Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 14-20 | Your News & Comments: Part 2

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57 comments:

  1. Online coupon leader Groupon -- one of DealChicken's top rivals -- had a very good day in the stock market: Its shares soared 18% to $13.80 in after-hours trading, after jumping 19% in regular trading.

    Earlier in the day, it raised its forecast for second-quarter financial results.

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  2. I'm sorry, 6:44, we must have missed the memo ... When did this blog become Jim's full-time job, with full-time salary and benefits to match? Oh, that's right. It's actually just a grassroots blog that pays him very, very little. So, obviously, he does not perform -- nor should he ever be expected to perform -- the role of a fulltime reporter here whose 'beat' is Gannett.

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  3. @7:16 - Here is the deal: Jim does next to zero original reporting on happenings at Gannett. That is what the criticism of this blog is all about.

    Let's just review the past month. Jim missed Hunke's retirement, Horning's retirement, Saleh's departure and Kramer's appointment (arguably the most important development at USAT since Tom Curley took over in 1992 from the 4 person committee that used to run USAT). Clearly he has not developed sources that could have provided some leads on all of these developments.

    Now before you all lose your minds - I will admit Jim has done some original reporting - on Dubow's use of Foundation money and on the Newseum. But the Newseum, despite being a playland for Gannett retirees of a certain era, has absolutely nothing to do with Gannett and hasn't since Al broke with the company after his retirement.

    Jim provides a forum for bitter current and former employees. That is all.

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  4. Some have been predicting the Presswire purchase would reduce Gannett's use of staff photographers at USAT and the community papers. It looks like those predictions are coming true.

    John Harrington, a respected photography blogger (he blogs about the business of photography) is reporting that USAT is sending a Presswire team to the London Olympics and that only one staffer would be going.

    (More here: http://photobusinessforum.blogspot.com/2012/05/usa-today-us-presswire-at-us-olympic.html)

    This is a big development if it's true. As Harrington points out, USAT's photographers (and the photographers they bring in from USCP to assist them) have a history of doing some excellent photography at the Olympics. This year that history doesn't matter. It's one USAT photographer, a bunch of Presswire part timers and one high school student (yes Presswire reportedly credentialed a high school student to shoot the Olympics).

    This could also set up a conflict between Gannett and Getty because the IOC is promoting Getty as the "go to" source for Olympic photography. Gannett is going to go head to head with them on this and, no doubt, pressure USCP papers to use Presswire photos rather than Getty's. Harrington's blog posted (link above) is mandatory reading.

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  5. 7:51 I think this is a big shift, one that newsrooms around the world will have to come to grips with. The days of full time photographers traveling around the world is over. It's not just USAT, many news organizations realize they can get the job done with freelancers. Are they as good as the highly paid veteran? Probably not. But in the end the consumer doesn't see the difference. The Emperor really has no clothes.

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  6. Keep your big bucks in your pocket with your tirades 7:48. Those of us who work to survive enjoy the blog and its many opinions. And we appreciate Jim. Sending him a few bucks means we sacrifice elsewhere. Don't dump on average people - please stop visiting.

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  7. No, 8:03. If you can't handle some legitimate criticism, why don't YOU stop visiting? And stop commenting. We won't miss your ramblings.

    7:48 has solid and valid points. The people who don't agree are just wrong. They don't get it, and they never will.

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  8. 7:48 has a point. It is obvious Jim aggregates copy and depends on rumors. One can't claim to be a journalist and miss so many major announcements. It's entertainment at its best but it's not a news site. It's been awhile since the Mirror Award. Jim also never tracked down the truth about R Davis. Boy that's a lot of stories to miss in a short period of time.

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  9. 7:48 LOL. Give me a minute to adjust this mirror, so you can better view your own reflection.

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  10. This new guy looks like a winner.

    http://cscape.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/two-years-later-how-the-ipad-has-changed-news-consumption/

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  11. The tone of the 7:48 pm post reminded me of directives that used to filter down from corporate to the people who did the actual work in Gannett.
    There was never room for discussion once a bigshot reached a conclusion. To the corporate folks, discussions were signs of weakness, and good corporate folks would rather bleed to death than be perceived as being weak. They were certain of their judgment and wily enough to eliminate anyone of lesser rank who disagreed, well-intentioned questionners included.
    It was in that manner that these folks contributed to Gannett's poor performance. They were too self-important to listen to truly creative ideas and too stupid to admit they had lots to learn, especially on the technology front.
    Anyway, the 7:48 note had that memorable tone. The only thing missing was the declaration that further misunderstanding or hesitation to agree 100 percent would be "unacceptable."

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  13. What happened in Best Buy about Founder and Chairman leaving his post due to having prior knowledge of ex CEOs relationship with an employee and not notifying the audit committee....interesting who is culpable of current APP's president & publisher's relationship with an employee during his work in a similar role in West Chester and having the similar relationship in Asbury Park....some of the employees have knowledge....

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  14. Sorry 9:07 but 7:48 has a point. I'm not sure what your point is. Is it if anyone disagrees with you then they are a corporate employee? Not sure I understand the point. Kramer is an accomplished professional. If you feel he is a poor choice then I guess you should explain how you arrived at that decision. If you think Jim has done a good job as a journalist over the last month then please tell us why. He missed at least three important stories. He then played catch up. That's not great journalism. Sorry if we disagree.

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  15. Have you ever thought that many of Jim's sources are now gone from Gannett - so he doesn't get as much information. Those still in the trenches need to feed more to the blog- not the managers that are paid to post. Really makes me think they are worried about how the stock market is using this blog as a research tool.

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  16. "managers are paid to post" what a crock. Prove it, someone please prove that tripe.

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  17. 9:07 and 9:24 are just wrong. They don't get it, and they never will.

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  18. 9:00 p.m., I hope you're right. Unfortunately, with Moratore in the driver seat with her inept cronies all around her running in circles (I almost made the mistake of saying running the show) I don't hold out much hope that this huge asset to Gannett will stay very long.

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  19. Who the fuck is Moratore? Is it possible for people with IQs of less than 100 to stay away? If you are too stupid to know the name, then don't post.

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  20. Would all the pro Gannett managers get off the blog- you have met your quota of paid posts already- job well done. Now go plan a few more layoffs.

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  21. Hey corporate shills. Let me ask, what has been done to better the product, the workplace or the reader experience in the last two years. Anything? Honestly, anything? The reader is constantly complaining about lack of content, lack of proofreading, lack of substance. Help us understand what has been done to better the product for anyone. Provide one, simply one example of what has been done to improve the product.
    That's right .... nothing!!!!

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  22. I'm on the corporate side and used to be fairly sympathetic to the blog.

    Today I even thought about alerting Jim Hopkins to the upcoming publisher announcement by a surreptitious e-mail (not that I knew who it was; but he at least could have known it was coming at 4 p.m.).

    But the blog has fallen into such disrepute, that I opted not to. It's clear that Jim Hopkins has lost any inside sources, even after years of doing this.

    Major developments such as Rudd Davis fired, Hunke retiring, the Hilton announcement, the Heather Frank move, the CFO departure, Hillkirk leaving, the upheaval in Sports and all the rest have never leaked to the blog.

    When I was on the news side, if a reporter was givcn a beat and after five years kept getting blind-sided by major developments, he would have lost that beat.

    That's what has happened here. Hopkins has allowed this blog to become a cesspool of character assassination and rumor-mongering. He doesn't have any sources or news tips because he hasn't earned them.

    So Jim can do his "fun quote" contest and post his analysis that "surely" there will be conflict and all that, but he is alone on this beat. A sad thing.

    Today's publisher announcement is a good thing. This blog, because of the craziness and lack of maturity exhibited, is not.

    And it is not surprising that for all the Gannett haters I work with, none of them leaked anything either. A sourceless insider-blog isn't much of anything, in the end.

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  25. Nobody but you corporate posters expect Jim to have corporate announcements before corporate. He provides a forum for us to discuss what corporate does... and what corporate isn't telling us. If you don't like the blog, fine, piss off. Do your reading somewhere else. The rest of us do, and we support Jim's efforts.

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  26. Fewer insider-knowledge posts, a la 'my boss', could be the result of two totally different processes.

    First, message control from the top down has become a lot tighter over the past three years. Whether explicit or implicit, directors and publishers have gotten the message that their memos better not show up here.

    Second, fewer people give a damn. Either RIF'd out or they can see the writing on the wall, they know that there is no stopping the slide. Rather than a shared sacrifice, they saw their furloughs pay for more veeps of dubious value.

    Frankly, a smart leadership would appreciate strong opinion and dissent here. Yes, there are MANY comments of little value, some even from me. But there has also been thoughtful discussion and revelations of problems as well.

    When people stop caring enough to gripe, that means Gannett's ceased to be a 'passion topic' for them.

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  27. Wow the Hopkins defenders are really uptight that he has been exposed. He has been late on every major development lately but he does a great job reporting press releases. But it's refreshing to see he has admitted this is a blog not a news site. He doesn't break news. No Mirror Award this year. How you doing on that Davis story Sir Latte?

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  28. Kramer looks more like Costanza. Just sayin.

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  29. Griping is a legitimate measure of a company. I discovered this years ago when I got RIFfed out of a horrible company. Everyone complained there, because there was much to complain about. The next company I worked for was the opposite, with very little complaining and most of it coming from two people. Most the griping here is legit, although some is better stated and documented.

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  30. Hopkins defenders or Hopkins haters,does it matter?
    The bottom line it all that matters to Gannett and that has has not changed.
    Revenues continue to plummet and there is no viable plan to stop the incredible downward trend.
    So,argue as you all may. The end result is still the same.Most employees will be layed off at some point soon and this blog will be around until someone turns off the last light switch when the party is over.

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  31. Oh boy, someone at corporate has gotten their panties in a huge wad over this blog and has sent one of their toadies here to cut Jim down.

    If they spent even one tenth of the amount of time and effort they do trashing Jim and this blog on communicating with their own employees and paying attention to their own affairs, Gannett might not be such a shitty company to work for.

    To those from corporate posting here (or reading this so you can order someone else to post here) - if you don't think that you are putting out a shitty product, and if you don't think people notice how terrible Gannett papers and websites have become, then you have serious issues that go far beyond any damage that is done to your ego as a result of Jim hosting this blog.

    Perhaps, Gannett senior management, had you not laid of thousands of people so you could give the worst CEO in company history $37 million to sit on his ass and do nothing, people may have a better opinion of you and the company you are running into the ground.

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  32. 8:37AM, you speak for the tens of thousands were were cut loose, as well as the former subscribers who got fed up with the poor customer service, news hole and newsroom cutbacks, left-wing slant, lack of proofreading and a myriad of other pitfalls. This sham of a journalistic operation is rotten to the core, and it has become common knowledge, and not just within the industry.

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  33. Again, notice how the corporate trolls spend so much timing beating-up Jim (and his reporting corps of one) instead of EVER laying out for us what this management team has accomplished at USAT/Gannett. Nothing. Nada thing! It's all defend and deflect. When you give us some REAL accomplishments, we will start to listen. Til then...shutty!

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  34. Creative they’re not, but you gotta love how a few keep trying to tear this blog down.

    Frankly, if they spent more of their energies helping Gannett papers buildup exactly what they comically attack Jim for now - more breaking news, deep sources, etc., this blog’s participants would have far less to expose and discuss.

    In fact, that’s exactly what they should be doing as Gannett’s future rides on it; this blog’s doesn’t as its value isn’t built on being first, its built on sharing what’s going on in this company and the robust discussions that ensue around it (exposing layoffs that Gannett sought to keep quite more than once is but one of Jim’s many successes).

    Moreover, that’s what scares Jim’s detractors most and why they employ various tactics to move the discussion off Gannett because even they can’t defend the indefensible.

    Can't wait to see what they attempt next.

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  35. Bottom line is there will be more than 1200 reductions this year, maybe as much as 2000. That's just a fact.

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  36. 10:18 WIthout knowing more about your source, it is very difficult to gauge your comment's truth.

    However, I will note that in 2011, Gannett eliminated 1,600 jobs.

    Already this year, the company has eliminated several hundred jobs through buyouts. But that is a gross number; some of those jobs may be filled with new hires.

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  37. Amazing how few comments there has been about the new publisher. Has apathy completely set-in? Do we just not give a SHIT anymore?

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  38. There are some new hires being made. However... Each property was promised X amount of resources to increase staffing for the ramp up to paywalls and the passion topics crap, and -- surprise, surprise -- Gannett has been slow to deliver, putting a lot of plans in limbo.
    There have also been some layoffs of the highest-paid employees in the GPS centers.

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  39. For the zillionth time, Jim bashers:

    Jim is not a 'beat' reporter covering Gannett.

    Gannett blog is not a full-time job for Jim.

    He has not 'missed' any news coverage. Because he is not a news reporter. Any original reporting he does provide is more on an enterprise level, not daily "news."

    The fact that corporate is making these announcements first does not take away from the value of what Jim does here, not one tiny bit.

    Sad if these posters are actually sincere about what they write, because it demonstrates that they -- despite being in this business -- do not comprehend the difference between what a beat reporter does and what a blogger does. (But I assure you that the vast majority of readers here do.)

    But I suspect they're not sincere at all, that they're straining to find a way to discredit Jim and the blog when no discredit has been earned. In that case, I suggest the high-level corporate execs who are orchestrating that kind of campaign focus their energies on making the company relevant again.

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  40. Jim does a good job and provides a service, or at least a place for people to vent. He's more a bartender who listens to problems than anything else, and that's fine for what it is. He calls himself a blogger, and that's what he is.

    But the people saying this isn't a "job" for Jim are full of shit. He asks for money to continue to provide a service. This absolutely is his job by definition.

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  41. Always beware when the Jim bashing increases; that means there's something new and nefarious going on at headquarters. Whether the toadies are bashing Jim's sexuality or questioning his mental health, or saying he's washed up as a reporter, it's always aimed at undermining his confidence and just maybe making him decide the hassle isn't worth it anymore. (Well, it is.) If you feel the way those posters feel, there's really no reason for you to be here, other than to spread mischief.

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  42. The Jim's good/Jim's bad debate was settled long ago.

    Like all human beings, I'm both.

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  43. Jim,
    You provide an unbelievable resource for people who work or have worked at this company. You are also a constant irritant to Gannett corporate who would love to see this blog go away. Keep the faith my friend!

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  45. 1:43 I remove name-calling comments, including those that attempt to defend me. (Although I do appreciate the thought.)

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  46. The usual "corporate scheme" fantasies are showing up here again. It shows that Jim's defenders have no defense. Instead of responding to valid cricitism, they make up conspiracy theories. They know they have nothing else.

    Also, the argument that this is a place to vent gets weaker as time passes. The major Gannett layoffs started 3 1/2 years ago. If people here still have nothing better to do than to vent, they probably have nothing to offer.

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  47. The usual "bash Jim and the blasted blog" fantasies are showing up here again. It shows just how desperate they are at the Crystal Palace. Instead of taking care of the massive train wreck that has become Gannett, they fabricate criticism where there is nothing to criticize. They know they have nothing else.

    Also, the argument that Jim is not breaking news gets weaker as time passes. It has been stated time and time again that this is not a news site and Jim is not a full time reporter. It's a blog that focuses on many aspects of the Gannett company and provides an outlet for employees, members of the media industry, and curious onlookers a chance to comment honestly without fear of repercussion. If the corporate shills here still can't recognize that, they probably were sent here by someone in senior management and otherwise have nothing to offer.

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  48. 2:24, good try, but all the previous criticism was valid. If you don't agree, then you are just wrong. You don't get it and never will.

    Jim doesn't break news, but he asks for donations that imply he breaks news. Many people here contribute little other than venting. Serious issues are not advanced through a reasonable dialogue. The place is rife with rumor-mongering and speculation.

    All of this has been pointed out, with evidence, again and again, especially recently. If you haven't read the evidence and comprehended it, it's likely that YOU are the one with nothing to add. You are the one with nothing to offer.

    Just to summarize: All of the previous criticism is valid and backed with evidence. People who disagree are simply wrong. They don't get it and never will.

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  49. "They don't get it and never will."

    My guess is that you must be getting paid by Gannett to keep posting here, and you probably get a little bonus for the number of times you post that phrase. It's a credit to Jim really that the Crystal Palace views him as that much of a threat.

    Honestly I'd rather see them invest in internal communications with the few employees they have left, but I'd hate to see you get laid off too.

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  50. 2:45 No one's getting paid to post comments here -- including, many days, yours truly.

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  51. If that's the case, then one person in particular has no life.

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  52. 2:45 and 2:50 -- still offering no defense for Jim's many flaws.

    There is no defense, only valid criticism.

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  53. And repeating that criticism ad nauseum makes it more valid?

    For the sake of moving forward, let's stipulate that everyone in the world agrees with your constructive observations, 3:21.

    So now what?

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  54. Yes, we get it 3:21, especially given that you've complained (over, and over, and over, and over) about this blog.

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  55. Moving forward -- a concept that would have much more appeal, if it didn't come from the people who have spent the last 3 1/2 years "venting."

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  57. Ooooooo yes, @112 -- a Gannett-sponsored blog for us to post all our hopes and dreams. Oooooo. Hold me back. I bet the line is already forming for that one. Yes, that would be the end of Gannett Blog all right. That would do it, yessir. Hahahahahahahahaha!

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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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