An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Two weeks of pay for each year, but only up to 52 weeks--in other words, compensating for only up to 26 years of work. Anyone with more than 26 years isn't being compensated for the overage. For example, three people each make $700/week. Their maximum payout is $36,400. If Person A had 26 years, that's $1,400 per year of compensation. If Person B had 30 years, that's only $1,213 per year of compensation. Person C, with 34 years, is receiving only $1,070 of compensation for each of his 34 years. So isn't this still age discrimination?
So now we have someone complaining that a year isn't good enough. This wins as the most whiney post! You win.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
How is the transition to the five design hubs working out? Hearing it's not well at one hub.
Sorry about this repost but I'm hoping someone of consequence sees this and corrects this lunacy:Florida Today person here. Is Gannett for real? Sunday draws. Last week single copy came in with 38% +/- returns. Unbelievably they actually INCREASED some people's draws! Some of these poor carriers came in with 800...900 returns and they ADDED to that? Is there a real reason behind that or just Gannett/Florida Today arrogance? They're so worried about cost cutting...cut backs and buyuts and furloughs and layoffs...yet they throw newsprint and ink out like running water. And the poor carriers get nothing extra for unnecessary work. Sorry but this just really befuddles me.
I hear there are some changes coming for GPS. Does anyone have the details? More specifically, the Offset sites?
The draw bump last weekend I'm sure was for the Super Bowl, and you see it right, they did not buy the paper to get the news
They have bumped for the Superbowl the last 10 years and it has never produced higher numbers. It's the Monday after paper that did better, such as it is. Bumping the draws is one thing...keeping them there after a huge return is ridiculous, especially after doubling the price. What is it when you do the same thing over and expect a different result?
Stoney LaDouche says TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN!
I would take the offer if it was offered to me, but it wasn't. Enough time but not old enough, It is very obvious they are slowly phasing out the print. Bet in five years most sites will be a shadow of what they used to be. Wonder when the next round of layoffs will be — probably close to the time most sites move to the design hubs. Just think its odd that they say they are offering 30 people buyouts but are only actually giving them to nine(just an example). Very depressed about going back to work on Monday.
Very sad state of affairs in our industry today. At least people with long years of service are being offered a buyout. Is the buyout fair? People have been debating on this blog for the past couple of days but at least they are being offering something. The rest are subject to layoffs or at our site they are threatening people everyday with being fired and its every day.I agree with a former post, stop whining. At least you have a choice. Most of us with under 20 years of service have nothing to decide. It will be decided for us. I long for the days when you would tell people you work for the paper and they would say what a great thing. Talk would center around articles and breaking news stories, investigative reporting, watchdog journalism, editorials that inspired water cooler conversations. Now its "Nobody reads the paper, where is the local news and its full of just advertisements. Takes about 5 minutes to read it from front to back if that" Gannett had the world in its hands with community newspapers and the ability to have beat reporters in the know. Tips coming in all the time and coverage no other paper had. Now when someone asks to have something covered, they get the we don't cover that, post it online yourself, not enough people to write for the paper. Technology with instant ability to capture news should have enhanced our product both online and in print. Sad that Management decided to line pockets with profits and bonuses instead of doing what our industry does best.Sad. And there are many of us who give a damn and mourn that loss.
You know that's a great sound bite but with few exceptions there isn't a newspaper company that has found the answer yet. Everyone is hurting and laying off staff. Technology improved, 24/7 became the norm. Its not if newspapers will disappear but when. So enough with "if the greedy bastards would only do this or that." the end began with Craig's List and was hastened when myriad hand held devices became the norm. That's it folks. Stop with the fairy tale delusions. Even your favorite blog is online
11:10 -- True, print may be on its death bed. But if the experienced journalists are forced out and all that's left are underpaid inexperienced kids right out of college who don't even know a community, what are they going to produce for online that's worth paying to read? No watchdog or investigative reporting, just blogs about the Grammy awards and bands. And yes there's a place for that, but there should be more to journalism. After this round, only 1 will be left in our "information center" with more than 10 years experience here.
So Kid Rock is in a spat with the Detroit Free Press? How bizarre.
I'm on of the young kids right out of college. I agree there will be a talent void after all the veteran reporters are forced out.I want to learn from those who have experience. I'm disappointed to see Gannett, a leader in journalism, basically fall to pressures of wall street and financial decisions. It's not a matter of print vs digital. Everyone understands the platforms are shifting. But you cannot fire/buy out all the veteran reporters and expect to put out a great news product...online or in print.
Why not. And I call bullshit. I've yet to see a ln experienced reporter mentor a kid.
A year is more than good enough when compared to just getting fired (laid off) for no reason other than greed and your age.Anyone would be deranged to not jump when given the chance, especially considering the alternative.Anyone who trusts Gannett to "do the right thing" by them is a fool. I know. Your talents, your awards, your contributions... all are irrelevent to these vile people.Run! This is the best chance you will EVER get from these evil corporate robotrons.
I sadly agree with 10:25. Used to be, when someone learned you worked for the local newspaper, you'd be peppered with comments and questions about recent stories and rumors of news not yet officially reported. Now people just shrug and say, "I don't read the newspaper anymore. It's nothing but ads." I understand the convenience of digital delivery -- convenience for parties on both ends. But there must be worthwhile content if people are going to buy your print product or go to your website. And the way Gannett is gutting its content providers is a sure-fire method of killing all products eventually.But what do those at the top care? They're busy looting the company while it still is generating some cash. They don't plan to be around when the roof caves in.
Not all papers are dieing. There are some who are still doing it the right way. Sadly, or gratefully however, none of them are tied to Gannett. They are the ones who are independent of big corporate. They are ones still tied to their communities. They are the ones who refuse to turn their backs on their readers. Wasn't there a time when a company would see what they were doing wasn't working and go back to what made it right? Want to be an online news collector? Fine, but why decide to cut the jugular and think the rest will carry enough? Just doesn't make sense.
Please post the names of those newspapers
I'm 50, accepted a job offer yesterday in an unrelated industry after taking advice read on this blog regarding eliminating any reference to the newspaper industry and focusing on skills. Responses to my resume immediately jumped. I have a bit of vacation time available but will risk losing it when I walk into my bosses office Monday and tell him I'm leaving the paper on Tuesday. Unprofessional? Unprofessional is the treatment I've been receiving by the butt kissing managers over the past several years. I will walk out of the office on Tuesday with my head held high and not look back. That said, I will miss a once proud industry and my remaining friends many of whom were given buyout offers which all view as take it or be fired opportunities.
The Republic reportedly sold a half a million dollars in ads for next week's statehood centennial edition. Lesson here? Give advertisers something besides the usual cookie-cutter crap and they will buy.
@1:57 PM, how would you risk losing your accumulated vacation time? That is a benefit that you earned, not a gift. They can't not pay you for it unless you are covered by some weird employment contract which gives Gannett that option.
Yeah, can't you just make your last in office day Tuesday, but make your last 'official' work day be whichever day it would be if you added earned vacation time to post-Tuesday? Why let Gannett off the hook for paying you what you've earned? Anyway, congrats on the new job. You'll likely find an adjustment needed with respect to being treated like a valuable, grownup professional instead of a lowly peon. But I think you'll make the transition.The takeaway in your posting can't be stressed enough: Downplay the newspaper background as much as possible and highlight your skillset.
1:57: Congratulations on your new job!In Gannett, although you receive a certain number of leave days and can schedule them throughout the year, you actually "accrue" them as the year progresses. If you take leave early in the year and leave before you "accrue" the time, the pay for those days will be deducted from your last paycheck. At my site, if you came in to give your resignation with just one day's notice, you can expect to turn in your badge and be escorted out at that time. Better have your Outlook contacts and any files that you want copied before Monday! The fact that your new job is in an unrelated industry might buy you to the end of the day to clean your desk and say your goodbyes but I wouldn't count on it. Don't expect any cake or ice cream either, no matter how long you have been there.
Once you begin writing your resume you will realize how many skills you have acquired during your career and see how transferrable they are to other professions because in reality, all businesses have the same basic structure, just different products. Good luck, everyone!
1:59-The Republic reportedly sold a half a million dollars in ads for next week's statehood centennial edition.Nine in the Republic's Advertising department are considering their early retirement offers. I wonder how much they contributed to the half a million in ads for the statehood centennial ediition.
If nine at the Republic were offered buyouts, that's a total of 180 years of customer contacts and relationships about to walk out the door. If these people weren't pulling their weight, they would already have been fired. I hope the paper's planning on saving more than this will cost over the coming years!
I'm interested in hearing more about the design studios, as one person mentioned above. Can you tell us which one isn't going so well? I'm interviewing for one and would like to know what I'm getting into beforehand. Also, I'd really like to have some idea of the salary range there - I can't seem to find anything about salaries of Gannett employees at the design studios. Thanks.
3:54 And consider this: If all 665 employees take buyouts, division-wide, that's a minimum of 13,300 years of Gannett experience walking out the door.
3:24, for all the time I was with Gannett, I myself was unaware of the accrual structure. It was never mentioned. I only discovered it upon being laid off, which speaks of how well HR kept us up to speed (the last employee information manual was printed and distributed six years previous).To be fair, by this point, our HR seemed almost as in the dark as the rest of us. But it was quite the unpleasant surprise when I successfully endured many years and assumed the "just rewards" of five weeks' vacation pay, the carrot earned by that lengthy service. Man, was I soon educated. Four-hundred bucks. That was it. My "accrual." I was not the only one taken aback, but I understand the strategies of this accrual model -- just not the lack of proactive communication dispelling an impression widely held among many.Quite the dysfunctional operation. But, then again, Gannett doesn't care. They can tell you, here's the deal: give us 25 or more years of service and you've earned five weeks' vacation for the commitment.Turns out... not so much.
1:32 a.m. I have to answer. They are offering us a package. You do not have to take it. They could have like the Times and Post offered less. But they didn't. Probably want lots to take it, but you do not take it. You can hold out and wait for two or three or four years of pay but I would not hold your breathe. I'm taking it.
Reposting from earlier editions:Anonymous said... Just have to ask, what part of USCP only did you not get with the questions on whether GPS, Broadcast, Corporate, Newsquest, Captivate or even Army Times was included? What part of the note a month ago on here's your pension number do you not remember. I mean, come on people already. Do you read anything. I for one generally don't, but for big things like this I can't imagine you don't read things. Read things already.2/11/2012 4:46 PMAnonymous said... 4:46 - For a fact, Broadcast is part of Community Publishing at some sites. Pension info sent last month does not include annuity info and the "Services Team" will not give estimates to anyone including those offered the early retirement opportunity. I read and work to understand the questions people are posting, do you?2/11/2012 5:25 PM
Two Words: Retroactive PackagesHow far in advance of Gannett’s public announcement of its “Voluntary Early Retirement Opportunity Program” did it formally approve this plan?The answer for those who retired in that window should mean they’d get the same separation package as what’s being offered to those who raise their hand to go now.
6:03 - Great question! I know someone that might have qualified (not absolutely sure about her age) and left to start a job at a new TV station last week. Hope she didn't miss out on the opportunity.
At least two retired in Cincinnati the week before...it's worth checking into either with Gannett and/or via outside representation.
This kind of post once again demonstrates how folks that post here have a scary ignorance how programs like this work. There are more Federal laws controlling an EROP than posters on this string. It's a much better program than TPP and yet you haters look for every angle you can create to attack Gannett. Where are these posts when folks are laid off and get 27 weeks of TPP? Gracia Matore has been in charge for what five months and this is a good program. Can't anyone here recognize that?
anyone know the answer to this. I take buyout, get retiree benefits after the 52 weeks. Spouse gets them, too? when I turn 65 and lose retiree benefits and have to go on Mediacare, can spouse get COBRA? (she will still not be Medicare-eligible yet at that time).
7:57. I'm really not sure what retiree medical plan people have been talking about unless it's a negotiated benefit in a union contract. As far as I know, that program was discontinued years ago. I know at my former site, we've had folks retire and nobody was offered health. Once you are off the company payroll, they will offer you COBRA for either 18-36 months, depending upon your situation. If it's 18 months and you become medicare eligible, then your wife would be eligible for up to 18 more months of COBRA, but the total can't exceed 36 months. Clear as mud?
Wrong. There is a retiree medical plan. Another colleague who doesn't know what he is talking about.
7:57 - I don't know the answer but call the Gannett Benefits Center at 877-865-8980 (EROP FAQs for Eligibles).
Give me one moment in time...to be more than I though I could be...Very sad.
One thing to keep in mind: if Gannett resorts to layoffs, they will have to jettison a broader age range of workers to avoid age discrimination litigation. Nonetheless, I still think this deal is lousy for most of those eligible.
The deal is lousy? Damn, I only wish I was two years older. I would take this in a Brooklyn minute. At a time when severance is capped at 26 weeks at most newspaper companies, this is unbelievable. Please, please drop it two years and I am going, going, gone.
I'm at the 56 yr old needle, if 24 of us are eligible and only 10 are being accepted and the list provided in my packet states that many others of the 24 are already 61,if they all apply then my chances of being accepted is nil..So why would I put my self out there to only be told, sorry we took those more senior to you. I'd be pissed to want to go and be told, nevermind! Then what's next, do I make the next layoff list anyway since I was on this list? and note: NOT one Sales rep was offered but some were eligible..at 56, I've been trying for 2 yrs to find another job and not one interview. I can't take the risk but I'd love to walk tomorrow. Just sad, no winning here
Remember, it's years of service, not age. At least on the TV side, very few have stayed at one property for their whole career so at 56, you may have more seniority than someone who is older. Can you figure out how long the others have been with Gannett? Accept if that's what you want and seniority will decide. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. What I'm wondering is if not enough people in one Department accept, will they increase the number in another Department? Does anyone know?
4:01 and 2:16 ... Salaries at design studios are not good. Hear some bad things about Asbury and Des Moines. Overworked and lack of quality work overall. Don't know about other three.
12:28 I remove what are essentially copy-and-paste posts.
I don't care what the platform is, as long as good, accurate, well reported, well written news gets out there. I am a long in tooth veteran and I love the web and digital. Hell, we get to be competitive with the wires, does any journalist with a competitive bone in their body not get excited by that prospect? Yeah, I tweet, I facebook and to me it's all part of getting the news out there to our readers by any means necessary. Too bad the business side hasn't kept up and for that I lay the blame at the feet of corporate. Don't blame the content providers for the fact that the industry hasn't kept up by having a 21st Century business plan to make money from digital. You can buy out all the gray hairs on the staff and it won't make a difference until you do that.
You can have all the skills in the world, but the harsh reality of age discrimination will hamper your job search if you're over 50.Statistics show that the odds of you finding a job that pays comparably to what you were making before being thrown out of the newspaper business are fairly horrendous after a certain age. And it's not like newspaper people make that much to begin with.So, the question for newspaper people is this: Can you afford to take a year or two off to search for a new job (it will most likely take you that long), and if you find one, can you live on half the pay? If you can do those things, then you probably will be happier than you are or were in the news business, particularly in the last 3-4 years where anyone over 50 knows what it's like to work with a bulls-eye on their back. Very stressful.On a related note, even though age discrimination is running rampant in America, I don't see the media doing many stories about it. Wonder why? Could it be that media companies like Gannett, a blatant offender itself, won't allow it?
Please identify the source of your "statistics show"
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."
Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.
Subscribe in a reader