An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
"I opened up my local paper (Florida Today) to read the day's news. When I got to page 4 (of 6) of the "A" section, all the stories were bylined USA TODAY. What I shrieked! maybe I picked up the wrong paper. Nope. I was hoping to read the news written by local reporters, with their own take of course.Disgusting.Ruined my day"Seriously, if wire copy on A4 is ruining anyone's day, we need to start getting some perspective, people.
Here's poor customer service 101 from the Enquirer:Co-worker tried to buy a picture of her son that ran in Sunday's paper (it was a great shot of him running in a cross country meet). When she filled out all the fields online to order the picture and pressed submit, the system crashed. Did it again and it crashed again. Called customer service who told her she was doing it wrong only to then do it themselves and realize something in the system was wrong. Got tech support person on the phone (after person could be heard in the background saying they had no time to help a customer) who told both of them they were doing it wrong then proceeded to do it and voila, have it not work. Enquirer simply sent my co-worker the picture which for the poor guy that took it means he is out some money, but the bottom line is the customer service aspect of this sucked.
Gannett stock up to where it was four years ago.Not yet in the 80'swhere it was in the hayday.Does that help employees..hell no.If revenue remains down as in 14 previous quarters,jobs are in jeopardy and layoffs still as likely.
9:18 Even Corporate isn't forecasting annual revenue growth until 2015 -- and only 2-4% at that.
Photos of the new home of The Journal News in White Plains, NY.http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=BH&Dato=20120911&Kategori=NEWS&Lopenr=309110126&Ref=PH&odyssey=mod|defcon|img|Frontpage
Is Cincinnati and Gannett seeking to break new ground to attract readers or has it always reported news about what appears to be an average citizen charged with a non-violent crime more than two hour drive away from their home a week ago? It’s even highlighted on Cincinnati.com’s home page like it occurred locally.http://westchesterbuzz.com/2012/09/12/west-chester-man-charged-with-indecency-at-restaurant/No doubt interesting, but one has to wonder where the line will be drawn. Gannett’s traveling execs take note; what happens in Vegas and elsewhere, obviously won’t stay there given the bar set with that story.
Here's another, 8:59. Since the Enquirer's digital archive crashed, the backup system sucks so bad that they couldn't find file art for one for one of their update stories. They were forced into the embarrassment of asking the subject of the pics if they could borrow copies of their own photos.While they're getting ready to raise prices, they keep finding new ways to show the public their competence and professionalism. That's life when you go cheap on essential resources and make priorities of projects like office remodeling, useless new layers of management and the daily time-wasting attention required to feed the editor's insatiable ego.
I'm surprised that Enquirer customer even got someone to answer the phone. I've helped readers from my desk who had called 5, 6, 7 Enquirer numbers trying to find someone, anyone, to help them.
Gannett will finagle financials going forward to goose quarterly number after election revenues reflectd in third and fourth quarters. Hate to be a spoilsport, but that means more layoffs ahead. More press operators, reporters and non essential staff.
9:53 I gave up near photo No. 10. Is every shot in that photo gallery of white people sitting at desks in their cubes? Not a single exterior shot of the new building?
Heh. Just got around to reading Washburn's obnoxious responses to those readers' legitimate concerns about quality. So she has a secret plan to fix things, huh. Would that be her plan to hire a high school English teacher as her 151st journalist? Or possibly a repeat of her previous plan to get rid of her best editors and compensate by ordering reporters to write "publication ready" stories that don't need editing? How's that working out?All you need to know about Gannett is that it keeps somebody like that in charge of anything.
That's what I can't figure out, 10:40. How can Gannett, i.e. Gracia, allow such obvious incompetent (and toxic) managers like Buchanan and Washburn to remain in control? The company finally did the right thing, RE: Hunke and USAT (though that's a work in progress). But it's pretty obvious from reading the blog posts that the Cincinnati Enquirer, once the company's flagship paper, has some serious problems at the top. I don't get it.
Not much news here on Gannett Publishing Services. The toilets and who cleans the buildings seems to be bigger news than how or if the paper is getting out on time.
It's "back to basics" at GPS!
Statesman Journal closes production down - Wausau production is scheduled for a corporate visit on Sept. 24 - close down the facility with an old metro????? - any news would be appreciated on Wausau..
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Is USA Today going to die within three years? http://www.editorandpublisher.com/Newsletter/Columns/USA-Today-Is-Turning-30--in-Danger-of--Marking-30-
Go, GCI, go!! Happy I bought a sheet 2 years ago. Only question is when to take my profit - before 1-1-2013 and possible changes to the capital tax rate? Do you realize GCI stock is outperforming Ford shares from their 2009 lows?? Amazing!
11:45 Enough with the "school marm" references. They're way past boring, and I'm removing them all from this point forward.
Jim, you sure showed your pre-conceived biases with your 10:34 post. First, they aren't all white. You made a pretty big leap there. Second, TJN is leasing space in a building. Does the exterior really matter? If you'd worked in TJN's old, dilapidated space, you'd understand what an upgrade this is.
Eh, I agree with Jim on the boring new office space photos. I was looking for an exterior shot, too, regardless of what shared space they're using. Every photo in that gallery was pretty much the same -- bunch of reporters and editors sitting around.
The Enquirer's Washburn and Woodruff just wrapped up another chat…to which Washburn wrote this at the end regarding numerous concerns over price increases, options:“At most, if you get our most complete subscription, the full price would be 83 cents a day. I am not aware of another consumer product that is produced from scratch every day and delivered right to your home for 83 cents day.”That’s a pretty hefty price increase compared to what consumers are paying now let alone a somewhat disingenuous statement considering how Cincinnati’s plethora of television and radio stations - including a few solid print publications, deliver local competitive news and info for free.
Since Jim deleted the post with the link, here is the chat with the esteemed Ms. Washburn (is that better?)http://cincinnati.com/blogs/enquirermedia/2012/09/12/chat-live-with-enquirer-editor-carolyn-washburn/Pretty vapid and devoid of anything that they haven't said already. And thanks to "Joe", the Enquirer plant who lobbed a few softball questions.
@12:53...I hope having clean carpet under your feet gives your bosses in editorial and photo a freaking clue.
Those new chairs must be really comfortable. It seems none of the reporters at The Journal News actually go out and COVER THE NEWS. Too busy reading Newsday and the NYT sites looking for stories.
The most irritating (and dishonest) aspect of Washburn's chat is her refusal to give numbers to these readers. She and Woodruff repeatedly, here and in Sunday's comments, refuse to give prices, instead telling subscribers they'll get letters soon. Why not be open and transparent and provide a chart of pricing options? Why the subterfuge? Sunday only; Weekend only; daily without Sunday. Etc. how many options can there be?
12:53 Thank you for answering my question about whether the people photographed were all white.
Down towards the bottom of www.tallahassee.com you can see this laugher:"Today at the Capitol for Friday, Sept. 12"Somebody send them a wall calendar!
Good luck to Cicy for moving printing To Columbus, They can't even get their own paper out the door by 9am. From what i herd, Bolger has been at Columbus, Bales and a host of other GPS big wigs. They can't get the press to run. Way to go pressman..keep up the good work and stick it to them as long as you can. Guess the press guys in Cincy will be working for the rest of the year. It's great when a master paln comes together. Way to go GPS and your staff of incomplete goof balls
Opinions of course vary, but some on Wall Street are recommending the purchase of GCIhttp://www.thestreet.com/story/11697710/1/id-rather-own-gannett-than-facebook.html?puc=unitedonli&cm_ven=UNITEDONLIse of GCI:
The southeast division of GPS sales is failing on a grand scale. The VP of sales has also ran up his Pcard account balance to the point that he now hides much of his expenses by using production department cards.
The reason Washburn and Woodruff can't answer questions about the billing system is that it is so screwed up now it takes a MIT grad to understand it. To answer the question posed by 1:59 about how many options can there be? The answer would be in the hundreds. The system has been customized to handle every insane pricing structure the marketers could think of to increase and pump up the numbers. Examine your bill carefully and good luck understanding it.
Thanks, 4:44. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that we've made something that should be simple so complicated.
How is deal chicken doing? Seeing a ton of national deals.
1:59 Did you even read the chat with Washburn? I mean, really. I just did. Here's what I read: digital only = $10/month, check. Digital + Sunday home delivery = $16/month, OK. Digital + Friday through Sunday home delivery = $18/month, right. Digital + seven day home delivery = $25/month, gotcha. Do EZ pay and save some $, good idea. It's all there. Give it a rest and give the blog a break.
http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20120912/NEWS01/120912022/Democrat-publisher-Dorsey-leaving-new-post?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CfrontpagePat Dorsey, president and publisher of the Tallahassee Democrat, announced Wednesday he has accepted the same post with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.Dorsey, 44, has been the Democrat’s publisher since August 2005, when the newspaper was purchased by Gannett, an international media and marketing solutions company that owns a powerful network of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing properties.He was the eighth publisher in the 107-year history of the Democrat.The Herald-Tribune has a circulation more than twice the size of the Democrat. The paper won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism in 2011.(My note here: that Pulitzer was won by a former Democrat reporter.)The Herald-Tribune is owned by the Halifax Media Group, a private, Florida-based company. The Halifax Media Group owns 38 daily and weekly papers in five states, including 18 daily and weekly newspapers in Florida.Dorsey announced his departure to Democrat employees Wednesday afternoon. He starts at the Herald-Tribune on Oct. 1.“It’s an opportunity for me to go to a bigger market, face new challenges and make a difference for the community,” Dorsey said. “I’m very excited about the opportunity. But I’ve got to tell you, it’s bittersweet. I love Tallahassee and the Tallahassee Democrat. There are a lot of good people here and the community has been warm and open to me and my family. It will be very tough to leave. The Tallahassee Democrat employees are some of the best I have ever worked with.”Dorsey guided the Democrat’s aggressive digital transition over the last several years. In July 2010, the Democrat became one of the nation’s first newspapers to adopt a “full-access paid subscription” model, in which readers paid for access to the newspaper’s online content. Dorsey said almost 70 percent of Democrat subscribers have activated their online accounts, a rate he said, “is the highest I’ve ever heard of; the best (other newspapers) get to is about 40 to 50 percent.”Dorsey also oversaw the newspaper’s increased focus on local news.“Much earlier than most newspapers, we turned our focus on the community, which I’ve said all along is our strategic edge,” Dorsey said. “We can cover Tallahassee better than anyone in the world.”Dorsey is a graduate of Old Dominion University (Va.) and worked as a certified public accountant before joining Gannett 19 years ago.Dorsey has served on the board of the United Way of the Big Bend, on the executive board of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and been chairman of the board of the Florida Press Association.He and his wife, Kecia, have been married 21 years. They have two sons and a daughter, Connor, 15; Griffin and Makenna, 14.
We all should just call her "the esteemed Ms. Washburn" from now on. Jim will feel better, and we'll all know what we really mean.
Another knowledgeable Gannett employee running out the door for another opportunity outside of Gannett. I am surprised that Dorsey did not leave the industry altogether given his background in Finance. I would think he could find a much more secure job outside of the newspaper industry. Is anyone else keeping track of the number of executives to leave in the past six months? I find it all telling. I'm polishing up my resume.
Many former USA Today editors, including founder Al Neuharth and John Quinn, Karen Jurgensen, David Mazzarella, Ken Paulson, were in the news room this afternoon as part of the 30th birthday weekend.Many old-timers mingled in a very happy atmosphere considering the tense counting down to the newspaper and website relaunches in a couple of days.
3:18 Jurgensen and Neuharth were together in the same room yesterday?
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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