An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
1:42 I'm reasonably certain I know why Rudd Davis left the company, but not well enough to post it here.
He was raising coin to be the digital coupon queen. That made Gracia cranky. Know enough, now Jim?
Hope you're not expecting anything worthwhile about the elections in South Jersey. This is the only link available from the Courier-Post homepage:http://www.courierpostonline.com/section/election
The Courier Post's website is horrible. A few news items, yet.loaded with meaningless photos. They must think they're in competition with Facebook because of all the photos. We just had a major disaster here and their coverage is a disgrace, however, they sure have the balls to display pictures of bimbos at bars and parties. Lord, please put this place out of business!
News from Asbury Park Press in New Jersey: This week, management doubled the number of online producers.
The reason the CP website is like that (in fact why so many websites are like that), is that it takes heaven and earth to change a website's basic look.Many of those features -- bar and babe photo galleries, ad positions, etc. -- are hard-baked into the website's basic structure.So a disaster comes and the poor producers are forced to work with a few available "news" holes on the site. And CONVINCING the IT people that this is a problem is another part of the problem.Somewhere in the "I guess we should put a few people on this Internet thing" dec-sion of 20 years ago, the newsrooms of America, not just Gannett, lost control of their own future. It is now in the hands of IT code writers who do not know the difference between an OMG big story and a rollover ad.It's all just code to them, and moving things is to be resisted.This must change.
Jim, previous posts mentioned why he was forced outnof the company, and you deleted them. They were accurate.. Lets just say Hunke's drinking buddy should never have been put in any position of power. A plan he had for Gannett was rejected, and he was stupid enough to pitch it outside the company. When thst was disovered, he was gone.Hunke made so many bad hires and promotions that Usa Today may never dig itself out of the morass he left. Most of his people are still in positions of power. That's the problem Kramer faces. Kramer is too detached to see how bad things are, especially in the newsroom. Callaway is asserting himself more and more, but he still has to deal with a culture of incompetence and lack of accountabilty. And the top down mentality remains pervasive. Most of us hope some sort of major shakeup will happen, but if the current management crew stays, nothing will change.
9:56, I understand where you are coming from and also understand that it seems like IT is running the ship, but I have to disagree with your conclusions. And I say that from years of experience as a webmaster, albeit in another organization.The IT folks have great skills in coding and translating design concepts into web presentations, but they don't have skills necessary to determine what is newsworthy or should be shown on the platforms they develop, day by day. If they are determining content at Gannett, it is because they are just trying to fill a breach created by management in not assigning seasoned editors and writers to the web side of the product. Ideally, there would be no IT people involved in the posting of actual content at all; they are there to make sure the system stays up at this point, and that's all. It is the responsibility of editors and reporters to put good content out there on the site. There is no technical reason that the "hot babes" nightclubbing stuff needs to be on the Gannett sites. Someone, somewhere outside of IT has decided that that is editorially appropriate,however. Technically those photo "holes" could easily be filled by storm photos if editors decided to do that. A jpeg is a jpeg to a web server, regardless of subject. The fact is that no one evidently thinks it's important enough to make the switch.
I am unaware of *any* local control of a Gannett website.
Seasoned editors and reporters are not deciding stories or play on Usa Today's website. Very problematic, but no one seems to care.
That is the problem with Gannett these days in general. Nobody seems to care about anything.
1:40, as a reader, *I* care. When I go to a news website it's because I want news. While the new USAT website looks pretty and has nice functionality, if it doesn't provide news and useful information I have no reason to go back to it. There are too many sites that do provide the information I want. I am not at all surprised that there are few "seasoned" staff filtering the stories that appear there. That's self-evident. USAT has a small window of time in which they can reclaim their reputation as a news and features destination. Photos of glassy-eyed babes leering at a camera, however hot they may be, won't make it happen. We have all watched myspace and aol and some other big sites tank as quality sank and people moved to the next big thing. Those sites that maintain their value are sites that provide information that can't be gathered elsewhere, like good local stories and intelligent aggregation of national news -- things that Gannett used to do so well. Getting back to the primary mission of the company will do ensure success. Imitation of groupon, yahoo news, and soft-core sites won't.Just my opinion, of course.
They'll start caring, when profits drop, from lack of customer interest, due to BORING content. The moon-lighting CFO and Ms. Gracia can be gone in a NYC minute.That's not mean. That's reality. No profits - no job. Even the Chinese Commies get it. Get used to it.
3:56, this is 3:17. I was not being flippant. I totally agree with you. But I also see what goes on every day. Senior editors stuck in their offices or in meetings routinely deferring on metrics and technical aspects of the website. Its as if they have forgotten who is in charge, who should be making decisions and who is actually capable of making news decisions. Twentsomething barely out of school are mostly in charge now. Laughable at reputable, serious news organizations.You can be proficient at HTML at posting photos and moving chess pieces on an electronic board, bit thst is no basis for ignoring news or deciding what news is. USA Today, and more important, readers, are far better served be a staff steeped in actual reporting and editing experience that knows the technical functions of the digital operations. This shouldn't be rocket science. But Paulson, then Hillkirk, then Weiss and now Callaway allow it.Digital staffers should know how to report and edit stories. does it makes more sense to train traditional journalists and operate the digital side than continue staffing with inexperienced journalist wannabees? You tell me.
8:18 seems to be forgetting the half decade debacle named Craig Dubow. Paid handsomely despite destroying sharholder value. Had his board of directors wrapped around his little finge. His consiglare? Gracia Martore. She will continue to be ruthless in her stewardship of the company. if that means cutting employees, furloughs and miniscule raises, so be it. She doesnt give a shit about anyone outside her select team. Get used to several years of ruthless management and lip service about how she cares about you. She is a mean spirited shark.
8:28 Being of Italian descent, Martore would appreciate this correction: She would be a consigliera (the feminine version of the title given to a master strategist -- especially in a Mafia family).
I do not know if I can take another four years of the Obama mess.
She's not a woman. She is the devil.
Rudd was too stupid to realize who provided the butter for his bread. Senior vice presidents dont have to be bright, just connected.
Who is dumber, Rudd, who made millions selling to Gannett, then got six figure salaries and promotions, or Hunke?
Ho bags, all of them.
8:28 look at GCI debt load. Then, get a clue.
Let's hope the new online producers at the APP can get rid of some of the embarrassments, such as the two same stories showing up on the "front page" of the mobile site and the same stories molding on the site for two days. People are paying for it, try and give them value for their $$$$$
9:10 a.m. I think it's been awhile since you've actually looked at the Courier-Post website. Out of the first 38 galleries on the gallery page 4 are 'party' galleries. (http://www.courierpostonline.com/section/multimedia) Most posters in this blog are terrible with their facts.... which is really scary because it seems most identify as 'journalist.'
Could someone please explain what Suzy Ellwood does? She is not responsible for advertising, news, circulation, production, marketing or sports. Is it just accounting? Then what do Maslowsky or Motiff do?? Lots of huge salaries and bonuses. Just wondering.
Ellwood? A complete non entity. But i cant figure out what Motiff, Frank or 80% of the senior editors do, either. Judging by the lack of ads, that goes for Micek & Co., too.
What about the debt load, genius? Cash flow is going to go down once elections are over. You think paywall models will offset ? Not when the product continues to lose quality. I seldom hear anyone on this blog talking about any Gannett publication getting better. Do you?And where is the rest of cash flow going?She's buying back shares and goosing the dividend. We saw how well buybacks worked under her predecessors. Wall Street used to value Gannett as a growth stock. It certsinly is not a dividend play.meanwhile she is underfunding the pension fund and keeping wages below the rate of inflation. great for emplyee morale, don't you think?
Hey, Einstein -- you think, Ms. Gracia can keep up the stock price, if debt rises?Is that anything like what's happened to the bond market? With tens of thousands of bond professionals, now out of work?Good freakin' luck. GCI is a tightrope act.(Pension fund FUBAR, already stipulated to, 1,000,000 times. Former Rochester, NY, corporate neighbor Kodak just dumped the widows/widowers -- GCI next?)
Debt load has not been a big GCI issue since rates came down and notes were refinanced. this is a non issue. the broader business model is, dummy.
IT has nothing to do with what content gets posted. When a paper posts nothing but T&A or other galleries, it shows that they are desperate for page views and an editor made the call to post them. I don't think IT is consulted on editorial decisions at *any* newspaper.The comment made by 9:56AM on 11/4 shows complete ignorance on CMS, and particularly the one used by Gannett.
Did you see Jim's note about what Ms. Gracia said about the GCI pension fund?
"Getting back to the primary mission of the company will do ensure success. Imitation of groupon, yahoo news, and soft-core sites won't."Great content matters but if "quality content" where all that mattered then New York Times would not have gone from a $7 billion company to a $900,000,000 one. Newspapers have always been a collection of many things that work together to make money. Classifieds, coupons, and legal listings are a few that come to mind This company must continue to innovate and create new types of products if we want to remain relevant.
To: 3:17Digital staffers should know how to report and edit stories. does it makes more sense to train traditional journalists and operate the digital side than continue staffing with inexperienced journalist wannabees? You tell me. Of course knowing how to edit is important but reporting is about a lot more than just writing and editing and if you think the printed word is all there is to digital news operations or modern journalism then you need to get your head out of your 1985 typewriter.
8:03 - No.
4:00 am., When a digital "news editor" does not know how to interpret a government report or a quarterly earnings release from a major company,, that is a MAJOR problem. It is about context, knowledge and background. You dont get that by knowing how to shoot video or assembling digital photo galleries. At 25, you should be learning your craft, not directing a major digital news operation, especially if you have never reported or edited beyond your college rag. That's not the case at Usa Today, which refuses to hire many experienced journalists for both newsroom and digital.Is management afraid experienced outsiders will expose many of them as the frauds they actually are, or just extremely cheap?
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."
Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.
Subscribe in a reader