An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
What are some local, independent online-only newspaper sites that have competed successfully against Gannett papers online? Looking for ones that are reporting serious news, not slanted to some group or cause.
Looking forward to Gracia and Maryam cutting the ribbon for the purpose wall. You just can't make this stuff up.
Tim Regan are you getting Roxanne's job? Heard if you did you would shut down this site. Nice work if you can get it.
success breeds success. and bitterness breeds bitterness. that's whats sad about this site. its inaccurate about lots of things (what's new) and its filled with bitter folks who cant seem to move on. if you hate it so much get a life and move on. otherwise stick around and fight for your future. bitching anonymously is so weak. sure says a lot about the GCI culture (or at least the culture of the fired GCI folks). sure is easy to throw stones when you do it in the dark. Courage man that's what's in short supply. Have the guts to speak your mind when people can see you (wow what a concept).
Says the "Anonymous" poster... Lol
what are LK's plans for the newsroom. For sure the forloughs of 2Q at USAT wont have been enough. Didn't Susie (and Dave) have lots of layoffs planned for the USAT newsroom... wonder where those are now?
Theyre coming, but from the top first.
who can talk to the USAT sales meetings in Tysons last week?
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
6:02, I noticed you are anonymous, too.But 5:54 is correct. It's one thing to call out the people here who post anonymously. But if you are going to rip someone by name, have the guts to use YOUR name. Otherwise, go away.
Here's an edited version of 6:05's comment:For the second time in six months a medical provider has been told I do not have health insurance. I had to call United health where a rep told me I had coverage and the non-coverage letter was sent in error, again. She said it was caused by a "glitch in the system," but eventually admitted she has only seen that glitch with Gannett.Can't this company and these HR idiots do anything right? I'd bet Craig Dubow didn't have these problems when he had his career-ending back surgery, but I guess GCI doesn't really care about employees anyway.
New Orleans cutting 1/3rd of staff:http://ca.news.yahoo.com/orleans-newspaper-cuts-one-third-staff-204157250.html
5:50 nobody can shut down this site. It's owned by Google. Gannett is a First Amendment company. Can you imagine if it did: every single journalist, journalism school, journalism blogs, newspapers, TV stations, etc would cover it. Gannett, one of the biggest media companies in the world, no longer supports the First Amendment.Never Going to Happen.
The Times Picayune is cutting a third overall, but half of the newsroom.
WEST HARRISON — Some of the land where Life Time Fitness wants to build a $40 million complex is mildly contaminated with arsenic, lead, chromium and other pollutants.A landfill disturbance draft plan submitted to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for Life Time Fitness describes the contaminants on the 22.6-acre property and how that material will be managed during the health club’s construction.Conditions at 1 Gannett Drive, where The Journal News has its offices and former printing plant, include concrete contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCB, a carcinogenic substance whose manufacture in the United States stopped in 1977. The Journal News complex was built in 1972.Lori Severino, a DEC spokeswoman, said the agency has approved the developer’s final landfill disturbance plan and she described the contamination levels as generally low.“There are a few areas of medium (contamination) and these areas have been proposed to be moved off the site. The areas where the numbers are so low and not required to be moved from the site will still be non-exposed areas, as they would be covered by concrete, soil or the building itself,” Severino wrote in an email.Severino wrote that the building’s concrete might have been contaminated by PCBs from machinery or oils, adding that PCBs are not a problem at the site. Testing found no contaminated groundwater.“Basically, there is fill material located on the property that doesn’t meet certain state standards, and we’re required to move that fill in accordance with the plan the NY DEC approved,” said Karen Jayne Leinberger, a Life Time Fitness spokeswoman.Much of the contaminated landfill consists of construction debris, household waste and sand. It will be covered by the 209,000-square-foot fitness center or by the property’s existing parking lots, according to the May 4 draft report.The Journal News obtained the draft report using the state’s Freedom of Information Law after Life Time Fitness’ attorneys declined to release a copy.There will be extensive earthwork to accommodate the proposed improvements, as well as the construction of stormwater retention basins and underground collection systems.Children’s areas proposed for Life Time Fitness will get special attention, though no excessive levels of contaminants were found in the proposed play areas. If contaminants are found in these areas, they will be dug up and disposed off-site.The Journal News expects to move from 1 Gannett Drive to 1133 Westchester Ave. in White Plains after Labor Day.
To 5:56I will speaking at the sales meeting and bringing up some very important topics, one of which is going after more commercial printing. We are going to hit it hard, We will hire at least 20 sales people to beat the bushes to get some work in the mid-west region alone. That is all I can say at this time. Also understand Mr. Buffet is looking at a few GCI sites, here's hoping
Regarding the arsenic, lead, chromium and other pollutants at the Journal News in White Plains, I am not surprised at all.As a former pressman there, chemicals were not disposed of properly ( especialli in the 70's and early 80's). I know as a fact that items were poured in the lower lot parking area where there is a small steam. Over the years, there have been a number of cancer cases there. Law Enforcement and other agencies ought to investigate and speak to past workers; things were not dispose of propertly.
7:50 what's your point? Were you congratulating TJN for it's transparency?
It's not just New Orleans losing jobs. http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/big-staff-reductions-imposed-at-papers-in-new-orleans-and-alabama/Print fewer papers, make less money, pay fewer people.
5:54 PM--Is that why you chose to speak to us as Anonymous said...
Maryam Banikarim is not without accomplishments.For most of its history, Gannett had no overall marketing effort at all. None. (Robin Pence was mostly a corporate spokesperson). Maryam has stepped in and tried to give Gannett a media identity which, beyond USA TODAY and an image as owning "a bunch of small-market papers" was non-existent.So things like "Purpose Projects" are attenpting to fill a gap that never existed before. You may not like her approach, or the result, but the company's brand is virtually unknown to most people. Gannett? What's that? Something had to be done.As for USA TODAY, marketing there had fallen into a black hole after a series of marketing chiefs who mainly tried to give ad salespeople the needed data to make sales. USA TODAY cut back on marketing when things collapsed in the 2000s, and there hadn't been a substantial market survey in years. Almost all the data on hand was hopelessly out of date and the marketers left struggled to go digital and do events.So again, you can argue with the methods and results, but Maryam and Micek have tried to rebuild USA TODAY's marketing department.Maryam also is now trying to bring USA TODAY's ad effort into line with 2012.She may not be to everyone's liking; her efforts may come across as self-serving; she may fail. But she is for sure no a do-nothing exec.Just saying all this for a modicum of balance.
God help us if any of the "design studios" start picking wire stories.
It's truly sad to see how bitter and nasty this blog has become. It's not a source of information, it's just an opportunity for mudslinging and baseless gossip. This whole notion that a company doesn't need corporate leaders and that everyone at the top is useless is ridiculous. And if you all are so qualified to judge why don't you leave and find a job somewhere else. I did and I don't spend my days tearing down others. And btw when Robin Pence was at Gannett you ppl were merciless towards her. Now she's some sort of folk hero? Wtf?
I have no idea who these ex-marketing people are of whom you speak. I used to be in marketing at Gannett. If you've been gone 18 months or longer, it's all foreign turf now.Pre-2008 we had meetings on mission statements in the various groups. We had trouble honing in because there were so many noble PURPOSES we were engaged in, it was hard to reign them into a single statement. Educate, inform, serve our communities, defend the first amendment, carry out our fourth estate checks-and-balances role .... Now that Dubow and Bob Dickey and Hunke have thrown out all purpose in favor of Make obscene profit, assuage Wall Street and survive until retirement, the marketers are left to invent purpose, reality-TV style.The marketers didn't create the problem, however. The execs that threw all the news leaders out and put only advertising people in lead roles .... They were the soul-stealers.I will just toss out, as a marketing professional, that the majority of anti-Banikarim posts have some marketing-speak embedded, so the person who keeps posting about this is probably onto something ..... The most bitter complainers sound like marketersThat's all I wanted to say. Carry on with the bitterness..
Congratulations to the Murrow Award winners who achieved excellence despite all executive attempts to suppress excellence.
9:32 is obvious someone who works with Banikarim. Sounds like maybe even Micek herself.I'm sure Banikarim has tried to use her marketing tool kit here at Gannett to the best of her abilities. Problem is her style and approach have turned off a lot of people, including the executive team.As a leader she has failed to get followers of her vision. She has very little ability to relate to the team within or outside of her department.Being smart is not enough. Maryam is in over her head. Martore wouldn't know any better because she never had a CMO and marketing is a grey area for our CEO.
Previous USAToday marketing people largely supported ad sales because that's their job....to help drive revenue.Current USA Today marketing is spending gobs of money on new ad campaigns and other non-sensical efforts that will not produce a nickel of revenue.
yes congrats Murrow winners!!!!!!!!
12:44, you are right about being nasty and bitter. BUT, they do have a right to be nasty and bitter. They see day in and day out what a shambles this company has become and can do nothing to stop this train wreck. And leaders - it's not that anyone thinks a company does not need leaders, it's just that the leaders of Gannett are showing the world just how incompetent they are by the stupid decisions they are making all the way to the bank. Am I qualified to judge? Yes and I did leave (not because I wanted to) and find a job elsewhere. Am I happy? Yes, I like my job very much but I loved my job of 29 years at the newspaper and my co-workers who were like family. The bitterness I feel is not from the paper I left but the corporation that tossed me aside. Smart business decision? What resulted was loss of insitutional knowledge, news pages that are no longer edited and proofed (laughter out in the community about all the typos in the paper is thunderous) and fewer resources to cover the news - just pull a wire story! It is a downward spiral that those of us who love what we do (or did) can only watch in horror as we are sent packing or try to find something else before we are.
Does Maryam Banikarim fit the post for a Chief Marketing Officer?The Chief Marketing Officer has primary or shared responsibility for areas such as sales management, product development, distribution channel management, marketing communications (including advertising and promotions), pricing, market research, and customer service, CMOs are faced with a diverse range of specialized disciplines in which they are required to be knowledgeable. This challenge is compounded by the fact that the day-to-day activities of these functions, which range from the highly analytical (e.g. – pricing and market research) to highly creative (advertising and promotions), are carried out by subordinates possessing learning and cognitive styles to which the CMO must adapt his or her own leadership style. Beyond the challenges of leading their own subordinates, the CMO is invariably reliant upon resources beyond their direct control. That is to say, the priorities and/or resources of functional areas not reporting to marketing such as production, information technology, advertising, product development, corporate communications and public affairs, legal, human resources and finance have a direct impact on the achievement of marketing objectives. Consequently, more than any other senior executive, the CMO must influence peers in order to achieve their own goals. Clearly, this necessity to lead peers compounds the complexity of challenges faced by the CMO.Ultimately, the CMO is responsible for facilitating growth, sales and marketing strategy. He or she must work towards objectives such as revenue generation, cost reduction, or risk mitigation. The unpredictable impact of marketing efforts, coupled with the need to drive profits, often leads to a short tenure for most CMOs. Forbes reported that the average CMO tenure in 2008 was just over 28 months.
Congrats to the Murrow winners!Too bad this does not promise job security.As in past precedence,this means nothing to corporate.They could be gone tomorrow just like anyone else!
Why does Gannett need a brand identity? People in each community don't give a crap about Gannett - in fact, many despise the company. They want their local paper, and they want it the way it was before DuBow and his band of merry men stripped it down, fired all the writers and editors and whored it out to the advertisers.No one is going to choose to get their news from a particular source because it's owned by Gannett. Ironically, the Gannett name drives many people away.
The branding campaign was designed as a marketing tool. Well intentioned, but executed poorly. If you dont produce a quality product that people want to buy, or provide value, any campaign is pointless. Whats lacking at this compqny isnt a defined purpose, but common sense. Invest in the product and your valued people. Choose them based on tslent, not some diversity matrix.mwhen you make a mistake, change the dynamic quickly. Weve lost sight of that.
@9:24 is so correct. Gannett and USA Today can be a brand and have brand identity and that is something corporate could do. But Gannett is not a brand or at the very least a despised brand out there at the local level. They should have left the communities alone and just sold them services and collected a reasonable profit. But because at the time the local communities were laying golden eggs they went out and destroyed the geese. Now they are trying to create an integrated product at the local level people are not buying it. It was a bad play that continues to get worse. Hopefully a few local papers will get sold off and re-brand themselves to their own communities for both web and print.
I wouldn't want to be at Westchester now especially with all thoses toxic items in the ground.I $mell LAWSUIT.
Regarding pollution at the Journal News site ... it would be extremely interesting if there were a way to gather the records for other Gannett sites to see how common this is. Journal News apparently had cancer cases after illegal dumping (according to 8:13, a former pressman)Cherry Hill, which also has a printing press, has had illnesses and birth defects. Anywhere else?
8:49 how come no one ever chastizes the former marketing crew for getting us into this situation in the first place? Other than plan boobdoggles to France what on earth did that crew accomplish in the last five years?
5:50 he never actually said that. But once again why let the truth get in the way.
7:37 I have to laugh. What revenue did the previous group drive? USAT has been going straight down hill for years The only thing that crew drove were Beemers!
Marketing has been absolutley dreadful at USAT for the last 10 years. The current crew is only keeping that trend going.
The Journal News expects to move from 1 Gannett Drive to 1133 Westchester Ave. in White Plains after Labor Day
I always worried more about the toxic environment in the office rather than what was lurking beneath it.
Toxicity is the degree to which a substance can damage an organism. Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as an animal, bacterium, or plant, as well as the effect on a substructure of the organism, such as a cell (cytotoxicity) or an organ such as the liver (hepatotoxicity). By extension, the word may be metaphorically used to describe toxic effects on larger and more complex groups, such as the family unit or society at large. A central concept of toxicology is that effects are dose-dependent; even water can lead to water intoxication when taken in too many doses, whereas for even a very toxic substance such as snake venom there is a dose below which there is no detectable toxic effect. Toxicity is species-specific, lending cross-species analysis problematic. Newer paradigms and metrics are evolving to bypass animal testing, while maintaining the concept of toxicity endpoints. 
About the former marketers: Moon and Hunke cut funding for audience and readership surveys for years, so much so that there was astonishment recently that we had no idea anymore who was reading USA Today. Nor were we able to tell clients.It has been starting from square one when we could have been telling a continuing storyline.
Why the sudden attacks on people who choose to post anonymously? Many people post anonymously to prevent retaliation which Gannett carries out any chance they get. nothing is gained or lost by posting anonymously. In fact years ago my site used to ask for ways to improve the paper by having a suggestion box where you could remain anonymous. The only problem was as soon as a suggestion was made they would try to figure out who suggested it so they could retaliate or tell them their suggestion was stupid and not to do it again. Gannett should be monitoring this blog but not to defend itself instead they should be learning how their decisions have affected company morale.
The Purpose Wall is unveiled today!
USA Today marketing should support ad sales.No other purpose is needed if you can't help drive revenue.
Someone take video of the Purpose Wall ceremony so those of us in the field can have a good laugh.Jim, I hope you are all over this!
12:37, many anonymous people are simply cowards who attack supervisors or editors. That's the reason for the criticism.I'm sure that someone will now point out this post is anonymous. But I am not attacking anyone by name. Big difference, and one that people here (including Jim) should start trying to figure out.
I cannot imagine Martore would greenlight a single marketing dollar without an ROI to show how it will help drive revenue.Otherwise it's all snake oil.
I'm curious to know how the Lansing State Journal is doing one month+ into its paywall. It's competing against the all-free MLive, which is run by the Booth Newspaper Group. Booth prints several papers in Michigan, but in the Lansing market it only operates an online product. Even so, MLive Lansing seems to be eating the LSJ's lunch when it comes to coverage of the state capitol, and MLive appears to be gaining ground in local police and city government coverage. Anyone have stats or anecdotal information that indicate how it's all playing out?
Re:12:37pm and directed to 12:58 Why then, is/was there a surveillance camera pointed at the suggestion box at our site????
Really. You are afraid to stand up and fight for what you believe in cause you worry about retaliation? Says a lot about how much you believe in what you are saying doesn't it. It's easy to stand on the side lines and bitch and moan. Particularly if you do it in the shadows. It's easy to be bitter and just blame others, isn't it.... God forbid you actually have the courage of your convictions.
Maryam? Go back to your lunch with Charlie Sheen in Cali.By the way, your purpose wall looks like something from a laundromat.
It must be hard for all those folks who were "asked to leave" to get another job if they're spending there time here looking backwards. A little bit of self awareness might point out that the reason you didn't make it ... is actually because you couldn't do the job and all you did was blame others (like you are doing now). Move on man. You can still right your path. Of course it's always easier to look to others for the cause of your unhappiness
1:10 p.m. If you think Lansing's lunch is being eaten by MLive, you're not paying attention. MLive has two -- count 'em, TWO -- people in their Lansing bureau, which is not staffed at night or weekends. Lansing's new digital team alone is routinely kicking MLive's butt on everything from breaking crime news to good news coverage in town. Plus, MLive doesn't cover the out-towns -- no coverage of suburbs at all. School coverage? You're not going to find it there. And local enterprise? It's non-existent at MLive. So don't you worry your bitter little head. Lansing is doing just fine.
1:50, many of the people here couldn't do the job. That's what they refuse to admit.They relied on the product becoming dumber. They embraced the changes Gannett proposed. Then, when those failed, they try to pretend they were not behind the changes.That's why you see a lot of weak posts about "morale." Either they can't or won't discuss the specifics. They know they would lose.
1:45, I did have the courage of my convictions, but found myself unemployed 2 months after being one of 3 top-performing, revenue-producing managers in the company, out of a field of 30+, so don't talk about what you don't know about.
1:56, I would love to discuss the "specifics", but you wouldn't believe it if you heard it. By the way, I'm 2:00.
yes i'm sure you are right. you were generating revenue in a company experiencing revenue declines and they "let you go." last i checked in that environment companies even "kept" sexual offenders. so lets get this straight u want us to believe -- you were a "rainmaker" and they cut you lose? dont bother answering that... its retorical. guess no one ever questions BS in the dark
come out in the "light." if you are a current employee and you care - then stand up and fight for what you believe in. self-determination goes a long way. or just be another bitter person throwing rocks from the side cause that works out, doesn't it?
Like I said, 2:06, you wouldn't believe it if you heard it. You just keep right on loving this wonderful, employee-centric company, and see where it gets you. Oh, I'd place a bet on that one!
Maryam Banikarim's twitter feed references social media being the worst enemy. Ironic given this blog (social media) has become her worst enemy.
Just once I would like for the person calling everyone else out on this blog would practice what he preaches and have the stones to stop hiding behind an anonymous moniker.Use specifics, right?
Once more, 2:54, with feeling:You use anonymity to rip supervisors and editors, likely because you are too scared to do it any other way.We use anonymity to rip you. See the difference?
"but you wouldn't believe it if you heard it."Haha! That's a great way to chicken out.Man up, boy. Don't throw out pathetic excuses.
You know how on Fox News, the hosts of different shows sometimes use the same buzz words, as though they have all been told by the higher ups? It was 'deficit' for a while, then "job creators', etc. There has been an inordinate use of the word 'bitter' on this blog by those challenging criticism of Gannett. Coincidental?
3:10, your anonymous arrogance has gotten the best of you in this case, because I'm not ripping supervisors and editors (nor have I in any post here). I'm only ripping on you.
Anon@110: Booth Newspapers changed its corporate name to MLive Media Group late last year.MLive.com competes with Gannett in Detroit and today has a damn good article on why the Motor City stands out when it comes to justifiable homicide.
While I don't work at Gannett any longer I often wonder if a man would get as much "hate" on this site as you seem to have for Marym. Isn't part of her job to get the company (that no one knows or basically has written off) visibility? There are lots of other execs at the company -- i dont see anyone picking on the men or better yet, the men's parenting skills.
The new PR guy is great. Head and shoulders above that pearl wearing Robin. Folks called me about him when that broke -- he's known for being real. Skill and a good reputation.
3:14 - Don't assume I'm a "boy". I'm very much a girl and I think the management at the top is out of touch and in it for themselves. There is no regard for your employees.
Believe me, the boys are just as hated as the girls. Hunke, Dickey,Rudd Davis, most senior editors at UsaToday, the list goes on and on.there is equal opportunity digust. But memos and actions by Gracia, Susie, Heather and Maryam invite special digust because they are tone deaf and out of touch with employees.How do you rectify furloughs and layoffs when you are wasing millions on Cannes, consultants and questionable hires? You dont. how do purpose walls define a company that forces its workers to reapply for their jobs? They cant.And how does a company keep bloating its management ranks when its shedding the people responsible for creating and producing its core product?Find a purpose in any of this and I'm all in. If not, please stop this silly insanity and nut house mentality.
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."
Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.
Subscribe in a reader