Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Feb. 4-10 | Your News & Comments: Part 2

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48 comments:

  1. A reader reports that in Shreveport, La., yesterday, five employees were laid off: two in classified advertising and three in finance.

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    1. So now you have 37% of the story over a week after it happened. Isn't "crowd sourcing" supposed to give us all better news than that?

      Jim, what are you giving us for news that we cannot obtain elsewhere?

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    2. Kevin Hall at work already.

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    3. No this is a Don Bailey mess get him out this community and advertisers and employees will be happy ready to do business again

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  2. I just realized as I saw a carrier delivering the morning paper to my neighbor that that neighbor, probably about 80, is the only daily subscriber left in the group of about 14 houses around me. That's pretty telling in a market where the paper used to brag about 80% coverage, and in an area that until a few years ago actually still had walking carriers because of the concentration of subscribers.This is in a middle class neighborhood that is mixed with young and middle aged families with a few retirees, and where there is really no competition to the Gannett paper.

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    1. On my block it is one in seventeen.

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  3. USA TODAY survey: More Republicans in Congress own guns http://usat.ly/WMAOsA

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    1. Nearly every paper in Wisconsin lead with that story and the same graphic. Editorial independence my ass.

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    2. Editorial independence goes out the door when they cut the staffs to nothing, want us to shoot more videos and do other things then realize they still need something to fill the news hole. Our fronts are now a combination of USAT and AP. No local output.But at least the execs are keeping their bonuses.

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    3. Wow (sarcasm)!

      An elected body that runs notably higher in its percentage of men – a gender that reportedly owns guns at a rate five times more than women, admits (operative word here) owing more compared than those on the other side of the isle that has a higher percentage of woman with in it. That’s hardly revealing.

      Though, what is how one member of Dems lot, Feinstein is listed as not owning a gun when she’s long been reported as packing heat.

      Sadly, one suspects Singer and Korte ignored those details as to not harm the agenda they’d like to set which, like their "story," is pretty pathetic.

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    4. Singer and Korte dont do much post election.Kucinich is fashioning herself as Page's successor as a tv star.

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    5. More people in Circulation own guns than any other department. You ask why my friend? Well, you go downtown L.A., Des Moines or Pittsburgh at 2 a.m. to do an audit, reach into the rack, count returns with your back turned and you'll have the answer. I've been caring heat with me for well over 10 years.

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    6. Scanning the Newseum front pages, the Wisconsin papers were the most obvious--same graphics, etc. But many of the big USCP properties used the package as a CP or at least started it on page 1. Apparently there was no big news in some of those big cities yesterday.

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  4. If you had seen the Sunday digital edition of the Shreveport Times you would realize that they should just close their doors altogether. It's like amateur hour.

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    1. It is amateur hour at my site as well. The damage that has been done is as extensive as it is apparent. There are, of course, occasional bright shiny exceptions but those exceptions used to be the norm at least here when Gannett properties used to be more a consortium than a cookie cutter in the hands of five-year-old.

      I no longer subscribe to my "local" Gannett paper, and that says a lot. I check it out occasionally online and it's not my cup of tea, as one says: my community is highly disparate and all the "local" paper often carries tucked in between "wire" feeds I've already seen a million times is a one-size-fits-all affluent white guys.

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    2. Sorry... "for" affluent white guys.

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  5. Single Copy papers should have always had a place for people who didn't want to read the paper on a cell phone, carry around an I-pad, or E reader.People who still can't afford those devices may have wanted to read a paper, get Sunday ads, or check the classifieds but Gannett has gutted the papers and GPS has cut cost when they didn't need to resulting in a poor distribution model.

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    1. 4 papers and one press. Wausau, WI can do it all. Thank goodness they all lost 25-30% of their circulation over the last 10 years or maybe we would be dealing with late papers too.

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  6. With all the money Gannett still makes from Single Copy and the price increase I wish they would break out how much they saved by cutting the drivers and out sourcing distribution.

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  7. The top five things I don't miss after retiring from Gannett:

    5. The ubiquitous sheet cake, trotted out for every promotion, anniversary, departure, award or whatever.
    4. Any memo containing the words "doing more with less."
    3. Any memo containing the word "synergy".
    2. Weather stories, so all the dumb fucks out there who wake up to snow will know it snowed overnight.
    1. And hearing the words "what have you got for the weekend?"

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    1. LOL..plus
      The monthly pep rallies.
      The time-wasting staff meetings to "share our vision."
      The cheap, cold election night pizza.
      The "pat us on the back" self promoting crap.
      Editors who never worked a beat and were out of touch with the readers, sources and staff.

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    2. What? You have pep rallies? Pizza? Cold or otherwise? Pat on the back? Shoot, all we get are our jobs and we better do them to get management out of hot water or else...if you are 50+, one by one you are being sent to the gas chamber! Cold pizza sounds good!

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  8. Des Moines' Ted Power is in Nashville this week to stop bleeding at the hub. Interim director has decided to retire, after all. Pass Ted a beer!

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    1. Do you think that is wise, considering his driving record?

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    2. Ted is probably a Pitbull fan: don't stop the party.

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  9. Des Moines has six wire copy editor positions listed on careerbuilder.com. But they're only for six months. Anyone know what's up with that?

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  10. How many more people can this company let go to keep the bonuses, and promotions rolling in at the top?

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  11. God forbid the chiefs sacrifice anything. Keep cutting the Indians.

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  12. We will never hear from Des Moines site.
    Too afraid of L.H.

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  13. Whether it is pizza or cake, or just a plain "thank you," everyone is just looking for respect. Respect for a job well done & our sacrifice and commitment to the company. Sometimes pizza & cake are a symbolic and small way of saying thank you, for those that are not very eloquent or savvy to find the right words. But I see that people are now thinking of "pizza & cake" as a new symbol, in which no one in particular is recognized for individual accomplishments or milestones... And now-a-days it seems like accomplishment are not recognized, when good employees are losing their jobs. And, quite frankly many GREAT employees have lost their jobs. It is especially difficult after struggling during years of furloughs, to lose your job on top of it. It's just an added slap in the face, after giving so much for the survival of the company. I lost my job at Gannett, a while ago, and I was forced out in a political way/game. I gave every second of my day to the company. Gannett was my life and my family. And, in the process of dedication, I probably avoided opportunities for a "true" family. What we are all experiencing at Gannett, is a constant pillage of hardworking folks. It is heartbreaking, and extremely difficult for those that have lost their jobs. I don't know what to say to turn things around, other than making a plea to those with influence.

    If anyone of enormous influence is reading this, please consider forecasting future skills during the upcoming restructuring, and re-train those with the dedication to learn so that they may be transitioned into new roles.

    My second plea has to do with the environment, as a result of the years of layoffs... The Gannett environment has been extremely cut-throat, and sometimes scary. People have become vicious in the face of potential adversity. For whatever reason, evil has thrived and many ugly political games have been played. And to this, I am asking that Gannett consider greater ethical awareness and devote sometime on educating folks on unethical behavior in the workplace. And, in addition, enforce stronger policies to curb unethical behavior. For instance, please re-evaluate all occurrences of nepotism and hiring of friends. This has always been a problem at Gannett. However, during this time of uncertainty these people are only watching the "backs" of their friends & family without regard to what the best choices are for the company. The lower levels of Gannett have become a political den of pitbulls that attack others who they consider "competition" during any future eliminations. Perhaps the "evaluation" process for layoffs needs to be reconsidered... Because it has turned into personal wars that have nothing to do with what is good for the business of Gannett.

    And for those that have lost your jobs, you know in your heart that you have given "your all" and you have done a great job. This process of elimination has not been fair, and it has no reflection on you and your abilities. Ironically, there is a state of chaos and disorder during the reorganization, and many bad decisions have been made in haste. We have lost a lot of great people, and it is terribly unfair.

    I hope that Gannett executives consider my words seriously and re-evaluate some of Gannett's restructureing processes during this delicate time. And, perhaps say a prayer for me, so that I may find new employment soon.

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    1. Well said! And for those of us who may be effected by future cuts, just know you were an asset to this company and it is the COMPANY'S loss not yours! And remember, what goes around, comes around!!

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    2. I have not lost my job but am exhausted from working in a pinball machine. Stop shuffling sales around and let us do our jobs. NO one is making any money like this.

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    3. Remember this is Gannett. You have employees who work schedules at a 7 day a week/365 a year paper out selling product, improving displays, and auditing to protect company assets. Then you have empty suits like Tony Simmons who set in the office scheming ways to cut some costs, then he flies all over the country to meet with others doing the same. Then the empty suits come and get rid of the folks that made 40K a year that gave everything to the company to get more income, yet the 6 figure empty suit salary remains while revenue drops. It's not rocket science folks, get rid of some chiefs and keep the Indians, you protect revenue and cut expense at the same time.

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    4. 10:02 p.m., Unfortunately, you are preaching to the choir. The executives pulling the strings that you speak of are at corporate and are the ones hiring their friends and then watching their backs. You don't need to look any further than the "Blue Balls" memo to realize that Banikarim is still employed because she's Gracia's friend. If anyone else had sent that email they would have been fired. My prediction is that this company will tank in the next two years with no Olympics or election coming its way. I shall continue to watch with interest. In the meantime, I hope you do land on your feet. I'm sure you were an awesome and dedicated employee, like so many others.

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    5. Banikarim is still employed not because she is Gracia's friend, but because Gracia doesn't know any better. Ignorance is our biggest failure.

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  14. @1002 Truly sorry for your job loss and certainly hope you find a far better situation soon.

    When you do - and I'm sure you will - make it a point never to make this mistake again:

    - "I gave every second of my day to the company. Gannett was my life and my family."

    No company, certainly not this one, deserves every second of your day. No company deserves to be your life and/or your family. You do honest work, you set high standards, you deliver the goods - but you don't give your soul to any company. Ever. You're worth far more than any job. Don't forget it!

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  15. I doubt anyone is left on the blog with enough clout to know but I suppose it's worth a try.

    Has anyone gotten any word about furloughs? Management keeps dancing around the question but I'd really like to know what the prospects are.

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  16. I heard they are budgeted for the third quarter if earnings aren't where they are supposed to be.

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  17. The only thing holding newspapers in general, and single copy in particular, is the people running them. people still want the paper, regardless of the digital head's relentless chirping otherwise. Report things in depth as they used to and charge a more realistic price. Guess that's too easy to understand.

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  18. today's story line on AZ Central in Phx. i didn't know cars can ride bikes !!
    Woman, 72, hit by car riding bike

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  19. What really gets me is that everyone seems to be missing the boat on local. Local is growing smaller by the day. My family buys almost all of the "department store" and non perishables online these days. We don't actually go out and shop for this stuff anymore. We buy our cars in larger markets via phone and scanned buyer's orders. I buy my wife jewelry on the internet from blue nile or gemvara. I buy my kids scout stuff on the internet. We get their soccer gear online. My wife has clothes shipped in weekly to try before you buy. UPS picks up the returns from her office. We buy groceries from Costco or Publix, car oil from Walmart, and gas locally and that is about it. I avoid the locals bozos at all costs.

    This week alone (it is Tuesday) we have received a replacement part for a pool cleaner, a round of dresses from Ann Taylor, 2 pinewood derby car kits, and a 2012 mint proof coin set, via USP or UPS. My wife and I didn't spend a whole weekend schlepping around to locate that stuff, maybe 20 minutes total online and the prices are cheaper (after shipping and no sales tax) than the local people, if they even have it. The local selection sucks BTW and spending half a day plus gas to find the best price and selection is not worth it for working families.

    Then I pick up the local paper( a rare event) or I check it out on line, and there is absolutely not one thing in there that I would even spend the time to read, much less pay money to acquire to read.

    I just don't get it. No one I know admits to reading or buying the local paper in print or online. It seems like the target market is unemployed people and the elderly. There is not any real news in there, it is all fluff, press releases, and shill articles. The ads have absolutely no appeal to my household. "Drive it like you stole it", "dentures for under 1k" , " credit repair specialists", "we buy homes", "$199 per month for a new car", "Bob's funeral home cares" "we buy gold" have absolutely no appeal to our household. I will actual avoid doing business with anyone that advertises in the local paper, they cater to the low end, which means fast talking sales bullsh**

    I just can't imagine ever being in a business where I would want to advertise in the local paper. It just seems so irrelevant and at some level a brand killer.

    I also question all the purported organic subscription growth from young people. Most of the young people I know barely even know what a local paper is and they certainly would not pay any money to read it online or in print. I really find it hard to believe that young people are signing up in droves to cough up $150 a year to read the online version.

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    1. It is all spin for the shareholders. Beautifully said.

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. where do you get local info - schools, government, events -- if you read no print or online local?? Does TV do it all for you? There is an old line 'TV news is to journalism, as military music is to music."

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    4. Unfortunately, I get very little traditional local news. I guess some of it is still out there. I cannot stomach watching the local tv news for more 3 minutes; half an hour a day would probably drop my IQ by a few points over time. It is terrible stuff. Once in awhile I check out the local paper website, but very few of the articles are actual hard local news. It is very similar to the local tv news: fluff, sensationalism, pictures, press releases, mushy feel good stuff. Not what I choose to spend my time consuming.

      Just because you own the local newspaper or television station and keep it running, does not mean that you can write silly articles, self absorbed blogs, and post high res first appearance photos and call them news.

      To hook the answer back into my original post. I get my local weather from an i-Pad app in 20 seconds a day, whenever I want it. I deal with businesses all over the country and they send me an e-mail to stay in touch or I find them on the internet. I get my local classifieds from CL. I get my local school sports scores via text from my kids. I get pictures of all the local people I could ever care about from my wife via Facebook. I get my local state news from three or four free on-line papers that cover the news and actually write detailed well researched articles full of nuance and clarification. I would actually pay for one of these if they started charging. I get my local national news from the NYtimes and sometimes the WP. I find smart people writing blogs from all over the country, none of them work for a local paper btw. I get my local first appearance photos form the county jail web site. Just kidding, I can't believe you guys really put this stuff in the paper. On the front page no less!

      That is my "local" and that is kind of the point of my original post. I would add in the local paper if there was anything of interest to me. There is real news out there to cover, they just don't. This town is full of crooks, thieves, liars, and scammers. My local Gannett paper will never know about it, unless it comes out in a police department press release. I guess they are too busy blogging.

      Hope that helps.

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    5. Someone should send this to our Marketing and Visionaries. That is pretty good stuff.

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  20. On the subject of unfortunate headlines . . .

    CPJ to Launch Attacks on the Press
    posted: 2/5/2013


    by: Press Release | Committee to Protect Journalists

    New York, February 5, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists will release Attacks on the Press: Journalism on the World’s Front Lines, a yearly assessment of the state of press freedom worldwide, on February 14.

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  21. If there are no furloughs, how am I and two others on furlough this week? Well? How is that. Please tell me.

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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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