Friday, February 17, 2012

Marketing | Puzzling spotlight on random exec

[Updated at 1:26 p.m. ET Feb. 18.]

Part of an extremely sporadic, very occasional-at-best series about Gannett executives who might soon be in the news. Or not.

Augusta Duffey
  • Title: Executive Creative Director at Gannett; possibly, an advertising/marketing position within Gannett Digital
  • Responsibilities: ?????????????????????????????????? She is a key member of the team now redesigning USA Today's website, according to one of my readers. This effort is part of a broader relaunch of all Gannett's news websites.
  • Based: New York City
  • Hire date: September 2011 (approximately; it was never formally announced on Corporate's site)
  • Previously: Group Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, a position she held less than three months. Also: extensive earlier work at other advertising and marketing firms
  • Describes herself as: "An experienced online/offline creative with background in many industries including technology, automotive, financial services, pharmaceutical, & consumer packaged goods. Managing teams and helping them create big ideas is where my passion lies, while I also still enjoy getting my hands dirty by creating the vision behind the ideas."
Earlier: Puzzling spotlight on random USA Today executives.

Know a Gannett executive kinda-sorta worth knowing? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. For those of you wondering, Duffey appears to score a "not applicable" on the Six Degrees of Maryam Banikarim™ scale.

    I've searched and searched, and can't find any connection between the two women.

    But maybe one of my smart readers can suss this one out?

  2. Doctor zzzzzz You did such a good job on the recent departure of a certain Key USAT executive I'm sure you will get to the bottom of this mystery.

  3. Scott? Scott Singer? Where are you Scott?

  4. 6:14 -- thanks for chiming-in Zimms. Good to know you always have corporate's back.

  5. How on earth do you get your hands dirty by "creating the vision behind the ideas?"

  6. This is the best post ever. Jim, please making this a weekly column.

  7. Everyone to get from streets.

  8. It is possible Duffey had a hand in firing Jeff this week. I believe she reports to digital chief David Payne.

  9. We need a manager of nebulous hires.I can't keep track of them all. Neither can payroll or accounting.

  10. Creating the vision behind the ideas? Don't we have enough of those people hiring consultants to do the same thing? This is sheer insanity. Gracia, you need to puta stop to this. The sandbox is way too pcrowded with poseurs and pretenders.

  11. 5:13, I believe, is correct. The reference is to Jeff Goertzen, who was hired in November to be graphics director at USA Today.

    An influential newspaper designer, Mario Garcia, called Jeff one of the world's leading infographic experts. Jeff was abruptly dismissed last Monday.

    Much of Jeff's work, I'm told, was for USAT, although he was actually an employee of Gannett Digital.

    Here's what is significant about all this:

    Duffey's background is entirely in consumer and corporate brand development, marketing and advertising. I do not see any conventional journalism mentioned in her LinkedIn profile.

    I've been told by two readers that she is involved in a redesign of USA Today's website -- the first of a planned relaunching of all of Gannett's news websites. The level of her involvement is unclear.

    This redesign, I believe, represents the first time that a significant part of USAT has been turned over to Gannett Digital. That suggests at least a partial merging of the two entities.

  12. Its bad enough when they strut out these high minded types with chest thumping fanfare. But this? She cannot even write an intelligent bio for herself.

    I suppose she got her hands dirty canning a graphics pro who uprooted his life, only to be jettisoned in a most unprofessional manner. Shame on her, if she was responsible. I'm sure she has a BFF she wants to bring in. We've all seen how that works throughout the building with Maryam and Heather's hiring sprees. How's this panning out so far?

  13. She is a freelancer/consultant hired by Banikarim. How she got involved in website design is probably more a case of "who else is capable". Plus Banikarim is aggressively encroaching on Digital and USAToday turf.

  14. Why does Marya, hire a freelancers consultant for website redesign? Her background is marketing. This is payne's turf. And Gelman's. They should be focused on the quality of the content as much as the look. It's awful.

    As far as MB, this flitting butterfly has her hands in way too many places. Perhaps that the problem.


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