An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Voluntary leave packages wouldn't be offered unless it made financial sense. So of course, the goal is to reduce payroll by offering our most senior and possibly better paid staff an opportunity to leave.In a pure dollars-and-cents process, it is much better to get rid of one employee at a higher rate and lose 40 hours of work than to have to lay off two kids for the same dollars but lose 80 hours of productivity. (There is an experience difference but that can work both for and against the equation.)As we're self-insured, it also makes sense to encourage older workers to move on and take their statistically-higher costs with them.As for the assumption that there will be layoffs if the targets aren't met through voluntary leaves? Of course - no conspiracy there. Sites always have options on how to meet their goal - just not the option whether to meet that number.Never forget that we have an accountant in charge: not an editor, not an ad director, not a station manager. We will control costs, we will sell assets, we will cut our way to a decent balance sheet for as long as we can. This phrase on a plaque could replace the blue ball:"There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept." - the Architect, Matrix Reloaded
OK, I need my weekly fix---can anyone tell us what is happening in the wacky world of the Journal News, Westchester ?
It's a horrible place to be. Buy me out!
I just have a question in general: Is there a reason why Gannett takes so freakin' long to send out their W2s? Or is it just me? I have not gotten my W2s until the first week of February all the 6 years I have been here. All other companies I've worked for it has been mid-January at the LATEST.
Does anymore know why Gracia Martore, was hired to work for Gannett in the first place. According to Gannett own bio, her BACKGROUND educational degree is in history and political science. Gracia does not seem to have any kind of education or experience in BUSINESS.
She came from the banking business
8:40...gannett does everything at the last minute. I know people who have been here 16 plus years and it's been the same every year. No W2's or 1099's until the first of Feb. They have until Jan. 31st to send them so they take full advantage of it.
You are worried about a W2 when the just announced Q4 profit is down by one third!How about worrying if you will be employed when that W2 arrives.
When Gannett finally acknowledges that the days of the giant media companies are over, that there are thousands of web start-ups grabbing little slices of the digital information pie that can't be stopped and keep multiplying like rabbits, it will realize that it's killing the ONLY thing that's keeping it alive: print.The company's done, finished, as a major media financial player. It only gets smaller and uglier as incompetent leadership sails aimlessly in the night toward a mirage, a rainbow that fades before you can get there.If there indeed is a buyout incentive offered, and you are eligible and don't take it, may God have mercy on your soul. I, for one, will grab it, run, don't dare peek back and light candles for my beloved former coworkers going down with the cruise ship.As the band played on The Titanic as she sank, "God bless those who are in peril on the sea."
So it's not just me. I am so sick of hearing friends working for other organizations who are already working on their taxes by mid- January and this loser company doesn't even care enough about its employees to get their W2s to them in a quick and efficient manner. Thank you @9:45! And 10:08 am of course, I'm worried about Q4 profits. But does not the heading read :News & Comments as in "General" and if you can't find anywhere else to post your comment, post it here? I'm sorry to offend you, but most people can multi-task and worry about more than one thing at once! And really? Are you surprised at the Q4 profit falls? I don't even bat an eye at these things anymore! OF COURSE Q4 profits are down duhhh!
I downloaded my w2 for the GCI employee web site a week ago. In the time it took you to complain about not getting it your could have had it.
At 11:56, Thank you for your advice, but I have not divulged all of the facts. First, I left my crappy Gannett job for a better opportunity in November so I no longer have access to the employee website. Second: The company just decided to allow employees to download their W2s from the site last year. I had put up with it for 5 years, and now I am subject to it again. But you still work there, so luck you I guess.
Got all the info from the site Filed on the 15th and waiting the return.
That's the spirit, 11:56! Why expect Gannett to do something in a timely and efficient manner for the good of its employees when you, the overburdened worker, can take more time to do it yourself?Why expect our employer to live up to a simple (and automated!) expectation? I wonder if there's anything else I can do to make things easier for this bloated corpse of a corporation at my own expense?
Yep those two clicks took a lo g tine! Grow up
My W-2 came in the mail today.
Yeah, right, 11:56 ... For those of us who are on top of things, we printed out our W2s from the employee site on Jan. 24 when they were available. Besides, 11:28, if all your other tax paperwork is ready to go, does it matter that much whether you file on Jan. 25 or Feb. 3? I filed on Jan. 25. And unless you're waiting for other items to come in the mail from other places, you could have too.
Hey 11:28 ... Did you know that if you have your last pay stub from Gannett, that you or your accountant can work off that for the numbers you need for your tax return? I do my own taxes and I'm ready to file every year by the time I get the W2, based on the numbers from my last pay stub. The only reason I wait for the W2 is to confirm the numbers and make sure I didn't make any errors. If you use an accountant, he or she can use the last pay stub.
Thank you 12:18. It was not even on my mind, then it hit me. I received my W2 from the new company 2nd week of January, and then here I am waiting on Gannett, which I may not see until first week of Feb. I honestly just got PO'd about it today overhearing water cooler conversations about how people in my new company have already filed their taxes. And it's like, "Those Friggin idiots at Gannett corporate!" LOL. I do my own taxes, and was concerned about making an error. I would need to find a reliable accountant in a new city because I don't want to work off old numbers on my own and make a mistake.
I was laid off last april and no longer have access to the employee site either. I have received the w2 for the TPP I received while on unemployment, but not the w2 for my regular wages. I don't understand why I've received one but not the other.
Gracia and friends just got done talking with the troops. your typical were excited by the future talk. bit she was visibly undone when someone asked about furloughs. she defended them saying they had allowed investment in new initiatives and had saved "thousands" of jobs. payne impressed. hunke: not.
What meeting were you watching?
More bad news for USAT. Ad Age reports that the Super Bowl Ad Meter is being supplanted by other more nimble competitors. http://adage.com/article/special-report-super-bowl/usa-today-s-ad-meter-broke-super-bowl-advertising/232411/
I received my W2 today, also. In addition I received a "Notice and Acknowledgement of Pay Rate and Payday Under Section 195.1 of the New York State Labor Law" This form has my annual salary, frequency of pay and overtime pay rate. I have to sign in order to verify and return to Gannett corporate HR. WTF? Anyone heard of this?
It's a New York state law. Went into effect 2913
Newspapers...dying. Broadcast tv....fading. Digital...growing where it is not encumbered by old media hierarchies,costs,and overstaffing.Why are people still shocked this is happening ? Gannett bought newspapers in the 90s like a drunken sailor on a lottery winning shore leave. All they did was make the eventual crash that much bigger.
I received my 401K statement from Gannett for tax purposes, but not my W2. Go figure!
Bottom line ! Profits crash by a third !The name of the game is profit,no matter how much revenue is produced.Wow ,much worse than most anticipated I would guess. How to increase the profit side of the revenue intake is cut the expense side...again.
4:16/5:13 -- new material, please. Those posts are just recycled versions of what you have posted dozens of times already.
What about this for new material: circulation only down 5%, but newsprint usage down 10%. Looks like a smaller news hole.
12:30 It would take less time for you , and be less of a "burden" to download your own w2 then it did for you to post what a burden it was on this blog.
3:51, why don't you research it instead of just posting the question here and expecting others to do the work for you?
From the Sports Business Journal this am copied below; the new Nascar deal with USA TODAY. Yes, the ad revenue is new and real, but make no mistake, this is about Nascar being able to dictate frequency of coverage. "Endorsement of our strategy"....don't kid yourselves, Nascar knows who it can tell how much to write and when..that's the endorsement. USA Today Sports Media Group signed a one-year deal with NASCAR that will see the sanctioning body commit to a guaranteed ad spend with the national newspaper company, the latest move by USA Today in its push to enhance its sports brand.It is the first time since 2006 that USA Today and NASCAR have had a formal relationship. NASCAR had a directed-media-spend agreement with Sports Illustrated over the last five years.Under terms of the new deal, NASCAR will pay a preferred advertising rate to USA Today and encourage its sponsors to place NASCAR-themed print advertising in the publication.USA Today will run two to three special sections on the sport around key events such as the Daytona 500 or Sprint All-Star Race. The parties are still in talks about when such issues will run.USA Today Sports Media Group President Tom Beusse briefed NASCAR business partners on the new deal late last week in Charlotte. “This move is a nice endorsement of our new strategy,” said Merrill Squires, USA Today Sports Media Group’s senior vice president of leagues and properties. “Although there was a similar relationship five years ago, we are a completely different organization now with a new sports marketing division, sports sales division and new sports content leadership.”The deal is the latest in a string of agreements struck by USA Today Sports Media Group since Beusse, Squires, Peter Lazarus and Dave Morgan joined the Gannett-owned operation last year. In the last month, the team has signed a five-year preferred supplier agreement with the PGA Tour and reportedly spent $30 million to acquire Big Lead Sports (see related story).Gannett hired Beusse and others with an eye toward expanding the relevancy and impact of the USA Today brand in sports, while balancing and enhancing sports content within Gannett’s local print products and their accompanying sites.Though NASCAR Chief Sales Officer Jim O’Connell said the sanctioning body got great value out of the directed-media-spend relationship it had with Sports Illustrated, NASCAR executives found the vision for USA Today’s Sports Media Group to be compelling and its aggressive approach to recent deals and acquisitions energizing. The USA Today Sports Media Group includes the flagship national newspaper, along with various sports sites, like HighSchoolSports.net and BNQT.com, Gannett’s 80 local newspapers and 23 TV stations.
12:24, you say you have a new job in a new city as do I, did you change your address with Gannett? I did and I have my W-2, not sure the PO will forward tax docs.
2:46 - did you actually read the story? Just curious. And no, I am not a paid poster or anything of the sort. But the story has several ad execs quoted who said that while they will look at other things, Ad Meter still sets the bar. I would argue that this makes Ad Meter even more attractive because it will become the litmus test against which the other results are compared. Additionally, members of the general public to not have access to the tools these big agencies have. I am guessing that Ad Meter wants the public to look at the results more so than Madison Avenue. So I am not sure that anything in the story is signaling the death of Ad Meter.Now what I don't like is this Facebook partnership business because this now allows people to stuff the proverbial ballot box if for nothing else by lobbying people to like a certain ad. But to say people will not look at it anymore is just silly.
Gannett met expectations and had no Olympics, or Elections last year to help with revenues. Print revenue from operations was down only two percent. With the Presidential race and the Summer Olympics this year advertising revenue should improve if the economy improves. This company is still making most of it's profits from print. If they would wake up and start acting like print is there core business. They could start by treating their employees with some respect. Also might help if they would make delivery of the paper a top priority to the long time loyal subs.
So does anyone think SI was in the tank for NASCAR all these years?Grow up. This is good news and we won't lose our integrity.
RE: USAT's Sports Media Group –I believe AP's contract with the NFL runs out in March.Connect the dots.
I was laid off from Gannett last year and got my W-2 last week. Blame the post office, not Gannett, on this one.
Jim and most of the people here have accomplished nothing during years of complaining. Probably time to rethink how productive the repeated whining ever will be.
Hearing that page views for 01/12 will come in about 8% lower than 01/11 at one of the sites that's been behind a paywall for over a year, which makes that number a fair comparison.No surprise, since their newsroom is a virtual ghost town.
Dear 9:23pm:SI is a glossy feature weekly; Usa Today is a daily newspaper...there is supposedly a different set of 'integrity' standards for reporting news. Nascar taking up space in the newspaper at the expense of other beats is different than taking up space in a glossy weekly. No issue with ad dollars coming in, but kinda sad that this is the way it happens. Woulda been nice to get some without selling out like that. Just another example of the struggles of surviving in today's newspaper world.
Really? They just signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal that may actually save jobs and you haters are making up stuff to worry about?
10:02, that's really stretching things. Sports Illustrated has broken more stories, more news stories, than USA Today.It is not some laid back magazine and takes journalism just as seriously as USA Today does.If SI was able to coexist with NASCAR so can we.
Unless you have something of value to say about layoffs, furloughs, early retirement packages or anything else of value that Gannett does not already tell us then seriously, I am extremely bored with all the stupid nonsense. Say something of value or go away. I am so bored at this point with all the stupid nonsense. I feel like I am listening to the United States senate. same old thing, over and over again. New material — please!
9:52 is simply wrong. This blog provides an important outlet for employees to share information from layoffs to business developments. In turn, that information is picked up by other companies and major media outlets.In any case, whining as you do isn't particularly productive, either.
If anyone has layoffs news it would be important to post it here.Let Jim know if the layoff chart needs to be started up once again.Chances are it will need to be expanded.
From Broadcasting & Cable: "Dubow Gets $14.7M Disability Package From GannettFormer CEO stepped down in October due to persistent medical issuesBy Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, January 30, 2012Craig Dubow, former Gannett chairman and CEO, received a $14.7 million payment related to a physical disability that compelled him to resign in October.Dubow's payment was revealed in Gannett's fourth quarter earnings call Jan. 30."During the quarter, we reported special charges of $14.7 million for the disability-related retirement of our former chairman and CEO," said Paul Saleh, Gannett senior VP and CFO.Marjorie Magner was named chairman upon Dubow's departure and Gracia Martore became president and CEO.A 30-year Gannett veteran, Dubow took four months off in 2009 following back surgery. He took a leave of absence on Sept. 15 to address continuing medical issues, before signing off for good Oct. 6.Gannett has planned first quarter furloughs for employees in its U.S. Community Publishing and Gannett Publishing Services departments. Broadcast division employees are not, for the most part, affected, though employees at KPNX Phoenix will be furloughed."
The ink is barely dry on the memo Cincy's Carolyn Washburn sent to Her Highness' staff about how important it is to spell correctly, and threatening to unleash a high school English teacher on anyone who does not. And then yesterday she sends out an email with this subject line:"congraduations to Xxx!"Maybe that English teacher could start her work in the corner office where CW reigns.
That is hysterical, 9:08. Thanks for sharing!
I got my W2 two days ago...Of course, I am a FORMER Gannett employee.
8:50....I think this story is too simplistic, and thus may not be correct. I doubt whether Gannett reporting a "charge" and saying it paid that amount to someone are the same thing. Accounting and reporting rules are hopelessly complicated. Remember, for instance, that the company has reported tens of millions of dollars of expenses for stock options in the last few years that no one received and didn't cost it a dime. (This is the reason I've ranted since the beginning about saying Dubow was paid $37.1M.) In this case, I think there also may be be some tax implications for the company related to Dubow's exit (take a look at the SEC filing yesterday) that further muddy the water on how much Dubow's exit literally cost. It would take a good reporter some time to sort it out, and I haven't found one yet (Jim included) who is willing.
How do you folks at USAT keep going?I mean I get that everyone needs a job. I understand that the older you are the more likely you don't want to uproot your career. At least the younger folks will just use USAT long enough to pad their resumes. They aren't as "stuck." They won't show the blind loyalty that Gannett wants from employee and therefore won't be used and then discarded like trash the way so many others have been.Geez! How do you people stomach the crap at USAT -- the ridiculous workloads due to all the cutbacks, the trying to compete on the national level with a Mickey Mouse approach that is endorsed by leaders without an ounce of integrity, let alone vision. Some of the old-guard leaders who have been retained are the biggest cowards in the biz. Some of the new leaders are so unaccomplished that it makes you wonder why anyone would hire them.Wasn't USAT a pretty cool place at one time?OK, things change, but what happened at USAT is NOT a byproduct of the failing industry or the recession. It's a pre-meditated mess created by a bunch of insecure people who happened to rise into power at precisely the wrong time. A perfect storm of incompetency, greed and mean-spiritedness.USAT was the anti-Gannett, Gannet paper for a stretch of time when profits were good and morale was relatively high. It's why good people chose to work there. It never paid that well compared with major metros, but at least USAT didn't have mother Gannett crushing its spirit. Now it embodies all that is Gannett. USAT is the poster child for a brand that self destructed, that lost its soul and banished its biggest proponents.How do you all stand it there?
1:23 PM - Let's broaden the scope. How does anyone stand working for Gannett, period? I understand that people have had their jobs for over 10 years, etc., or they feel too old to go out and look for a job/new career now. Unless you try, you're not going to know. Your skills can be transferred to other businesses and the market isn't as bad as you all think it is. There are jobs out there. For example, look at how many jobs are available within Gannett. Other companies have job openings as well. Your skills are transferrable, just think outside the box and start your search. Don't let your age hold you back.
8:17 Jim: Most of the information is unconfirmed gossip. Some of it is never proved, and more of it is disproved.Regarding the whining: Day after day, it's the same stuff. You would be so much better off if you made some attempt to segment the run-of-the-mill bitching into some kind of dumping ground. That way, the little bit of useful information (and there is much less of that than you want to believe) might be easier to find. It wouldn't be floating in the usual cesspool.I hope that suggestion is more productive. But I'm sure you will keep doing things the same way. You and Gannett are far more similar in that aspect than you want to believe.
6:48: I read the blog for information on Gannett. I do not work for Gannett. Although you choose to belittle the employees who come here to "whine" (in your opinion), theirs tells the Gannett story. It's a sad, sad saga. The pain is real. This is a company giant who is having to furlough, and furlough, and lay off in order to make bottom line. There is no vision, no miracle, and the people running this company truly have no clue what they're doing. They are over their heads. This is what I've gotten from this blog over the two years that I've been reading it. It's an interesting study, really, and one I think will be quite significant in years to come.
1:23,You said it perfectly for all of us. The fact it, USAT used to be wonderful place to work. We were separated from Gannett and much, much better for it. What's so stunning now is how little support you now get from your managers. They are part of the same CYA culture with no one taking risks or willing to question what's going on. What's worse is we have new people here that are finding out two things: 1) the legacy USAT employees actually know what they are doing and 2) these new employees have no idea what they are doing. Sad times, indeed.
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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