An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Now that the paywall's up, what kind of writing are customers getting for their money? Below is an actual lede on a 1A story today at Cinci Enquirer."We have basic human needs. To eat, of course, is first. But for many people, the need to tell stories and to hear them are of near vital importance. Stories feed our souls."
I think Jim was hearing suggestions about Heidi, then was hoping nasty, sexist comments would follow. Then he could remove them with his imperial powere.The thing is, lots of inside the park info gets to Jim. Some of it is wishful thinking, lots of it is snark. But it does come from more than a few disgruntled marketing people. Much of the time, it is very accurate, too. Jim just decides to play judicious traffic cop as he pleases. So when word of Rudd Davis' firing or comments about Brent Jones or complaints about David Colton do not meet his personal taste test, they get pulled.
6:37...wow. Pompous AND vapid.
wake up phx, dale lays out all these cuts, wages, holidays, personal days. he will give in on all these but really just wants the manning clause, because austin ryan told him to get it ! Ryan leaves in '13 then it's dale's show, get ready !
It was bad enough when I worked at Gannett and had to hear all this stupid buzzcrap from management. Now they're putting it in the paper (and online). Just another reason not to read the paper anymore. Even if it's really no worse than the garbage you hear from local TV news...
Sad day in Indy. 10 designers let go because of Louisville design center.
Stealth layoffs beginning.And only the beginning of more to follow.
Layoffs coming at Gannett's digital arm PointRoll. Expect 10 to 15 layoffs in operations at the companies corporate HQ in PA. At least 3 layoffs from the sales team. These cuts to be made within the next 30 to 60 days.
I am so tired of the managers justifying their existence. When they were gone on the retreat everything ran smoothly without them. Now they are back they are questioning the stupidest things that don't even matter. Please Gannett, get rid of your over heavy and unneeded management team. Save some bucks and give it to the people who do the real work.Wow! What a concept!
8:37, having more managers is a Gannett tradition. Even newcomers like Dave Callaway arent immune. First outsider to run Usa Today in 30 years and just months after he arrives, he names three executive editors and 10 managing editors from the sorry ass crew already in charge.You cannot make up crap like this. More reporters? Bah, humbug!
Another blow to commercial printing of newspapers big change at transcon in SF . The recent collapse of AFL in jersey(ex Gannett Management). Who is going to print the papers?
I'm so glad to be out of Gannett. My job running a pressroom was stressful to say the least, and the executives over me were complete idiots. They should never have been in the newspaper business to begin with. No wonder the papers are going down the tubes. Bring back the Blevins and Wheeler days.. at least they appreciated folks in Production
13 upper management editors? This Baker's dozen is bound to get stale fast.
12:13 you must miss Goldie too !!
Tell me again how a digital company, leaning forward into change, etc etc, feels the need to shuttle editors and sales staff around the country to learn their jobs?Every site has the high speed internet and equipment to accomplish video conferencing - we had to put it in for Gracia's town halls. We're now total believers that it's all within our reach, and all our blame if we don't make numbers.Yet corporate still rings the bell and demands flights, meals and hotel rooms for dozens of people instead of using the technology we already have. As a stockholder, that foolishness drives me up the wall.
The Detroit Free Press has been doing a bang up job of covering the Michigan right-to-work legislation, but then bungles it with its ignorance of labor law.Since Taft-Hartley there is no such thing as a closed shop which requires union membership as a condition of employment. There are fair share agreements in which all employees are subject to a payroll deduction for their share of the cost of representation. Not the same thing. Union membership is NOT mandatory, in Michigan or anywhere else. Just once I would like to see a news outlet get this right.
Since the "paywall" went up at the Gannett paper I work for page views online have dropped 2/3.
Hey, folks: A reality check. You must know that Gannett is watching the Advance/Newhouse changes very closely, particularly in terms of reducing print frequency and cutting by a third or half the number of FTEs at each unit. The fact that Gracia never once mentioned the term "newspapers" is a telling sign, as that platform acclerates its decline. It's really only a matter of time before frequency -- and FTEs -- at selected sites are reduced. So, Jim, here's my suggestion for holiday content filler for you. Let's start a thread on Predictions for 2013. I shall start:* Further consolidation in New Jersey, including elimination of some publishing days, as they try to make those properties profitable again (they have been in the red ever since Gannett changed how expenses and services they receive from the APP was allocated and recorded).* Total employment at most NT-31 sites will be reduced by as much as a third. The few sites with publishers will be converted to GM/Somethings (or be allowed to be Publishers In Name Only but also run advertising or news).-- A leaner news structure at the T-31 metros (is that even possible?) is coming, with even fewer editors. "Feet on the street" will remain a priority, but everyone else, frankly, will have to fight to keep their place at the table. More editors writing stories, doing multimedia and editing. Bad time, again, to be a ME.* For low performing sites near larger Gannett metros, here's a potential model for your future: TucsonCitizen.com. Two or three FTEs in content, two or three FTES in operations, focusing mostly on reader engagement, citizen journalism, sports and press releases. These new sites may be more robust that what we left behind in Tucson, but you can get the picture.* More layoffs at the Design Studios, as papers shrink in size and operational efficiencies continue.* This is the make-or-break year for Detroit. Get in the black or go all digital. We can't keep you running red forever.* This will be the year when an interesting trend will start to emerge, demographically, in our ranks: The old guard, bitter and tired from years of slogging without proper pay and respect, will start to go away (by choice or by force); the new guard, so eager to have their place in the sun, will start to recognize that these older guys had to work long hours, holidays and weekends -- and will start to either rebel or depart as well. Publishers/GMs/whatevers will start to realize as their ranks shrink that they no longer have as many folks willing to give their lives to the company for just the sheer love of the business. Now what?* Finally, sadly, more quiet trims of FTEs through unfilled vacancies, sales territory reorgs, elimination of unprofitable ventures (DealChicken will die in some places, live in others) and the before-mentioned frequency reductions.Remember, dear friends, we need to jettison at least 10k more employees between now in 2015 in order to keep pace with our revenues in USCP and, frankly, become a smaller, leaner digital operation.Happy New Year!
I agree with you on all points, particularly cutting days of publication. In 2010-11, about 100 "dailies" stealth-cut their frequency by a day or two. Newhouse's contract in Cleveland calls for no layoffs until Jan. 31, and publication cutbacks are already being discussed. Harrisburg and Syracuse have announced their cuts, too.
Layoffs always immediately follow a supportive e-mail from Gracia like the one we received this week. "I just got done telling UBS that you guys are great, we really appreciate you and the hard work you bring everyday. Now, you're fired!"
Today members of the Leadership Team and I presented a company update at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, which you can listen to here. We bragged about the good work you have accomplished throughout the year and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you. Your efforts have made a real difference as we work to rapidly transform the company for the digital era. I know many of you have heard me talk about how “we are on the offensive” to rebuild our company through our strategic initiatives. The great news is that as we travel to Gannett sites across the country, we see you in lean-forward mode, helping to build an even stronger company for decades to come. There is tremendous energy here at Gannett, fueled by an amazing amount of collaboration and the sharing of ideas and solutions. While we still have a great deal of work ahead of us, we are going to do what we did very successfully this year – and that is build on our strengths with careful planning and with the will to accomplish our goals.As we wrap up 2012, let’s take a moment (or two!) to celebrate our successes. Thanks again for your tremendous work.Warm regards,GraciaP.S. Get the fuck out!
Update on Cleveland: The Guild reports that it's nearing agreement on a new contract that would not prevent the loss of 60 newsroom jobs now, but would eliminate further cuts during the six-year agreement. So, they still lose a third of their newsroom now.https://www.facebook.com/SaveThePlainDealer/posts/539695469391678
Totally agree this is a do-or-die year for Detroit. I keep hearing they are going to let go of designers and copy editors in March. Anyone know any truth to that. I have a friend that works there and she said the new contract will prevent that, but I don't see how. Gannett can do whatever it wants.
Re: "paywall" leading to 2/3rd drop in page views online (9:29 AM):That's what happens at most sites going through the tran¢ition!(Hey my name is part of the "prove you're not a robot", hah!)
Jim: Not certain if you are still doing original reporting for the blog any more. But, if you are, I find it odd that you haven't done a single thing on the 2012 Gannett Editors Meeting. The editors, on the other hand, are doing a great job of telling their own stories and observations. Make me proud to be associated with this company: http://storify.com/renoeditor/gciturbocharge-day-1
Detroit, Government Media, Louisiana and a few other sites will be transitioning to NewsGate after the holidays. As with all the other sites that have already moved to Design Studios, there will be less work for those left locally. However those layoffs are applied, seniority or otherwise, there will be fewer people in those buildings once the page design has left the building.
12:37 In fact, I have been following the editors' meeting. And one thing's clear: Editors have shown they know how to tweet. (Example: "Please increase rate of #gciturbocharge tweets to at least one per minute. It doesn't yet feel like I'm there.")But I think it would be unfair to judge how effective the meeting was based solely on a stream of tweets. And I'm certain (right?) that editors aren't expecting staff back in their newsrooms to answer the question "How does this affect me" based only on a series of 140-character updates.The proof will come, as always, in how anything presented at this meeting turns into better content for readers and viewers.You wrote: "The editors, on the other hand, are doing a great job of telling their own stories and observations."Could you be more specific?
"As with all the other sites that have already moved to Design Studios, there will be less work for those left locally."Less work?
I have an upside to the reduced workforce at GCI: I am pee shy, so I appreciate that I can just walk into the bathrooms and find them empty most times, and be able to just let it flow!
1:22 - there's still local work that has to be done, but as a whole there's less work. Might result in layoffs, might result in people actually getting the vacation time they've earned.
I see WSJ piece today on change in IBMs 401(k) plan that would have company match occur once a year instead of twice a month. Some criticism about whether employees who leave early (laid off) are penalized by that arrangement, and whether it's kosher legally. Hasn't' that been happening at Gannett for several years now?
Great job by USA TODAY Sports today on gun ownership in the NFL.
2:49 But did you see the source of the headlined "three-quarters ownership figure? "Numerous" players told USAT.
Gannett New Jersey strikes again! Their weekly entertainment pullout has different names -- Kicks in the Courier News, On the Go in the Home News Tribune -- but much the same content. Today's pullout has a writeup on Mannheim Steamroller that refers to Omaha as the capital of Nebraska.Well I've never been to Lincoln, but I've been to the land of stupid and back.
How long did the interior designers in marketing take to create Dickey's set? It looks very fabulous and totally Project Runway-ee. #gciturbocharge #devolution
Nothing good can come from editor tweets. Nothing.
Yeah ... how dare editors use Twitter. In fact, how dare anybody use Twitter. Let's go back to cold type — life was so much simpler then.If editors didn't embrace anything new, you'd be all over them for it. And when they do, you're all over them for it. Nice.
Check your mail for the "Healthy Actions Surcharge" on your health insurance. $18.46 a pay period on mine. And I did jump through their hoops.
I am laughing at the posts on the heathy surcharge or whatever. I'm a former employee and I'd love to be able to get a free physical, have by blood checked for problems, and fill out a questionnaire that helps me understand healthy. What is the big deal? You have most of a year to do it, most is paid for, and you can see how healthy you are. I wonder how many potential or real illnesses have been found, and how many employees helped through this. I wish I had that oppotuntity. I really do.
Usa Today has lax sourcing standards in Sports and digital that conflict with other departments. For all the bullshit management titles,no one is in charge or cares. What an incredibly lax organization. Yet Gracia is "bragging" about all your hard work,Warm regards.
Havent seen this many clueles editors at a Crystal Palace seminar in some time.
You need to get your eyes checked
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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