An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Wonder at what point the Journal News will staff an Iona NCAA Tournament game???
Does anybody know what's going on with tomorrow's webinar from corporate about wires? At my site, the wire editors are going to it, and I work at a design studio. If Gannett goes to a standardized system for wires, what will happen to the folks in the studios?
Pathetic ... POTUS and over-the-pond counterpart there and not ONE reporter from the local newspaper? Gracia: Are you reading this? Are you taking ANY of these comments in? What the horrific CD era has caused and what you apparently are doing next to nothing to correct is digging a long, slow dagger into this company's entire portfolio of once very profitable properties. If that's the business plan, fine. Just say so. But if you really are the 'down to earth/open door policy' CEO, Gracia, then own up and admit it and stop attempting to cloud the picture with lofty, false visions of future growth. Just this week at the CP, a major blow to what was once the most profitable Gannett property by far ever was struck: The only remaining two senior staffers were forced out the door by no later than COB the day they were given notice, never mind their literally decades of devoted service. Didn't matter. They were just numbers, right Gracia? But what about the property's numbers? Didn't those metrics used to matter? If so, hard to convince those still with that property to keep 'giving it their all' when they see highly valued, veteran colleagues who helped take that property to ridiculous profits not that long ago treated like pure dirt. Given that this was a CP property, news of their horrific departure treatment has already spread quickly. Congrats, Gracia. Your leadership team did it "by the book" and pleased your legal team, we're sure. But last time we checked, the legal team has nothing to do with your ability to recruit and retain decent talent or create sustainable, successful media properties.Just talk straight, Gracia. Unlike CD, you seem to be capable. We're listening. But the honeymoon is now officially over.
Who are you kidding? Your lecture to martore is nice and make you feel fulfilled, but, the bottom line is, she doesn't give a shit about you or anyone other than herself. The culture in Gannett is rancid and vicious.
11:59 Is CP the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, N.J.?
Did anyone mention the bloodletting of two senior editors at the insert USA Weekend? Heather dropped Pricilla Totten and Carol Clurmon,mthey canned a couple of her own AOL buds, Christine allegro and some other lame hire. Previously, Heather almost destroyed the career odd a highly thought of senior Life editor and essentially led to the resignations of a couple key reporters.Unable to carry out a rollout of the verticals, Heather should have been sent packing. But Hunke promoted her to run Weekend. A task she and her perplexed staff have no clue how to turn around.
Gracia is living in fantasy world, she's in charge with no real trusted no.2 at her side. She's insulated from the heart blood of the company, the newsroom. And getting courted for outside board seats, while surely lucrative and ego defining, is taxing and time consuming.Trouble is, her bold initiatives have a short window to succeed. The plan has yet to be defined and implementation Is slow and cumbersome.Cant we work on the gee whiz stuff and get that taken care of before we tear the newsrooms up ? Moving the deck chairs around with fancy new names accomplishes nothing, no matter how much rah rah you put into it.
Unfortunately, Martore has confused going on the offensive with merely being offensive to the employees she professes to care about. Waiting for an axe that may never come is no way to live. Of course, that is no solace to sports or the other depts. undergoing upheaval again.
Upheaval is coming to a department near you. Just wait and see.
Beauregard to fill out you "anonymous" survey to tell management how you feel. Just make sure you do it froman untraceable computer. Dont expect any changes either.
Dear Gracia;Thanks for the opportunity to express myself in the completely anonymous survey brought to us by survey monkey. Great name, by the way. To be frank, I'll sum up most of my concerns. Can't say everyone will agree, but here goes.I am frustrated and angry over the direction of this company.I don't understand some of the hires you've made or what these people have accomplished.I fear for my job and my future.I can't fathom why we are buying back $300 million in stock when we are furloughing people, providing minuscule raises and forcing cutbacks in travel. I don't understand the growth strategy when none of it is tied to providing more and higher caliber content.What is the role of the CMO?Why do you continue to keep non performersin senior management? There seems to be no accountability.
@7:30: Preach it.
30-34 percent returns on Sunday and 48-50 percent returns for the week on USA's. You can dump truck loads at each store and they're still only going to sell what they're going to sell. Such waste. If I was one of your employees at FT and had to take a furlough knowing this, I'd be P.O.'d.
Has anyone heard anything about Asbury being exempt from the pay wall?
Yes, 12:19, those are the two very valuable senior employees referenced before. We're talking many decades of experience and devoted service -- I'd estimate more than four decades combined. No, they were not 'dead weight' -- far from it. Not malcontents either -- these were total professionals and team players. And as for the young 'uns here, they totally 'got' digital/social media strategies and knew how to take advantage of them to optimize/leverage the content. Both also had a long, successful history of brokering valuable, high-profile partnerships that clearly served the product's interest. That sort of thing requires both seasoned skills and a lot of work. In other words, those two jobs were about a lot more than just assigning and editing stories.And both of them were forced out the door on the very day they got the news. At first, they were even blocked from using their computers. By the time they were able to retrieve any needed personal information, adequately hand off remaining story assignments/art requests, partnership contacts/details, etc. ... what time did they have to sufficiently say goodbye to colleagues or even emotionally take in what had just happened to them? No farewell or thank you from the company. Just a 'please leave now.' Niiiiiice.What's left is a once obscenely successful product now cannibalized beyond repair -- like Heather's minions will be able to step in and handle the partnerships, cover bookings and editing/art, etc. all on their own? Right. How is that part of a 'growth' business plan, Heather, Dave and GM?And, ultimately, what message does the bizarrely unspeakable treatment of these two, long-time senior staffers send to those who remain at USAW/USAT? What message does it send to those attempting to fill positions, or those applying for these positions? Not just at USAT/USAW, but anywhere in this company? Do the senior 'leaders' honestly think word-of-mouth about this kind of treatment doesn't get around? It does. Actually quite quickly in the social media universe.Shame, shame, shame on you, Heather and Dave and GM. Shame on you.
That same exit scenario has played out over and over again throughout the company for years now. Does this treatment still suprise you or have you not seen it this close before?
Jim, this e-mail from Susan Weiss was sent to the staff on Tuesday. Might be worth looking in to. I bring you -- The Desk:---Over the past few weeks you have heard Gracia Martore talk about playing offense and proactively building Gannett’s future. During town-hall meetings at every site, you have heard the leadership team talk about Gannett’s powerful combination of hometown advantage and strong brand advantage. Our hometown advantage comes from deep connections in communities coast to coast. Our brand advantage is built on iconic brands like USA TODAY, The Des Moines Register and WUSA. Across Gannett, more than 5,000 journalists make up a powerful news organization. Each reporter, producer, photographer, developer and editor is a member of that news network. To showcase and leverage the journalism of that network, we are creating a national digital-first news team based in McLean to serve every site in USCP, Broadcast and USA TODAY. As a working title, we’re calling it The Desk. Its assignments: Produce an engaging multimedia national report 24/7. This report will appear on every web site across USCP and Broadcast to supplement local coverage. It will draw from USA TODAY’s enterprise and seek the best local journalism from all Gannett newsrooms. Work with Design Studios to produce national news content in our daily newspapers. This is designed to free up local time for local journalism. (Because this is specific to USCP, there’s more detail about this in a separate document attached to this message.) Facilitate coverage of national events so that we have the best possible content – stories, photos, videos, etc. – created and curated efficiently for all of our platforms. It will coordinate planned events as well as big breaking stories.So what does The Desk mean for you? For community journalists it means more time to concentrate on local coverage with impact and depth. It also provides the chance for superior local content to be shared across all of Gannett in a powerful new way.For USA TODAY and the new national desk it means access to the best all of Gannett has to offer on a 24/7 basis. A group from Broadcasting, USA TODAY, USCP, Digital and Military Times together defined the role of this centralized news team, which will be housed within the USA TODAY newsroom. Journalists from across divisions will be enlisted to help the Steering Committee build the right structure to best serve readers and viewers across Gannett. A critical first step is to identify a director. We will post this position on careerbuilder.com this week. The director will report to the cross-divisional Steering Committee comprised of Rob Mennie, Broadcast; Kate Marymont, USCP; Mitch Gelman , Digital; and Susan Weiss, USA TODAY. The centralized news team does not change the role of the Washington-based regional reporters who serve USCP sites. The Video Production Center at WXIA will be the video arm of The Desk, working with the producers on The Desk to provide the best, most relevanton-demand and live video programming. This operation will be rolled out in phases. First to be created will be the portion that produces print pages for USCP newspapers, with launch scheduled by May. The 24/7 national digital report will launch in June by using Odyssey templates and will be upgraded with the relaunch of sites starting with USA TODAY this fall. This is an exciting venture that gives us the opportunity to better leverage our hometown and brand advantages. We’ll share lots more information as we continue to build….Kate, Mitch, Rob and Susan. And I will be available today –and the rest of the week—to answer any questions. And I welcome your suggestions/reactions. Thanks,Susan
Q) If a former sales rep, convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison three years ago for 18 years, sought a new trial should that employment relationship (it occurred while an employee) be disclosed in the story?A) http://tinyurl.com/7gpl5x8 (Hint: Apparently not…so much for credibility)
I'm so anxious to see David L. Hunke, Heather Frank, Susie Ellwood, Maryan Banikarim, Sandy Micek, Heidi Zimmerman and Victoria Borton RE-apply for their jobs. I want to sit in on HR's evaluations of those clowns.
Another wasted day. Time to get your butt off the road, Maryam Banikarim, and into work and DO SOMETHING!
To: 1:18There's not much truth in advertising coming out of the Enquirer these days. Surprised reporter didn't include that in story. He's better than that
Des Moines Register Publisher Laura Hollingsworth Embraces Changes.http://www.editorandpublisher.com/Business/Article/Des-Moines-Register-Publisher-Laura-Hollingsworth-Embraces-Changes
So ... our site is having a meeting today about the annual review process. Anyone know what this is about?
Pictopia is closing up shop, it handled photo reprints for many Gannett sites. Wonder what new solution Gannett management will come up with?
Wonder what contribution Banikarim has made? She hired a very expensive brand agency to tell Martore that our strength is in local media and serving those local communities. The newest buzzwords are "Hometown Advantage". Really? What an insight! We've been doing that for decades and nobody needed to tell us.You see it in all the corporate speak lately, including this memo. And it's Martore's soundbite on every presentation, including to Wall Street. "During town-hall meetings at every site, you have heard the leadership team talk about Gannett’s powerful combination of hometown advantage and strong brand advantage. Our hometown advantage comes from deep connections in communities coast to coast. Our brand advantage is built on iconic brands like USA Today, The Des Moines Register and WUSA."
Agreed, 2:45, and great point. But the downside of not reacting to this kind of treatment at all makes senior "leadership" think that, by now, we've grown immune and/or apathetic to it and, worse, accept it as perfectly reasonable. Every once in a while, best to point out that it is an absolutely disgraceful way to treat employees who have served the company faithfully and well for literally decades and we will not forget it anytime soon. Especially should economic fortunes turn the tables on the supply/demand side here.
1:18 - Did the manslaughter happen while he was on the job? If not, then no, where he works does not need to be included.
USAT quantity can't replace Huff Post quality. All that blah blah blah from Martiore and Banikarim and Hunke is falling on dear ears out there. WSJ has already won the bigger contest and Huff Post has left the rest in the dust. Welcome to USAT, the Newt Gingrich of media "empires."
Pictopia is old news, 3:59. GCI sitss have moved on to a new vendor for selling photos. Now using MyCapture from Second Street Media Solutions, which is based in St. Louis.
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I need some inspiration to get the hell out of here. Does anyone know what happened to those who got beheaded by Hunke and where they have landed in what industries? Lori Erdos? Susan Lavington? Tony Hill? Ed Cassidy? Michael Davidson? Rudd Davis?
I received a memo today from Corporate regarding the new Annual Review process being switched from Date of Hire or Position Start Date to a "group" review process. According to the memo, everyone will receive a review at the same time each year. Those who've had their review since Jan 1, will not have another this year. The new process is effective April 1 and is to be finalized by mid-July. In short, just another way to screw employees. The memo only mentioned the possibility of merit increases, but I was officially told not to expect, as they were predetermined.
How exactly does a common review date screw an employee?
USA Today has become a joke internally and externally. Can you imagine Dave Hunke managing anything but a weekly shopper anywhere but Gannett? He's such a tool, no one buys into his bullshit anymoere. Gracia? Her faiux enthusiasm and hollow platitudes while Rome is burning has already worn thin. She rules by fear and intimidation. As a management style, it's much more in your face than Dubow. Can't wait for the next all is progressing well and thanks for your great work memo. Less tha six months into her rule, we know what that will mean. The hammer's about to come down.Do something unexpected for a change, Gracia. Fire the people who deserve to be fired. Determine what all these brilliant new hires for the company are actually doing besides creating upheaval and taking up space. Can them, too. You know who they are. So does everyone else. You want to go on the offensive? This is where you start.
Jim, so others can see, could you please post the link to the Goldman Sachs employee who teed off against the investment banker in today's NYT? The similarities between Goldman and Gannett are remarkable.
"Our hometown advantage comes from deep connections in communities coast to coast."So why is corporate buying out the employees who have been on staff the longest, whose ties to the communities are deepest? Double-speak! You say one thing and do another! Do you expect us to believe anything you say? When the buyouts come to fruition, our newsroom will lose at least 3 people with nearly 100 years of experience at our newspaper combined. Do you realize how much local history they have experienced, how many contacts we'll lose, how much identity we'll lose? And none of them would be "retiring" unless corporate were basically pushing them out the door! Pathetic corporate leadership.
Will supervisors be getting fill in the blank Evans from HR? Mine oversees more than a dozen people. No way shell be able to do a decent evaluation of they aren't spread out.I suppose raises will be so small, it won't make a difference.
8:27, officially they are consultants. Unofficially, they trade workspace for hind barista shifts at Starbucks.
8:02 - It screws an employee because raises have been frozen for the past three years. I was supposed to receive my review and raise next month. Now my review won't happen for another one to two months with my raise coming in July. That is three more months I am going without my raise. How am I not screwed by this? And who knows, by the time May rolls around they may decide they don't have enough money for raises and freeze them yet again for another year.
News flash, you weren't getting a raise anyway. Has anyone seen Q1 numbers? Oh my goodness, the only place that made plan was Indy thanks to the Super Bowl.
I didn't see the numbers, but I did see the Fond du Lac Reporter today, and it was 10 pages total. Two sections, 6 and 4. Thank god it's not a windy day out; no home subscribers would have a paper on their lawn.
I received an e-mail the other day that started with this line:"the USAT leadership....."I started to laugh and deleted the e-mail.
4:12, I'm sure Jen would love to have you help sell.
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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