Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 16-22 | Your News & Comments: Part 7

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56 comments:

  1. I've been using Google's Blogger platform to publish this blog since Day 1 -- more than four years ago.

    Now, Blogger has introduced a new user interface.

    And. I. Hate. It.

    Don't get me wrong: I can adapt to change. But I've been trying out the new version, off and on, for months now, and I can't see any improvement over the earlier version.

    Indeed, the new version eliminates some time-saving shortcuts that I'd really grown to love.

    In any case, tonight administrators made the switchover permanent. Now, we don't have a choice anymore.

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  2. It could be worse, Jim. You could be under the oppressive thumb of these Gannett crackers. Then you would really be miserable waiting for the latest b.s.

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  3. The more I talk to people working for The Man outside Gannett, I realize the stupidity, waste and incompetence is almost everywhere, Recycled managers, outside consultants, ill-suited technologly, cost cutting and fancy buzzwords are pervasive.

    Of,course Gannett sucks and the so called leaders haven't a clue to get this company where it needs to be. I'm just saying the grass ain't always greener elsewhere.

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  4. I am a long tenure employee of Gannett and was told this week I no longer have a job. Our publisher "DB" is the leader of destruction at our site. He does not know the employees, city, advertisers, or this culture. He sent his people to tell me with his coward self. We bash the managers/directors when we know all their directions comes from the Crystal Palace. If the local sites were able to run the day-to-day operations of the company it would be better. Every department is run from the Crystal Palace. IC about to adventure a reorganization (corporate driven); IT going through restructure (corporate driven with their sorry help desk); Advertising going through restructures (corporate driven with publisher leading); Circulation spunned away from local control (Corporate driven with sorry COE); HR spunned away from local control (Corporate driven with sorry Gannett Bemefits Center); Production (spunned away from local control); Finance employees about to loose their jobs (Corporate driven). I could bash the executives who told me I was fired but I already know this was not their decision. I wish the publisher would have told me and not be a coward. Maybe the Crystal Palace executives could have come down to tell me. They are so to blame for all these firings.

    Those of you left please keep peace amongst yourselves. The Crystal Palace would love to see us bashing our fellow coworkers. Do not give them this satisfaction. They are reading this blog laughing at us bash each other when they are to blame for the big mess they are causing. They love Jim's site because they know we come out here to vent so they get to see they are successful at making our lives miserable. We tell each other to go get another job if we are so unhappy and the Crystal Palace knows we have given them the best years. They do not care if we leave them know. We bash each other for procedures and 800 numbers the Crystal Palace puts in place. We need to direct our anger to the people responsible THE CRYSTAL PALACE!

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  5. It's Saturday morning and Gannett still sucks.

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  7. OK, 9:47, are you in Shreveport? Can you give initials of others involved in RIF? You are right about the publisher. He is so out of touch. At the reception for five who (voluntarily) took the buyouts, he said we were celebrating the retirement of five and how lucky to not have just 1 retirement, but 5 to celebrate! Anyone could see by the look on all our faces that it was not a joyous occasion. What an idiot! And before anyone comments on the word "voluntary" - know that these loyal, best-of-the-best employees were smart enough to see the writing on the wall and were able to get something from their decision as opposed to those who one week later are being shown the door with nothing!!!!

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  8. Why do Gannett websites seem to hop around and take a long time to finally organize them selves and settle down? What do you call this? It seems like I have to constantly reposition the pages, the text jumps all around and ads pop up in spots where the text used to be until it settles down. It is very annoying. Plus, the pop up ads are back. This doesn't seem to occur at any other web sites, but it occurs at at least a few Gannett sites I read on occasion.

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  9. 4:38 - I posted a comment at 8:30 with wrong time - 9:47 - but it was meant for you - Must be too early on a Saturday morning for me. If you can enlighten, that would be great for many of us.

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  10. APP still for over a week has the story written by Hollis and Donovan about pay walls up on it's front web page. Every singe of over the 50 comments are bashing paper. Haven't seen one defending paper. Have to give them little credit the thin skinned duo of Collins and hidlay would have taken story down, blocked comments or assigned people to defend the paper. Wonder if even the ee and publishers of papers think this idea is so dumb they want the comments to show the corporate "brains" how the idea is being embraced by the public.

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  11. 4:38 - you ask for peace but dish your own bash against a Gannett employee who may/may not have as much time as you. Huh?

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  12. From 2:19 AM:

    "Reinan, if you can't understand why a claim like that one needs some sort of verification to it, then you should bail out of these discussions. You're the equivalent of an unarmed man at a gunfight."

    But you seem to be operating under the assumption that it's Jim's duty to either check out every rumor that gets posted here, or take it down if he can't confirm it.

    I don't look at it that way. Jim is providing a forum, and any independent reporting he does (and he's done a lot) is a bonus.

    What do you expect of him for $16,000 a year? Send him some money and maybe he can hire an intern to check out more of the rumors.

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  13. Well said 4:38.

    I don't why people continue to be disrepectful to each other. I guess just like with road rage if you can't see the person, it gives you permission to be a jerk.

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  14. 8:30 - it does not matter where I work or who else was let go. My post was to let you and others know that we have been directing our anger at the wrong people. What happens in Shreveport is happening at all Gannett sites. Local executives are under the direction of the publisher whether the publisher have local control of their office or not. I do blame the publisher "DB" for the mess at our site. After I had calmed down from my initial firing I had a talk with one of the executives who fired me - I read people well - this person had nothing to do with the "decision".

    THE CRYSTAL PALACE sends their orders to local publishes and some of them do not have the balls to defend us. Those that do defend their people are let go. I know a former publisher of the Jackson, MS site did just this and now he is "retired". The Crystal Palace has the power and is using it to their benefit. They are clueless who we are, how they are affecting our lives and our families. Their only focus is THE CRYSTAL PALACE.

    For the rest of you left, you should put your collective anger, frustrations and talent towards exposing THE CRYSTAL PALACE. Until you attack the source nothing will change. When THE CRYSTAL PALACE speaks of any local office they use the term "out in the field". This is slave term. I cannot help you because I am gone but you have many like you that can legally bring down THE CRYSTAL PALACE! Jim is a good source.

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  15. Two questions for the avid Gannett Blog reader this beautiful Saturday.

    Question 1 - What happened to Wilmington? The News Journal was once the Group East site, a driver of change and innovation.

    They have cycled out Curtis Riddle's operating committee with all but News and Online leaving "voluntarily."

    The building is a shell of its once vibrant self, down to about 100 full time employees and sinking fast.

    Question 2 - How long before all five operating units run by Stoney LaDouche become the bottom 5 performers in Dickey's 83 newspaper roster?

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    1. You think Riddle was an innovator. I'd bet
      Y mortgage you never saw him more than ten times the whole time you were there and you never spoke to him. Get real

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  16. Managers have mouths to feed too. The best we can do is work with the revenue and edicts we're given to serve our communities with the staffing we're allowed.

    It's not a matter of having balls to stand up for anything, it's knowing that gestures are wasted and it's better to keep things going long enough for the staff we have to find opportunities for their future.

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  17. May 2 is the big day that all Lousisiana Gannett Papers meet and they will annouce changes. All La newspapers website will go to a meter system and introduction of a news app. They will also kill a very popular ad package that are a majority of ad in the paper.

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  18. REALITY

    10:31, get real. There are two choices.

    1. Get out.

    2. Stay, suck it up, keep yourself employable, and get ready for when the ship goes down. The Capts. Losers are on the bridge.

    Attempting a mutiny is just a friggin' joke. There's not a court in the USA that would support an "attack."

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  19. Our newsroom staff has been cut by mor than half over the last 10 years. The product, obviously, is not nearly as good. We are asked to do more than ever w/ digital. We are told think digital first, then repurpose for print. We are told to concentrate on enterprise for the Sunday product, to make it special. But we are also told to put out a decent daily product and to not ever, ever miss deadline (good luck with that when we go to the design hub, huh?). Oh, and don't work so many hours. Enjoy life.
    Yeah, right.
    Only thing we can do is do the best we can, hope some people continue to subscribe and hope we don't get laid off. Every single day I hear from readers, friends and anyone else I encounter about how they used to read the paper and used to like it and now they don't subscribe, read it free online or just don't care about it, period. It's really depressing, but I need the job and there's not a lot of jobs out there for someone my age. So I do my job every day the best I can, but I will say this: I don't go the extra mile nearly as often as I used to. It used to be a passion. Now it's just a job.

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  20. Reinan, why would I send him money? So he can keep running with unsubstantiated rumors? Sounds like you think bad = send more $. No.

    You must realize how bad that plan sounds. Right? Maybe not.

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  21. I have sent Jim $$. better than NPR or OweBama.

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  22. Just left my MacBook at Apple for repairs.

    The separation anxiety has now begun.

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  24. What former Jackson, MS publisher had the balls to defend his employees and then they retired him? The last one to do that was 3 publishers ago and the one before him, also a great publisher for his staff and the community died of a massive heart attack! Jackson has been sinking deeper and deeper ever since!

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  25. The former publisher in Jackson that is being referenced is likely Mike Craft. He was publisher in Shreveport prior to that. I worked for him in Shreveport and enjoyed working with him very much. He was a smart and passionate publisher. He did all he could to protect us from some of the corporate edicts that made little sense. I'm sure he did the same in Jackson. In the end he probably decided it wasn't worth compromising his ethics and selling his soul to Gannett.

    Pat McFarland

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  26. WaPO: going digital dangerous

    http://wapo.st/JvxWfy

    " .. I think that the most noteworthy event was the resignation of Flock, a woman in her mid-20s whose job was filling The Post’s breaking news blog, called blogPost. It was designed to be about the national and international stories popular from hour to hour — trending — on the Internet .."

    Hmm .. yes, what to do, with Capts. GANNETTOID Kiss-UPs, at the helm? Danged if you do, danged, if you don't?

    Answer: know who you are. Do what you think has to be done. CYA. Capt. Kiss-up won't.

    And make a donation to Jim. Better the working class than OweBama or GWB.

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  27. Methinks every publisher and editor is ordered to include the lie about an "unwavering commitment to watchdog and investigative reporting" in their columns about the upcoming website paywall, as it did in Donovan/Towns' piece in Asbury Park. It gets pretty redundant, but the newsroom keeps getting smaller. What passes for "watchdog" journalism used to be called journalism. Now those rare instances where Gannett papers are actually breaking stories about corruption or sleazy conduct is hyped as "exclusives." Bloggers all around the country are doing a superior job of watchdogging than Gannett papers. Gannett Blog is a prime example.

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  28. Not to interrupt the pee party, but USA TODAY's investigation of poisonous grounds left by demolished lead smelting factories was really excellent. Check out the online presentation, which is simply superb.

    Good work.

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    1. Correction, Great Work

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  30. 1:40 make sure you share your negative tripe with the Pulitzer finalists.

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  33. Gannett is a unique company. No other Company I have worked at or have heard of as part of a RIF has exit interviews then works at denying the poor laid off employees unemployment benefits and threatens to put do not rehire in your file at the will of the H.R. person.

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  34. 10:31 - What I loved about the ad reorg in Shreveport was that the Ad director blamed the publisher, and the publisher blamed the ad director, and then they both ran out the door for two weeks. Classic Gannett. They are all cowards, even the people in the Crystal Palace.

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  35. Lil Tommy Paine in the butt4/21/2012 9:18 PM

    12:03, you misconstrue what 10:31 is saying. The Publisher and EE at your site has little to no control, they are the puppet that dances to the strings pulled at the Crystal Palace.
    Most of us, thanks to the 401K program, are employee share holders. Answer me this, how many of us vote our proxy? How many have voted for or against the board of directors, let alone vote at all.
    How large of a voting block would Gannett employees be? Has anyone, including Jim, bothered to figure this out?
    Whining on this blog won't do much except to let us know others feel the same way.
    Forming an employee share holder group would. They would have to listen if we voted down say, the current slate of board of directors and proposed our own candidates.
    We might even have a say in changing the executive compensation package and see that the money gets put back in to the COMPANY in the form of front line hires and equipment, instead of in the pockets for mediocre, do nothing executives.
    If you want to talk mutiny, that is how to do it. With your proxy vote. As a group of unified shareholders demanding accountability and the end of "business as usual."
    How about it? Or do we just want to sit at our keyboards and whine? Use the little power we have as an employee shareholder voting block.

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  36. I have a bottle of schadenfreude champagne on ice ready for any upcoming announcement about my former two-faced publisher's pink slip.

    Bring it on!

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  41. At least a couple of posters have been saying that the decisions on forced retirements and other staffing cutbacks are made at the corporate level, not by local publishers and executive editors.

    So does that mean that Kate Marymont has a hand in choosing which journalists are shown the door?

    Or is just the beancounters to set their sights on veteran staffers who earn larger paychecks?

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  42. Was Hunke fired from USA today or did he actually resign?

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  43. In regards to the Louisiana papers, I think it is more Hollingsworth and Greiwe driving the train than it is Corporate. From what I've seen in meetings, "DB" was hired as their puppet and he's buying every bit of BS they've stuffed down his throat. Poor guy, he doesn't have a clue.

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  45. 7:32 The truth may be somewhere in the middle.

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  46. Well I knew riddle from days gone by and he was and is a great man who cared.

    As for the employee voting block, it is less than one half of one stinking percent. Embarrassment if you ask me.

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  47. Can anyone tell me where Wanda SAbatino from Brevard is?

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  48. Furloughs are really awful. Cheap savings and the negative impact outweighs the financial gains.

    Really awful management technique. Short-sighted and panic driven.

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  49. Of course furloughs make sense. How else can the company afford to pay for Craig Dubow's package.

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  50. Riddle is a pure pedigree newspaper man and the real reason Wilmington was a Group site. It's not a coincidence that they relocated the Group affiliation to Rochester after he retired.

    What is a coincidence is that Dickey's martini mate from Hawaii replaced Riddle. The cronyism appears to have worked out really well so far.

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    1. Please list his top ten accomplishments?

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  51. 11:37, very true. But I would prefer those to the dehumanizing method being applied across Gannett properties: reapplying for jobs.

    Can't wait until the incompetents at the Crystal Palace headquarters have to go through them.

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  52. 11:13 - Why do you want to know? She's doing very well. Still in the area.

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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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