Thursday, February 02, 2012

Jan. 30-Feb. 5 | Your News & Comments: Part 4

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61 comments:

  1. There must be some Bill Murray fans at the Arizona Republic. The Business section had a huge photo of Murray with a groundhog from the movie "Groundhog Day" and the editorial page had a small photo of Murray from the movie, you guessed it, "Groundhog Day." The editorial was not related to the Business page story. Just a coincidence I guess.

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  2. I'm cross-posting this from another thread because it's of high interest:

    I've confirmed that buyouts are scheduled to be announced at one newspaper site next week for employees 56 and older.

    I suspect buyouts also will be offered at other sites, but I haven't been told anything about timing.

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    1. It's nice to see that you still get your details wrong when reporting. No Jimmy you will have to wait to hear the truth. But don't let that stop you.

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  3. Where can i view the news conference today at 3:30!?!?!?!

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  4. Hey 9:10 A.M. - Wait till tomorrow! You can see Bill all over again.

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  5. Give it up, 12:11. Buyouts are happening. Why do the corporate speak people keep trying to throw facts out the window when they know they're true? Why not just ignore the post rather than fuel the fire with your lies?

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  6. If Gannett is using age (in this instance, rumored at 56 and above) as the sole criteria for buyout eligibility then its leadership, including within the HR community, is truly inept as that is age discrimination and actionable.

    Now, if offers were made to any employee who is already retirement eligible and/or with X years of service, who’s age plus that equals 70 for example, then Gannett would be safe to do so.

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  7. I am thinking that Gannett has run the buyout criteria through their legal department.

    12:51, sorry they did not retain you as legal council this time around ... your JD was from which institution?

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  8. The operative word here is “IF” @ 1:06 PM.

    Now, if you’re incapable of comprehending that, then it’s doubtful you’d recognize the legal jeopardy that could result from Gannett using an employee’s age as the sole criteria for buyouts. Hence, the point is this: other criteria has to exist for buyout eligibility than what’s been rumored on this blog, if not, then it should.

    BTW, publishers and other executives of this corporation need not have a JD to understand what would be blatant age discrimination.

    12:51 PM

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  9. Gannett and other companies have used lower-age cutoffs for years. It's normally paired with years of service. Unless fed rules changed recently, it should still be legal.

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  10. Can somebody please attach a link to watch the conference. I dont see it on Gannetts site!

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  11. Publisher Garson is out in Louisville......"Retirement."

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    1. He is in his 70's. I think you could honestly call it a retirement. A little respect please.

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  12. Courier-Journal publisher Arnold Garson announced Thursday that he is retiring March 2.

    Garson has been with Gannett for 42years, most recently as publisher of The Courier-Journal. He was previously publisher of the Sioux Falls, S.D., Argus Leader.

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  13. HOW DO I VIEW THE WEBCAST!!!! PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!

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  14. All early retirement packages are buyouts, but not all buyouts are early retirement packages.

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  15. My mgr just told me to stop selling so much print, that I need to be selling more digital. What? I bring over $100,000 in print alone. Most of my customers do not want digital, print works for them and that's what they want to stick with.

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  16. 3:15 - That's true for our site too. Leavce it to the powers that be to not have a clue what their customers want. Can you say, sinking ship?

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  17. What does Garson's retirement mean for The C-J, and who would be in line to replace him?

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  18. 3:15, classic disconnect was evident at my site as well. "Sell more digital." The reps replied, "But my clients don't WANT digital."

    That is, except for this one not-highly-trained work of art whom I had the occasion to overhear as she made that pitch to a client on the phone, all buddy-buddy:

    "Print is so dead! You shouldn't even bother spending your budget on print." A sales rep (in this case in name only) discouraging ad dollars.

    I thought to myself, first, "That girl's in the wrong line of work." And then, "What a freaking idiot!"

    Depressing, that.

    So depressing that I thought the greater good would be served if I told myself it was none of my business even though "my business" has nearly every facet of this medium all my life.

    I'm not some busy-body snitch. But this, this was a digital sales pitch that was not in addition to using print, but excluding it.

    I know for a fact that wasn't in the script.

    Essentially, the lass just told the client that he had wasted his money just last month on print. Essentially impugning our circ figures.

    And I had asked her, "You every read our paper?" No. "Go to the website?" No.

    Sales rep was somethin' like 22. Probably her first real job. And typical with Gannett, no training and no real oversight.

    I decided to mention the situation to her department manager, but I would not reveal her name. This girl didn't need to be some scapegoat. She fully had no clue. Just a girl who spent her evenings drinking in dance clubs. The job was a job.

    I wanted my pointing this out for the situation to be a wake-up call for said training, said oversight. I thought it mattered.

    The dismissive response: "Well, if you don't tell me who it was by name, I'm not going to do anything about it." Sweet.

    I never did. I figured they could gag on their arrogance.

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    1. Nice story Craig. I thought you decided not to post anymore.

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    2. This sounds like it happened at the courier post in new jersey. The tip off...the dance club reference.

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  19. If "Gannett" was so brilliant about layoffs & buyouts, they wouldn't be headed to court in Indy in April. They'll know plenty about age discrimination when that one is over. Go Susan!

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  20. Jim, if there are no buyouts next week, will you and the other person admit you were spreading unconfirmed gossip again?

    For the people who respond to any statements of doubt with "corporatespeak" or something similar, get some new material. It's 2012, not 2008 anymore. The same things you have been posting for more than three years are no longer original. They were not good then. They are awful now. Get something else.

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    1. You asked that same question wben i posted last year that layoffs were happening as we spoke at Cincy. You ate your freaking words, didn't you? Quit being so arrogant when you know what some people are saying is probably true. Find somewhere else to post your crap.

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  21. I'm glad to see that Gannett is offering early retirement packages to employees. It's a more gallant approach to cut-backs. I wish I was one of the employees that fell into the category for early-retirement. … The early-retirement option is certainly nice to have... Some people will have life-circumstances in which an early retirement will be beneficial to them.

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  22. 3:15, You did the noble thing by not releasing the employees name. Yes, 22-year-olds all have their "junior-moments." And yes, some additional training would have been relevant in that situation.

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  23. Buyouts have been discussed with sites. Lists were created several weeks ago as far as who is eligible. The base plan was aimed at certain older employees with a specific number of years of service.

    As with any program, what shows up at your site may be different than what is offered at other sites. It's entirely possible that buyouts are scrapped and straight layoffs are implemented.

    There's a reason for secrecy with plans like these. Until a final decision is made, it's unfair and unkind to subject employees to hopes or worries of things that may not come to pass.

    To the poster at 7:16, I'm not quite sure what you're looking for. Confirmed gossip?

    Back in the day, people who professionally took allegations, rumor, gossip, and the word-on-the-street and then tried to confirm the veracity by checking with other sources were called journalists.

    7:16, if you want confirmation, knock on your general manager's door tomorrow and ask him or her. They have a lot more direct knowledge of your situation than any outsider could possibly know.

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  24. 3:15 Our publisher in Montgomery berated everyone for not doing their best to sell digital this morning in weekly digital meeting. I agree, we no longer care about our customers, the powers that be just what the deal of the day shoved down our customer's throats everyday. It's terrible and customer's are getting tired of it even if they have stayed because their print is working. I

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  25. So, what happened to Rudd-Man?

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  26. The new need to sell digital which seems to be at multiple sites will simply more quickly erode the print product. How else could you explain the sales pitch? In Phoenix under Karen Crotchfelt, we were told to "help" existing contracted advertisers send part of existing budgets to Karen's pet specialty publications. As directed, customers were told these publications more closely matched the customers' demographics. This created virtually no incremental advertising revenue but depreciated the value of the newspaper and saw ad revenue not return when the publications we eliminated. By the way, Karen got credit for creating the publications, and making the hard decision of eliminating them, (and employees who she blamed for the failure). Not that digital is going away but in telling customers their ad dollars may be better served in digital, Gannett is suggesting customers open the door to shopping options.

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  27. 9:51,
    I think the focus is to include all products in sales-pitches, not to exclude any particular medium. Since digital is the "new" medium, some people may believe that it's distracting from or older print-product. However, to provide the best service, all types of Gannett advertisement are presented to our advertisers. Some advertisers may have a natural inclination to a particular medium; budget; or tracking a specific target audience.

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  28. I am tired of the internet and it's intrusion into my privacy. I pay no attention into any ads on it. Most of my friends feel the same way. I know it has many advantages. I remember what life was like before and preferred it. I don't like that peoples address and personal information are available for purchase. I still read the paper and rarely look at the paper on digital. I prefer to get my coupons from the Sunday single copy paper where I don't have to sign up or sign in to get them.

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  29. 8:13,
    In relation to Montgomery's digital offers, I have an idea that may help you and your co-workers:

    A possibility of offering different ad-durations for the Deal-site:

    I wonder if a different approach to the "duration" of the online-deals could relieve some sales stress, and also increase the chances for the offer to go "viral." For instance, we may want to offer "48 hour deal offers" and "week long offers," etc.
    We can also display them along with other deal-offers, in instances where we have overlapping sales... We can have more than one deal at a time.

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  30. Must be at least 55 and must have at least 15 years in Gannett. It is happening.

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  31. Buyouts just mean more overtime to me.

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  32. The problem with 22 year olds is that they become 25 year old managers at Gannett with no training. Fuels the inbreeding.

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  33. Husband has 32yrs, will be 54 this year, and wants OUT...Wonder if there's any chance??!!

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  34. 11:20. Nope. They are not making any exceptions. I was praying they would lower the age group to 35. I think everyone would jump ship.

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  35. I think I've found the perfect Gannett corporate "look":
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/02/02/article-2095277-118C0177000005DC-9_306x602.jpg

    "You vill do as I say, comrade!"

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  36. 12:14,
    The link you provided is to a picture of Hillary Clinton, whom I admire greatly. She is a great image for all americans, especially as a female role-model.

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  37. 10:56 PM,
    Your statement is discriminatory against 25 year-old managers. It is very possible for a 25-year manager to meet and even exceed the abilities of a person who is not of the same age.

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  38. Yes. I am sure a 25 year old managee in a newsroom has the life,work and journalism experience to succeed.

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  39. Anybody know how much money the Rudd Man walked away from USA Today with?

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  40. 1:25 AM,
    America has produced some extraordinary examples that prove you wrong: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, Fred Clarke... These are examples of people who where in management roles when they were 25.

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  41. Jim, I was right on the money a few weeks back regarding Lafayette s Operation manager heading to Rochester to become the GM of Production. You want facts, I'm your guy
    The happy pressman

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  42. 1:59 Those were people who founded great companies. They were brilliant innovators with visions. Show one example of anything close to that at Gannett. Tick, tick, tick.....I thought so.

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  43. For those of you who want a buyout, and are not in the class, just ask. They cannot offer beyond the defined group without creating all sorts of fanfare, but you can ask, and they can do it. Not with the company anymore, but an employee of mine who continued after I left was in this position, asked, and got it.

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  44. 7:07: Trust me they won't give it to you if you're salaried and working 80 hours+ a week. And, if you ask and they dont grant the "buyout" they will resent you and treat you like garbage because youve made it official that you want out. Ya can't win.

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  45. Yes. Of course. Because 25 year olds have acquired years of valuable experience in ... exactly what? Taking college classes?

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  46. Salesforce is here to save the day

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  47. What they call dance clubs in Jersey are what we call pastures in Iowa. Moo.

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  48. Sales force hell....
    The sales "force" works maybe 10 hours a week at the most.Mostly out shopping or doing errands or just doing nothing.Mostly they are "order takers".

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  49. So,they have a reduction in force goal to meet? There needs to be,let's say 10% employee cut backs
    to be taken care of by the buyout
    packages.What happens when that total number is not reached by the buyouts?
    Does that mean the rest will be achieved by layoffs?
    Then,people from the lists that have been compiled start going away?

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  50. All of those twentysomethong leaders you talk about treated many people horribly. So I guess 25 year old managers at Gannett have something to learn in the people skills department.

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  51. It sad to read the conversation about selling digital because the answer is so obvious:

    Any manager knows that if you show a rep a tear sheet of an an in a competing paper the rep knows that they have to go in and sell print.

    Likewise, if the manager can not show "tear sheets" of digital ads, then the rep can always argue that the client wants print. It's up to the sales manager to provide screenshots of digital ads to provide leads for his/her sales team. Simply saying "go out and sell digital is not enough".

    This isn't a print versus digital problem, it is a sales management problem.

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  52. If Rudd Davis walked away from USAT with more than 30 cents, it's way too much. The man had zero impact on the brand while he was here. Can't wait for the rest of the cast-offs to find the door.

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  53. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  54. Who gets to be Hunke's imaginary friend now that Rudd is on permanent hiatus from his Gannett career?

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  55. I'm confused about the scope of SalesForce it seems like it's greatest use is for "Analytics and forecasting." What else is it used for ???

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  56. http://www.salesforce.com/crm/sales-force-automation/?d=70130000000ryrh&internal=true

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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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