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12:34: "The design team members are supervisors and are paid considerably more than 50K. A lot of the designers, those with only a few years experience, are probably making 50 or less. But team leaders are a different matter."Design team leaders are not making considerably more than 50k, even though they should be. In the 50-55K range sure, but surely not approaching 60K and above. Remember, this is Gannett. And designers sure in heck aren't making anything close to 50. A designer with many years experience at one of the hubs is well under 50K. Well under. So I imagine the youngsters are for the most part in the mid 30s and some high 30s.
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Haven't read about any drama at USAT lately. I mean besides the occasional title change or musical chairs games at the top, are things quiet around the rest of the organization? Is it one big happy, well-paid family again after a couple years of some fairly ruthless buyouts and layoffs?
I think people are so angry over the decisions by this company and the constant overhang of incertainty that they use the blog as a therapeutic place to vent. It may not help. but at least its a place of commonality and sharing.
The Tennessean IT/Tech Dept got a new VP.. Wondering if he is going to straighten it out.
Someone asked a while ago about Florida Today's circ numbers. Don't know about the latest daily numbers but this last Sunday they printed 85,600 plus. With single copy carriers bringing in 700-900 or more returns (some smaller routes fewer, but not much) each, wonder what the REPORTED circ number will be. I believe there's 11 or 12 SC carriers so do the math.
There is always drama at USA Today, but most of it is back room backstabbing and second guessing. Decisions made in a void between departments. both in editorial and on the business side. Credos come without explanation or vetting. Memos that say nothing. News blown off, then played up by competitors. So editors backtrack and order up stories that lag the competition, then pat themselves on the back for jobs well done. Staff continues to be tinkered with and redistributed, but not to areas with true need. A new editor will likely redo everything within a year, bringing in another management layer on top of the current one. Good times, as usual. Tuesday bring us the management Town Hall meeting. Expect more promises and hollow b.s. from Hunke and the gang. At least there will be free cookies and drinks to go with the false bravado and PowerPoint presentations.
And that Ladies and gentlemen is the typical long term USAT whinner. Whine, whine, whine. Same story, new day! How would you like to be the new Editor and lead a team of folks like this?
Some interesting comments from John Paton, CEO of Digital First Media (management over of MediaNews and Journal Register companies): http://jxpaton.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/old-dogs-new-tricks-and-crappy-newspaper-executives/
If the next editor comes from within Gannett, there's a better chance that existing management will survive in some capacity. That's Gannett's insular culture.But if Hunke and Ellwood really reach outside the company -- as a few posters here have predicted -- then all bets are off.
11:01 - Who is the new VP of IT?
"Credos come without explanation or vetting."What is a credo???
I see Gracia will be hosting a town hall meeting this week after the Investors Day. I feel like I attend one of these say-nothing meetings every other week. As Elvis once said...."a less conversation, a little more action please. All conversation ain't satisfactioning me."
Creedo: ellwood says vertcals are the "right strategy."
Gimme a frigging break. Town hall meeting? Can't wait for this one. It's circus time, boys and girls. Get ready for the show!
I hear everyone still employed at the 30th anniversary gets 30 shares of stock. True? ThAts worth about $450 if my math is right.
I know for a fact of a designer at one of the studios making right about $50k, not a team leader or supervisor of any type.
Any word on eight remaining USAT production/Mclean workers that are targeted for a layoff?
USA TODAY is a toxic pit. A nicely landscaped one, but nonetheless deadly to anyone who values loyalty, competency and a strong work ethic.
Couldn't have said it any better.
Ali Zoibi, publisher of The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, LA, is retiring. Replacement is Richard Roesgen, formerly of Font du Lac, Wisc.
Town hall meetings, are standard in business. It's just a way for everyone to touch base on the state of business. I'm not sure why this thread is a "doom-and-gloom" perspective on a Town-hall meeting. I honestly think it's wise to have town-hall meetings, to engage all levels of the company and insight interest in the companies future objectives and goals. Go with an open and positive mind. If you have "doom-and-gloom" attitude about life, then your only self prophesying your own destiny. The town hall format is often used to get employees excited about the company and it's goals.
The new management at USAT gives us very little confidence. Sales and Marketing suck and there is no Editor in Chief. What is there to be positive about?How can a national Newspaper NOT be able to recruit a GREAT Editor?And Banikarim and her crew (Michek,etc) are all about ego, not results...just a sad state of affairs.There are some talented people in the world. We just don't have them in our leadership.
Excellent post, 4:18.
4:18 Company-wide "town hall" staff meetings are useful when management is candid and employees are free to ask meaningful questions without fear of retribution.Otherwise, it's an exercise in spin by management and fear and frustration among the rank-and-file.
So Dr Zzzz has already written his he'd for the THM. Another fine job of reporting.
Nothing this management team has given us so far has given us clear goals or a map to get there. The hollow talk , weird hires, consultant studies and false bravado sound like an extended amateur hour. We have little to get excited about in this backdrop, especially when we constantly fear for our jobs.
I would love a town hall meeting where an executive acted like a real genuine person...and not a corporate talking head.If employees could talk honestly and expect a sincere attempt at problem solving, I'd be all for it.
If a question is reasonable & with good-intentions, I know that management would take the time to respond in kind. I have seen management get attacked from time to time, during open meeting forums... And, I will admit that management has always answered those "questions" in good grace. I don't consider a company meeting an attempt to spin. However, I would say that someone suggesting that it's something more than a standard meeting, may be the spin doctor, themselves. To provide a sense of cohesiveness and across-the-board communication, I think "town hall" forums are a traditional and effect approach for leadership.
4:18, yes, it would be great if it worked that way at Gannett properties; however, the questions are "planted", and we have to have approval prior, and at the same time are told "what" to ask. Not a very effective form of leadership in my book.
I never attended ANY meeting where I felt free to speak. I'd speak anyway, of course -- at first, early in my career and shot down every single time.But once I got "it," I said nothing again and just waited for these things to be over so I could catch up on missed work.
Quick. Name three things of any significance that Hunke, Banikarim, Ellwood, Micek or Lee Jones have accomplished to advance the business of USAT.Okay then. How about three things between the five of these high priced "leaders."One thing?That's what I thought.
When I asked co-workers what they thought of topic points discussed in general meetings... They often replied with their initial preconceived notions, that they had prior to the meeting. I would mention actual items discussed in the meeting, that they did not pick up on (or listen too.) They went to the meeting, but they were not "listening." After the meetings, they discussed their own "feelings-of-being", instead of reviewing key-points of the meeting. I think in many cases the topics went over the employees heads... And, those employees that did not understand felt isolated, and discussed their feelings of insecurity in regards to employment. However, there were always a handful of people that understood the topics discussed, and felt empowered by the knowledge extended to them. So, it's almost like you have to tailor those presentations for every level... Those that want to know about the business and those that just need a morale boost. So, my next question is to the bloggers on this site: What would you like to discuss at the town hall? Are there people out there that expect a morale boost and are not interested in the business end? ... If so, what would ease your mind?
6:55, When you name "names," with a negative undertone that can not backed up by evidence... It's considered defamation of character. Also, I'm sure that anyone of your coworkers would not be able to name three of YOUR accomplishments on the spot.
7:09 - That we're going to start getting raises again and not be furloughed ever again. That's what I'd like to hear.
2:22: Which studio is that designer working in, and how much experience?
In theory a Town Meeting should be a wonderful thing for management and employees. However, you forget that Gannett and its management is NOT interested in hearing what you think. You must be management if you are posting that they do. At our site, everyone just remains quiet for fear of getting fired or labeled a trouble maker and then are told how stupid they are. You can't have it both ways and freedom of speech is not practiced at Gannett except for what is printed in the community products and what is posted on their website to the general public.
The only job security and raises senior management can guarantee are its own. Gannett has found the formula for keeping troublesome employees in line: fear and intimdation.
At least we don't have Robin Pence managing Tuesday's agenda.
On the 2:22 comment that mentions the supervisory-level. In my experience, the bottom level supervisors (USAT Mclean Production) were not a necessary part of the food-chain, and did not serve a practical use.
On 7:26's valid point of pay-increases and furloughs... I wonder if there could be another way of approaching the "potential of a furlough." Meaning, if they have an amount of dollars tied to each division for a prospective furlough... Could they say, we are looking to save "X" amount of dollars,from your division... Instead of a furlough, can your division come up with a creative solution to save or generate the value "X" prior to a certain date???
Dave Teewueen to the rescue!!!
8:19 - That would mean giving up the control from the CP. That's never going to happen either.
@ 7:09, if the questions/discussion went over most employees' heads, then whose problem is that really? And I find that comment rather degrading.
Yeah, 8:08, so right! These supervisors who supported advertisers, editorial and others, who willingly showed designers how to do format work correctly, who worked nights, weekends, holidays and snow days and who regularly covered for sick employees were utterly unnecessary. Would love to know how you think you knew what these people actually did. One thing for sure, you are clueless.
7:09: When you present things at a meeting and those in the meeting don't get the things you present, it's not their fault. It's your fault. Any writer knows this: you can't blame the audience because they don't understand your wonderful ideas. They don't understand your wonderful ideas because you didn't communicate them well. Any manager who doesn't understand this is a bad manager.
Hunke has maintained a sense of false hype and the cojones worthy of a top used car salesman.
If I were the new Editor, I'd sack or reassign most of the staff. I don't have a problem with whiners if they are good at their jobs.
I wonder how many layoffs the buyouts are meant to prevent? Clearly, this is a prelude to another round of cuts. The only reason to offer buyouts - as opposed to simply laying people off - is because they get high salaries off the books without fear of an age discrimination lawsuit. If enough of the old-timers take the deal, then some of those who are left can be fired without fear of legal problems. Gannett will just have to be careful about the percentage of older employees it dumps in the next round. But if it tosses the occasional old-timer along with younger staffers, it should be fine. I'm curious what number the company is hoping to hit with the next round of cuts.
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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