An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Continuing a discussion from an earlier thread about the possibility of buyouts being offered in coming weeks:Buyouts would represent bad news and good news, if they are offered in lieu of layoffs.The bad: They would show the company's financial situation is still so bad that further payroll cuts must be made.The good: The financial situation isn't so bad that the company must resort to traditional layoffs.For those unfamiliar with them, buyouts are a type of voluntary layoff. Employees within certain groups -- typically those with many years' seniority -- are offered a severance package that's better than what comes with a traditional layoff.When I got my buyout from USA Today four years ago, qualified employees were offered two weeks' pay for every year of service, plus health insurance at company rates for as long as severance was paid. There was no cap on the number of weeks of severance. An employee with, say, 30 years' service got 60 weeks' pay.Current severance in layoffs is awful. It's called TPP (Transitional Pay Plan), where laid off employees must apply for and receive unemployment benefits. The company pays the difference between what the employee earned and what unemployment pays. Plus, they were offered COBRA health benefits immediately, which costs more than company-subsidized medical benefits.I doubt that any buyouts offered in the weeks ahead will be as generous as those offered four years ago. They would likely be capped at, say, a maximum of 26 weeks. And they might include just one week's pay for every year of service.But that, clearly, would be better than a straight layoff.
Ain't gonna happen, Jim.
I know for a FACT that buyout deals are being crafted. Take it to the bank!!!
added buyout factor: 401K bonus paid to longtime employees at end of February as part of change in pension plan. Paid in Gannet stock, but most people dump it right away.
11:24, and when you're wrong, will you come back and admit it? No.People here throw crap at the wall all the time. They have no consequences to worry about. That's why no one here can be trusted.
Buyouts may have already begun: Longtime editor at Tennessean just "retired".... at 10 a.m. ... on a Wednesday .... in the middle of the month .... with no notice. Odd. Rather odd.
When the Arizona Republic offered buyouts a few years ago it was for 1 week's pay for each year of service. I don't remember what the cap was. I want to say 26 weeks but I could be wrong on that. Insurance was for longer than the term of buyout but I don't remember exactly how long. At the time they said this was the best deal they would ever offer.
Hey Gracia... if buyouts are in the works, then there ought to be a great number of eligible people in the Gannett tower at Crystal Palace - plenty of them sitting pretty on their tushes not doing a damn thing while collecting hefty paychecks, making their own hours, and taking lots of time off.
So one week for every year of service capped at 26 weeks is considered a 'sweet deal,' as opposed to what's happened before? Man, you people really need to get a perspective. That's half a year, max. What are you going to do then? Anyone in this company who isn't aggressively working on their next career is in deep, deep denial ... and will be in deep doodoo as a result when the inevitable comes.
If it's true I can't wait to hear the folks that come here and beg to be laid off comPlain the deal isn't good enough so they are not taking it. Your readers aren't going anywhere Jimmy.
I think in the past there was some kind of formula to determine who was eligible for a buy out. Something that took into account age, years of employment, salary, etc. Does anyone remember what it was?
6:25 where do you work?
Editor and publisher column in today's Wilmington News Journal about changes to the newspaper. http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20120115/NEWS/201150335/We-re-investing-journalists-equipment-technology?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Home|p Just two paragraphs about a "new full-access subscription model" starting Feb. 7. Non-subscribers "will be able to view a limited number of stories per month before being asked to subscribe." No mention on how many articles non-subscribers will be limited to....
7:42AM here. One week per year capped at 26 weeks is a sweet deal. I think it's a pretty crappy deal. But, it is way better than the whole transitional pay thing, which is truly a crappy deal.
@ 7:36 a.m.Would those initials be C.S.?
ShopLocal was spun out of PointRoll. This has set up Gannett to sell the failing Pointaroll business.It looks like Gannett has quietly been shopping the once darling of the digital portfolio. Rumors have it that Adgregate Knowledge is the leading bidder for PointRoll.Droves of people are leaving PointRoll. Also, major advertisers has stopped working with PointRoll ever since Saridakis departed.Looks like David Payne and Gracia Martore have not been able to figure out what value PointRoll offers Gannett and have done nothing to keep these advertisers interested in their services.
For perspective: four years ago, when the site in Reno, Nev., offered buyouts to those past a certain age, some were specifically excluded from the offer because their departments were already beyond skeletal.Of course, it being Gannett, this did not mean job security. This meant that when such excluded folks who were afforded no opportunity to choose a buyout were, of course, laid off, they were then handed a much worse deal than that offered what others of their age group previously were.
Craig u said you were done posting.
NJ folks: Did JJCs column get cancelled? It's no longer on the C-N's website.
I'm in Westchester. Let me tell you: Things are going to start changing in dramatic fashion this week. After a week of a corporate team being here and inspecting everything we do (capped off by a visit from Bob Dickey and Kate Marymont Friday), big staff changes are in the air. Would be shocked if they don't start Monday. Definitely by mid-week. Brace yourself, everyone! But from what I'm told, this is going to be a good thing. Can't believe details have not yet started to leak out.
Kate marymount?She still works for Gannett? Really?No way.
The end of the year financials will be announced soon.Must be worse than expected.When changes are rumored or announced,the plan always includes layoffs.How can more layoffs and consolidations be a good thing?
I hear Corporate is talking about early retirement packages, not layoffs or selective non-retirement age buyouts. All the details aren't worked out yet, but they supposedly will be shared quite soon. The word is the benefits are fairly lucrative, by GCI standards anyway. No one wants to do more layoffs, especially when this paid wall subscription model that Wilmington and others are discussing is about to roll out. But if a voluntary early retirement can thin the herd, layoffs will be avoided.
Have you guys received the Personal Rewards bullcrap? Seems like this would be in violation of HIPAA or something, to have the company have access to our medical stats. This is creepy, invasive bullcrop. You know what would really help "Gannett employees and their families ... help improve and/or maintain their physical and financial health?" Stop effing laying off and overworking everybody. What a farce. What are they going to do with the medical information they are forcing us to submit? Cull the weak?
Column on Lafayette paywall:http://www.jconline.com/article/20120115/OPINION05/120114002/To-Our-Readers-News-how-when-you-want-it
I agree thst personal rewards thing is crap, but Gannett skirts the HIPAA rules by just saying you have to have the tests. as long as you have them done they cannot add the surcharge, even if the results are bad because they cannot have access to the results.
2008 buyout - Age 55 and over; 10 years service; one week pay for every year of service; 3 years added to pension and partial social security supplement for 3 years. company benefits for 3 years. This is what I remember. Plenty took it.
There was no 3 year clause for anything.
I remember when the buyout came at USA today, on line and copy edit resets excluded from the buyout offer. I do not remember an offer of enhanced pension and other retirement style bennis. But I could be wrong.A similar offer these days to the one from 2008 would be taken by several people I know. Good way to trim the bloat. But there're also some very competent people in the various sections who would also take a deal just to get away from the insanity of this place.
I meant all on line people and all newsroom copy editors were exemptSorry.
Good riddance to the old fuddy duddies. You don't get the new world order. You don't get the web, social media or what readers are interested in. Retire already! Were sick of you imposing outdated standards and rules. Look where this has gotten the company.
7:45, you don't get much of anything, it appears.2:40, get some new material. Very tired line. It shows your unoriginality.
8:33 and 7:37 I remember the 2008 offer and it included all those things. anyone else recall similar offer.7:45 we get the new world order, we just want it to still be journalism -- with standards.
RGJ Reno has an app! It's happening everywhere.
Yeah,yeah,more layoffs.We've heard this for six months.Just more of same,throw it against the wall and see if it sticks.
I've read more than once that USAT CD's and CM's are being moved to Gannett properties. Anyone care to provide some examples?
USATODAY CDs and CM are now part of GPS.
Pointroll is being sold so Gannett can pay off its mountain of debt....stay tuned...
Many of USAT's buyouts were taken by people who were being pushed out anyway (i.e. intentionally driven crazy, humiliated, etc), mostly because of age/salary and the sometimes misperception that they couldn't get onboard the digital train. USAT discarded the baby with the bath water in those buyouts and the layoffs that followed over the next two years. The selection process, in terms of who stayed and who went, was a sham and in many cases way too personal. I felt sorry for some of the people forced out because I knew they were highly talented and had more integrity than many who got to keep their jobs. But USAT has never really been a place that put professionalism above office politics and personal vendettas. The place has always been about playing up to the egos of some pretty insecure managers groomed by corporate to be, well, you fill in the blank. As a result of the buyouts/layoffs and the lies that are too many to even track anymore, the USAT is filled with broken people, naive folks with very little ability (but they are cheap), and a product that has taken three steps back and a general karma that may never improve. Many of those who have survived are frightened by their own seniority but are trying to hang on. The younger people have no intention of staying. Some have virtually no talent. And this is the flagship?
Ok - I understand the GPS "Thing" All Gannett circ and production employees are now part of GPS. As part of the GPS re-structure some former USAT CD's and CM's have been moved to management spots at Gannett community newspapers or so I've read here. Just wondering if there are specific examples.
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9:38 speaks the truth. Usa Today is Broken and unlikely fixable. Talent level at all time low and newbies are cost effective word processors, little more. They could never charge for web content with such uninspiring content. Not one move on anyone's big plans for the brand that would improve the actual product.
Nothing good is coming to Westchester. Corporate clowns who visited didn't make eye contact with anyone. Big changes- yes. Layoffs are coming and soon.
I remember thinking about taking the offer. No way were there 3 extra years of anything. I would have jumped at that.
The buyouts initially offered 3 years of service added to the pension, and for those age eligible as most were, healthcare continued until medicare kicked in at age 65.
7:02. You must have Gannett confused with a company who cares. Health insurance to 65? There would have been a stampede to the exits if that was the case.
Regarding JJC in New Jersey: "Tee Hee Hee Hee" says on Facebook that he quit the column.
10:37- Although I agree with your sentiment, most of the initial buyouts were offered to people in their 60's.
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