An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
As I wrote yesterday, it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings. And I think she's now warming up.(Or, mixing metaphors, that light at the end of the tunnel may be an oncoming train.)
So,you believe the layoffs are over and everyone can relax and wait for the next quarterly report?
I think the worst may be over in this round. But I'm confident there will be many more in months and years to come.
"The duty of the paper is to the readers, not the owners." -- Jeff Bezos
Billionaire hobbyists say the darndest things.
Fat lady warming up means it's over?
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I'm still confused about something. Does GPS fall under USCP?
Perhaps. I'd like to know who Evan Ray, the president, reports to now.When GPS was first introduced in September 2011, Ray reported to both Bob Dickey at USCP and Susie Ellwood, who was then the No. 2 executive at USAT. She's now gone.So, now what's the organizational structure?
Evan's really only ever reported to himself. If only Bob knew how often Evan throws him under the bus with his managers and corporate types.
Jim, what happened to the memo?
Oh, that. Some creep posted a June 2011 layoff memo and doctored it to look like Dickey just sent it out this month. Sorry about any confusion.
Jim you provide a valuable service. Anonymous posters as myself is the only way to acquire information about Gannett. Having said that. People coming on here trashing workers in departments or sites, the doctored comment about the above mentioned memo etc... Another example is a few years ago when GCI stock was trading around $4.00 a share. An anom poster posted the url to a wall st website going into detail how GCI's bondholders would make more money if they shorted GCI and let it go bankrupt. Advising workers they better dump there GCI stock in there 401K. I am sure I could still find the link on this site. Hindsight being 20/20 that was obviously a plant story planted by someone with short interest in Gannett. That always bothered me as how bad a financial move would that have been for a Gannett worker. So just take a grain of salt when reading posts on this site.
2:50, Jim loves all of that stuff. And good luck finding that link -- Jim's archival system is modeled on the Sanford and Son premise.
2:50 I think you're referring to this June 2009 article in The Deal magazine. And you've got a good memory; at the time that article appeared, GCI's stock was trading right around $4 a share, according to Google Finance.You would have found that article via a reader's comment if you'd searched this blog for the word "bondholders."(BTW: The search box near the bottom of the green rail on the right is one of the best ways to find material, including comments, on this blog.)
GPS is a freaking total disaster and I really hope someone pays attention to this. The people in charge of sales do not sell. We have people who are probably making pretty good bucks tell us week after week why they can't sell. The sites have been given digital subscription goals that evidently were not "SHARED" with the sales side and they are not helping or pursing them -- thus, there's no increase in digital subsriptions like we keep telling Wall Street we're going after. We keep asking why no one is paying attention to these horrible losers.
See this is my point about anon postings. Anom So Gannett is lying to wall street analyst about the amount of digital subscriptions it is getting? I would think wall street would be pretty upset by this information and would like to know more details on this don't ya think?
And .. start the clock for the first post (after this one) that focuses solely and gleefully on how 2:56 blasted anonymous postings while posting anonymously. Never mind that a good point is being made.So, 9:12, sources? Names? Numbers? Any proof at all? Feel free to buck up and add a detail or two.
There was a memo, or what someone wanted us to think was a memo, from Bob Dickey about layoffs and furloughs at 8 pm which as now been removed. Confused.
Well, this is the (former?) sports editor of the Iowa City Press-Citizen and his thoughts on the mothership. Still up on Twitter.com/RSuchomel or here http://pic.twitter.com/YeElRCDF2Y . This comes a week after Gannett lays off one of the top DM Register sports reporters while now apparently adding work for the sports staff by cutting University of Iowa coverage by Iowa City.
The four papers in upstate N.Y. have a lot of big events these next two weeks and I'm wondering if they would wait until the events end to bring out the axe.
The Asheville Citizen-Times publisher announced his retirement yesterday.
They don't need no stinking training that come from the top and that how it works . They do not care at all . The word is just do it . Or if you wont training go to Youtube . An that the Enquirer way
Word is layoffs are delayed in Rochester, Wilmington, other places. It ain't over yet.
any layoffs in cherry hill?
This just in on the consolidation front:http://1630kcjj.com/pages/15288430.phpIowa City sports editor out, no longer affiliated with Gannett.
So, where is Kate Marymont during this latest bloodbath.One would think that the company's supposed top journalist would have something to say.Of course, it would be just more corporate blather.But it is downright cowardly to hunker in the bunker when the troops are suffering...
Layoffs are across all departments so why would Marymount make a statement?
Because her people are being fired. Don't you think that's worth some comment?
I'm hearing rumors about an Enquirer reporter who, with no training, was sent out to do a live streaming web video and afterward, with a live mic, began to rant about the Enquirer, layoffs, and more. It supposedly was left online for some time. Anyone know what happened?
Opened up a USA Today for the first time in a long time the other day and at first glance thought some badly designed advertising supplement had been mistakenly inserted. I had seen the redesign of the front page awhile back, but boy, the inside pages are particularly hideous.The good news is that the design of the paper now matches the content. USAT is consistently bad in every way, but probably appeals to a certain segment that thinks this is actually cutting edge. Either that, or USAT heads have given up on print and don't care what the paper looks like. God, this has turned into an awful newspaper. And what's even more amazing is that you would think with all the resources apparently going into digital, the website would be stronger. But it's not. Errors all over the place. Parochial news judgment. Just a disaster for a brand that once set the standard in mainstream journalism.
I've really pissed off some people here. And, as always, that's a sign I'm doing my job.
Keep up the good work, Jim. The great majority of us applaud your efforts. Unfortunately, you are too generous in allowing the minority to post some terrible, and often disturbing, things on this blog. I wouldn't be so nice.
It's puzzling. If I wanted someone to stop blogging, I'd ignore them. But the reality is, some of the comments directed at me over the past week have the opposite effect: they add weeks and even months to the lifespan of this site.Go figure.
Indeed, because of the info posted here, I wasn't blindsided when the "urgent all-staff must attend" e-mail went out. Additionally, the information you provide when those meetings with Wall Street analysts takes place cuts through the &@(@ and provides insight into it all means. Thank you.
You make a good point in your 12:55 p.m. post, Jim. I see your logic. Nevertheless, it's sad to see how some people posting on this blog seem to take joy in any misfortune affecting their Gannett colleagues.
Nobody cares about the naysayers and haters, Jim.You do far more than anybody can reasonably expect.
Jim, I am going to share a detail with you. You should have grasped it years ago, but I don't think you ever have.Some of us want you and Gannett to be criticized. The mouth-breathers here who constantly spin everything into a corporate plot don't get that. Your cause might have started out to be a noble one, but it long since deteriorated into a sociopathic bid for revenge -- revenge that you have no hope of achieving. I think you know that, and the subsequent frustration fuels some of the dumbest posts and responses in the history of the Internet, whether penned by you or the m-bers mentioned above.So -- just to make this crystal clear for you -- we have no intention of ever ignoring you, as long as you continue the methodology of the last few years. You can claim it somehow adds "lifespan" to the blog. That makes little difference to us -- why would we believe that you were otherwise planning to change or stop?On a day like today, when comments were again screened, we laughed as we imagined the m-bers seething at not being able to see their foolish thoughts appearing immediately. There's no way that we lose. If you don't screen, we easily call you out. If you do screen, it frustrates the m-bers.Enjoy your added lifespan. We'll be here to keep an eye on things.
12:51 I encourage thoughtful criticism like yours. But not these:"Lotsa layoffs today. You know what that means -- Spanky is getting a giant beef injection tonight."
Everything is shrouded in secrecy. Such an ironic, sad state for a news organization that is supposed to elicit transparency. Staffs left in the dark about developments that directly affect them on a day-to-day basis. How did we get here? Giant corporations need to stay away from far-away communities. Anyone else want to go march on Jones Branch Drive?
Unfortunately Gannett can no longer be considered a news organization. An aggregator, yes, that's about it.
Someday we'll look back and laugh at these developments as Gannett slowly dug its own grave. But right now, it's so so depressing to be in the middle of this.
How is your news organization doing, 4:37? Lots of scoops and profits? Feel free to share that information.
How about if the fat man sings?
Mark the tally up one for Nashville, there were 16 totalhttp://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/layoffs-tennessean-reach-16-total-three-newsroom
Some rightfully so. Some that should have been released are still holding on. Several individuals just quit out of frustration.
I know the majority of you don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, but he had a great show today on the sale of the Washington Post -
I listen regularly and yes,today was insightful.He has also talked a lot this week about the Boston Globe also being sold at fire sale price.It was very truthful about the demise of of the dead wood media in general.
No he is not and he talked about the businessnegotiations taking place.His ratings and numbers of listeners are still sky high and in fact have increased this year. But the previous poster and I knew there would be unfounded critics of these posts.
Limbaugh's Cumulus lost stations will be picked up in no time. Radio insiders know the move is a negotiating ploy by Cumulus. Rush is not worried.
Remember in the mid-90s when NBC decided it wouldn't renew its contract to broadcast (AFC) NFL games? The NFL didn't dry up and blow away. CBS, having lost the NFC to Fox, jumped in. NBC STILL hasn't recovered.If Cumulus drops Limbaugh, Cumulus will be the big loser. In all likelihood, such an event will precipitate a round of radio musical chairs similar to the Great TV Affiliate Shuffle of the early 1990s.
Apples and oranges. NBC did get the NFL back eventually. Sunday Night Football is the #1 show on television -- and Gannett benefits because it has a lot of NBC stations.Limbaugh's shtick is bigotry, name-calling and character assassination. What's been happening the last 2 years has shown it is growing stale.
Obviously you have not listened to Rush.If you had,you would know how foolish your comment.
All but two of the Gannett dailies in Wisconsin being printed by Journal-Sentinel tonight due to today's early morning storm.
Somebody better tell Marshfield, Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point and Marshfield that they're either a) no longer dailies, or b) no longer Gannett.
"You said Marshfield twice!""I like Marshfield!"Meant Wausau.
A word of encouragement for those hit by recent layoffs. There is definitely life after Gannett. I am proof of that. Today, I launched the debut of my first novel, Vendetta Stone, and the accompanying website http://www.tomwoodauthor.com. In the 16 months since I departed The Tennessean and Design Studio, I've been freelancing for several news organizations, have been an extra on 'Nashville,' in three movies and a music video. Keep the faith and make the most of the opportunities, whatever they may be.
Congratulations, Tom, from a former colleague!
You wait and see.There will be critics here,of you, and your success with life after Gannett.It happens every time someone posts that they have a great life after leaving. I left Gannett several ago and posted about my new endeavors,in a prosperous new business.I was called all sort of choice words.
Congrats Tom! So glad to hear your success!We never worked together, but it sounds like you've been able to make a successful transition to "life after Gannett." Jim -- Would you consider doing "where are they now" / "how they did it" posts about former Gannetters like Tom? You could include a much needed breakout for those of us still in the company: "Advice to my pre-layoff self."If anything, this round of layoffs is really hitting home the fact that newspapers are in decline...and for those of us left behind, our days seem numbered.
Tom, just curious are you someone older or younger? Either way I congratulate you on your success. I think it would be interesting to the readers on this site, so they can relate to you on a more personal level. Not everyone 55 or over is going to Nashville, writing a novel maybe?
Everyone's situation is different, certainly. If I had children in college, for example, I'm not sure I would have taken the early retirement offer. I had a choice, unlike those laid off. I'm 58 and spent 35 years in The Tennessean sports department (15 as a writer, 20 as copy editor)before going to the Design Studio in 2011. I knew if I was ever going to try something else, the time was now. Whether this plan I've come up with succeeds or fails, it's on my shoulders. My dad was 52 when Bordon Foods let go its national sales force all at once in the early 1980s. It took a toll on him and he died in 1986. It taught me a lesson
Don't understand the digital push when we can't seem to keep any digital reps. They either quit or are fired within 6 months!
The body count continues to grow at the Asbury Park Press: one fulltime beancounter who tracks the miles driven by the photographers and one fulltime reporter. That brings the number to 15 from what I can gather _ all fulltime.
No inside info and strictly speculation, BUT could Mark Russell be headed to Louisville after stepping down at Orlando?
Gannett obviously wants to clean house at every paper and start anew. There is no other explanation for creating an environment of continuous job insecurity. They want everyone to quit. I'm pretty sure that is because they can hire other young people who are fresh out of college to come in and work for nothing, who think they may eventually get a big raise. Unfortunately, getting a raise at Gannett means you are more likely to have your head put on the chopping block, so there's no opportunity for advancement and stability.
This is another piece of half-logic that has been addressed before.Few sensible companies give large raises, even on merit, for people performing the same tasks year after year. Theoretically, there should be intrinsic motivation to expand the job duties, but as we see often, some people in newsrooms lack that drive.So the only justification for a large raise is when someone takes on a managerial role, and we know how people here feel about manager positions. They hate them! They don't think any should exist. In their world, the corporate chart would be a horizontal line, with no supervision. Seniority would be the only differential factor. There could be a rotting corpse in a chair, and if it has been there long enough, it would be the highest-paid entity in the room.What's funny is the people like 1:34 who blast on either the lack of raises or the consequences are usually the same people calling for all management positions to be eliminated. They support changes that bring about the very outcome they claim to oppose.
2:30 am writes: "Few sensible companies give large raises, even on merit, for people performing the same tasks year after year."How does that square with the raises given to several of the company's most senior executives?Gracia Martore, Bob Dickey and Dave Lougee are CEO, head of USCP, and chief of the broadcasting division. They held those same positions in 2012, and I've seen nothing in regulatory filings to indicate their jobs or areas of responsibility fundamentally changed this year compared to last year.But the board of directors approved higher base salaries for 2013 vs. 2012, as follows:Martore2012: $950,0002013: $1,000,000Dickey2012: $625,0002013: $675,000Lougee2012: $517,0002013: $600,000I will note that, of those three, Martore voluntarily reduced her base salary this year to $900,000, as she has since 2010. But her base nonetheless remains set at the approved $1,000,000. We know this because in the event of a change in control, her severance would be determined "disregarding any voluntary base salary reductions."All these figures are according to the proxy reports to shareholders this year and last year.
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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