not given the time to do things correctly thus you have all of these half baked poorly planned projects they they constantly throw at us. It's not that they are bad people they just don't know what they are doing ..."Wait. You wrote this in defense of the execs, right?
There is NO Excuse for Maryam's lack of results. None. At most firms, she woukd have been called out on the carpet or fired. here? Bonus time.
Jim, have you confirmed Davis is gone? If so, that's a big one. He is the guy Hunke told the New York Times had taught him about digital and verticals.Someone, Ellwood or Gracia, must have figured out this guy was just blowing smoke up Mr. Hunke's posterior. Good for them. But look at all the damage this guy has done to the operation. Lots of people cleared out by him. And for what? A nifty iPad pitch that the hotels looked at and said, 'no thanks.''
I can confirm the labels on USA Today blue chip copies are gone in April. There are also covered front pages on 2-2 and 2-6. I'm sure the carriers appreciate a covered Super Bowl results edition.
3:07 Consider the following: 1. A reader I know has assured me that Davis is gone.2. Last night, I e-mailed Davis at a usatoday.com address he once supplied to me. My e-mail was bounced back as undeliverable, suggesting his account has been deleted.3. About five hours ago, I e-mailed USAT spokeswoman Heidi Zimmerman, asking: "Is Rudd Davis still employed at USA Today?"I have not received a response from her.
Davis is definitely gone. no need to confirm wirh anyone.100% true.
He, like many Hunke appointees, completely our of their league.
I hope Gracia is cleaning house. If you are an executive with revenue accountability (Banikarim?) you better show Gracia the money or get out of the way.Gracia should not have hired all the marketing people (expenses). Instead invest in top sales people and top journalists.The winning formula is a great product and someone who can sell to advertisers. Very little else matters.
Selling to advertisers is difficult when the product quality has suffered.Firing the two top USAT sales execs with Madison Avenue connections was the worst idea ever.
When are going to figure out that it's our relationships with clients that will keep us afloat?And isn't it funny how we've spent all this time, money, and effort on verticals only to land with Sports and Travel. Weren't these always USAT's strengths. These people do things as if it's never been done before and pretend it's there idea.This includes Hunke, Banikarim, and all the other frauds. Good people have suffered because of their ineptitude. Good people who cared about the USAT brand.
Jim, I heard from people inside USAT that Rudd is gone, too. You have got to get the story. It's got to be juicy! I can't wait!
I dont know what makes me more angry, the corporate apologists or the fact that people are hired or promoted to jobs they have no business having. Why they flail, the company continues to slide to oblivion.
There is nobody left with solid advertiser relationships.Banikarim cleaned house and now the advertisers are fleeing.I can't imagine what her spreadsheet looks like: expenses expenses expenses....no new revenue.
Davis is still listed among USAT's top managers on the paper's online executive bio page.But it shows his previous title -- vice president over business development, a position he gained in August/September 2010.In fact, he was promoted to president of the newly launched Travel Media Group in late November 2011 -- two months ago.Indeed, two months after that promotion, the print paper's masthead today still listed him as vice president/business development.The online bio page is outdated in at least one other case: It still shows Heather Frank as vice president for consumer media, despite the fact she was made editor in chief of USA Weekend last Friday.Also in today's print masthead, Frank also continues to be listed under her old VP title.One wonders why the paper continues to publish these lists of executives when they are so out of date.
Banikarim, Micek, Lee Jones, Hunke, Ellwood and crew are too busy planning their trips to France again for the wasteful and foolish Cannes Lions. Wild ride, indeed. Guess we won't be entertaining clients over there since there are none left.
It looks like these upper-echelon types feed on themselves cannibalistically, since most are frauds.To be clear, some don't intend to be frauds but their pay, never rejected, has proven them to be just that. Others, sure, flat-out greedy mo-fo's.There was a time when the media was relatively (repeat, relatively) free of such types. They would have been laughed out the door but this was when there were media types, somewhere at least, in positions of power and sincerity.Not anymore. Those days are dead and buried. Now we have frauds, deluded with their self-contained brilliance, not a single idea proving to be the Eureka moment they trot out each and every time.Do I have a better approach? Who knows? All I know is that Gannett stopped asking its own organization for any ideas, input frankly discouraged. "Do it," like a Nike slogan.Gannett pours money into consultants, rather than respect its best resource for free: the people who do the job who are by definition never to be trusted, these dregs, this filth, knowing nothing about Pernod-Ricard Perrier-Joet.
How many jobs could be saved if USAT stopped with the Cannes Lions gig?
Cant wait to see who Hunke wants to bring in to replace Hillkirk. based on his track record, he should recuse himself from the process.
Who will teach Hunke about teh interwebz now that Rudd is gone? With whom will Dave high-five in the hallway and exchange strained attempts at surfer-dude pleasantries? Who will Dave have a "social" drink (or seven) with, after those weighty management meetings at which he professes his faith in the tablet as USAT's savior?Oh, Dave, you'd better go pick up a sack of turnips to use as a stand-in. A few hours with the BNQT photo galleries couldn't hurt, either.
Lee Enterprises Chairman/CEO Mary Junck is the new chairman of the Associated Press, succeeding former Gannett bigshot Tom Curley.(Gannett is a JOA partner in Tucson where Lee publishes the Arizona Daily Star and AZStarNet.com.)
6:05, you might want to work on reading for comprehension. Junk is succeeding Dean Singleton as chairman of AP's board; Curley is president and CEO of the news cooperative. His successor hasn't been named.
Wow, Hunke's Ruddman is gone. Score one for Gracia. What's next for his BNQT? Can't be good. And what about all those cronies he had hired -- are they gone too?
I feel badly for anyone who is impacted by inept leadership. These are not leaders interested in honest, open dialog with it's employees. They aren't interested in investing in editorial to boost content quality. Too much inbreeding from the fat cat old days, when you could get away with hobnobbing at the bar.So what you get are gladhands like Dave Hunke. A decent guy but, at the end of the day, not someone who has worked at actually having to manage and lead. Obviously, picking talent, especially on the business side, didn't have to be a strong suit. If USA Today truly is to be the brand of of Gannett, in Maryam's world, and a cheap way of feeding content to downsized Gannett papers, we need better leadership. Weve had enough duplicity and empty promises. Too many hires of hands off managers accountable to no one. I do hope the next round of hires will be required to work at the Crystal Palace. It appears many of the current "proven leaders" require adult supervision.
Has any actual business at Cannes ever resulted in some ad deals for Gannett?
Gracia is pruning the low hanging fruit. Need to move faster and higher, girlfriend.
That's CEO Girlfriend to you, 10:21.*snap*
OK. Is the buyout rumor still viable or what? I see that some have denied it, but those sound like Gannett mgt types and they lie for a living. How solid is this thing Jim? By the way, many GCI repoters finally got smart phones a few months ago after corporate started offering a stipend. Gannett withdrew the monthly stipend this week, sticking reporters with 2-year contracts and doubled cell bills they wouldn't have had without corporate's stipend offer. It's as though they are inventing ways to screw with our heads and drain our ever-shrinking wallets. Are they just stupid or purposely sadistic? There is no other possibility.
My bet on your buy out tip is the Cincinnati ENQUIRER, WELL OW ABOUT IT Jim M I CLOSE, COULD ALSO BE Detroit as wellThe happy Pressman
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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