The unprecedented cuts follow the elimination of more than 1,000 jobs since August in GCI's biggest and most troubled division: U.S. Community Publishing. But those cuts amounted to only 3% of the unit's employees. Other publishers, including Miami Herald owner McClatchy Co., have sliced much deeper; that chain has exacted two rounds of 10% cuts since June alone.
The division's 84 dailies plus USA Today account for nearly 80% of Gannett's revenue, and 65% of its 46,000 employees. Today's job reductions appear confined to those dailies. I don't see any reference in the memo to cuts at GCI flagship USAT; it rivals The Arizona Republic as Gannett's single-biggest employer.
Publishers in dark; Wall Street applauds
In Iowa, Des Moines Register Publisher Laura Hollingsworth told employees about the cuts in an e-mail, but warned she was unable to say "what that will mean in terms of number of layoffs,'' the paper is now reporting. Hollingsworth is one of GCI's most powerful publishers; she's head of the West region of newspapers.
Investors rallied around Gannett's shares today, after an initially tepid response. GCI's beleaguered stock, down more than 70% from a year ago, closed at $10.22 a share, up $1.09, or 12%. Still, Wall Street had a similar reaction to the August layoffs, before sending shares back into the toilet.
Employees wonder what's next
"Here's a question for Mr. Dickey,'' one worker said: "Do the layoffs and cutbacks stop here, or should Gannett employees keep that resume up to date and keep looking at CareerBuilder and Craigslist for job openings?" (More questions.)
Reflecting new uncertainty that could pinch productivity in weeks ahead, another employee writes: "I'm supposed to start groundwork on a big project this week, but am thinking about asking my bosses what the chances are that I'll be able to finish it. I'd much rather spend my last few weeks on the job wrapping up some of those smaller, community-focused stories that I've been pushing to the back burner, instead of something that'll never see the light of day.''
Related Gannett Blog posts
- Paper-by-paper rosters: August rank-and-file layoffs -- plus September manager layoffs
- Advice: Tips for laid-off workers from those who've been canned
- Tax breaks: Gannett adds 200 jobs in Indianapolis -- and wins tax freebies
- Golden parachutes: CEO Craig Dubow, three others in line for $79 million in severance payments
- Reorganizing: A newspaper division reorg meant to speed up change
To think, when Craig was at the CJ and asked about a time line for future layoffs, he really didn't know. Judging by this I have a feeling they had a better idea than they were letting on.ReplyDelete
02:00 PM - Don't tell me that's so! Mr. Dubow would never deceive us.ReplyDelete
No mention of USAT or THE MOTHER SHIP. Sounds like the beleaugured 84 are going to take it in the shorts again.ReplyDelete
Yeah, the beleaugured 84 that makes 80% of the revenues!ReplyDelete
Our publisher sent out a personal memo - but said nothing of how many here (small daily). Based on last time, 3% = 2 positions here. So 10% could be 8 or 9 people. Time will tell, I suppose.ReplyDelete
Sales are sure to tank now. No sales, No revenue, No Paychecks. What are they thinking.ReplyDelete
If you don't have people to build roads, what are you supposed to drive on. Idiots.
I suggest my fellow Gannettoids take time now to utilize one of the few things Gannett offers that can help you now:ReplyDelete
careerbuilder.com. It worked for me, thanks Gannett! pack-o-fugups
Well, the stock is up 3 cents. So they got that going for them.ReplyDelete
Someone needs to ask if directors can be on the list. If they can't, then those cuts will come later.ReplyDelete
Plus, this doesn't include the "other" expense cuts that will be coming.
In Honolulu the paper continues to adhere to cuts, now our fifth, yet still supports fun runs and sponsorships of events and pays $300,000 to advertise its name on a banner in the state's largest shopping center. wtfReplyDelete
2:29 Dickey asked for input- that is certainly one that should be brought to his attention. But I would find someone who is no longer employeed to write to him.ReplyDelete
A lot of papers are not embracing the web.ReplyDelete
If there was the promise of increased staff when web revenues were up, then maybe this is a way of weeding out those who are resistant.
I recently heard that Gannett hired 60 new online sales specialist. Does anyone know if this is true?ReplyDelete
I bet you could get the equivalent of 3,000 little people jobs by cutting the bloated management in McClean. But I think they'll keep drawing fat salaries and cruising to retirement.ReplyDelete
You continue to provide an excellent service to Gannett employees through this blog. On behalf of all of us, who work for Gannett and are concerned for our jobs, and many of whom might have been blindsided with news of the loss of their jobs had it not been for this blog, thank you.
Maybe this blog could be used for job leads as well. Some good old networking in your area to help the Gannett employees that were thrown overboard.ReplyDelete
2:42 PM - Yes it's true. Their mission is to target advertisers that have not advertisised in the last 90 days. They are outside of the normal chain of command and report directly to corporate online.ReplyDelete
This 10 percent cut -- is it company wide or at each location? Does anyone remember the percentage from the staff reductions in August?ReplyDelete
Anyone know how many will be let go at each site yet? Our publisher hasn't even come out to talk to us or answer questions, yet friends from other Gannett sites know the magic (or not so magic) number. Just curious if we're the only ones in the dark.ReplyDelete
The elimination of 1,000 newspaper jobs in August equaled about 3% of all. So, today's announced cuts are more than three times as big.ReplyDelete
I'm not worried. My candidate will win and take all of Dubow's money from him and share it with all of us.ReplyDelete
Jim, If publishers are telling staff how many positions will be eliminated at their property- can you start a thread so we can keep track by property?ReplyDelete
Out of fear of losing my job, I can't find the courage to e-mail Dickey and ask why it is they can continue to rake in the cash while the small newspapers get strapped with more work and fewer people. Not to mention the fact that we must constantly look over our shoulders for more cuts. It'd be nice to see management take accountability for once.ReplyDelete
I'm a 10 year employee. I work hard. I've have worked alot of unpaid overtime over the years because I thought I was part of a team getting an important product -- The News- out on the street. But the anxiety & stress: with the economy; with Gannett job prospects; with family expenses has just been draining. I feel like we've been in a hurricane for over a year now.ReplyDelete
I still work hard, but over the last year or so I feel like the guy in the movie Office Space....when he says to the corporate "Efficiency" consultants.."It's not that I mind hard work, it's just that I don't care." The he wishes them luck on the lay-offs and hope their firings of other people go well.
Now that the end seems real, I feel a little better about trying to go in a new direction in the future. I know it's going to be hard financially, but I have no choice. I'm going to try something that produces real value for customers and satisfaction for me...as well as some Coin. Something that's got good Karma.
I hope all of you find or rediscover something you love to do, Instead of this crap. Best Wishes and Good Luck to All.
Let’s hope that they dismiss some of the suits in McLean who’ve been traveling around this company the past few years (at great expense) telling everyone how to run their businesses without any direct responsibility for their failed Advice…especially one suit who recently traveled to Hawaii with Bob and crew.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure why we haven't gotten around to asking for pay cuts from upper management. I can easily account for a 10% reduction by just asking management within my small company to accept a 10% pay decrease. Or hey, what the heck, why not give up the bonus they're paid? Sheesh, it doesn't take a genius!ReplyDelete
Thirteen new job postings this week on Gannett's site. Also, take a look at all the postings for jobs at CareerBuilder. (Not on CareerBuilder, but for the company.) Will they give priority to those people inhouse whose postitions are being non-voluntarily eliminated? Also, for former Gannettoids, is your job that was eliminated in August now being posted?ReplyDelete
Way to go Jim. You even scooped E&P and they credit you for that. See below ....ReplyDelete
Gannett to Trim 10% at its Newspaper Division
By E&P Staff
Published: October 28, 2008 3:49 PM ET
NEW YORK Gannett's newspaper division announced another round of layoffs due to the economic downturn: The company is seeking to trim 10% of its staffers through involuntary staff reductions to occur during the first week of December.
The McLean, Va.-based publisher cut 3% from its newspaper division, a move announced in August.
According to memo from Bob Dickey, the president of the newspaper division, each publisher is responsible for coming up with their own plan to meet goals.
The memo was first published on Gannett Blog run by former employee Jim Hopkins.
Gannett's Tara Connell confirmed the cuts to E&P.
Tara isn't on the phone with you, too, Jim?ReplyDelete
I love it everytime this blog gets credited. It's gotta kill VA that they can't control the PR anymore.ReplyDelete
Hmm...I wonder if Gannett will break this news on their websites today like they do most news, wait for print tomorrow, or even publish it at all.ReplyDelete
Thankfully, this blog once again puts pressure on the company to be more forthcoming. Cheers Jim.
I think it's time for Jim to post a reminder of the $79 million or at least a link to it in the layoff news information.ReplyDelete
Good luck to you and may you be from from harm at all times. Peace.
You have found what makes you complete.
I'm a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, and I find it very sad and telling that I had to read the news about the layoffs in other newspapers, rather than by the employer I've worked hard for.ReplyDelete
Way to go, Gannett.
Unfortunately, it appears as though layoffs is the only plan management has come up with. If you do the math, given the past layoffs and the drop in ad revenue, the current and coming layoffs still don't cover losses. Plus, we're one week away from the loss of the recent election ads which suggests ad revenue will drop even more in Q4.ReplyDelete
Our site got two of the 48 online sales positions. From what I understand, these two were flown to corporate, stayed in great hotels and treated to a week of training. Today, they were pulled into our ad director's office and told that these layoffs do not apply to them.ReplyDelete
I wonder if sales staff for "traditional products" will take a hit with this round...
On another line - the last round of firings (September - something like 100 positions) were focused on management - albeit at the local level. Our site lost one director... and I heard one paper lost it's entire OC except the ad director and publisher.
I think the nuclear option is creeping closer and closer... the economy is just speeding up the process. That's why USAT has been protected from the cuts thus far.
From what I can gather from memos/meetings today - each site has to cut 10% - that's not just a company wide cut.ReplyDelete
You got a meeting about it today? Lucky! No one is telling us anything (except from the original memo) and the publisher hasn't responded to any emails...yet.ReplyDelete
And Wall Street applauded. Sooner or later, the decline will reach critical mass, as the quality vs. price equation slips terminally. If we are a local paper, and there is no one to write local stories... if there is no one to put out the shitty local stories they get such a boner about, who is going to pay 50 cents for a 16 page paper? I am surprised the people in charge of Gannett can feed themselves, let along run a paper. Hey Dick! F&ck you!ReplyDelete
9:34 you are one brave dude. Why don't you print your name? Oh thats cause it has more than four letters. Loser!ReplyDelete
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I just removed a comment that made fun of Bob Dickey's last name. No more of that, please.ReplyDelete
From publisher David Petty (veteran of the Little Rock war) at The News-Star in Monroe, La., in an e-mail to employees this afternoon:ReplyDelete
"Locally we will use open positions and any other means we can find to minimize the number of personnel affected, but you need to know we face a tough target.
"In better economic times, such a move would not be necessary, so we all need to remember that this action has nothing to do with the dedication of our staff. News-Star employees are examples of hard work and dedication, and I know I can count on you to continue to be such employees, even in these tough times.
Did your email indicate whether it's a 10% payroll deduction or 10% employee deduction?
oops, I mean REDUCTION!!!ReplyDelete
Talk about Brass Ones.ReplyDelete
Yesterday Zidich sends a note out to all Phoenix employees telling us we may be losing our jobs just before the holidays.
Today Zidich sends us a note reminding us to donate to the United Way. WTF? I mean I know the United Way is important, and I've always donated, but not this year. For most of us making house payments and figuring out our economic survival is going to be more important.
I hope our relief at USA Today isn't shortlived. It's hard to believe we're not going to be cut in some fashion. If the powers that be put out a statement saying we're safe, as they have, but then turn around a month from now and cut jobs, what little trust is left will be gone forever.ReplyDelete
Good luck to those who do lose their jobs at the community papers.
"As CEO of the philanthropic organization, Hutton will make $225,000 annually and oversee a $14 million yearly budget that funds programs run by 33 agencies."
No one should donate to the United Way again after reading this.
Also, I don't want to sound unsympathetic here, but I wonder if the journalists who kept defending the bad hiring, elitist practices, agendas in the newsrooms, etc., even as newspapers were dropping like an anvil have enough sense to think: "Gee, maybe we were wrong."
Nah. I'm sure they're still defending all that stuff. After all, anyone who didn't succeed is just dumb or didn't do things "the right way," right?
Gannett corporate executives are community but.tf.uc.ker.s.ReplyDelete
Let them eat cake!ReplyDelete
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