Friday, March 22, 2013

March 18-24 | Your News & Comments: Part 3

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76 comments:

  1. Just asking:
    Is there a way to filter for only buyout/layoff posts on this site? I don't really care about all of the other crap here.

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  2. this headline says it all about website numbers in cherry hilll. our advertisers love it!!!

    "Courier-Post subscribers: Did you know you get complete digital access?"

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    1. These idiots have that on the website as well. How stupid! Oops, how typical.

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  3. Dude - when they call you in the bosses office and the HR rep is there with their Ipad - that's the buyout and layoff info you will need....

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    1. 10:30: It cannot possibly come soon enough.

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    2. Pick me! Pick me! I'm ready with my age discrimination suit!

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    3. Please don't bring up anything about an 'age discrimination suit.' First of all, we're talking about a 'voluntary' buyout for people who REALLY WANT outta here. This is how the company gets around the whole age discrimination issue. And please don't say anything that would give the corporate bean counters even a moment of hesitation about offering buyouts. I know I don't just speak for myself. There are plenty of others still out here just like me.

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    4. While I like folks bringing up whatever their little hearts desire (8:04's "Please don't bring up... an 'age discrimination suit.'"), 8:04 is correct about how Gannett has covered its ass. All this was carefully vetted with the legal eagles. Granted, most of the folks affected are older and that's how they planned it. Never mind that if one declines to take the buyout and thus becomes a walking target since the goal remains the same: get rid of people who poured their life into this company and now make a fairly decent wage. But a lawsuit? They crossed all the t's with that since the buyout is voluntary regardless of the actual ramifications (see becoming said target either for layoff or, much worse, firing for some "cause") and they make damned sure they always include a smattering of younger types. Sleazy, I know.

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  4. 9:39 AM has a good idea. Jim, could there be a separate string just for buyouts and layoffs and the related rumors? Once it gets too full, then you could create a new one.

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  5. Speaking of buyouts, anyone have any sense of how many of the 100-plus USAT employees 55 years old or older are leaning towards taking the recent offer? Think I read where they have 45 days to decide -- not that it sounds like it's all that much of an option. I mean when an offer targeting older workers comes down from the mountain top, it's more of a warning than option. Take it now, or get laid off with nothing in the next year or two is how most people would feel, I would guess.

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    1. Senior editors and other slugs will have to be force ably be removed from the Crystal Palace. That is the only way they will exit the building permanently. They are too stupid to realize self important titles provide anything more than status under Callaway's vision for the future.

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    2. Well, one thing is for sure. If you already plan on taking the buyout, wait until the 44th day to let them know. Meanwhile, start the slow fade right away.

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  6. NOT ANOTHER SHREVEPORT EMPLOYEE MEETING. Do not do this to us again. I'm a newsroom employee and do not regularly use the back door. I challenge Don Bailey to give up his privileged reserved parking space and begin using the back door with us. I challenge him to use the "employee entrance" with the rest of us and we can go back to business as usual. Everything we have been told indicates that something had to happen for an employee to park on the side of the building like employee of the month, handicapp, photo and whomever else. I can see these employees on the side but I cannot see you on the side unless you think you are elite from the rest of the workforce. Do us all a favor and do what is right for once. Give it up and become an employee and not one who struts around like a proud peacock. We will be watching you Don to see if you will do the right thing.

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    2. Well wishes to Mr. Bailey on his new endeavor.

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    3. GOOD BYE!!!!!!

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  7. Did I see on here a while back that Gannett totals only 40,000 digital subscribers?

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    1. You're close. At the end of last year, the U.S. newspaper division had 46,000 digital-only subscribers.

      Corporate has set a goal of reaching 250,000 to 300,000 by the end of 2013.

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    2. Thank you for the quick response.

      Doing the math, that sure seems like a large amount of effort is being put into digital for not nearly the payout they are getting compared to the number of print subscribers.

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    3. Many sites offer digital-only and digital + Sunday for the same price. Which would you pick?

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  9. since there's this big concern about "parking spaces". check you site. one of Gracia's first orders were to do away with "reserved" parking spots for executives. she gave up her's and thinks all other should to, but several site don't comply. but what are they going to do, not give the exec's their bonus ! i don't think there is a VP of parking police at corporate. YET !!

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    1. Gracia's efforts at getting rid of reserved spots and the dining room dont make up for the Purpose Wall, making everyone in Sports reapply for jobs and idiotic management directives. Ice cream socials? Seriously?

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    2. There is still one reserved parking space at the Crystal Palace. It is for former CEO McCorkindale. His secretary parks there when he isn't at the office. Yes, he still has a full-time secretary.

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    3. No reserved spots isn’t where the real “meat” is as it's how some publishers and execs use staff to fuel and maintain their cars, fix their kids' computers, get their lunch, deliver their groceries (find the perfect banana's for some), etc., etc. that should be stopped.

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    4. Her parking spot fiasco was about as phony as having a camera follow her around on her ONE DAY of service.

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    5. That's a job I can handle. Do I get a badge too?

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    6. "WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' BADGES!"

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  10. Anyone seeing layoffs anywhere else...heard HR in Ohio was laying people off on Wednesday. Another sign that Gannett isn't doing so well or the big dogs are taking all the money...just sayin...

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  11. Where are those pesky ex-marketing people spreading their weekly rumors of lay offs and the Gannett-sky-is-falling BS?

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    1. I believe you would be amazed at how many under the radar layoffs are happening.Just because no one here is reporting them,does not mean they are't happening.Just as 4:10 writes, there are many sites where people are being cut,it's just that those sites don't pay attention to this blog.An example would,it was reported last week that Des Moines was in a state of chaos,who would know,no one in Des Moines pays attention to this blog,or if they do they certainly don't ever post here.

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    2. If Shreveport is any indication of how Hollingsworth runs things then Des Moines is in trouble also. What a fucking mess.

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    3. @6:59 AM -- Do you always attack the messenger when they share truths you don’t like and/or are you just making a pre-emptive strike in preparation to deflect attention from some upcoming bad news?

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    4. No, 10:17. Hate to burst your tiny bubble, but 6:59 is asking about a predictable pattern of this blog.

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    5. “Tiny bubble” @10:22 AM, aren’t you clever.

      Well, time to let what hot air is left in yours out as while some comments may be speculatively assigned to a few “pesky ex-marketing people” the larger pattern here is how that whine is always waged by Banikarim’s protectors (likely just a few) whenever anyone dares challenge her and or her cohort’s questionable efforts.

      Moreover, save your protection of 6:59 as surely a bright, intelligent poster like you has to know their real goal wasn’t in seeking an answer right.

      Thanks for playing.

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    6. The only thing you have right is that 6:59 wasn't seeking an answer. He was poking at people like you who are beyond obsessed with ripping on Banikarim.

      I should clarify that. A clever rip would be something to read. But you and the other tired, bitter ex-marketing people just repeat the same dull insults over and over. No wonder you put the ex in ex-marketing.

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    7. I saw one of those ex marketing people recently at a bar in DC. THE FIRST thing they did was rip into MB. Yep after a year and a half it was THE FIRST thing they said. I am sure they post here on a regular basis. I think what they are most pissed about is losing out on the trip to Cannes. Ironic huh?

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    8. MB should focus on keeping a VP of marketing in place for longer than 13 months. We have gone through at least 4 in the last 4 years.

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    9. Don't you people know this girl is on fire?

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    10. Ok, 2:24p and all of the Blue Balls Banikarim defenders, please help this blog squash so-called 'ripping' of your Holy High Know-it-All Princess of Marketing. Please list in detail all of her accomplishments since she graced our company with her "Lean-In" esteemed-I-can-walk-on-water-what-can-you-do-presence. Make sure you include how her accomplishments have directly impacted the bottomline as well as overall perception of the company's brands within the industries Gannett tries to do business.

      If you want to come on this blog and whine about how people are picking on your BFF BBB, then bring some specific evidence to the table about the great and wonderful things she's doing to add revenue to this company to shut people up. If you want to 'stand by your wo-man,' then stand by your wo-man. If you can't do this, then stop reading and posting on this blog.

      And, by the way, there are more than just ex-marketing people on here writing about BBB. There are people who report directly to her and work indirectly with her that write about her on this blog and other places online. That's an absolute fact.

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    11. 3:29, you should start with a more clever insult. The "Blue Balls Banikarim" dig is only funny to ex-marketing people like you who put the ex in ex-marketing.

      If you can't come up with something better, then stop reading and posting on this blog.

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    12. 3:48 lighten up. The ex marketing folks, or should I say folk, are just upset because no one misses them, and that they can't go to Cannes on teh company dime. That is the crulest cut of all. So be nice. There are some hurt feelings out there.

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    13. 3:29, I don't need to come up with anything better. What's better than Blue Balls Banikarim? It has a nice ring to it. Face it, that name will live on this blog forever! And, it really doesn't matter to me who gets it and who doesn't at this point. Actually, Holy High Princess of Marketing is starting to sound good.

      This blog is made for insults, random information, some actual real news about the company, and just down-right-snipe-ridden tidbits about people that work at Gannett - so just get over it. If you can't take it, that's tough. Just read and stew and write whatever you want. It's called freedom of speech.

      If Gannett wants to squash rumors and try to neutralize the stuff that's being said about them and their people on this blog and provide a "view in" (that's BBB's favorite phrase btw) to how their senior people are contributing to the bottomline, then perhaps they should do something like...uhh...hmm...uhh...start a Gannett blog. Talking about something that would be clever. Wow, it would actually be considered revolutionary for this company to do. Start a blog about yourself to proactively share information about what your company and people are doing. Wow..what a concept.

      So, it's Gannett that needs to come up with something "better" for themselves. The people on this blog are going to do what they are going to do and there's nothing Gannett can do to stop it.

      So, stop genuflecting and saying "yes" to BBB and start helping her understand that the reputation she has developed at this this company is arguably the worse than any senior exec has ever had at Gannett. Since she's all about 'branding,' she needs to take care of her 'brand' much better than she is.

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    14. Lost another marketing person this week, didn't you? Gosh, why doesn't anyone want to stay?

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    15. 4:35 - nice post.

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    16. Jim, I dare you to weigh in about the 4:35 post. After all, when you brought back the blog, you claimed it would be better with less conflict.

      Now we have someone saying the blog is made for insults, random "information," and snipe-filled tidbits.

      Just curious if you have any intention of doing what you said you would.

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    17. When USAT was absorbed into the Gannett dailies, most of the GM's fell into their skill set of Marketing. Now we have Marketing Managers making $150,000-$200,000 at USAT. Come on, any VP worth their salt knows they can pay $40,000-$60,000 and get the same job done, right? Here's a great idea, just start eliminating some of those "high paying" Marketing positions at USAT that aren't needed. What are you waiting for?

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  12. The consideration of "early retirement" buyouts, like the one currently be offered at USA Today, present so many difficulties for those who are 55 and older and trying to decide whether to take the offer or not. But after all the back-and-forth about all the obvious issues, the cruelest fact that one must mull over is that Gannett is undeniably on a mission to rid itself of older employees. And if anyone doesn't get that by now, well, I am not sure what else the company needs to do to make that message clearer without outright breaking age discrimination laws by mass firing everyone based on their birth year. If you choose to stay, and I can understand why you would, just realize that you are considered the walking dead by this company.

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    1. Well put, 3:11. This mindset has in been in play for at least the past 10 years. Not on the current scale, but I noticed when it started. It was unnerving, the shift of discounting the most experienced in favor of those with the least. There was no assimilation, no mentoring; just "you're older and you suck by definition, and so does your experience and all those awards" and, conversely, "you're wet behind the ears, much younger without a Real World clue, any mentor you had hoped for now smoke in a chimney, and you'll be glad for it. Buncha useless dinosaurs!"

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  13. Amen. Age 50 recently considered "dead"

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  14. Charles Everett3/22/2013 5:30 PM

    Tallahassee magazine, located in the Florida capital, has a feature that hit a sore spot among a certain publisher. The headline:

    The Shrinking Capital Press Corps
    Recession Changes How Florida Government News
    Does (and Doesn't) Get Into Your Hands

    The Gannett-owned daily in Tallahassee cried "It's not fair!" while the magazine's editor stands by the article. Romenesko has all the relevant links.

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  15. Re: Parking Spaces. Oh, don't be so harsh. The upside to reserved parking spaces is that when they're vacant one can always tell what exec isn't actually at work, working -- even allowing for their many "necessary" flights when the Internet has been around for, say, 20 years (especially for a leading edge digital company). In fact, that's probably the primary motivation to get rid of reserved parking -- not some pleasant, we're-all-this-together ideal but more smoke and mirrors for the golf course.

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    1. Gannett is in better shape than any other previously print centric company but you choose to focus on parking spaces. Please find a job with a company that appreciates your sharp whit and mediocre skills.

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    2. Mediocre skills best describes you 7:23 PM as Matore ending reserved parking, kicking the Blue Ball out of Tyson and more are all simple, calculated steps toward enacting long overdue cultural change.

      Frankly, if that goes over your head, then so would solid arguments that Gannett’s poor decisions and inability to act sooner has only held it back from rebounding sooner and stronger.

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    3. 11:04, do your poor decisions keep you from rebounding from unemployment sooner and stronger? Be honest.

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  16. Anyone who is terrorized by working for Maryam, or working "indirectly'' for Maryam, really has no backbone at all.

    Really? She's such a tyrant? Get a life, man.

    The bottom line is that "under" Maryam, if that's how you view things, the company IS doing better, the brand IS better known, the stock IS semi-healthy again, the various parts of the company ARE cooperating like never before, and what pittance we do pay for marketing is used more smartly than ever before.

    Even without the "what are you packing for Cannes this year?'' climate of the past.

    The whole Maryam-bashing nonsense here is exactly as described (and confirmed by the ranter above): Ex-marketers and current employees so timid and weak that this fairly effective woman somehow has them scared out of their let's-put-on-an-event skivvies.

    In other words, as the memo said, get some balls already.

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    1. Yes, the America's Top Model tie in was so brilliant. A tier two show on tier two cable is always an effective way to promote.

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    2. Charles Everett3/22/2013 9:25 PM

      "America's Next Top Model" is telecast on The CW, an over-the-air network.

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  17. First of all, it was Project Runway and it was a win-win that cost nothing but a few staff members' time.

    Secondly, product placement and promotion is about a lot of things in a lot of places. A fun appearance of USA TODAY on a fashion show reaches as distinct an audience as Susan page does appearing on NPR. We need all those venues -- News, Money, Sports and Life.

    Again, if that is the best you can come up with to counter the obvious fact that ex-marketers and "tier two" employees are grasping at straws because just showing up isn't acceptable anymore, well, that speaks for itself.

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    1. PBS, not NPR, Miss Media Expert.

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    2. Actually, Page appears on both NPR and PBS.

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    3. No. The fact that no one can remember it actually proves just how bad of a marketing concept it was. Go back to worshiping at the purpose wall and me and the rest of the tier-twos that were talented and smart enough to leave will continue watch the train wreck and laugh.

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    4. Well said 7:52p. 9:35p's comment about product placement made me laugh out loud. It does not matter how many places they try to 'place' or 'promote' USA TODAY, it will not have any measurable impact on its print circulation or digital audience. They can wrap that blue dot around Madison Square Garden, put it on the back of the Statue of Liberty and hang it on the Golden Gate Bridge for the rest of the year, but it will do nothing to change the decline in the numbers of people reading USA TODAY, its ad revenue, and overall brand perception.

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  18. Way to go 9:35!

    The anti-Maryam crew (both of them), have finally been revealed to be without ammunition or any real point!

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    1. Both of them….funny (and delusional in a company this size).

      Fact is, Banikarim created the problem by spending so much time early on building her own brand – arguably at the expense of Gannett, and by exposing how little she knew (and still knows) about this industry.

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  20. Let's be clear, the purge of over 55 workers at USA today is about shedding massive salaries. You can argue about shedding experience, which is true. But what is the point of having experienced journalists if their jobs are redundant or they do little to know work?

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  21. Make that "no" work.

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  22. >>>me and the rest of the tier-twos that were talented and smart enough to leave will continue watch the train wreck and laugh.

    It doesn't sound like you're laughing at all, but instead nursing a hurt that you won't let go. Anyone who leaves a job and then spends a substantial amount of time, as you do, criticizing and attacking those who remain obviously has major issues that go far beyond the workplace.

    When you leave a job, you should...leave. You know?

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    3. Bitter, not better, but 3:55 is right.

      Narcissism comes in many forms, and those who so cavalierly think nothing of demonizing bosses (past or current), are all about themselves. It's always the "other'' who was wrong, not them!

      Grow up people. Maryam, like all of us, is just trying to do the best she can.

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    4. Well, continue to do your best. Your best and her best will ultimately not matter. There is nothing you or anyone at your company can do to save it from its almost certain demise.

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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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