Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Aug. 27-Sept. 2 | Your News & Comments: Part 2

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  1. I wish our reps could be out on the street selling instead of dealing with all the paperwork and slow computers and software in the office.

    It's bad enough getting new ill-fitting products to throw out in front of customers, but actually getting sold ads to run takes twice as long as the sales call!

    Hell, we can't even show our simple apps on our company phones as a sales tool because they require more memory than we have available!

  2. Shreveport Bailey - I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt and not believe what I read on Jim's blog. I am a Shreveport employee and I too have noticed you are disconnected from the employees. Just this past Friday you passed me in the hallway of our building with your head to the floor. I wanted to introduce myself but felt what is the use. Here is a man, President of our company, and he literally puts his head down as he passes me in the hallway. I am ashamed to say I work for you and ashamed you are our leader. People in our community have asked me about you and I have tried to defend you as much as I can. I am now telling the truth to everyone including our corporate office. You have greatly disappointed an employee that wanted to make a career out of my job here.

  3. 1 of the worst criminal things Gannett did during the layoffs, was to change the package every time there was a layoff. Some people got this, some got a worse package, you never know what you were going to get. If they had been a company with a heart they would have given everybody the same compensation package. This is to me a statement of just how horrible this company is.

    1. I got the worst package after 25 years. Unemployment and transitional pay. Big kick in the gut.

      Over Gannett but that poor sendoff hurt. Should have been week of pay for every year!

  4. To: 8/27/2012 10:40 AM
    Haven't you learned how to get around the paywall yet? There are other options. The 3 Orlando TV stations all have Brevard news areas. True they are Orlando but in storm times they cover very well.

    Of course you can always buy the paper. When they decide something is real news in their eyes they do cover it good.

  5. Wish I had a list of idiots paying $15/month for out-of-focus iPhone lead news photos like this:


    I'd sell them some swampland.
    In Arizona.

  6. Hi, my name is Plant Manager/ VP of sales and this is how I save money. I print jobs in one state then truck them to another state to run them thru a mail line.
    I am an amazing bullshit artist and have an abundance of catch phrases that I use to explain while under my watch I cannot seem to get a publication out the door on time and or of acceptable quality!.... Welcome to GPS :)

  7. Soon the Cincinnati Enquirer will be printed by the Columbus Dispatch and trucked 100 miles. Once again the dispatch.com website has a notice to readers:
    "Due to unforeseen serious press problems today, delivery of the Columbus Dispatch may be delayed for several hours. We apologize for this delay and appreciate your patience. E-Edition and iPad editions of today's newspaper and articles on Dispatch.com are available free of charge today." Columbus has these press problems quite often. Could spell trouble getting the Enquirer print edition in its new shrunken format to readers.

  8. 9:08, yep, each time it was a different animal, each one ever more to the detriment of the employee (some who were told in previous rounds that they were "too valuable" for the buyouts or the layoffs), and ever more to the benefit of the Gannett. What a slap in the face. Not to mention the cheesy Temporary Transitional Pay smoke-and-mirrors, which saved Gannett a bundle while essentially burdening every community in which Gannett operates with expenses such as state unemployment funds.

  9. Getting around the paywall is childsplay. Just delete the cookies on your browser. Or change browsers.

  10. The Gannett paywalls provide great opportunities for other media outlets. In Indianapolis are many other much better choices (TV, radio stations and IBJ websites)than the tired old Star.

  11. Wow. I've read any number of comments - both about USAT & Gannett - over the past day or two. It really sounds toxic. What a shame. At one time, it was a wonderful place to work. There was innovation; freedom to do the best work you could do; &, natch, always an eye on the bottom line. Fine. No problem. Bottom line is what it is.....but, how best to get there? We had the freedom - & the authority to either make it work or fail - but we never got dinged for failing if we tried. To be sure, nowadays, all media companies are trying to figure out what they are & what they do & what they mean to their various constituents. Those that will survive - & thrive - are those that are willing to allow their employees to reach outside the traditional box....with no fear, no trepidations, no reprisals.....just the willingness to make something great out of the existing environment. If Gannett still has that, great. If it doesn't, it's a crying shame.

    Jim Gath
    Gannett, 1981-1994
    USA TODAY, 1981-1994

  12. In Phoenix, KPHO, the CBS affiliate, is going directly after azcentral.com with ads touting their free web site.


    The Republic is expecting up to 40% of subscribers to cancel.

  13. 9:08 - I'm in Detroit and the EROP offer I recently received is far better than others we've had in years and that is a factor in my decision on whether to take the deal or not.

    I think that Gannett should have been consistent in their deals all along. The fact that this one is better than others leaves many of us wondering if they would ever have one as good in the future. The consensus is probably never again which is why I'm going to take the deal and move on.

    While not ideal, it's far better than that awful TPP and guarantees me an income and benefits long enough to save up some more money and find another job. Plus I can collect my pension at the same time as I'm receiving the continuation pay if I choose to thereby boosting my savings even more.

  14. 10:38, same here. Twenty-five years and a very poor send-off, as if I had just started that Monday, just off the street, no quarter-century of decent reviews, no connection to my clients who often requested me personally to handle their needs. Probably one of the worst experiences of my life, realizing what little interest, let alone sense, not just corporate of course, but my own site's publisher and directors had. Just one exec took the time to at least shake my hand and wish me luck, and I'll always remember him for that. A decent guy. The rest? It was if I had never existed, all the hours, all the reputation, in all those years. Meaningless to them.

    That's bound to mess with anybody's head, especially if one took one's job seriously and not just some paycheck as far too many were doing, lots of people just in a "job" rather than in a profession.

    But I'm out at least, and having a pretty good time no longer dealing with the reptiles. Took a lump sum on the pension and reinvested it. In short it's like a vacation but only without the mai tais. No burning down the building necessary (jeez, lighten up, it's an "Office Space" reference).

  15. GCI is shit. Thanks, Jim. Hunke ROCKS!!!!

  16. Anon@943A: I wasn't complaining about coverage, I was pointing out a very stark fact. Gannett-owned dailies kept their paywalls up as Hurricane Isaac was bearing down on their coverage area.

    Community service is one thing. Milking a news product for money is another.

  17. Why would a paper take down a pay wall so people can read for free about a specific event? An online subscription is cheap. They can get one. I'm a reporter and glad the paywall has been enacted. Yes, there are ways around it, but the premise is right: who else gives away their product for free like that?

    All my friends working in all kinds of industries complain about their jobs. Where I am -- a large Iowa paper -- we have a good top editor and dedicated employees.

  18. You know why people are so bitter? Usa Today has become a place of small minded pettiness, contol freaks, ass kissers and know nothings. The problems festered for years, but a series of hands off, ostrich neck in the sand leaders and inept deputies has accelerated the meltdown to mediocrity. Kramer and Callaway must be making a list, and not having to check it twice, of who needs to go. having twentysomethings in charge of digital, most without any reporting, writing or editing skills, is a complete folly. They've just driven out a beloved, competent veteran. Yet even the youngsters are chaffing under oppressive digital "leadership."

    Worse, changing the mindset of most veterans from print to digital first still remains an illusive concept. They dont get it or want to get it. Writing and editing before the end of the day? Heaven no. Reporters and editors lazily blow off assignments for both the web and the paper, or expect others to take up the slack. Some have no business being here. I haven't touched upon the overhang threat from corporate, the ridiculous initiatives, and the no account sales and marketing team. But I think most of us understand there is little to be done, other than take a torch to the place.

    I will continue to work hard because I take pride in my work and still get jazzed by it, but more and more, I just see a bad ending for this place and just hope to ride out the bullshit. You know cuts will be coming along the way, too.

  19. So USA Today launches "Sports on Earth" a Grantland-like website featuring top-rate sportswriters.

    The weird thing is - there is no mention of the launch in USAT and no link to the site on its sports page.

  20. Andy Chapelle, Ann Arbor, Mich8/29/2012 8:52 PM

    I never worked for Gannett. I spent 25 years with Newhouse and took one of the first buyouts they offered...and I'm glad I did.

    But I will say this, I was a director for two terms on a national journalism board with numerous editors from Gannett. They were all top-notch professionals who set high journalistic standards. They were great to work with and I learned a lot from them...and have nothing but respect for them.

    I can't speak to what has gone wrong with your company...or what the current workplace culture is like. But I know that my former colleagues in Gannett were outstanding people...and dedicated journalists.

  21. Jim,
    Please find out how much joe posnanski is getting to write for Sports On Earth. I've heard an astronomical number

  22. 8:52, I suppose when you work for the Newhouse Nugget, any editor would impress you. But how about naming some names?


    In 1982, USAT led with Sports (and weather, women, and minorities) and was successful. Not S.I. -- but solid, complete, and plenty of agate. Big Al never forgot his "SoDak Sports" adventure.


    Who knows? Who the F cares? When you have to seek a "porpoise," you've lost. You might as well give up.

  24. Jim Gath - that was a long, long time ago. You wouldn't recognize the place anymore.


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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