Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pop Quiz | Match the quote and the USAT publisher

[Publishers: Hunke vs. Kramer]

Gannett's chief executives sounded very upbeat when the company appointed a new publisher for USA Today in 2009, and then again yesterday morning. Which of the following quotes is CEO Craig Dubow praising Dave Hunke -- and which is Gracia Martore talking up Larry Kramer?

“We are thrilled that _____ is joining our team. He will play a critical role as we transform the company and execute on our strategic plan.”

“_____ is a highly talented, multi-faceted leader, who drives excellence throughout his organization while making the tough business decisions. At the same time, he has the courage to be innovative and take chances.”

Here's the one that applies to Hunke, and the one for Kramer.


  1. USAT pubs are fungible.

  2. First, I think Kramer is better than Hunke by a mile.

    Second, the last time we hired a smart, selfmade, wealthy executive, "worth zillions", Saridakis left the company after 2 years. I do not hold much hope that Larry will stick around for too long.

    Third, this is a big hire for USAT and a good endorsement for Gannett's future, but can anyone be in charge of any division in Gannett and be BIGGER than Gracia? I do not think Gracia would allow this to happen. She will micro-manage Larry and he will eventually say "fuck off" to her and the rest of the losers on the executive team.

    Fourth, what does this say about Bob Dickey who was lobbying for this job and made a recent recommendation to the Board to take over all newspaper businesses including USAT.

    Fifth, I question Larry's desperation in taking this job. Why would he want it? Also, is Larry going to "relocate" to McLean? Hunke didn't, Saridskis didn't, David Payne hasn't, Moon never did...

    Finally, good luck Larry. It is not USAT that is the problem, it is Gracia and the lame leaders on the GMC!

  3. He strikes me as a bright, self-effacing person who doesn't seem to take himself too seriously. And I like the fact that he's a content guy because USAT needs a major lift. Hunke was a huckster...the worst kind of salesman, giving us salespeople a bad name. Larry also strike me as someone who has made his fortune and won't put up with the Gannett bullshit. I think he's a good hire, but only time will tell around here.

  4. Like him. Like his street cred. He needs to put some real news people in key positions, especially in News, Money and digital. He needs to trim the management bloat throughout the organization. And he needs to stay away from the Banikarims and HeathernFranks of the organization. Especially needs to be hands off as well.

  5. Content guy or not, USAT's karma is what it is. Until it rights the many wrongs of the recent past, it really doesn't matter who comes in there to try to turn things around. Until USAT acknowledges the horrible treatment it directed towards some of its most loyal employees, nothing will change.

    Reparations must be made. This is one of those situations in life that most people really don't understand, where crimes against innocent people were so prevalent, where off-the-charts greed and selfishness changed the entire dynamic of a institution ... to think just bringing in smart people will fix things, well, it's naive and counterproductive.

    USAT will never move forward until it makes its admits what it has done to ruin lives in the last four years. This assault wasn't about business. This was personal. As personal as any crime against good people can be.

    The residue it left behind might not be visible, but it is felt each and every day.

    So, go ahead USAT, continue to play musical chairs. Continue to come up with new marketing campaigns. Even the best ideas are doomed to fail because you haven't made peace with the people who you need to reach out to -- past and present.

    Until USAT humbles itself and makes positive, human gestures to those innocent victims of the last four years, I expect more negative karma in the lavish Crystal Palace. Because few in business ever think on a spiritual level, I suspect USAT's bottom line will continue to fall.

  6. 9:34 No worries. The economy, technology and selfish, money hungry leadership have put newspapers past the tipping level. They are dying fast. Most of what has emerged so far is crap, because the new economic models do not support treating people with dignity. It's done.

  7. I think it's a real sign of how disillusioned and unenthusiastic people at USAT have become that therW has not been more comments on this hire - positive or negative. People are so fed-up it's possible that the worst thing has happened to us - APATHY.

    1. People are shocked that someone actually hired a manager who is right for the paper.when was the last time that happened? Now give us decent newsroom managers in News, Money and Life.and fix the quality control woes of the digital operation. get rid of the kindergarteners!

  8. Too many out of touch and poorly chosen hired litter the operation. i couldnt believe the first question posed to Larry K regarded diversity. people, the organization needs a heart transplant and an infusion of new managers who should be hired for skills and talent, not quotas. the politically correct can wait.

  9. 12:28,
    Agree completely. With journalists of all races being jettisoned everyday, that woman's question was completely out of line and out of touch with anything but her own personal concerns.

    1. We need more diversity. As if that will solve editorial and advertisong woes or bring back 500000 readers.

  10. If you didn’t have time to read Gracia's entire letter, here are the essentials:


    pioneer of digital media

    long-term strategic vision

    across all of its platforms

    the ongoing search process

    Leadership Team


    synthesized all online, interactive and mobile initiatives

    a proprietary hand-held sports information monitor

    joining our team

    an exciting next chapter

    national brand equity

    fully leverage its full potential

    fuel our growth

    passion (second time ... i guess one never can have enough passion)

    print heritage

    transformative power of digital media

    implement our growth strategy

    at the helm

    employee town hall

    hit the ground running

    Best regards,

    Gracia Martore
    President & Chief Executive Officer

  11. Loaded with corporate double-speak bullshit jargon empty buzzwords...blah blah blah.

    And if he's 40, I'm eleven! He looks 67.

  12. TRANSFORM the company? Again? I thought David L Hunke already did that?

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

  14. 3:53, Readers, now more than ever, want to be albe to relate to the writers and editors they choose to spend their precious time with. Our audience is more diverse than 1984. Our newsrooms are not.

  15. Finally, a great hire. He's going to do some amazing stuff for the paper. Believe in it now.

    There is no reason not to get on board, and feel like this is a great moment for all of us. I have no idea how she pulled it off, but get ready for a new, fun place to work.



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