An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
I'm just curious about the remaining reporters left. Do you earn enough to live in your respective cities?
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Ok since you won't let this go tell us which conferences you wanted to go to and were told you couldn't go? By the way do you know if she was asked to speak at the event? She does that you know.
6:03 AM, I think you are out of touch with the economic climate here at Gannett. Our resources have been inundated by waves of layoffs and furloughs. We have all been conservative and tasteful, as we watch our valued resources dwindle. It's not easy to swallow Gersh's self-indulgence, after watching rounds of layoffs. Yes, we already know that Gersh had volunteered for the SXSW panel-discussion, which is a different classification than the listed SXSW “speakers.” And, yes, everyone loves a volunteer. It's a matter of what is appropriate spending during these difficult times.
6:40 you've made this personal. Move on
It's also the particular events that Gersh has chosen to attend... SXSW is primarily a music & film event. They have added an "interactive" segment to the festival. However, even SXSW's organizers are marketing the "interactive" portion, as "how interactivity is changing the music and film industries." It really is not an event for Gannett to focus on, especially when there are oodles of more informative digital/social media events. I've seen Gersh's tweets on the SXSW event, and it leaves the impression that Jodi is enthused by the music-portion/performers. There was an attempted coverup, in which someone claimed that Twitter debuted at a previous SXSW. The fact of the matter is, Twitter had already existed prior to that SXSW event. Twitter had a successful advertising campaign (2 plasma screen displays) at the 2007 SXSW, which increased Twitter's popularity with a target audience. And, one thing you need to know, in the digital area, is "the audience."
I sorry, this has peaked my Pinterest!
This thread on Ms. Gersh is nothing more than ill-informed trash. Ms. Gersh is a recognized leader in social marketing tools. She had helped countless Gannett people become more adept and more effective in the use of social media to build traffic. If everyone in Gannett was as effective as Ms. Gersh is in her position, we would be in a much more admirable position. Whatever Gannet does for Ms. Gersh it is still not enough. Her contributions to the overall effort are to be lauded.
7:43/8:03 AM, It's nothing personal. I'm sure she's a fun & likable person. Just a counter-point on how we ALL need to be financially responsible & conservative as a company.
8:03,I could also throw the word "trash," around. However, your use of the word "trash" does not diminish the severity of this issue.
In the last thread,someone commented about about off main site or secondary offices being closed.Are more of these closings happening and it's just not being wriiten about here?
Congratulations Green Bay on winning best state newspaper from the WNA.
Great for them.Will that help employees when the layoffs begin?
Sure. They can go into their next job interviews and bring their awards with them. That will go far.
8:33, excellent question. See what happens when you dare to post something different than your usual stuff?
Why is there money to increase the dividend, buy back stock, but no money for raises or to keep people from being furloughed
Gannett names new President of Ad Sales.http://adage.com/article/people-players/mary-murcko-named-president-sales-gannett/232959/
Because it's not in the top execs' interest to do so, 10:36. What do they get out of that? It would take away from their bonuses. It also would take away a strong incentive for current, experienced employees to leave, which is another key initiative.
10:36 AM, Increasing the dividend will motivate more investors to purchase stock. It's a smart economic move, since investors always want a return. Cheers, - EconGuy;)
Looks like unexpected personal matters will stop Richard Roesgen from taking the publisher job in Lafayette...Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 Dear Colleagues,I’ve just learned this morning that due to unexpected personal matters Richard Roesgen will not be assuming the role of President and Publisher here in Lafayette and Opelousas.This is a personal matter I trust we all will respect their privacy. As it happens several other qualified candidates surfaced after Richard was announced last Monday and senior management will be pursuing those discussions.In the meantime we’ll continue to do what we do best…………..deliver great local news to our community and produce great results for our advertisers.All the best,AliAli ZoibiPresident and Publisher337.email@example.com Bertrand DriveLafayette, LA 70506One Company. Countless Solutions.
Check this out here:http://jodiontheweb.com/jotwblog/
From the Pensacola editor on paywall ... (notice the mention of "great paying jobs"http://www.pnj.com/article/20120226/OPINION/202260307/Schneider-pnj-com-s-out-free-next-?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s
I assume the Green Bay staff will be rewarded with pay increases.
I am not a newspaper insider. I am just a concerned citizen that would really like to see the profession of local Journalism succeed. I recently noticed Gannett is rolling out the paywall in other markets beyond the initial three. I live in the Tallahassee market and watched this paywall test first hand. I do not know if the local paywall has any correlation with overall circulation, but recent circulation numbers for the Democrat seem to be some of the worst in the state; year over year and 2008 to the present the Democrat has the worst percentage declines or close to the worst of dailies in Florida. I guess what really bothers me is that the paywall was an opportunity to price the paper at many different price points, the marginal cost of digital content should be zero. They chose one price and it seems pretty high to me. Gannett has implemented a clear lowbrow shift in the Democrat since they purchased it in the last decade. Some examples of this include lots of biased user generated op-ed content, press releases that pass as articles, tons of AP content, cheap syndicated drivel from content mills, and imported op-ed pieces from low tier newspapers (WACO paper op-ed show up in the Democrat, and a focus on local sports. There is also a notable decline in the quality of editing, comments from the editor, and sheer thickness of the paper. Now I think there is a price point at which I would subscribe to the Democrat in its present form. It would be a far lower number though, maybe a dollar or two a month. It certainly should not be up there with quality papers and periodicals I subscribe to electronically, but they price it as such. I think Gannett has failed to understand their market, the product they deliver, and the economics of the internet. I would suggest that it bodes ill for the future of local papers when they are managed by companies like Gannett. I think if I were in the newspaper business, I would look to where things are working in the newspaper business. I'm thinking about The St.Pete Times, Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Driving the quality of the content down without driving the price down seems like a proven failure. Do any of those thoughts resonate with what you insiders hear internally? I guess I could be way off, but I usually have a good feel for these things and the conglomonoloies in this business just seem to have some really bad ideas coupled with terrible execution.I just want good, tough, in depth, smart local Journalism back. Is there hope out there and who is doing it right?
Hello 1:25,The content and even the website require all types of talent/resources to produce. Many publications are moving to subscriber-based business models. As the digital-market is growing, publications are realizing that this is the time to initiate the subscriber based model to sustain resources that are required to produce it.
1:25, Sadly, you share the thoughts of most, if not all, community members that I've spoken with. The problem is Gannett doesn't care. They do not care about their employees, they do not care about their communities. All they care about is the bottom line. This is the most inept management team Gannett has ever had and it is painful to watch. Stay tuned as the paywalls are about to launch at all 80 sites. I suspect there will be a mass exodus of employees and subscribers.
... 1:25,I assure you that Gannett cares about its readers and employees. I respect the efforts, of our leadership, during the first launch of the subscriber-based model. I expect that the subscriptions will quickly incorporate different types of access levels, that would be better tailored for you. I anticipate that our journalism will also readapt, to regain the coverage that you expect.
1:25,First, thank you for your support, throughout the years. We pride ourselves on addressing readers' concerns. We will work hard to regain your readership and product loyalty.
12:46, I'd like to know the size of the bar tab that Gannett ran up at the WNA convention over the weekend.
1:54: As you continue to lay off employees and offer buyouts to your most knowledgeable journalists, how are you planning on making this happen?
Good gawd, shills...learn to punctuate!!
"I assure you that Gannett cares about its readers and employees."I assure you this is most definitely not the case.If they cared about their employees, they wouldn't have cut their workforce by over 20,000 since 2005.If they cared about their readers, they wouldn't put out an inferior product, and then get all defensive about it when challenged.All Gannett cares about is profit. Any other concern is secondary to the amount of money they can make for their stockholders. Gannett has proven that they are willing to sacrifice employees and product quality in order to increase revenue, and there is no reason to believe they will not continue to do so.If you really think that Gannett cares about you, then you need to get some help.
Now that there is a president of ad sales what happens to Leslie G?
Wow,who is the corporate cheerleader?
1:25, Thanks for giving us a reader's point of view. We don't get enough of that here. Bottom line, nothing is going to change until Gannett sells its papers to owners who will be devoted to local news coverage and their readers. Smaller markets have the best chance of recovery, as no one else is covering, e.g., Tallahassee, aside from state capital/politics news. It'll take some time and maybe another management change. For now, Gannett thinks it can ride out the business decline by faking it as a tech player. At the rate it's going, its subscriber base and web viewership will keep hitting new bottoms. If Gannett doesn't wise up and sell to the highest bidders, other sites with rich content will simply take over their markets.
2:08, The Wisconsin Newspaper Association is a legitimate convention. The previous threads were about a particular employee who is abusing their privileges and choosing questionable events. If I recall correctly, Ms. Gersh chose a less than mediocre convention in Hawaii and the somewhat notorious SXSW which is a spring-break event for music & film industry. Enormous difference. Don't let Ms. Gersh's shortcomings ruin the overall perspective on conventions.
Profit rules in Gannettland.Everyone must know that all the layoffs,furloughs,cutbacks,cutting everything to the bone has come in a time when Gannett has been profitable.The margins of profits just have not been high enough.Most businesses would be happy with the margins that have been realized.
2:28 PM,In order to pay for talent, Gannett, like any business, needs to be realistic about incoming revenue. As you already know, revenue and investments are imperative in any business. And, our product/content quality, attracts readers and advertisers. It's a cycle of cause and effect. I know this is a frustrating time for everyone. But, I see the changes that Gannett has been implementing and I see a brighter future ahead. I honestly hope, that in the near-future, we will be able to re-hire individuals that have been laid off. I love all of you folks, even the grumpy disgruntled ones.
Even in the best of times when the stock was at ninety Gannett has paid low wages to it's employees. Raises were capped at three percent. This company has never cared about it's employees. Good people were leaving before any lay offs.
How many have been re-hired since the bloodletting began 4 YEARS ago?
Wow is Gracia posting on the blog?Go Gracia. This is THE place to be heard so maybe come out from behind the curtain.Employees would Love that!
2:35 writes: "Now that there is a president of ad sales what happens to Leslie G?"The reference is to Leslie Giallombardo, who has been Gannett vice president/advertising since 2006.
Hey 2:58. So where is the shared sacrifice? Let's start there.
I hate to say it, but the truth is that had we not laid off people as revenue fell and instead kept them on as long as possible, we'd be in a much worse position as a company.If we had left staffing at the 50,000 level until now and then done a 10,000 layoff we would have incurred incredible debt in the interim and the cuts would have been so immediate and severe that entire divisions would have had to liquidate.Has corporate done all the right things? Hell no. Stupid acquisitions, partnerships, and hires - all with second-run talent - wasted capital. The blossoming vice president class gives us lots of leadership but no workers.I do hope that our company, like our government, can succeed in spite of itself. That we can in both cases hold on long enough for a cyclic economy to raise all boats. In the meantime, I'm preparing for the possibility that it won't.
Hey 1:25, you are spot on.After the buyouts and staff losses due to the Design Center implementation, the Tallahassee newsroom will have gone from about 100 in the mid-90s under Knight-Ridder to about 25 or 30 FTEs. Theirs is a textbook example in how to mismanage a news-gathering entity. So much for paywalls saving journalism.Make no mistake: Job #1 for Gannett is to squeeze as many dollars OUT of each local community and send that money TO the Crystal Palace, to stuff into the pockets of the top brass.
1:25 part21:25 here again. Thanks for the comments. I guess my intent wasn't to get the PR machine at Gannett going, but thanks for the insight. I am truly interested in the business model and changes that might work and make things better. I have not really seen anything about that. As I read through some of the replies, I recalled the best in depth Florida based article I had read in recent history. It was about Nevin Shapiro (UM supporter) and it was published by the New Times. When I lived in SFlorida, the New Times was a free paper they handed out at FIU. The article I read was incredibly in depth and well written. I couldn't believe it. This free weekly had put out an incredibly well researched article on a local personality. Try to find something like that in a Daily in Florida. I live in the Capital of Florida and there are buildings full of people around here working for tax payers that are constantly being influenced by business and special interests. I would think that reporters would have a field day here. "This is ground zero for every crooked thing in State government. Very little out of the Democrat though and nothing really original or edgy. They don't seem to break any stories. If I want to read an article on state government, I go to the St. Pete Times. They have the most detail and they cover far more than the local paper does. This is the sort of journalism I want to support.I think the news business needs to figure out how to get really in depth, well researched,high quality independent local content. It is all gone. Local papers today look like USAToday with blurbs and single paragraphs replacing real reporting. I guess I don't want news, I want reporting. I want the newspaper that is not afraid to take a stand and put some money behind cracking a story open. It is almost like the newspapers are afraid to make anyone mad. I recall the Democrat publishing a story about the declining real estate market on the back of the front section. This was when the market was just starting to decline. There must have been an uproar from advertisers, because I recall some sort of borderline retraction and editorial comment. They had to balance that one negative article with a counter point article. I can't tell you how many times they printed some Realtor parroting that "real estate never goes down" line with nary a detractor. They were out there though, they just weren't Realtors and the reporters at the Democrat never found them.
1:23 -3User generated content can be of high quality and very relevant, but it has to be done properly. The WSJ has some really smart readers that contribute great insight. They also have tons of people that offer little and just want to cheer-lead some viewpoint or issue. I can filter all those guys out though at the WSJ. When I read reader comments in all the dailies around the state, there is nothing there worth anyone's time. It is really page after page of garbage. Tools to filter out the crazies and up vote worthwhile viewpoints would make this content more valuable. Get the smart readers to contribute and make it accessible. Maybe the same tools could be pointed at the actual articles as well. I want to read and support things that smart people are writing. When a paper spends good money on a well written article, I want to support that. When they fill a page with rehashed PR releases, I want to politely be able to remind the paper that I don't want my good reporting to suffer at the expense of the PR press releases. When the point counter point is basically lobbyists representing their respective sides of an issue. I want to be able vote that down and point out they are paid to take those positions and have zero credibility.There is money in here and I know it. I would pay $30 or $40 a month for great reporting. I know many of my colleagues that have dropped the paper would too. There have to be some business models out there that are working at the local level. Maybe it is weekly format or a regional format for the content I want. Maybe it is collection of paid bloggers who seem to be doing some great writing, they just need some order wrapped around them. Local news has a future and it is not the pay wall for the same low quality content. The content has to change. Good content needs to percolate to the top and drivel needs to get relegated to that annoying free weekly newspaper they used to throw in my yard.
How many people who have worked at USAT and left there one way or another in the last five years can honestly say their experience at the Gannett flagship was a positive one? I don't mean to imply you didn't like your coworkers or the gym or the nice building that I've seen a couple of times. I am simply saying that it seems more ex-USAT'ers than not have a pretty bad taste in their mouths despite some of the things they might have enjoyed at the nation's newspaper. In fact, if you talk to enough former Gannettoids in general, few ever have much good to say about the company. In my mind, that speaks volumes about a workplace and company that certainly appears to be in rapid decline, if not financially, than spiritually, professional and journalistically. The worse publicity for USAT is actually USAT employees and ex employees! That's amazing.Shouldn't people who have worked at a company's flagship have better feelings about their time there? I mean, in my travels to various conferences and seminars around the country, I am guessing 9 out of every 10 people from USAT speak horribly of it -- and I've spoken to at least a couple dozen folks from the Virginia campus. I would expect that from some of the employees and former employees at small Gannett properties in the middle of nowhere, yet USAT seems well ahead of the average in terms of haters of their old stomping grounds. Of course, they only admit to this stuff at cocktail hours, so perhaps I am getting some slightly skewed opinions...but still, damn, what the heck has gone wrong there? I remember back in the late 1990s it was considered a great place to work, at least for awhile. It was a real stepping stone. Now I am hearing that other media companies are hesitant to hired ex Gannettoids, even if they worked at the largest paper in the country.What a rapid fall from grace.
So here is something to think about. 10,000 Gannett journalists from small papers around the company would trade place with a USAT journalist in seconds. You think it's a tough place to work? Take a walk through the USAT newsroom any day of the week. No o e looks stressed and unhappy. Six figure salaries, a five day print publishing cycle and a palace to work in. You cry because some editor doesnt want to listen to your input? Well welcome to the real world. You use words like flagship and Founders. Coddled, pompous, and out of touch is more like it. It's time to grow up
Hey 1:25 part 2 –Keep reading the St. Pete Times for state government news. After the buyouts are completed, it is expected that Tallahassee will only have a Capital Bureau of ONE writer.(As opposed to two now.)
Anon@648PM: The "St. Pete Times" became the Tampa Bay Times on New Year's Day -- and that daily shares a Tallahassee bureau with the Miami Herald.
Yes, 10:05, I am well aware of that, and the name change to the Forum as well. But what is your point? Are you saying that because they've combined resources that it's not fair to compare the local (Tallahassee) paper to the outsiders?If so, my response is that the readers don't care. They'll gravitate to the best coverage.And that ain't the Democrat.
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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