An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Does anyone understand what is happening at the Detroit Free Press? A few years ago they laid off a couple dozen talented staffers because business was so bad. They've instituted buyouts and furloughs and yet have hired many new faces. Some of those laid off attempted to get hired back but weren't. Over the past few days they just announced yet another large round of hiring with at least six positions to be filled. But strangely, one of the persons doing the hiring is on furlough. How can they scream poverty with one breath and announce new and exciting positions with the next breath?
$14.7 million for an employee who underperformed for his entire tenure as CEO, who destroyed core products to the point where they now remain unsalable, who wasn't even working for months at a time, who treated anyone outside the C-suite like a peasant too beneath him to make eye contact (trust me ... I worked in the CP and know) ...Nice work if you can get it, huh?Why isn't the mainstream media and/or Occupy movement making more of this outrageous use of company dollars?
I just had to cancel an appointment because I can't afford it. My bank account is down to $5 and pay day is 3 days away. Thanks for the furloughs! Hope Gracia et al enjoy their bonuses and Dubow's $14 Million eases his back pain. Wish the world would notice how this affects everyone, the small businesses I can't patron etc.
Someone should follow Dubow with a camera and get photos of him golfing in the North Carolina mountains.
The old Courier News building on Route 22 in Bridgewater NJ has been torn down. Taking its place is a new larger showroom for a Honda dealer that's currently a half-mile west.
Jim is missing a lot of news this week. Usa today and nascar. Gracia's desire to "put furloughs behind us"; payne talking tablet, mobile apps; dickey on paywall roll out. There was a lot of stuff in the employee webcast worth noting. I guess jim doesnt have access to that
Has Craig managed to get his handicap down yet?
Is there any way Gannett can raise the performance of their local carriers home delivery of the Sunday morning paper. Sunday paper is the most valuable paper, yet the carriers seem to be to worn out to do a good job on Sunday. Maybe Gannett should stop printing a Monday, or Tuesday paper and just have the carriers deliver Wednesdays thru Sunday. Would that help?
1:58...what paper or area are you with or in? Here in Fla. they were a couple of hours late 2 weeks ago but otherwise should have been out OK. It sure isn't the size of the paper weighing them down lately either. And quit giving gannett any ideas...cutting paper production. A lot of people still depend on the paper for their living and cutting the numbers sure wouldn't give an HD carrier incentive.
Re: 1:58Here in Ft Myers our carriers are also having trouble getting a Sunday delivered on time. Why? During the dead of summer, we print roughly 75K papers. This past week we printed 122K papers. Both summer and winter deadlines are the same. One difference is that since pages are now built by GPS, we've had maybe 4 on time press starts since Thanksgiving.The increased numbers along with an increasing number of breaks caused by lack of maintenance and press crews trying to make up time have caused papers to be nearly 2 hours late to the field 3 times in January. 1 other time was an hour late. The 5th, I don't know since I wasn't around that weekend.Not the carrier's fault. GPS needs to look in a mirror to find the fault. But it definitely is the carrier's and customer's problem.As for not printing on Monday or Tuesday...You want to give more ground to the competition by admitting that there isn't anything worth reading on Monday or Tuesday? Why should I bother looking of Wed, Thur, or Friday? Just another step toward the end of the plank.
1:58 not in Florida but doubt any area's service is much different. Carriers deliver late all the time. If they rely on job for a living cutting the numbers other days of the week might give them incentive to deliver all of their papers on Sunday. Maybe they would be on time the rest of the week instead of missing addresses, or not caring if they have enough papers to finish there routes.
Martore has not ruled out furloughs or layoffs going forward. Just ask her. if you think they are off the table going forward, you are delusional.
3:59 The Monday and Tuesday paper here is so small already with no classifieds that it wouldn't be missed. Gannett let that ship sail years ago why not finish it?
Stop the bitching, USAT. If you think for one second that Hunke, Ellwood, Banikarim, Jones and Micek are not trying their damndest to get USAT back on track, then it's best you leave. The last thing anyone needs around here are more naysayers when we should be rallying around the brand.
Why in hell should we be rallying behind the brand? Maybe gannett should be rallying behind the employees! I mean are you kidding me?
Doing their damndest? Lets see:Terrible reorgappointing unqualified managersbloating top heavy managementremoving the editor w/o a replacementthe verticalsa general attitude of lets throw it against the wall to see what sticks.ostracizing editorial staffers.overseeing a 25 percent drop in circulation.Destroying relationships with advertisers and blue chip clients.
Hunke has no business being publisher. Well, maybe in Elmira.
5:12, all accurate. The main thing I witnessed was the near-total alienation of local advertisers and occasionally being accosted in public by a reader. So much for "community!"In both cases I would advise the aggrieved to let their feelings be known to corporate in McClean. Yes, traitorous, betraying the truth: there was little local control. In fact, none anymore.I am sure Gannett's chiefs are doing their damndest, though! They'd have to be -- kind of like a chuckle head in a hulking SUV spinning out of control on black ice with the brake pedal slammed as it careens toward the guard rail over a cliff.In short, no need for an ambulance. Call the morgue.
Additionally I (6:37) really think that in the hands of competent people -- with a conscience -- that Gannett could have handled its restructuring much better, looking at performance reviews rather than the totalitarian tact they took.It showed their interest was their careers, their ill-gotten and eventually self-destructive bonuses. Certainly not the industry and certainly not human beings who make it. When I noted to my HR Dept how much it was like a four-year-old playing with dad's .45, this is what I got, and this a quote: "Well, we've never done this before."Oh. Yes. Well, sure. Sorry. Much like else the people now running Gannett, detached as yesterday's parade horse shit, have never known the aspects of the industry these quacks presume to oversee."Quick, Jackson! Get me more eye of a small animal with a thin body and a long tail, that can live in water or land! We shall make gold yet!"In Gannett, and elsewhere as well evident, it's a schmooze fest where it's fairly easy to realize none of those types lose any sleep.
Tell me again why you need both Michek and Banikarim?
If you'd seen Maryam's presentatiOn today you would know the answer to your question but you don't really want the truth right? By the way her name is Micek but then you don't care about that either.
wow 5:12 you nailed it!You are obviously in the know.
Not a lot of posts today because most of the haters can't read a balance sheet or understand a quarterly report. Sad really. It's easier to attack than understand
@7:22 Please share details of Maryam's presentation. Many inquiring minds would love to know what she had to say.
7:22 thanks Sandra for stopping by.
Corporate has to do something with profits being down by one third.That is huge!My opinion would be that they cannot layoff more at the sites that can make a difference.The top and near top producing sites should be given the resources to put it all back together and become profitable or more profitable.The bottom feeders that consistantly are in the red with no hope of making a difference toward profitability should simply be closed.Why further cut back and lay off at the best sites,which will in effect, make those sites be dragged down as well.There should be no across the board layoffs,just completely shutter the least productive revenue sites.Problem solved.
NJ checking in. I have been waiting for several days. I am not waiting any longer. Promotions being made without a posting of the position. Yes, they are promoting all of their favorites. Tired of the constant emails - berating us, demoralizing us...We are tired.
Some of us had to do work instead of tuning in to the employee Web cast Monday. Anyway, we can still look forward to the Feb. 2 song-and-dance with Gracia, Bob and Kate. The email about it managed to squeeze five buzzwords and/or initiatives into a single sentence.Meanwhile the design centers are hiring copy editors. Maybe corporate needs some, too:"Gannett Co., Inc. is searching for Wire Copy Editors to work in the newly formed newspaper Design Studio's."The mistake is repeated in separate job postings for every Design Center on the corporate site.
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Is anyone else currently mired in NewsGate hell? This is seriously the shittiest, most poorly designed system I've ever had the displeasure of using. My significant other, who works in program design/development (not for Gannett, thank god), is appalled by the issues we're having.
JiM; what happened to the early retirement offers??
I second that 9:01
I really have to chuckle with the decision by the Design Studios to post positions for Wire Copy Editors. I remember the smug arrogance that our center exhibited to our small site, facing the prospect of having our few remaining local news editors having to absorb all the wire selection and editing duties that were handled by our former copy desk. "We're a design studio," we were told. "We're not editors."How do we do this extra duties with fewer editors? "Not our problem," we were told. Their suggestion: Teach reporters to help us groom the wire each night, which included even picking each story for the briefs.Glad to see they reversed course on this. However, it's another example of the mothership not listening, nor not caring to listen, to us in the field. Now that it's their idea to add wire copy editors, however, it's a wise investment in quality.
they were always supposed to have copy editors. but what the hell are they supposed to be doing? all the wire copy? sports, features, business or just the little bit of wire we run outside the USAT wire page?and it is very clear their are no editors at the design studios, just low-paid, overworked designers, whi can't think for themselves - and they get more work every day as more papers are rolled into the system. A bad idea, getting worse by the day.
7:19I can read a balance sheet and a quarterly report, and I find little comfort in either. Neither, apparently, did Wall Street.
I’m willing to give Gracia a grace period. Unlike Dubow, she’s intelligent. She also has a strong competitive streak, and I like that. Furthermore, I think she’s able to see through a lot of the bullshit that Dubow was too stupid to discern. She seems to realize that employees resent the imperial attitude that most Gannett execs have. And, while they are small things, eliminating the executive lunches and reserved parking spaces show that she does realize the execs are out of control. It’s nice to see the CEO in the lunch line with everyone else. I’m a loyal employee and I want the company to survive. I think the only way for the company to survive is to produce good journalism. Under Dubow, the company was like a dairy company that produced awful milk, but figured that if it packaged it attractively, people wouldn’t care that it was really awful. We can give sour milk in cartons! In glass bottles! In little packets! I’m hoping that Gracia’s competitive streak applies to journalism as well as earnings per share. So I’ll give her time before looking elsewhere for work. But here’s the thing that Gannett leadership needs to understand: The clock is ticking. We’ve used previous recessions to buy good talent at good salaries. We’ve used this recession to let our competitors take our best talent. When the economy turns around, employees will remember how they were treated. Gracia’s job is to convince them it’s worthwhile to stay.
I third 9:01's comments. While I agree with corporate apologists who say the company needs a way to blend print and online packaging and streamline the work, NewsGate is not it. NG doesn't deliver on what it's supposed to do. It's overly complicated, slow and buggy. We've already seen one company wide outage caused by NewsGate. How many more can we expect?
To 8:01, when oppotunities arise and / or if the economy improves, those who have been crapped.on by gannett will get the hello out and never look back. Martore has been there for years and is the culture that does not give a shit about employees. Getting in line in a cafeteria is nothing more than phony baloney. A major house cleaning throughout gannett and getting rid of the incompetent suits and their outrageous salaries and bonus would demonstrate a start of a cultural change. Don't fuck with us gracia, stop the bull. We know what you are up to and what you are.
Is the rumor I hear at Indianapolis Star true, that management has decide not to print any kind of special edition post Superbowl papers to sell outside after the game on Sunday?
I smell a conspiracy. Jim take care of this! Jim? Oh Jimmy???
no mention of DealChickin in the quarterly call? How's that working out?
Dealchicken is chickenshit and failing dramatically. Oh, yeah, it's a gannett initiative.
DealChicken is doing very well. It is not only sustaining a large percentage of sales jobs, it is also responsible for creating additional sales positions. DealChicken was originally intended to preserve the existing advertising sales-teams on local levels, during this economy. The fact that they immediately grew to sustain additional sales-hires, was a great morale-boost for everyone in the company... Because, it proves that a company can adjust and adapt to changes in the industry, and grow financially. The dynamic mix of local and national marketing(advertisements)offers, makes this an exceedingly successful venture for Gannett.
The absolute best thing about DealChicken is ... The business-model, for DealChicken, was an employee idea submitted to the "DIG" project. It's an example of how employee contributions can make a significant improvement upon an existing company.
... All it takes is one positive innovator (employee) to create new products to sustain current employees, and create new jobs. Since the business-model for DealChicken was submitted during the DIG-project, Gannett should revisit the "DIG" employee idea submission project.
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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