Monday, February 27, 2012

Survey: GCI may grant only 54% of the buyouts

When U.S. newspaper division President Bob Dickey offered those 665 buyouts earlier this month, he didn't say how many would actually be granted.

Dickey
Now, the latest results of an ongoing Gannett Blog survey show perhaps as few as 360 will be approved if everyone eligible applies. The survey is incomplete, with many sites still unaccounted for, so the final tally could differ considerably.

What's more, many of the 665 employees may not step forward at all -- something I saw first hand in late 2007, when USA Today offered buyouts to about 180 newsroom employees, and got only 43 volunteers.

Still, the survey results offer a window on what's really happening inside the biggest, broadest buyout campaign Corporate has launched.

So far, we've identified 594 of the offers at 45 worksites. Is yours represented?

Check this read-only spreadsheet to see. Then, go to the comments section, below, and post any new information.

79 comments:

  1. St. Cloud: 8 eligible (4newsroom), 6 (2 newsroom) will be accepted.

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  2. Wilmington, The News Journal Media Group:
    22 offered, only 8 will be accepted due to ongoing operational needs. Depts: Accouting/Finance, Advertising, General Administration and News/Information Center

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    1. Nice job publishing people's names that never asked you to do so. How proud you must be of your posters Jim

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  4. I wish we had buyouts @ usat. pray.

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  5. 12 offered at the clarion-ledger. No one seems to know how many they will accept. List includes the few good writers left at the paper, plus both AMEs. Paper has been w/out an editor since July. If both AMEs take the buyout, who's lefft to run the newsroom?

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  6. 3:08 - the list of long-timers at Cincinnati is so short because MB and CW were busy laying off the long-timers last year - 15 who would have qualified for this buyout package, to be precise.

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  7. Given the small size of the Enquirer newsroom, an awful lot are borderline geriatric. They should be fighting to get to the head of the buyout line, or else they'll be roadkill for the next layoff rounds. The buyout offer should be a dream come true for everyone eligible. It's corporate's way of saving face on the HR/Gannett Blog front and doing something humane for its aging expendibles instead of the usual tossing them overboard with some pocket change.

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  9. @3:08 – You failed to mention Community Press employees who joined Cincinnati in 2005. Their eligibility shouldn’t automatically be ruled out as Gannett recognized their years of service for setting vacation time, etc. Of course, their ranks have significantly shrunk since as Buchanan, despite their having far lower costs on average, swung her axe wide there too.

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  10. No word from Des Moines,I guess Hollingsworth has them well protected.
    Of course, no one from Iowa has the the guts to post here ever regardless.

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  11. Two Words: Retroactive Packages.

    How 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.

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  12. 46 offered in louisville, not 42

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  13. 6:37 Thank you for pointing that out. I should have removed those earlier. They're now gone.

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  14. Any ideas on why the numbers differ so on how many were offered and how many will be accepted at the different locations?

    Some sites will accept all or nearly all, some only half or less.

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  15. Lansing is offering six employees this program in the following departments:

    Accounting/Finance 2

    Advertising 2

    News/Information Center 2

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  16. There's 4 offers at the central Ohio papers

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  17. Green Bay 9 offered (4 newsroom, 4 production, 1 advertising)

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  18. Six here in Lansing, four in Battle Creek.

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  19. No info for the Daily Record in NJ?

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    1. One in editorial ...

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  20. Jackson, TN. 4 eligible. 4 offered. 1 finance, 2 infomation center, 1 advertising.

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  21. Des Moines .....no comment...ever.
    Must be afraid of L.H. finding out that they post.
    Can we say Chicken without the deal.

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  22. How can you count anything if the buyouts aren't accepted for 45 days?

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  23. Who is the guy with all the Iowa hate? WTF? Anyway, Iowa City only offered 2 buyouts, and Des Moines had 21.

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  24. You can't count how many will accept the offers until after the deadline. You can count how many of the offers Gannett will accept (or grant as Jim calls it on the spreadsheet). The EROP letters include how many will be accepted (or granted)by department. A list of who got the offer (by position title and age)is also included. For example, Accounting/Finance - 4people recieved offers and 2 will be accepted (or granted). Per federal law, if all 4 in Accounting/Finance want the buyout, seniority will decide which 2 will be accepted (or granted).

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  25. 10:21 I've added those two Iowa figures. Those were how many buyouts got offered. But how many will be accepted?

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  26. Spread sheet includes about 200 less than the number of offers. Hope somebody adds those numbers and the numbers that will be accepted by Gannett. Do you think there are sites where no offers were made?

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  27. Hattiesburg: 1 eligible, 0 offered.

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  29. Appleton has 11 eligible, five in the newsroom. Two of those have already taken, one editor is deciding, and two clerical can't afford to take it.
    It helps that CWA decertified the union a couple weeks ago, so the former union bargaining unit members are eligible now.

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  30. The spreadsheet on Hattiesburg is wrong. One employee (35 years experience) was eligible but no retirement buyout was offered.

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  31. Reno: 10 offered in news, four will be granted. Two offered in advertising, not sure how many will be granted.

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  32. Who at the central Ohio papers? Not sure I can think of anyone off the top of my head.

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  33. Someone mentioned the Daily Record in Parsippany. Given the fact there are about 10 people (three news reporters) left in the DR newsroom, it would be tough for a lot of people to qualify for a buyout. But one did.

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  34. GPS not offered buy outs, they would have nobody left to run the Press

    THE HAPPY PRESSMAN

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  35. At least 1 jumping ship in Iowa.

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  36. Why is the Gannett side of Crystal Palace immune to this????

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  37. Gannett should offer the buyout to anyone with 20 years experience. It doesn't have to be an early retirement package.

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  38. Oshkosh WI has two and only accepting one

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  39. 3 Offered in Visalia

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  40. For the sake of clarity, after reading some of these posts, I feel compelled to say these buyouts aren't being offered "as a result" of pressure from the Blog, or anything else. Not to dis the Blog, but this is entirely a financial and LEGAL decision.

    For several years, we had to offer up one "young" RIF for every over-40 one, basically. This was to avoid age-discrimination claims. Obviously they've run out of young ones to sacrifice and this is how they're dealing with the legal fears (buyouts).

    This is zero about kindness or even bad publicity. That isn't crossing their minds. Just legalities and lawsuits.

    - THE HAPPY FORMER PUBLISHER (never a pressman)

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  41. There has been very little said about the increased savings from letting go of older employees who have been with the company for a long time. These employees have higher medical costs and larger pensions. Getting rid of them is better for both projects.

    As someone said here previously, employees of Gannett, and other companies serve at the will of the company. The company tells you when to work and what to work on. When they no longer need you to do those things, they have to find ways to let you go. This was a gentle and rather humane way to move forward. Nothing more, nothing less.

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  42. There were 4 for Bay Publications (weekly, community papers) that I don't see added to the Appleton, Wis figures. They included 2 in Oconto, 1 at the Kewaunee Co News (the very last journalist left at that paper;that one-man band has been doing both news and sports) and 1 ad person at the Door Co Advocate.

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  43. 11 offered in Tallahassee, 7 of which are in what's left of the newsroom.

    I think that would be about a fifth of it.

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  44. 5:00 pm Thanks for using my name in a way, too bad you never ran a press, used to be a fun job, as was yours as well. Got a good laugh when I seen it. And I agree with what you said, said time's, did you get out on your terms or were you let go?

    The Happy pressman

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  45. 2:16 Let go, but semi-humanely. Still in the business, work with some ex-Gannett folks. Making less but still doing well financially. The stress didn't get any better, though. Good luck to you.

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  46. Pensacola: 16 (one rescinded because of an f-up.) 8 in news - 8 will be excepted. Managing editor included in the 8....Can you say Titanic?

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  47. 2:16 Glade to hear your still working. Family owned paper is the way to go, I am looking, The stress of working for GPS is at an all time high, getting tired of it. Got to be a better way

    The not so Happy pressman (for today)

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  48. Hearing reports that 19 of Cincinnati's buyouts will come from newsroom.

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    1. That's correct.

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  49. To all those so interested in Des Moines: 26 offers and 21 will be accepted. Looking around the newsroom, that would appear to include long-time columnists, reporters, almost the entire editorial writers dept and copy editors.

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  50. Up to 557 on the spreadsheet of the 665 offers that were extended. With the 44 offers in the Phoenix newsroom, it appears news operations are being hit hard at most sites.

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    1. 44 people qualify and got offers. Read the document and stop with the sky is falling.

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  51. Jim, your spreadsheet lists Lafayette and Opelousas, LA, separately. Since they're under the same published and ex. editor, their buyou offers were handled together. For Lafayette and Opelousas combined, 5 offers in news. Only 1 was Opelousas. The other 3 were in advertising at Lafayette. Total 8.

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  52. Louisville has changed names of certain departments, and now is part of GPS, (or at least some departments), I guess for separation. Who knows? "A rose by any other name, is still a rose". It used to be called "stream-lining",
    then "down-sizing", and on and on. Not it's reduction in force (RIF). All I know from experience and history is that someone's going to do two and three times more work for less pay. The CEO's get their bonuses for increasing profits at the expense of workers, then retire with a buyout package and a new CEO takes over, and does the same thing. "The beat goes on". The downside really is that sooner or later it will all short-circuit, just like King Midas.
    I've never seen anyone actually try to save the papers themselves from modern technology. It should be that anyone who subscribes to the newspapers or digital pages should get both at the same cost. Here you improve and enhance each other. Greed needs to be set aside, and find out what is truly best for the news industry as a whole. I can't imaging me "house breaking" my puppy on a laptop or I-pad. Even in the recycling mode, newspapers are quite valuable. Check the insulation in your attic if you beg to differ. They're great in the garden too.

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  53. Reno is 12 buyouts offered... I'd term it "indicted."

    Six will be accepted. The other six will be screwed, if the past is any indication.

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    1. CAS to the rescue!!!!!!

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  54. And, yes, from Reno, I know who most of them are: some of their best, mega-award-winning people, very recognized by a byline and very popular to that community that Gannett harps about -- the remaining, despite the previous slaughter.

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

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  55. Seven have been offered in Salem (three in news); not sure how many will accept.

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  56. Springfield, MO is offering 6 total buyouts, 4 in the newsroom.

    I know that all 4 of the buyouts in the newsroom will be honored if they choose to take them.

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  57. 9:58
    Which departments

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  58. 5 of the 10 in Shreveport, Louisiana, are in the newsroom. 4 content producers/editors, 1 longtime admin/clerk employee. Not sure who's going or staying yet, but we're certain the jobs will be eliminated or consolidated.

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  59. I meet all the criteria and retired in early January from Gannett. I imagine there are others in my boat. Is there any effort I can join to make a case for getting retroactive packages approved? How long has this been in the works?

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  60. 4:36

    The short answer is "No".

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  61. Jim, why do you list on the spreadsheet "Appleton and all other Wisconsin papers?" Appleton may think they're the hub of the universe, but in reality Gannett has 10 newspapers in the state. Why can't they be broken out separately?

    Also, Sheboygan has four who qualify in the newsroom, and two will be taken to retire early.

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  62. 12:47 I don't mean to be disrespectful to the other nine newspapers.

    This spreadsheet is from a template I created to count layoffs. In the last few rounds, readers here were reporting a single figure for all 10 Wisconsin papers. For that reason, I grouped them on one line -- with Appleton in the lead because I followed the alphabet.

    But following your concerns, I've now separated the 10 papers, so you can see each one's buyout figures.

    However, I'm still missing data for six of the papers.

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  63. Thanks, Jim!

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  64. East Brunswick and Somerville -- no one offered a buyout. Parsippany -- one reporter and one advertising person offered buyouts.

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  65. Cherry Hill: 21 offers, 21 will be accepted

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    1. How do these break out by department. I know there are a good number of long-term older employees in editorial and ad sales.

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

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  67. Bob needs to update his picture for golfmatch.com

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  68. After the dust settles, a spreadsheet showing the count of journalists in every Gannett newsroom would be fascinating.

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  69. 5:34 Great idea, but I would extend that to a count of other departments, too: advertising; finance; production; circulation, etc.

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  70. So who is the 1 person at the Daily Record in Parsippany offered the buyout?

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  71. Four offered in Montgomery (one in Advertising, three in News), two likely to be taken.

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  72. So Dr ZZZZZZ do you really think 100% of the folks are going to accept and then only half will be accepted? Is that what you really think? That is not going to happen. Very few folks will be rejected. You were a business reporter. I'm going have to look at your clips. You couldn't have been this bad at your job.

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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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