An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
9:11 last night.If you believe there is not a chance of more layoffs then you must not know the recent history of Gannett.
Two fires are causing major destruction -- the Waldo Canyon fire around Colorado Springs and the High Park fire near Fort Collins. The non-Gannett daily in Colorado Springs has wall-to-wall coverage and made its online "green edition" free for everyone. The Gannett daily in Fort Collins has not.
This will be the last year for Gannett as we know it. The end of this year will be heavily supported by campaign advertising and corporate's tap dancing that revenue is finally looking up. There's been no shortage of eliminating quality writers and editors, and continued circulation drops. Dickey's announcement of a whopping 12,000 paywall subscribes shows how out of touch managemnet is. The 12,000 at $200 per year falls way short of Diackey's compensation package alone and again shows Gannett's assumption that digital will save the day is wrong. And with new talks of layoffs in the second half of 2012 this year will again be the same old story. And all may come crashing down on management when Wall Street realizes they keep using the same old story, recycled plans, new V.P. hires, the next new best idea that didn't work before... And for all the new hires who replaced older, skilled journalists, sales people, editors and such, yes, the public sees the difference. It's Gannett management that doesn't.
1:57 PM yesterday...Wow. I thought that was only happening in Brevard. Don't know your exact situation but here the racks, local and USA, were taken off the street or handed to home delivery to service. HD did not want them. They still have a "deadline" to deliver by and the racks are secondary, if at all.None of that made sense. They keep stores that sell 3,4,5 a week but pull racks that sold double that at least. Then give remaining racks to people who could care less. Of course Brevard blamed it on corporate but only they know for sure. Can't keep numbers up if you eliminate sales spots.
You should share your concerns with Bob Campbell. He is the only one at that property that can take care of anything. Everyone else has given up. Talk to him and he can talk to Pete and your problems will be solved.
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Actually, @9 a.m., I've been clicking on all of Fort Collins' fire coverage since they started covering it, and don't see any paywall notices (just their non-fire news). Did you even bother clicking, or just jump to conclusions? There's been a big fire burning in Fort Collins for a few weeks now, and they've been covering it fantastically with stories, photos, videos. The Colorado Springs fire is more than a hundred miles away — makes sense that the "hometown paper" would own that one.
Excellent summary 9:12.Most Gannett employees that I know are aware that their time is short.It is a matter of when and not if.Some just wish it would be over right away rather that this long drawn out waiting and worrying.
New tactic in dealing with this blog by all the SVPs swarming over the Palace -- now openly laugh about postings, joke about amount of misinformation, second-guess who is posting, blame by name which angry fired employees are posting, discredit Jim with an anti-Gannett agenda.
Obviously, these people dont have enough to do.
Id be laughing about all their silly titles.
10:28 That Blasted Blog: always entertaining!At least some of them are reading me anyway.
One of the surefire signs that a company has top-notch management talent is the poaching away of that talent by other companies. Gannett publishers seem to have no value to headhunters, and their resumes and people skills apparently serve them poorly in job searches, other than Saridakis, Saleh and a few others with savvy. Publishers must be torn between finding a job with a future and sucking at the Gannett teat for as long as they can. Not too many execs can survive solely on following corporate orders to cut. Not too many execs would want such a career in the first place. That makes me wonder about the Gannett lot of publishers. If they are truly qualified, why do they stick around? They know that they will be running an increasingly shriveled enterprise. They know that Gannett can take only so many of them as VPs in Virginia. It would be truly refreshing to see a mid-career Gannett publisher announce that he/she is quitting and moving on to something with a future. As things stand, Gannett publishers come across as a hopeless bunch, doomed to carry out orders to downsize and unfit to find a better job.
Publishers face the same grim job picture that workers do - there are very few good jobs open in journalism, and they would have to take pay cuts to move into new fields. So they want to hold onto their six-figure salaries as long as possible, and they'll do what's necessary - cutting staff, raising circulation rates for a weaker product, etc. They are trapped by "golden handcuffs" - too pretty to give up, but confining nonetheless.
Publishers aren't journalists. A few were, but all are now generic business leaders whose skills should be transferable to other industries. Those who are truly good at running the show should have headhunters knocking regularly at their door. Those who aren't, well, are stuck at Gannett, and we're stuck with them.
Check out the Loeb awards!!!!
12:21 - The golden handcuffs aren't what they used to be. Publishers are probably in the best position to get out of the newspaper industry because they've had the experience of running a business. Business models are basically the same, it's just a matter of learning how to apply what you know to a new product.
Spot on, 12:21. It's also why employees have lost all respect for executive editors and publishers. They are well paid pawns. They are supposed to be in the truth-telling business, but instead lie through their teeth and destroy you. Not the people I would want in the trenches with me. Selfish human nature can be very ugly.
I just clicked on the Fort Collins fire coverage and instantly hit a paywall notice. It's the first time I have even been on the paper for four or five months. So yes, the paywall still seems to be active.
Leading or managing a business takes a few things, like vision, decision-making skills, communication skills etc., and the publishers and executive editors at Gannett are directed so much by the Crystal Palace they have either never developed those skills or have lost what they had. They are well-paid puppets, with few transferable skills.
Great description, 1:27! Do you work in Cherry Hill too?
12:21 and 12:43 and 1:12:"Business models are basically the same, it's just a matter of learning how to apply what you know to a new product." Not really. Businesses still prefer to hire someone who has experience in THEIR industry. So no matter how successful a publisher is, they will stay where they are. It isn't that easy to move to another field which is why headhunters are not beating down the doors of today's publishers.
Instead of asking for donations, you should redesign your blog. You could be making over 4 times the amount in ad revenue by changing your comments format instead of an open window, and following ad placement recommendations by Google Adsense.
I had long understood a certain "decorum" between executive and worker drone, so I accepted some of the shallow answers I would receive when deigning to ask them about some things. But this relies on personal character, and when I caught one in an absolute glassy-eyed lie, it was an insulting game changer for me. Respect went to zero.
Re: 2:40PM and others complaining about paywallsWith Gannett's single minded focus on profit and total lack of civic responsibility or an understanding of what journalism is supposed to mean for a community what do you expect with the paywall?We're lucky they aren't putting the paywall up for the first visit and raising paywall prices. I assure, having been on the inside in management meetings that when something like this happens, the first thought is "how can we monetize this event." That was certainly the case at the Arizona Republic when Gabby Giffords was shot in Tucson and last year when fires burned in eastern Arizona.
I'll say this. The Deal Chicken managers seem to know exactly what they are doing.
Jim,Do you still believe that Rudd was "volunteerily allowed to resign?". Just checking your reporter cred. I'm cool if that's what you believe. But it speaks volumes....
9;44 Yes that's been happening at all Gannett's local sites since they started Gannett Publishing Services.They decided single copy sales are part of the past and only digital is the future. Many single copy positions have been eliminated to cut cost. They have tried to maintain some resemblance of service by using outside contractors and home delivery drivers. The customers are noticing but the CEO is touting how GPS is cutting cost and saving the company money. Ha, Ha, Ha.
At my former paper every event was consumed by revenue ideas.If a school team went to state finals,it was never about how can we give the best coverage.It was always about:how can we make the most money!Well the revenue there went down with the coverage.Probably 50% as much coverage and more than that much down in ad revenue.
The Pointroll web site's main pages says- "PointRoll, a Gannett Company, has the tools brands and agencies need to engage consumers and execute digital ad campaigns that get results. Connecting consumers, creative and distribution channels, PointRoll "ads" value.""...tools brands and agencies need..."I'm not very smart but is this English?
question is - what are they doing???
12,000 paywall subs? Why are they cheering about that. Amounts to a few hundred per paper, right?
This just in, Gannett has outsourced brains... Vendor has yet to deliver.
News Corp splits . . . guess why. From WSJ via The Atlantic Wire:Publishing generates much lower profit margins than the company's TV and film operations, and faces stiff competition from online news outlets. Industrywide newspaper advertising has fallen about 50% in the past five years, estimates the Newspaper Association of America. While the Journal has added subscribers, and has protected its content behind a paywall, the new standalone publishing company will confront deep challenges.The entertainment side's overall profit margin will be higher without publishing. Its stock market valuation is expected to rise above that of News Corp.'s current valuation, analysts say, as the publishing assets are seen as a drag on the stock.So . . . WHO'S NEXT?
6/27/2012 11:45AM, He's just amazing, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, run multiple presses single hand, fix web breaks with his mind, able to lay off staff to keep his ass employed. He's Super Press Man.
Layoffs are coming very soon everywhere but there is one for sure I know of. We already know they are coming to Detroit and I hear it is going to lose at least 10 - yes 10 reporters and have their layout department transferred to one of those constantly broken-down hubs very soon, well after a short fight with the union there. My guess is all but one of their artists will be left behind. They will also lose about half of their photog dept. thanks to the their recent transfer to community papers. Feel sorry for those guys, but Detroit HAD to see this one coming. Wouldn't be surprised to actually see them just go online only, which I also hear is on the table. A lot of big departures there I hear recently, too. Haven't heard anything about the other paper there.
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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