An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
As Gannett dismantles its individual newspapers, how does it allocate the costs for the various centers? Do papers pay so much for each classified ad taken, each display ad handled by a national group, each call taken for a missing paper, each image toned, each page designed? If so, does anybody know what any of these numbers are? If not, does anybody know how these centers of excellence are funded?
When is Ledford going to get announced at Indy? Who is going to replace him here in Wilmington?
I love my job at Gannett. I love the people, I have a good mentor who has shown me how to perform my craft. I've learned so much during my time here (almost 8 years). I try to bring a positive attitude with me to work each day, and I do what I can to mentor others and teach them what I know. I enjoy coming to work. I wish I had more hours every day to be here and learn/teach more.As far as I know, there haven't been any more layoffs since Gracia took over. There may have been several changes that were already being planned when she took over, that have been executed, but I have faith in her.I think it's a very good time to be working for Gannett. Opportunities on the horizon. As soon as the economy picks back up, when advertisers are spending money again, when we have a digital audience base with good demographics, when we can deliver value to our advertisers, and we are growing again, they are going to be looking to fill key positions. I want to be ready.
You can't be that naive, can you?
11:50 You probably work in a bubble. I was laid off and many others were RIF'd in the last 6 months. The layoffs weren't already planned before Gracia took over. Why did she keep saying that the furloughs were to avoid any further layoffs. She implied that she didn't want any more layoffs. Guess she changed her mind. Glad you like your job, I liked mine too.
In an effort to not lose anu sales in single copy they have now changed the way the carriers get loaded each day. Now they get their papers an hour to an hour and a half LATER! Of course that move makes home delivery, the darlings that they are, even more prioritised. If the people running this show want single copy dead they should just kill it. I know a few who would be devastated by that but what do they care.
Whaaa? No layoffs?
Big meeting downtown Phoenix and Deer Valley Plant 10am today. Grapevine states Gannett will be farming out Security and Houskeeping and maybe more. Would say this will effect 40 plus people.
@11:50PM,OMG! That was a good one! Straight from the new employee manual?Thanks, seriously. I love starting my day off with a good joke!
Who is Ledford?
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I too have wondered when someone will have the guts to crunch the numbers and show the public the numbers about how much Gannett has cost the individual communities by moving in, laying off people, shutting down presses and centralizizing everything. Didn't the company even score some big government bucks for supposedly creating jobs some places?
To 11:50 Anonymous.. Great to hear you're having the type of experience I had with Gannett until about 2007. That's when new leadership took over our paper with one goal, strip it to its core. Mentoring went out the window. The young hires now have to sink or swim in a hostile environment. Many of them are sinking. We've had some bright stars throw in the towel in under six months.As for opportunity? That no longer exists in our paper for anyone over a certain age. The only opportunity we have to look forward is the next round of buyouts.
I left Gannett more than 10 years ago and was vested with a small pension. A poster in the previous thread gave a number for the Gannett Pension Center -- so I decided to call and just make sure I was still in the system.It went very smoothly -- only took a couple of minutes. I called and spoke to a rep rather than try to do it online. She found my records right away. It turned out they had outdated contact info, so she told me where to send a note to get it updated.My pension is only a few hundred bucks a month -- and if Gannett doesn't survive, I suppose it would be cut at least in half if the PBGC takes it over. Still, I'm grateful to the people who shared info here that allowed me to quickly check it out -- it was good to know Gannett hadn't lost track of me and that I can at least collect whatever small amount comes my way.
7:35 David Ledford has been executive editor of The News Journal in Wilmington, Del., since 2004.
11:27, the papers pay an allocation. There have been different calculations to get to the total number. One that ruffled feathers a few months back was taking the total expense of sales CSS and backing into it by circulation volumes. But, with the huge snowbird swing of Phoenix, their lower months caused quite an increase for the remaining group papers.
@11:50 PM I've learned that people like us - people who like our jobs and have good attitudes - are not welcome here. I, too, think things are moving in the right direction at Gannett. I've been in the business a long time. Long enough to have endured times when I HATED everything this company stood for. Now, we're finally turning things around. At my paper,content is once again king. Resources are INCREASING, not decreasing. But most people on this blog don't want to hear that perspective.
I'd like to disagree with the idea that people continue to participate in reader comments here well after they have left Gannett.Case in point, for a long time there were separate threads generated for everything coming out of the Jersey sites, but after they were consolidated to the Design Center, New Jersey has ceased being a topic, by and large.There are a few die hard commenters who have found this an outlet for expression over the years, but there is fresh blood - whether the person above who is enthusiastic about their position or the recent arrival from Appleton who has spoken up more than before.Perspectives and opinions aren't necessarily wrong because they don't agree with yours.
All service employees (40+) at The Arizona Republic will be given termination packages today as mgmt of properties will be subbed out to ABM.You will have the opportunity to apply for a job at ABM as a new employee...2 weeks vac etc. I hope that corporate and their stooges at The Republic choke on their pieces of silver-new Lexus's for everyone!!!!
In an e-mail, one of my readers says that outsourcing in Phoenix may be spreading to other sites, too.
10:28, And what paper is it you're at where content is king?
Our newsroom has been cut from 120 to about 45 in 10 years. We no longer have a security staff. We have 7-year-old desktop and laptop computers. We've had raises once in the last 5 years. The travel budget has been shredded. Newshole has remained consistent the last few years, but it was sliced several years ago and hasn't returned to the old levels. Deadlines were moved up. They say it saves money on delivery charges but it kills the newsroom with late stories, especially with under-staffed desk crews. We miss deadlines now. Can't imagine how bad it will be when we move to the dysfunctional design hub. I used to love my job. Then it became a like. Now there are days when it's unbearable. To those who still love it and say things are looking up, please tell us where you work. Nothing is getting better at our shop but if there is truly some hope out there I'd like to know which newspaper is feeling it so I can look to it for a model. I want a reason to believe -- just not seeing it at our place.
12:18 They started killing single copy when they started outsourcing routes to distributors. If they cared about single copy sales they would have kept those jobs in house.Now all they have left is home delivery and even they are getting the paper out to late for many subscribers. management doesn't care anymore because they can blame the loss of subscribers on the move to digital.
Can someone explain why corp is taking over cell phones
Most of the community newspapers outsourced building services several years ago. Austin Ryan's plan. Cost us more to outsource than we were paying for staff and supplies with a reduced level of service.
Official announcement-services nationwide passed off to ABM-to hell with the workers-screw mgmt forever
What is abm? What will they be doing?
All those folks being laid off in Phoenix can be "replaced" by students at the Cronkite School across the street. Disgraceful "business model."
you are silly gooses. people can and will get hired by abm hee hee
This just went out in Louisville, Ky.:GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL EMPLOYEES AND MANAGERS Gannett launches Facilities Maintenance and Operations outsourcing effort Starting May 22, 2012, Gannett is launching Phase 1 of its facilities maintenance outsourcing initiative. Louisville has been selected for Phase 1 of this effort. The company is consolidating facilities maintenance and some in-house facilities operations at 34 U.S. Community Publishing, Gannett Publishing Services sites, TV stations, and at corporate headquarters through a partnership with ABM Facility Services, Inc. ABM is one of the country’s largest facility services contractors, with more than 265 offices across the U.S., including offices in the majority of Gannett markets. Services to be provided through this facility management contract with ABM include: general maintenance; trash removal; electrician services; generator maintenance; power storage and distribution maintenance; fire alarm system maintenance; sprinkler system maintenance; HVAC; plumbing; security; janitorial; and landscaping. All affected members of Gannett facility support staff will have the opportunity to apply for employment with ABM Facility Services, Inc., pending fulfillment of ABM’s conditions of employment and staffing requirements. Employees who choose to not apply for a position with ABM, or do not otherwise transition employment with ABM, are eligible for separation benefits. Depending on staffing needs, affected members of Gannett facility support staff hired by ABM may continue supporting Gannett operations or may be assigned to other ABM accounts. Through this partnership, Gannett is taking advantage of its size and scale to maximize cost savings. The company will save money by getting better pricing on supplies, services and other purchases through ABM’s extensive network of national vendor contracts and ABM’s leveraged purchasing capability. Phase 2 sites are being identified and will transition following implementation of the first rollout. Please post for employees that don’t have access to company email. Thomas Letto General Manager
The newspaper industry will never go back to the way it was pre-recession, especially at Gannett. That business model changed a long time ago. So when advertisers "start spending money again" it won't be like it was, and you won't see the industry return to its glory days.The newspapers that will survive are the ones that successfully reinvented their business model to adapt to new spending and consumption patterns. I hope for the 11:50 PM poster's sake that there is enough of a bump to keep him or her happily employed. If there is, the chance that they are performing the same job as today is slim to none.
Bit of a clusterf**k in Phoenix this morning. E-mail went down early AM, which also killed the ability of several hundred carriers to download the day's route lists. Couldn't print 'em either. On the other hand, it's going to be 108 today and the A/C is working. Can't imagine what it's like being a firefighter wearing that heavy gear this time of year in Arizona, especially when it comes to fighting fires in the mountains. We've got two big ones going on right now.
12:41 It's time to get out of journalism and transfer your skills to something else. Try to take control of your life now.Easy to say, I know. I'm struggling to find a new job. But I am a better person for not working for such reckless, evil people who will do anything to force a failed business model.
Sad but true.
That's word for word the same note that went out in Phoenix. If the publishers, GMs, whatever are going to use the same note why not just send it out from corporate? If reporters write stories that are word identical under their own names it's called plagiarism. If publishers do it, it's just business.
New President of USAT Travel hired along with another VP.
3:38 This ABM contract must affect several hundred employees companywide.
With the dividend increase, is there ANY evidence of specific reinvestment at the local level. Finance directors should be able to share capital project lists with us. Those can't possibly be confidential. Or how about a large computer purchase that is either an expense or capital.
Jim, why was the 2:50 p.m. comment removed?
If it is true about Phoenix layoffs which I doubt. No names or positions just rumors. All I can say is to calm down work or quit. Let those poor college students replace veterans. After all most of the stories written are edited press releases. Journalism is dead, folks.
Jim you assume it affects hundreds. It doesn't. Less than that for now. Phase 2 will add more but it's not going to be overly large.
The heads on line in Phoenix are the guys who make sure the employees have electricity at their desks,AC when its 108 outside .They make sure all the stupid team building artwork is hung and that all the pig pens are cleaned up.ABM promises nirvana while gannett gives termination packages.Take your charges of rumors and stick em.
I am beginning to believe that Gannett is a right wing company that does what its masters say. 27 Facilities have been let go so they can outsource.
27 papers facilities let go
You are misleading the readers. Everyone impacted will interview with ABM a company larger than Gannett. You all say Gannett sucks so how is thus a bad thing? If you work in facilities wouldn't you want to work for the largest facilities services team in America? You say pay and benefits as well as management stinks. So please tell me why this is a bad thing. Really.
They can't keep pretending that this is in the downturn. This is political all of it.
4:19 I removed that post because it was about an earlier post that I also removed.
naive? I was on the operating committee for too many years. Not naive too informed and disgusted.
At our site (South East) the maintenance personnel have been informed, that their jobs are being outsourced to ABM. The same company who has the contract for the janitorial services. They cut their staffing and hours at our plant over the last few years (sounds familiar?), leaving only a few souls to keep the facilities clean.ABM does not pay benefits, and when workers have more than 40 hours in a work week, but divided between 2 or more facilities ABM service, they are told no overtime will be paid, because it is considered 2 different contracts. That is false, misleading and unlawful. The workers are hourly paid and not contractors (unlike newspaper carriers).Why is it, that if your employment with Gannett is terminated you get separation benefits, but if you get a job with the outside contractor (at a lower rate both pay and benefits), then you can't get those same separations benefits? Correct me if I am wrong, but you are still being laid off no matter what your future employment situation is. Right???
ABM provides benefits and has to pay OT if an employee works more than 40 hours. You have no clue what you are talking about. Our facilities team reviewed the benefits you say don't exist in our meeting. Gish Jim someone lied on the blog can you believe that?
Hubbard Broadcasting is interested in purchasing WGN-TV in Chicago and several other stations from Tribune Co., which is preparing to come out of Chapter 11. Hubbard is not interested in any of the Tribune Co. newspapers.
Today there was good news and bad news in the newspaper field.Good news: Tampa Bay (nee St. Petersburg) Times is ending a 5% pay cut put in place last fall.Bad news: St. Louis Post-Dispatch has laid off 4 copy editors, 1 photographer and 1 manager at the least.
Anyone know who they are?
@5:49 pm Im sure the layoffs will look good in the states unemployment numbers.
Laid off at Gannett about three years ago and still struggling to piece together some sort of new career, which isn't easy at 55 years old. Regardless of my many print and online skills, 55 is 55. It is not the new 45 when it comes to landing jobs. It's more like the new 65.What really annoys the heck out of me are the blood, sweat and tears I put into my job at Gannett for about 15 years and the total betrayal in the end because of false perceptions and the reality of my making a few more coins than Gannett wanted to pay for my position. I fought through snow storms and illnesses to get to get to work every day. I tried to maintain high ethics and do quality work each day, even when the odds were stacked against me. I helped others along in their careers -- the same others who haven't reached out to even say hi in three years.I don't know what it is about Gannett that makes it such a cold-hearted place to work and why the fallen have been forgotten so easily. Maybe folks just don't want to know about the ruins our lives are in because of being laid off.
I feel for you. as i continue to watch usa today implode, i and many fellow 50 somethings live in constant fear of being targeted. no way to live. no alternatives. hope things work out for you soon.
I understand your anger 6:00 but can we put things in perspective just for a moment? Almost 8 million people are out of work. We are in the worst recession since the 1970s. Gannett is one of thousands and thousands of companies that made these decisions. Don't you think every laid off employee in America feels betrayed? Are you the only person that gave their company everything and then got laid off?
Stop with the hashtags already. They don't make you look any smarter.
@6:21pm I left when the stock was $85.50/share. When are you leaving?
In a new move today Gannett began outsourcing facilities maintenance and in-house facilities operations through a partnership with ABM Facility Services Inc.
No one is safe. Wouldnt be surprised if the new initiative of commission only Deal Chicken hire's replace thier current sales team. Aside from a handful of markets, theres no way their local revenue is paying their salary.
and they suggested I should sell the "Chicken" are you kidding me?
@ 7:02....i have a feeling that corporate were banking on the local sales teams to run out and help choke the chicken but I wouldnt be surprised if more sales reps told advertisers to stay away from deal chicken than actually talk them into doing it. i hope for the deal chicken "peeps" everything works out but like jim posted in an earlier blog, it does look like a distress signal for the coop.
I advise my people to not waste their time, hopes and money this chicken shit. They don't get a positive roi on newspaer ads.
Today,in Phoenix,after listening to some moron manager patronizing the services dept,we were split up into sub meetings with an ABM rep who sounded more like a salesman pitching his company to upper mgmt than an informative rep trying to allay the fears of screwed workers and answer any questions with any substantive answers.After comparing notes with the other meeting attendees,this blog was specifically brought up by ABM with disdain.Seems that Jim and Co. only spread evil rumors about gannett and ABM as they are both pure as the wind driven snow.All the info we have had in the last 4 months was based on pure,unadulterated lies and rumors-way to go Az Republic mgmt team-you should be proud of yourselves.Enjoy those bonuses earned on the backs of the workers you patronized.
How are you screwed 7:23? You keep your seniority, you don't lose benefit coverage and you are working for a company larger than Gannett. Not sure how you got screwed unless ABM isn't looking for an employee with a wonderful attitude like yours.,
Some "moron" manager? So much for civil discourse. Jim if someone wrote Moron worker would that be ok?
Jim,Post a new thread for the USAT Travel a president and the new VP of Product. That's an inspiring title....
What about a new thread (or spreadsheet) on the ABM outsourcing? I wonder how many jobs Gannett will shed with this move.
9:17 Under these circumstances, I can imagine why people want to vent. This is a pretty traumatizing event.
Note: I've now created a separate thread just for comments about the ABM maintenance announcement.
I will ask again, why is the ABM outsource a bad deal? Everyone says they hate Gannett and want out. Now they get that opportunity and get to work for the largest facilities company in the country. What is the beef?
I've just cross-posted 9:45's comment to this thread just for ABM -- and I've added my response.
9:45 PM, Here's why... Currently - Power goes off, generators do not come online, dial XXXX and someone is on it.Future - Power goes off, generators do not come online, dial xxx-xxx-xxxx and wait! Computers crash and the A/C stops working.
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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