Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jan. 20-26 | Your News & Comments: Part 2

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81 comments:

  1. MS is rated #51 in education and everyone is blaming the families of these students for poor test scores. Today, on the front of The Clarion-Ledger "Rallying For a Raise", teachers held banners up in support of a raise. One such banner read, "Cuts to Eduction Never Heal!" That's right- EDUCTION. MS educators!

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  3. The picture paints a thousand words! Maybe that photo should not have been used on the front cover where the story was about needing pay raises. Bad photo choice in my opinion. The readers don't know that the students

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    1. "Made the signs"

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    2. If the students made the signs, didn't the teachers make sure they were correct? Seriously, what decent teacher trying to prove how competent he or she is would hold up a student-produced sign with something spelled incorrectly?

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    3. True story. I worked as a disability claims adjudicator after leaving journalism. One of the cases I reviewed concerned a former school teacher in the local system who scored within the mildly mentally retarded range of intellectual functioning (that was the DSM designation at the time for you politically correct faint hearts). This teacher had been in the state education system for over 20 years, inflicting her lessons on hundreds or thousands of children during that time.

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  5. Given how very few copy editors are left at the Clarion-Ledger and how little time the photogs have to shoot and process their photos, I think it's a safe bet that no one at the CL saw the mistake in the sign. Have you ever worked on an understaffed newspaper copy desk at night? There's a thousand things going on and with the staff's so thin now all they're worried about are really bad hed busts and making sure the F word doesn't get into print.

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  6. Per route smart in part 1. They tried to make us single copy carriers use it years ago. We all refused. In my case it had me running past 3 stops to get to it's first one, do a couple, then double back to the 3. There were a couple of other route jumps also. Totally ridiculous.

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  7. Did any sites have holiday parties? I am curious to see how they went.

    The morale is so low at our site. Staff is exhausted and waiting for the next axe. The new "MORE" campaign is a crock, the only MORE that is happening is they want MORE, MORE, MORE from staff while giving less resources and the ones they do give end up being crappy or bigger obstacles. The divisions that are supposed to be your partners (gannet local, giadc, etc.) are clueless when it comes to customer service or caring about the quality of what they do.

    Then to top it all off the staff meetings are a joke. You would think they would aim to inspire the sales team on a Monday morning. Nope, around here they choose to beat them over the head with threats of having to make difficult decisions. Way to rally the troops to go sell something.

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    1. Holiday parties have been dropped at our site years ago. We did have a Thanksgiving lunch...to launch Butterfly!

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    2. I heard my former site had a big holiday party with our EE leading a very awkward conga line. eeeyew.

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    3. Our publisher paid for the holiday party herself. A nice gesture.

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    4. Former Cincinnati Enquirer editor Tom Callinan used to have one at his home, on his own dime. The current editor or publisher would never spend 10 cents on anything like that.

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  8. Can anyone at The Arizona Republic explain what's the DEAL with the HEADLINES that read like THIS on the videos? It looks so stupid and sensationalist. UGH.

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  10. How will the State Edition affect the Palladium-Item in Richmond and Star Press in Muncie. Will they just close the buildings and keep a couple of mojos? The PI building has bee for sale for over year and they are using very little of the building. It's a shame, the PI is the oldest business in Richmond

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    1. Will be history before you know it

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    2. So where was the big announcement that was supposed to come by today?

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  11. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/22/why-davos-matters-callaway/4765193/

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    1. You think he flies first class or coach?

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    2. Can't wait to see the insightful, hard-hitting examination of the world's current economic situation from Callaway over the next few days. Just wait...it's coming.

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    3. Just hope he brings back lederhosen he promised for The Hub and Nation Now

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  12. Callaway thinks it's great. Then there is the opposing viewpoint.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/big-business-has-better-things-to-do-than-yak-at-davos-2014-01-22

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  13. 7:34 - you are right about worrying only about getting the F wordin print. Impressed that Clarion-Ledger still has copy editors. The Times let theirs go a few years ago and it is a spoken fact that Times pages have not been proofed since going outside the newsroom to be laid out. You don't have to read more than a couple of graphs (oops! sentences) to know somebody's not 1. spellchecking 2. editing 3. proofing. Common joke among folks in community is they could get rid of the Games Page because circling typos is game of choice by what readers they have left today.

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  14. In case anyone cares ...

    Here's the Tennessean's spin on joining (or being forced to participate in) the Butterfly Project:

    http://unbouncepages.com/more-tennessean-coming/

    I doubt readers will fall for it.

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    1. Our paper promised more local news too .... didn't happen. Actually, it can't. There are so few people on staff, all local news is what they pick up on the scanner.

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  15. I realize, that it is mostly news room (former and current) who reads and post here, but please allow me to went about something else here.

    The buyouts and re-org. a few years back left the IT folks in the Southeast group do more with less. I am not saying that all the papers in the group had stellar under worked IT departments, but none of them had too many people manning the various positions.
    After the buyouts we who were left behind were hoping, that after the one year anniversary of the departure of those who opted for the buyout, we could fill at least some of the positions with new entry level employee's. This didn't happen, and even those who left on their own after the fact, they also left open position that weren't filled (OK, I heard of one that was filled, but that was the extend of it).
    The change to a larger group, which was divided up into smaller groups (client support, help desk and so on) made sense in the big picture, but the execution of the plan left a lot to be desired. More than 2 years later most of those we support at my local site still call us directly, thereby circumventing the help desk, which is the key stone for this to work.
    I have many times explained the process of opening tickets, but most can't be bothered with such nonsense, and continue to ignore this process. Newsroom is actually one place where most utilize the new way of logging problems and issues.
    Add to all this the migration to Office 365. This is a clusterflick of major proportions. The process is flawed, and the execution less than stellar. We spend hours on this every day, and on something which should be more or less transparent, but in the real world doesn't quite play out like that. I don't have the perfect solution to this, but I do think, that if rolled out less aggressively, perhaps over an entire year or at least 6 months, it would go a bit smoother. The man hours spent on the local level are astronomical, and puts everything else on the back burner the first few hours every morning.
    More staffing would have improved some of this, but this will never happen, at least not in the time I have left with the company.

    Let me finish off with a pet peeve of mine.
    When you call me directly for a specific problem, and I stop what I am doing at that time to go see you, I expect you to be ready for me to help you. Don't leave your desk, don't take another sales call, start composing an email or compose or correct a document, and in the process let me wait while you finish. It is rude and shows lack of respect for what I do, and it puts me in a foul mood.
    Please remember, that we are few, and we support many, and our time is at least as important as yours.
    Thank you!

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    1. What about when one goes through the proper channels and get zero response in a week?

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    2. Can't help you there, since I am not on the help desk.
      We see many tickets pushed to the local techs, some valid, many not so much...
      Keep in mind, that the idea of restructuring wasn't made on any local level, and if it doesn't work as advertised, don't blame the local IT department. We would rather have an extra entry level tech (or a couple) to fill the gaps left from the buyouts and normal attrition.

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  16. Jim Lafayette, LA going to the dogs. Found out today more of us being let go next month. Judi this ain't working. What are you doing to us?

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    1. Oh my. Details? How many & why? Wondering if it will spread to the other ganla papers.

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    2. Here at my site in Md. there are lots of closed doors today and directors scurrying around. That usually means the circulation of Jan. through March quarter layoff lists due to corporate. Seen this act too many times before not to know what's happening.

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    3. 7:26 you are on the money. We cannot talk details yet but just hold on until next month. Lafayette is doing horrible and Judi thinks letting people go will solve the problem. She has no clue what this market needs and it is showing in our employees leaving us for others in the market. WTF!

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    5. I left Lafayette after a confrontation with Judi and not thinking about coming back. It is hard to work for someone that does not tell the truth. Good luck Lafayette employees I left behind. When the big house use her up they will spit her out like she doing the Lafayette staff. There is competition here that knows her kind and they are coming for some of the staff trying to hang in there. I had no one to tell because no one would listen / NO ONE LISTENS BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID!

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    6. She wants to wipe everyone out and replace with her own army! It's how she works...putting the right people in the right place. Eventually what goes around will come around.

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    7. Judi and her husband, with a helping hand from then-publisher Larry Whitaker, nearly destroyed The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson. Why would she do any differently anywhere else?

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  17. Heard a Rockland Journal News ad on WHUD Radio radio, promoting the inclusion of USA Today articles in the paper. Gannett is doing its best to promote this upgrade and gain readership. I hope the ad campaign succeeds.

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    1. What planet are you from?

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    4. People here didn't like the addition of mors USA content back when it was first done a couple of years ago. If Gannett wants people to stop buying the paper altogether they are on the right track. They are not however jumping on the digital bandwagon like Gannett thinks they are.

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  18. Get ready Greenville, here comes the BOOM!

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    1. explain please?

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  19. Charles Everett1/23/2014 10:32 AM

    Drool over the newspapers while you can. A Wall Street analyst tells Bloomberg News that Gannett would be better off separating the newspaper division from the TV division once Gannett acquires the Belo TV stations.

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    1. Carl Icahn, call your office.

      Broadcast is just as doomed longer term—but meantime there's fast money to be made!

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    2. Wall St analysts are like frat boys at a Thursday night party: pants on fire, no imagination and so short-term hungry that "long-term success" means a hookup by Sat night. They always demand that companies "unlock shareholder value," a nice trick of words, when breaking up a company could actually destroy value. Why? Because a) their masters on the gambling, er, trading side of the house have shorted the stock and demand a quick pop and b) all they know are spreadsheets and they can't build synergy into one.

      Gracia's unified strategy might be all wrong, but don't look to Wall St for an honest critique.

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    3. Gordon Gecko1/25/2014 6:03 PM

      The reality of wall Street is the only way the shareholders see value is to ditch the stock when the price is deemed to be at its peak. I love the fact that a company can meet or exceed earnings projects and be punished with a down day because "the street" expected an even higher return. It's like double secret probation.

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  20. Any word on furloughs?

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  21. Detroit AME metro Amalie Nash just named editor in Des Moines...

    http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2014/01/23/amalie-nash-named-des-moines-register-editor/article

    (boomerang?: current DFP editor came from Des Moines in 2005).

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    1. Good lord what a depressing hire. We're wondering if corporate forced Rick Green to hire her, just like they dumped Carolyn Washburn on us.

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  22. Is the BOOM! that Grenville sold there building?

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  23. There was an article published yesterday concerning the financial benefits Gannett might project if they split the broadcast and newspaper entities into two separate companies. Surprised it hasn't been mentioned here.

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    1. Charles Everett1/24/2014 7:35 AM

      You were 6 hours late. See my earlier post above.

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  24. So much shitty grammar and misspelling here lately

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    1. Not to mention charming vocabulary.

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  25. I was thinking, what a great way to phase out the Gannett newspapers, but keep USA today as a national newspaper.
    Keep adding more and more USA Today pages to the dailies and reduce their local content to the point where you have USA Today being delivered with just a page or two of local.

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    1. This strategy will greatly increase the circulation of USA Today while allowing the company to greatly decrease costs on the local level. It will be sad for many local workers who will lose their jobs, however Wall Street will love it. Look for stock prices to skyrocket.

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    2. Readers at my site are grumbling about the addition of Butterfly and the shoving of local state business and opinion in to the A section.They aren't believing the hype and the local new franchise is being diminished even further. Watch for the circulation drop. The only ones benefiting are the local Patch sites

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    3. Actually, Butterfly will lead to the elimination of USAT as a national vehicle and replaced by a product that will be distributed via Gannett local papers. Way too much cost savings built into this kind of distribution vs. a self standing product. Especially since hotels are bailing on the print product.

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  26. oh grow up, we're not all perfect like you. read the paper lately ??

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  27. Many would do well to recall the maxim, there is no "I" in "TEAM".

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    1. But there's an "M" and an "E"!

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    2. But there is one in "Indiana," which is where they shipped my job.

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    3. you mean India - Ana - for dramatic effect....

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    4. Screw that, 10:38. There have been thousands of team players who are no longer employed by Gannett. A lot of good being a"team player" did for them.

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    5. Agreed 11:10. Being a "team player" meant nothing in the end. After decades of dedication I found myself in the same situation as many others before and after me. Out the door at 50. Some for no other reason than a manager needed to meet numbers for a bonus check.

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  28. Des Moines Register has new editor named today. Woman from Detroit. Does Jim have this story or any inside scoop? Anyone have any thoughts about this Amalie?

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  29. @7:45: The irony here is that this could ultimately hurt USA Today. Newspaper people are newspaper people, and I imagine there is some overlap between the locals and USAT. Once the content gets similar enough, USAT may lose circulation at a quicker rate since people will decide to take one or the other. This, of course, would eventually eliminate the advertising benefits of moving into the locals to begin with.

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  30. Has anyone received their W-2s yet?

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    1. Employers have to provide W-2 forms by January 31.

      On top of that, don't ask stupid questions. Shout-outs clog the blog!

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    2. 10:18's question wasn't "stupid." While employers have until Jan. 31 to provide W-2s, not all wait until the last minute. Therefore, the question was valid. The answer is that Gannett, in my experience, waits until the last permissible moment to send them by mail. However, if you signed up for electronic delivery, yours may already be available. Mine was on Thursday.

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  32. Any word on further layoffs? I heard of a former colleague getting the axe.

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  33. Here's another reason why Gannett and USATODAY will lose: Half of ALL online video ads are NOT watched. Karma is a beautiful thing. See video below.

    Is Anyone Actually Watching Online Video Ads?
    http://www.bloomberg.com/video/is-anyone-actually-watching-online-video-ads-EVGHu4REQM6HLHZmkzHkMQ.html#!

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  34. If you ever wondered why your CEO can't fire that so-called CMO she hired, here's your answer. The title should be: "Why Gannett's CEO Loves Narcissists."

    Why We Love Narcissists by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

    1. Narcissists are masterful impression managers.
    2. Narcissists manipulate credit and blame in their favor.
    3. Narcissists fit conventional stereotypes of leadership.

    http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/01/why-we-love-narcissists/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+harvardbusiness+%28HBR.org%29

    One of the best lines in this piece: "Much like crack cocaine, the charm of narcissists produces an intense but short-lived high; and, unlike crack cocaine, it is far from addictive, except for narcissists themselves."

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  35. At the Gannett paper I work at, the leaders have decided that only a handful of topics are worthy of writing about, so they focus on sports, parenting, and three or four sections of fitness topics. Why, I'm not sure. If you want to read about these subjects, you typically just go to a grocery store and buy a parenting or fitness magazine. There is nothing to read because the topics are so narrow and specific, and the editors cannot bring themselves to think creatively about these subjects so that they aren't just rehashing the same stories.

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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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