An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
No vice presidents named at USA today this week! Love it!!!!
Can anyone explain why the lead story on the home page of the Journal News' LoHud site is what's basically a real estate ad for a pricey mansion that's up for auction? Surely there is real news, rather than a thinly disguised advertisement.
If you want an example of how Gannett can gut and ruin a once-respected newspaper, look no further than the Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi. What was once a fine statewide newspaper with multiple zones and bureau writers across the state is now nothing more than AP wire copy and reprinted articles from USA Today. Even coverage of the statehouse is laughable. Single copy pricing has increased 100 percent and a paywall would be disasterous.
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There are 23 Vice Presidents now listed on the new USA TODAY masthead and Editorial Page listing in Friday's newspaper.Twenty-three!For an operation that, frankly, just isn't that deep or wide-ranging.23. Meanwhile, people who actually handle things, such as Sports' Monte Lorell, have been knocked off the masthead to make room for VPs and SVPs "in charge" of this and that.Twenty-three.Skiddoo.
For the laid-off or the soon-to-be laid off, the March 2012 Consumer Reports has an excellent article on "Junk Health Insurance". In a sidebar for the article it indicates COBRA entitles people who leave their jobs are entitled to stay on the group plan for 18 months (or more in certain situations)so long as you pay the full cost. Website for more info is the Department of Labor at www.dol.gov (then type in COBRA in the search box).
Think about the caliber of journalists we could hire at a cost lower than what these vice presidents make. The content they could produce to entice readers and advertisers.Instead, we get a handful of $40,000 whiz kids who don't know much about anything. When was the last time we hired a reporter or editor that makes anyone proud?
$40,000 new hires? At our paper we hire them at under $30,000. The ones that have been around a long time don't even make $40,000!
What kind of "wiz kid" would work for $40,000? More like "gee wiz" kid.
I own a business and had a Gannett Sales Rep try and sell me an online Advertising package including Yahoo.com. They told me that locally everyone uses Yahoo, not Google. But couldn't provide a single figure to back it up. Then we sat at my computer for nearly 15 minutes on different Yahoo sites looking for local Yahoo Ads. Didn't see a single Ad. If this is the future of the company, Gannett is in serious trouble.
I will be honest- I do not make as much at my new job as I did at Gannett. BUT- while I have to take more modest vacations- I actually take vacations! I am closer to my family. I do not report to a manager that micro-manages. I have fun at work. I don't go in early and stay late. My customers like my company and they like me. Little or no butt kissing going on here.Every day I feel good. What do I miss - some of the people I worked with- but 2 years later many of them are gone also. Someone once said there is life after Gannett and boy were they right. Have a Happy Monday, I know I will!
5:45, Both Yahoo and Google have advertising affiliate programs. What this means is, any website can sign-up with Yahoo or Google as an advertising affiliate. The advertisements will be displayed on an affiliate’s site, in a designated area... Each users experience is based upon the user's zip code location, cookies and their search history. So, if you have done a search on a specific product... You may notice that you are seeing advertisements related to your search topics and/or your computer location. These types of "tailored" ads use search engine data to hit the target audience. The advertisements do not indicate the affiliate program that they are associated with. So, it would very difficult to find an example of a yahoo-affiliate advertisement, without knowing some of the participating affiliate websites prior to the conversation. The rep would have to research & follow-up with affiliate examples.Here is a link to the Yahoo-affiliate program: http://advertisingcentral.yahoo.com/affiliate_programs/index.phpAs an advertiser, what is relevant for your role is that: The ads are "customized" upon the users data, in circumstances where a website is a yahoo affiliate.
Microsoft is a partner with Yahoo, since 2009. They have a 10-year agreement has enabled Yahoo to save money by relying on Microsoft to provide the bulk of its search technology. Also Bing (microsoft's search engine) is quickly becoming the SE of choice. Bing is targeted to surpass Google in the near future. However, yahoo-search coupled with it's partner Bing... may already surpass Google in the number of advertising affiliates. ... So, it would be to an advertiser's benefit to go with the Gannett/Yahoo partnership instead of Google.
Wow, this comment is full of inaccuracies! Bing overtaking Google? Ha. Advertisers would benefit be going with Gannett/Yahoo? HaHa sure that combo is so much better than going straight to Google. <- sarcasm
8:36, what world do you live on to say that "Bing is targeted to surpass Google in the near future?" Bing is at 26.1 percent, and Google is at 67.7 percent. See below.http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2124890/October-2011-Search-Engine-Market-Share-Bing-Losing-Power
Major sports story happening in Tallahassee this afternoon: http://espn.go.com/blog/bigeast/post/_/id/29947/wvu-cancels-game-with-fsuBut not a word of this on that paper's $15/month paywall website!FSU could end up suing WVa for $1M over them backing out of playing what would have been probably the top game that weekend because of their conference realignment.Where's that sports department? Oh, there's only four people left?Never mind.
Buyout? No way, no how. It goes like this, Harry,sorry to inform you but your done, canned, clean out your office and vanish. They may offer to some older peps who can bring in the discrimination card, but doubtful.
Jim- Heads up, some big news coming out of GPS very soon. Not good, but not as bad as prior announcements. Printing plants, hang on, things are gonna change, shake-ups all across the board
There have been lots of stories out there recently about the happiest places to work: Gannett isn't in a single one.
I am one of those "$40,000 whiz kids," though I make considerably less.When I was hired in 2008, I was told there was no negotiating my salary. The company "could only afford" about $30,000 a year. In the years since, I've survived furloughs, layoffs, buyouts and a considerably increased workload. Meanwhile, I've watch higher ups enjoy bonuses.I still love the news business but I'm infuriated by the way it treats those who devote their lives to it. I can't imagine dragging children into my current job-related stress.While I would agree that Gannett should be hiring more experienced folks in general, I think those who criticize new hires need to take a step back and consider that we are enduring the same stuff they are, and often with lower salaries. We're just as disappointed and demoralized.
Everybody was a new hire at some point and when I started I had a lot to learn, too.Stop the feeding frenzy please. Only losers blame other generations for their own situation.
2/04/2012 4:58 PM: Exactly what is wrong with having to pick up the phone and asking someone a question? I mean how is that a bad thing?I haven't seen anything on this blog that indicates people don't want to use the telephone. What I have seen are complaints when the person being called won't answer the phone, respond to e-mail messages, or answer questions for folks in their own building. There used to be a saying in one of the Gannett TV news rooms (now the Information Center) that if a phone rang once, it was for someone else, if it rang twice, it was for you. Responding to others (the public and your colleagues) had a high priority. The info posted by someone in HR explaining the new model (some folks are just "strategic planners" rather than assisting with HR questions) was helpful.
Bing is using Googles results so how much better could they be in the SE game? Read below:http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/microsofts-bing-uses-google-search.html
With talk of a buyout option, many of us actually need to know the score on that possibility. Making life decisions at this moment and this could impact. 1.Is it real and when will it be floated? 2. Will anyone with more than 20 but is just under 50 years old have a shot? 3. Will layoffs result if they don't get enough at a particular property? Do I need to tell HR now that I'm interested so I'm early on a list, in case they limit the number of exceptions or limit how many they'll take. Will they do a public announcement of eligibility or only offer on a property by property basis? I know many speculators might respond. I really hope someone with firsthand knowledge can offer insight.
56 is the line.
Starting whiz kid salary at USA today is I'm the 30 to mid 40s.
1:25 Please share nothing with HR until there is an offer announced to all employees or a select group of employees that are being targeted for buyouts or layoffs. HR in Gannett or any corporation is never your friend and out simply to benefit the company.
Buyouts will require a combination of years served plus age. Generally that number is in the neighborhood of 80 or so. Those in their mid 50s with at least 25 years on the payroll are a key targets.If buyouts proceed, individual Gannett properties have RIF goals.They are expected to be in the 10% range. Eligible staffers cannot be proritized. Depending on the number of eligible participants accept the offer and their salaries, Gannett sites will determine if layoffs are warranted.
10:21, no one is blaming anyone for their situation, and name calling is a classless way of conversing. Management is making the choice of going on the cheap that, ultimately, affects the caliber of the product. The ensuing fallout affects us all. Including you. Does it make sense to shed unproductive dead weight? Of course. Does it make sense to create an environment of fear and mistrust among older, productive, but higher compensated employees? It does not. Does it make sense to fill jobs with low cost, naive kids? Not at USA Today. Especially when we've hired 23 vice presidents at $200,000 a uear and up, plus support staff. Tell me what contributions they are making to the organzation. Can you come up with even a dozen examples that have enhanced circulation, advertising, editorial quality or the bottom line?
2:27 is correct regarding HR. Sign of the times. When I started many years ago with Gannett, HR (at least mine) was highly proactive in the employee's interest. Information flowed freely, people even said hello (and said it sincerely). Their involvement in employee issues was always fair. Even as late as my last year of my now-doomed career, HR (at least mine) had a good guy in charge -- although by then his function as well his local autonomy was increasingly compromised.But that's all changed now. My HR was reduced to one person, who was further reduced to the effective status of an apparatchik or a clerk. Nice person, too.How bad is it? Whenever I dealt with HR, communication was instant and action was at least quick either way, in my favor and sometimes not. Later on, consistently not, with little interest in thoroughly considering much -- and therein lay the change.Soon after Gannett discarded my life's career like trash, I needed to get some info from this now largely info-less department. I didn't even get a reply. Phone calls went to voice mail. E-mails, not one, not one, answered.aIt was like watching the original (1975) "The Stepford Wives" only without Katharine Ross.
Just for the record I left Gannett several years ago. HR at my new company is an 800 number as we have nobody at the unit level from HR. That's America today.
Jim, here a chance to report: http://apple.copydesk.org/2012/02/05/florida-today-launches-big-bold-redesign-2/something positive. Come on.. this is cool -- and good design.
Can we find out if employees feel like they can trust HR or the designee as a consultant to discuss their workplace issues? Are they available? Could this be part of why we aren't as diverse as we used to be other than from the natural losses because of the economy and Gannett cuts? Also, I can't imagine why ring winning publishers and editors have left. Were they cut out of decisions and left feeling powerless. When you lose trust in the people you work with, you start a spiral that has to result in being disgruntled or departure.
At the CP, the AD goes on a regular tirade about the sales numbers and berates the sales staff while HR sits quietly by. He frequently starts this at the end of the day so staff have to do their paperwork and get all their ads in and approved after hours and has been heard to laugh about it. Just what HR are you talking about at Gannett? We've seen the AD have the sales staff perform at his whim by singing and dancing on command. One afternoon one of the advertising managers and 3 of the favorites spent 4 hours playing words with friends instead of doing something productive. And people wonder why we are where we are. Berating and demoralizing staff should never be allowed but as we watch the advertising department, that seems to be the norm at least here at the CP.
Gannett has been making some adjustments to its HR model. I remembered the name for the other group - Employee Services folks. Might as well call them a call center for employees. At my site, they decided it could be managed from one of the hubs. Had someone volunteer to move (no relo in the reorg) to the hub for our site. About 6 months or so after they moved, GCI figured out that there was enough things going on at this site that they needed someone here. They asked the person to make the additional move to our site. Person told them no. I miss the folks at the paper, but I'm glad I'm out. As I said, I'm still available to answer those questions I am able to answer.
Between cars.com and careerbuilder I see the ad cost will be in the millions. Millions. As in "One meeellllionnn dolllars." isn't that special.
Hope someone from Indy fills us in on the partying Big G brass who jetted in for the Super Bowl.
The USA TODAY/Facebook Ad Meter thing is very cool. Vote now and through Tuesday!
Layoff announcements Tuesday?
@ 2:46, you have no idea how much I hope you are right. I meet those criteria, my spouse and I have talked it over, and I'm ready to say Yes to any reasonable offer.
9:08, why do you say that?
The single biggest problem with the USAT admeter was it reguired people to log in using facebook. I abandoned my vote.
Be happy someone didn't decide only Google+ members could vote - that's usually the caliber of decision-making we expect.
>>>it reguired people to log in using facebook. I abandoned my vote.<<<Must have been too difficult for you. Partnering with FB's almost billion users -- or you. Let's see...
12:33 PM,I think the post concerning the Gannett/Yahoo/Microsoft union suggests that "collectively," it is a strong advertising partnership. There is a school of thought concerning the fast-rise in popularity of Bing, which was created on June 3, 2009. A lot people find Bing more appealing as a search engine, and consider it "up-and-coming".
That's why I keep my BetaMax... Someday it will rule over VHS!
11:08 you are missing the point. Admeter used to matter. Yesterday there were a million other places that allowed me to vote for best ads and did not reguire my personal data. I moved on to other sites. Adage, Radian6, brandbowl, sbads, a million other choices for voting for the best ads.AdMeter lost its prestige. Irrelevant.
- Google was created in 1998.- Bing, who was created in 2009. Given the short life-span of Bing, in comparison to Google, you can easily say that Bing is growing quickly. I study referrals from search engine queries. There are a lot of website visitors directed to my site from Bing and the numbers of Bing-referrals keeps growing.
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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