Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 22-28 | Your News & Comments: Part 5

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66 comments:

  1. Another VP named at corporate. How many does that make?

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    1. Who and doing what?

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  2. Not enough?

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  3. http://www.delawareonline.com/videonetwork/2562474784001/News-Journal-publisher-takes-new-role-interim-publisher-named

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    1. That was Tuesday. 4:06 made it sound like this was something that happened today.

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    2. Not the Stoney story. Another corporate department, someone promoted from director to vp.

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    3. Ellen Leifeld will bring a "steady, calm hand" to the newspaper? You all will find out in about 5 minutes how vicious she is. May God have mercy on the News-Journal.

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  4. Just read a story about 10 worst companies to work for. Gannett wasn't on the list. They were based on reviews by former and current employees. 2.3 stars was the Worst. 2. stars was the 10th worst. Gannett got 2.6 Stars. It is based on 1 star up to 5 stars. After I read the reviews it was interesting to note the best reviews were from employees in Digital Media and sales about a year ago. Many 4 and 5 Star reviews. Lately they are not as optimistic giving it three stars and saying things need to improve. Lowers ratings come from those that did work in the print side. mostly one and two stars. What this shows to me is that the digital people that thought it was the future a year ago are not as optimistic after working at Gannet. They are slowly but surely figuring out that there is something wrong with the way upper management is running this company.

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    1. Meant 2.5 stars is the tenth worst. Gannett has 2.6 stars.

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    2. Well, you have just given management an item for the business plan, Lower at least a star, by next quarter. That should be easy,

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  5. Hey Jim: Your readers (some of us are contributors) are waiting for some reporting on the Stoney LaDouche/Ellen Leifield shakeup in Wilmington. Please tell me that the Rochester Whiz PunK Tommy Claybaugh isn't headed our Brandywine way.

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

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    2. Know this, Claybaugh or Kane could place an empty bar stool in that office and it would perform light years better than Stoney. He bankrupted two newspaper organizations (JRC and the Inquirer) has been demoted at every place he was hired (including Gannett) and will slip quietly into the night without fanfare, a press release or a "separation" package after six months as a failed National Ad taker. Until he's fully dismissed, Dickey Boy should personally donate Stoney's yearly salary from his own pay to the survivors and victims of his reign at TNJ.

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  6. Phoenix, Are some of you sitting on the fence? Just think what they would've taken away already if it weren't for local 58-M. Stand Stronger than before and We can Survive.

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    1. if you stand together you have a chance, they want you to be divided so they can eliminate you, your manning, your paycheck. they don't have any replacements that can run those presses. Dale has no heart, and doesn't care about you.

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  7. New trend emerging: Interim publisher Why? Not anyone at the home paper ready to hold the ship together while a replacement is found - not interim but standing in until new hire made? Thought financial folks used to be counted on to play this role. Also, quality of leadership in the ranks used to mean, no need to apply we already know the qualifications in our company and have talked to the best candidates. Back in the day, all dept. heads and pubs would fill out a form that would list all of the places they'd be willing to go so that when an opportunity opened up, they wouldn't be missed. Pubs got tired of their folks getting poached by corporate so they said just post the opening and see who applies. This has resulted in less loyalty and more bunker mentality because possible successions are not something I can count on in my career goals. My boss has virtually no "pull" in getting me the job I want, leaving me less interested in his goals and more interested in catching the eye of a different regional vp. My VP wouldn't want to have to replace me.

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    1. Dream on, 8:56. Your VP longs for the day when you leave. Spare us the self-promotion.

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    2. The interim publisher is a good way for the company to really assess the strengths/weaknesses of the site. It is an indication , that the predecessor did not do the job and is not leaving a very good playbook for the successor.

      I can tell you that Wilmington is lucky to have Ellen coming in because she will be able to assess the remains of the site after Mr. Griffin and make recommendations to Bob Dickey as to what needs to be done. SHe has done this for much of her career and is without peers when it comes to this task. She knows her stuff and can see through all the BS left behind. The fact that she is there indicates Mr. Dickey realizes the damages that Mr. Griffin created during his tenure... It is all good news for Wilmington.

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    3. You're assessing the success of a site on what Dickey thinks? That is laughable.

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    4. Kane's probably the one making the decision on who goes to Wilmington, and Claybaugh has been the rumored successor since he went to Salisbury. Fogler and Hammer seem to be the other East publishers who are ready to move up to a metro.

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    5. Randy Hammer and David Ledford would be a really fun team to observe up close.

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  8. Spotted at a Wisconsin site on the Newseum, Page A1 headline no less.

    Volunteer pilot flies ferrets to AirVenutre.

    Oops. It's AirVenture. Does no one at the home site even look at the pages after they're "designed" in Des Moines? This site is just a comedy anymore.

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    1. To 11:47 A.M. it's still wrong on the web site! The web is our saviour?!

      http://www.thenorthwestern.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013307260318

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    2. Gannett had sequestered that DUHsigner's spell checker to cut costs, hehehe!

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  9. Des Moines is just a comedy of errors!! Apparently they are spreading their incompetence in all directions. And no, no one is looking at the pages at the home sites. Here in Shreveport, if we have a problem with design or question ANYTHING, we are pretty much treated like we are idiots and they know better. Well, just look at the finished products coming out of this design center and it is easy to see who the idiots are. Folks still talking (laughing) on the street about three photos last Sunday that were sideways!!!

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  10. Curious, who is running the show at the design site in Des Moines? A former Register staffer or someone from one of the other properties?

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    1. I know one of the middle managers.
      He's an arrogant lying idiot, so I can only imagine who's above him in that food chain.

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    2. Ted Powers

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  11. Des Moines is too busy with their foolish RAGBRAI to pay attention to trivia.
    I will be amazed if anyone from Des Moines actually comments here,unless the post above is from DM,that would be an exception.

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  12. It is still up to the local site to copy edit, write headlines and proof. So if pictures were sideways or there was a head bust, that is not Design Studio responsibility. Their job is to design. That is all. Shreveport needs to get ready for the shakeup. It is overdue.

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    1. The entire consolidation process as run by Gannett is rife with "It's not my responsibility."

      The photo toning group, the ad design group, the editorial page design group, the circulation customer service group - all of them took our local hours, came back for MORE local hours when they couldn't do our jobs in the time we did them - and then every day they point back to the sites.

      Why, it's not our responsibility to catch the error in your headline. It's not our responsibility to catch the 'fuck' poster in that photo. We can't change where your paper is delivered, call the paper direct. Don't expect us to remember your advertiser hates raw meat products, the rep should tell us every week.

      I'm damn tired of hearing how it's the sites' responsibility to make sure Ted Power's and Toni Humphrey's people aren't complete idiots. You took our hours, mismanaged the resources we used for decades, you put the goddamn pictures in sideways... and it's our fault because we don't have anyone left to double check your work.

      If your people are such fucking idiots that they can't catch and fix moronic errors from up the line, they don't belong in the assembly line that this factory work has become. Everyone at the sites are expected to stretch outside their job description. Perhaps the Centers can stop patting themselves on the back long enough to do the same.

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    2. 10:33, that makes no sense. How is putting pictures in sideways not a design gaffe? Saying "Well, someone else should have caught it" is a weak excuse.

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    3. I'd like a page-DUHsign job where I could run photos sideways, not be blamed, and still get paid. Bet it's a $60K job too.

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    4. The photo error above happened at the design studio. It is the fault of the designer who made the mistake. HOWEVER, no page with local content can be typeset until it is approved by the local site, because the local site is responsible for that content -- stories, headlines, cutlines, photos, etc. It behooves the local site to take that job seriously. It becomes the local site's error too.

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    5. Actually it was the fault of an analyst on the GPS side.

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  13. Challenge: Is there a single editor that would go on the record saying tht the design studios have improved their paper and/or helped them improve their operation to focus more on newsgathering

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    1. Talk to some of the small papers. Our editor would say it's a benefit. Better design and no more pulling people with design skills from other jobs to cover holes on the desk when copy editors move on to bigger papers and it takes 2-4 months to fill the slot. Those people are mostly on the content side, so that helps newsgathering. The copy editors have more time to focus on copy, too, if you ask them.

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    2. Sounds like your paper was guilty of bad planning, 2:17. And not being able to retain people is a local problem, too.

      So now you embrace a poor solution. Great job! You should be in management.

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    3. How many copy editors do you know who stayed more than 2-3 years at papers with circulation below the 25K mark? And if you exclude those who have a family connection to the coverage area, how many do you know?

      Readers have said the paper looks better, has fewer errors and has better coverage of the community since we went to the studio. Their opinions are the ones that matter.

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    4. If you know those people are going to leave, wouldn't you prepare?

      Like I said, bad planning.

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    5. @2:48 p.m. Seriously? What reader says your paper looks better? Your mother? My local paper sucks since going to the studio, and I hear it in droves since I was laid off. Just today, for example, the main story on the front is reverse type on a black background and it's too hard to read to make an effort to figure it out. Many of the ads use yellow type with a drop shadow; I can't believe the advertisers don't complain more, but who would they complain to? And don't even get me going on the sorry ass lack of editing.

      Where are you that the "readers" say the paper is better now? Just curious.

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    6. I'm at a small enough paper that if I say where, the editor and publisher probably can figure out who posted, so I'm not going to say.

      I've had multiple readers ask me if we'd gotten a new proofreader because they saw fewer mistakes, and we have consistently have received comments on our improved coverage. If you want to believe I'm making it up, go for it. Your opinion matters a lot less to me than the opinions of the people who read our paper.

      I know many papers have had bad experiences, based on conversations with friends who work at other Gannett locations. We have had a different experience. Maybe we're the only paper at the company who would say it's been a net improvement.

      Oh, and I'm still wondering how many copy editors you know who stay at a small paper more than 2-3 years.

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    7. Two problems: The deign centers design everything in a way that makes all news appear as sensationalism. Readers don't care what it looks like. No one buys a paper because of design. No one re-ups their subscription because the paper looks nice. In fact, when you get right down to it, no one ever re-ups at all.

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    8. Will any of them go public and praise? Maybe we need an E&P article or Poynter article talking to editors again, now that we are into it for a while.

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  14. All the design center does is design ads

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    1. Don't post if you have no idea what you're talking about.

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    2. I work in the GIADC and that's all we do. So, cut the snark.

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    3. WTF are you talking about? The "design" center in Des Moines paginates about 20 papers now. Newspaper layout hasn't been done at the local sites for at least a year now.

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  15. The five design studios (Des Moines, Phoenix, Louisville, Asbury Park, Nashville) handle the editorial product while enjoying their Ikea furnishings and patting each other on the back for reversing out A1 in 16 markets on one day.

    The two design centers (Indianapolis and Des Moines) handle ad design using as much outlined type and drop shadowing as can be crammed into an ad. Preferably all in Helvetica.

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    1. Helvetica's more cost effective; serifs cost more.

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    2. Spot on.

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    3. HAH! Hilarious, Jimbo!
      The CP has no limits on cutting costs.

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

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  17. Just catching up with last week's news and couldn't be more delighted to learn that Suisman finally was run out. The biggest story of the summer in Lafayete was Purdue President Mitch Daniels gettin linked to trying to squash academic freedom while he was Governor.
    AP used investigative reporting to break the story. not Suisman's paper (which covers Purdue) or the Indianapolis Star.
    About time they ran out an over his head Circulation Manager who would rather buddy up with Mitch than let his news team do their job.

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  18. what is Crotchfelt up to in Indy ??

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  19. Jim, have you thought about looking into this design center business? It sounds like a problem.

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    1. Yes; I'm thinking about asking for samples, although anyone could point me to a sample problem in the Newseum's database.

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    2. You may not get PDFs, tho' some staffers may have kept them. Newseum database not easily avail. Just start a thread to collect reports asking for date and description of happening. Honestly tho,, this isn't the main point. Everyone makes mistakes. The question is .. is it better, the same or worse. Anecdotes in error listings won't tell that. We need a poll of all editors at sites where it is the same editor before and after the change.

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  20. What is with that USAT iPad app? Before you shout shade, I'm 23 yo - can find my way around Al Gore's Internet - but that thing is junk. No news - all visual junk. What's the point? Gracia needs coin? Good lord. Dead tree media - gone digital.

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    1. Its the product of a very costly but very bad redesign.

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  21. Newsgate does not have Helvetica font loaded

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  22. This is a reply to 7:12 - yes local sites should check the pages but it is a known fact the person "in charge" of The Times features section now that the features editor is gone because of buyout doesn't have a clue. She is in over her head and has been. Yes, reporters should take pride in their work and be accountable for clean copy (ain't happening, see end of this post) and you would think "editors" would do their damndest to send clean copy on to design centers (ain't happening, see end of this post). As much as those left behind disagree, layoffs, etc. have robbed many papers - including The Times - of people with talent, integrity, ability to do credible quality work that was respected in the community and not cause for jokes and watercolor laughter. And the videos?! Totally another story. But just evidence to support the claims in this post (as promised) - a little of what was included in a Sunday features piece - mistakes and all. See if y'all can spot them: “it’s like a maze! and there are far more rooms and halls and whatnot than you realize.”
    .... “Walkn through those large, double doors, music blaring and people dancing and milling about was thrilling and magical!”

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  23. (cont)...And let me correct "watercolor" to "watercooler" before anyone makes a snide comment. Typing too fast.

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  24. That error was caused by one of the former USA Today Advertising-Production staffers that are now in GPS. The USAT Adverting-Production group was transitioned into GPS and has been creating errors because they are unhappy with the company integrations and shifts of power. They operate on a mass paranonia that their jobs are at risk within the near future and they've been intentionally creating problems to muck everything up for the company.

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  25. I too have heard about that group deliberately creating problems. They feel that their days are numbered and they are already bitter. They will have to get rid of them now.

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    1. Yeah, the group that was intregrated into GPS from "USAT Production & USAT Advertising Placement." They're a bunch of braindead weirdos that have caused one problem after another.

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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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