Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Aug. 13-19 | Your News & Comments: Part 3

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)


  1. 31 days and counting until USA Today feels our pain.

  2. (re-post from late Tuesday)


    Of interest today for "seasoned" Gannetteers, still under the old pension rules --

    A “dusty and dirty” steelworker inspired Sen. Al Franken to join legislators in seeking more protections for workers and retirees when their employers seek Chapter 11 protection ..

    Why should Gannetteers care?

    Hmm .. ever think GM would go bankrupt? (Which, BTW, GM did as a "controlled bankruptcy." And GM still owes taxpayers $40 billion -- good grief!)

    IMHO -- this could be bi-partisan. This is about fairness and reason. In any Chapter 11 (or Ch. 7), wages are priority claims.

    It may result in hard conversations about the financial health of pension funds, including Gannett's. Well, better now than as a "surprise" later -- just ask the Delphi salaried retirees who are now suing the "new GM."

  3. From Cinci's website: "Cincinnati Enquirer editor Carolyn Washburn discusses the Enquirer's roll [sic] and a multitude of projects, such as Protect Your Vote, that impact the all [sic] our lives and bring context and new ideas to the table."

    That's what comes from sacking web editors like Ronald Liebau and replacing them on the cheap. You can use the savings to pay big salaries to cronies and to build yourself a throne room, but you'll find readers expecting better for their paywall money.

    Helluva job you're doing in your "roll" as editor, Carolyn.

  4. ????

    "31 days and counting until USA Today feels our pain."

    And miss-out on the Xmas shopping season?

    Think. Really. Good luck.

  5. Charles Everett8/15/2012 10:37 AM

    On Monday, the day after the Olympics ended, Gannett ran a full-page house ad in USA Today to congratulate NBC for scoring big ratings with the Olympics. Gannett owns a bunch of NBC stations and it was certain to not mention the Soviet-style coverage NBC produced for Americans:

    (1) Opening ceremony not streamed live

    (2) Opening ceremony telecast delayed, chopped up with ad breaks, edited for political purposes

    (3) Big events not shown in the US until late at night

    (4) Not showing the men's 100-meter dash live (NBC was the only one who acted that way)

    (5) Posting a women's sports video that was denounced as softcore porn (and subsequently taken down)

    (6) Closing ceremony telecast delayed, chopped up with ad breaks, edited to remove certain bands

    Not to mention NBC telling Twitter to ban a reporter who called out NBC.

    1. Heh Charlie 10:37, I LOVED the coverage. Loved knowing who won and then watching. You sound like you're angry that CBS cancelled Gunsmoke. Get a grip

  6. There have been so many grammatical and typo errors on SO many websites recently, that some of the stories are actually hard to understand at this point!! And to think, in the "old" days, we would be upset with a typo or two in the daily edition, and someone's job could be lost for missing "errors" prior to print!

    Oh yea, and got my notice from the publisher this week that the pay wall goes into effect in september. Looks like it's time to finally cancel my subscription!!

  7. We do not want to see those most responsible for laying off our friends at any USAT anniversary parties or functions.

  8. 8:41 is spot in with that link. Like other industries on the brink, news company after company have underdone structured bankruptcies, which screw employees and retirees. Or they go under, like Knight-Ridder and employees and retirees are screwed by McClatchy. Even Warren Buffet, seen as a fighter for news and newspapers, bought the Media General group WITHOUT the pension debt.

  9. Ex-Cinn. editor Larry Beaupre to retire from his current gig in December. No mention of bananas. Expose was essentially correct, but tarnished because reporters hacked into voice messages.

  10. USA TODAY was once almost completely isolated from Gannett. And better for it. Over the last few years we have been Gannettized more and more each year.

    Trust me, we feel your pain. And ours.

    1. 2:19 you were isolated because of your over blown egos and underperforming performance. Once you were held accountable you whined like three year old babies who liost their binkies

    2. There is less accountability at Usat than ever. Hillkirk, Colton, Weiss, Henderson, Frank and Horwich are all about protecting turf and power. They are not leaders, innovators or good editors.

  11. Will the CEO get fired when her digital plan fails while she killed off print or will she ride it down and get a bonus. She has to keep saying something had to be done we were losing revenue. This is what happens when they make a CFO the CEO of a media company.

    1. She will retire at 65 and join Dubow at his journalism think tank.

  12. Gannett will get no sympathy from me if the Postal Service starts taking away ad revenue from the Sunday Paper inserts. After all Gannett can't claim they will need to reduce cost by laying workers off. They already let to many people go for that. Gannett has already given up on Print so it makes since for Advertisers to work out a deal with the post office for cheaper delivery.

  13. When I get asked for my contribution to our porpoise wall, I'm submitting a picture of my blow hole.

    Maybe both of them.

  14. 8/15/2012 12:34 PM -- thanks for confirming Moon, Paulson, Hunke, Ellwood, Frank, Banikarim, Micek, Jones, Pence, Dubow and Martore will not be invited to the USA Today 30-year-decline party.

  15. Google Buys Frommer's

    Where does that leave what's left of usat's Travel division?

    1. In rhe dust... That "travel media group" - is a joke. It's a wasteland... Tired - last to the party. And Rudd Davis? Exactly.... She worked it.

  16. @1:23 PM, glad you understand that the Enquirer's Chiquita expose was flawed not in its facts, but in the way they were gathered.

    Worth noting for the record, though, that it was reporter Mike Gallagher -- singular -- who hacked the voicemail. Cameron McWhirter, his co-reporter, had nothing to do with that.

    I worked with Larry, Cam and Mike in Westchester so followed that whole story with more-than-normal interest.

  17. What is Banikarim's compensation for her extra-credit board appointments?

    Ms. Maryam Banikarim is Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Vice President at Gannett Co., Inc. and a Director-Adolescent Health Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center. She is on the Board of Directors at Advertising Week, Socal Turnaround Partners LLC, and Prep for Prep.

    She received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College, a graduate degree from Columbia University, and an MBA from Columbia University.

  18. Top 10 performing newspapers to budget and to last year in Gannett:
    1. Salem
    2. St. George
    3. Staunton
    4. Asheville
    5. Burlington
    6. Lansing
    7. Ft. Collins
    8. Springfield
    9. Des Moines
    10. Wisconsin group

    1. Anyone know where Cherry Hill, NJ and Asbury Park came in on the list?

  19. That list of 10 above is a suggested list, wondering if it is a good guess. Is this about right?
    That Top ten is based on a few factors, but not on real data. Does anyone have real data on who the top ten performers are?
    Didn't get to finish the message to add the question of .. Is this about right? Jim, can you edit that into that message?

  20. BULL

    If you knew some of the bozos involved with that farce, you'd be singing a different tune, pal.

    It was only a matter of time, before they blew themselves up. And they did, huge. Probably the biggest J-disaster since Janet Cooke.

    When you stomp around, with the "so-so is guilty" lede already written -- why bother with reporting? Just go pick up the Pulitzer, right?

    Using that mess as an example of "proof" would be like Nixon saying he was for good government and B. Clinton for safe sex. Utterly laughable, for anyone who knows the bozos involved.

    LOL, ROTF, at those involved. More "Three Stooges" than Woodward & Bernstein.


    "Ex-Cinn. editor Larry Beaupre to retire from his current gig in December. No mention of bananas. Expose was essentially correct, but tarnished because reporters hacked into voice messages.


    Heading into the election, USAT's 30th anniversary, the new GCI CFO, more economic troubles ahead, the GCI pension fund (or, more accurately, under-fund), and the holidays. Should be exciting.

    And no, this is not his mommy.

  22. CINCI INSANITY & "Three Stooges"


    Hacking voice-mail? Isn't that what has torn apart Murdoch's empire? And two of his executives, under CRIMINAL indictment? Facing YEARS in JAIL?

    What would happens to law enforcement, who are caught doing that to YOU? Without a court order?

    OK, you're not smart enough to understand, here it is --

    Immediate suspension
    loss of job

    Gad, there is some real stupids, posting here.

    Got a beef with the banana boys? Bring it. Prove it. USDOJ already went through their files.


    Expose was essentially correct, but tarnished because reporters hacked into voice messages.

  23. Google buys Frommers. USAT Travel Group buys Hotelme to take on TripAdvisor with no traffic and a promise of "authenticated reviews"


  24. 12:34 Please tell us that Mr. Vain Ken Paulson won't be there. That phony and mean suck-up to Neuharth slashed and burned all the way. And got a huge reward as an empty suit at The Freedom Forum.

  25. Is King Bob Campbell still lingering?

  26. Did I miss something about a union breakup in Appleton? As pulled from an April post on Milwaukee Magazine's online blog:

    "Earlier this year, the union representing employees, including journalists, at the Gannett-owned Post-Crescent newspaper there essentially walked away, leaving the newspaper a non-union operation. The first news of this development came to me via records at the National Labor Relations Board's regional office in Milwaukee a couple of months ago.

    I've now learned a bit more about how that came to pass. The union apparently was strongest among older employees who have subsequently retired. It, too, was an open shop in which union membership – and payment of dues – was not an employment condition.

    That meant the union had to constantly recruit members among incoming rank-and-file employees – often younger people who felt little connection with the union, thought they didn’t need it, and figured they would just as soon keep the dues money (typically about 1 to 2 percent of pay) themselves.

    It’s a bit like having the option of not paying your property taxes – yet still being able to rely on your municipality to plow your street or put out the fire in your burning home. An open-shop union is bound by law to represent the interests of all the employees covered by its contract, and the benefits it negotiates go to everyone. But only those who actually belong provide the financial support for the effort.

    Gannett is known as a hard bargainer and generally hostile even to its established unions. By standing fast at the bargaining table, it's frankly easy to make the union look ineffectual and thus undermine its support. And in Appleton, I’m told, Gannett over the years managed to reclassify jobs as outside the union contract, further weakening it. When someone filed a petition for an election to throw out the union, union officials weighed their likely chances of losing and decided it wasn’t worth the fight."

  27. Buffett increases his holding of Lee stock by 50%:

  28. 8/15/2012 2:30 PM
    I bet bonus. Sad ain't it?

  29. Touche, 11:56!

  30. A word about sales- I have been in sales and I have been a sales manager. Sometimes a less competent seller gets lucky and wins awards and commissions. Sometimes a great seller can have a bad year. Good companies realize this- Gannett does not! Incompetents are kept and moved along if they say the right things and kiss the right asses. Good sellers are sometimes thrown out, especially if they are older or more independent. Wiser companies know the value of their skills, and that a good seller will perform well over the long haul. Gannett is just a punitive, vindictive place. Glad I am gone and doing well!


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.