An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
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A case in point,the Des Moines Register endorsed Romney.The first time in 42 years that they backed a republican.They didn't even endorse Reagan in his second term.That says something huge.They are scared to death of this Obama economy getting much worse and hurting even more their struggling revenue situation.That says it all.They would not have even considered this endorsement unless they knew that their company depended on the change. Look out for more layoffs in December.
Im removing all comments about the election's impact on business unless they discuss VERY SPECIFICALLY the impact on Gannett and other media companies. Anything else is just generic partisan bickering. And there are thousands of political blogs for that stuff.
Jim, there are also lots of blogs where older cranks can bitch and moan about the world was so much better when they were at the wheel.Try to keep things in perspective, sunshine.
Hey, young crank -- watch your back. Your customers are leaving. You're welcome.http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/lansing/article-8067-paywall-6-months-later.html" .. According to the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the Journal’s weekday circulation dropped 2.6 percent since March 31, from 41,330 to 40,248. Even worse, Sunday circulation declined 12.4 percent, from 65,904 to 57,701. Compare that to 2008, when the Journal’s circulation was 59,000 during the week and 77,000 on Sunday .."
Wow Ithica! Your "UNDECIDED" huge reverse-type headline today speaks volumes.It says two things:1. When they consolidated all those newspapers into a centralized press setup, they were lying when they said it wouldn't affect our deadlines.2. Our Press Time trumps your Need to Know!Really... how can anyone put out a front page like that? Where was the ME? EE? Publisher? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?Sooooo sad.
In 2008, the news of the Obama election sold 100% of the papers put out in my district. Today I can't give them away.
To 5:45:The enemy of the good is the perfect.At our EST zone paper, we waited, and waited, and waited until we finally printed a paper that should be described as an early deadline afternoon paper because it could not be delivered and read in the morning by working aged people.The object is to print the best paper possible that can be delivered and read in the preferred time frame, not the perfect paper, which can never be printed because there is always one more bit of information to wait on.One piece of truth in your post...So sad.
The election was getting called around 11:30PM.No self-respecting editor would have put out a paper Wednesday morning that did not say who won.Or that "Dewey Defeated Truman".
Wednesday afternoon, a day after the election, the home page of the Cincinnati Enquirer website still featured a lead editorial urging people to vote.
The Enquirer site is a disgrace. If they won't hire the staff to minimize these kinds of errors (which are legion), then at least assign staffers to take turns monitoring it and flagging such gaffes. It's obvious no one inhouse ever looks at the damn thing. It was bad enough when it was free. But post-paywall, it's suicide.
In the "old days" of typewriters, hot type, and a circulation almost double of our newspaper's today, we routinely delayed election night our normal deadlines three and four hours in order to get complete results published. And those papers were delivered on time by a dedicated cadre of circulators.With each "improvement" -- computers, pagination, etc. -- our normal deadlines have been moved up two and three hours. And there is almost no budging from the norm allowed on election nights.It's on occasions such as these that Gannett's true lack of journalistic integrity is glaringly evident.Too bad Kate Marymont has no clout -- or perhaps no will to exercise what influence she may have.
Nothing is more telling than the dilemma facing print papers when their deadline is looming and election results are still unclear. There are too many alernatives out there to newspapers for those who want up-to-date results and except for those people down at the nursing home, printed newspapers are no longer relevant.
6:07 a.m.The Enquirer web site still has a history story up on its homepage that was posted Oct. 16. Nothing like old, old history news.
10:40, re: "In the 'old' days:" I, too, recall election night delaying our normal deadlines. And as you write, "...those papers were delivered on time by a dedicated cadre." Everyone was on the same team: the ad side, the production side, the news side, the press and circulation, most of them local longtime staffers. Overtime was freely earned and freely paid, which is probably the crux these days. Verboten. Hell, we even got pizzas. Seriously, it was really nice to see actually. And unlike some, I don't think that a digital source trumps the unity which once existed at my site — or any site. Indeed as for digital, my site's Webpage had NO coverage of referendum issues, NO coverage of local races besides city council and state assembly/senate contests. Who won which state supreme court seat? Who got onto the university board of regents? Go fish. I quickly gave up and surfed elsewhere. I mean, digital right? Pretty sure the digital advocates don't mean giving up on your own site and heading elsewhere.
Another lesson learned re: the election. The overrated influence of political advertising in general. Case in point: The Seattle Times gave free advertising, a full page, worth about 75k to a candidate. Setting aside the ugly ethical questions, that candidate lost. In light of that fiasco future candidates are going to ponder newspaper ads and say piss on it.
CNN now making fun of our sports pages. You call this marketing, Micek? What in hell are you and your marketing horde doing? Anything at all?
I feel bad for the remaining actual journalists at the Enquirer and other Gannett properties. the so called news websites are pathetic.
These over-stated denunciations of everything Gannett are incredibly juvenile.Only here, in this environment of near anarchy (even for the web), do contentless posts like those appear over and over.Jim could easily exercise some real control, but he doesn't. He is enough of a newsman, enough of an editor, to easily be able to remove posts that are simply hate-junk, simply workplace-rattles, but he doesn't.He filters, then allows them to be posted.Jim lets the hate prevail, even when it is anti-intellectual, anti-common sense, anti-rhetorical.Criticism need not be banned, not even angry criticism. Bring it on. But this endless stream of schoolyard taunting and claptrap makes this blog a joke. It really does. And it doesn't hurt the company. Posts like "all Gannett websites are a joke" don't hurt Gannett or any sensible, thinking person.They only hurt Jim, his credibility, the respect he might get but doesn't, and in the end only hurt this Blog. Because the valid criticisms, the sensible suggestions, the pointed and irreverent and zingers that count all get lost in the immaturity of this idiotic blog that is a laughing stock of the media criticism industry.Other media blogs allow comments, but none allow the day after day childishness and ignorance displayed here. Day after day, post after post.And Jim is to blame. Because he lets it happen. Day after day, post after post.An epic fail indeed.
10:53..you are just another perhaps, wishing for the death of your paper. Florida Today was only 20 minutes late with the press and we waited an hour and a half for the USA's to come from Orlando. FT had good, comprehensive coverage which doubled our normal Wed. sales. Best guess is more than Nursing and retirement homes bought a copy.This all, once again proves that there is still the market for print if it is done as news used to be done.
10:54 Keep coming back.
10:54, well said. The part about the criticism of the Web sites is especially valid.When I see those blanket criticisms, I know those people have no ideas, no solutions, and no alternatives. They cannot even say what they don't like about the sites. As you said, those posts are contentless.
I forgot to add that Jim would respond with some worthless retort. But sure enough, just before my post went through, he did just that.I was betting on his usual gem of "Let me know how your Gannett blog is doing." He went with the short version this time.
The elections are over. Everyone is getting ready to kill off that last week or two of vacation. So staffing is expected to drop over the next two months. Might as well get a head start.November 7, 2012 6:32 pm By Paul GrimaldiPROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Providence Journal Co. laid off 23 full-time workers Wednesday as part of a cost-cutting effort, including 16 members of the Providence Newspaper Guild and 7 non-union employees.The cutback represents 5 percent of The Journal's workforce. The reductions come about two months after 11 employees accepted a voluntary separation offer."Given a persistent softness in advertising revenue and the resultant impact on our earnings, it is necessary that we reduce our cost structure," said Howard G. Sutton, publisher, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "It is always difficult to reduce staffing levels through layoffs, but it's necessary to ensure the future of the franchise."Sutton said that the primary objective of The Providence Journal is to protect the depth and quality of its news coverage on all platforms. To that end, no reporters or columnists have been laid off and there will be minimal impact on other content providers in the newsroom.John Hill, president of the Providence Newspaper Guild, represents about 200 editorial and advertising employees at the paper."This layoff, though not the largest we've endured, is particularly painful because of the quality of the people we are going to lose," Hill said.
Usa Today is next on the cuts. Not just rank and file, but the bloated management structure and redundancies in place simce Hunke built his bridge to nowhere. Streamiline the top, trim the dead weight frrom the middle and bottom. Hire some people who actually bring value to editorial and the business side. Pretenders and bullshit types should get their overhyped resumes together. The party's over. At least 33% of you should be on the bubble, maybe more, if Kramer and Callaway have been paying attention to this souless, goofy batch of Keystone cops.
1:38I will bet that this will be reflected across all of Gannett publishing sites in the next month.The revenue is just as soft in Gannettland as shown by the near 8%drop off reported in the the third quarter.Certainly Gannett is not going to feel sorry for employees and bite the bullett.The ruthless cut backs will more than likely happen and without a second thought.That is why there is so much bitterness here,so many more good employees could be unemployed at a moments notice.And as in the past,with no real logic to it ,so no one is safe.
Personally, I think much of the complaining and whining i see here is more than justified. The repetitiveness shows the broad frustration many of us feel at our so called leaders at corporate, at Usa Today and at USCP papers big and small. This is not isolated nor concentrated among a few bad seeds. It is pervasive. To dismiss these complaints is a disservice to many hard working staffers who just want smart, responsive leaders, collaborative, hard working peers and the tools, equipment and systems needed to produce timely, cutting edge,competitive products.As for Jim, you might regain some cred if you replace your grade school photo with something more contemporary. People would take you more seriously.
1:13, here is a solution for usa today's website. Put experienced journalists in charge. Here's another: overhaul the shitty new redesign. Readers have fled in droves. Too difficult to navigate and distinguish between news and video. There is a reason traditional news websites have far more readership and page views than ours. They are serious about content and presenting it in an easily digestible way. Mobile is even worse.
Jim in regards to the chicken. I would post this if I were you.http://www.businessinsider.com/groupon-layoffs-2012-11
“When I see those blanket criticisms, I know those people have no ideas, no solutions, and no alternatives. They cannot even say what they don't like about the sites…” writes 1:13 AMIn all seriousness 1:13, you need to consider that Gannett’s culture is somewhat responsible for that too as it long ago punished people for expressing their own ideas and solutions, especially those that conflicted with edicts above. It’s key to why Gannett has been struggling for so long.
As predicted, stealth lay offs coming next week at Weekend and USAT.
12:20 - don't leave us hanging. What else do you know?
1:47 These rumors of USAT layoffs in the fourth quarter have been circulating on this blog for some time. Time will tell.
On Gannett web sites: I used to work for Gannett; don't any longer. For my current job I look at a half dozen Gannett web sites every day, including USA Today and some big dailies, and see probably another dozen during the week. I can tell you they're all terrible, every single one. Much of the problem, especially at the big papers, is poor organization and presentation. They often hide local news, which is just stupid. Much of the rest of the problem is the news itself -- boring, poorly written, and lots of stuff that's just not news (like the opening of a new Taco Bell). And all the sites that have instituted paywalls? All I have to do is delete the cookies for those sites and the meter resets. Pure idiocy. I can see where management doesn't want to hear how terrible their sites are, but it's the damn truth. You want constructive criticism? Hire some real web designers and pay them well, then do a better job of finding news, not photo galleries. If this is your best effort to save your franchises, then quit now so your employees can move on.
Not layoffs. More time off, w/o pay.Brutal truth: it does not look good. It may just be demographics. Some universities give away NYT, USAT, to encourage "critical thinking." Grim thing is, how many print copies are being thrown away. Not good.
No layoffs are coming at usat, though talk of changes are growing.Meanwhile, this post is amusing:>>In all seriousness 1:13, you need to consider that Gannett’s culture is somewhat responsible for that too as it long ago punished people for expressing their own ideas and solutions, especially those that conflicted with edicts above.<<So you're saying that people are unable to articulate what they don't like because the company has knocked critical thinking out of them and has instead instilled fear?Really?Pretty lame employees if that is the case.
Well-reasoned and well-put, 2:27!The websites are klunky and cumbersome. Worse, if one provides a suggestion regarding improving the content to journalistic standards, one can expect not thanks for one's interest but petty umbrage.As such, the photo galleries of tipsy young women, scruffy guests of the local jail, and the well-heeled at some soiré, these are a running joke, but again there's no local control.It's fine to have consistency throughout the company properties, but not if the consistency is defined with nothing more than stumbling crap.Yesterday I wasted too much time viewing some reader-submitted video of a breaking story. At least they had a breaking story finally. But a reader with a cell phone cam, with no skill / no clue, their shaky, wobbly over-exposed vid adding absolutely nothing to the story (too far away, etc.) and yet heralded as of some value?That's the problem with this company. With some exceptions, its culture is to devalue what is valuable (experienced staff) and debase what is newsworthy.
9:51, this ain't Gannett. So what you say is meaningless.It's also already being struck down as a foolish comment. The bottom line is people here either can't or won't say specifically what they find wrong with those sites. That's because they know they don't have to here. Blanket criticism is accepted. I doubt many of these people making the criticism have seen more than 2-3 of the sites.
To 11/08/2012 11:52 PM:Jim doesn't care what is said unless because his number one interest is clicks. That is how he charges for advertising and "proves" the blog is relevent. Maybe it is relevent to some advertisers that are looking for this sort of thing.That is why his response was:Jim Hopkins said...10:54 Keep coming back.11/09/2012 1:11 AM
Gannettoids brain-wash workers and kill their "critical thinking?"Sure. There's less complaining today in the USA (USAT). And pigs fly out of the Al-head.Insane on its face.Gannettoids suck. Get out, ASAP. You've been warned, no one to blame but yourselves. Loading docks, where future Bruce Springsteens work, are more interesting than Gannettoid newspapers.
Congratulations @3:22 PM as you’ve not only confirmed the point that Gannet has a culture of punishing things it doesn’t like to hear - as you have with yours, but that you also missed how nearly everyone who comments here is either a current or former employee of Gannett.And, I suspect you’re likely the odd one out here as there are plenty of Gannett managers left who still have little use for hearing comments from employees, especially those that raise valid points questioning decisions by this company. If you need to ask for who they are, then you’re either not very wired into what’s going on, or worse yet, one of the ones who practices that old style of leadership which given how you expressed your opinion here is more than likely.
I believe Gannett offers employees a free EAP program to vent about this stuff.
Usa Today has always been a top down, editor driven organization. Just as bad now as it ever was. As if the in breeding werent reflective on content, it has gotten worse on hiring. When was the last newsroom hire a good one? No one wants to come here except losers, non performers and neophytes. Once these people are discoverd, they are seldom let go. Just reassigned, pigeon holed, or in the case of Heather Frank's team, promoted. Makes life discouraging and embittered for the rest of us. Maybe Susie Ellwood can be given the task of weeding out these people, and those responsible for hiring them. She doesnt seem overworked,meither.
Ms. Gracia knows numbers. If a GCI site's clicks are up, OK.That's the problem at many sites -- clicks are lagging.The content sucks. No one wants to waste their time, on a site that sucks.Improve the content? LOL -- that would require thinking, and Gannettoid bonuses don't require thinking.Hang on -- hard times ahead.
5:37, any time a national news organization hires a half dozen "reporters" with no prior experience, it spells trouble. You dont learn your craft at an organization like Usa Today. No way. No how. Same goes for the website crew, where several have inexplicably placed in decision making positions.forget about what this does to staff morale and workloads. It is shameful and disrepectful to readers. kramer, callaway, why do you allow this to happen?
3:43. Both have been checked out since they got here. Kramer playing big man in the media and hiring hasbeens to write Money columns. Callaway more interested in useless deck chair shuffling. The Hub. Biggest fucking joke since Hunke reorganized the newsroom. Make some fucking personnel changes already.
4:36 Beusse and Morgan made changes and you and your pals cried like three year old boys. You just enjoy boo hooing
Beusse and Morgan created a disaster, empowering widespread nit wit stories that pass for journalism but is lightweight crap. Have you actually read some of the drivel? But let's forget about the steep decline in quality. Where is a fraction of the revenue Buesse promised? He's playing with the house money snapping up acqusition after acquisition. Blowing money on pricey real estate. Where is the frigging payoff?
One other thing: beusse made changes by making everome reapply for their jobs, which was just an excuse to clean house. Sleazy, unethical and the wrong way to treat people. If he wanted to clean house and put his own team in, there were more appropriate ways to do it.
9:15 and how legally would you have "cleaned house?"
Beusse has has zilch impact on the organization aside from running up costs. Who do we have to thank for this guy, Thr Hunkster?
Kramer and Callaway have generated a lot of hope and optimism in the newsroom. Sure, things are still uncertain, the decision making on the website is questionable, and the web redesign has some problems. But these guys give us a shot at making USAT succeed again. They have a lot of support from the rank and file, despite the complainers on this blog.
Yeh hope and change .That will drive you staight to failure.
Enough hope. What change? Specifically? A bit more Money stories earlier in the day. Unfortuntely, few reporters capable of doing something substantive. Thats it. Print still sucks bigtime because same lame decision makers in place. Even worse judgement on website. The redesign make it seem even more amateur hour. Presto is a disaster.Seriously, people want both of these guys to do well. They were like a breath of fresh air when they arrived. But they arent really shaking anything up. They allow inferior talent and systems to fester. They've had months to eyeball who is worth keeping and who should go. Building a silly, purposeless Hub is the best these two have to show for themselves? Allowing a half baked publishing system to launch without any due dillegence? My God, after what Hunke, Hillkirk and others did to the place, this is the best they can do?
11:27 you will be the first in line at the end of this week to complain about .......Sorry you will ahvfe to wait!
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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