Monday, September 24, 2012

Sept. 24-30 | Your News & Comments: Part 1

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36 comments:

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  3. 2:57 I remove comments that aren't sharply focused on Gannett and the news industry's digital transition.

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  4. Brian Dickerson wrote a wonderful tribute to Ron Dzwonkowski, appearing in today's Detroit Free Press... http://www.freep.com/article/20120923/COL04/309230133/Brian-Dickerson-All-Dzwonkowski-left-behind-his-standards

    I am surely going to miss his columns, too.

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  6. I wonder if creative and management people at USA Today bothered to check around to see if other brands might be using the blue dot in their logos?

    Turns out that not only is the design dull and uninspiring, but it's also not very original. A whole host of media websites use some variation of the blue dot, including a free weekly right up the road from USA Today/Gannett headquarters in northern Virginia. Here's the link:

    http://loudountimes.com/

    If USAT can't even come up with a design for a national product's logo that exceeds your run-of-the-mill local news site, how in the heck is it going to produce original content and rebuild the trust of employees who watched their colleagues get pushed out without management giving a second thought to the ramifications of such betrayals?

    The blue dot is a symptom of a bigger problem at USAT...a much bigger problem that leaders can't seem to identify let alone fix. Without understanding the past, the future looks murky for the blue dotters.


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  7. After millions of dollars and countless hours of executive meetings, the positioning of America's Paper is still the same.

    Nothing really changed except new faces in the chairs and a refresh of the look.

    Soon these people will move on and a new batch will come in and do it all over again.

    And they will likely be in their 20s and not have a clue about the history of USA Today but will think they are brilliant when they come up with "America's News Source."



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    1. Wait. we have michael wolff and his highly unreadable, oh so inside baseball media column.

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  8. Does the NCAA use an identical blue ball?

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  9. Anyone from circulation care to comment on when the new single copy boxes will be re-painted? I bet there are 250,000 of those. If it costs $50 to paint each one, that's $12.5 million.

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  10. 10:08 Repainting has already started in the D.C. area.

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  11. Brent Jones is now Director of Standards & Staffing. Is that new?

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  12. 10:32 I think that's been true for awhile. (Jones is at USAT.)

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  13. Google recently traded today at a record high of $744 a share -- besting the last record of $742 set in November 2007.

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  14. Jones is a nice guy, but completely unnecessary to the operation. Dubow's buddy.

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  15. 11:54 Wolf wrote today about CBS chief Les Moonves.

    Yesterday, the NYT wrote about Moonves' boss.

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  16. Ironic that the Blue Ball was used in rebrand. USA Today thanks to Gannett's hiring of Maryam Banikarim will have poor circulation. And we all know poor circulation causes the skin to turn blue. RIP.

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  17. I hate singling out people, but there is at least one person mentioned in this thread that is a symbol of unnecessary hiring and/or promotion. USAT has time and time again hired, transferred, retained and promoted people who just aren't up to the task. They reside at all levels, not just upper management. Sometimes, they are in hiring positions, which in turn creates a bigger problem. They are at best a waste of money and at worse, a menace to some segment of the operation. They are limited in their skills. Some seemingly have no interest whatsoever in journalism (but can fake that they do), yet they work for a national news organization. Mind boggling! I can count at least a dozen people who are awfully nice, but have no business being in or on the fringes of a newsroom. There's at least another handful that are literally faking their way through their jobs. I know the big bosses are all wrapped up in blue balls, but they really need to take a look at who the people are who simply are not pulling their weight and replace them with folks who have the language, creative and/or managerial skills necessary to contribute something more than a smile and some useless water cooler chats. Yes, I know that sounds harsh, but I am tired of good people here at USAT not getting the help they need because of this organization's fascination with popular but under-skilled employees with questionable work ethics.

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    1. A dozen? Try 50!!!!!!

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  18. A rare Kate Marymont sighting - at the Online News Association's annual conference in San Francisco last weekend.

    Or at least she was supposed to be there, according to the list of Gannett attendees here: https://twitter.com/katemarymont

    What did she learn? Nothing, according to her Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/katemarymont

    Maybe she just enjoyed a weekend in San Francisco.

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    1. We send newbies and oldbies but not anyone who matters.

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  19. This is 6:16 p.m. again. That first link should be this one: http://gannettona2012.tumblr.com/who

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  20. I looked in Webster's for the definition of Peter Principle, and her photo was next to it.

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  23. I love the way USAT is using the colored section balls. Hip, high energy, unique

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  24. 7:04 p.m.
    Amen on the newbies and oldies.

    Dickey and Marymont should matter, but not if they simply don't get it, which is very possible.

    Don't you love how a number of these people, including Dickey and the top guy from the Arizona Republic, don't have Twitter handles? I don't get that.

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  25. 5:07 makes a great point. The last three years alone have seen more poor hires and needless promotions than the last 10. A case study in ineptitiude and sheer incompetence. I doubt the damage will be unwound. Kramer appears to be an absentee publisher with delusions of grandeur. Callaway is gone a lot, too. They need to roll up their sleeves and start kicking ass.

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  26. @8:20 . . . why would people who have no need for publicity use Twitter? People over 50 use Twitter to appear hip to people under 30. Or to score pub. Remember Tony Dungy's admonishment: "Don't hit that send button".

    Let's update a classic for the 21st Century. "Better to go Tweetless and let people think you're an idiot, than to hit 'Send' and remove all doubt".

    On the subject of classics: "I'm the Page One writer for USA Today, so I'll be brief". That led me to look up David Colton on the net. Twitter up to date? Check. Links to USAT stories? Sure.

    USAT "Meet The Professionals" page? SIX YEARS OLD.

    http://www.usatoday.com/educate/college/careers/journalism/careers/colton.htm

    A cautionary tale for anyone with a bio. You may have given several organizations a bio, which may be floating around the net. It's up to YOU to scrub or update the info.

    Got time to burn? From the same Colton search comes this long piece in AJR from ten years ago discussing the new foreign news imperative. Scroll about three-quarters of the way down to see a discussion on USAT post 9/11. Also includes a graph on the swashbuckling Jack Kelley.

    http://www.ajr.org/article.asp?id=2565

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  27. THIS IS IT

    Authentic leaders lead from the front, as examples. This is why GCI fails. Execs with no operating experience, who have too many outside activities.

    A high-performing board would get PO'd and start firing low-performing executives. Hiring ONLY on performance bonus status -- weak results, weak bonus.

    GCI and the newspaper industry are about two clicks from Chapter 11. This is unsustainable.

    If GCI offers a pension fund cash-out -- seriously consider it. BK firms get their pension levels cut. Don't end up like the steel workers.

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  28. Gracia, Maryam, Kramer, Micek,

    If you haven't read the comments on the Blue Ball logo sightings below, you should.
    There are some incredibly thoughtlful well-written comments that senior management should read.

    Gracia, you've been around Gannett a very long time....you have to care at least a little bit about how employees feel.

    So much damage has been done in the recent past and it's time someone gives a shit about the employees.



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  29. 11:36 - She doesn't care. Move on.

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  30. Ok enough with the Blue Ball logo. It's here, it isn't going away, this is gettingogu boring. Next topic.

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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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