An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
This whole Kristopher Brooks uproar so illustrates why Gannett cannot join the digital age in any meaningful way. Nimble companies would laugh this off and move on. They would understand the value of a enthusiastic new employee. I hope the executives are working OT on how to fix this public relations nightmare they created. They say they want a new generation of employees... but they cannot handle them. Let's just hire another vice president and everything will be OK.
So, there is the expectation that among the Pulitzer finalists and winners announced Monday there will be few, if any, Gannett journalists in the mix.Why is that any surprise?The problem isn't just Gannett, it is many large media/newspaper organizations that have sold their souls to the almighty ad dollar --meaning that many papers today dodge controversial stories like the plague. Don't want to offend a big advertiser!Don't want to dig up something that will cause someone to pull their ads...And at many newspapers, the ad directors and staff have become the enforcers and bullies to make sure that "bad news" about their folks doesn't appear.How sad.Time was that a newspaper existed for the People, the citizens, and was a champion for the have-nots.Now newspapers are protectors of their ad revenue and of course their advertisers. Newspapers have become The Establishment.I can actually remember a time when a huge investigative story pissed off the powers that be and some car dealer buddy of the "offended" subject of the story would pull their ads --- and the Newsroom would take it as a badge of honor.Not now - newsrooms are full of PR rewriters, happy news dispensers and hard-news proponents who love to tackle the most obvious stories .... like sex offenders and deadbeat dads. They live in fear of costing the paper a cent of revenue.So sad.And no Pulitzer for pictures of drunk women at nightclub grand openings! Darn!
Since the APP never posted a story, who in the newsroom did they say good-bye to today?
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Customer service will be non existent as soon as the Desert Sun lays off their drivers. Contractors will never care as much as an employee about the quality of work. Well at least they planned it right as most visitors will be leaving the area soon.
Best of Gannett awards are better than Pulitzers.
Hunke never did a damn thing at Detroit. Everyone knows that was all Moon's work. Without Moon's brains Hunke is an empty suit without a clue. Get out now Hunke with your millions so Banikarim can run what's left right down the crapper.
Another exhausting week for Maryam Banikarim, packing Hunke's office while he trots around out of the country "on business." Maybe Banikarim's speaking agent will take on Hunke as a motivational bull shitter.
Last day at work. Angry and sad,sorry and hopeful. I had a good boss and liked my job but I couldn't pass up the offer for EROP. They say there is life after Gannett and I am sure I will be fine. Maybe just dissapointed that Gannett lost someone who cared and gave there all to the company. I will give that to some other company. Hang tough to all that have left in one way or another.
You'll be just fine. Change is hard and scary but the economy is improving and there are lots of good jobs out there.
Have you all seen the reviews of usa today's new iphone app? Users were forced to switch over today and they were mostly pissed.
9:36 best of luck. Hope you have something decent lined up or just merely happy to get off the hampster wheel.
After almost 40 years of working at the same newspaper, 35 of those under Gannett ownership, I have been shown the door. I am trying to think positively because, somehow, I must find gainful employment for another five years or so. Therefore, I am trying to think of today as the first day of the rest of my life. Wish me good fortune, please.
The new USAT logo is a dot? I sense a marketing opportunity for teens/young adults demographics. So the new tagline is ...Miss a period. Miss a lot.
Best of Gannett awards is like Ford giving out a prize in 1960 to the Best Edsel Builder.
Use the new USA TODAY app for a short while and then comment. I didn't like it day one either, but find I now use it far more frequently than before the redesign. They did good work.
9:36 you will be glad that you are gone- best thing to happen to you.They don't care if you were a good caring employee. They don't care. You will see that after you are gone. There is no wool to pull over your eyes when you leave --it is real. ENJOY!!!!! You will LOVE IT!!!!!!
Assuming you're from editorial, 9:36, it's all about transferable skills. If you think within the tiny, shrinking box that is traditional editorial, you'll vastly limit your options. If you think about how your research, communications, editing, thinking skills can provide a great (and valued) service for companies, you're getting on the right track.For starters, look at all the execs/corporations out there with blogs, or industry press byliners, or editorials, or white papers. You think the execs who byline these features/papers actually write them? Not exactly. They pay good money to have an actual writer write them.Make that kind of transition -- or another one where your skills easily transfer -- and those five years will go very smoothly and quickly.
Anyone over 50 at this company is completely FUCKED. Thank you, Gracia. You are a heartless, uncaring, self centered person who has her own special place in hell waiting. Right next to Craig's mini putt putt golf course.
A great piece about a talented journalist in California who took the recent Gannett buyout.http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/article/20120414/LIFESTYLE/204140304/Life-Mike-Red-Dog-led-me-here-thankfully?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFrontpage%7Cs
5:57 p.m.: The people in the APP newsroom who took the buyout are (and forgive me if I've missed anyone):Gary Schoening, managing editorFred Simmonds, assistant local editorTim McCarthy, photographerBonnie Delaney, a longtime reporterGretchen Van Benthuysen from Entertainment/FeaturesPaula Scully, reporterRonna Weinberg, calendar deskThe APP did run a story on today's front page about Gary and Sam Siciliano from advertising, who also took the buyout.
A very interesting observation from a former newspaper editor in Neiman Reports:I was asked to write about how I would do things differently if I were leading a newsroom in today's hectic media landscape. But I can't do justice to that assignment for two reasons: 1.) I have no clue what I'd do differently or better because I operated largely on instinct based on what I observed, feedback I received, and what I thought our readers deserved to know, and 2.) I now sense a much more fundamental problem that deserves thoughtful, immediate attention—a creeping despair that requires a sustained and systematic assault because it poses a serious threat to journalism. Newsrooms have never been wellsprings of optimism, even in the best of times. But this is different. Unrelenting awful economic news about most media companies has contributed to an atmosphere of fear and insecurity among many if not most journalists. Those anxieties are well founded. Nearly 14,000 newsroom jobs have been eliminated since 2007, according to the American Society of News Editors (ASNE), and a visit to Erica Smith's excellent website newspaperlayoffs.comshows the steady stream of layoffs across the industry.Eroding faith in a noble calling is a plague on the craft, with far-reaching implications for the future of the profession and, more important, democracy. But my sense is that almost everyone is overlooking the "people piece," meaning the newsroom staffers who should care deeply about the quality of their work and feel good about it every day. http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/102736/The-Overlooked-People-Piece.aspx
11:19, if you work with information (as opposed to running presses), why should your age matter? What's stopping you from working for yourself or an employer virtually? After I was laid off from the CP (thanks Hunke), I worked for myself and none of my clients knew what I looked like or how old I was. That worked out just fine until I got hired fulltime after nearly a year.
Eight men out at The News-Press in Fort Myers Friday. A combined more than 325 years of experience in reporting, editing, photography, column writing and IT.
While I am sad by the farewell notes and comments posted here about the exodus of years of talent and longevity we are losing with these buyouts, I must also direct your attention to the story Jim posted about the Instagram purchase for $1 billion by Facebook.Instagram had a employee staff of 10. Even after these buyouts, we will still have tens of thousands of employees. Yet somehow, with all of our collective will and might and intellect and inspiration, we've yet to come up with an idea that is worth its salt in comparison to Instagram. Or Facebook. Or Ebay. New Gannett must become a third of its current force strength. And even that will be too many folks to truly be innovative and nimble in this environment. My advice: Either buckle up and enjoy the transformation (and have the stomach to realize 3 out of the 4 of us will no longer be in the company by 2016) or get out as fast as you can and while you can.If you are in Gannett because of the Noble Calling, the Commitment to Storytelling, the Service to the First Amendment and The Love of Newspapering, your day ended when Phil Currie hung up his spurs. We may say that we serve the Greater Good, but we only care about the Greater Profits. Bob says we're investing in reporters, but we're really investing in lower-cost, less-qualified content curators and generators.Journalism, in its old form, will be maintained as a museum exhibit at some of our properties who can afford such luxuries. It will be a niche, like what vinyl records are today, and someday soon we will gather in hotel conference rooms and remember how great the good old days really were in hindsight.
USAT advertising team is reorganizing for the 3rd time in 15 months. Yes, 3rd time. I have to give Murko credit for realizing the past the current structure was a joke and moved quickly to change it. Funny that we are going back to the way we were structured 15 months ago. Interesting. But, makes you wonder about the USAT staff and legion of consultants who decided that restructuring was needed. How many thousands and thousands did we spend on consultants and how much revenue did we lose only to go back to the way things were to begin with.
Instagram had 10 employees and came up with Instagram.Gannett had 20,000 employees and came up with DealChicken.
Using your logic why didn't GOOGLE invent
The Journal News allowed their columnist to pen a farewell column. It was a gem, as he looked back on nearly 40 years in the biz and recalled some people he wrote about who touched his life.
Any good ideas are squashed before they can fully formulate.
To 5:50: That's the beauty of Gannett, every time they rotate a new person in, they feel the need to re-invent, and eventually they just take things back to where they started. I had the joy of working for 11 different bosses over the course of 11 years after Gannett bought the paper I worked for. I got so exhausted from going from stupid to brilliant back to stupid again, all depending on who had just rolled into town and a position of prominence. Funny how they never acknowledged that the "in-place" staff was just executing what the last highly valued Gannett publisher/VP had implemented. It wasn't the locals who lacked the knowledge of the readers, market or product, it was non-local management.To all who took the buy-out, you will be happier eventually. It might take a little while, but things will fall into place. After my department got re-org'd once again last June, our entire team said to hell with it, and we've all landed good jobs. I was fortunate to find a compnay that values my skills and knowledge, and invests intelligently in its future. Our stock flutuates between $112 and $125 a share, versus Gannett's $13-16. Life is good. Furloughs are a thing of the past, and security is a reality of my future.
Dangerous liaison in Cincy when our new storyteller boy John Flaherty cc's his wife (his boss) and CW whenever the copy desk questions his stories because they are poorly written and way beyond length. Then his wife steps in and makes sure he gets what he wants no matter what.
Shame on you Gannett for using people then tossing them out like they are yesterdays news. At least the ones who got a buy out were given something. As a soon to be ex employee I won't be getting any severence because you have tied it in to State unemployment. If I find a job after just two, or three weeks Gannett won't need to pay anything. I put in many years of dedicated work at the local paper. Gannett got far more than it deserved from me. Once I am gone I will never look back. I wish the few people who will be remaining good luck. You will need it with the out of touch Corporate goons that dictate what you will do from thousands of miles away. They don't have a clue what is important to my community. This may end up being one of the most hated companies in America.
Gannett will never be one of the most hated companies in America. It is fast becoming irrelevant, and will eventually be bought and broken up, which is the fate of all companies that outlive their markets. And few will care.
To: 9:48 PMThat's pretty rank. Is this guy's wife so great and such a visionary that they needed to bring him in as a "storyteller?" Please. They laid off some great story tellers in June.Then, again, this is Carolyn Washburn's newsroom and she's doing nothing but tearing it down and running off good people. Morale here is so low it is in crisis stage. The product is awful and a whole bunch of talented and key people were let loose on Thursday. What are they left with? An insecure writer who think every syllable is gold. Great.
If you get a job after three weeks, what do you care about severance? Be thankful for the little you do get, other companies have done much less.
10:43 refer to the above post 8:51!
About the mess in Cinci with golden boy writer --let the BS go through -- show the "Einstein" as he is.It used to be, no one at Det Freep questioned Mitch Albom. Then a HUGE-HUGE error appeared and blew up in the fools' faces."You can do 'zip' and 'live' with dreck (more mindless Top 20 stories and Lotto BS) -- or strive to be great and look yourself in the mirror. You decide."
8:04 I will be thankful for what ? What if the job you get is less pay. I am thankful because I won't have to work with creepy people that think I should be thankful, for the few scraps they may or may not decide to pay in severance.
All:I remove comments by readers who post under assumed names.
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