An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Gannett's stock has backed off from this morning's highs, trading recently for $15.61 a share, up 4.2%, after trading as high as $16.26.Where do you think it will finish the day?
Wall Street likes what it sees. Today is about profit taking. The Monday close will demonstrate real value. Wall Street likes what it heard.
Jim, I don't know where the stock will land, but the fact that management is so excited about it is telling.Everyone reading and writing on this blog knows more about Gannett's inner workings than I do. I'm simply a long-time customer and avid consumer of the news you produce. I am taking the time to write here, however, because it seems increasingly clear that Gannett's management has abandoned me at the same time that good local reporters are struggling to keep producing excellent work in the face of major obstacles. I hope that someone in Gannett's management steps back and considers how their current actions are sabotaging future success before the whole company comes toppling down around their ears, if they are capable of long-term planning or thought. Or if they care.From a customer's perspective, I find myself paying more and more for a product which is rapidly declining in quality and quantity. I pick up a local newspaper because I want to know what my city commission is doing, what the schools are planning, or whether there have been burglaries in my neighborhood. I don't need to know about national or international affairs from my local paper or read recipes or advice columns because other sources serve me better in those arenas. What those national sources can't do, however, is provide me with relevant local info and that is the niche that Gannett has filled in the past for me.In the last year or so I have watched Gannett cutting back on paper delivery, raising prices dramatically, making their websites more superficial and difficult to access, cutting off anonymous commentary online (which is what kept local news junkies engaged in many cases), and begin to implement paywalls. Corporate Gannett is treating its customer base like we are a bunch of idiots, which I can assure you we are not. We know that facebook logins are a method to monetize our personal information and shirk the responsibility of forum moderation. We know that you print many more papers than you sell because it artificially inflates your ad rates. And we know that the editorial quality of your paper is on a steep downward trajectory due to the fact that you are savagely cutting back the local reporters and editors that have served us professionally for years.If Gannett doesn't take stock of what it is as a company I suspect it won't last more than 5 years longer. Upper management will leave with their big packages and a song in their hearts but other employees and loyal customers will be left without the quality reporting and watchdog functions that they need and deserve.Such a shame.
Good luck to Asheville, because people here in Brevard are rightly pissed off at this price increase, and are dropping like flies... don't even want to see what happens tomorrow morning when the paywall goes up, it is the last nail in the coffin and the final push off the cliff, mikolajczyk knew it, that is why he jumped ship, now we just sit here waiting to come to work with the doors locked and/or the building sold, which could be soon considering they are currently renovating two rooms. no one knows, love my job, sad over all of this mess.
Banikarim's PR agency is busy trolling the blog today with their cheerleading. Maybe they should spend a day at the company to get the real story.The employees know spin when they see it.
2:18 why good luck to Asheville?
@2:13 p.m. I applaud you! Well said.
Florida Today is not a new worthy paper. Wasted print. This building is one big empty pit!!!!
Oh, don't you remember those wonderful buzzwords and catch phrases surrounding 'solutions' which now is rampant all over advertising whether locally or on national TV for any given product. If I never hear the word 'solutions' again I'd be happy...Anyway...get ready for the greatest buzzword EVER to come from the ivory tower. sigh. Kinda reminds me of Flipper. You'll know what I mean in time. (they pay people to come up with this stuff?) wow.
Saddest. Thing. Ever.http://www.dealchicken.com/salem-or/8756?source=IP|mod|odypromo
@3:37 ... even sadder, the deal is not hatched: "Only 1 to go!"
To: Appleton-All Just a reminder of the Town Hall meeting today, we’ll gather at 2:45pm in the basement conference room. Here’s a list of those scheduled to speak:Gracia Martore, President and CEO GannettBob Dickey, President USCPDave Lougee, President of Broadcast Dave Hunke, President/publisher USA TodayDavid Payne, Senior VP, Chief Digital OfficerMaryam Banikarim, Senior VP, Chief Marketing OfficerPaul Saleh, Senior VP, Chief Financial OfficerTom Buesse, president of USA Today Sports Media GroupVikram Sharma, VP, Retail Strategy This is an exciting day as Gannett leaders will share highlights and our blueprint for success. Thank you,Genia
Regarding the Kate Marymount post on the previous thread...She might at one time have been a fine journalist but now that she's making the big bucks she's making decisions that are in her best financial interest -- i.e., doing whatever it takes to keep that job and salary -- regardless of who she hurts, what she cuts and how much her instincts tell her that passion topics are not fits-all deal -- especially when you gut the newsroom. Some papers can't simply say, "ok, let's cut this, this and this and cover only this and this," and not expect readers to get pissed. Add in the paywalls and we might be in for epic fail at our place.
What an outrageous post. This woman us killing herself to try to make things better and you attack her in this manner? I am so tired of these spurious attacks by individuals who never accomplished anything in their professional lives and then take the easiest attack route. Hell it's not even creative. More class warfare. How proud you must be Jim.
Sorry to use a word like "spurious" I forgot this is Gannett Blog.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2012/02/22/gannett-building-paywalls-around-all-its-papers-except-usa-today/Paywalls for all except USAT. It will work for NYT, but not for Gannett. Too gutted and all that is left is cr--.
So, what are you doing here 4:39/4:40 ??
Keeping it real. Not everyone hates their job
Hunke: least impressive. on his way out, by the look if things.Payne: im becoming a beleiver.Buesse: the next ceo?Martore: needs self awareness and emphathy. tone down the rah rah.Maryam: oy veh.Vickram: a baseball bat.really? You are out if your league
When will this thing end? Are they building a town hall? When is the q&a?
Sell Gannett NOW. All the projections for revenue gains are pie in the sky dreams. Cost efficencies are what this company knows best. 4 quarter furloughs, here we come!!!!!
How is she making things better? Give me one example. Passion topics is a joke. The design hubs are a disaster. How is she making things better?
CFO Saleh: the grim reaper. 0 to 2 percent growth in publishing thru 2015. Not good if these are projections.
Gracia, tell us we have jobs through 2015.
Where can i sign up to be on the senior management team?
Evidently 4:40's superiority complex interfered with the use of a period after the word "spurious."Perhaps one could "accomplish" a basic understanding of grade school punctuation before mischaracterizing valid criticism.As for the attacks, however, I agree that the criticism of "this woman" does become bitter for reasons both just and unjust.Indeed just because one finds one's self in a position where straw and rash-rah are one's only tools, doesn't make one anything more than desperate -- that is, if the insular elite could take a break and look up the definition.So she gets kudos for that.One does remember kudos, right? Oh, wait. I forgot -- at Gannett there is no such thing. Ever.But at least "this woman" not Dubow. At least now there's some life stirring. Whether that's just a death rattle, employees, readers, advertisers and blog contributors -- and Wall Street -- will see.
5:08 compared to the declines of the last 10 years? Growth in publishing is welcome!
4:39- and this is where your ignorance comes into play. I have accomplished quite a bit while employed by Gannett. Hell, I am still with this company and considered to be one of your valued employees (Executive). You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know BS when you see it. I am astounded that you would think because you say "rah rah" that people should just jump on the bandwagon and believe what you're all spewing because you said so. Corporate has created this culture and has done nothing to alleviate the employee's fears.
5:16 here. CX: I meant to quickly type "At least 'this woman' [is] not Dubow." Yes, I skipped the third person singular. But at least I know it, as one should in this field.But at my employ, I had coworkers across every department who not only rarely read their own newspaper, their paychecks signed and cashed, but considered grammar merely the graveyard of partied-out brain cells from college.
5:22 What they say makes sound business sense and it has potential. It's up to us to pull it off. Being that you say you're an executive if you're not effecting change perhaps you should move on and allow a deserving employee to stay. Why would anyone believe a person such as yourself?
I always wondered what makes one an "executive." President and Publisher at a 100,000 circ paper? Editor at a 5,000 circ weekly? Maintenance chief (with a crew of 2)?
If we are in such excellent financial position, why in the hell did I have to take a furlough? Sorry, can't get excited when I'm being shit on.
If that's the management team, we are doomed. A great modern media company, and they put on a high school performance. Best line: "... while I was in New York for Fashion Week." WTF?
Newsgate is the biggest piece of crap in the computer world. It is so incredibly dysfunctional and difficult for reporters and editors to use. Hell, it takes a reporter eight -- yeh, EIGHT -- steps to file a photo request. And if one of them is wrong, then the whole transmission blows up. I have witnessed this garbage system at the Asbury Park Press since its installation a year ago and still it fails, time and again, night after night. I cannot put into words how incredibly frustrating this is for reporters, who would love simply to sit down and write good stories. But, no, they are drawn into this wretched piece of manure system, deflating their spirits. Gannett bought cheap, as usual, and it got a piece of drek, as usual. Everything about this thieving company is about buying cheap so the executives and publishers can steal money in bonuses. The Asbury Park Press was a great paper before the Gannett thugs came to town. Now, the paper is a total rag. Period.
4:58 pm. Trust me -- trust all of us who have to deal with Banikarim....she will not rest until she has Hunke's title.
Omg did anyone else see the buffoon with the baseball bat?
These people are so tone deaf it is astounding. You blow smoke up our butts for an hour and fifteen minutes with no acknowledgement of the furloughs and the other ways you are bending over the workforce. What great news that the shareholders will get more money! You know what would make us feel as important as you and your clowns keep saying we are, gracia? Invest in our newsrooms so we can we once again have content worth paying for. And at the very least, pay us for the full year. Get a clue how you are perceived by the rank and file. If you were elected you would get trounced. Out of touch.
That presentation included clip art bar charts. Clip art. These are senior people making enormous salaries. It was like watching a mock business presentation among MBA students. Or high school students. We have a great team! We will win!
Perfectly stated, 6:05.
Banikarim is not qualified to be Publisher. She has not spent a day in publlshing. She is a TV public relations person. She's never sold an ad, never generated revenue, never been a journalist. Tell me again what she has accomplished at Gannett?Oh yeah she put Martore on Gannett TV stations for Make a Difference Day.
Were these charts done by the new Gannett Creative Director? Doesn't Banikarim have anyone on her marketing team who knows how to put a presentation together?
Why did Busse feel he had to tell us he was un nyc for fashion week? Wtf. Preparing us for Cannes?
You think MB would be worse than Gunke?
Speaking of WTF, what is the purpose project they spoke of?
5:58 "Omg did anyone else see the buffoon with the baseball bat?"By then, staffers had given up and were feeling free to laugh out loud. Before walking out.
How wonderful it would be to work for the company that was presented today in the Town Meeting. It certainly is nothing like what is happening at our site. All doom and gloom and threats of firings. Every day. No profits, furloughs, no pay raises. Very sad. Feels like two totally different worlds. It would be a great thing to be part of such a growing, innovative, community oriented company as presented. Just not reality in relationship to the world we go to work in every day at our local community paper.
6:45 has it. Yet there is still never any address of this. Just "you have got be kidding" platitudes from Corporate. It's all within reach? These types never reach anything.Remember the surveys? Where each, the properties, were solicited? Those folks are either retired or dead.Why, that's rabid socialism to the board now. We are in charge and we know what we're doing. Instead, these folks should be sitting the same of a roulette table for all their know-how.
With this company's current emphasis on non-paper platforms, there should be someone who understands customer service in the online realm. I received this e-mail today:"Thank you for subscribing to the FLORIDA TODAY. We are making several changes to our systems. These changes include moving to a higher level of security for your account."With this enhancement, we'd like you to upgrade your password to at least five characters in length. "You can make this change now in the Subscriber/Customer Service section on our site or you can wait and we will send you a Reset Password e-mail when the change becomes mandatory."At the end of this message came a yellow button marked "Access My Account."I pressed the button, and a Florida Today customer service page came up that did NOT contain the words "My Account." Or "Your Account." Or "Change my Password." Not to mention the e-mail was fill-in-the-blanks boilerplate. Notice the reference in the first paragraph to "THE Florida Today."
Indy Star staffers went on Twitter today to announce that paywalls would be coming this year. The ABC affiliate TV station (owned by Scripps) put up a story on their website. The comments are priceless. An inlking of how Indy Star readers feel once the paywall hits when it hits this year. Here's the link: http://bit.ly/zIXlr2
6:08, I disagree with your opinion.The presentation, that was given to the shareholders, was nicely done. Today's presentation, surpassed those of MB's predecessor.
Wonder how many times bat boy had to practice that routine so that Gracia could look great and be oh so funny with the you don't know anything about baseball line
I think it is disgusting that Gannett makes their employees sit through this dog and pony show. Just this year we were asked to take a furlough, told we have to lie about overtime (which is illegal by the way) told we will not get a raise and our fellow long-time dedicated employees were asked to take early retirement at 56 years old. We are supposed to be happy that they have received bonuses and gave their workers nothing? Literally nothing but an F you and continue to do the work of five people and be glad you have a job. This is truly a display of a total disconnect from the reality of the lives of the employees that bust their butts each and everyday just to keep their crappy low paying jobs. This production was no better than a political campaign. Glad your stockholders are happy — you employees are NOT!
Well said!!! And oh so true
There does seem to be a disconnect with the treatment of the rank and file (in the real world) and the fantasy world management portrays us in. Furloughs and the threat of layoffs doesnt make us feel valued. As far as the business plan, buying back shares and pupil ping the dividend makes sense, but not if the cost means substantially fewer employees and further diluted content. I do not see where this company is going to boost revenue by nearly $1 billion a year if there is nil growth in the publishing segment, either. Nearly a third to come from the Sports media group? Really? That's a lot of bat wielding Gannetoids.
I am happy Banikarim finally has the word “silo” in her vocabulary. She has officially drunk the kool-aid. Welcome Gannett stepford wife!
This obsession about we deserve to win and best of class hires is really dispiriting. If gannett executives are that unsure of themselves and need to pump themselves with self congratulatory esteem building excercises, they should do it in private. We don't buy the dog and pony show. We just want results. We want to feel valued and we want the job insecurity to be over. That would demonstrate best of class. Or at least a touch of it.
At least MB left the jeans and boots at home and dressed like a grownup for a change.
Bat Boy returns!
Interesting use of words such as offense. Not to mention audio visual aides such as baseball bats.
Take. The. Buyout.
Nicey put, 7:31.
7:31 The brass is just looking for next jobs and preparing golden parachutes. They'll say or do anything in the interim.
I didn't hear anything about investing in core news gathering or restoring lost resources. All the investment will be in digital and boosting the stock price. Whoopee!
Jim, hasn't Gannett lost something like $3 Billion in 5 years? Weren't most of these executives running the company during that time?The only new recruits are Payne, Banikarim, and Buesse. Weren't they all unemployed at the time of their hiring?Paul Saleh seems to be the only new recruit who required real recruiting.Not sure where they can claim "best in class" management team? Just asking.
Whenever a company starts talking about how they are going to turn things around by creating "new sources of revenue" or "purchasing new companies" they are in the last stage of denial. The fact they acted like they were excited about it says to me that corporate is either:1) Actually totally delusional2) Knows it's going down and already planning how to line their pockets by selling assets off.
Which would mean today's rah-rah was not for us, but the first draft of the sales pitch for the new owners of the various properties.
I will give her this: Gracia is a million times better at pep rallies than CD ever was. I imagine she is also better at running a corporation, too, and I say this as someone who is still deeply skeptical of anything I hear from HQ.Jaws dropped when Tom name-dropped Fashion Week. Fortunately, Vikram left us all laughing, and not in the good way, with his crazy/random prop comedy.New buzzword: It's in our DNA.
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