Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Mail | Top 5 things not missed about Gannett

Now retired, Anonymous@1:18 p.m. says they don't miss:

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?"


  1. Good riddance. Anyone complaining about having to do "weekend" stories is someone holding us back.

    No cake for you!

    1. Full agreement. This must be another of the many who expected to have a lifetime job, with pay and benefits, but who didn't want to do the work.

      Those people should have been dumped years ago. As has been said here before, the problem isn't that these people were unloaded. It's that they were hired to begin with.

    2. Agreed. As someone who's worked at a number of companies over the years this 5 things can be found everywhere. Sounds like someone hates working.

  2. Reason #2 makes it sound like you're a former member of the Wisconsin delegation of semi-loyal Gannett employees.

    1. No shit. I thought that very same thing.

  3. 5. People who publicly play nice, yet trash each other privately to protect their own ass.

    4. Deadlines with zero-basis in reality, excessive problems and quiet rework that results.

    3. One size fits all corporate edicts, new “flavors” of the month that do more harm than good.

    2. Gannett’s groupthink, lethargy.

    1. Margaret Buchanan and her ilk.

  4. 5. The f---ing T word: "transformation"
    4. The worthless pep talks from Gracia Martore
    3. The sorry excuse for a marketing department at USA Today
    2. The residue left behind by Craig A Moon and David L. Hunke
    1. Memos from Blue Ball Banikarim

    0. The reminder that I have to live with many of these idiots from 9 to 6 every day.

  5. 5. Marketing
    4. HR
    3. Advertising
    2. Circulation
    1. NEWS

  6. 5. Gracia Martore
    4. Gracia Martore
    3. Gracia Martore
    2. Gracia Martore
    1. Gracia Martore

    Did I forget to mention Gracia Martore?

  7. I could add the roughly two years in overtime I was never paid for during my 20-plus year career. Almost every week there was some overtime. It wasn't uncommon to write three or even four stories a day. So there was no way to avoid OT. God I'm glad I'm free.

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

  9. I really miss
    5. Having to empty my garbage can and vacuum my office
    4. Groundbreaking marketing like "It's all within reach" and blue balls.
    3. Putting together strategic plans that are then put on the shelf and forgotten about until the next year
    2. Editors and Ad Directors that think more promotion will fix a tragically bad special section
    1. Overuse of the term Watchdog Journalism

  10. I miss the office that I was supposed to have, but never got because someone else "was there longer." There are worse things in life than having to empty garbage & vacuum your OFFICE. Honestly, I have worked in other places and some folks at Gannett have been a little spoiled. There are some business that rotate a list of employees that have bath-room cleanup duty... People with 20 years of professional experience cleaning toilets, because there was no cleaning staff. So, don't worry about cleaning up after yourself within your own office space.

  11. and lets not forget these:
    1. you need to cut your budget 10%
    2. put together a list of employees you can cut.
    3. corporate needs this right away !
    4. turn in your goals (we'll never follow up and check to see if you're doing them).
    5. marketing will lead this project.
    6. the HR police are watching you.

  12. Wherever I worked, it was almost always a carrot cake. (Which I featured in this post back in July 2009.)

    1. What is it about newsrooms and carrot cake?!? I don't know anyone who likes it.

    2. Jim, I'm glad you brought back that link because it let me get a good laugh -- at you.

      That fictional bit was embarrassing enough for you the first time.

  13. 5. The hostile and harassing language Blue Ball Banikarim uses in emails to people she disagrees with, but doesn't say to them in-person.

    4. The way Gracia Martore blows up during presentations and meetings when she doesn't agree with something to the point of not allowing the presenters to actually finish their presentations.

    3. The small minded, short term thinking of the so-called senior leaders of the company.

    2. The lack of dedication and committment of the company's so-called senior leaders to take the big risks that's needed to actually create new products and services and revenue streams.

    1. Anyone who was hired as a result of working with, working for, directly or indirectly knowing, or being referred to work at Gannett by Blue Ball Banikarim.

  14. 5) Gallup Q-12.

    4) What Color Hat Are You Wearing?

    3) An Economy of Information. A Wealth of Words.

    2) Never Gray. We're All In This Together.

    1) Jack Kelley's reporting.

  15. We haven't heard much from Blue Balls Banikarim since her email debacle. I am amazed she is still employed by Gannett but guessing she was told to stay quiet until the blue dust settles. It is a fitting nickname and so well deserved.

  16. Agree. Radio silence from Banikarim has been startling.

    1. Rest assured, she is NOT silent with the people who report directly or indirectly to her. She's as hostile, condescending, and "psycho" (not my words, but other people's words I've heard used to describe her.) as ever these days. In fact, I know for a fact there are people who work for her who are desparately trying to leave.

    2. I am totally shocked.

  17. And the best one of all:


  18. Here is what I don't miss:

    1. Whiners who complain about everything and anything the company does.

    2. Whiners who think they are superior thinkers to everyone they work with and can't understand why co-workers and managers don't understand how brilliant they are.

    3. Whiners who are unhappy since they left my company and chastise everyone else for still working here.

    4. Whiners who find wonderful new companies where pay is double and insurance costs next to nothing but they NEVER share the name of that great company.

    5. Whiners who can't stand that the company is actually moving forward without them.

    I know I feel better.


    1. 11:11am:



    2. @11:11 - Do you really believe a 12% decline in profits - depite an added week in sales - is moving forward? LOL

    3. I concur 12:33. Whoever wrote that note is is drunk on the crystal castle kool-aid. Anyone who is a former Gannett employee is definitely much better off than anyone currently working at that company.

      While Gannett might be doing better than their peers as a result of not getting into debt in the 90s and early '00s, when compared to other Fortune 500 companies in terms of culture, moral, innovation, organization, senior leadership committment, employee engagement, diversity, etc., it's like comparing the NFL with a Pop Warner Pee Wee league.

      The company is absolutely not moving forward. No matter how they try to spin it internally or externally to tell Wall Street otherwise. You really think the Purpose Project was about you and making you feel good? haha! That failure was Blue Balls Banikarim's self-serving-Gracia-look-at-me-I'm-smart project. Have you heard anything about it sense? Of course not.

      Gannett is a short term-what's coming this quater-how can we make sure the dividend meets investors expectations-company. Name one idea or product the company is developing right now that is disruptive and will create a new revenue stream? Of course, no one will mention that they are developing anything on this blog, but I'm about 99.99% sure there is absolutely nothing to mention.

      The company is not moving forward, it's moving in circles and backwards. If you really think that a company can survive with business models that will become extinct in 3-5 years, I hope you've saved your money and have taken care of your 401K.

    4. If you think Gannett is moving forward, 11:11, you are delusional.

    5. 11:11 here. Keep whining folks. You just prove my point. Stock went up today. Amazing how smart you are and how stupid Wall Street is.

    6. 7:22 - again...short term...Let's see what it looks like it 2-3 years. Remember it was $85 back in '04-'05. Those days are looooong gone. We are smart to NOT be working for your wonderful company.

  19. Capturing some of Gannett’s “finest” on video demonstrating their unprofessional rants and posting it on YouTube is long overdue. And, given so many who engage in it on a frequent basis it likely wouldn’t be too hard.

    It’s great evidence for workplace harassment suits and at a minimum, in outing so many of these asshats.

  20. I was looking at you planner and ....

  21. I love the obvious corporate plants near the top. "Holding you back?" Are you friggin kidding me?

    How about....

    making 40K/year for a job that would pay 70+ in almost any other state(but Gannett is smart enough to have GMTI in Virginia, a Right to Work State)....

    and then being forced to work 80 hour work weeks (on salary, with no extra compensation) because someone at High School Sports coded the "new" website in the complete WRONG version of Cold Fusion, causing hundreds of thousands in not only lost ad revenue, but countless headaches for all of the local users who couldn't upload content to a broken site, or the end users who couldn't SEE content on the broken site....not to mention the truckload of cash that had to be handed over to Microsoft and others to come in as consultants and tell everyone WHY the site was so jacked up....and then, rather than recode the site to the existing version of Cold Fusion on the servers....NOPE....we paid licensing fees to just update the software to cover the incompetence of those doing the coding.

    Nope, I don't miss Gannett for a second.

    1. GMTI doesn't know anything about software development anymore. They only know how to write plugins for Saxotech. Real software development is frowned upon.

    2. I'm the OP. GMTI didn't do the software development for this particular project. It was the staff at HSS, spilt between Wheeling, WV and Pittsburgh area.....all of whom no longer work for the company according to Linkedin.....

    3. 2:49, why didn't you just leave at the end of 40 hours? Why volunteer your time?

    4. 9:02, I'm aware that GMTI didn't develop HSS. I threw that comment out there because, we'll, it's the truth.

    5. 2:51 Virginia is a Right to Work state. The recession was still pretty deep at the time. Looking back, I see the extra 40 hours as furlough time.

  22. 1. "Don't forget to update your planners!"
    2. Performance-improvement plans that are used to chase off dependable workers but not slackers.
    3. Publishers from the advertising side.
    4. Publishers and editors who claim a continuing commitment to "watchdog journalism."
    5. Gannett's prized "culture" of ass-kissing, back-stabbing, repression of dissenting views, and unquestioned embrace of corporate initiatives that invariably fail or fade.

  23. 1. NewsGate.
    2. All the forgotten news "initiatives," that our EE stressed were not flash-in-the-pan, but here to stay. Such as News 2000, Circles of Life, etc.
    3. The fucking information center. It's a newsroom.
    4. All the banker's hours workers who just never got it that some of us worked shifts other than theirs. They'd sail out the door at 4:59 p.m. Friday and launch a sunny, "Have a nice weekend!"
    5. The change to managers having to do all the annual reviews at the same time, instead of when the worker's actual anniversary was.

    1. Ah, yes, and Real News, Real People, passion topics and all the other flavor-of-the day attempts to do anything but report news. And over-using the watchdog tag.

  24. 1. The tyrannical, Napoleonic executive editor and his blogs about himself.
    2. See #1.
    3. See #1.
    4. See #1.
    5. See #1.

  25. I will never forget the open door policy that if you actually try too use it you get reprimanded by your supervisor. I also don't miss the fact that Gannett was never on any list as a good company to work at. Don't miss back stabbers and managers that think they are right because they are the manager.

    1. The Open Door Policy in Reno, if availed even under serious abuse, was in practice ominously more like "Don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out."

  26. Working for managers that won't give a good reference to long time employees that they praised before they were laid off.

  27. I enjoyed the lists shared here, but I didn't see one that always grated on me:


    What it always meant was "cut your budget and send more profit to corporate." What baloney.

    I also loved this one:

    Best practice.

    If one paper did something once that seemed to work, it went onto the list of "best practices" and was distributed across the company. Maybe it originally worked, and maybe it didn't. Maybe it was just a way of claiming an MBO and was really smoke and mirrors. Maybe it was a good idea but was unique to that paper. I'd love to see how many actually worked elsewhere - I'd bet it was very, very few.

    1. Duh. Yes, efficiency means increasing profit margins and "sending" those profits to the shareholders who own them! What the hell did you think it means, champ?

  28. 1. Mei-Mei Chan who never hit a budget in her five years in Seattle
    2. Carol Hudler who keeps her smart phone in her bra.
    3. Leslie Hurst who grades men by their shoes.
    4. Budgets that took months to create and minutes to rip apart.
    5. 80-hour work weeks

  29. 5. David Colton
    4. John Hillkirk
    3. Owen Ullman
    2. Lee Horwich
    1. Carol Stevens (at least she's gone).

    What a bunchnof inept, clueless, out outnof touch 'leaders.'

  30. My favorite is "it's been a tough year" bullshit line when it was time for our reviews and raises. It did not matter if it was the best year ever. Jerks and liars.


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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