An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
The newly rebranded digital marketing services unit, G/O Digital, has added two key executives, including a head of marketing for G/O. That's according to this press release yesterday.
Why does Gannett waste so much money on executives, management and others who don't produce original content? For every executive hired, they could hire several reporters. Readers want original content. They don't want slogans. They don't want USAT stories in their local paper.
Most Usa Today stories suck anyway.
The paywall has destroyed our traffic to the point that we have zero analytics on which to gauge our success. Paywall signups are thousands of users behind plan. Circ continues to dive. We Info Center folks have no idea how we're performing with readers.
Repeat after me: Gannett suits do not have a plan.
11:11 a.m.: There is a plan. It's to get rid of as many of us working stiffs as possible and as soon as possible so that the executives can collect their bonuses. Beware of the Gannett Jobs Destruction machine!!!
The bottom line is that in order for Gannett to have any chance of stabilizing its business model (local news), it needs to quickly move to a one-master-newspaper-zoned-81-ways concept in order to eliminate all of the legacy production costs. Bertie in Brevard and Phyllis in Oshkosh will never know that they are getting the "same" print newspaper with different local inserts and different branding. It would allow the company to reduce its design hubs to one and allow the local sites to trim all staff except for ad sales, reporters and a couple of editors. Plus it would allow the Mother Ship to take over all national ad sales and sell national 81 ways in one call. Send the web production people to a hub. It would force the smaller local sites to focus entirely on selling local ads. This concept is not popular, but it is much better than the alternative: slowly sunsetting all operations by trying to drain as much money from each site as possible without thinking of the importance of the First Amendment. The future of newspaper sites is ad people and reporters. Period.
Much of what you're describing is already underway.
The "alternative" is the current strategy.
"The future of newspaper sites is ad people and reporters. Period."What about copy editors who understand the difference between two streets with similar names (like the intersection of Harding and Harding in Nashville)?In your model, no one is around to make sure the reporters don't make stoopid mistakes.
Those examples are irrelevant, 1:46. Always have been, always will be. They marginalize the benefit of copy editors.A good copy editor questions issues far more important than that minuscule one you mention. A good CE knows how to spell minuscule. A good CE serves many purposes.
2:57, you may think the examples given by 1:46 are minuscule and that copy editors need only worry about larger issues, because anything else marginalizes them. I hope you aren't a copy editor. Since copy editors have been removed from the individual newsrooms and are consolidated in design hubs, 1:46 is correct. There is no one to see that reporters don't make stupid mistakes. And as has been stated by folks in the Des Moines hub at least, so many pages have to be shoved through that they Do Not copy edit/proof pages. A daily scan of The Times in Shreveport is evidence of that. One recent caption abbreviated District Attorney (wrong!). And 2:57, if you don't think readers don't think you are a joke if you can't even get names of intersections correct, get out into the community and listen to the water cooler conversation. Oh, that's right....you aren't part of the community. You're at a hub. You aren't invested in the community and don't know or care to know.
11:01, you sound exactly like the nitpickers I knew who used to mark commas and miss huge mistakes. Abbreviating district attorney might be a style mistake, but I'd rather see that type of mistake than the dozens of major things that nitpickers don't catch.
So prank advertising is all the rage. Gannett can secretly tape its firing of staff, watch them cry and fall apart, and then put it into a marketing campaign and sell its quality.
Please elaborate ASAP.
For god's sake Jim, it's called Google. Anyone who has had ever enough interest in the world to pursue journalism should be somewhat aware on what is going on in the world. If not, just watch the Yahoo! trending ticker.I'm generally a supporter; but man, that's just weak.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cer8I4cX-vs
Or try USAT:http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/09/05/lg-electronics-end-of-world-prankvertisement-viral-ad-social-media/2771335/
Rough week for Jim. Lots of ignorance. Lots of non-functionality at the site. No working search feature. Little screening of posts to ensure accuracy.
C'mon, give Jim a break. I practically live online and I had not yet seen that LG prank ad. The post was poorly written and didn't make any sense to me either. Sometimes we get busy and miss something. Or don't follow the Yahoo trending ticker every second of the day. Jim merely provides this forum for us to share info. I certainly don't expect him to analyze and/or participate in every post. Why is he the enemy to some of you? Oh, never mind. I know why.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I enjoy spending a considerable amount of time away from this blog.
Wah! Wah! I read a free blog and I don't have all the features I want! Wah!
CUT JIM SOME SLACK! I would know very little about the company that laid my rear off after many dedicated years if not for him. And this has to be a depressing subject for him too. Just sayin'
11:08 is probably one of the people bitching about the Gannett site and not realizing the duality of that inane comment.
1:46: Exactly. That IS the future. Holding on to the legacy staffing expectations will do no one any good. People who work for newspaper companies who aren't sales people, reporters -- or the few to rise to editor-level -- won't have jobs. That's just the reality.
How do you explain reporters getting laid off?
What about sales support people? I'm currently on the Digital support end and with the digital layoff in NY, I'm wondering what that means across Gannett land for all digital support people that are not part of the "central" location. My days are number I suppose.
4:16: The future business model is drastically different. Newspapers are at a fork in the road: Do they continue to keep cutting everything or do they look at what the model will be in five years and cut everything except the future core functions. The fact is that they need to decide how they are going to sunset their operations. Anyone who works for a newspaper should be thinking about where they will work next. No one is safe from elimination. Looking for a similar example of industry transformation from the past consider the switch from buggies to cars. The same thing is going on here.
It will all end like this:http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/hitler-bodyguard-rochus-misch-last-witness-to-fuehrers-final-hours-dies-in-berlin-at-age-96/2013/09/06/e92010c8-16ea-11e3-961c-f22d3aaf19ab_story_2.html"After the Soviet assault began, Misch remembered generals and Nazi brass coming and going as they tried desperately to cobble together a defense of the capital with the ragtag remains of the German military.He remembered that on April 22, two days before two Soviet armies completed their encirclement of the city, Hitler said, “That’s it. The war is lost. Everybody can go.”Can't wait for the video of the Gannett logo on the CP being blown up, he he hee!
Now that would be content worth paying for!
3:06: Staff reporters are getting laid of because they are too old (and/or experienced) and make too much money. They will continue to be replaced with former interns, recent graduates and, as at the Arizona Republic, actual current journalism students.
UNPAID interns. It's all the rage.
What a f---ed up week. I simply can't believe the way this company treats its employees.
The stuff must really be hitting the fan in Louisville. People dropping like flies, especially in home delivery. Teflon Tony must be driving Louisville in the ground, just like he did out east. Heard it's so bad, the sr. distribution manager is trying to move. I guess if I were smart, I'd go too. Cannot think of trying to bail at this point in my life. Just hope Tony does come here.
Why would anybody want Tony? You hoping for a buyout???
Geez, think outside of the box people. A lot can be done with very little. Gannett just hasn't had a need to go down that path. BUT they are getting closer to having to have one major staff as opposed to 82 separate staffs. This is the (r)evolution of the newspaper business. Instead of sitting around complaining about the insignificant things, people need to prepare their own futures and destinies for a lifestyle that is not funded by Gannett. Once you accept the reality that 87 percent of current Gannett employees will likely not be employed by the company by 2018 then you will realize that you need to find exit strategies ASAP. This company is not a Phoenix that is going to "rise from the ashes." Gannett is very much in transformation mode. For those who went through the "accepting change" training: What happens when you get to the end of the rapids? The answer is quite simple: The ride is over and EVERYONE exits the boat. The rapids that they kept talking about were a metaphor for the entire "transformation." The smart people knew what they were talking about.
The problem is, there were no smart people in the transformation. Motif? Dubow? Hunke? Nimrods, all of them, who were never able to articulate any plan or vision.
Motif is nothing more than a beancounter. There are far more dangerous lunatics running the asylum.
Gannett is not in transformation. It's headed toward its grave.
Hmmmm ... maybe the bosses at Gannett are thinking about the bottom line and not long-term strategy at this point. That would explain why they are cutting veteran content generators? Maybe they haven't fully realized that local content and local ad sales are the ultimate future of their biz? Perhaps if someone at the top did realize that then they would manage these changes in a more controlled fashion?
It is a frightening thought, but possibly true, that Gannett is in the process of centralizing News Production, save for a few local reporters at each local site. Of course online news people (read bloggers and videographers) will be left alone, because they are the future of local newspapers!I feel sorry for the local ad reps, who have to sell this format to the advertisers, but that will most likely be farmed out as well.I am not a reporter, just a newspaper consumer, who happens to be in the news biz in another way. In my local newspaper, I want local news, with an ever so slight splash of national news. I read the national headlines online, and those of them that interest me, they will be "clicked" on for more detailed reading.I want my local newspaper to inform me of local news worthy stories, local and state sports and some/few national sports pieces as well. In depth investigative journalism of those stories that warrants it, and a few fluffy pieces about local happenings and sprinkle in a few kittens and puppy dogs. I want my comics (yes, I am an adult), because they are so much nicer to read on printed paper, than on the screen.I still believe, that the local business model is both feasible and profitable, if executed correctly. Under the GCI banner this will never happen. They would rather run each and every local paper into the ground, before they would admit failure (Butterfly project be damned). Many local papers could be, and should be, sold now, while they still have a little left of the local client base, both subscribers as well as advertisers, and in a few months or years, that will not be an option.Have a nice weekend!
"I still believe, that the local business model is both feasible and profitable, if executed correctly."Well, contrary to your belief, no, it's not. And the inconvenient truth is that you're not willing to pay what it costs to produce the product you say you "want" (or if you are, there are nowhere near enough of you).P.S. Equally delusional is the idea that Gannett would turn away willing buyers for any of its newspaper properties.
I think people are willing to pay what it costs they are not willing to pay what it costs plus a 30% yearly profit when they don't see the profit be reinvested in to the product and being taken away from the local economy
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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