Sunday, August 05, 2012

July 30-Aug. 5 | Your News & Comments: Part 5

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  1. The thread about Cincinnati's Margaret Buchanan does a good job of summarizing her inability to lead, as well as her rudeness to the public. It should also be noted how she embarrasses the operation with her deficiencies in gravitas (shall we say), like the time she asked "Why do they call it Labor Day?"

  2. Cincy Enquirer bash, from a review of a new documentary film by Swedish film-maker Fredrik Gertten, "Gone Bananas!" (the second in his series of anti-banana company rant flicks) at Los Angeles Film Festival:

    The second act documents the pervasive and pernicious influence of corporations on journalism, leading the viewer through so-called strategic communications ("claiming the narrative" by getting your spin on it out there first) and the phenomenon of "astroturfing" (planting corporate-sponsored yet independent-seeming comments online in various forums). This segment also delves into the alleged "cowardice" of American journalism, citing the case of the Cincinnati Enquirer's capitulation to Chiquita on a story they threatened to go to court over, in effect wiping their database clean of any indication that the story had ever been published.

  3. Movie poster, trailers for aforementioned "Gone Bananas" movie can be found at

    Chiquita/Dole/Cincinnati Enquirer documentary won a 2012 Sundance Film Festival Prize

    Now showing in LA, NYC and, of all places, Michigan: We are honored to present that BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* is officially selected to screen at the 8th annual Traverse City Film Festival founded by filmmaker Michael Moore. The festival runs between July 31st - August 5th this year

  4. This week's Hollywood Reporter on the movie, which includes Cincinnati Enquirer:

    Big Boys Gone Bananas!: Film Review
    7/30/2012 by John DeFore

    Big Boys Gone Bananas!

    July 27

    Fredrik Gertten

    Environmental concerns take a backseat to media critique in Fredrik Gertten's Swedish doc.

  5. Mind-bending quote (Chiquita admits Enquirer was right?), in this story by Leigh Dyer, CHARLOTTE MAGAZINE:

    In response to inquiries about the film (Gone Bananas!) for this story, Chiquita offered up an interview with its corporate social responsibility officer, Manuel Rodriguez. He first pointed out that the reporting had been retracted by the Enquirer, but he eventually echoed Gertten’s account. “There is no question that the Cincinnati Enquirer articles helped generate a sense of urgency,” he said. “It did help us accelerate internal reforms.”
    Gertten draws parallels between what happened to the Enquirer and what happened to his own journalistic work on Dole. At Sundance in January, he recalled being introduced to a high-level Chiquita executive (whose name he didn’t recall). “At a lunch, he said they were much better than Dole and they never would have done what Dole did to me. I said, ‘What about the Cincinnati Enquirer?’ He said, ‘That story was really good for us. That story made us change a lot of our behavior.’ I said, ‘Yes, but the journalist lost his job and the newspaper had to pay millions.’”
    Leigh Dyer is a former reporter and editor for The Charlotte Observer. This is her first article for Charlotte magazine.

  6. Awesome. I bet Gannett thought (hoped) the whole Chiquita debacle would just fade away.

    Now where's my popcorn?

  7. The Enquirer now is completely locked down by local corporate interests, with a publisher who sits on boards and an editor who sees nothing wrong with letting corporations pre-read stories ahead of publication.

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  9. So Tom Beusse, president of the USA Today Sports Media Group, did you give your advertising staff the month off or are they all on furloughs? The best you can do is two discount remnant ads and a comp ad in the almighty USA Today sports coverage of the Olympics.

    And since you are still reporting to Susie Ellwood (so they say), has she taken you to task for lack of any revenue restults?

    Both of you should be out-the-door for good.

  10. There goes the reserve fund for coffee pot supplies ...

    Gannett Weekly Found Guilty of Defamation
    Judge orders $100,000 in damages for newspaper’s defaming of police officer

  11. Beusse or Banikarim, Ellwood or Frank, Kramer, Micek, Hunke, who really cares?

    We know the "product" is dead.

    And we know the axe is really going to cut deep after the 30th anniversary folly.

    Two months left to really step up the new career search.

  12. I was at work yesterday and my boss says to me....."All I need to do is buy a car dealership and I can own the local newspaper within 2 weeks, in terms of what stories I want written." I almost spit out my coffee I was laughing so hard. Sad but true, the communities know what's going on in Gannettland.

  13. Sarah Lake, the "resigned" reporter from Salisbury, is editor of a new website/soon-to-arrive weekly newspaper in Salisbury:

    No idea if Joe Carmean, the local editor who was fired/forced to resign, is part of it as well.

    Salisbury has not had a weekly newspaper for years; the Daily Times has been it. Going to be interesting to see if Lake can pull off the business side of a challenge to her old employer.


    Well, it is nice, the Occupy Bananas crowd is here, continuing to beat the dead horse, even deader.

    Anyone who has actually worked the courts beat beat knows -- every day, you get at least five calls/day that some SOB "ought to be in jail."

    Official response: "great. Get the D.A. to indict. We'll be right behind you."

    Usual response: zero. Nothing. Nada.

    Why? Because most reporters do NOT want to be sued for libel.

    Look what happened in Cinci -- just like Penn State. A bunch of "Einsteins" who would NOT listen to anyone else. And, BTW, BROKE THE LAW.

    They had no one else to blame but themselves. Nixon's people got it, at Watergate -- ditto, the Cinci "mob" of fools. Amateurs. Bumblers.

    As for the political film at Mike Moore's political film fest -- Moore's work was called 'laughable' by Pauline Kael. Moore's work has so many errors, there's not enough space to review all of them.

    (Example: how many Spanish MDs does Fidel Castro fly into the medical paradise, Cuba, for his personal medical care? A: A LOT.)

    You got something -- bring it to Eric Holder for indictment. We'll be right behind you.

  15. Could someone please help Bob Campbell leave the building!

  16. Kevin Poortinga;-- architect of the paywall strategy has been promoted to managing editor digital at the Indy Star-- his former place of brilliance

    THis is great news for Indy.

  17. Beusse is focusing on the 2014 Games. He is going to make all Olympians reapply for their positions.

    Martore lets him get away with it. The same way she let Hunke, Banikarim and Heather Frank get away with failure. It's all about delegating in her narrow world. No personal responsibility for any of this. We all see how that's worked out. All the hoopla over dividend hikes and stock buybacks and Wall Street still treats the company like it makes asbestos.

    Take a hard look at your senior leadership, Gracia. Look in the mirror while you're at it. Things arent working. The wheels have come off in nearly every division.And next year, you'll have no national elections to prop up broadcast margins.

  18. Time for a Senior Vice President of Purpose Walls.

  19. So, how much money did The Big G dump into this Vegas party?

  20. Want a job with a lousy company, crappy pay and no one left to mentor you because they were canned? Apply here:

  21. Olympic photo by AP getting lots of commendations:

    Did Presswire get this?
    Or is that the Presswire photographer in back, watching it? #USPWFail

  22. 11:38 don't know but guessing it has to be six figures on travel alone. Plus the lodging and parties. Maybe a quarter mill modestly.

  23. This is kind of fun. Sports anchor at Gannett's Jacksonville TV station goes off on Bob Costas running late on Olympics.

  24. Hey fellow head-quarters employees
    who are football and classic-car enthusiasts, check this event out:

    I will need to pick up an autograph book for my son and remember to take the good camera. Hoping to get some autographs of the Redskins players. I missed out on some previous chances.

  25. last Sunday the papers had 3 coupons in them. Some even had 4. Needless to say they sold rather well. So what do the brains at whoever/wherever the magical draw people do? Raise each route by 40-50 papers. Fine except this week papers are supposed to have only 1. Are they really not paying attention as to what spikes Sunday sales? far as I'm concerned this is the picture of the whole company and it's operations...they don't have a clue!

  26. Today my postman delivered a printed letter from USA Today offering me a special rate to subscribe because the paper was "now offering" home delivery. Considering the fact that I was a charter subscriber to USAT who only canceled my subscription years ago because the paper stopped delivering and then announced that in an "exciting new development" they would be mailing me my "news " days later, I am wondering what has changed. Is Gannett just toying with me or are they getting serious about print again? Anyone know?

    Note... I am not an old fogey or a print bigot. I am platform neutral and think that the company needs to be too if it is to succeed.

  27. Anyone here know why Rudd Davis was fired? Or as Steve Hyatt said: " he was a allowed to voluntarily resign?". Just curious. Anyone? Anyone?

  28. No problem with the Unity convention, though it is a fractured mess of an organization. But I just looked at those Gannett Tumblr photos someone posted earlier and it made me sick. All those smiling Gannett "editors" who are just hatchet men and women, chopping off the heads of veteran employees month after month. And now, hangin in Vegas luring young people into a rotting business. They have no conscience.

  29. Rudd Davis? Old news. Real old news.

  30. 9:44 pm Indy is very fortunate. Kevin Poortinga was one few bright spots in the world of Gannett management. Very polite and respectful.

  31. The reason for Rudd's departure has been mentioned several times, but Jimbo seems interested in protecting this guy and keeps removing the posts or not allowing them to go up.

    Let's putnitnthis way, Rudd fucked up and had to leave. But the bigger mistake was Hunke's decision to put him in a position he wasn totally unqualified for. Not the first time the Hunkster has done this.

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  33. You have to love this from the Unity conference...In the program posted online
    check out the listing for 3:45-5 p.m. Friday, "Strengthening Investigative Journalism" sponsored by Gannett. When you click on Asbury Park Press executive editor's Hollis Towns' name you get a BIG surprise ...

  34. The Arizona Republic did an excellent job of covering the shooting of U.S. Gabby Giffords, winning awards and a spot as a Pulitzer finalist. So, how did the paper drop the ball on the plea agreement for suspect Jared Loughner, first reported by the LA Times last night and then confirmed by the Associated Press? Today, the paper has an AP piece on the front page, not a staff-written piece. That's very disappointing for a story the paper should own.

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  36. Flax is moving on after presiding over the gutting of the DR newsroom?! A promotion, no less! Wow. The DR won't get a new publisher, maybe a so-called "general manager" aka autopilot. Maybe the GM at the C-N and HNT can add the DR to his stable. Those three papers combined have less editoial staff than the HNT did a decade ago!

  37. @7:37 . . . no mystery here. You NEVER see Hollis Towns and Carolyn Washburn together, do you?

    Gannett obviously has purchased a Doofenshmirtz (NYSE symbol: DEI) Editor-inator and pops either person in the office as needed.

  38. Are you tired of "managing through" furloughs? Have you been asked to grow revenues with 30% less staff? Have you been told "great new corporate products are on the way....for months or years". Have you been a performer but because other papers haven't been you haven't been acknowledged? If so, we need to talk. In just four weeks we have improved month over month revenues by over 10%. We have the resources, we have the fun new tools, we have a great paper and team and we do not have furloughs. If you are ready for a POSITIVE change in your career with a ton of upside, please contact me.

    1. Marty may be a good ad director. Don't know. But GateHouse is a toxic place to work. Stay away from that company at all costs.


    Boston Globe wins The Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism for fish mislabeling series
    E-mail | Print | Comments (3) 08/04/2012 9:55 AM

    By Shirley Leung, Globe Staff

    The Boston Globe has won The Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism for a 2011 series on the mislabeling of fish at area restaurants and supermarkets.

    The award, which comes with $5,000 in prize money, recognizes groundbreaking journalism that creatively uses digital tools. The Globe’s “Fishy Business” series was a five-month investigation that found that Massachusetts consumers routinely and unknowingly paid for less desirable fish, some of which can cause illness. The series involved DNA testing of samples collected from 134 restaurants, grocery stores, and seafood markets. Forty-eight percent of 183 samples turned out to be a different species than what was advertised.

    Gannett, one of the country’s biggest media companies, announced the award Friday night in Las Vegas at the annual gathering of the Asian American Journalists Association.

  40. I was reading a weeks-old AP story about Gannett earnings, and came across something I hadn't previously seen. It's the last clause. Can anyone shed some light on this "service"? Has anyone been mugged by it in an elevator? How does it work?

    Nonetheless, advertising demand was "uneven" and "choppy," the company said. Ad revenue at Gannett's newspaper publishing segment fell 8 percent to $594.3 million from $646.9 million a year earlier. Total revenue dropped 6 percent, to $920.3 million from $977.1 million.

    Broadcasting revenue climbed 11 percent to $205.4 million from $184.4 million, helped by stronger political and auto-related TV advertising, as well as growth at Gannett's Captivate business, which shows ads in elevators.

    Read more:

  41. 3:26,
    It's probably because the new folks don't realize USAT has offered home delivery for like 25 years. They'll catch on.

  42. 10:38, I appreciate your response. My honest confusion stemmed from the fact that in my community (which is served by a Gannett community paper) the USAT ended home delivery services many years ago and offered no recourse for subscribers but snail mailed issues... an unacceptable substitute. Now it appears that they are offering delivery again? How does this make any sense for a company that otherwise seems to be cutting personal service and moving digital?

  43. 8;23 - for the first time in many years I have incredible hope. Changes are being made within Gatehouse that will pay huge dividends not only within our company but for our industry. Just thought I would share there is hope in our industry and I am having one of the best times in my career. Gannett could experience similar success if they allowed their properties to be more autonomous.


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