An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Keep in mind that the "fold" thing posted here could be a plant. So that when/if it doesn't happen, planters can come back and say this blog has no credibility.
Then tell us the plant that is folding.
Although Gannett won't fold this year, the company's death spiral is visible. Amid seismic changes in the industry, Gannett keeps doing what it's always done....cut staffing below and expand bloated management up top, while keeping its local products in the hands of publishers and editors who'd be laughed out of any serious organization.
Pointroll lost another large client this morning. Mediamind is eating their lunch!
How is USA Today surviving? Lousy, over-priced editorial product. Goofy website that lacks a credible feel to it (maybe due to all of the errors and silly content, not to mention lack of urgency when real new breaks). Few ads. Deteriorating reputation in the journalism community, which must drain the talent pool. Despite all the cutbacks, I presume there are still huge costs to produce this in print and online.I mean is USA Today simply running fumes and its past, more admirable reputation, built by people who aren't even there anymore? Or is Gannett just propping it up by stealing from its non-flagship companies? Either way, does anyone get the feeling that USA Today's days, under the Gannett flag, are limited? I have watched this paper closely for about 15 years, and the last five look like an train wreck to me on the outside (but with some knowledge from friends on the inside).Seems the solution is to do what some car companies have done. Basically, ditch the money-draining, outdated brands. If no one is buying Pontiacs, despite their once cool vibe, and they cost a ton to build, why keep building them? Swallow your pride Gannett or at least let someone else have a crack at restoring what was a pretty darn good news brand not that long ago.
If Gannett was a digital innovator, they would have hired people from top digital companies, instead of cast offs from traditional media.Either Martore is clueless or she cannot recruit anybody worthwhile in the digital space to come to Gannett.Both scenarios are troublesome.
The Pot was stirred well, i must say. Fold baby, FOLD
Gannett blew it because they forgot they are a newspaper company. Instead competing against itself by going online and promoting online over print.
Usa Today has a handful ofcompetent editors and reporters who keep the trains running, but just barely. unfortunately, most are older, higher paid types who will be the latest layoff targets.
What is a top digital company?
USA Today would make just as much revenue as a mere news aggregator than the "voice" it pretends to be now. Maybe more.
Why do you want Gannett to fold? If you work there, quit if you hate working there that much. If you don't work there, why the hell do you care if it survives or not? If you hated working there, then be thankful you are not working there. But there are a lot of workers who need a paycheck who work here.And, yes, I know I can get a job somewhere else. But is the grass always greener?
Hey anyone that will listen heard "USA Today" is folding and they will turn the dailies into a "usa Phoenix " or any other subsidary paper. Consilidation is the new layoff, Hold your britches tight its going to be a bumpy ride!!
@1:23 . . . the Honolulu Star-Advertiser may be doing a variation of what you suggest.BTW . . . check out the Publisher's pic. As a long-forgotten Florida tourism campaign once touted, "The rules are different here."
I can't wait until the September 13 USAT anniversary. It doesn't matter what the website or the print product looks like, all the "experts" here will cut both to shreds. But I do believe Jim will like it. Despite his personal grudge he was a newsman. I think you "experts" will be disappointed.
Seen the prototypes. compared to real news orgs, it still looks like amateur hour. we know its staffed that way.
I am so glad to be away from Gannett and the ridulous ideas of the so called "leadership".Are there any real newspaper people left at your site? At my former site,there is one,a long time editor,and even he will do their bidding at any mental cost.As a former long timer,I come back here to see what's going on and am appalled at how far and fast things have fallen.The once strong and giant corporation seems to be staggering for any kind of direction.I guess that's what happens when you put the money counters in charge. People with real knowledge of the workings of the business and what it takes to bring in the money to be able to count it are gone!Loving life now,making descent money,and am living a happy life!You should all try to get away.
6:25 Sept. 13 anniversary of what? In fact, USAT launched its first issue on Sept. 15, 1982.
All the Olympics print advertisers get TWO free pages in the anniversary edition. Press sites, order extra paper for the upcoming four page special run....
Long-time editor in Cincinnati, Ron Liebau, passed away on Monday. Two days later, the Enquirer still does not have a story online. That's pretty pathetic.
Massive celebrations planned for USAT's 30th anniversary, including an unprecedented amount spent on promotion. This will make or break this current "leadership".
I marvel at the space wasted by some posters who just hate everything about USA Today, Gannett, executives, publishers, editors, yada, yada. What's the point? If you are no longer with us -- and it's no fun being here, I can tell you -- be positive about your life and move on. You're not helping yourself by staying mired in bitterness. For those still with Gannett, and who clutter this blog with vituperation, how about focusing on why you choose to stay in such a terrible place? I am just a Gannett worker bee. I stay because I have a mortgage and because my spouse has a good job. I try to do the best job I can in unpleasant circumstances. I owe my employer that much. Maybe you also should be keeping your eye on the main ballgame: doing your job and keeping it. Have a great day, or at least try to.
Forgot to post the link to the Honolulu - USAT story. Here it is.http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/152101025.html?id=152101025
USAT actually was started years earlier with the Gannett's satellite service. So the question is does a newspaper or magazine start with the first public print issue or when the idea is in the publisher mind, and what happen that leads up to the first issue?
Jimmy the 15th is a Saturday. Even you know USAT doesn't print on Saturday. 30 th anniversary
Jim are you saying you k ow nothing about the 30th anniversary celebration?
The doomsday writer is partially right. The September 15, 2012, edition will go to press the evening of September 13. September 15 is a Saturday.
Why the 15th of September? Why is it going to happen then?
11:53 Appreciate your advice but have to remind you to get your contingency plan into motion. The newspaper business is collapsing. You will not be able to stay.
I'd like to respond to two of the comments.1.) "Gannett keeps doing what it's always done....cut staffing below and expand bloated management up top" - Yes, it does, but not just on top. Middle management as well and it hires those who have no clue what they are doing. Most are even oblivious to the new digital initiative. This company is stuck in the "Newspaper Heyday about 30 years ago."2.) Either Martore is clueless or she cannot recruit anybody worthwhile in the digital space to come to Gannett. Part of the reason is that Gannett pays like it was 1995. And the "digital people" expect more.
Why is the 30th anniversary of USA today being dictated by the CMO of Gannett? Where is Kramer? Hunke ? Ellwood ? Micek ? How many USA Today overpaid execs does it take to screw in a lightbulb and screw up the nations newspaper ?
6:19 they are al involved. Not sure where you're getting your information. You will hate the changes but believe me the readers will love them
Who gets invited to USA Today's party? I was there for 19 years and then thrown out with Hunke's fucked up "transformation." where is my invitation?
Does anyone know what Frank Vega is doing now?
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The blog is dying because Jim is not longer breaking news or revealing true insider developments. The people who flooded the blog with inside information are no longer inside to offer it up. Plus, things have really calmed down now that the economy is providing some breathing room.
Who appointed 11:53 as the Blog Sheriff of The World? Get a life, and yeah, suck up our hate and venom, we who left gannett are filled with it and use the blog to vent. Afraid of the truth? Don't like being confronted with your own reality? Dislike change? If you answer yes to all 3 questions, you are PERFECT for Gannett. Stay, for it is your own reflection you are so afraid of.
Digital numbers are way below the target.
11:53 has it right. Do the best job you can. There are incompetent people ans dead weight here, to be sure. But that is the case at most organizations. You cannot change that, and having a bad attitude because corporate shenanigans gets you down will rob you of your soul. I know. I fight the anger every day. But either accept rewlitynor move on.
9:57 is apparently unaware of the annual summer news slowdown, when industrywide, there's less news because so many people are on vacation.If I had a nickel for every time someone predicted this blog's demise (here's one, from 2009), I'd be a very wealthy man.6:23 Vega is publisher of the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle, a position he's held since 2004.Previously, he was president of the Detroit joint operating agency, when it was co-owned by Gannett and Knight Ridder.Earlier, he was instrumental in getting USA Today off the ground as its circulation chief.
Do you all think that just because there is a cease fire in the layoff situation,Gannett is fine and your job is now secure?The revenue numbers are not increasing.No company can survive with nearly an 8% quarterly loss in every quarter for 3 or 4 years.That is a fool's dream.Wake up!
Too many people are here and making decisions after their former companies decided they were no longer needed. They've come to our shores, but will leave soon to "pursue other interests."
All the Publishers and GM's from all the sites are scheduled to attend the USAT's 30th Anniversary party bash. Hope everybody has a great time partying it up while the worker bees continue buzzing along.
10:02: Wow. You seem really, really bitter. Your feelings should be respected. But I think 11:53 was just trying to explain that people do have rational reasons for staying. Their choices also should be respected.
So many bitter angry people. Move on with your life. Millions of people in this country lost their jobs in the past 8 years. Not just Gannett employees. You do yourself no favors sitting here being all bitter and angry.
10:53 You're funny, you think anyone is going to heed your advice? You have time to read and post on this blog but you give advice to others that post here about moving on. People that have been let go can vent on this blog and if you don't like it you can ignore them. Nobody is making you read the Your News and Comments.
10:53 While your advice may be well intentioned. It is cruel to tell people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own to just move on and get over it. Unless you have recently lost your a job that you've spent many years at you have no clue what it's like.
Can we get some insider info on which papers are overperforming and underperforming. My boss says we are fine, and I just want to believe it.
"Plus, things have really calmed down now that the economy is providing some breathing room."What market are you in?! Things are terrible California! Retailers are crying the blues, restaurants are closing, some local magazines have suspended publication for the summer (looking at you, Desert Sun) and the overall mood is dismal. This is the worst it's been in the last several years and there is little optimism for the near future.
Banikarim has been on board for almost two years and revenue numbers have continued to fall.Yet she's allowed to keep hiring empty suits who have not accomplished a single thing to help revenue.Martore had an opportunity to bring in a sales chief, someone who knew how to run a media sales organization and instead we got a glorified PR hound.
3:04 "empty suits?" what exactly have you accomplished? What are your list of accomplishments. I'm so tired of non achievers with big mouths. What on earth makes you an expert on the abilities of anyone you work with. Get specific
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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