Friday, May 04, 2012

April 30-May 6 | Your News & Comments: Part 5

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78 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. bye bye whiner.

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  3. Our NewsGate system has been down almost the entire day. Now we're being informed those who were logged on when it conked out may be kicked off. This is so unbelievable.

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  4. 5:03: It's not that hard to believe. This is Gannett and Martore and Dickey and Marymont and on and on.

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  5. Almost every horror story that I read here has the same theme: GCI is gutting its assets (experienced staff, content standards, real estate holdings, etc.) at the same time that it is trading on past brand value to raise the price of its now depleted product. Of course that makes no sense if the goal is the long term health of the company as a news organization or the reputation of the brand.

    What if the goal is not long term survival as a news organization, however? What if the goal is to offload liabilities, extract all of the cash value that can be generated from the assets for a few shareholders, and then to sell what is left or simply close down once the assets are drained?

    The saddest part of the above scenario is that even when a provider of local news mismanages its market and assets so badly, there will still be a need and ready market for local news. The demand for local information is a constant and someone smart will jump in to fill it if Gannett gives up its edge. (Just ask the folks hanging around the Roman forum, or the town criers, or Johannes Gutenberg, or Horace Greeley, for that matter...) Customers will be waiting for some individual or company to come in and provide the local information they want and can't easily get elsewhere. The need and market are a constant, even if the providers come and go.

    At this moment, GCI has a golden opportunity to upgrade its product and corner that market, but judging from the obvious deterioration in its product over the past relatively short period, it doesn't look like they have any concept of what people need or use from a local paper. No "passion" for it, I guess. Their brand value is rapidly slipping away in the local communities they serve. This is all so sad.

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  6. Has anyone else been required to sign a Gannett NDA? Does management think we're giving all our business secrets away? Or that any of our competitors would actually be interested?

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  7. Martore, Dickey and Marymont should be held accountable for the latest crash of CCI Newsgate. Each should be forced to type material that got lost into the system. Each should be forced to type material that is lying around into the system. As if that will ever happen!!!!!

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  8. Newsgate. A best in class system chosen by best in class talent.

    Winning!

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  9. Bring back the linotypes and the ludlows. Gannett's high tech ship be sinking!!!!

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  10. This is so true. Can investors not see this? How can the board of directors allow this to happen without violating their fiduciary duty?

    Quote: What if the goal is not long term survival as a news organization, however? What if the goal is to offload liabilities, extract all of the cash value that can be generated from the assets for a few shareholders, and then to sell what is left or simply close down once the assets are drained?

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  11. The Board of Directors and the shareholders should investigate Martore, Dickey and Marymont, champions of CCI Newsgate, which has been down for almost five hours. The latest crash has resulted in lost production time, people standing around doing nothing(overtime) and late pages. Martore, Dickey and Marymont should be fired in a ceremony at The Crystal Palace. Dickey can drive off in a golf cart after being canned. Whoever signed the contract with CCI Newsgate should be forced to put out a newspaper on it, then fired. This crash will cost millions and harm our coveted stock price.

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  12. We already had a going away party for three senior Sports editors who went through the charade of reapplying for the jobs.

    Tom Beusse has all of the compassion and leadership skills of a komodo dragon. Just waiting for him to get on the Me Me Me Maryam wagon.

    USA Today has been turned into a place that has the spirit of a morgue. Run by deeply disturbed and lightly regarded fools who spend their time going to meetings and exchanging emails.

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    1. Tom Beusse had more vision in his little toe than all the haters on this string.

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  13. You had your chance to tell the board your complaints earlier this week. If you are from our of town, send them each an email or a letter about your complaints. Keep them pointed and on topic. Calling most of them liars, idiots and incompetents clearly out of their league gets you nowhere.

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  14. About 20 persons at the duh-sign center at my site standing around doing nothing in the wake of CCI Newsgate's latest crash. Ohhhhhh the stock price!!!!!!!!!!

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  15. Hi Tom, Thanks for stopping by. Say, how did that sexual harassment lawsuit turn out?

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    1. Oh snap. Beusse wouldn't come here in a million years. Don't flatter yourself.

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  16. The latest from Stacey Martin of CCI Newsgate: All, we are going to reboot the system completely. That is going to result in EVERYONE losing their connection. PLEASE SAVE IMMEDIATELY and lot out NOW. Doing so will reduce the time the system is down for the reboot.
    Stacey

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  17. 5:58, other companies would be interested in Gannett's business secrets only for examples of what NOT to do.

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  18. What are the standards and timeframes set for Martore, Banikarim, Micek, Jones, Frank, Ellwood,, Dickey and Marymont to reapply for their jobs?

    Obviously the reapplication process didn't go well for Hunke and Horning.

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  19. Beusse Banikarim Beusse Banikarim. Doesn't matter. Interchangeable. Both arrogant, ruthless, inept ex/ fired/booted small minds with big mouths and even bigger egos. But they are worth their salaries when you look at all those accomplishments and successes they've been stacking up.

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  20. The NewsGate system was designed, launched and is now operated by the very best and brightest in the Gannett IT talent pool -- from across the entire company, from the top down. So, what does that tell you, gang?

    Most of these folks are "group-thinkers" who, in any other corporate environment, would be no higher than help-desk staffers or desktop repair people. Really.

    With the current and coming iterations of CCI software and hardware systems, and worse, the vastly under-talented Gannett IT staffers maintaining it, AND by adding more newspapers to the system, we can expect severe, catastrophic outages that stop ALL newspaper publishing for at least one overnight cycle, if not longer.

    When (not "if") THAT happens, watch for smoke coming out of Morneau and Dickey's ears... they will be the fuses to the real fireworks to follow! Enjoy the show.

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  21. Cut the "oh Snap" crap. Talk like a person, not a caricature in a Family Circle cartoon. Really, how that stupid saying has become mainstream is just sickening.

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  22. CCI Newsgate came back up around 8:15 tonight. It's sluggish _ just like the top Gannett executives.

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  23. What is the deal with Newsgate anyway? Constant problems. When we were trained, the main guy had been a Gannett employee before "launching his own business" doing this.
    Let's just walk back through the technology history of the past several years for your average reporter: We had old macs that worked fine and tech people on site when they didn't. We traded them in for crappy PCs that get viruses and now you have to call a remote location for tech help. There is no one to help with hardware problems. Then we learn a new system, which took months and about drove people to quit. Now the designers are winging it, getting more and more work piled on them.
    And then you have a day like today where people are hours behind and we'll be lucky to get our paper out on time. So disheartening.

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  24. From the Department of Oooopss.
    The Journal News and Lohud have been going crazy all week since Newsday launched Monday in Westchester. Running with ham-fisted horribly written stories and yelping about them being exclusives despite some incredibly shaky or thin sourcing - and still got whipped twice on big stories. Tonight the paranoia came back to bite them in the ass - and hard. TJN ran with a single sourced story about a grand jury deciding not to indict a cop in the shooting of a black man in a high-profile case. Newsday just followed with an on-the-record, multi-sourced story saying the grand jury won't finish until next week and no decision has been made. The DA himself is saying so in the Newsday story.
    That's embarrassing and horrible journalism by TJN.
    Here are the links.
    http://www.lohud.com/article/20120503/NEWS03/305030110/Spring-Valley-activist-Grand-jury-clears-cop-Herve-Gilles-fatal-shooting-protest-tonight?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Frontpage|s&nclick_check=1
    http://newyork.newsday.com/rockland/grand-jury-still-weighing-gilles-shooting-1.3697664

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  26. The Journal News story is not single-sourced at all. But it certainly does look like they got it wrong.

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  27. Man, that's bad. But it's a danger every news org faces when competing to be first. And I only saw one big story where Lohud got beat. Still not good considering Newsday is in its first week and with just a handful of reporters.

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  28. 10:01 - don't worry. We don't expect to get our paper on time ... at least here in Shreveport. That's even if we get one at all. And regarding CCI system - wonder how much influence SM had getting the sytem her husband works for chosen over better systems.

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  30. Beusse has vision. Ass backward kind. So he has carte blanche to buy whatever dubious site that might gain more clicks to sell. Horse trading people's lives is not vision. It's treating people like shit. Maybe he can step into some more with that little toe of his. Better yet, he should do more than dip his toe. We don't need another clueless executive in hands off mode. Maybe he can get to know something about us instead of using six clueless HR people who we've talked to as we reapply for jobs.

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  31. What would Jesus say about Newsgate?

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  32. 11:36
    What would Jesus say? Probably "Pray for a redundant failover server."

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  33. OCCUPY NEWSGATE!

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  34. Or about Tom Buesse.

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  35. 10:20 muxed up white plains and Rockland shooting stories, Journal News had the right story on both - and beat Newsday on the white plains story. and all the NYC TV stations were using Journal News video of tragic Carmel fire.

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  36. Is it fair to compare downsizing of a newsroom to rape? That is what Craig Wilson said in the USAT town hall meeting when he asked Gracia a question. Is that what Craig thinks rape is? Losing a job?

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  37. Hey 12:25, Lohud has completely reversed itself on the Rockland story now. LOL. So, that ends that debate. Poor decision making based on exactly what 10:20 said, it seems.
    My understanding is the White Plains story had Lohud out first by about 40 minutes over Newsday in a huge story. That's not exactly fantastic for a story Lohud has been covering since November in a city where its been virtually the only news source since the horse and buggy. That came after a week where Newsday beat Lohud four times on stories connected to the current situation with the White plains police department. one for five in Newsday's first four days on a big story in Lohud's strongest of strongholds is nothing to brag about if you're Lohud.

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  38. Rumor is LoHud has blamed total incompetence on GW.

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  39. NewsGate is the brainchild of Mark Morneau. Don't blame anyone else for this POS.

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  40. Hey Newsgate team...while you're hard at work writing patches today, how about one for the hurt feelings of my daughter, whose senior high concert I had to miss last night while following your leader's instructions to continually try to logon to your crappy system.

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  41. Has Mark Morneau ever tried to work his Newsgate system or is he just a brilliant salesperson who suckers companies into buying it?

    And, yes, the Newsgate crash was just wonderful.

    Perhaps we could have a chart on this website for Newsgate crashes. Date, length of crash, number of papers affected.

    Since the CP folks love to read this blog, maybe they would then discover what a pile of animal excrement Newsgate is.

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  42. Best message of the night last was from whomever was doing the USA Today baseball page for all the community papers.

    "With Newsgate down, I can't do the baseball page for you."

    12 hours later and I'm still laughing about that one.

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  43. 6:04 You must be a little nervous over there at Newsday. I mean, Cablevision. Nice try posting misinformation here but it won't change the facts. You got obliterated fair and square. Now go find some more wire stories and advances you can post.

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  45. 8:27: I believe 100 percent that the CP folks know exactly what a POS system they have on their hands. They just don't care.

    It's what they need to shed a bunch of payroll to get the hubs up and running at full capacity, and blips like last night, while horrible for everyone involved at each individual site and design studio, don't have any effect on them. They may read about it today, think/say "we need to figure this out" and then resume getting ready for their weekend.

    They don't want to think about it and don't want to talk about it, but there will be a day when there is a catastrophic failure on a huge Sunday paper, election night or something of the like. Then there won't be a paper, and the individual sites will be left to field the calls about why there's no overpriced, paywall-protected product anymore.

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  46. To all the folks who are having to deal with the unmitigated disaster that is Newsgate: You have my sympathy. I pray that at least some of the bugs will be exterminated before my site has it foisted upon us later this year. On second thought, I really pray that I will be mercifully laid off before then.

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  47. 9:11 - It is comments like yours that make me crazy. Do not wait to be laid off. Get your resume together, take control of your destiny, and get out on your own terms. Although people like the idea of a TPP, it becomes rather stressful when you're at the end of that money train and still unemployed.

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  48. Dear 9:27:
    Sorry if I make you crazy, but at my age I'm not looking for another job. I was more than qualified (age AND length of service) for the most recent buyout, but wasn't offered one. Apparently my position was deemed "too critical" (at last for the moment)to terminate. I'm just hanging around (like a lot of other folks I know) to be laid off with even a modest severance package. My bags are packed, I'm ready to go. But I really do sympathize with all of those who are still with this company who aren't in my situation.

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  49. 9:43 It honestly is people like you who are holding everyone back. You have had the fortune to not be laid off, so you just skirt by not giving a crap about anything waiting to get laid off, while your coworkers suffer picking up your slack. We're tired of picking up your slack.

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  50. Nice piece on Gracia, Big Al.

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  51. 9:43:
    I'm not sure just how I'm "holding everyone back." I work as hard now as I did nearly four decade ago (when I was routinely putting in 60-70-hour weeks) for this company. I assure you, there's no one picking up my slack. Is it my fault that this corporate death spiral happened at approximately the same time I was considering retirement? I expressed my desire to be let go some time ago so that my younger co-workers could remain. The bean counters, for whatever reason, have chosen not to do so. I, like a number of others in my situation, refuse to walk away at this time without being granted at least a token severance. We have no interest in any age discrimination lawsuits (as corporate fears), we just want to go with a modest parting gesture that we've seen others receive.

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  52. 5:58,
    Gannett's actually asking people to sign an NDA? Reminds me of George Constanza asking Susan for a pre-nup. I laughed almost as hard as she did.

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    1. Ha. Great analogy 10:26.

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  53. 9:27 here. 10:01 - That isn't a fair comment. Who said that 9:43 is slacking off? Like most of the "old timers" in Gannett, I am sure he/she is saddened by what Gannett has become but still puts 100% into his/her job because that was the "old" way. The "old" Gannett had pride in the product and most gave it their all, and still do. I wish you the best of luck, 9:27, and hope that you get your buyout sooner than later.

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  54. Bitterness holds the company back just as much as mistakes by the executives. The changes going on at USA TODAY are not easy, but they are necessary. Tom B. and his team were hired to whip the place back into shape. This is a national newspaper with ample resources, but it was routinely being destroyed by the competition on sports coverage. And that was just shrugged off like it was no big deal, because, "hey, we do that annual coaches salary round-up thing." No one likes it when nice people lose their jobs. It is very hard on the morale of a newsroom. But it is equally damaging to a newsroom when people are allowed to stay in jobs that they are no longer qualified or motivated to hold. These changes are long overdue.

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    1. And tom Buesse's qualifications are what, exactly?

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    3. Hate to break it to you, but Money and News are the problem, more so than Sports. Editors do not respond to breaking news that competitors routinely cover well. digital not on the ball, either. Lets breath some fresh life into both sections with fresh leadership which is on the ball.

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    4. Tom is a proven leader and a prime example of best in class talent.

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  55. Appleton is the only site in Wisconsin that's using Newsgate, so far. If they hadn't gotten a paper out, at least the nine other sites still could.

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  56. Another old-timer here, one working 50-60 hours a week who is among the 14 percent who were eligible but not offered an early retirement buyout and who will never get over that. I don't expect "fair" any more, and I don't expect any more buyouts. Taco Bell, here I come.

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  57. Send Kate Marymont back to the Ozark Mountains where she came from. Once a hillbilly, always a hillbilly.

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    1. Dont go slandering hillbillys with such an odious comparison, please.

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  58. 10:29 - I have to argue with your comment, "no longer qualified or motivated to hold." How are "older" journalists no longer qualified? After seeing what our community newspaper has become after the EROP, I'd have to say the "younger" employees are the ones not qualified or motivated. Gannett has become a joke with all of their "fluff" and nobody with half a brain is buying the shit they're shoveling. If you don't believe me, go out into your community and ask avid newspaper readers what they think of the "new" Gannett.

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  59. 10:29... to measure qualifications, look at performance. How can someone justify the poor performance of the sports department over the past few years under the old staff? USA TODAY sports should have been the leading sports organization in the nation with all of its resources and reach. Instead, it was a throw-away. Years of experience have nothing to do with it. It's about mindset. You can be a youthful 30 years old and be mired in an old-media way of thinking, or you can be 55 and totally embrace the new media world.

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    1. Money is a throwaway. Life is a throwaway. News is a joke. Weekend is a waste. Digital is rhe biggest turdhole on the Internet.

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  60. 11:27... Amen. I'm with you on that. Why just focus on sports? The whole paper could use a good tree-shaking. There is sooo much potential!!

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  61. 11:29... Agree. Tom knows what he's doing. USA TODAY is lucky to have him and his entire team.

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  62. The sports guys, for all their supposed swagger, are starting to see just how tough it is in this environment.

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  63. 8:46's use of "CP" refers to this site's nickname for Corporate's offices in McLean, Va.: the Crystal Palace.

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  64. Dickey is such a douche!!

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  65. Hey, 10:46, I understand that Marymont came from Missouri, but she is no hillbilly. I've known hillbillies, and they are much shrewder horse-traders than to have been duped into buying this stupid NewsGate system.

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  66. Wherever she is from matters not. What matters is what she does for the division. Does she do anything? Does she create value. Does she inspire better performance or creativity at the local level? Is she an astute judge of new talent or is she grooming any. Does she mentor anyone? If the answer is no to most of those questions, she has no business being in the job she has.

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  67. Hey 5/03/2012 10:20 PM

    UPDATE: Grand jury cleared police officer. Lohud was first and correct then and first and correct this week, with grand jury report.
    Just so you know how wrong you were. Peace!

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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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