An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
I see USA Today has gone the way of shared sections, too. Today's edition has 5 pages of Life tucked inside the Money section. And to expand on previous comments, again the Sports extra Olympics section has almost no ads.
USAT has often run shared sections during past Olympic games. Nothing new there.What is relatively new is the lack of ads in general in USAT, and with the deteriorating quality of the print product and unremarkable online content, I wonder how much longer the nation's newspaper is going to be able to be competitive. If not for the fine reputation built in the past, would anybody be buying this newspaper or visiting the usatoday.com site? USAT, like many papers and even television news organizations, threw out the baby with the bath water during the recession. Now we're seeing the price for those mistakes.I see a difficult future for USAT, not that the last few years have been a picnic, I am sure. The word is out that USAT is no longer a good place to work, thereby making it difficult to recruit talent. I hear more bashing of USAT in my travels than I did in the early days when it was called McPaper. After that era, however, USAT gained a lot of respectability, only to come crashing back down in recent years.Olympics coverage aside, I don't see much enterprise in USAT. I see a paper running on fumes and filled with errors and uninspired design.I take no joy in having this opinion because I don't like to see any once-proud and competitive product fall from grace. I didn't like it when Harley-Davidson started building crappy motorcycles and I don't like seeing USAT inflict all these wounds on itself.Unfortunately, USAT is owned by Gannett. It always has been, but I imagine it also had more autonomy back in the day, which led to good things. Now I presume it's run like every other shoe-string operation at Gannett. Poor management and personal decisions 10 years ago probably set the stage for the collapse during the recession. That's the way it usually goes with these big brands. They don't fall over night. They fall because the wrong people were in the wrong positions, and then some economic situation exposes the cracks and everything crumbles. In essence, USAT got too big and too cocky. Maybe even too corrupt.
Minor league management talent breeds minor league success. we are too interested in hiring on the cheap and filling quotas rather than needs.
12:29 you seem to have deep insights into USAT. So why is it you fail to address the upcoming changes to the print, web and mobile products? Is it possible you know absolutely nothing about it? You and your Sky is falling" pals will be the first to damn all the new changes. And we wonder why we are in difficult times
Cincy Enquirer obit on Ron Liebau goes on and on about what a great editor he was. Never says why such a talent was unemployed at 59. Wouldn't reflect well on the woman who kicked him to the curb and gave his work to younger people.
Can we get some insider info on which papers are overperforming and ones underperforming. My boss says we are fine, and I want to believe it.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Here's an edited version of 1:26's comment:Cincinnati Enquirer finally posted a very nice obituary about longtime editor Ron Liebau Wednesday night. While it talks about what a great editor he was and how he helped many current Gannett editors (including Des Moines editor Rick Green), it of course fails to mention that Liebau was callously laid off in June 2011 along with a bunch of other over-50 reporters and editors. He got the call about being laid off while he was on vacation.
1:42 "callously?" you speak of something YOU know nothing about
Headline nightmare at the Detroit Free Press: http://jimromenesko.com/2012/08/09/copy-chiefs-nightmare/
Liebau was a wonderful guy and gave time and time again to the Enquirer newsroom and those who worked in it. However, the glaring omission about why he left the newspaper is inexcusable. Carolyn Washburn had no way to explain it to her readers. He was kicked to the curb because they wanted to pay someone younger a lot less. Jim's right about him learning of the news while on vacation. Not a pretty way to go which is why likely it was not mentioned in his obit. Well, the folks who worked with Ron have certainly shown how they have felt since the news of his untimely death.
2:37 please share the name of the younger person that replaced him. You lob a middle like that back it up. I grieve his passing but you can't use his death as a vehicle for hate. You diminish his passing with this tripe
Anybody heard anything about a possible management reorg/reapply process at Indy Star? Fact or Internet rumor?
Google just paid a $22 million fine, is PointRoll off the hook?????
It was pretty glaring indeed for the Enquirer to omit the fact that Ron was summarily laid off. The paper could have used its typical euphemistic corporate-speak and said he was "involuntarily discharged" or separated. That's one of the first questions that reporters and editors are told to answer in stories -- why someone left a job. Here we see that the Enquirer holds a different standard to itself than to other institutions in town.
Posters say Ron Liebau was laid off, as well as bunch of other over-50 editors and reporters. Is there anyway to tell how many over 50 people Gannett has laid off in the last few years? That wouldn't include the buyouts, which are a nicer kind of layoff. How many people have filed lawsuits over it?Or have they?
Count me as one. 50+ years of age - 25+ years at GCI. It wasn't a buyout. Was told my position was eliminated. Of corse, it wasn't. It was given a different title, the same responsibilities - and given to someone younger, with less compensation. No lawsuit - tough to positively spin that in my new job interview. But I've moved on. New role pays 20% more than the GCI gig. Go figure!
I am sorry to read of Mr. Liebau's passing. How sad that he and his wife won't grow old together and that he won't be around to see his son get married someday.Being laid off is a shattering experience, emotionally and financially. Especially when it's from a company/career you dedicated your life's work to.I do not know the circumstances of his death, but stress takes a terrible toll on people.How the people who laid off this gentleman can sleep at night is beyond me.
Yes, several former employees of the Enquirer have joined in an age discrimination lawsuit against the Enquirer. Sadly, Ron was one of those.
OLD-AGE LAWSUITSAs in any work-related lawsuit -- -- you are RADIOACTIVE afterwards. Employers do not hire people who sue employers. Maybe as contractors. But to be hired.-- they are very hard to win. Jury will look at how industry is falling apart and go along with the logic.-- it can trap you, into a bitter past. Rather than fixing the present.This may be bitter medicine. Well, get used to it. The economy is only getting worse. Recommend you suck it up and move on.
Way to go, CourierPostOnline.com!One of the biggest highways in the region is shut down in both directions before 4 p.m. Thursday When a story is posted (after other sites have posted it and after there's already a major backup in both directions), it has a confusing headline (sounds like there's an event planned), it's written almost as a feature story -- and it's telling people that it happened on Tuesday!It's quality leadership that creates an environment for this (and take a look at the updates on the site today - other than this item, the last news update listed was from 6:51 a.m.!)(story below:)I-295 shut down for tractor trailer fireJust before 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, Interstate 295 looked like rush hour was in full swing.A tractor trailer fire stopped traffic and shut down the highway in Lawnside at Warwick Rd. Crews got the fire under control but learned the cause of the fire might be more severe than the fire itself.According to a report, the tractor trailer was involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle that caused the truck to overturn and catch fire.
We're all left in the dark as usual. Just what is USAT planning for our 30th anniversary? It would be nice if the staff knew besides just the few select and favored.
I love Gannett. The product is awsum. The company takes its Third Amendment risponsibilitees seriously.
Anyone hear of a management shakeup at The News-Press? I heard some top dogs are being demoted to loser paying positions. Newsroom needs total reorganazation and less chiefs. Hope something is done soon. Too much pork wasted by lacklluster managers. Might start with CR and WP. Someone should look into this.
Would appreciate more info on the Indy Star reorg...please post if you know something
Hey 4:51pmDo you have a link to a PDF of that Age Discrimination Lawsuit vs. vs. the (st)Inky?? Or can you ask Jim to post it as one of his Google docs? My lawyer thanks you in advance.
5:24 - Nice try. For those of you in your 50s who were laid off and replaced by younger people, you really have nothing to lose and Gannett fears the implications.
Agree with the previous posters about the hypocritical coverage of Ron Liebau's death. Obit gave the impression he still worked there. But they're wrong when they say his work was given to younger and cheaper people. The Enqy just eliminated much of the editing process. That's why the quality of its news coverage plummeted. It's obvious every day.
50-plus here. Was laid off in 2008. Told my job was being eliminated. Same old...it wasn't eliminated. It was just inherited by younger, cheaper person. This occurred at a major Gannett paper, but I don't really think that matters. This stuff happens everywhere within Gannett. This has never been a company that appreciated what older employees have to offer. However, before the recession hit, the paper I was with wasn't as blatant about getting rid of older workers. In fact, it was one of the few Gannett properties that at least had some respect for employees who were over 50. No more.
Usa Today about to experience the same thing. Kramer needs to trim the fat, and much of it is the older, mottled kind. What's sad is many productive people will be tossed in the coming carnage. They are not protected like management.
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.
Subscribe in a reader