Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Oct. 8-14 | Your News & Comments: Part 3

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  1. Former Gannet reporter goes missing, possible remains found in cement.|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE&nclick_check=1

  2. Read an interesting theory somewhere on this blog about why the USA TODAY (print) redesign was butchered. First, I think most people with any newspaper design experience, have to agree that the new design is awful. Not only does the main logo leave most people flat, but the "living logos" on the inside look just plain silly -- and that's saying a lot for a newspaper that always blurred the line between serious and ridiculous visuals. What amazes me even more, however, is how bad the fonts and typography in general look. Really hard to read and has the feel of a freebie paper that you discard from your driveway. The Snapshots are squeezed... Look I can go on and on, but this was a hatchet job.

    Back to the theory about why it turned out so poorly. I am not usually a conspiracy guy, but when you're talking about Gannett, you must always suspect the worse. And the worse is that Gannett might be trying to phase out the printed version of USAT. The first step: Create an amateur-looking paper, probably put together on a shoe-string budget with a diminished staff that had little say in the redesign. Readers will surely turn away from a product that looks like it was designed by seventh-graders. As circulation sinks, Gannett would have justification for making the paper even worse by probably getting rid of more people, and eventually could just shut down the presses and go all-digital.

    This is not so far-fetched in Gannett-land. This is exactly how they have phased out other products -- by just neglecting them to the point where they become irrelevant money losers. Whether they are doing this at USAT or just took a bad approach with the print redesign remains to be seen, but I am guessing USAT the paper is going to be on life support in the next couple of years.

  3. The redesign was not purposely done badly to shut down the newspaper.

    The redesign was done very aggressively to prevent the newspaper from shutting down.

    You may disagree on the end result, but spouting conspiracy theories rather than simply dissecting the redesign in a rational way (which you did there for awhile), gets nobody anyplace.

    Newspapers need no push to fail. They are failing. this is an attempt to stop the fail. Whether it will or not of course is a valid discussion. But this is not a plot.

  4. The redesign of USAT print has its good days and bad. Today, the front page is just awful and the "living logos" are just as bad. They only support USAT's cartoonish feel. Why we need 5 fonts on every page and four different headline treatments is beyond me.

    I don't subscribe to conspiracy theory that they are making USAT look bad so they can shut it down. I subscribe to the fact that they just don't know any better. We have lost so many good newspaper people that those who remain are incapable of producing a better product. Fact.

  5. No amount of redesign will 'save' USAT unless circulation is amped up, and quick. Circulation is at, what 1.7million on an average day, and falling? How is the redesign going to substantially not only stop but reverse that slide? Ain't gonna happen by a few more single-copy sales here and there by anyone liking the new paper, and I bet blue-chip distribution partners are tapped out. Long-term ad sales aren't going to come back meaningfully unless that circulation issue is settled. But that's just me from outside any inner circle.

    For the conspiracy theorists out there, how's this: Corporate knows this (above) and the redesign serves a few purposes: 1) creates some immediate attention and maybe 'legitimacy' through hopefully better content, 2) stalls the inevitable decline of the paper for a bit longer, and 3) through the attention and 'legitimacy' - better positions the website and mobile platforms as stand-alone products, to last beyond the life of the paper.

  6. Very few read anything with topics that are dull. No readers, no advertising. Not f------ good.

  7. 2:02,
    Totally agree that the print version will be kept alive in order to support the digital pieces. Our digital products are still weak with the help from the mother ship.

    And circulation continues to be a huge issue. I'm hearing we will report 1.6 million on the next statement. That's down AGAIN!

  8. Redesign aside, let's not forget our choice of what constitutes journalism is still questionable. I use as evidence the story on Stephen Strasburg's use of video games. A front page cover story...really?

  9. To reference an earlier post regarding the Tallahassee AD going to Pensacola...where did the Pensacola AD go? He wasn't there all that long, was he??? Didn't he come from Fort Myers???

  10. My paper is going down the tubes. We don't have enough writers to cover all the high school football games, formerly a staple of my paper. Yikes!!!!

  11. I hear Gannett is about to fold another community weekly. What is the future of its community weeklies? Yikes!!!!

  12. I have a stupid question about insurance.
    What month does open enrollment end
    or begin?

  13. 4:35
    I too have heard some weeklies are in trouble.
    What area is the one you speak of?

  14. An update from 4:35 p.m.:
    Confirmed a few minutes ago that weekly is gone. Too bad. Another newspaper bites the dust. Weekly is in the Northeast.


    (Dear Haters: Go F yourself. You're welcome.)

    As noted here, at some resort-area weeklies, the staffs have "dead pools" about when their employers will call it a day.

    Gracia, take a note:

    What it takes to survive is good ol' shoe-leather newspapering. Getting out of the f--k--g office and going to meetings and meeting people. And meeting their expectations.

    Praying might help, also - this is another "Dunkirk."


    here -

    This post originally appeared on O’Reilly Radar (“Four key trends changing digital journalism and society“). It’s republished with permission.

    By Alex Howard

    "It’s not just a focus on data that connects the most recent class of Knight News Challenge winners. They all are part of a distributed civic media community that works on open source code, collects and improves data, and collaborates across media organizations.

    "These projects are “part of an infrastructure that helps journalists better understand and serve their communities through data,” commented Chris Sopher, Knight Foundation Journalism Program Associate, in an interview last week. To apply a coding metaphor, the Knight Foundation is funding the creation of patches for the source code of society. This isn’t a new focus: in 2011, Knight chose to help build the newsroom stack, from editorial search engines to data cleaning tools .."

  17. Lots of untouched USAT copies at counter in Hampton inn (Hartford ct). Do these untouched copies count in circulation numbers?

    1. Yes. Hampton bought 'em. They count.

  18. 3:21, the selection on 1a has always been bad. Ive seen far sillier shit over the years. But almost ebery day, I suspect most readers say WTF?

    I guess whatever is on the page is better thsn a Chrysler wrap around ad. but that's not saying much.

  19. The paper's redesign isnt half bad, it's the silly content. What will really kill the brand is the incredibly awful redesign of the website. Is this on the underwhelming Mitch Gelman?

  20. Good to bring in that isolated example, 8:56. I'm sure that proves Gannett is HISTORY!!!111!!

    9:36, your design hub has coached you well, but your response still lacks substance.

  21. 11:59, Gannett managers arent so clever. Devious, yes. But if they want to cut the workforce, theyll just do it. Kramer has a bit of leeway, but look for staff reductions by end of year/early 2013. Usat is bloated and top heavy and the Hunke transformation just made Things worse.

  22. 11:59, Gannett managers arent so clever. Devious, yes. But if they want to cut the workforce, theyll just do it. Kramer has a bit of leeway, but look for staff reductions by end of year/early 2013. Usat is bloated and top heavy and the Hunke transformation just made Things worse.

  23. Headline from today's Journal News

    "Did Section 1 officials get Yonkers boy's volleyball decision right?"

    So tell me, there is really this much discussion about one boy's volleyball?

    How embarrassing.

  24. Truth in Advertising...

    Do kids still deliver the Enquirer early morning by bike or did a Fellini wannabe direct its new “Paperboy” ad?

  25. 11:45 Um. The boy was trying out for the girls' volleyball team because they don't offer boys' volleyball in his district. He was refused by the league. Read much?

  26. we have heard about another weekly in the Midwest closing.
    Has anyone heard of others?

  27. To 12:27:
    Read much?

    You don't--look where the apostrophe is..

  28. I'm trying really hard to like the new USA Today website.

    Unlike others here, the content isn't my problem....I've come to expect news-lite from USA Today.

    It's the design that is irritating me. The design doesn't offer a very friendly user experience.

    its very difficult and I find myself logging off after a few minutes, frustrated and feeling a panic attack from ADD.

    I guess it looks nice enough but it's not easy to navigate.

  29. Which one at 9:06?

  30. I dont like thennew website redesign. It will be interesting to see how we spin the plummet in page views.

  31. Does anyone know if its legal to pull accrued vacation time away from a current employee?

  32. Which one at 9:06?

    10/11/2012 10:38

    Yonkers boy's volleyball

  33. Please ignore previous comment.

  34. Nightengale's Nationals story is a disgrace. Most despised team in baseball for not playing Strasburg? Bullshit. I suppose you can get 'unnamed' sources to say anything. But this contrived, unbalanced story smacks of Jack Kelley.

    i dont buy it.


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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