An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
How many young adult publications like Wilmington's Spark does Gannett still have? It's another experiment that Gannett tried and unfortunately didn't work. http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/News-Journal-lays-off-28-kills-Spark.html
Jim, that would be a great story and separate post for you to follow up on. The demise of Gannett's young adult weeklies.
Most were gone years ago.
As for standalone, young-reader print publications, those are pretty much gone. Metromix.com is still limping along in some markets, but there doesn't seem to be much in the way of resources or marketing effort spent on them.
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Jim provides a forum for all of us to share information about Gannett. I, for one, have found this blog invaluable over the past five years, particularly in being able to be better prepared for my own potential layoff and/or buyout (and know what is going on at other sites). We'd be totally in the dark otherwise. It's up to us to share info if we want, and to guess as best we can what's valid and what isn't. (And, of course, to ignore the jerks who are here only to take shots at Jim.) I'm not looking to Jim for analysis or reportage (though when he does do that, it's often quite good). But I am deeply grateful to Jim for providing this forum and the spreadsheets he compiles. So, yes, 2:29: Grow up. Fortunately for you, this is an anonymous site. Otherwise, you'd only embarrass yourself (if you ever had the courage to comment publicly).
Hi 2:29 p.m. I see you are at it again with the Jim attacks. The 3:48 p.m., and 4:35 p.m., posts are appropriate responses to your words. I'm not sure why you would claim they are products of former employees, or why that matters. Given the tenor of your remarks, it's pretty obvious why nobody would identify themselves -- you posted anonymously, by the way -- as you requested, with a vulgar phrase thrown in. Normal people would rightly be concerned about more juvenile antics and even attempts to maliciously hack accounts. Jim's blog has been, and is, valuable. He does a great job. Please reflect on the advice from 3:48 p.m., and 4:35 p.m., and try to act more maturely. Your life will be happier. Bless you.
9:15, you should read. 4:35 called for an ID.You are likely one of the many people who cannot think very well. You should work on developing this skill. Paranoia about people hacking into accounts is a sign of ignorance. You profile yourself as ignorant with every word in every sentence.
Dear poster of 2:29 p.m., and 9:23 p.m., comments: Please try to find a way out of your bitterness and sadness. Talk with somebody. I'm sure you are a person with many positive qualities. I wish you only good things.
Des Moines still has Juice Magazine, and recently invested in a web redesign and digital editor for it.
It seems that this latest round of layoffs involved many in sales. In fact, many of the very same roles suggested from Winthrop as they touted the World Class Sales Organization around the company. So, just wondering if the folks who paid the big bucks to Winthrop still think it was a good investment. Any comments from the Gannett sales professionals and Mr. Dickey who took the lead in this parade across the company?Not sure we can still call it World Class.
World Class Bullshitters at corporate.
Why is USA Today increasing wholesale and retail prices 100% on September 30, 2013? On top of massive layoffs I can see this will destroy their circulation. Circulation in racks and stores normally falls 33 to 50% on a nominal increase. This is not nominal, consumers will simply not put 8 quarters in a rack, those sales are gone.
Times advertising department's AH has submitted her resignation. Some say she saw writing on the wall. Wonder what writing she saw?
The co publisher has resigned!!!!! What will MH do without her? Things are heating up and there is no blame to put on anyone but themselves.
Ok so, AP from newsroom resigned last week and AH from advertising today. CM from circulation resigned and will be leaving next week. What's going on around this place?
The heads of circ dept. are the worst.
Looks like Judi is going to come out of this without technically laying anyone off but having them resign so it doesn't look so bad in the community? This community ain't that stupid.
Finally someone who is willing to address poor performers. Angela has run off a number of good people over the years.
Is she going to the circulation department? Sports on computers ALL day long, good employees continue to walk out the door, too many chiefs doing nothing. I got out of there too depressing.
Who gives a shit if you get laid off, I sure don't give a rat's ass. I only care about myself. Just like being in a firefight. Same here, you only care about you and you alone. Screw the other guy, no matter who it is just as long as it isn't you. Gannett is publishing another Special Edition. It's going to be called, "Last Man Standing."
Judi is dealing with the situations Gannett continually was afraid to deal with.
I agree with 9:27. Judi has her own agenda.
Judi what goes around will come back to you Gannett will use you up and spit you out
Judi would prefer you all stop posting on this blog.
1:19 AM. We would prefer it if Judi told the truth about what is really happening.
Judi hates the blog. But she has started her house cleaning.
The Des Moines Register continues to produce "Juice," a weekly publication for "young readers." Hopefully this is making money on advertising because the content is a waste of money. Much of it is warmed over copy that was printed in the Register. Worse it is an embarrassment to the main newspaper -- with features like "hottest reader" and a focus on alcohol and the sexual appeal of young women. It painfully assumes "young people" are all a bunch of bar hoppers.
Hey 8:56 it's obviously been awhile since you've been young, eh?
Amen! And it appears those in charge at Gannett are generations away from what is happening now. What a stupid decision to cancel Spark. The revenue was there, the young readers were there. You have totally screwed yourself. But maybe that's what you want Gannett. Cause let me tell you no one cares about your daily product, certainly not the young readers. You had a loyal following and you screwed it away. Lets see Ellen is what, 60 plus and Micheal Kane, what 50 plus, what the hell do they know about young readers, another great decision by Gannett. Now you lost advertisers and young readers. You have no freaking clue what to do, do you.
Who gives a shit about readers. Advertisers didn't want the product badly enough to make it worthwhile to keep.
The Spark young reader publication had an amazing following and it DID make revenue. It had over 4,000 FB likes on it's page. Had lots of sponsors for the summer music series and most of all captured the audience that The News Journal could not capture. It will never get this audience back even if they put some of the content in 55hrs. This was a loyal following and this group of readers will no longer follow after losing the editor and writers that were part of this publication. This group of Spark writers, editor and photographer had ties to the entertainment community and Gannett cut those ties when they laid off the staff. That is what happens when you bring in a retired publisher who has no ties to the market and make decisions based on revenue rather then readership. Ellen destroyed a profitable publication with a loyal following to make the numbers crunch. That is all. That is why it is gone. This decision went against the grain of hyperlocal, young readership and all it came down to what a stupid decision from corporate to cut bodies. The revenue was there, the readership was there, the digital FB following was there. So Ellen, Michael Kane, please tell me, are you happy with your decision to cut Spark? Honestly, in a few words, please tell me why you cut it? Revenue was there, digital was there, and social media was there. So please tell me why decision was made because from a revenue stand point you screwed yourself. And from a community stand point you lost readers. So once again tell me your digital strategy behind all this. You lost your young reader population, none of these people will EVER pay for the content on your website or newspaper. You lost the very generation you were trying to attain. But I guess since Ellen and Michael are baby boomers you would have no freaking clue had to retain that readership. That is why Gannett is doomed to fail
First, let me be clear that I don't know Ellen or anything about her tenure at Gannett. What I do know is that your anger is being severely misdirected. Who made a complete mess here in Wilmington? HOWARD GRIFFIN! Who stood by and watched it deteriorate for years? MICHAEL KANE! And where are they now? Howard has a sweet cushy brand new job at corporate and was untouched by layoffs. The only downside to Michael is that Laura H. seems to be turning the tide her way as the Dickey favorite. These two have been in serious competition for years and MK had the upper hand as the heir apparant for most of it. Not quite so much anymore.
Spark was always a gamble. When it was a stand-along entity out of the Wilmington newsroom, it had a purpose, and a chance to be unique and successful. Thanks to consolidation and cost cuts, it was made a real part of the News Journal, so it was only a matter of time. Once its creators (Riddle & Co.) were gone, Spark had no internal advocates with any influence. Then it's an expense that can't be truly defended, because the new boss structure doesn't understand its history or potential. The game is played so that the new boss structure merely offers to eliminate the expense and roll all of the revenue into another product. That revenue, despite the promise, evaporates, but corporate/group forgets this revenue promise because some new crisis has developed by the time the numbers cycle. Meanwhile, brand, market placement and readership are lost, all for the benefit of a typically (big picture) minor expense cut.
Headed down to the cafeteria right now. Wonder whose name today's gossip tongues will be wagging -- Kane, Griffin or Hollingsworth's.
Revenue does not equal profit. We spend way too much time listening to advertising touting the revenue for various products without checking with finance to see if the costs outweigh the benefits.But a straight reading of a profit/loss ledger is not always entirely accurate. Because of the way we have allocated costs in the past to the core product, weeklies or special products get a free ride on overhead costs like I.T., HR, building maintenance, etc. Less visible also are the opportunity costs of spending a lot of effort chasing small dollars, effort better spent chasing better opportunities. NO ONE is going to shut down a truly profitable publication with room to grow. To assume that "because Ellen isn't a teeny bopper, she killed Spark" is ludicrous and ageist.I don't know Ellen's role in the decision process to close Spark, if she had one. I can guarantee you though that this was a fiscal discussion - we are a corporation with a responsibility to shareholders to make a profit, and the publisher at that site shares that responsibility. Ellen is a straight shooter. If you want to know the 'real reason' Spark was shuttered, call her; but I can tell you exactly why right now - it was not profitable enough now or projected into the future to justify its continuation.All the facebook 'likes' in the world won't change that.
Not buying that Spark wasn't profitable enough. More like a specific amount of expense dollars needed to be cut as per corporate edict -- so it was easier to cut Spark than to further chop up the sacred cow (the daily newspaper).
My pinkies make a contribution but if the Japanese mafia need to take a finger or two, they're the ones that make the smallest contribution.If the sacred cow was more profitable and/or had stronger short-, medium- or long-term projections - little Spark had to die. Decimating the powerhouse to give life support to a niche product isn't worth it.And whether you buy it or not, Spark obviously wasn't profitable enough - for someone. Otherwise we wouldn't have this conversation.
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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