An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
I'm hearing what we all expected: Q2 revenues are on track to be our worst in history even with the primary election ad revenue. So now what?
Who is in charge of USAT advertising now? Banikarim? Consavage? Murcko? Hunke? Ellwood?
My purpose today: more speeches, more speaker fees, more jet setting, more parties, more pointless interviews, more celebrity-spotting tweets, more self promotion, more pulling the wool over clueless Martore's head.I love my fat paycheck job. Love you all, Maryam on the road again Banikarim
Just how much is it costing USA Today to "sponsor" - that silly word again - so that the suits can party on at the US Open?
Expect greater acceptance of religious expression in the workplace. Expression of "purpose" in work is allowable and does not constitute a hostile work environment unless an employee can show evidence of a supervisor showing favor or activity that punishes. In a right to work state, employees don't really have a recourse unless they can prove a form of discrimination resulted in their work status change. In the end, you are only dealing with the most disgruntled that you'd be dealing with anyway.Truth: Gannett is getting religion
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This could be a new low in useless consultants.
6:33, when does rhis woman find the time for her kids? I could understand if she were actually accomplishing something. But all this flapping avoutnand wheel spinning just reminds me of that Road Runner cartoon character.beep beep, MB.
I thought Micek was is in charge of USAToday advertising. Or does Banikarim hold the puppet strings?Is USA Today even doing any advertising?
Banikarim has to be one of the worst gannett executives ever. And that is saying a lot, given this crew. How do we keep hiring people who dont understand the product or how its put together, nor the mindset of those doing the actual work. You cannot just run roughshod over people with new fangled, half baked ideas that are a total disconnect from reality.
If you were a victim of the greed that's destroying the newspaper industry, here's a great book for you to read....http://www.publishedbywestview.com/NewsBrothers.html
To answer an earlier question: Banikarim runs ad sales for USA TODAY. It's squarely on her shoulders. Jones, Erdos, and Hillhave all been fired....there's no one else to blame. Time to FINALLY produce MB.
Advertisers no longer buy based on who sucked up to them at Cannes or the AAAAs or all the other events Banikarim attends.This new digital ad market is tough, ruthless, and all about performance. Relationships hardly matter.Three martini lunches are a thing of the past.Get someone in here who knows how to move digital ad sales.
Big IC reorg meeting in Appleton today. Wonder if we get ice cream?
While Banakarim has become a convenient whipping post for people who have no idea what is really going on at the company, the truth is that the vast majority of the anti-Maryam posts here at the blog are from a handful of former marketing staffers who were let go.Their unrelenting attacks on Maryam and on those who remain (some of them former colleagues), are obvious, shameful and easy to see through. They should be ashamed. These are a handful of people who don't get to go to Cannes anymore, and blame her for letting them go. (That is really the truth, everybody; it is angry fired marketers who are making the vast majority of the attacks. So take things with a grain of smelling salts).As for Maryam's influence, it is a mixed bag.She is in charge of Gannett's "message," yes, and that includes silly things like the Purpose Project and expensive things like loading up on unneeded consultants who deliver "findings" we have all known for years.Why the reliance on outside thinking rather than rolling up sleeves and everyone getting it done is perplexing. Studies and projects too often freeze progress. Let's see what the study says. And things just stagnate.Is she in charge of advertising? In a way, yes, and certainly on paper. The advertising department at USA TODAY reports directly to her, not to Kramer, and she is setting goals and direction and overturning confusing flow charts she enthusiastically endorsed just a year ago.There is still some breathing room for her, however, and if ads don't improve, which they don't seem to be doing, she can argue that she was just a caretaker trying to stabilize a mess not of her own making. She seems a survivor.Maryam is actually an asset and very smart. But she is treating Gannett as a client rather than as her passion, and her hands-off approach leaves plenty of room to move on to the next thing. We wish we had 100% of her energy, and not merely her being a conduit for consultants.
Interesting observations. but her egotastic need for attention causes her to lose any kind of real focus on Gannett. she has no grasp of the product or the people who produce it. Worse, she has not pulled in advertisers. either she produces or she should be out of here.
11:05 writes: "the vast majority of the anti-Maryam posts here at the blog are from a handful of former marketing staffers who were let go."Given the anonymous nature of posts here -- including your own -- there's no way to know whether what you claim is true.
11:05,Extremely well said and probably mostly correct. Her biggest mistakes include hiring consultants to replace her lack of understanding, speaking before listening, and only giveing Gannett 75% of her energy. The other 25 is reserved for her real mission....the finding of her next job. Then again, probably something we should all be doing.
Seriously, nothing yet about just-announced @Freep's Jeff Taylor to replace Indy Star's Ryerson? Really, Gannettbloggers? Really?
I am not a former colleague of Maryam's. I am a long-time Gannetteer, trying to survive at one of the 82 community papers. I have asked on here several times for someone to show me what she does and how she has helped improve this company. I know what I do. I help produce and edit a daily newspaper and website. I see the evidence of my work every day, online and in print. Can anybody give me tangible evidence of anything she has done to help the company?
Jim’s spot on as the truth of the matter is 11:05 can’t back up such rubbish that they and others have floated here before to distract attention away from Banikarim’s clear lack of bottom-line results.Frankly, Banikarim’s obvious thirst for public attention for her personal brand, and the clear energies she exhausts on it, is the catalyst for why so many across all levels of Gannett and out make comments.Instead of using that media attention to build Gannett and attract customers, Banikarim’s routinely used it to achieve her personal branding goals, talking about past fluff efforts at former employers (handing out tchotchkes at Universal for one) and how she’s getting the social media thing down and helping to bring the outside in (did she even try to learn about Gannett from the inside out?). Unfortunately for her efforts and Gannett's needs, all seem to have exposed her role as being overhead and her sophomoric Nine Rules for New Media exposed it even more.Gannett shareholders and the employees who still have jobs deserve far more from someone in that role and if she’s not giving Gannett 110% of her attention, then Gannett should find someone who will as too much is at stake.
Well put. 100% correct. produce or perish.
So what 11:05 is saying that the disgruntled/people who were fired are doing a better job of shaping the Maryam brand than she is?
11:05 here.I'm sure there are Gannett employees who are criticizing Maryam out of anger over the company, what they've read here or exasperation over recent initiatives.But for months the constant drumbeat against her has been led by a small group of former Marketing Department staffers. Their knowledge of people and incidents within the department are detailed (and petty), and anyone who doubts this should only think about the characters who used to work there.Good people, but they have gone off a deep end.Maryam is not beyond criticism. My point is not that at all. But the incessant nature of the attacks, night and day, are just what they appear to be: A marketing campaign.
I see plenty of posts from newsroom employees, not ex-marketing people. Of course there are a few marketers who stop in and post, undoubtedly. Just like Beusse and Hunke detractors continue to post.But nobody can ignore the massive amount of rubbish Banikarim spends money on with little results to show.In the meantime, the newsrooms continue to get hit with layoffs and furloughs.
Banikarim is one of the highest level execs at Gannett.That alone makes her a fair target for questions about money spent and results garnered.Most CMOs are driven intensely by ROI. Where is the return on all this spend?
Gannnett, is obviously run by a bunch of Conservatives. They believe Austerity is the answer to growing revenue.
10:10, the ice cream or popcorn is at the 4 p.m. "Hey, look who did good this month" pep rally. Remember, make sure you can answer all the questions about Project Firefly. Is that still the codename for the paywall ... err... subscription model?
Actually, it sounds to me like 11:05 knows what is going on, and Jim is offering the usual stupid excuses.Jim, using your logic, we should never listen to anything that is posted here. There might actually be some truth to that, though.Are you admitting your blog has no credibility? That's what it sounds like.
@11:05 (now 12:17),Instead of a continuation of what is your own fact-less marketing campaign to defend Banikarim, you might try leading with facts about what benefits and value Gannett has gained from its sizeable investment in her.Now, that would be enlightening as to date you, and her other defenders, have yet to offer anything that supports why her relationship with Gannett should continue.Thanks in advance.Retired Publisher
There are two people who show up for every Banikarim post: one ex-marketing person and one current Banikarim supporter who tries to detract from the other posters in support of her.The other 30+ comments are from the rest of us who are tired of all the consultant spend and just want some real leadership.Even her so-called supporter says Banikarim hires consultants to tell her things we all already know.And then she can't implement on their findings.Wash/Rinse/Repeat.
6:33...Ah, yes. When all else fails in your attempts to criticize a female executive, call her a bad mother for not spending enough time with her kids. Do you ask the same question about men?
11:05 when I read through the comments on the Purpose post Jim did this morning, there are some very thoughtful comments from good writers who are obviously journalists.I appreciated the story and agree with many of the comments.
"The other 30+ comments are from the rest of us who are tired of all the consultant spend and just want some real leadership."This is exactly right. Limiting the anti-Maryam sentiment to one or two ex-marketing people with sour grapes is missing the barn by a mile and a half.
Who has seen Kramer lately and what is he doing with USA Today?Interested to see if he can make any impact.
Last night was supposed to be the live start of the national wire desk in Des Moines, which is supposed to select the wire stories for all the papers designed at the Des Moines hub. Does anyone know how that went?
Layoffs coming to the Freep ... http://motorcitymuckraker.com/scoops/422-2/And if anyone doubts the site above because it's run by the city hall reporter fired a few weeks ago, it comes up again at the bottom of this piece ... http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/755/free_press_loses_a_key_boss_at_a_tough_time
1:40 come on you know it is the truth. There are three former marketign folks that constantly pound MB. They lost their meal ticket to France and they are upset. THe rest fo the company could care less about Marketing. It's the unhappy three that just can't let go. Me thinks two plus you equal three!!!!
Who comes up with this shit?Today, we are announcing the launch of Gannett Wisconsin Media University.GWM University will be the foundation for all of our internal and external development training.This is not meant to replace or displace department specific training that we all do routinely. Rather, it is a platform for expanding skills, readying employees for the next career step or just exploring all GWM has to offer.Coming soon to your inbox is an announcement of the first statewide GWMU program, a formal Job Shadowing Program. Watch for it!Genia LovettPresident & Publisher | Midwest Group Vice PresidentThe Post-Crescent306 West Washington Street | Appleton WI 54911
I dislike the vitriol flung at Banikarim as well, and I say that as someone completely amazed that this exec even has a job, let alone one with tremendous potential in the hands of essentially a self-absorbed neophyte.But I think demonizing the gal misses the larger point, which is that executive positions are perceived as royalty no matter who one is or acts (or in Banikarim's case, doesn't except for self-promotion).I suggest that just like everyone else, she has feelings. And no matter how inept or opportunistic her career, these barbs here don't all bounce off -- both the valid and the cruel.She's made the bed. Or refuses to make it. Either way, she shouldn't be a scapegoat.
Hard to feel sorry for any executive at Gannett.They lay off people like they are tossing starbucks cups.They collect ten times more money than the rest of us.They fly the jet and stay at the four seasons and eat at great restaurants.I'm tired of what I see to be one angry employee who poisons the feed . The truth is a lot of people are tired of Banikairm but the one poster with a vendetta needs to move on. The rest of the posts about Banikarim hold crediblity,But sorry is not for her. Anyone who fires that many people without any real assessment is pretty soulless.
Here's an edited version of 1:40's comment, with the word "troll" eliminated.6/12/2012 11:05 AM -- Banikarim, Micek, Ellwood, Hyatt, Phillips or whoever you are, you are dead wrong as usual and once again putting up the same old post trying to deflect the obvious. That is a fact.
It is not the former marketing staff who have been fired over the past two and a half years who are criticizing Banikarim. They have all moved on quite successfully -- three have even been hired on by others to represent U.S. agencies at Cannes as part of their new jobs. I don't think any of them give a F--- about Gannett any more. That is a fact.
They have no insight or insider information into the complete chaos or smoke screens or mindless dictates created by Banikarim. That is a fact.
The bottom line is and remains that Maryam Banikarim and her team have accomplished NOTHING.
AND THAT IS A FACT.
Here's an edited version of 3:48's comment, with the words "yet another corporate shill trolling" eliminated.6/12/2012 11:05 AM If you're willing to stand by Maryam Banikarim and state she actually has accomplished something in one and a half years, then why not have the cajones to post your name with "Anonymous said..."
How can we be hurting any of the execs feelings with posts on here? they are always saying they ignore and never ever read this blog.
Go ahead and blame the past and present marketing department staff for posts about Banikarim. It doesn't change the truth that she flits about giving speeches, self - promoting interviews, party planning, booking speaking engagements, hiring countless consultants at ridiculous retainers and showing us nothing but a purposeless purpose wall after 15 months of cashing her big paychecks. Shoot the messengers all you like, the facts still stand true and firm about Banikarim.
who is it that she fired? Robin Pence? I'm thinking the new guy is an upgrade. At least he knows the business and doesn't torture his people. hello robin. welcome back to the gannett family. what you post doesn't take away from the reality of your track record with the department.
its nice to see so many of you concerned about her parenting skills. lets get this right -- either she isn't doing enough for gannett (you) or she isn't doing enough for her kids. what an enlightened lot we have her -- oh, the fired employees of gannett its a alumni club to be proud of for sure.
what exactly is banikarim in charge of? no one knows. guess her role isn't widely understood. she sure does make an easy target -- which take the attention off the real issues at hand or the real folks who don't deliver. why doesn't someone at least clarify what we think her job is...
We were millions below ad projections thru May maybe someone should provide her some goals beyond self promo and hiring fantasy consultants.
I saw Robin Pence recently. She is doing great. I doubt she would waste her time on this blog.Yo might not have liked her marketing efforts but she was a nice woman and not interested in looking back once she moved on. We should all take a lesson from her. Get a better job, move on, and leave it all behind.
I am 3:21. I made clear I'n no fan ot this person. In fact, she's just another embarrassment. My point was to remind people that we are, after all, talking about people. When they're dehumanized, you strip yourself of the quality. Rip down the policies. Leave some clueless schlep alone. It's not the person. It's the Gannett mindset in a swan dive.
Who cares about the new Editor in Indy? How is he gonna save the day? That place is quickly going down in flames.
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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