An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
8:28 speaks truths. Never met the man even though he eliminated my position without knowing who I was, what I did or what I looked like. When senior managers begged him to reverse the decision because it would seriously harm our department, he told them he didn't care to be informed about what I did or what value I delivered. It was all about the re-organization and performance had nothing to do with it, he told them. The department now is headed toward the graveyard, along with any other employees still employed to support it. Enjoy the retirement, Hunke. Hope it was worth it.
I don't understand why Gannett doesn't try to offer a tiny bit of job stability to employees by at least implementing an across the board layoff policy of "last hired, first fired." At least that way, employees who have been there the longest would have some idea when the axe is going to fall.It's a real shame that this company has stopped offering cost of living raises as the cost of living continues to rise.
Well we got the news Today about the new subcription "model" HMMMMlet see revenue down 50%, circulation down, massive staff layoffs, growing website. So The saving idea from the Crystal Palace. Raise the prices on print which has shrunk to a pamlet size, charge the for the website, force people to buy the digital yea that will work
SURVEY HAS YOUR PAPER GO UNDER THE PAYWALL AND HOW IS WORKING?
Once again Gannett thinking they are the only game in town. The local TV station has their apps for several months, website is still free and uses facebook very effectively.
12:21 "Last hired, first fired?" OMG, man, that smacks of unionism. Can't have that shit!
12:34 AM is completely correct. The Sunday paper has been the profit maker for the past few years, so let's raise the price 50%. Instead of taking what works and expanding, Gannett ruins it by a ridiculous price increase and new home delivery model.
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12:21AM, Gannett already has a policy like that.It's called "First Hired, First Fired."
8:28 pm. It's true Hunke was clueless from the start but it was Craig Moon that set the wheels in motion for the complete demise of USA Today. Moon had the smarts and ruthless enough to work it to his benefit while Hunke just bumbled his way into his pile of millions. But the blood of USA Today will always be on Hunke's hands -- and let him live with that. Like Moon, its doubtful he will ever be hired again.
Happy anniversary to me. Three years without a raise and two years without a review. But the furloughs keep on coming.
I went three years without a review and then got a permanent furlough. Don't make any major purchases.
8:28 pm What an auspicious date.HAPPY 2ND ANNIVERSARY OF USA TODAY'S SUCCESSFUL TRANSFORMATION, CHAIRMAN FLUNKE.What time is our celebration party in the FADR? Will you speak or are you going to let Susie Sellout do all your spinning as usual.
Spend as much time on your resumes and applying for jobs as you do on posting on this worthless blog and you will be much happier and so will Gannett.
from HuffPo coverage of Craig's tantrum over the pricey mansion someone is building next door to his home:Robert Annis, a reporter who lost his job at the Indianapolis Star when Gannett cut 700 jobs to save money last year, said he is outraged on Dubow's behalf."As Gannett CEO, he laid off me and thousands of journalists in order to pay for his palatial estate, and now it's going to be ruined by someone building an even larger mansion next door," Annis, 38, said in an email. "How are you supposed to enjoy the benefits of destroying the careers and dreams of so many hard-working professionals, not to mention crippling the local news coverage of hundreds of communities across the country, when there's hammering going on past the acres of trees and streams separating the two properties?""Maybe my fellow ex-Gannett employees and I -- at least those of us that have managed to avoid foreclosure on our own homes -- should take up a collection to help him out."
How does one wake up in the morning and decide, voluntarily, without any pay or reward, to go on to a website and tell the world anonymously how worthless said website is?What thought process must one go through to decide there's no worth to something, and then invest time on that same thing?What kind of people must go to places they don't like and read things they don't want to read so that they can complain about how they use their time?For goodness sakes, 8:45, if this is how you find your personal fulfillment of the day, I'd say this "worthless blog" is worth far more to you than it is to any of the rest of us.
Cincy Enquirer has an A1 story on the amazing discovery of a 450-million-year-old fossil. Good enough, but perhaps somebody should have pulled the DealChicken FRONT PAGE AD right next to it for Kentucky's Creation Museum (which is based on the religious belief the Earth is just 6,000 years old, a la Genesis). Juxtaposition was about as nice as a Delta advertisement next to a plane crash story.'Course, the evolution question still remains: What came first, the DealChicken or the egg? Maybe one of the Darwins at Tysons can tell us.
G A N N E T T policy:If you're hired, you will be fired.
The Journal News is still at it. In anticipation of their new pay wall and rise in subscription prices (to begin May 2), they are still refusing to publish the new costs. We readers get one "question" answered per day, and the answer is always to call or e-mail since the rates will vary depending on your particular subscription.Geez, that sounds like the subscriptions are custom-tailored to each individual subscriber. But when I go to the "Subscribe" page of the website, I see there are three time-period choices and a regular pay or "EZ pay" option for each. That's a total of six, right? Add a digital-only, again assuming the pay option, and that's a whopping total of eight prices. EIGHT. 8. EIGHT!!How the heck can publishing EIGHT price changes be tougher than dribbling out the same non-answer to one "question" a day?Ridiculous to the extreme.Incidentally, I did e-mail a rate request for digital-only on Monday--haven't received a reply yet.So much for customer service.
Thanks, 9:04, I needed a laugh!
7:01, Moon could not have put USAT on the skid so quickly without two-faced Ken Paulson smiling through his capped teeth. He would chat with the staff about music (he has a lot of disposable income to spend on concerts) and then slash people's careers from under them. He started as Big Al's Buscapade errand boy and today sits around the Freedom Forum's useless office in Nashville. No conscience.
Democrat and Chronicle posts a list of local tax delinquents, leaves the name of the editorial page editor out. Someone pointed it out and said editor and vp of news accused people of personal attacks by mentioning his name, deleted comments and then pulled the link to the comment thread in an attempt to cover it up. Irate editor claims to have paid tax bill but the state database that the paper used to publish their list hasn't been updated yet. Hypocrisy abounds.http://www.democratandchronicle.com/comments/article/20120425/BUSINESS/304200061/tax-delinquents-Ronnie-Davishttp://www.mustardstreet.blogspot.com/2012/04/is-d-silencing-comments-to-protect.htmlhttp://www.rochesterconservative.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=27175
8:58, I guess I would then ask: What kind of people come here to gripe anonymously day after day after day?Of course, we know the answer to that question. It starts with an L. And it's the same group that has done nothing to improve itself or become more worthwhile.
10:52 - that's why we come here though. Commiseration and knowing that you're not alone.To freely go someplace where they do things you don't like? I can't understand it. It's like a vegetarian going to Outback for dinner, then complaining that people are eating meat.
7:05 three years without a raise and you are still here. Why? Please explain if you are so unhappy and under appreciated, why you are still here.
This is the post from the aforementioned 8:28 PM in an earlied thread. It bears repeating because it is so well said."We wonder if David L. Hunke has any idea of how badly he has botched USA Today. "Today marks the 2nd anniversary of his lunatic "transformation" which left a once respected and popular newspaper in shambles; cost hundreds of qualified and dedicated employees their careers; subjected many of us to incompetent, arrogant and formerly unemployed half-wits who now exploit their laughable VP titles; reduced the strength of our circulation footprint by hundreds of thousands of copies; dismantled our strongest journalistic assets at the whims of Dubow, Martore, Banikarim and Beusse; squandered away the power of our USA Today brand as revenues sank to record lows; and created an environment of confusion, fear, favoritism, misdirection, chaos, loathing and disgust each of us must face every day as we come to work in this crystal tomb. "How can you look at yourself in the mirror, David L. Hunke? How does it feel to know you are despised by practically every member of the staff? Laughed at behind your back by Gannett brass as they kick your ass out the door. Ridiculed by an entire industry for your unparalleled ineptness."So your reward for the moment is also a laughable title -- chairman. Chairman of what? A destroyed national icon? The remnants of what used to be USA Today?"Congratulations, David L. Hunke. No gold watch for you. Instead you have earned millions for the complete destruction of USA Today. Your golden parachute will most likely soften the thud as your fired ass hits the pavement in your so-called retirement, coming none too soon for all of us. "But nothing can soften the thud you will carry forever as the publisher and president who destroyed USA Today.
11:10, you mean you come here because you and so many others are in the L group? Why would you brag about that?
Once again if there's any bashing or discrediting or attacks of this blog you know it is the work of Martore or Banikarim and their dictates to PR and HR to post it
It bothers me on many levels that Gannett is in the shitter and Moratore and Banikarim are spending time trying to dispute facts or dis Jim in the most juvenile ways on this "Blasted Blog" instead of improving the state of the company. If my employees had so much disdain for me and the way I treated them and ran my company, I would have to look within and make a change. What I read here is pure lunacy.
You guys need to give the conspiracy theories a rest.Those were entertaining during the last couple of years. But you've been wrong most of that time.Some of us are tired of hearing about how people need to vent. You've had YEARS to do that. Now, get off your asses and do something, or shut up. But many of us are tired of hearing the complaints from a group of people who are likely older, obsolete, and irrelevant to today's journalism.
All – Please accept my apology for posting this here, but since “New comments have been disabled for this post (what Obama reads) by a blog administrator”, there’s no other option than to share here:Bold, unvarnished opinions like the following is why Obama and others read the WSJ:“One of Mr. Romney's trickiest challenges will be how to handle Mr. Obama's, er, veracity. More than any President we've seen, this incumbent is willing to say things that aren't in the area code of the truth.” The Romney Opportunity, WSJ 4/25/12If USA Today demonstrated such courage, then perhaps it would make it on Obama’s reading list. It certainly would attract more readers if it did.
Any thoughts on this? Has Gannett seen this?http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/171814/denver-post-to-lay-off-copy-editors-shift-copy-editing-to-content-generating-level/
By "today's journalism" I assume 12:05 means "vapid marketing."
Great post, 11:14. You nailed it. Unfortunately, the tsunami Hunke and his charts started shows no signs of abating. The Beusses and Banikarims are running the asylum because Martore knows nothing about journalism, because Dickey and Marymount are allowed to destroy what's left of the so called Hometown Advantage and has beens remain in the power seat at the once semi decent USA Today.At least Heather Frank and Rudd Davis are virtually out of the picture.
I concur ... Ken Paulson was two-faced. He and Moon, along with some managers who lacked courage to defend and protect their long-time, loyal employees, did some pretty ruthless things at USA TODAY. I believe the way in which the gutting was done was almost as damaging as the end result. Left a bitter taste in the mouths of colleagues who watched it all unfold. Left remaining staffers with unrealistic workloads. It betrayed an implied trust that will be hard to rebuild. And it ruined some careers and even some lives. Oh, and the product also took a hit -- online and in print. Never seen such self-inflicted wounds in all of my life in business. Never seen such recklessness with a product. The karma from three years ago will hang over this place for many years to come or until USAT heads admit to the mistakes, apologize where necessary and try to right a growing pile of wrongs.
Amazing that Martore's bootlickers are back in force here. Don't you have actual jobs, or are you among the many with pretend titles and cushy schedules?
Hunke is a transformative genius. Whoever blupeprinted his Tranformation Plan deserves everything coming to her.
1:45, Martore is two faced. Banikarim is two faced. Beusse is two faced. Speaking out of both sides of your mouth? It's part of the Crystal Palace culture.
Grow up! Back up your childish statements
Martore knows what she is doing. Just look how well her plans have been accepted by investors. The stock continues to tank.
Another media company not faring well...First-quarter profits fell 13.5% for Journal Communications Inc. as revenue decreased almost 2%. The Milwaukee-based media company posted net income of $2.92 million, or 5 cents a share, down from $3.38 million, or 5 cents, in the first quarter of 2011.Revenue declined 1.9% to $82.3 million from $83.9 million. Broadcasting revenue rose 5.4% while publishing revenue fell 9%.
Reading the Cincinnati Enquirer is almost too frustrating. The first headline on today's mock draft has the No. 1 pick coming out of STANDORD. A drink recipe is called Sparkiling Rasberry. And a day after Pat Summitt was all over the news, the op-ed page called her Summit. Twice.
The company trolls are out in full force today
With fewer people in the NEWSROOMs, especially copy editors, typos are now an accepted part of the business. Get used to it. Don't fret it. Do the best you can and make the deadlines and move on. No way you make the cuts we have and expect the product to stay the same. The scary part is, we are expected to make it better when we go to a paywall -- w/ fewer people than ever before.That's going to be the interesting part, when we tell our dwindling readers that we are even charging more to give them less!That's gonna go over great. One last question: has anyone seen Kate marymount? Does she still work for Gannett? If so, what DOES she do? Anyone?
Micek laying off folks today. In Marketing - how does this woman sleep at night
So marketing folks are untouchable? What exactly do 50 marketing folks do for USAT?
Spot on, 1:08. Vapid, indeed.
2:11 that's too bad. At least the Journal Sentinel at Milwaukee has well-written, interesting stories to read.
Here is an English language translation of all corporate posts:I am an ugly, evil person who works for Gannett and do their bidding. It makes me and my boss very angry that you disgruntled past and current employees come onto this commenting forum and insist on commenting. Stop coming on this commenting forum to comment! Jim we hate you, hate you, hate you for running this blog that we can't control. No it's not ours and there is no reason we should expect to have any control here, but that makes us even angrier. So we will call all you commenters stupid names over and over to that you will stop commenting. Stop it! I just can't stop commenting about how you keep commenting! I feel the need to come here and comment about it, because you keep commenting. Stop it! You are so stupid for commenting. Everyone who comments here is stupid. Thanks goodness I am not stupid. That's the end of my comment.
Micek. Yet another change agent for changes sake. What the fuck is wrong with these people? Are their bonuses based on how many people they shit can?
They lay off folks to bring in consultants, lowers head count - jerks
2:44, if you think the main problem is more typos, then I hope you are one of the many here who are out of journalism forever.
I appreciate 4:02's take: typos are not the main problem. But I think 2:42's sarcasm was missed. Typos, now a given nearly daily -- and their rationalization -- are a symptom of another problem, much worse: nothing matters, standards are "irrelevant," etc.
4:18, that would make more sense if Jim didn't post weekly about how standards don't matter because not everyone here is a writer, etc.
2:59 PM, which groups in Marketing are being affected?
What exactly does our Chief Marketing Officer do?
Let's hope Hunkers stays out of the building on his special projects until he's permanently gone in September. His buffonery has simply been devastating on everyone.
I agree with 4:18 that typos are symptomatic, but not the real issue. They happen, and they always have happened. But we've reached the point that we don't care that they're happening. If we don't care that our stories are confusing do we care that our facts are slightly wrong? Do we care that we weren't on the scene when there was a major fire or business announcement?We're losing the urgency that our readers, viewers expect. We're getting flabby.We don't care and our editors and publishers don't care.
I sit and watch CNBC while companies other than Gannett report huge profits. What gives?
4:21 wrote: "That would make more sense if Jim didn't post weekly about how standards don't matter because not everyone here is a writer."You would need to go back months, and perhaps years, to find any comment such comment from me.But if you can find one, let me know.
3:45 There aren't really 50 marketing employees at USA Today, are there?
8:53 P.M.: Not much as there is less and less of Gannett to market. Take my site, for example. There are numerous empty desks. Tract is about 10 acres. Mark my words. My site will be downsized, moved to an automobile dealership and sold to either the federal or state governments within two years. Only a matter of time when Gannett realizes it's paying huge taxes on a virtually empty building.
Or just to earlier today, Jim:"to find any comment such comment from me."Game over. You're still at Level 1.
Today they fired the only research person at USA Weekend who knows how to combine the audit statements from our 800 or more newspaper partners. and the annual update is soon. They're not just firing useless marketing people. A lot of new huge salaried, high level people being hired - or at least that is what they're telling us (as they fire us one by one). Meanwhile, the sales people were told they are getting new quotas and a different commission plan for the 2nd half of the year.why do we stay? what is out there? and I'm not some loser.
9:21 Good heavens: Your comment makes even less sense than mine.
Jim, the point was you didn't even proofread your own comment.Game over.
Some of you people are a bunch of cry baby wimps. Very few people knows why my relationship with Gannett got started in the first place. I don't whether at times to feel sorry for you or just forget the whole God damn Gannett project.
1 a.m. you don't have a point. There's a huge difference between people pounding out their thoughts on an anonymous blog and what readers pay for, either in print or an online paywall. Jim was/is a reporter. Even good reporters need good copy editors. That's the point. Tell me the name of your blog so I can avoid it.
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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