An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Columbia Journalism Review asks: What could Gannett have bought with the $37.1 million paid to Craig Dubow as his retirement and disability benefit?And it poses the same question about now-retired New York Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson.
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Why didn't Gannett offer stipends to those who already have iPhones, which is probably most people? What is the point of having two iPhones?
They should make Craig pay it all back. He could apply for the talent development program and get rehired as a greeter at the Newseum.
6:09 AM, from personal experience I can assure you that CD has no talent as a greeter.
I would not even trust CD as a towel boy !
Here in Central New York land some departments are forcing people to take furlough time one day a week, with the option of taking it all at once being forbidden. This screws the people over for the waiting period for unemployment should there be another furlough.....anyone know if this is legal?
"Our hometown advantage comes from deep connections in communities coast to coast...."At our site, the editor and publisher can barely find their way from home to office, and the only "friends" they have in town are the Chamber of Commerce types who glom onto every newly arrived Gannett executive to make sure they only see and hear what the powerbrokers want to appear in the newspaper.Meanwhile, the newsroom has been purged of every experienced journalist who had those "deep connections." Most of the new kids are bright and well-meaning, but they have no sense of continuity or institutional knowledge and, therefore, must accept whatever "facts" they are fed.The community senses all of this, as witnessed by declining circulation and advertising -- a trend that will escalate with the coming rate increases and pay wall.Sad. Very sad.
Gannett lost its "Hometown Advantage" long ago. Can we say 20,000+ layoffs in our communities?Not a believable statement any longer.
Gracia headed to Norfolk, VA (GMTI) today.
Hometown disadvantage more appropriate
The glorious resignation letter so many of us wish we could have written (via Romenesko): http://jimromenesko.com/2012/03/15/i-would-have-loved-to-piss-on-your-shoes/
Did anyone read the USA Today this morning. Newspapers should be required to list the perks on top of perks they give out themselves before writing about other's.
Small Gannett paper in Ohio doing a nice job with some serious local flooding: NewarkAdvocate.com.
Heard that Gannett is finally getting rid of AZ Mag in Phoenix. Not confirmed or announced yet of course (don't want the sales team to quit before they get the last issue out - god forbid you give them an opportunity to find new jobs). This is just another example of the mismanagement that takes place in Phoenix. That product was doing fine until the newsroom got a hold of it and basically ran it into the ground. One more product down the drain.
And we wonder why the boots-on-the-ground folks continue to face cuts ...The Secret Reason Gannett's Earnings Are AwesomeBy Seth Jayson, The Motley Fool Posted 10:08AM 03/15/12 Investing http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/03/15/the-secret-reason-gannetts-earnings-are-awesome/
12:14 thanks for sharing. Jim, you should republish this reporter's resignation letter on your blog.Martore, Dickey, Banikarim...how can you even show your face in Gannett newsrooms, those that comprise most of your earnings?Shame on you all.
Who is The Director of Operations at The Indy Star and the Indiana group, I herd they are flying by the seat of their pants, nobody is in command..middle mangers pulling hair out, they actually have to do some work, its about time. Instead of sitting at a desk all day reading Yahoo, and eating all day, they have to do paper work and make decisions..it is very amusing.
Dear Florida Today,Please give us a great print product to read, the paper sucks!This comes from many people in the Brevard County area that want our old great paper back, HELP!!!
Don't see many post on here from Western papers. Most I see are from Florida, N.J., and Cincinnati. Once in a while a few from The Republic in Arizona.
One of the things people rarely, if ever, discuss on here is the irony of all of USA Today's current troubles. Yes, irony, and cosmically justified, I might add.You see, way back when, before the great recession, before digital platforms and pagination, USA Today came on the scene with one main business goal: Destroy every small, non-Gannett paper in the country, and take a major bite out of the metro markets. And USA Today succeeded in many ways, driving mom-and-pop publishers to close down or sell to Gannett or another big chain with muscle to compete.Many said that what USA Today was doing was unethical. Behind its touting of this new, shiny form of journalism was a fairly ugly divide-and-conquer mentality. USA Today hired cheap help, built an army of loaners from other Gannett papers and underpaid journalists who wanted to be part of something new. It took several years to turn a profit, but eventually the formula worked. USA Today, with its no stars on staff approach, began reshaping print journalism, and not always in a positive way. USA Today was about numbers. Numbers of cheap staffers, numbers of papers printed, numbers of color photos and graphics. Eventually, some of those staffers weren't so cheap anymore, and guess what happened?I can't blame Gannett and USA Today entirely for destroying journalism, particularly grassroots reporting, but I can say that saturating every one-dog town with this national newspaper in its fancy news racks did more harm than good for the business as a whole and the people in those small towns who relied on quality local news. At the time, it seemed like a grand idea. In hindsight, I blame those days on the slash-and-burn, show-no-loyalty culture that now exists in that ridiculously expensive headquarters building in Virginia. A seed was planted way back when the current crop of new USAT'ers were still in diapers. I suspect that this generation also is buying into whatever hiring managers are selling them. Boy, you just want to shake them and say, "Look, look at the past and see what it has led to. That's your future."USA Today isn't the first corporate-back monster in any industry that devoured the little guys, but in journalism, I would have expected a little more integrity and a lot less bottom-line ruthlessness. Ideally, I would expect honor to play at least a small part in all that happens on the business side of newspaper, particularly one that likes to sell itself on being the glue that holds Americans together. Compete like Hell to get the story first, sure. But that wasn't how USA Today approached business. USA Today wasn't about winning the respect of its competitors or readers. It was about force feeding itself on the nation. Creating an illusion. It's still doing that, but now the illusion is online.Fast forward to 2012. After a brief stretch where it looked like USA Today had grown up and become a more credible news product, McPaper is back to its old tricks. I see a paper (and website) that is desperately lacking and struggling to stay afloat, not by producing great journalism, but by nasty cutbacks in staff, lower standards (to save a few more bucks) and marketing recycled crap, hoping that readers and its own employees will still think this is a relatively decent news brand.Bad karma has hit USA Today right between the eyes. It took awhile and a major economic downturn to do it, but I get a feeling that USA Today, which still does not acknowledge its sins (past or present), will never recover from its self-inflicted wounds, or how rudely it treated competitors or its own people. USA Today's cold, business-like approach to making it to the top without any respect for a once respected profession will eventually cause it to crumble. The smoke-and-mirrors games that gutless editors play at this newspaper is a disgrace to journalism.
Die Gannett Die!!!!!
I have a hard time buying the karma crap when you see Hunke, Ellwood, Banikarim, Martore, Micek, Jones, Weiss, Frank, et al pocketing thousands and thousands. When the karma finally strikes this handful of duds it will be too late for all of us.
So what did you accomplish today, Maryam?
Is this normal? I called the asbury park press and tried to place a retail ad for my small business. Gave the rep the info and she told me she would email some options. I waited a week called back twice within a few days and no one has called me back. In the same time frame I was able to place ads in local weeklies. Now I was fired and sued company for small amount and then was in news for arrest. Would they not want my business or are they incompetent? It pained me to place ad in first place to give those parasites money but they made it easy not to. I told rep I was former employee but nothing else not like there is any shortage of former employees. Chris Erwin
5:37 I would think the next year or so will be a major watershed for USAT:1. The economy seems to be finally growing steadily again, which creates an opportunity for all newspapers to get ad revenue growing.2. The paper now has a new sales chief -- Mary Murcko -- which could shake things up.3. It wouldn't be at all surprising if Susie Ellwood finally assumed the publisher's job; she'll have her first anniversary as the No. 2 executive this June.4. Tom Beusse and his team have been given fairly free reins at USAT Sports Media Group. Some of that should start producing some new revenue.5. A new top editor -- who could be named anytime now, if it isn't the persona already occupying the job -- would be able to really shake things up.6. A relaunched website, now set for the fall, could be another source of additional digital revenue. Ditto if the verticals strategy can be turned around, and the new Travel Media Group gains traction.But all of that needs to come together fairly quickly, or the paper will be in even more serious trouble.It's more than a little alarming that USAT's print ad revenue decline rate accelerated last year: It was down 14% from 2010 vs. the 13% decline in 2010 vs. 2009. Meanwhile, it's hard to believe that the low double-digit percentage increase in digital made up the difference, because it applies to a much smaller dollar base.Further steep ad revenue declines will lead to more cutbacks in content production and customer service. That reduces readership, and the spiral continues spinning downward.USAT is Gannett's most visible and and most valuable brand. Yet it's decline over the past three years has been extraordinary to watch. How much longer will Corporate allow this to continue?
Chris Erwin to the rescue.
Chris, have you been convicted of those charges yet?
nope not yet.
Still waiting for that list of accomplishments Maryam.
Any thoughts on what industry newspaper Information Technology skills 'port' to nicely?
7:52 at this point i dont really care but out of curiosity is it something you are hoping for? I know that when arrested the few former co-workers that i remain friendly with said some people were giddy. Sort of disappointing that for the most part people I liked would gain such joy from my misfortune. But I guess that is why place is a poisen pit.
8:03pm - From what I have been reading in the tech journals, if you are over the age of 45, forget getting a job in IT unless you have a masters+ degree or a hotshot network/security guru.
no it is me. what posts seemed to offend you
jim thanks but you didnt have to delete it for me. I have pretty thick skin. Thanks for caring:)
Q1 results are looking grim, especially with USA Today. Advertising revenue is almost non existent but the biggest blow is in circulation revenue which has always kept the nation's newspaper above water. Our reverse revenue streams have always been in iur favor but it appears that is now bottoming out. No surprise at that. As expected there will be more lay offs, more furloughs, more of those so called consolidations. What keeps me up at night? Wondering how we will get through this with such a disengaged work force. Wondering what future we have left for all of us.
Nkw don't worry. We have Maryam Banikarim. We're positive she is on the road right now doing something. Right?
That's the end of the discussion, Chris. If Jim is going to delete responses, then there is no point.Be sure to have someone bring you a cake with a file baked inside.
8:26/8:54 FYI: I remove posts that include name-calling like "loser."
Ok thanks for the cake tip and the soap on the rope I've heard them all. Hopefully you will never find yourself in such a bad situation. By no means am I a saint but losing my job and feeling a huge sense of betrayal had a horrible affect on me. A few other matters in my personal life put me in a situation of being desperate and stupid not a good combo. I got out of jail at the age of 30 and worked very hard and had help from some wonderful people. Greig, Fred aka digger, Billy Mac, Bobby c and others to help build a career that I loved and felt blessed to have. Losing iypt because of a vindictive bully was hard to swallow. Then having people I felt close to sort of disappear from my life was hurtful. I made my choices and have to deal with consequences but I wouldn't be so quick to judge. One day you might find yourself in bad situation.
The economy is recovering and growing? Ask the 355,000 that filed for umemployment for the first time. 355,000! newly out of work.Newly laid off!Yeah the economy is growing alright,only if you believe Obamanomics and his fake numbers.
45 Philadelphia inquirer/ daily news employees to lose jobs by march 30 either through buyouts or layoffs some full time, some part time. Company points to continued declines in ad sales. Company seeking a buyer, again.
People like Susan (Weiss). But she doesnt have the confidence to finally take charge. Instead, she lets the holdover liars and lightweights make decisions, often terrible ones. Many lesser editors and reporters no longer fit the new model because they don't think in real time. It was bad enough to get beat by rival papers. Now we get beat by almost everyone. Once in a while, you do see some interesting enterprise. But many people Re seriously underworked.The sad thing is this is a high value brand mismanaged from both the business and editorial side. The website could be really good. It will probably be great looking after the redesign. But that won't cure the lackluster content. The naive kiddie corps who work the site have technical skills, but no news sense or perspective.No one trusts Hunke to hire an outsider to fix things. Not with his track record. But maybe it's time to gut the entire place and build anew.
You know what is sad. I used to love working for this company. I looked forward everyday to going to work. I loved my job, I loved the people I worked with and I would work any extra hours to get the job done. Flash back to today. I despise this company, I still like the people I work with, but the work ethic is gone. No one cares. No one works together as a team. No one cares about the future of Gannett. All anyone wants, even the new hires, is to get the hell out of this company. No one cares about the future of Gannett. They care about their future and no one sees one with this company.
They will strip mine the place if they bring another dream weaver like Beusse on. Get ready for friendly news.
Re: 10:18, who wrote:"Meanwhile, the newsroom has been purged of every experienced journalist who had those "deep connections." Most of the new kids are bright and well-meaning, but they have no sense of continuity or institutional knowledge and, therefore, must accept whatever "facts" they are fed.The community senses all of this, as witnessed by declining circulation and advertising -- a trend that will escalate with the coming rate increases and pay wall."You forgot to multiply that, by 80 sites.
Susan Weiss is actually doing a good job under the circumstances. She's in a bad spot, and I think she's trying to do the right things. But she's up against a lot, with shrinking resources and increasing demands.
10:40 PM, pretty much sums it up.
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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