Friday, August 02, 2013

July 29-Aug. 4 | Your News & Comments: Part 5

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57 comments:

  1. This is comment No. 129,751.

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    1. The chopping started today at The Journal News in White Plains, NY. Two in the newsroom that I know of. More expected tomorrow. Anybody know anything more?

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  2. Any updates on what positions and locations of cuts at MNCO (Ohio)?

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    1. I just know we lost I think 3 people in Mansfield and others got their hours cut.

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    2. Lancaster lost at least 2

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  3. Looks like the final number in Burlington was 13: 5 in newsroom, 5 in advertising, 1 in finance, 1 in IT, and the publisher's admin.

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  4. Make no mistake about it - Gannett will continue to cut jobs (and other expenses) because that's all they know how to do. How do you improve your bottom-line? Easy. Cut expenses. Companies do that have no strategic vision for how to develop new products and or services approach their business in this way. Even after the recession of 2008-9, they (the so-called "leadership team") still have absolutely no clue how to transform the company.

    They spent tons with IDEO, scoffed at their methods and ideas and stubbornly resisted any serious implementation of a strategic innovation strategy at the company. They spent millions with the Boston Consulting Group. That was obviously a year-long exercise in utter dumbness. They tried to "re-imagine" USA TODAY in print and online. What a joke, what a flop, what a mess that has become. They've eliminated critical positions and intelligent people with the background, experience, and skill sets to actually transform the company. What's more, they've done nothing to keep other top talent (young and old) from jumping ship. Instead, they hired a bunch of so-called 'marketing gurus' from NBC who were out of work and looking for a paycheck who, in turn, hired all their friends who were looking for a paycheck. And what have they actually done besides run up costs? Oh, that's right...they did the purpose project. Hmm...how's that working out? Gannett's purpose is super serving the 'local' community with super local news? Really? Ha!

    No one should be surprised. Gannett is reaping what is has sown. RIFs will continue until at Gannett for the forseeable future. Buying Belo did not buy Gannett any time. Soon RIFs will happen in Broadcast. Significant RIFs are coming to all the digital assets within the next 6-18 months as well. Digital revenue in the media business is not keeping pace with other 'real' digital companies. The pie is not big enough for even big bad Gannett to survive.

    So, if you are a Gannett employee, dust off your resume and seek other opportunities immediately. Whether you are under 30 or over 50 or somewhere in the middle, you should be looking for another job today. Your day is coming. It doesn't matter how talented you are or how much experience you have. At the end of the day, you are nothing more than head count.

    Happy Friday everyone!

    And, for all those who are getting your walking papers over the next few days, keep your head up and know that there's a much better life and much bigger world, and many many many many better opportunities out there beyond journalism, news, and the media.

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    1. Excellent post. Unfortunately, people won't listen and try to continue to ride out the storm because they're a publisher's friend. There comes a time when ass kissing doesn't work either. Anyone who chooses to stay at this point, even if it's because they love their job, is taking the risk of having to find a job on someone else's timeline within X number of days before the unemployment money runs out. Talk about stressful. There are other jobs out there and everyone has a skill set outside of their journalism comfort zone. Good luck to everyone who is left and may you find another job that is just as rewarding and less stressful. Gannett absolutely doesn't have a clue how to turn this failing business model around.

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    2. Good post, and I completely agree. From the details in your comments, I think you were like me-- once in the inner circles called to various planning, training and implementation sessions in McLean in the mid 2000s. So much excitement because it seemed the company was in fact looking to change following the examples of others who had successfully transformed.

      Transformation was the buzz word, and yes it would cost money, and yes we would spend it . Can I get a Rah Rah.

      Then, months after the excitement, and return to the units with a disappointing month, the transformation hit the fan, and chaos replaced it. It is ironic that the last two projects -- Purpose Wall and Butterfly project are so etherial. It has become smoke and mirrors.

      All is not lost, but for now we are wandering in the desert. Just hope its not 40 years, there is not enough time.

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    3. With the group of "leaders" at corporate and the "leadership" in the trenches like Laura Hollingsworth, Gannett will never get there.

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  5. Story about Burlington (Vermont) Free Press cuts from another Vermont news outlet, independent weekly paper Seven Days. http://7d.blogs.com/offmessage/2013/08/media-note-layoffs-at-the-burlington-free-press.html

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  6. New Jersey advertising untouched?

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    1. Yes, and relaxing in the new lounge!

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  7. After the announcement was made about which reporters were getting laid off, the next question asked was, "Who gets their iphones?"

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  8. Any more news about layoffs at other sites? Has Gannett made any form of announcement to the press?

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  9. It's probably a safe bet that no one on The 11th Floor will agree to have their home showcased on "D.C. Cribs" after this disastrous new appearance by Sally Quinn, wife of the retired Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee.

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    1. Wow, nothing like a nice atomic bomb joke ...

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  10. Hearing rumors, just rumors but I'm in a place where these USUALLY are true, that several papers will be converted to online only, the biggest being in Detroit with only a Sunday publication. This also looks like just the beginning of layoffs. By the end of it, it could top 1,000. ugh. I hope this isn't true.

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    1. Yes, I'd say that is a true rumor. It makes total sense and no one should be at all surprised. Several major newspapers across the country have gone all digital - many major mags as well. Going all digital might mean the lost of more jobs, but it will at least keep these local print brands alive - for now. Imagine all 81 publications going all digital and designed and managed from the Crystal Palace. I know...it will be a 100% mismanaged royal cluster-f. But, that's your future. You might as well get comfortable with it. Yes, Des Moines, Cincy, Indy, and bad-ass-we-do-it-our-own-way PHX - you too. Get your train tickets - Choo Choo!!

      Print has no choice. The newspaper industry has resisted change and innovation for years and that's why they are backed into a corner with few options. This is the same industry that in the early 2000s after the dot-come bust said, "We told you so. It's print yesterday, print today, and print forever!" Remember USA TODAY didn't even launch a website until they were forced to in '02 or '03 - I can't remember the exact year.

      It's a shame, but that's how the good ol cookie crumbles in the media biz. Imagine all the broadcast stations going all digital. That, too, isn't far behind. And, you heard it first here on Jim Hopkin's wonderful Gannett Blog.

      Nothing can save Gannett and the mess they've created. As someone posted earlier, if you've been wondering when a good time to leave on your own would be - uhh, it's safe to say - now.

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    2. To be fair, I don't think Gannett "created" the mess, so much as they failed to choose intellectually agile leadership at the top during the great digital migration that has disrupted, well, everything.

      And now there's no way a lumbering corporate entity can continue to feed its financial needs on page views and clicks. There are news operations with a few dozen employees that outrank Gannett in terms of total traffic.

      I find the folks who post here asking about sites and numbers and who got laid off etc. to be heartbreaking. As if this round of layoffs is going to be "it" and then their life planning and career satisfaction can be resumed. As someone who left during the Nov 2010 round of layoffs, I can assure you that all the worrying and looking over your shoulder is not worth it. Life's too short for that and the above advice is very good. Start planning an exit NOW, so that you have some control over your personal story, not the overpaid folks at GCI HQ who have an impossible task ahead of them.

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    3. What a load of horse shit. Credibility on this blog is non-existant. First someone says they read the KY Enquirer is closing then someone else said that isn't true. Now this?

      Crap.

      Crap.

      Crap.

      Crowd sourcing is ajoke at best.

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    4. Gannett did, in fact, create their own mess. When they had a fantastic opportunity to lead the industry in this transition to digital, they chose to not invest in people with design/development skills, technology, and literally ignore innovation to the point of sending orders to the local newspapers to stop being "creative" and developing products and services on your own. They said, "We (corp) got this." Turns out, they had nothing.

      Many who read this blog saw this happen with their own eyes. This was all under the watchful eye of McCorkandale, DuBow and now Martore - neither of which are especially smart, creative or in any way innovative or strategic and visionary leaders. They promoted a mess of executives (the beginning of the end of USCP happened when Dickey was promoted), hired a hot mess of VPs, SVPs and other randoms like that CMO. They and their mess of people created a big ass print, online, and mobile mess using one big nasty mess of CMS technology. Exhibit A - USA TODAY. You will see an even bigger mess whenever the proposed local online and mobile site redesign is rolled out (in probably 2015).

      So, yeah, whew, what a mess!

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    5. 4:05 I believe you meant to write: "Credibility on this blog is nonexistENT."

      You may now continue your rant with an attack on the reliability of fax machines, ca. 1975.

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    6. Nice try, Jim, but someone (actually more than one) did say the KY Enquirer was closing. If you had better control over what rumors get posted here, you might know that.

      You may now continue your bid to have rumors take root here.

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    7. 5:01, why don't you take your nasty attitude and take root somewhere else? You are so 8th grade. Grow up.

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    8. 5:09, do you deny that someone posted that rumor, and it was incorrect.

      Go collect your unemployment if that criticism bothers you so much.

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    9. Cincinnati Business Courier also reported that KY Enquirer was closing. They won't be in that building anymore. They're being moved to Elm St. I think that's where the confusion is coming in.

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    10. Except it wasn't confusion. It was a bunch of mongers trying to start rumors here, just like any other day.

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  11. Does anyone know if any Gannett Local reps, or any Digital ONLY sales rep let go

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  12. Print is going nowhere soon. Ad revenue is still tops in print, although I know not where it once was. News is always changing its venues and so advertisers will adjust to get the most bang for their buck. Broadcast was aided by the Olympics and the Presidential election. The problem remains the same at Gannett, fat cats up top making the buck.Instead of focusing on local markets, they would rather lay off reporters and mass produce the same page and put it in 20 different papers. Gracia retiring soon and then another board member will take over the big salary. It never ends here. I agree if your young, keep your feelers out and if your older just be prepared.

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    1. 20 different papers? No, they're going to try and put it in all 82 of them (or whatever the number of newspapers they own these days).

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  13. So wait, USAT's Broadway's Best app didn't crap out enough revenue to avoid USCP cuts?

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  14. Mixed feelings in Lansing, where the manager who laid me off is now getting the ax. At least they gave him a day's notice and he gets a send-off. Still, I was never really sure what he did. Ah, well. While the LSJ dithers, MLive eats its lunch. How can the LSJ, with its costly print and online firewall, compete with a reputable, free, all-online source of news? Answer: It cant't. Its days are numbered.

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    1. Was not a fan of the AD when she worked at MNCO, she had no clue as to what she was doing and her replacement is even worse.

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    2. Will be interesting to see if MLive makes money from its model. My understanding is the bulk of its revenue still comes from the MLive newspapers printed 3-4 times a week.

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  15. Aug 2, 2013, 10:48am MST

    Anatomy of a mass layoff: Gannett memo gives newspaper execs guidance, scripted Q&A answers

    Executives and managers at The Arizona Republic and other Gannett-owned newspapers received talking points and instructions on how to handle the newest round of layoffs that started Thursday.
    Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) has cut 223 newsroom jobs including 29 at the Republic, according to Jim Hopkins’ Gannett Blog.
    One Republic employee who had worked at the paper since she was 14 told us her story yesterday.
    We’ve also received a copy of the memo that went to Gannett managers and executives on how to handle the layoffs and worries from remaining journalists. That includes a mock Q&A script with questions about the future of print newspapers and Gannett’s $2.2 billion acquisition of Belo Corp.’s television stations. The Gannett memo also outlines when workers should be informed of layoffs and when Q&A sessions would be held.

    The full text of the memo is below, and USCP is short for U.S. Community Publishing:

    Use this link to read the memo that's included in this article:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/business/2013/08/anatomy-of-a-mass-layoff-gannett-memo.html?ana=twt&page=all

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    1. What a poorly written mess! That memo is a perfect example of how far down the food chain of literacy this company has sunk! It's an embarrassment to me, the former top editor at a smaller daily. I jumped at an offer from a multimedia marketing firm two months ago. Hated to leave my passion and to abandon my staff, but I am so happy I no longer must defend my employer or its products to my community.

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  16. Yikes, the pr folks are much better than the News 2000, real people, real news, info center and passion topic gurus. I'll take my Kool-aid in the cherry flavor please.

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  17. Folks might be missing the bigger picture. If jobs are on the line, then revenues are falling and it doesn't look like it'll get any better before the end of the third quarter. Fourth quarter revenues will provide bounce to overall outlook, and again the stock will bump. Buy Gannett in early Sept for a return. That said, it drops again 1st Q next year.

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    1. I held on when it was $80. Can you give me advice when I will get that back!

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  18. Couldn't a memo coming from corporate at least be free of errors if not the bullshit? Coming up on four years this month as a former Gannett employee. Not making the same salary but quality of life and general happiness...priceless.

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    1. You expect quality from Gannett? Errors are the way of life with Gannett!

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  19. Charles Everett8/02/2013 7:22 PM

    The EAA AirVenture is the annual Oshkosh air show that's a major event and not just for aviation buffs. You would want the Gannett-owned Oshkosh daily to have a presence there. What does the sister daily in Green Bay do? Run an article from USA Today.

    The public correctly believes the news industry is losing credibility and this is one of many reasons why.

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    1. "The hometown newspaper of EAA AirVenture 2013"!

      Ha ha.

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  20. From Twitter:

    Carolyn Washburn ‏@CarolynWashburn 1h

    Not true. Same # reporters. Not closing office. RT @SuziSteffen: Abandoning NKY? Wow RT @Andy_Brownfield: @Cincienquirer shuttering 2...

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

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  22. Like a heartless baby

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    1. Bullet with butterfly wings

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  23. you left off the behind the scene culprit of the failure of stupid decisions ! the one the only Evan Ray. he pulls the stings that make Dickey perform.

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  24. I have not seen any information on severance. Can anyone share the details?

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    1. go on unemployment, gannett kicks in transitional pay up to your salary for one week for each year of service

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  25. Any truth to a rumour going around about whole photography departments being eliminated? From The Arizona Republic to the smaller papers?

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  26. I've never worked for a Gannett paper, but I avidly follow the Des Moines Register. Seems sad that it just moved into nice new offices, then letspeople go. I understand that people shouldn't work in crappy offices, but at least there should be people to work in those offices.

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  27. 10:02 - how big is the rumor? Did you hear from one source or multiple?

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  28. Nope, I only hear that once actually, so I guess thats not big enough

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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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