An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
There was a post on the last thread about "stealth layoffs" coming this month.Is this a site specific comment or corporate wide?Anyone else with information to pass along.
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If you layout the newspaper and have converted to Newsgate, please write about the change and how it impacted you. This is not editorial layout, this would be laying out the ads to create section page count prior to editorial building.
Interesting differences. USA Today story on LPGA's US Open Saturday round talked of wind gusts of 30 miles per hour. AP story talked about winds of up to 20 miles per hour on Saturday. National Weather Service records indicated top gusts of 24 miles per hour on Saturday.
Kate Marymont a kickass editor? Please tell us when?
Really. Perhaps in the same alternate universe as Washburn.
If you go to the Cincinnati Enquirer's website, Cincinnati.com, and click on a story to read it, the "back" button never works. Finally, the reader is trained to click the "cincinnati.com" button again on the menu bar, which brings you back to the home page. This never happens when I read other news media websites. Could it be that the enquirer is doing that to raise its click count for advertisers?
USA Today choosing to use three paragraphs from a NY Times story citing the “burden” middle class taxpayers will have to pay should tax rates return to pre-Bush levels in its story today (http://tinyurl.com/6t28tmy), instead of citing Obama saying three years ago that he wouldn’t raise taxes at all - including specifically on higher earners, during a poor economy and providing an answer to what’s different now, unfortunately says much.USAT can’t cover it alone. It too feels paying taxes is a burden. And more importantly, if readers want to know why Obama is seeking to raise taxes on top of already new taxes coming via the Affordable Care Act for high earners despite an economy that is arguably getting worse, they’ll have to go somewhere else to learn the answer.Frankly, the internet and the economy isn’t Gannett’s sole problem as too often it’s itself.
@11:04 – It’s been like that for months which suggests it’s by design, perhaps to make up for lost traffic when the Enquirer switched to Facebook commenting authentication.
Rumor big changes coming for Lafayette, La. Yes?
Great story in NYTimes today on newspapers."The global pension plan at Gannett, which owns 82 daily papers, is underfunded by $942 million, and McClatchy, which owns 30 dailies, is short $383 million, according to Mr. Simonton, even though both companies have been pouring tens of millions in precious cash into the plans to shore them up. Many United States companies have onerous pension obligations, but the decline in revenue gives newspapers a tougher hill to climb. The employees who earn those pensions are quick to point out that management in many of the companies still found money for ill-advised stock buybacks, along with lucrative dividends and executive compensation, neither of which was supported by results. Journalists who are constantly being asked to do more with less wonder why the owners didn’t invest to meet the coming threat and to add the funds to honor commitments to employees back when they were making great gobs of money. "http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/09/business/media/newspapers-are-running-out-of-time-to-adapt-to-digital-future.html?src=daypIf you are gone and have money in GCI pension, get it out.
"@3:49 p.m., yes, there will be several stealth layoffs happening this month as the sites move to the Des Moines hub. I've heard copy desks in Green Bay and Oshkosh will get the axe. Not sure of other Wisconsin sites."Not to pick a nit, but the rollout of the design hubs and subsequent loss of personnel at the individual papers has been known for a long time. Really not sure it qualifies as "stealth layoffs"
11:39 Please note the questions I raised about the NYT's figures.
8:44 a.m. I think they're "laying off" copy editors at some Wisconsin papers when they go to the Design Center at Des Moines.
7/06/2012 4:33 PM -- I so agree with you. This video interview with Ms. Banikarim is an embarrassment to the company.What is most stunning is given the controversial nature of USA Today's excessive sponsorship of this France indulgence, Ms. Banikarim sought out any media she could once again to put herself forth in her quest for self-promotion. One would think common sense would be paramount to her to keep a low profile and let this sponsorship conclude quietly.Ms. Banikarim obviously lacks common sense, decorum and professionalism in favor of her own shameless self promotion.
Would a new Facebook job search feature hurt Gannett-controlled CareerBuilder and other employment sites?
Does anyone have any info on whether or not the redesigns popping up via the Hubs were ever run though Focus Groups before implementation?Here's why I ask:The design at my former newsletter...er, paper...has changed radically since going to the Hub. I see 1-story fronts (wtf, how's that for rack sales?), lots of loud color that is garish, and everything looks like it was thrown up on a wall, with odd-shaped 1A adscapes. The kinds of things that would have gotten me thrown out of design class decades ago. (I know, things change.) But as someone pointed out a few days ago, change for the sake of change is a bad business idea.The main point I want to make: newspaper's core readers are the 45-70 year olds. Can anyone point me to a survey that said that group actually likes the new design? Because EVERYONE I talk to, even those younger than that, tells me the product looks like crap. (Well, they didn't say crap; they said something else with four letters.)Seems to me that Gannett is accelerating their efforts to run off their best customers.
Chillicothe and Lancaster (Ohio) Gannett newspapers to raise subscription rates, roll out pay meter, starting Aug. 1.Here is Chillicothe's column: http://www.chillicothegazette.com/article/20120709/NEWS01/207080304/Gazette-introducing-new-Full-Access-subscription-model?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage
12:18 I'd like to see a JPEG of one of those fronts.
Jim, just search the Nauseum on a daily basis for any of the smaller papers coming out of Des Moines or Nashville's hubs. It's well-known that the hub designers skew their time towards the larger papers; the smaller ones get the short shrift.
"Letting a sponsorship conclude silently" is insane. If you've committed the money, you should milk it for all its worth. That's the responsible thing to do.
There was a note in the previous comment thread about a posting for a sportswriter job in Louisville -- that's because the Courier-Journal's football/basketball recruiting reporter is leaving for an online sports site. This is another big blow to that sports dept., coming after losing both its daily columnists, Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford.
Jim, if you can check out the last week's Arizona Republic fronts, you'll see what 12:18 is writing about. Large pictures, single-story. Sunday paper-type features. Not every day, of course. But noticeable if you pay attention to such things.Speaking of The Republic: THREE sections on Sunday, July 8. THREE! I don't care if it is the weekend after Armageddon. Three sections in a Sunday paper with a supposed circ over 400,000 ought to be a firing offense.
All the job cuts have only hurt the communities they serviced. Gannett's policy has been that they only answer to the shareholders therefore customers, and employees are expendable. That bad attitude that permeates from the top is the reason this company has continued to be in decline. They can't just blame it on a weak economy forever. Sure the board is rich and getting richer but the other 99% of Gannett employees and former employees deserve better.
Looks like the Courier-Post "managing editor," Leon Tucker, is going to get back into social media after a well-deserved, two-month break to do ... um ... something, I suppose.'Leon Tucker, Managing Editor, Courier-Post' Facebook pageSure must be nice to hold everyone else to expectations that you don't hold yourself to.
FORE! Did Ron Burgundy WHACK anybody else today while he was on the golf course?
Yea good ole Ron just whacked off his own d.,k stupid is as stupid does. But wait his trusty sidekick will save the day! Oh but then you would have to give a shit.
Another vp hiring at Usa Today. Banikarim scores again!
Mansfield News Journal is going to a paywall, or "introducing 'full access' subscription' as the paper puts it. (http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/article/20120709/NEWS01/120708001/NJ-introducing-full-access-subscription?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage)Saying "MansfieldNewsJournal.com continues to strengthen in its immediacy and volume of coverage."What the fuck are these people talking about? It's been at least five years since anyone could say with a straight face that Gannett has invested in anything except outsourcing. This is certainly no secret to even the most casual reader of the MNJ.Since 2003, the paper had declined from a four-section regional news source to a pamphlet. What's left of the local and state section is now page A3. Nobody -- and I mean -- NOBODY -- thinks Mansfield is "investing" in anything.Ten years ago when I started at the NJ, we got our first website. We also had separate sections for Sports, Lifestyles and Business (Hell, we had a business editor and a business department), as well as in-depth Closer Looks on Sunday. AND the website was updated with new content throughout the day. So there was a better argument to be made that the content was worth the cost of admission. Now they are going to charge for what's left? Three years. At the outside, and this company will be in bankruptcy. And yes they will default on pension obligations, which should have been funded long before giving millions to corporate buffoons. Everyone at Gannett corporate should really be put in jail. What was once a great company has been left hostage to outright incompetence and fraud.
Design hub for Fort Myers misspelled the name of the photo editor on a caption credit the other day. (The fact that the photo editor is on assignment ought to say something about the state of affairs in Fort Myers).Though the new publisher just got back from her second European Vacation of the year -- she was also out during the big layoff announcement. Though she does swing through the newsroom to yell at staff when she doesn't like a photo of herself in the paper.
@10:01 a.m.At the site I work for layout of the paper was done by the same person for 15 years, when the site went to the design center, layout of the paper was moved to another site, which is a nightmare...It's like trying to make a call center in India understand your problem.
At one party this weekend, people complained that several features weren't current but were from some day in the past. The Sunday crossword, the daily television grid, the stocks listing, the weather map, the comics. I explained that people in another state are grabbing the wrong image, and it's not being caught. (sigh)
4:08: Why would the Design Hub be spelling the Fort Myers' photo editor's name on anything?Local stories and cutlines are supposed to be handled at the local level, with the hubs and wire people at the hubs handling all the wire stuff.Sounds like someone at Fort Myers may have screwed up the spelling and is trying to pawn off the blame on the people who shouldn't have had anything to do with it in the first place.
I thought I would offer a different perspective to those "trying to get out of Gannett."There have been posters over the past several years championing themselves as successes for finding better employment outside of Gannett. I left Gannett on my own accord earlier this year. I took a pay cut in the short term, with expectations that the long term opportunities would pay off. That job was a disaster for a number of reasons, but during my 3rd week of employment I was already nostalgic for Gannett. I was able to move on to another company a few weeks later: a great company, great team, awesome product. Finally: I could be one of the ones to post that "There is life after Gannett."Unfortunately, I've learned a lot about my own weaknesses in the past few months -- not the least of which is that while I work for an awesome *company*, the *role* I'm in is ill-suited for my skill set. And I'm failing. Hard. As in, looking at likely foreclosure failure.What is my point? I still read this blog from time to time to see if I made the right choice. Its became increasing clear that I did not. I jumped out of frustration hoping to land on my feet; instead, my family is about to suffer for my stupidity.Gannett was never a place I could retire from -- too many years of working in front of me to achieve that. Still, my advice to everyone is this: be sure that when you jump, you jump for the the right fit. Don't take the first thing that comes along like I did. The right job is out there for you. Maybe you'll be a part of Gannett long term; maybe you'll leave next moth. Just be sure you know what you're getting yourself, and your family, into. Because right now I'd give almost anything to have the stability of my Gannett job back. And who'd ever thought that the word "stability" and a newspaper company would be in the same sentence, yet here I am.
Last thread had post regarding bob Collins peeps hidlay and lafferty failure without the big guy. Someone then mentioned mark frisby. Googled him and came up with this http://willdo.pwblogs.com/tag/mark-frisby/
Frisby is out of the philly inquirer apparently due, in part, to health issues.
The folks on this blog sometimes forget life isn't peachy in many companies trying to get ahead of the decline. Not everyone has Warren Buffett to buy their paper and basically say we'll hang in there on the current model. Gannett has its corporate idiosyncrasies, but walk a day in another company. Go to Media General or just name your flavor. They are all trying to figure the REAL equation.What do we do about cheaper advertising options available in a series of online companies where we are cut out. We get the local guy, but it takes more local guys than we can service to make up for losses from the bigger buys. Even some local verticals are headed to the target buying we can't offer - well we can't offer in scale. Plus, the local guys are finding online to be a sexy, cheaper alternative - spending less overall to get some decent results. Print cliff is coming. We can move it out into the future, but our sales forces will not be able to compete with the agency direct buys that are coming down the pike. Our dominance as the marketplace agent/negotiator for revenue dollars are dwindling. Five years, maybe.USAT has to rethink relationship with readers and stop the page view game for low dollar CPM. Relationships will help sustain some buys for a while, but the results will not be what some online companies like Google and Yahoo will truly be able to deliver.We are just noise in an advertiser's dream to be with Johnny wherever he goes on the Internet. Facebook, likely.
Wilmington's fronts in particular look like absolute shit these days after moving to the Hub. The design is incredibly blocky, obviously prefab modular, with two stories on average above the fold instead of the standard three. It's ugly, plain and simple.On the content side, typo after typo has been slipping past the slashed-down copy desk. Stories have had embarrassing mistakes that content editors just aren't catching. Some of them are clearly not even running spellcheck.Good stories end up as blog posts which are then recycled into print briefs. They're just foisting off days-old garbage on people and expecting them to like it.Readers are noticing, David. How you have any self-respect left, I have no idea.
Everyone please calm down. Deal Chicken will all be flying into Mclean next month for sales training. They will only get the most quality deals that Groupon and Livingsocial didnt get or ran already after Gannett expenses all of the sales reps travel from across the country for a few days.
Has the Blog reported the recent retirement of Mark Silverman? If so, I missed it. But he is gone.
Jim, I recommend to my managers that they do NOT use Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media in the recruiting process. For one thing, there is way too much info about things they have no need to know about. It also gives out information that could be used to bring a discriminatory hire claim since most people have photos of themselves and family, some have age, etc. It's hard to avoid this in our online world, but it's still a good practice. And if any prospective employer asks you for your password or asks you to log into your page for them. Run, do not walk, out the door. Or at least politely decline. Some states are actually banning the use of social media in hiring. I believe West Virginia just did. How this would impact CB, who knows. Doesn't matter where you post a job, within 24 hours, it's going to be reposted all over the place by the little bots that run around all the hiring sites.
11:34 a.m.: Do YOU know something that's about to happen in Lafayette, LA? If so, spill!!! I (we) haven't heard of anything about to go down. We've had enough changes this year.
No, think Ron Burgandy has removed almost all of the old guard and is now ready to wave his white flag of surrender. Never met a more clueless person in my life. All that comes out of his mouth is the same old thing time after time. All he had to say was that two positions were eliminated and holding up that tiny piece of paper with the restructuring on it no one could see — really Ron, I mean really. Couldn't it of been on a side show? May I say the word “clueless” again. And this man thinks he is a copy editor – PLEASE.
Could it be true? I heard that the once golden boy, three pres ring winner VP of new media in Wilmington was sacked yesterday.
11:04...I've noticed the same thing on Gannett Wisconsin sites, but few if any other sites. I've gotten frustrated to the point of naavigating away from Gannett and seeking my news on other sites because of their little games.
10:25 I reported that Silverman would be leaving this summer in a comment I posted on April 17.Has a memo now been issued about Silverman's retirement?
Wilmington - Correct, "old guard" is gone. Most if not all left of their own volition. Only Ledford remains in Wilmo and that's because Burgundy knows less about editorial than a high school yearbook editor. And Ledford has his head so far up the local social society butt, he's lot any hope of self respect.Wilmo has plummeted to the bottom of metro performers - "dead stinking last" is how the the Anchor Man said it and all that is left is this question, Is it EVERYBODY else Ron or is it YOU?
So Ron, who is going to now save the day when it comes to the DAS? You sacked the one person who had personal relationships with your dealers and national accounts? Think you and your side kick can pull this off? If you do, you are very delusional but that's ok cause you can do it all right? Aren't you the superman that will save the day? You can design, copy write and edit, right? How has that worked out for you so far? Word?
How much longer will gannett let Jackson miss be run into the ground. They are quickly reaching the point of no return.
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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