Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 19-25 | Your News & Comments: Part 4

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72 comments:

  1. Pointroll has just signed one of the most stupidest deals with Aggregate Knowledge. We are so desperate for sales that we are paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars a month so we can use AK's Safari cookie data and Analytics tools.

    As if Rob Gatto didn't learn his lesson the first time, he is now working with a crappy company like AK to help shore up our sales.

    What is even funnier is that the AK employees are laughing all the way to the bank on this one, while screwing up our campaigns.

    Someone should tell George Thomas that he needs to start "innovating"! The fact that we are paying almost $3mm a year to AK and we can't figure this simple stuff out ourselves is a joke and shows the lack of innovation at Pointroll.

    As many fellow a rollers have said on this blog before, Pointroll is falling apart and all of our clients are recognizing it.

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  2. Pointroll...Founded in 2000, still operating like an immature start-up 12 years later.

    Most start ups act desperately and Pointroll is no different. Except this is a company that was high flying for most of its existence, except for the last three years.

    This is a good example of Gannett not paying attention. They put in a CEO and head of sales that are both NOT qualified. Unfortunately for Rob Gatto, he is tied to Sarah Ripmaster and unfortunately for Sarah Ripmaster, she is wholly dependent upon Rob Gatto as her father figure.

    Someone posted yesterday that the Pointroll leadership "is morally bankrupt". I, as well as the 100 employees in operations, couldn't agree anymore. This leadership team is full of arrogant, disgusting pigs.

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  3. Does anyone at Pointroll even know what Matthew Flanagan does aside from talk about how great he is at brewing beer? Seriously, I know this guy is Rob Gatto's buddy and the only reason why he got this totally fabricated job, was because he was tossed out of Buddy Media.

    We are paying him a ton of money to manage relationships with Publishers!

    It seems like Gatto had to do a little payback and get his buddy this job. A year later and he still has not done anything.

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  4. What Todd Pasternak forget to mention below were the other Top Takeaways, like the $10,000 spent of strip clubs for the executive team. The $5,000 spent in gambling losses that were expensed (through a disguise). The excessive money spent on other "client entertainment" in the form of tour excursions and golf outings for the executive team. And finally, he really forgot to mention all the $350 bottles of wine and champagne that Sarah Ripmaster ordered for the FIVE DAYS they were boondoggling!

    The PointRoll Executive team spent the past few days at CES in Las Vegas and I’d like to share with you my Top 6 Takeaways from this week.

    1. Innovation is alive and well in the United States. People think big here and are constantly looking for ways to improve lives globally.
    2. Transparency and integration. As technology advances, its role is becoming more about transparency and integration into the “everyday” to connect people, instead of being obtrusive and clunky.
    3. Creativity is a key element in technology. Having the intuition to know how design of a product will effect people and elicit emotion is more powerful than the code and hardware powering it.
    4. Moving video content between devices was a big theme for some OEM’s. Though nothing new or groundbreaking, the adoption and mainstream nature of it was exciting to see.
    5. CES is the modern-day World’s Fair. It’s the place for mankind to recognize and demonstrate its evolution.
    6. Taking chances, failing fast and learning faster is what drives great innovation.

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  5. We all knew Pointroll would eventually flame out. It was only a matter of time. When Gannett first bought the company, they were flying high for a few years. Pointroll could do no wrong, they were hot.

    When Saradakis got to Gannett Digital, he protected the company and still guided it, but the company seemed like it still had legs.

    Today, as we view it from the Gannett side, we see monthly numbers being missed. Uncomfortably high employee turnover rates (even for a newspaper company!) and a battered client base.

    Pointroll is less relevant to Gannett today and their interaction with Gannett Digital is even less important. ShopLocal was purchased by Pointroll in 2008 and this year Gannett stripped the current Pointroll leadership with the responsibility of managing ShopLocal.

    Some people believe it was a power play by Vikram Sharma, but the reality Vikram is a solid leader and someone who I can see Gannett putting in to run Pointroll and clean up the mess there.

    It is ashame Pointroll has fallen from grace, but every dog has its day.

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  6. I blame David Payne and Gracia Martore for Pointroll's collapse. Where the hell were these two idiots when Rob Gatto was spending up a storm or when they were illegally placing cookies on Safari browsers?

    It is one thing to blame Pointroll's executives (which they should all be fired for incompetence), but also remember that this group reports into David Payne and he has to sign off every quarter that everything is kosher in all his businesses. Did he miss this one?

    What about the CEO who has visited Pointroll ONCE in the past 7 years!

    So, I blame the current leadership at Pointroll for their poor performance, but I also point a finger at the bad parenting by David Payne and Gracia Martore.

    Gannett need a social worker to step in and take this child away!

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  7. Brutal morning for Pointroll, can't say they don't deserve it. These people are a bunch of arrogant, selfish blood suckers. Gracia should have fired them when she had the opportunity.

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  8. Pointroll is losing its largest client Ford. It appears that everyone working on this account is sending their resumes out faster than we can deliver expandable ads!

    Ford was a third of Pointroll's revenues and over 40% of it's profits!

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  9. Last one in sports in Cincinnati turn out the lights. Supposedly both the sports editor and deputy resigned yesterday. Department is already paper thin (to coin a phrase).

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    1. Yes that is true

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  10. "Most stupidest"?

    Did an adult really write that?

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  11. I've read several comments regarding Newsday digital entering the Westchester NY market. Can someone fill in the blanks on exactly what's going on there?

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  12. So as the end of the quarter and the buyout window approach, any whispers about another round of furloughs or layoffs? Jim? Anybody?
    Still not clear at my site whose buyout offers will be accepted. Two definitely gone if Gannett approves them, two weighing other work opportunities while considering the offer, one is mum.

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  13. Gracia, there seems to be a lot of "fill in the blanks" requests and a ton of angst on the blog lately about papers we rarely hear about, i.e., Shreveport, Westchester and now Pointroll is screaming. Looks to me like you're losing control of your employees. They are leaving in droves on their own accord. Be careful what you wish for, you're going to be left with the empty suits running this company. Then again, maybe that's the way you want it so you can line your pockets before it goes bankrupt. Is that really the grand plan? Inquiring minds want to know.

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  14. Any layoffs coming to Florida Today, anyone know?

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  15. “Lincoln Mercury dealership proposed for Montgomery”
    Cincinnati.com

    Apparently, the Enquirer has yet to realize Ford announced it was shutting the Mercury brand down nearly two years ago, something that should have been noted in the story as it won't be a Lincoln Mercury branded dealership. Yet, not one word of it which has many further questioning why they should trust the Enquirer for anything.

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  16. Anonymous said...
    I've read several comments regarding Newsday digital entering the Westchester NY market. Can someone fill in the blanks on exactly what's going on there?

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  17. What's the deal with the sports editor at Enquirer quitting?

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  18. 9:03/9:26/9:41, why not do your own homework? Get the details on your own.

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  19. 10:17 - He's a smart man.

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  20. Did anyone hear what the end result was for the buy out offer?
    How many people took it and what's next?

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  21. Gannett's CMO @maryamb will take the stage this morning at the Local Online Advertising Conference to talk about power in local. #loac2012

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  22. 9:14,9:26
    Good questions.
    All other postings are trivial in comparison.
    What is the point of discussing other matters and concerns if we are no longer employed by Gannett?

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  23. http://insiderlouisville.com/news/2012/03/20/sources-top-courier-journal-editorial-staffers-likely-to-take-buyouts-include-keith-runyon-steve-ford/

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  35. Hat tip to Romenesko on story that media-hater Andrew Breitbart's memorial service was held at the Newseum. They will take money from anybody for anything. As long as you're willing to also pay for their space and serve Wolfgang Puck's overrated and expensive food.

    http://jimromenesko.com/2012/03/22/breitbart-and-the-newseum/

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  40. Wow. May be a record number of comments removed in one day.

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  41. 2:30 Someone's been posting the same attack on an individual that includes a word not fit for a family blog.

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  42. If you did not fill out the survey, and let the company know how you feel, you have no balls, O I'm afraid they will trace it back to me...so what, at least they know you have the guts to say what you think about this company. I was honest and to the point, if they fire me for it so what, that's what a lawsuit is called.
    Cmon man

    Happy Pressman

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    1. I didn't hold back either. Either express what you think or you have no right to whine.

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  43. Dubow off the DL?

    http://247wallst.com/2012/03/22/ap-hires-worst-ceo-in-newspaper-industry/

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  44. Shreveport needs an audit. Pay particular attention to how rates and revenues are manipulated in favor of some(friends) and not others.

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  45. One more week before 665 Gannett cost-centers, aka balance-sheet liabilities, will have to decide whether or not to take the buyout. The GCI bean counters have gone through the trouble of identifying these people as excess baggage and have written them off, regardless of the workers' decisions. Through the lens of the finance types now running the company, people who don't take the buyout will be doing GCI a big favor because it'll be a lot cheaper for GCI to lay them off in three months.

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  46. 1:44 . . .

    Breitbart didn't HATE media - he exposed hypocrisy amongst politicians and the media in general. Something any REAL journalist should applaud and strive for.

    Sorry you feel threatened by that.

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  47. Web hed of the day:

    Oshkosh Lourdes will have it's hands full with Regis' Bowe

    In what grade are contractions taught?

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  48. It seems Dave Hunke's assistant has doom and gloom insight. Margie Trone is making no secret to the fact that USAT circulation and advertising revenue will be hitting a new low for Q1 and severe cuts are on the horizon. Again. It seems there is no end to the downward spiral.

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  49. As one of those "liabilities" I am very happy to take the buyout. I've spent 21 years doing a great job for the company. Until about 5years ago it was a great place to work. Now I can't wait to find out when my last day is so I can get on with my life.

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  50. Pondering doing a tell-all book about USAT. Like any ex-Gannettoid, I will admit to possessing some sour grapes. But the book wouldn't be about that. It would be about the immoral and downright corrupt ways of a national newspaper -- horrors that I witnessed for over a decade. Buried secrets that people still working there have no clue about.

    I think the general public would be interested in reading about why the news is tainted by unspoken newsroom and board room policies that not only slant the reporting, but also make the news highly inaccurate.

    From the incompetent hiring and retention practices of USAT, to the intentional decline of the product, the story of USAT is the story of many U.S. companies that rose to the top only to find that too much success and not enough ethics often cause businesses to collapse.

    Sour grapes aside, I strongly believe USAT for the last few years has been in the early stages of that collapse and does not know how to stop it because it doesn't recognize the wrongs committed by high and mid-level managers. The practice of rewarding those who should be fired remains. The culture of fear has led to a mediocrity not fit for any national news product.

    But worse than any of that, USAT's crimes against its own people -- the harder working folks with talent, energy and imagination to spare -- is sinful and a text book example of how not to run a company.

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    1. Nice idea, but, they would probably.sue you. Remember, they have several floors of sleazy attornies licking their chops to work on such a project. Maybe some.federal agency could be convinced to dig into this company and the scumbags running it.

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    2. No one cares. A "national newspaper" at 1.5m is a metro. Nobody reads - or cares. Have another scotch DH.....

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  51. 4:12, love it! But it's not anything so much "taught" as kids getting a free ride in a weak education. The goal is to pass them, not educate them. Mustn't affect anyone's "self-esteem!" Sadly, I worked with some alleged newspaper people -- semi-well-paid adults, mind you -- who didn't know the name for an apostrophe. It's one thing for this literacy level to be common among the public since it's been co-opted to television for the past 50 years, but to see even a few instances of it in the writing profession? Usually met with a defensive "Whatever!" when I'd politely say "It's called an 'apostrophe'?" Sigh.

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  52. Busy Busy Maryam Banikarim. So she does do something. Speaking at the local advertising conference in NY then to Florida speaking at Gen W then to LA speaking as an expert on entertainment marketing. How does she get it all done? And how much is she getting paid since she is represented by All American Speakers Bureau (you need to contact this speakers bureau to "discuss her fees." Busy Busy Banikarim on the road.

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  53. 5:05 pm Is that you, Jack? Are you finally going to write your tell-all?

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  54. 5:05 pm: Good idea except the only people who want to read about the insider baseball issues of a newspaper are newspaper people. It's hard to believe, I know, but most people don't care about the decline of newspapers or newspaper companies. Most people, that is. Not all. But most.

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  55. 5:05 yeah sounds like there wouldn't be any sour grapes in that story. I think the general public could give a rats ass.

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  56. @ 5:05 - Amen! And that can probably be said about many properties, unfortunately. That it can be said about USAT, a national entity, is an atrocity!

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  57. 5:27. Are you shitting me. Banikarim gets paid for making speeches. F*** THIS. OUTRAGEOUS.

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  58. In Phoenix today pressroom management told employees that The New. York Times is threating to cancel it's contract because Gannett has misseed delivery deadlines 4 of the last 5 days at the Phoenix plant. This pressman wonders why they announced to us their delemia? Previously we have told the managers of equipment problems, raw material problems and the like only to have no action or response..Perhaps the near,round the clock running of this press with minimal maintance is the culprit.You can staff a machine with the best trained people, but if the machinery is unreliable due to lack of. Maintance or garbage paper is being purchased.you won't get desirble results.

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  59. So does Maryim take a vacation day when she is getting paid to make speeches, or is there some actual benefit to the company that we don't know about?

    Just would like to know if ther is an official policy against double dipping.

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  60. This self serving arrogant do nothing pretentious CMO has to go.

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  61. Hunke would like to think of himself the hero who saves the day. Too bad he's more like Pee Wee Herman in a teeny tiny cowboy hat.

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  62. Hunke would like to think of himself the hero who saves the day. Too bad he's more like Pee Wee Herman in a teeny tiny cowboy hat.

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  63. She may be arrogant and pretentious. She's definitely got everyone fooled at corporate as some kind of savior. Underwhelming, to put it mildly.

    Shes certainly not the worst of the bunch.

    What a huge bunch of fucking no account, hypocritical, duplicitous frauds.

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  64. I've been too busy working to fill out your survey, Miss Martore. And now that I've read through it, I'm so glad I didn't use my lunch break to answer it. There just aren't enough hours, not enough co-workers, not enough anything to get all the work done. So sorry. I'm sure my views matter a lot to you. I can tell, I really can. You're so earnest and these questions, wow. They're so revelatory. Of something. Who wrote that for you? I mean, get real. You have lousy advisors who don't know what it takes to do news or features or anything. All they know is how to pose. So the rest of us are working pretty hard to get the news out there.
    If you want to transform your media company you should really get back to work. All this posturing and shystering and pretending and traveling around to give pep talks with your hands in your ears is pitiful. What's next? Constant Contact?
    Get back to work Gracia. Be a leader. Give a damn about your working minions
    Get all of your people back to work. And quit this pantyraid shit.
    Get back to work.

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  65. Jim, Can you bump up the buyout spreadsheet again? How about adding a column for the number of offers that are accepted? Tuesday, March 27th for employees to respond and they will be informed by Friday, March 30th on whether or not you are accepted.

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  66. What makes you think any of these ball busters wear panties?

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  67. The Society of Ex-Marketing Employees continues to make believe anyone but them cares about Maryam Banikarim's tenure in Marketing at USA Today.

    Why don't you guys give it a break and move on? Cannes was nice, but no, you don't get to go anymore.

    Seriously, all this noise is by ex-employees stunned that their way wasn't a winning way. So what? move on.

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  68. 1:47 AM – You’re delusional if you think serious concerns over Banikarim’s questionable worth to this company is limited to just a few, former disgruntled marketing employees, it’s not.

    So, keep pursing that diversion as you must to make bank, but anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows that the best defense is a strong offense and to date, no one has provided any material results to support her hire.

    Banikarim’s her own worst enemy in that regard as her inter-company musings and thirst for the public spotlight (re: Fast Company, et al) has really cast her as someone who’s learning on the job - and slowly, as evidenced by the revelation of Gannett’s “Hometown Advantage.”

    Gannett employees and it’s shareholders deserve better as her “ramp up” is unduly costing all.

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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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