An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
BNQT meet USAT: The most popular story on USAToday.com all day has been the guy suing BMW for his 20-month-old erection.Maybe we should just give up on that news thing. Our non-elitist readership's passion topics are evidently boner-centric.
Actually, Dave Teeuwen's team was thinking about an accompanying photo gallery.
Just curious - if the Design Centers are such a great idea and readers will be assured award-winning, creative pages that will knock our socks off, what is the delay? This ball began rolling in 2009 with consolidation of copy desks and we were resistant to outsourcing the design and copy editing of our newspaper that we were proud of and rightfully so. When it became evident (quickly) that the talent left and what was left behind were the dregs who gave us pitiful design and no copy editing - we prayed for the Design Centers to take over our paper asap. It's been nearly 3 years and while some centers have taken some papers, what is the holdup with all centers going online? And why the decision they will not write headlines? That is a big part of the creative process. Doesn't look good ... and neither does our paper.
I guess you shouldn't have bought into that line of bullshit, 10:11. Sucks to be you and all the other people who thought dumbing down the paper was the way to go.
10:21 - I am not who bought into the bullshit. I just continue to care and watch in horror as the company implodes and the print product is reduced to rubble. I've never believed in dumbing down the paper and in fact, saw the writing on the wall when the edict came down to write shorter because everyone wanted the USA Today type stories. Screw indepth stories. No one wanted more than the first five graphs!
USA today doesn't even want stories anymore. Just work filler, copy by correspondents and Kaiser Health News. What a crock of shit. Why isnt the nations newspaper covering healthcare?
LSJ home delivery pricesRate increase delayed — if you know to ask http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/lansing/article-7312-lsj-home-delivery-prices.html
A paywall with a price increase will never fly in the Lansing market! EPIC FAIL G A N N E T T. MLive is the future of news in Lansing and Michigan... and it's FREE!
Carolyn Washburn in Cincinnati has figured out how to solve the problem of crappy copy. True, she drove away some of her best employees, gutted her staff and overworks her remaining reporters and editors. But she did send a message to employees with an offer to bring in an English teacher for a grammar lesson.
Well by June we should have a mass exodus of advertisers and subscribers. On the customers side-A couple years ago Gannett's big push was small local business advertisers forget national so they brought out affordable ad packages and they are very sucessful at our paper. Well our all knowing regional VP visited us the other day and the salespeople are too dependent on these programs so as of June 1 no more!! There over 120 current ads running so........... I am sorry MR. sruggling small business owner you now have have to spend at least four times as much must buy digital!!!!!! Also in June on the customer side the paper is going up and the website will have a paywall AND yes you have to buy digital
our local NBC station is miles ahead of us. They have had 2 apps for over a year a weather and news AND their website is FREE!
Every informed person knows paywalls won't work. The paywall announcements might give some shareholders the illusion that these dolts have a real plan, and buy time for looters to gorge themselves even further ahead of the collapse.
MY FAVORITE OBJECTIVE TO THE PAPER FEEL FREE TO PLEASE ADD1. I use to subscribe but sometimes I did not get my paper2. why your paper so thin on Monday Tuesday?3. Since our paper is printed at another Gannett paper our sports score are a day later
10:11 (and anyone else), are you familiar with a paper before the design center and after. Improvement? Or not? Discuss.
What's the hold-up with design centers?Why are they dragging? Why are there still no answers for when we'll lose people and how many we get to keep. Anybody who works at one of the design centers, please chime in here and update us. Are you understaffed? Overwhelmed?
Bring on the publisher pink slips!
In last meeting they talk about a new "arm" Gannett Digital marketing services- Building websites and consulting on how to market your business online . Anyone else hear of it ?
Washburn talks a good game, but doesn't get the results because the people who made a difference at the Enquirer are gone. The line editors, the copy editors, the copy desk chief, the veterans. That's why the print product is a mess, morale is the worst one has ever seen and the web offering is hardly ever updated with anything more substantial than a fast-food restaurant hold up or some inane posting from the political or television blog.
3:34AM, heard the same song and dance at my site. Hell, if we can't get an 1x2 ad build correctly, how in the hell are we going to do an advertiser's website? A templated website for how much? You can get the same thing from godadddy for $20 a month!
re: the USAT BMW/20-month erection story: Yes, it's easy to see, from the daily most popular list on USAT, and the tripe the parades on our websites, that we have succeeded in grabbing readers' prurient interests, but little else. It drives quick web traffic.Prediction: this strategy fails when paywalls go up, as titillating is free on the web, and this company will realize it let of way too many good journalists. In my state, I can count on one hand the number of journalists who can break a legitimate A1 news story and write it well. Good luck with that paywall thing.
I heard USA Today was so happy with the clicks on the 20 month erection story they were planning on a Special Edition around it. The shelf life will be just under 2 years.
Maybe the erection story opens up a whole new "vertical" strategy too!
- 3:34 AMIt is not a new concept, but again Gannett is late to the table. LocalEdge has been doing it for a while.
Where are the TJN bashers this morning? Embarrassed, I imagine. LoHud.com/TJN trounced Newsday, News 12 and everyone else in coverage of a horrible overnight fire that killed four. Newsday still doesn't have deaths confirmed, hours later. They were all over May Day, though.
Yup, thank god for local people dying horrible deaths. Whoo hoo.
Here are the ugly truths about the new design centers: 1) They don't have enough designers to do the job, so they tier the queue so that the larger newspapers get more time/resources than the smaller newspapers. As a result, if you are a small newspaper in the design center, you are given the short end of the stick -- and no sugar-coating about it (e.g., "We can only give your newspaper 20 minutes for the features cover, because we have to do the big paper next").2) Heaven help you if you don't like the design that was crafted by the studio. At my newspaper, a Sunday features cover came back that was horrible. They used weak art as the lead (photo was intended for jump) and missed the point in the headline, which would require them to rethink the design. When we called to point this out, we were told it had been approved by the studio chief, the final authority, and that, "Sorry, we don't have that much time for your newspaper. It will have to do."3) Go ask your publisher/GM/whatever about the "cost savings" that have come as a result of this centralization. Again, it's cheaper for the big newspapers but, when they divide it out to all the properties big and small, most of the NT-31 sites are paying far more than they used to spend for in-house copy editing and design.I used to be able to see a proof of a page, spot ways to make it better and work with copy editors in my room who cared about our newspaper and worked with me to do the right thing. No more. Now, I have to deliver my content to the studio by XXXX time and I get to see what some nameless, faceless person hundreds of miles away from my city decides best reflects the community I serve.And, because my site isn't big enough to be worth the time to fix anything, I have to say thank you and take it. And my site pays out more for this premium service.
When are they going to offer the early retirement buyout to GPS?
EROP Folks - Has anyone received anything from Gannett yet? First "continuance pay" should hit the account this week. Still waiting on everything.
I'm a little surprised there's been no discussion of the company's ongoing computer problems.We're in the middle of review writing season (although I'm not sure since, at least at my site, there will be no raises this year) and SuccessFactors, Gannett's review writing platform, was down for almost 24 hours. Also yesterday, there were ongoing NewsGate problems and that system was down, although for only a very short time, maybe about an hour. I'm not sure how a company that promotes itself as a 21st Century internet communications titan can condone constant outages of internet based components of the company.
Top line ABC report:http://accessabc.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/the-top-u-s-newspapers-for-march-2012/
Cute new pic, Jim. How old were you?
How bad is it getting? Consider today's front page, lede headline in the Cincy Enquirer:County Assets for Sale? 7 of 3,2000 Sites Could Go... 3,2000 ... really? ... really?Story does go on to say it's 3,200 sites. Good thing to clarify that.You can see this front page if you scroll to bottom ofhttp://news.cincinnati.com/Yep, there is so little pride left, they even posted their PDF front page typo headline for all the world to see.
@9:36, Thanks for taking the time to write. We're just starting at the design center and have been wondering about the "savings" involved and why in the world anyone thought NewsGate was a good idea.
There's only 40 sites live on NewsGate. Just wait until 80 are up.
Wow 10:06 that is really bad. Are you at a hub? Maybe after a half hour or more of trying to get someone to fix the error, they just gave up.
10:06 Thank you. I was about six years old when that photo was taken, so: 49 (!) years ago. My previous photo had gotten a little out of date. Now it's really out of date.
Comments on the paywall announcement on the Reno Gazette-Journal Web site say it all. For years, management has gambled that it could reduce staff, cut quality and cut content and that readers would stick around simply because they used fancy words to describe the new, weaker brand of journalism. Alas, readers stuck around simply because the lousy content was free. Turns out they are well aware that they can get badly reported stories elsewhere: http://www.rgj.com/comments/article/20120501/NEWS/120501002/RGJ-launches-full-access-subscription-plan
Here's a top headline on the web:Animals die in fire at high school fireReally? Think there was a fire?
rgj.com offers tablet users "App-mode for easy access & full-screen emursion"Sounds like a medical procedure. You're gonna need a crowbar to get that emursion out of there....
I'm dreading when we announce the paywall to the readers. I'll have to avoid everyone who knows I work at the paper.
So how does this work? If I want to read stories on our website while I'm at work, will I have to pay for them?
10:40: You are so right about Washburn. She sees desk people as nothing but an expensive irritant and was thrilled to see so many take the buyout. Offering to give the staff a grammar lesson -- and acting like THAT will make up for losing so many professionals -- shows her ignorance of what copy editors and designers really do. In two weeks, we've had bad heds on A1 (Exquirer exclusive; 3,2000) the six-column f*&k photo, and misspelled subheads and cutlines all over the place. Passion, my ass.
When I was at the Enquirer, Washburn micromanaged the front page every night and always received pdf. So with regard to the recent errors, apparently the Woman to Watch doesn't have such a keen eye.
At my local paper they have laid off all the Single copy drivers and hired a distributor. All the papers are now getting out later to the stores and to the Home delivery subscribers. The quality of the customer service has declined so far they are almost giving the paper away. The customers don't know what is wrong and are not being told by anyone. Neither the paper itself or any of the local news channels has informed the public what is going on. The management is just hoping that the public will put up with it so they can cut more expenses. They are killing the Newspaper slowly but surely. If the public was informed there would have been a lot of angry customers so they are keeping it quiet. Daily circulation numbers will continue to drop and be blamed on lack of interest on print. Most of the drop at least at my local paper is from poor service from under paid and overworked carriers and a lack of understanding by GPS that many people won't buy the paper without good customer service. Gannett just doesn't seem to care.
The fact is that Washburn's incompetence didn't used to be so obvious in terms of the publication, because she could prance around and inflate herself while a professionally staffed workforce took care of business. Those days are gone. The Enquirer's rapid decline in quality is reflecting the buffoon directing it.
Is the Enquirer produced at a hub now? Do the hubs send pdfs to the editors?
Washburn might learn something about running a newspaper if she worked a couple of weeks of second shifts. She could see how the news comes together because obviously she doesn't know now if she ever did. It would also do a lot to promote morale which is lower than spit in a dry well.
I thought USA TODAY already gave up on the serious news business a few years ago when it began forcing some of its best, brightest and most experienced people out the door and replaced them with ... well, I won't go there. Suffice to say, the USAT newsroom isn't exactly on the same level as the Times, Post, etc. So if USAT doesn't have the guns to compete with the big boys, it might as well morph into something considerably less intelligent to match its new audience of morons. USAT is only considered to be a serious news player because of the reputation built by others who are no longer in that newsroom. But there is no doubt that more and more people are coming to the realization that USAT is intentionally dumbing down its staff and its product in order to appeal to a different crowd. It's all about profits and low-hanging fruit. Journalism, honesty and solid work ethics have nothing to do with the new USAT.
Here's the retirement someone so coyly mentioned earlier.Dear Colleagues,I wanted to share with you the news that Roxanne V. Horning, senior vice president of Gannett Human Resources, has made the decision to retire at the end of May. Roxanne joined our company in 1984 as manager/Employee Benefits and rose through the Human Resources department to become the vice president of Employee Benefits in 1995 and vice president/ Compensation and Benefits in 2003. In 2005 she was named vice president of Human Resources and in 2006 she was appointed senior vice president of Human Resources. Roxanne was named Gannett’s Corporate Staffer of the Year in 1997. During her more than 28-year tenure at Gannett, Roxanne has been a crucial part of our Human Resources team, and since 2005 has led the department. In 1990, Roxanne, under the guidance of senior management, implemented the Gannett 401K plan, which continues to be a cornerstone of the Gannett Total Rewards program. Over the years, Roxanne has created programs such as the Gannett Leadership Program to deliver training and development to employees across the company. During her time at Gannett, Roxanne has been instrumental in helping Gannett recruit and retain top-notch, best-in-class talent. Roxanne’s enthusiasm and passion for attracting, developing and retaining our most important asset, our employees, has been a tremendous resource to our organization.Over the past few months, we have worked closely with Roxanne to develop a plan for the continued success of the Gannett Human Resources team following her retirement and we are conducting an internal and external search for her replacement.Roxanne has contributed much to Gannett’s success. When she begins her next chapter, she plans to spend more time with her husband, Wayne, and two children, Alexandra and Erich. She is also looking forward to spending some time enjoying such hobbies as golf, piano, traveling and doing volunteer work. Please join me in wishing Roxanne all the best. I know I speak for many when I say she will be greatly missed. Best regards, Gracia
The Enquirer is a joke and an embarrassment. It's a direct reflection of Carolyn Washburn.
Buchanan owns it @ 1:54 PM as she wanted Washburn in Cincinnati given past experience. What’s truly remarkable is how two Cincinnati natives are bringing the Enquirer to new lows. The only good news is the Post no longer exists and that Gannett now owns a large group of weekly newspapers in that area, else they’d have even more problems.
Journalists and ex-journalists...Can you handle THE TRUTH?http://www.amazon.com/When-Newspapers-Mattered-Brothers-Shades/dp/1937763331/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335974351&sr=1-1
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