Friday, August 15, 2008

Roll call: Say goodbye to your pink-slipped friends

Here's a list Corporate would like to keep secret: I'm pulling together a roster of all the layoffs announced at the 84 community newspapers this week. I need your help to get near the 600-person total. Note: We're now up to 55 papers.

Updated at 5:36 a.m. ET, Aug. 31. The numbers here are the most accurate I've got at the moment. In some cases, total employment figures may be too high; for the most part, I've pulled them from Corporate's official newspaper pages, here.

Using the following format, please post your numbers in the
comments section, below. A ??? means I'm missing information. Also, send story links to your paper's coverage via gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].
Please post your newspaper's figures in the comments section, below. A ??? means I'm missing information. Also, send story links to your paper's coverage via gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].


  1. Montgomery is 19 of what I'd guess is approximately 300.

  2. From today's Des Moines Register:

    "The Des Moines Register's parent company, Gannett Co., is eliminating 1,000 jobs, including 600 layoffs, across its newspaper operations, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

    The latest cuts will affect Gannett's newspapers, which include 84 dailies such as the Arizona Republic and the Detroit Free Press, as well as nearly 900 nondaily publications. It wasn't immediately clear if there would be cuts in Des Moines or at Gannett-owned Iowa City Press Citizen.

    Gannett will also eliminate 400 jobs through attrition and leaving vacant posts unfilled, a company spokeswoman said. The cutbacks represent about 3 percent of the work force at Gannett's local newspaper division.

    Gannett shares rose $2.05, or 10.6 percent, to close at $21.31."

  3. Those first numbers sure aren't 3 percent. Some aren't close. Does that mean deep cuts at the big places -- phoenix? indy? detroit? cincy?

  4. No layoffs at the Detroit Free Press, which had buyouts a couple of weeks ago. Plus, it's not part of the community newspaper group - it's grouped with USA Today.

  5. from

    luv the part about how new indy pub kane expects to "communicate soon" with staff. word in the building is that he's leaving the details to the hr head known as "fat puppet" so far, everything weve heard from management has been on gannettblog hours or even days earlier.

  6. It's be almost as interesting to see which papers report the news of thier own layoffs. My GCI-owned rag this a.m. did not report the Gannett-wide story, which ran on all the wires.

  7. Muncie is two jobs, of estimated 125-person staff.

  8. Does anyone know who determines who gets the ax at each site? Out of the bloated amount of useless managers in Westchester they ax the one guy who knew what he was doing and was respected by the people under him. Maybe that was the problem, he didn't follow the GCI managers training handbook on how to treat people like crap. It seems to be a Power Clique at Westchester where the chosen are protected because so many incompetent managers survived yesterday. And the protected managers have their favorite chosen employees that they protect. GCI needs top break up the POWER CLIQUE in Westchester. Maybe they will get it right in the next round of layoffs in December.

  9. The 1492 sounds like an awful lot at Asbury, but then again, the pressroom there puts out multiple papers, so perhaps that's where the people are. They certainly aren't in the newsroom and the building on 66, which used to be teeming with people, has a lot of open space these days. It used to be you couldn't get a parking space close if you arrived after 9 a.m. Now, if you get there at 10 you can still get close.

  10. I wonder if the executives truly realize how unhappy soo many of the employees are. I wonder if they realize how this effects performance and profits across the company. I wonder why they cannot write a memo that has as least a sliver of compassion in it, instead of the scripted crap all of the time. People here say the execs dont care: by their silence,I am starting to believe it. Why will they not speak up.

  11. I have a question for those who've already seen layoffs at their papers. Did there seem to be any, for lack of a better term, "logic" to the selection of those laid off? For instance, did they go more for one department over another, or more for those who'd worked there longer, those with higher salaries? Any info would be appreciated by those of us now wondering whether it will be us to go next week.

  12. No one's job is safe in Gannett. If it isn't you now, it will be you later.

  13. Here's what is on The Tennessean website this am
    NEW YORK — Gannett Co. is eliminating 1,000 jobs, including 600 layoffs, across its newspaper operations, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

    Tennessean Publisher and President Ellen Leifeld said details on how The Tennessean might be affected would be forthcoming.

    The cost-cutting drive at the country's largest newspaper publisher is the latest effort by the industry to cope with declining revenues due to an economic slump and a continuing migration of advertising dollars online.

  14. In Lansing:

    8 layoffs (13 position cuts total) from the work force of 380.

    And I wouldn't trust the corporate employee totals for each paper. Gannett reports 475 - maybe that's counting all of the open positions!

  15. Some departments were chosen over others; individual choices didn't adhere to any standard.

  16. How in the hell does Asbury Park have more employees than Cincy or Louisville? Two papers that are in much larger cities. Maybe they are in the press room, but I agree with anon:9:46, that number seems awfully high.

  17. I've had to offer up names several times.

    In my department, I always have a list in the back of my head of who's first out the door, when the publisher comes looking for FTE's.

    No, it's not fair or nice or humane to have targets on the back of your least needed employees. Would it be more caring to tell a staff person that when the layoffs come, they're on the list? Every day, that person would hate waking up.

    That list is ordered by job function, then seniority. A big part of the list is what work we can dump on other departments, or just stop doing.

    The last criteria is productivity. Two people that otherwise are even, I'll kick out the one that can't do two people's work.

    It makes me sick to lay off good people who have been doing good work. But I have a responsibility to Gannett and the rest of my staff to keep viable our operation, or risk further cuts.

  18. Does anyone have any info on USA TODAY? I know that for now, the flagship avoided the cuts, but there is that meeting on August 27, and I find it hard to believe that USAT is going to escape all of the pain. Care to venture a guess at what they're going to do? While layoffs seem very possible, they could also freeze salaries, force people into jobs they can't or won't do in hopes of them leaving on their own, or a host of other actions that I have no confidence will be to the advantage of anyone other than the folks in the tower next door. Sell the freakin' "blue ball" on eBay and save a couple jobs! Hey, empty suits, don't plead hard times when you have six-figure artwork outside your offices and seven-figure bonues. It's not going to sit well with a increasingly aware and angry staff. I am hoping people either boycott the meeting on the 27th or tear into Moon with all the vigor they can muster. Strength in numbers, people. We still have that!

  19. In Nashville: Reported on the website and 19 lines on the front (bottom right) of the Biz section. No word to the grunts.

  20. Wilmington Delaware's News Journal is saying 16 in the whole building, including 4 in news. That's out of 439 full-time and 180 part-time.

  21. Date/Time: 8/14/2008 3:21:53 PM
    Title: Gannett memo regarding job cuts
    Posted By: Jim Romenesko

    Gannett memo regarding job cuts

    Position Reductions in U.S. Community Publishing

    Due to the difficult business conditions, USCP Division management is reducing positions across all levels.

    • Division management gives each site a reduced payroll dollar amount they must meet based on:
    Unit’s financial performance
    Previous reductions
    • Sites decide how to reach this payroll reduction:
    By not filling vacancies.
    Through normal resignations and retirements.
    And in most cases by laying off some existing employees.
    • Division management with corporate must approve the site-submitted reductions
    Protecting our content creation and sales capacity.
    Assuring the reductions are consistent with the company’s strategic direction.
    • Sites communicate the approved reductions to their affected employees

    Estimated number of USCP position losses
    • The payroll reduction amount translates roughly into 1,000 fewer positions in USCP
    • Probably requiring around 600 people to be laid off
    • Approximately 3% of USCP current positions

    • By August 15th publishers send a letter to all their employees:
    Explaining, in their own words, the points made in this communication.
    Telling their employees the number of layoffs at their particular site.
    Giving a date, or range of dates, when their employees will leave the company.

    Severance Benefits
    • One week of pay for each year of service (52 week maximum)
    • Minimum two-week severance benefit
    • Medical benefits will continue for the length of the severance period
    • Employees laid off may begin receiving their pension plan and 401(k) benefits
    (depending on applicable laws)
    • Government unemployment benefits may also begin after severance benefits end,
    depending on state law

    More job reductions to come?
    • We would prefer no more reductions, but…
    We must keep expenses in line with revenue.
    If advertising and circulation revenues continue to decline, further payroll reductions may be necessary.
    • This communication is about a particular USCP payroll reduction effort
    Job reductions resulting from other changes throughout Gannett are not
    included in this communication (such as the current project in accounting and finance to centralize some activities in two national shared services centers).

    • These people leaving Gannett contributed to its growth and success
    • We will thank them for their years of service and treat them in a way that acknowledges their valuable contributions

  22. @9:46 and 10:15 -- I think that Asbury number looks big because they essentially folded other NJ papers like the Courier-News into APP earlier this year (or was it late last year?) Those people are not all at APP main office.

  23. Des Moines Register:

    Email from Laura Hollingsworth

    12 full time and 3 part time employees are getting at the ax. And will not fill an additional 11 positions. Layoffs to be completed by August 20.

  24. Des Moines -- 23.5 total
    Layoffs 13.5 FTE
    Attrition 11 open positions

  25. Here's the note Zidich sent out Phoenix. No specifics about staffing in the PHX newsroom just platitudes.

    Today, and during the next few days, you will be reading and hearing plans for a reduction in workforce across Gannett newspapers. The newspaper division workforce will be reduced by 600 positions or approximately 3 percent. This is separate from the financial services centralization announced last week. The reductions are driven by the very difficult economic climate that our company and many other industries face. While division management has identified specific reductions for each market, the decisions to achieve those are local. In Phoenix, based on the local business climate we have already implemented payroll reduction plans to better align with current conditions. Today, I want to provide you an update on where we are and what to expect in the coming weeks.

    Needless to say staffing decisions are never taken lightly. However, transforming the company for the future is key. To accomplish that we have done the following: Gone through a rigorous process of finding more efficient ways to do business which has resulted in restructuring within several departments, used attrition to either reduce payroll or re-allocate those dollars to growth areas of the business, and offered early retirement opportunities. Today, we are part way through a second phase of voluntary early retirement options in certain positions in several departments. Unfortunately, when we have assessed our situation at the end of August we still anticipate the need for some involuntary reductions across the company. The exact number will not be known until we complete the voluntary early retirement at the end of this month.

    We are in difficult times, but we have come through difficult times before. This is a strong organization with an important job to do. Our business ties directly to the overall economy. Our rebound and recovery tie there as well.

    In the coming weeks, I will keep you updated on our progress.

  26. USAT? I don't think the suits know yet. They are now gathering information from the companies on the money "saved" from the layoffs. Once they have an idea of that figure, they will know how much to shave from USAT, Detroit, etc. It won't be good, but your guess is as good as their guess at this point.

  27. Louisville has 1,100 employees? That number sounds too large. What is the source?
    (I was hired in the early years of Gannett there and was told employment was around 1,000 at that time.)

  28. The APP numbers are high because they reflect other papers. Not sure if that includes all of the Jersey papers like HNT, CP, Vineland, etc.

    But it def. includes what until a year ago was known as the "Ocean County Newspaper Group" which included the former daily Observer (which was folded but everyone kept their jobs) and the Times-Beacon newspapers, a group of 5 weeklies and a half dozen TMC mailers. Those people are now "Asbury Park Press" employees, whereas they used to be counted separately. So that would inflate the number.

    No idea where cuts could come in newsroom, though. Like someone above said, Neptune is pretty much a wasteland and the other bureaus are worse.

  29. tennessean -- 50 jobs from 1,182, 40 from attrition, 10 layoffs next week

  30. Tucson: 2.5 from the newsroom.

  31. One layoff in Sioux Falls.

  32. August 15, 2008

    TO: Employees of The Star

    FROM: Michael G. Kane
    President and Publisher

    As you know, the newspaper industry is in the midst of tough economic times, joining the ranks of so many other businesses in our market and across the US. Because we do not see the present trend of declining revenues improving any time soon, Gannett’s U. S. Community Publishing (USCP) Division has made the decision to reduce staffing across all levels of the organization.

    In Indianapolis, a large portion of our payroll savings will be achieved by attrition and not filling open positions. There will, however, be approximately 23 layoffs. We’re finalizing our plans and will complete layoff notifications next week. I am sending this letter now because I want you to know what is happening. I promised full and open communication and that is a commitment I stand behind. I realize that doesn’t make it any easier for those who are affected but it might help a bit to understand the full situation. Employees who are affected will be notified individually and will be provided severance and medical insurance continuation based on their length of service.

    As you may have heard or read by now, about 1,000 positions or roughly three percent of total employment, will be eliminated across the company. About 600 of these position eliminations will come through layoffs. Gannett is not alone. Most media companies are experiencing similar financial performance and staff reductions.

    The big question on your minds is probably whether more job eliminations will come in the future. The only thing I can tell you is that we are working as hard as possible to turn around our revenue declines – and we have had some local successes. But so long as the declining overall revenue trend continues, we will be managing in a difficult environment. We must keep expense trends consistent with our revenue trends.

    Despite disappointing revenue performance, our footprint in the market continues to increase as a result of your work. Our digital audience is growing and our reach is very strong. We continue to be the number one source for advertising and information in our market. Solid reporting, tremendous websites, excellent service and popular niche publications are all contributing to the positives that we are seeing. We’re fortunate, too, that we will be adding approximately 55 jobs to the financial shared services center in our building when it is fully operational. Overall, I remain confident that there are better times ahead.

    Unfortunately, in the short term we will be saying goodbye to some employees who have contributed to our success and that will be difficult. The goal, however, is to strengthen our company for the future, and to get through this economic downturn in a way that positions us to grow.

    We will be holding employee meetings later this month. At these meetings I will update you on our business and help you envision our future.

    Thank you for all that you do.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

  33. Reno loses another 7 (last fall 9 or 10 veterans, with at least 25 years' experience, got buyouts similar to the USAT buyouts), but I don't know what the total employee count there is.

  34. Poughkeepsie will lay off 3 people out of 200.

    The memo just came out.

  35. The Post-Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin): 8 layoffs by Aug. 22.

  36. Reno is 7 out of 400 employees (400 being the figure it has posted on its company profile; no idea if that's current)

  37. Brevard: 21 positions will be cut at Florida Today, 11 of which will be through layoffs

  38. Morristown -- 10

  39. Green Bay,Wis, Press-Gazette - 8 bodies.

  40. From the Crossroads of America (Indianapolis), where a memo from our new publisher announced "approximately 23 layoffs" ... One of our editors plans to apply to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for classification -- and protection --as an endangered species. Another suggested we all apply to the local living history attraction, Conner Prairie, to become historic re-enactors.
    Clearly, gallows humor is gets us through. Sadly, Gannett has lost whatever focus it had on news. Slash and burn is a great way to eliminate a forest -- or to eliminate the reason people buy your paper: news. If they wanted a shopper, they'd find it in their mailbox.

  41. From Rochester's publisher's memo, just out:
    That translates to 11 positions in Rochester and we are trying to achieve these cuts by not filling some open jobs, offering some affected employees other open positions and including some timely retirements. The small number of employees who will ultimately be affected will receive a severance package based on length of service. The reduction affects several departments.

  42. I doubt USA TODAY or Detroit will remain untouched, despite whatever crap Moon spews at the August 27 USAT meeting. There is massive distrust by the rank and file everywhere. These betrayals can't be justified or reversed. The damage is done. This isn't just business. This is getting personal because lies tend to make things personal. Families are being hurt. Health issues are being aggravated.

    Hey corporate, I believe you're going to see fight-back. It won't be obvious (because you all are blind anyway) or dramatic, but it will come in various forms. Lack of motivation is not good for the bottom line, Workers with little left to lose, or no real futures to depend on, are not people you want in mass working for your company. Yet, that's exactly what you're going to get. Too bad these morons at corporate don't understand that the workers can still control things because we great outnumber you, and we do the freakin work that pays for your corrupt salaries, and now will take against on every front against you. Guess the ethics form we annually sign will have to get thicker. This is going to be guerilla warfare. This opens the door to take that extra sick day, even when not sick. This means I personally won't be working those extra hours for pride in the product. Lost too many friends in this company, not just to layoffs, but to the general treatment many of us have endured from management. Many good friends quit on their own because they were getting sick working there.

    So many things we can all do to stick it to these creeps, including the department heads who are just an extension of the evil in tower 1. I think my ME even gets paid by corporate, not the paper he works for.

    This will cost Gannett. I don't even want to hear another word about the bad economy or changing the business for the future until Moon and Dubow and the blouted ME salaries at the large papers come down and bonuses disappear. You'd be surprised what MEs get bonuses for doing. Put it this way, when you just can't understand why someone was hired, because on paper they look vastly underqualified, well, think again about what that motivation might have been. The ME gets rewarded for NOT always hiring the most qualified person, which in turn creates more work for those who are competent. Another topic for another day.

    I want to see some sacrifice by the top dogs before I give damn again about this company or my job. I want to see more truth and integrity from our so-called leaders before I believe anything from the top, good or bad.

    What Gannett is doing is classic corporate America b.s. And it's getting worse. I use to like to think that a media company could be better, different and above some of the lies and deceit practiced in other industries. if nothing else, I thought the truth would be respected at a newspaper. But Wall Street backs up these con men in the tower just as they backed up Enron during its glory days. Even when they finally fall, they leave with a fat wallet. Hopefully someone will expose what is really going on in this and other media companies. Without a free and open press, run by somewhat honorable, law-abiding people, this whole country could be in trouble. Yes, I mentioned law because any company that pushes out people or denies them of a job because of age, is breaking the law.

    Many of us know the other awful things Gannett has done over the years. Read "Chain Gang" if it's still in print.

    Good luck to those of you being thrown out on the street, especially if you are mid or late-career folks. I sincerely feel for you. No one's career deserves to end like this, not after working holidays, Sundays, going into war zones and dangerous neighborhoods to report the news. Monuments and museums are built to honor journalists, but the corporations show little regard for them. Kind of ironic.

  43. From St. Cloud, MN: 12 positions, 8 "real" layoffs. No story.

    August 15, 2008

    Times Media staff,

    This letter is intended to inform you of what will be happening at Times Media as it relates to payroll reductions. I realize that while the letter outlines elements that will be stressful to you, it is better than having rumors and misinformation inside and outside the organization.

    Economic conditions continue to negatively impact our local market, the nation and as a result the Gannett Company. Many of our key customers and most of our readers are experiencing difficult times, impacting Times Media directly. While we have worked extremely hard to reduce expenses and find more efficient ways of doing business, the negative trend has been too steep for those actions to have a substantial impact.

    Based on the current status of our business and ongoing difficult business conditions, the US Community Publishing Division management is reducing positions across all levels. Overall, the estimated number of positions affected across the newspaper division will be around 1,000, requiring approximately 600 employees to be laid off. This is roughly 3% of the total newspaper division workforce.

    Our reduction number from corporate was based on our performance over the last two years which has been very soft and below the company averages, previous expense reductions and market outlook conditions which are not favorable for Central Minnesota. The decision as to how to reach our number was made locally.

    In reviewing options to achieve the target number, your OC members and I have looked at not filling open positions, moving employees to different positions, normal resignations and other scenarios. As we have done in the past, we considered options to meet our target with minimal layoffs. Throughout the process we had to keep in mind that we could be damaging or severely hampering the products and services that make our business a viable asset and keep our customer's interest, which is beneficial for our longer term success.

    As a result of this process I submitted a reduction of 12 positions. Four of the reductions are either open positions that we will close permanently or an employee will be moved to a new assignment. The remaining eight positions will be a layoff of existing employees. In making this decision we did consider our content generation and sales pressure as being strategic needs for our future. With that in mind it behooves us to do everything we can to support revenue growth and customer satisfaction.

    We will notify the employees directly affected by August 20th. The severance benefit will be one week of pay for each year of service (minimum two weeks). Medical benefits will continue through the severance period. Employees laid off may receive their pension plan and 401(k) benefits once the severance term has ended.

    A couple of points I want to make sure you understand. This reduction is based on Times Media’s current financial performance and projections and does not preclude us from looking at any possible consolidations in the future. I would prefer no more reductions, but we must keep expenses in line with revenue.

    These have been very difficult decisions. This will be a very stressful time for everyone at Times Media but I believe the decisions made are in the best interest of the organization overall. For those who are directly affected by this I know you have been contributors to our success in the past. I thank you for your valuable service to our company and hope others do as well.

    In the midst of the disappointing news and the reality of the economic conditions there are a numbers of positives. While our revenue is down, we continue to keep advertisers and in fact are doing business with more advertisers than ever. However, due to the conditions they are spending less on average with each transaction. Also, our market footprint is solid. We have products in print and online that are getting results for our readers and advertisers. I want you to know that I appreciate all the hard work everyone exhibits every day that allows Times Media to produce great products and services. We will continue to do the best journalism and provide the best customer service possible.

    If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.


    Bill Albrecht
    President and Publisher
    Times Media

  44. Just received from Publisher Curtis Riddle, at The News Journal, Wilmington,
    Re: Staff Reductions

    The challenges that our industry faces are well known to most of you by now.
    Over the past few years, we have shared information with you about our many efforts to reach new audiences in new ways while continuing to provide news and information to loyal readers who continue to rely on us. We can point to many innovations and successes. Out latest readership numbers, just released, support out position as the primary source for news, information and advertising in our market. All of that good news can't negate the losses we have suffered in both circulation and advertising revenue. Some o that is the result of the changing media landscape; much is attributable to the sluggish economy.

    Beginning Monday, staff reductions will take place across Gannett's U.S.
    Community Publishing Division. These reductions translate into a loss of 1,000 positions. Some of these losses will be absorbed through attrition, but we anticipate that some 600 employees will be laid off. In Wilmington, we will be reducing our staff by 16 employees. We currently have 439 full-time and 180 part-time employees.

    Affected employees here will be notified beginning Monday, August 18.
    Conversations with these individuals are expected to be completed by the end of the day on Tuesday. Severance packages include one week's pay for each year of service. Those who have medical coverage will retain that benefit through the severance period.

    This is a difficult step for Gannett and for us locally. Those who will leave us in the coming days have made meaningful contributions to The News Journal and to Gannett, and I thank them for their service.

    The economy is unpredictable and our industry is changing rapidly. While I would like this to be the final step we must take to keep expenses in line with revenue, continued declines in circulation and advertising revenue may make further payroll reductions necessary in the future.

    We move forward knowing that our success continues to depend on our employees. Thank you for your hard work and commitment to the future of the company.

  45. Lafayette (La.) Advertiser will eliminate six positions through layoffs.

    From publisher Leslie Hurst:


    It is no surprise to any of you that economic conditions are tough, and they are affecting our business. Higher fuel costs, an increase in newsprint prices and a weakening advertising climate are creating a challenging business environment for us. It also comes as no surprise that we have worked very hard to manage expenses very tightly over these last few months. I know that you’ve all experienced the tightening of our collective belts. While we have made good progress, it hasn’t been enough to offset our declining advertising and circulation revenues.

    We have received a payroll target from the division with a number that we are expected to achieve. Our target was based on current performance trends as well as past job/position reductions. While we have been aggressively holding positions open and benefiting from natural attrition, the savings is not enough to reach our target. What this aggressive cost-management has done, though, is to help us minimize the impact that reaching our target will cause to our workforce. In order to get to our number, we will eliminate six positions through layoffs. The employees whose jobs will be affected will be informed by the end of next week. This number could have been much larger and our management team has worked very diligently to ensure that we are able to minimize the number of layoffs that will occur in our organization.

    The employees who no longer will be with us are good people, and have served the Gannett Company well. The decision to eliminate these jobs was very difficult, but we no longer have the luxury of operating with the same number of people as business becomes weaker.

    We are not alone. Throughout Gannett, about 1,000 positions will be eliminated over the next few weeks. Of that total, about 600 people will be affected. This represents about 3 percent of Gannett’s current workforce.

    Until recently, the local economy has been very good to us. Boosted by recovery from the 2005 hurricanes and the strong oil and gas market, it has helped us avoid the multiple job eliminations that other newspapers have faced. The fact that we’ve been able to withstand this level of cuts for a relatively long period of time is testament to the outstanding work that each of you performs for the company. I thank you for that.

    I do not expect that there will be additional layoffs at this time, but in this uncertain economic climate, I cannot promise that it won’t happen. I will, however, promise to keep you informed as we work through these difficult times together.

    I know that each of you is working incredibly hard, and I very much appreciate your commitment to The Daily Advertiser, Daily World, Quik Quarter and the Gannett Company. It is important that we continue moving forward as a team, working toward common goals and ensuring that our organizations continue to be strong and demonstrate leadership in our respective communities. Our readers and advertisers rely on each of you as much as I do. I thank you for everything you do for your company and your community each and every day.

    Make no mistake: this company continues to be strong and viable, and you should – as I am – be proud to be part of its long history. I hope, too, that you are looking forward to our future as we tackle the challenges ahead of us.

    - Leslie Hurst

  46. Re APP, those employee numbers don't include Cherry Hill -- they were told they're losing 35 positions. Not sure if they include the HNT or not, but HNT folk were told they're losing a dozen positions.

    HNT absorbs the Courier News; none of those people are down in Asbury.
    For what it's worth, Donovan's memo to the APP folk didn't say "APP and HNT employees," it was addressed only to APP folk.

    I've heard the "real" APP number is closer to 700, but I haven't been able to confirm that.

  47. Scenario:
    New newsroom employee, <12 months, good review within last 3 weeks - Going to get the cut?
    Does anyone know when the newspapers started working on this?

  48. In Fort Collins, four layoffs from a staff of about 200. Lots of open positions, however.

  49. 9 in Ohio

  50. * At Binghamton, there will be one layoff. Three positions will be held permanently vacant.
    * At Elmira, there will be one layoff, in addition to the three that occurred in July. Two positions will be held permanently vacant.
    * At Ithaca, there will be three layoffs, in addition to three that occurred in July.

  51. Greenville, S.C.: 14 of 610

  52. Copy, paste, tweak the language.


  53. August 15, 2008


    FR: Mark Mikolajczyk

    During our annual State of the Company at the beginning of the year, we discussed the challenges of a softening economy and the impact on our local market. Since then, the economic difficulties have continued and although our company remains fiscally sound, it is critical that we react accordingly by adjusting our operation and expenses.

    Along with the other newspapers in Gannett’s Community Publishing Division, we have had to make the difficult decision to reduce our workforce. Each newspaper, including FLORIDA TODAY was given a financial target for reductions based on various factors including local market and financial conditions. The reductions across Gannett amount to roughly 1,000 positions with approximately 600 people to be laid off across the company. The remaining 400 were achieved through normal attrition and holding positions open.

    At FLORIDA TODAY, we are eliminating a total of 21 positions that include 10 open positions and 11 employees that will be laid off. We will notify those affected by Wednesday, August 20. I understand you will be anxious to know if your own job is secure. We are waiting for Corporate's final approval of our plan and we expect to hear from them within the next few days.

    Employees who are laid off will receive one week of pay for each year of service, capped at 52 weeks. There will be a minimum two-week severance pay-out. Medical benefits will continue throughout the severance period.

    With these reductions, there will be a loss of talent and experience that just can’t be replaced. We will be losing valuable employees who are co-workers and friends to many of us. The layoffs, in addition to the 10 open positions that won’t be filled, will impact those of us who remain. Some of you may wonder how you can possibly handle more when you’re already working so hard. We have made a number of operational changes and utilized new technologies to ease some work loads, but we know this doesn’t cover all of the reductions. This is the time when I need ideas from you about how we can continue to find efficiencies, so please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with me.

    We still have challenges ahead of us, and I'm serious when I say we are all in this together. We all feel what we do here at FLORIDA TODAY is important and matters to our community. Your hard work and commitment to our company is truly appreciated.

    Mark Mikolajczyk

    President and Publisher


    P.O. Box 41900

    Melbourne, FL 32941-9000

    321.242.3777 (office)

    Visit us at

    The information in this e-mail is private & confidential and for the Recipient(s) only. This information can not be conveyed, reproduced or copied unless permission has been given by Cape Publications, Inc., d.b.a. FLORIDA TODAY.

  54. Could someone please explain to me, considering the "present trend of declining revenue," why the company doesn't just stop increasing the dividend?!?! Gannett has increased the dividend paid to stockholders every year for the past 10 years, at least. This year they raised it 27 cents (according to Edward Jones). With 228.11 million shares of stock, that's $61.6 million saved right there if you just leave the dividend where it was. And if you figure an average of $50,000 salary per employee (I realize I'm probably being generous there, just humor me) multiplied by 1,000 jobs frozen or cut, that's $50 million -- $11.6 million less than you save if you just freeze the dividend!

  55. So how absurd is it that The Arizona Republic hired seven of its interns last week, and then this week announce that there will be layoffs. Obviously, they'll keep the youngsters making $30,000 per year and send the veterans packing.

  56. @2:08, not to give any props to GCI for this insanity, but revenue is not the same as profits. Dividends are from profits. Revenue is what you bring in. Profit is what you have after deducting expenses. Now if they said reductions in profit, that would be a different story in relation to your query.

  57. The News-Press in Fort Myers is counting July's layoffs as part of Gannett's overall effort.

  58. The Springfield total really is 16 of 380 -- five layoffs and 11 unfilled positions on an already skeleton staff.

  59. Yes, it may seem logical to keep the dividend static and save those jobs. But that 27 cents per share goes into the pockets of the company leaders, too. And those folks have many shares.

    In addition to the 11 cuts in Rochchaha, I heard there was also an extensive reorganization of the Newsroom/Special Pubs. More specific details are unknown to me at this time, but Special Pubs General Manager and the staff are moving back to the newsroom.

  60. TO 8/15/2008 2:08 PM regarding the "freezing of dividends". The folks making that decision own the majority of the stock. Why would they want to lower or freeze their income. The top brass get huge amounts of stock in their packages as well. Each year they obtain more and more stock in addition to those bonuses (cash) Let's be honest, all jokes aside.......if Gannett wasn't doing the internal stock shenanigans, the stock is probably worth $8.25 a share. A note to answer another question regarding how they decide to lay off. There are a few managers who do it the best way but there are many more who will get rid of their least favorite people (personal dislikes)...even more are being instructed who to lay off based on earnings, age and/or physical conditions so as to lower health care costs; as part of the instruction, production workers and newsroom will take most of the hits because those jobs will allow for the biggest savings in workers compensation insurance wherein costs vary by department.

  61. USAT and Detroit are going to be really hit hard, IMO. The suits are looking for dollar savings. We see from these reports from the community papers, some of these FTE cuts are being absorbed by not filling empty positions. There's no money currently being spent on empty positions, and so those FTE reductions won't help reach the dollar savings goal. USAT and Detroit are going make up the difference, which is why Moon's announcement was put off until 8/27. Wow.

  62. I am at USAT and have witnessed very suspicious questions and activity from my managing editor within the last 24 hours. Seems like they are getting ready for something. Far be it from the MEs to be upfront and honest with us in a timely fashion. Everything is a game with these people. They have themselve convinced they are good human beings.

  63. Has Detroit called for a meeting, like USAT, anytime in the next couple of weeks?

  64. I really don't want to hear anything more from these publishers about "CHALLENGING" times. Challenging for whom? For you? I doubt it. Doesn't look like my publisher gave up his luxury vehicle(s) or sold any of his houses or yachts. I don't see any sacrifice from the people on top, whether they be publishers, department heads or newsroom big-wigs. They are still taking their two months of vacation time, collecting their obscene bonuses they earned on the backs of regular folks. And even if they do get the boot, they really won't have to worry about eating out of can or moving into a one-room rental, will they? Plenty of reserves in the bank, I am sure. So, shut up about "challenging" times for "us." There is no us. There is you and there are folks who live paycheck to paycheck. There is you, who can write a check for you kids' tuition, and there is us who have to take out loans to do the best we can for our families. You're the ones who should take the first cuts, not us. Trim your salaries first, then come after our jobs and we might have more respect for you. Take your "challenge" and shove it.

  65. Have any papers with recent layoffs been hit again by any of this? I wonder if that's possible.

  66. Yo, 3:54, don't sweat it. The gods are going to eventually strike down these publishers and executive-types with the fancy corner offices. Corporate America is beginning to become more vulnerable, and CEOs, bullies and b.s.'ers are falling. I smile every time one of them is arrested, or when their yachts sink or when other calamities occur in their lives. The universe watches over us. The greatest empires/governments in the world have all collapsed when arrogance ran rampant, when they underestimated the will of the people. And while we regular working stiffs do seem to take the brunt of the hits, these people in the ivory towers have much farther to fall, so when they do crash, it hurts more. Have you ever seen what happens to pathlogical liars in positions of power when they are finally exposed and lose their titles? They cry like babies. Gannett is saturated with these types of folks. Many of them are in the newsroom, but they exist elsewhere, too. This blog tends to focus on journalists, and journalists like to write and exchange ideas in venues like this, but other departments are hurting too. I think many of the expressions of outrage here also apply to our blue collar brothers and sisters within the company. Let's not forget how they're suffering.

    Let's really crank this blog up. Tell people about it. Get them reading. Let's turn technology against Gannett!

  67. Aug. 15, 2008

    Citizen employees,

    As all of you are aware, our national and local economy has been struggling
    for the better part of two years. The housing market crisis has spread to
    many other businesses causing a continued negative impact on our revenues.
    Newspapers are caught in a double bind: economic downturn and advertising
    revenue being siphoned off into other mediums.

    In light of these difficult business conditions, the U.S. Community
    Publishing division of Gannett, to which we belong, has asked each of its
    newspaper sites to reduce expenses by reducing the number of people we
    employ. Each site was given a target based on its financial performance.

    As we determine how best to achieve our target, we will ensure that the
    reductions are consistent with our strategic objectives.

    For the Community Publishing division as a whole, the payroll reduction
    amount translates to roughly 1,000 fewer positions, requiring about 600
    people to be laid off. That’s a reduction of about 3 percent.

    At TNI and the Citizen, our target is about 30 positions – about 2 percent
    of the combined workforce. At TNI, about half of the reductions will need to
    come from layoffs. At the Citizen, the staff reductions will come primarily
    through layoffs.

    Upon our review and followed by approval from the Community Publishing
    division, individuals being laid off will be notified by the end of August.
    A severance package of a minimum of two weeks pay plus one week of pay for
    each year of service (52 week maximum) will be provided and medical benefits
    will continue throughout the severance period. Other benefits that may be
    available will be discussed on an individual basis.

    While we prefer to avoid further staff reductions, we must be realistic and
    understand that if revenues continue to decline, payroll reductions may be
    evaluated again in the future.

    I believe that what we create here with the newspaper and Web site will
    continue to be relevant and reliable sources of information. Nearly
    two-thirds of all adults in Pima County read one of the two newspapers
    and/or look at the Web sites every week.

    While these steps we are taking are painful, I hope we can all emerge from
    this economic downturn stronger.

    Jennifer Boice
    Interim Editor

  68. Some papers are on their second round, although it's kind of hard to figure out what consititutes a round of layoffs. As USA TODAY, people have mysteriously vanished for several years.

    As bad as the recent layoffs and force-outs are, let's not forget that pushing people out, mostly because of age, has been a cost-cutting tactic of Gannett for decades. Yeah, it's a against the law. Who has the money and time fight it though?

    I've worked in some shops where age/experience was valued. This has never been one of those places.

  69. To read one notice is to read them all.

  70. Sheboygan, 1 out of 105 or so, "impacting several positions " A handfull of open positions will probably go unfilled.

  71. Salem will layoff three employees.

    TO: Statesman Journal employees
    FROM: Steve Silberman
    DATE: August 15, 2008

    I want to share information about the challenges we face, the decisions we must make, and the direction in which we are headed. You are all aware of the economic slowdown affecting our country and, as a result, our community. Few industries have been immune. While businesses continue to believe in our publications and Web sites and tell us each week that advertising with the Statesman Journal works, many of them have been unable to advertise as much as they have in the past because their own sales have fallen. Just as consumers have cut back on their own spending, so, too, have businesses. While our market share remains strong, businesses have reduced their marketing budgets.

    Our revenues have fallen and we need to reduce our expenses as a result. I do not expect us to make up for all or even most of the lost revenue, but we do need to tighten our belt. Unfortunately, our belt tightening will require us to leave open some jobs and eliminate other ones. Publishers across the company are making similar decisions because of the economic slowdown. At our company’s community newspapers, roughly 600 people will be laid off in the next two weeks and another 400 open positions will be eliminated.

    Here in Salem, we will not fill some open positions and we will also lay off three employees, or about 1.5% of our full-time workforce. In some areas, we have more employees than budgeted, which I have taken into account. Working with the Operating Committee, we have focused on strategically aligning our resources for future growth. We will make these reductions and notify the three affected employees on Monday.

    It pains me to lay off people because I know the financial and emotional toll this will have. I have not made this decision lightly or rashly. As we realign our business, you have my assurance that we will treat employees fairly. The three impacted employees will receive one week’s severance for each year of service with a minimum two-week severance benefit. Medical benefits will continue for the length of the severance period.

    Even with the reduction in our workforce, we will continue to fill positions that are most critical to our operation and long-term health. I hope that we will not need to reduce the staff in the future, but I will need to keep our expenses in line with our revenues. I know firsthand that our advertising team is working tirelessly and we have identified opportunities to increase revenue that I expect will pay dividends down the road.

    This is certainly a difficult time. We will need to come together and support each other, as you always have. The work we do is important to the people who live and work here and they depend on us. We have a great tradition here at the Statesman Journal that you have each worked hard to build up. I am proud to be part of that tradition now, even in hard economic times. I appreciate your work and dedication. Please let me or your manager know if you have any questions.

  72. Any word on when corporate GCI in McLean is next on the list?

  73. Yup, the economy is bad. No, I don't believe for a second that Gannett isn't making money. As a previous comment stated, the publishers and other highly paid Gannett officers seem to be doing fine. Have you seen the Tysons campus? Everyone has cable TV at there desks! How much does that cost per year? Check out some of offices there. Absolutely decadent. I will believe the doom and gloom when CEOs' salaries are slashed to something more proportionate to the rest of us, and when the catered lunches cease in northern Virginia.

  74. The suits have no case. That's why the memos all read the same. They should stop with the fake empathy and just do whatever it is they are going to do.

  75. QUOTE -- I am at USAT and have witnessed very suspicious questions and activity from my managing editor within the last 24 hours. Seems like they are getting ready for something.ENDQUOTE

    When read in the voice of Sylvester the Cat -- 'some very sushpishush queshshuns!' -- that post is even funnier!

    Paranoia is easily spread. Just relax and we will all see what results. The editor of USA TODAY is in Beijing, for goodness sakes. I mean, For goodnesh shakessss!

  76. Remember: by cutting a few jobs, those executive assistants in McLean can keep getting served their free lunches by a waiter every day.

  77. In Washington, D.C., a local sportscaster, George Michael, quit his high-paying job at an NBC affiliate so that others under him wouldn't lose their jobs. Has ANYONE at the top at any Gannett paper, or corporate, ever done anything like that? Doubt it. Would take tremendous honor and self-sacrifice...something most publishers, editors and top department heads have no clue about. Leadership comes in many forms. Actions do speak louder than words. These memos mean nothing and show how empty these Gannett publishers are. And when filling management positions, they often look for people just like themselves, which is why there is so much dysfunction at each shop.

  78. 4:30 is a Gannett/USAT manager. Either a very naive one or one with nothing else to do then to read this blog. Why do they even come on here? You can spot them a mile away, and they aren't amongst friends. But, in the name of free speech (something they deny us), I defend their right to give their views on this blog. I think their words are fairly transparent, so no harm no foul.

    Whether cuts at USAT and Detroit are coming is almost besides the point now, 4:30. Bigger issues are being exposed.

  79. LOL. 4:30 is making Sylvester the Cat references to build his or her case! That pretty much says it all about these Gannett defenders.

  80. Given this week's news, it can hardly be paranoia to expect layoffs or major announcements at USAT. That Sylvester gibberish is lame and unfair -- the poster never explicitly described the "suspicious" behavior. The pro-Gannett whiners (I'm coining that here and now!) fail to prove their point by subjecting "anti-Gannett whiners" to grade-school ridicule.

  81. 50 voluntary buyouts out of "about 1,000" employees in Cincinnati, no word on layoffs. Link is to story.

  82. We've had a lot of posts about numbers of people, but I'd like to say what saddens me most is the quality of people the papers have lost. At Westchester, we lost the film critic, a really smart editor/writer from features, a well-regarded page designer who came to the paper from the Daily News and a managing editor who was liked by his subordinates.

    Why were these people picked and not others? I don't know. This was definitely not a layoff that got rid of dead wood.

  83. ABSOLUTELY! 4:30 is manager, probably fairly high up judging from the cartoon reference. They tend to like popcorn too. Real inspirational people. Why is he/she telling us to "relax"? Concerned about our high blood pressure? Doesn't want a mass exodus? What are you afraid of, 4:30 to make such flippant remarks about our speculative observations? Haven't recent events proven that where there is smoke there is likely to be fire? This blog is all about informing employees about things the company doesn't tell us. We are left to speculate at times because of the lack of timely info coming from the likes of you. In fact, why, 4:30, was the news of the layoffs broken by Jim (this blog) and not communicated properly to anyone in Tysons? Don't you think USAT'ers might have been interested in hearing from the horse's mouth what was going on at the other papers? Have any funny cartoon comebacks to that? I myself saw a lot of closed-door meetings yesterday, but no official word about anything from any manager at USAT. Maybe the USA TODAY editor should stay in China, where information doesn't flow very well either.

  84. To everyone at Gannett corporate headquarters and to all other pro-Gannett whiners, I dedicate this song to you from the bottom of my heart:

  85. Why on earth would anyone defend anything Gannett is doing lately, let alone ridicule a comment from an employee about what might be happening eventually at USA TODAY. We have every right to be on edge. And if nothing happens on August 27, that doesn't mean everything will be fine in November, the one-year anniversary of the last buyouts. One other thing...these Gannett defenders really shouldn't be in the USAT newsroom, yet I fear some are. They aren't being objective. They aren't looking at the rather heavy evidence that the company is not functioning in an ethical and honest manner right now. If an editor/manager can't be objective, and look at the facts before them and advocates silence, they really need to hang it up. They've lost their journalistic values somewhere along the line.

  86. 4:30 here. I am in China, too, and the sun is barely here yet.

    If my cartoon-y reference was offending, I apologize. It just seems there is very accurate and saddening information being shared here that effects actual workers, and unneeded paranoia should be combated. We have been told the 8/27 USAT meeting is a regular annual meeting, and that is what I hope is the case.

  87. Yes, the Westchester choices were horrible. There are some higher ups that take care of their own. Ex USAT folks taking care of their people. The atmosphere in the building is disgusting and you walk by people and ask yourself, "HOW THE HELL DID HE/SHE SURVIVE THE CUTS"

  88. 4:30 came into the wrong forum to defend Gannett/USAT. Severely bad timing. Gotta question their motives for lashing out. Maybe he or she was the one acting suspiciously in the eyes of their employee (which promted the ridicule of the writer by 4:30). Got a little uncomfortable, eh? USAT (print) is mess. And yes, keep the editor in China. Can we send over the execs, too?

  89. 13 out of ??? from the four Central Wisconsin papers (Stevens Point Journal, Wausau Daily Herald, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune and Marshfield News Herald)

  90. What's with these USAT folks? They are even causing havoc after they leave USA TODAY, in this case in Westchester? I know some good peeps there in Tysons. Down to earth, quality workers. Unfortunately, none are managers. Not saying all USAT managers are horrible, but many are just overpaid puppets on corporate strings. I guess those skills transfer with them when they leave.

  91. Corporate and USAT are one in the same. That's why they're all together at the Virginia campus. The newsroom is basically becoming an extension of the marketing machine. Many of the editors lost their backbone awhile back. And the online merger was the nail in the coffin. Game, set, match...USA TODAY being a viable workplace for journalists is over. Just pray none of these USAT managers show up in your shop.

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

  93. Being a former USAT editor myself, I can tell you that whenever I looked for work on the outside, it wasn't easy to convey to other newspaper folks that I was NOT sold on the Gannett way. Being at USA TODAY for any serious length of time can do damage to your career if you want to work for a legitimate news organization.
    I think that is partly why these USAT folks are in a panic. They know, to some extent, they are seen as damaged goods on the outside. And being on the outside now myself, I can tell you that I am not imagining this. Your luck with finding a new job in a vibrant newsroom (the few that are left) really depends on many factors. If you have a stellar reputation in the industry, a big name, as some who left there last year did, you won't have too much of a problem finding work. But if you're kind of an unknown, just a good solid employee or manager, who has been with USAT for 10 or more years, watch out.

  94. An editor of a non-Gannett paper in Florida once told me that the best move she ever made in her life was to leave Gannett. Another editor, who worked in Green Bay but left after Gannett took over, told me that age discrimination is a way of business at Gannett.

    Yes, there are many stories pro and con about Gannett, but there does seem to be some themes and grievances that are heard repeatedly. Actually, I am nearing 60 and have heard horror stories about Gannett since I was 22! Seems like little has changed.

    Sorry for those who are suffering or who are about to be out of work.

  95. There is a rumor going around USA TODAY that department heads are beginning to gather names of those who they might want/need to go. That's all I have heard. Since rumors seem to have some traction in recent days, I just thought I would report it.

  96. Now we really know who is protected in Westchester, before we just speculated who they were. The staff is going to be divided into two groups. The first group will line up behind protected managers to kiss as much ass as possible before the next round of layoffs in December. The second group will be the disgruntle employees that want to vomit after they see the antics of the first group.

  97. How can you lay off people when you some departments at A large NJ PAPer that has employees that don't even work a full 7.5 hr shift.Most do there 5hrs and are out the door

  98. Large NJ Paper: It is simple those are the ones who know how to play the game, act like they are overworked, kiss the right ass, threaten to leave if they do not get their way. It is very insulting to those who got cut when these employees survive.

  99. Some light was shed on chosen employees, but none on departments. Does anyone know how they're selected?

  100. Thank you Jim. I am formerly Gannett. These conversations help me to understand why I continue to feel attachment and feel resentment. I am ever-grateful to have moved on.

  101. OH MAN! Did I get to be the first 100 on gannettblog too!?!? If so I am privileged.

  102. 6:15 must be management, his day ended at 6 p.m. and now has time to blog, but can only stay on for a few minutes, has to attend the "We survived the cut Happy Hour celebration"

  103. 6:24, I'm not sure you read 6:15's comments accurately. The poster seems to agree on Gannett's pitfalls and to be happily removed from the company.

  104. I've been in Neptune/Asbury for over 20 years and I can assure youy that the 1400+ figure is inaccurate. That was the number at our peak in the late 80s.
    Unless there are 400 inserters hiding in Freehold, the number is probably closer to 700

  105. I love how our publisher starts his memo by telling us he believes it's important to be open and honest with the employees. It might have went over better if the memo hadn't come the day after the stuff hit the fan all over the Internet. You better believe they won't be putting anything about it on line or in print. One week until the people are gone and no one knows yet who they will be or where they're coming from. Open and honest -- hah!

  106. These numbers are not adding up for me. This running count is about 300 as of this time, half of the 600 layoff figure given out by GCI.
    Does that mean 300 will now come out of USAT and Detroit?

  107. No, these numbers including unfilled positions and not just layoffs, so that could mean 700 out of USAT and Detroit.

  108. The Republic has a staff of 2,650 ! Are you freaking kidding me? The worst designed paper with terrible reporting, crappy editing and the photography is High School yearbook at best. I say clean house at that Rag and let the true newspapers continue to do great work. You have got to wonder how much nepotism comes into play at this place. What a joke!

  109. I'm from APP and that 1,492 number is not current. I would say it's more like 700-800. But if that's the case, then why is our cut number so high compared to others?

  110. ATTENTION: Will the last person to leave Gannett please turn out the light..Thank You!

  111. @7:32
    my parents live in the valley and complain about the selection of the comics too....

  112. The shortfall in expected cuts can't account for impending USAT/Free layoffs. Remember, the 600 come from the community division. Thus far, 31 of 84 sites are on this list. All the info likely isn't out yet.

  113. My current count is 397 layoffs with 41 of the papers reporting. All you gannetteers, report your numbers, include attrition and what you know the employee count to be! I'll share the totals by paper with Jim. The folks at Visalia took a 7% hit. Jackson MS was 4%.

  114. Washington Post story this morning says Detroit Freep IS part of U.S. Community
    Publishing division of Gannett. Some on this blog say otherwise. Which is correct??

  115. Tucson just was told that 30 positions would be eliminated between the Citizen and the JOA. It's a mix of leaving vacant positions open and also a fair bit of layoffs. However, they said they'd let us know just who was getting laid off near the end of the month. So the ax will be falling; it's just not known where yet.

  116. Jim, Brevard has no were near 600 employees. More like 450.

  117. Freep is part of the USAT division.

  118. 11:18 a.m.: How in the crap do you lay off 2.5 employees? Did someone get cut in two amid all the turmoil?

  119. @Nick: Part-time positions.

  120. We are told Honolulu is 0, but we just went through a 9 percent cut, so I don't know how the damn depressing math works. I agree with Hopkins about Gannett's absolutely shitty p.r.

  121. The Freep is part of the community publishing division, but is controlled by the Detroit Media Partnership. That is the organization set up by the JOA to run the Freep and News.
    In theory, any employee cuts should come from the Detroit Media Partnership, but that's just the theory since the Freep runs the Detroit Media Partnership.

  122. Washington Post says no cuts at USAT:
    So what is the 8/27 meeting about? Planning election coverage? OR is it that the USAT cuts haven't yet been decided?

  123. It says there are no cuts at The USA Today because this round specifically excludes that division. It doesn't necessarily mean it won't see its own woes separately.

  124. Gannett to Employees: Drop Dead


  125. Several of you have asked whether the Detroit Free Press is part of Gannett's U.S. Community Publishing division -- basically, the small newspapers -- or a part of a separate entity. Here's what I know: Dave Hunke, the CEO of the JOA in Detroit that publishes the Freep -- reports to USA Today Publisher Craig Moon. Still, Detroit is listed in the community newspapers group on this Gannett Web page:

  126. A new memo has been circulating stating that Gannett has BANNED the use of the word "MORAL". Any employee caught using the word or having any type of "MORAL" will be terminated on the spot...

  127. Same thing goes for anyone having any good MORALE - if you're happy, you must be on drugs!

  128. Hate to point this out, but the last 127 posts kinda prove that crowd sourcing a story works.

    Most of you readers believe that the numbers reported are more or less correct. Not "are correct", or "are INcorrect" - but are "close enough".

    Aside from the question of how many people work in New Jersey (answer: not enough of them!) - there hasn't been a lot of that copy editing /fact checking function we seem to place a lot of value on.

    As we go, so do our readers. The only problem is that who's going to crowdsource a council meeting, a coin investment scandal, the reasons for a bridge collapse?

    (note to Jim: In the layout list, Sheboygan only has one y)

  129. East Brunswick and the not yet "absorbed" Bridgewater site- 12 full-time and 3 part-time to be identified by Wed. - Have a great weekend!

  130. "layout" list? Good one, dumbass. See, everyone needs a copy editor.

  131. Good catch, @7:54 a.m.!

  132. Wonder how many Gannett sites had a "Popcorn Friday" on 8/15/08...

  133. Poughkeepsie is cutting three people within the next two weeks.

  134. To 8/15/2008 10:14 AM:

    And I quote, "That list is ordered by job function, then seniority. The last criteria is productivity. Two people that otherwise are even, I'll kick out the one that can't do two people's work."

    Gimme a break (and we know who you are) you have managed to protect those you want to protect by cross-training those individuals, thus surrounding yourself with your chosen few. Hope you can live with yourself, ya dope!

  135. 837, shut up. First, I'm in St. George, so I doubt I am who you think I am.

    I've crosstrained all the staff, because people leave on their own all the time. The ones who take advantage of the cross training, get into it, and ask for more, are the ones that are more productive and useful to have around.

    Are they chosen? Yes, but they do it themselves. Do I like them? Not necessarily. Some of them are a-holes. But I'm not paid to have friends, I'm paid to manage the staff.

    If that means I have to lay off people that never attempt to help grow their own careers, at least I have a strong core team to work with.

  136. Wow. I left Gannett less than a month ago and I am so glad I made it out in time. This is only going to get worse.

    One poster mentioned how miserable Gannett employees are and it's really true. These papers would be smart to invest some time into their employees.

    I'm sure there would have been a lot more layoffs if so many people hadn't been fleeing en masse in the last 12 months.

  137. There has been an exodus, and while 8:53 may not have chosen who would be cross-trained, some managers do intentionally limit employees they dislike.

  138. Jim @ 4:02 AM - Those of us in Detroit still have no clue why we report to Moon and USA Today. At least nobody has ever explained that one and we're all puzzled by it.

  139. Detroit has a special relationship with Moon because it has a special legal relationship with the Detroit News. The JOA means that Singleton has to be consulted on any cuts that might affect the operations of the Detroit News.

  140. Anonymous 8/15 1:40 PM - On Mikolajczyk - He's says that "we are all in this together." I doubt that. Mark was CEO of the partnership in Detroit for a short while and I could see he was a primadonna. He's not a bad guy, per se, but trust me, he is in it for himself. I base my opinion on what I observed and heard first-hand while in Detroit.

  141. @9:36 - the Freep employees don't report to Moon AND USA TODAY, they just report to Moon who is also publisher of USA TODAY. Big difference. I can assure you that USA TODAY has no control over the Freep.

  142. 8/16/2008 8:53 AM

    YOU shut up, a-hole yourself! What makes you think I don't know who you are, you self-absorbed, pompous albeit loser manager? Just keep on doing what you think you do best.

  143. No popcorn but I hear there's plenty of KOOL-AID being served

  144. I'm already gone, two weeks now. Keeping up on the latest cutback news to see what is becoming of my former coworkers.

    Gannett is clearly going down the tubes. Yet they are doing everything in their power to keep from having to displace or cut the salaries of the people from the director level up. They are desperately trying to keep the bonuses and high income levels up. and te]th poster that stated that they keep "favored" employees is right on target. My director kept family friends that do absolutely nothing and threw me to the sharks. But I won't go into that.

    They definitely have some criteria they are going by to eliminate positions but no one higher up is admitting to that to keep from having a huge law suit filed on grounds of discrimination. I say this because I know that many let go had years of service and several had medical problems that Gannett obviously wanted no part of.

    My question is this, why doesn't Gannett reduce the salaries from the director level up? I mean most of these people (as previously posted) are so dumb they have to have sign that say "REMEMBER: first socks - THEN shoes" to get dressed by. At least that would save some positions of real newspaper people and bring some prima donnas back to earth at the same time.

    But Gannett won't do that. Nor will they report their own problems. That's not journalism. It's BS - something Gannett is very good at.

  145. "That list is ordered by job function, then seniority. ... The last criteria is productivity."

    If those criteria were applied in my department, you'd still be employing the biggest pieces of dead wood. Productivity should be higher up on the list. Keeping people because of their seniority is a big problem in Gannett, I think.

  146. I've got what may be a naive suggestion for any corporate types that are reading this. A quick scan of journalism job Web sites this morning uncovered several Gannett papers that are advertising for specific jobs. Why don't you supply a list of Gannett positions that are currently being filled to those people you're are laying off, along with contact information and a committment to give them priority consideration?

  147. Free popcorn at Wilmington News Journal Friday. Note: Popcorn is not a healthy snack, it raises one's blood sugar levels. You can also choke on it.


    Palladium-Item in Richmond, Indiana is reporting four job eliminations. Corporate site shows 196 employees.

  149. I just have to say that I am so enjoying my weekend. I feel like I'm waiting for the executioner. Why couldn't they have gotten the necessary corporate approvals before making the announcements. This is cruel and unusual punishment.

  150. I wonder how many people have been laid off in the newspaper division in the past couple of years. Gannett hasn't issued numbers about those layoffs, but they certainly have occurred. I wonder how it compares, percentage-wise, with other newspaper companies.

  151. Gannett has always prided itself on their perverse behavior and how much mental/physical pain they can create with the employees.

    It seems to be a badge of pride when someone drops dead or suffers a mental melt down from their efforts.

    I wonder how the age breakdown is with those being terminated? It would be a good idea to collectively seek out the information and pursue a class action against GCI based on age discrimination. From those I speak with, it seems mainly older, better paid staff is being targeted.

  152. I can't say it's been mainly older, better paid staff. Maybe that was the case elsewhere.

    At least one news organization is handing out information about eliminated positions and age.

    Is this a requirement? Had a friend whose job was eliminated in a corporate downsizing a year ago. That corporation made a list of eliminated positions by age and included that list in the severance package if I'm remembering correctly.

  154. Anyone know if the Indy Star cuts will be all in the newsroom? First in-first out across the board?
    Any inside info?

  155. Just some clarifications on the dividends, their owners and why GCI ain't gonna cut the dividend until the cash is gone.

    1. Corporate exec's don't own most of the stock and get the dividends. Most exec's never bought GCI stock becuase they had ten's of thousands of stock options which 1)did not pay dividends and 2) have been worthless for the past 4-5 years and unlikely will ever be worth anything.
    2. 95% of Gannett stock is held by institutional investors, pension funds and funds not related to anyone at Gannett. The balance by individual investors including GCI's 401k's. Corporate VP's don't have a dog in the dividend fight and if they do it's a small one. The dividends are where they are so that the large institutional investors don't dump the stock creating a comapny with a market value of $200 million or so which would then be dismantled by some investment group looking for a quick payday. That would make what is going on now look like a picnic. While we might enjoy seeing Craig and Gracia booted out it would be a pyrhic victory as they would leave with millions on their golden parachute.
    3. Mark Mikolajczyk is a nice guy. I've known him and worked with him ever since he started as a USAT coordinator. He made life during the Watson era fairly tolerable for production and operations people.
    4. Most of the Pubs and OC would like to see this done better but have been threatened with extinction if they don't do exactly what they are told.
    5. If the layoffs only affect the Community Newspaper Division Mr Dickey had a lot to say on how many from each region and what the distribution is by paper. I notice everyone has been beating up the pubs but for the most part they were given guidelines on what to say and how to do this. And those guidelines came from.. I don't know maybe Tara will tell JIm in the next life.
    6. I'm waiting for the YE report where the number of employees left is published. 46,500 in Dec 2007... ????? in Dec 2008. There are a lot of positions being lost through attrition that aren't being publicized. The next annual report will include the true wreckening.

  156. I'm a middle manager with a decent salary in an area that appears to have been targeted as an area that can be reduced. I recognize that I am VERY vulnerable. I have my problems with Gannett, too, for many of the reasons given, but I'm surprised at some of the vitriol and people who seem dismissive of industry problems. When McClatchy laid off 10 percent of its workforce, it seemed that gave other companies permission to declare open season on layoffs. However, the fact is the U.S. economy is in a recession, and the newspaper industry already was losing advertising at an alarming rate. Did anyone really believe that layoffs like this were never going to happen? I'm upset, too. I'm sure that if I'm not laid off now, I will be in near future (unless I get out first). But I can't say I haven't seen the writing on the wall.

    An additional comment for 8/15, 7:32 p.m. -- I don't think it really helps to so disparage the work of one newspaper, especially within a chain not particularly known for great journalism. Just as an example, there are some dang good photographers at the Republic. Calling their work no better than that of high school yearbooks is so off the mark as to call into question your judgment. But I'm sure you will get your wish on the cleaning house. As I look over the list here, it's far short of 600 and many papers under 3 percent. The Republic, with no announcement of numbers yet but the largest staff, could be in for a blood-letting.

  157. Visalia's 10 layoffs will include 7 open positions that will not be filled (e-mail memo Friday). That leaves 3 actual layoffs -- but nothing about which department thay will occur.

  158. Alexandria (La.): 3 out of ????

  159. Are they including newspaper carriers in the "corporate" employment count? There's no way in hell we have as many employees as stated.

  160. The 50 jobs for Asbury "DOES NOT" include the loss of the financial personel.So in actualitty the number of jobs being eliminated is more then the 50....

  161. 12:47 a.m, the middle manager: McClatchy is in the process of putting together yet another series of company-wide layoffs that will begin in September. See McClatchy Watch blog for details given out at a recent Raleigh News and Observer meeting. This looks to be indusry-wide. I am waiting for Singleton to cut his payroll.

  162. Good thing I got out of Morristown when I did. One thing: I'm 99.9 percent sure that we never had even close to 315 employees. Unless we kept them in the outside dumpster. That would explain the moans when I dumped the bodies. (Gannett made me do it.)

  163. If the Moon meeting at USA TODAY on the 27th were a little later in the day, maybe more of the newsroom could show up. Of course, that is probably why it's being held in the morning. Don't want too many newsroom folks asking tough questions and making things uncomfortable on the podium.

  164. Wisconsin cut day is wednesday. Was in my letter and others.

  165. Is Gannett inflating work site totals to make the 600 layoffs appear to be a smaller percentage reduction? Several people say their sites have substantially fewer workers than these totals.

  166. Salem plans to announce layoffs for three employees Monday. Not sure how many employees will be left.

  167. Do these people who had the bright idea to send out layoff letters a week earlier realize that our advertising department personnel are holiding back on sales efforts? Why put in the effort to make a sale when we could be gone by Wednesday. In other words - August 3rd & 4th week will probably shop a drastic drop in revenue. Our way of saying right back atcha, big G.

  168. Does anyone have an updated count for The Republic? The building already is almost empty. Maybe they are going to turn it into a parking garage.

  169. I feel worse for the people that are STAYING. 2 years ago, when I worked there, I was doing the job of 3 people...can you imagine how many hours people are going to have to work now...doing the job of 4 or 5? I had to work 50-60 hours just to keep up, then got passed over for manager...even though I had been doing that job for a year.

  170. I am hearing 14 in Jackson, TN, which can only mean they intend to eliminate the print edition. The distribution force is completely incapacitated, and the HD, SC, and Sales Manager, not to mention several DM positions are already open.

  171. Anon. from last week posted that the memo in NJ was only addressed to APP Employees - just wanted to point out that it was addressed to "All Employees", and yes, it was in fact on APP letterhead, which happens to be the ONLY letterhead that also has Tom Donovan's name on it. Does that clarify who is involved in the layoff? Nope. But just wanted to say it was not solely addressed to APP. The WHOLE ship's sinking...

  172. Rumor is the list of layoffs for Indy is in the hands of security, and the individuals will be contacted today and tomorrow, but no details about departments or any other rhyme or reason regarding who the chosen 23 are.

  173. The republic in the arizona pressroom is laying off at least 35 people there and I am sure other departments will also.......sad but funny it is a rag newspaper but at least it makes more money than the rags from jersey!Can't wait when they take out the useless managers like Bob Kotwasinski!Also the doubled six hour foreman then they can just hire a secretary to do all their record keeping. Adios gravy train!!

  174. 6 dumped at Newspaper Network of Central Ohio. More to come.

    And they try to convince advertisers that newspapers aren't dieing?

    Atleast the Titanic was sunk by an Ice Berg. Gannett ship is sinking buy their own greed! Layoff the hard workers and keep on all the dead weight!! LOL

    Best of Luck with that centralized production circus, your going to need it!

  175. Seven people at the Indianapolis Star "Information Center" were laid off Tuesday. Two paraprofessionals, two sports staffers (one designer, one desk member), one community bureau editor (exempt), one photo editor, and one features editor (exempt).

    There wasn't much rhyme or reason to the layoffs. Some were older, some were young stars, all are looking for new jobs. The sports designer had exactly ONE day on the job.

  176. Total laid off at the Indy Star (all departments), during the cuts yesterday: 20, less than the 23 promised. yay.

  177. Indianapolis received an email from the new publisher alerting them that he'd "completed discussions with 20 good employees laid off yesterday" and that "Some of these employees may be applying for other open positions in the company."
    Does Indy have three to go or did they manage to pare the number down to 20?

  178. I work here, and believe it stopped at 20.

  179. Thanks for the "story link" to the 12 Westchester job losses. It is a business blog brief with absolutely no detail. Pathetic and disgraceful, but entirely to be expected from that anemic "news" operation.

  180. i hate my job.

  181. In Lansing, the newsroom did not have layoffs Tuesday. The 8 who lost their jobs came from other departments and included a janitor. Our building is already a filthy mess... We were warned privately by someone that after the next quarter the newsroom might be hit. A recent employee resignation in the newsroom may have saved a position this time.

  182. The layoff posting for Jackson, TENN isn't quite correct. We did lay off 2 part time news people but we also cut 12 other positions. 3 of those are pending retirements. So that's 14 overall cuts. There is no way we have 225 employees. That's a figure from 5 years ago. There is more like 170 now.

  183. This is a list of laid-off people, @10:21 pm: Are you saying that Jackson, Tenn., laid off 14 people -- or laid off two people and eliminated another 12 open positions? I tried verifying this information by checking the paper's website, but it doesn't appear to have published a story about its own cuts; I could only find a story, oddly, about cuts at the Nashville paper.

  184. Sorry, my mistake. Jackson, TN actually laid off 2 part time info center emps.

  185. It is ironic that in the article appearing in the poor little Mansfield Ohio newspaper owned by Gannett, the quote by the publisher reacting to the cuts has a major typo in it! Ouch! Kinda pathetic, especially since he was claiming that the cuts won't affect the quality of the product. Double ouch! Fire that publisher!

  186. Gannet makes me sick.
    The so called CEO's, Directors Management, the clowns and liars that take credit for thier employee's work...who couldn't work a day if they tried, who are dumb and no nothing but clawing thier way up the ladder at any cost are a bunch of Bastards.
    They could cut their salaries in an instant. As said by a few others...they pull up in thier Mercedes, BMW'w etc., while an average worker is lucky to have a used car. Wages unbelievably low and no concious about it. Now the bastards laying off thier hardworking people who have sustained them over all these years and say "Remember they helped build the Company"...Remember that when you get your huge checks, pensions, perks, bonus'...
    You may not be too concerned about God now, but I guarantee you will all have a reason to ...
    Gannett is not permanent.
    Hell is...
    WON'T see you there...

  187. The Spectrum Newspaper St. George UT 3 Directors cut. Controller, IT Director, and Marketing Director. HR on the chopping block but spared because she now handles events. 4 other FTE via not filling positions or restructure/consolidation of duties.

  188. As of Tuesday morning, 2 production employees were laid off in Central Wisconsin. We expect 15-30 employees to be gone this round. Last round, we lost an entire print facility along with all of the employees who worked there. Up until this point, production has been the focus in the various rounds of layoffs, but it was rumored to finally hit the newsroom this round.


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