Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nov. 19-25 | Your News & Comments: Part 2

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  1. Isn't USA TODAY supposed to appeal to people "west of the Hudson and west of the Potomac," as Neuharth put it? Wolff sure is a bad fit by that criterion.

  2. Sending Jim some money today, and so should the people at the bottom of this post. Don't agree with him on everything, but GCI needs watching.

    Thanks, Jim, for watching --

    the CFO's many jobs

    the CEO's handling of the GCI pension fund

    the GCI pension fund

    "a bunch of shit-kicker newspapers"

    if Cinci gets any weirder

    if the city of Detroit drags down others with it

    Gannettoids, Gannettoidism, and the art of corporatized a55-kissing, refined at GCI and ChrysPal.

    ignoring the whiny non-media hacks who post here

    knowing what the Al-Head and a porpoise is

  3. http://www.gannett.com/section/INVESTORREL01

    Analyst Coverage (GCI)

    Firm, Analyst

    Barclays, Kannan Venkateshwar
    Barrington Research, James Goss
    Benchmark Co., Ed Atorino
    Citi Investment Research, Leo Kulp
    Evercore Partners, Doug Arthur

    Huber Research Partners, Craig Huber

    J.P. Morgan, Alexia Quadrani
    Lazard Capital Markets, Bill Bird

    Noble Financial Group, Michael Kupinski

    UBS, John Janedis

    Gannett Co., Inc. is followed by the analysts listed above. Please note that any opinions, estimates or forecasts regarding Gannett Co., Inc.'s performance made by these analysts are theirs alone and do not represent opinions, forecasts or predictions of Gannett Co., Inc. or its management. Gannett Co., Inc. does not by its reference above or distribution imply its endorsement of or concurrence with such information, conclusions or recommendations.

  4. Today's USAT: a solid "B"

    Not a lot original, but a lot of attention-grabbing stuff. As in, stuff working people read.

    Including that great old chestnut, "College Football Coaches' Salaries!!" (Still waiting for "English Professors Don't Fill Stadiums!!")

    And no Michael Wolff, re-posting MSNBC and Current TV. Which, BTW, don't cost nothing on the Web and are both money-losers.

  5. The Newspaper Industry - What Went Wrong?
    (This is the local radio talk show host down in Tallahassee, who's been in a feud with the local Gannett paper for quite a while.)
    Hearing he wants to help start a competing product - good luck with that!

  6. So many here still believe that they will be employed by Gannett in the new year.
    Oh, the optimism is so touching and warm.
    Unfortunately Gannett will be very
    cold when they begin dropping ax on so many loyal to end,head in the sand,employees.

  7. Gannett employee Christmas cards are approved ! they read: "Happy Holidays, get out you're done here ! HO HO HO !

  8. How the Gannett plan works in Cincy is to fire the grownups, put up a pay wall and hope the customers are stupid enough to like the crap product they're getting.

    Today's website has a column by the president of the university whose board Maggie Buchanan just left. The column has been up thirteen hours already, since 8:21pm., topped by a huge photo of the president. Below is the cutline, dated a month ago, as it still appears online.

    SANTA ONO 10/19/12 METRO UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI Dr. Santa Ono is photographed at the University of Cincinnati in front of Tangeman University Center. The Enquirer/Carrie Cochran We are shooting Santa Ono, expected to be named permanent UC president any day. He's meeting a group of high school students and their families for an admissions event at 9am at Tangeman University Center. We can meet him at his office at 8:30am. It's on the top floor / Cincinnati Enquirer

  9. I must admit, I have no idea why college coaches' salaries merited a bright red breaking news banner yesterday. Can anyone enlighten me?

  10. As noted here yesterday, who at Cincinnati.com is tasked with actually looking at the site now and then to see what our readers are seeing? It's one thing for a harried online staffer to click and post (and hope the right key has been clicked). It's another to review your work. Print copy gets slotted. Where are the checks and balances for digital? Now that readers must pay for this copy, it can no longer just be thrown onto the site and forgotten. It has a value. (Or should have.)

  11. 9:21, add the other major plan. Hire lots of out-of-town editors to lead you as you go HYPER-LOCAL!!

    That's one reason for a product that regularly gets local spellings and details wrong, even the names of local communities.

  12. To 9:42. What you suggest would require some actual management.

    Anyway, don't Washburn and her editors read their own product, or scan it? You'd think that would catch the most glaring errors. Like, ya know, a story on the cover offering vote counts before the polls open.

  13. 1. A simple story to do, every year. So simple, even the Gannettoids at ChrysPal could do it.

    2. People always want to know about salaries.

    3. Football is hot.

    4. Need to sell papers @ Black Friday.


    I must admit, I have no idea why college coaches' salaries merited a bright red breaking news banner yesterday. Can anyone enlighten me?

  14. Appleton's big story of the day. The GB quarterback is going to be on their internet football show.


  15. So Cinci didn't install a backup system after the election day disaster? How in the hell does the editor keep her job?

    Does Gannett realize this kind of thing costs them money and will cost more up the road?

  16. 10:12 AM - Haven't you heard Gannett's latest slogan? "WE DON'T CARE." It is sure to make the company millions.

  17. It's been very quiet lately at the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, MS. Will the few remaining staffers still have jobs in early 2013?

  18. Aaron Rodgers is one of the hottest properties nationwide, rarely spends much time on the local TV Packer shows and is extremely popular with the majority of fans in our audience, locally and nationwide.

    It is a big story.

    Don't you have something to do? Get ready for the parade tonight, there's a slot open on the hot air balloonists' float.

  19. 952, you didn't answer his question - why is any of that breaking news? All of those coaches were making the same amount of money last month.

    Breaking news should mean it's a hot story. Not that we just decided to finally upload it, but that it has importance beyond the average news items.

    Calling a list of figures breaking news devalues the entire product, even if no one is paying for it.

  20. That's why I believe Gannett is deliberately looting and abandoning its local sites. There's no other explanation for allowing a mess like the one in Cincinnati.

  21. Charles Everett11/20/2012 12:01 PM

    While USA Today was shouting from the rooftops about coaches' salaries, it buried a far more significant story: The University of Maryland is joining the Big Ten Conference and Rutgers University in New Jersey will follow suit.

    How significant is that? The Big Ten is the strongest conference in academics and athletics combined.

    As always, USA Today will be sure to remind online readers of its cheerleader fetish.

  22. It's a nice "get" but Rodgers makes the rounds of all the shows where he doesn't have to sign autographs. Why? Because the autograph folks have the stuff up for sale on e-bay 30 minutes after the show is over. Same reason you don't see a lot of the other "name" Packers showing up on shows.

    Hopefully, it will spike viewership. 50 folks watching a show that is being streamed on all the northeast WI Gannett websites is not a large number.


  23. When I visit the local convenience store on Sunday night, they have a stack of Sunday papers. Actually 4 or 5 stacks on front of the racks, maybe a foot and a half high. Maybe 50 newspapers total. They haven't sold these at 9 PM. The clerks say it is always like that. They sell a dozen or so, but the big stacks continue to get dropped off. I guess they come and pick them up the next morning.

    Now a guy delivering bread would cut back after a week or two. These guys have been doing this since the crazy price hike months ago.

    Would someone explain how this works on the circulation side? Are advertisers getting mislead and paying to much? Is there some scam going on here or is this just standard bad business and waste?

  24. 2013 looking to be very tight with no political, no Olympics and no Superbowl on NBC. 2013 budgets are getting cut before they're finalized. Could bsteep budget cuts adn furloughs be far behind?

  25. This was posted by someone at USA TODAY, but it is quite true and really worth thinking about:

    Being critical of colleagues is so low-rent. The people doing it about the USA Today changes (whether they like them or not), should really check their self-esteem levels, their self-control levels and their just plain how-low-can-I-go levels.

    Really sad. It should be possible to question structure and goals without belittling the people sitting next to you. By name. Just low behavior.

  26. 1:40...that's been the norm here also (Brevard). 25 percent daily and Sunday returns are the norm. Buck keeps being passed to being USA/Orlando's fault for the draws. A couple of carriers say stuff all the time but they keep getting ignored. How can they worry about waste and high cost when they (gannett/Brevard) keep throwing papers out on the street that they know won't sell.

    It's not a secret how our old CD keeps up good numbers...to Gannett and advertisers and ABC. Circ numbers stay high when you count what goes on the street as sold circulation regardless of what gets returned. If it's happening in your area good bet it's everywhere.

  27. It is the holiday season, please send Jim some money for his time and efforts here.

  28. Thanks 3:03. How is that not fraud? Seems pretty crazy to me.

  29. 3:03, single copy and other circ numbers are reported as net paid, to explain that to you, that is the number delivered minus the returns= net paid. If you were to look at an ABC report you would see the gross number, the returns and the net paid. Have someone show you a copy and maybe then you will know of which you speak.
    I am so glad to be out of Gannett and away from people like you.

  30. Yeah, it wasn't "news."

    Unless you're a news company that hasn't had an interesting story in weeks.

    No news, no readers, no advertising, no profits, no jobs.


    952, you didn't answer his question - why is any of that breaking news? All of those coaches were making the same amount of money last month.

  31. 4:5o and others criticizing the "breaking news" alert on the coaches salaries.

    The list is endlessly fascinating, especially if you are a fan or alumni of any of the 100+ schools.

    Few people know how much the coaches, let alone almost 1,000 assistant coaches make.

    It is getting huge and continued "hits" online, not because an alert was sent, but because it is great information found nowhere else.

    To criticize it as old information is pretty silly.

    Should it have been a "Breaking News Alert"? That's arguable, but letting people know we have something very cool, and something we do every year, isn't a bad thing. Nor do we abuse it.

    Reasonable people can disagree. But to then start arguing that the information about coaches salaries isn't worth anything takes the debate to an absurd level, a level of hate and mindless snark.

    As for USA Today, it is a proud project, alert or not.

  32. The U of Maryland is forking out $50 million to move from the ACC to Big Ten. Putting this alongside coaches pay when is someone going to ask how this furthers higher education when there are students getting hammered with escalating tuition and debt? I want to see that story.

  33. The outstanding Press crew in Lafayette, In. which ranks always in the top 10 in Quality score is on the brink of a walk out/ work slow down. Their are only 2 press people per shift and the work load is way out of hand. No breaks, no lunch..Only 4 press operators know how to run the press. It is a sweat shop waiting to blow. The guys are all looking for new jobs and have not had a raise in over 3 years, but they keep piling on the work. Bad things are going to happen if things do not change. The press manager thinks every thing is fine, he is so wrong. Help us Mr. Bolger

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  36. The GM at my site sent out a memo that all toilet paper is distributed based on ASS size to save money since the budget was so tight. Of course she was allocated the most since she has such a big ass.

    GM perks.

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  38. 6:21, thanks for proving stupidity, including Gannettoidism, cannot be cured. You've elevated stupidity to a new high. Enjoy Cinci, Des Moines, Detroit, PHX, and the other Gannettoid-ized towns that you've helped made more stupid with your ignorance and dim wits.

    Jim, sending you money. To help fight stupidity and Gannettoid-ism.

  39. The coaches' story is one of those "annuals" that are so predictable, many could care less. Others, pending:

    Charity pix @ T-Day
    Black Friday mobs
    WH Xmas tree
    Pope's mass

    Big Al knew USAT had to sell itself, daily.

    Gannettoids, you're not very smart, but at least try to do something original.

    Otherwise, the GCI pension fund goes to govt, and that will be a pisser. Thanks, and have a nice, dim-witted, a55-kissing day. You're welcome.

  40. Montgomery EE Wanda Lloyd announces retirement.

  41. The only thing more predictable that your a55-backwards comments, 5:35, is your obvious immaturity and failed self-esteem.

    You could not wipe the brows of the people who worked on coaches.

  42. The truth about math hurts, doesn't it?

    Well, get used to it. We're about get a lot more pain, thanks to those who don't get math.


    You could not wipe the brows of the people who worked on coaches.

  43. Regarding USAT's annual coaching salary package, two paragraphs stand out from the main story, and explain why this sort of journalism is so good and important:

    "This rapid and continuing escalation in coaches' pay comes at a time when instructional spending has declined at many public schools because of shrinking state education budgets. The rise in assistant coaches' salaries might just open up another front in the education vs. athletics tug of war on campuses across the USA."


    "Coaches' pay has even outpaced the pay of corporate executives, who have drawn the ire of Congress and the public because of their staggering compensation packages. Between 2007 and 2011, CEO pay — including salary, stock, options, bonuses and other pay — rose 23%, according to Equilar, an executive compensation data firm. In that same period, coaches' pay increased 44%."

    Those two graphs provide context and perspective that turn a list of dollar figures into something with greater sweep and meaning for an audience beyond the sports pages.

    But that's not to diminish the importance of the raw numbers, which USAT assembled from the ground up by using open-records laws. No one handed the paper that information.

    As someone who has built these sort of databases, I can attest to the hard and mind-numbing work this entails.

    And while it's true that, as 11:32 says, "those coaches were making the same amount of money last month" -- so what? It becomes news when a newspaper or broadcaster makes the information public.

    This is the sort of public-service journalism that makes publishers stand apart from mere aggregators and commodity news sites.

  44. A possible truce or ceasefire in Gaza is breaking news. An enterprise data mining story that took weeks to put together cannot be breaking news, no matter how fabulous it is. That's when you hang out the 'exclusive' tag or some other flashy name.

    My goodness, if you don't know what news is, versus what analysis looks like, you are in the wrong business.

  45. 7:56 That's true. But, if that's the worst criticism of this package, than it was a great package indeed.

  46. No doubt Jim, it's a great piece. But we're a marketing and audience company more than a journalism one, and we should sell our products effectively and god forbid, honestly.

  47. Jim, what you posted, is an old CPAs' argument, where one side accuses the other of "lying."

    Q: are the budgets of instruction and athletics separate?

    A: it depends, on how accounts are set up and interpreted.

    Example: University of Michigan. Administration would claim they are separate. Some in Arts & Letters (who usually cannot do math accurately) claim there is cross-subsidization.

    This can be argued for the next 5,000 years, and neither side will budge.

    But, IMHO, it is unfair to claim one side is "lying" about this.

    Next: what about "Basket-Weaving 101" classes? That's a separate piece of business.

    But I know a lady instructor (WITHOUT TENURE) who had to flunk a No. 1 player because he refused to do the work -- and did not get fired.

  48. One more thing: there are third-tier D-1 colleges who, frankly, ought to get out of the NCAA, IMHO. They're probably being subsidized.

    Then, again, those colleges use sports to "close the deal" with students. No sports, less fun, a lot fewer students.

    That's the dirty little secret of taxpayer-subsidized "academia." Sports as a marketing tool, to keep students coming in.

    Many of whom will not graduate, will have big student loans, and will struggle to pay those loans. Also another dirty little secret about "academia."

  49. The pressman in Lafayette are a good reson why unions are needed. It is un-safe work conditions first of all, but Gannett does not care about that. It's all about putting out more papers with less help. Sounds tto me a lawsuit is in the waiting. To blame..The press manager,The production manager and the VP of printing for that region. Contact your lawyers and get your facts in order prior to something happening and document everything, You will own the company. My understanding is Lafayette is one of the best print sites in all of GPS. Why would they not hire some press operators and continue to be one of the best. Poor manager is my guess, no ball to go to corp and ask for help. It is a sign of weakness and just plain afraid of his bosses at the next level. Good luck guys, you will need it, or lawsuits will follow

  50. 8:44 poster is right on
    Even though they print outstanding products, the crews morale is at a all time low. Not one guy gives a shit, due to the fact that no one has been given a raise in years, under staffed, The supervisors are underpaid by at least $5 a an hour compared to Indy. It is a joke the manning they have, 2 guys per shift..un safe, un healthy. If Bolger does not step in and right the ship, the ship will sink as fast as the Titanic. Bill, help us out, Dave Laguirer the press manger could give 2 hoots about his men, and he is fooling his boss, Mr. mattews who report to Bill Bolger, the Press manager has to go.. It's time for a big change, we are sinking fast. You have pressman making top dollar and they cant even run the press, they should be paid half what the press guys who can run the press. This is bad for moral and it needs to be changed. The supervisors who do all the work are underpaid and are feed up withe the favoritism that goes on, Again, Im asking Bolger to have a meeting with the supervisors and find out just what exactly is going on. My rant is over, hope to hear from you Bill bolger. I am sure you know how to contact me

  51. Jim, what about NCAA women's sports?

    It is a FACT that only men's football is profitable, usually men's basketball, then a few minor sports. All the men's minor sports and women's sports are money-losers. (The Lady Vols may make money.)

    Cut football -- what about women's NCAA sports?

  52. The posts about issues in printing -- due to Jim's work here, those issues go right to the front of the line. This blog documents potential issue.

    Corporate risk management probably reads GB, every day, to see if there is something that has to be checked, NOW.

    There are stories about Big Al and the printers. Sometimes there are authentic issues, and sometimes there is just ego.

  53. Today must be the day for the old folks to receive some pension money. We have a lot of people proclaiming they are sending Hopper some cash. They might as well set their money on fire.

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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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