An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Anonymous@8:03 p.m. yesterday wrote: "I'm told the list is 65 in Cherry Hill."That would be a devastating cut; can anyone confirm -- or add to this?
I was layed off there in an earlier cut, this will be more devistaing to the operation than any other before it. That is a huge number and they are cut to the bone now.Heck even 30 would be bad enough. They will be losing some good people (with lots of knowledge)as before.I sure hope for my former co-workers that it is not 65 people. If the number is that high I hope they are getting rid of some of the sales staff. Maybe they will be closing the inside classified reps also.
I'll bite, 65 in Cherry Hill, what departments are closing to get that many?
Any news on where the Cincy cuts are coming from? Magazine? CiN/Metromix? That'd be the logical place to cut from that newsroom.
Go, go, go! Post now, post now! Make sure your departing co-workers are counted!
Here's hoping NJ Group gets their notices today. Tired of the game already!
7:41 AM - Consider this as a potential option...the community weeklies staff generates local news for far less than the daily staff.
Cherry Hill barely has 65 people left.
65 in Cherry Hill would equal what's left of the newsroom. I guess if that's our number it makes more sense to hope you are on the list, not off the list.
I think they might try to space this out a bit, just so it doesn't look as bad as Jim has predicted. My heart goes out to everyone who gets the ax this week. It's really tough out there right now...
Re: Cincy 100The newsroom has taken a big hit in previous reductions in staff. Could other departments be the targets for this round?Finance?Marketing?Circulation?Advertising?How large is the classified group in Cincinnati? There are no longer any Real Estate or Employment sections to speak of in the paper. Have jobs in those departments already been cut to reflect the revenue losses? LOL. Word verification=dingis
Any word about the Indy Star press room yet?
Hold those thoughts, 8:34, that Jim's 4500 figure was wrong until you hear about the newspaper closure that is coming,
Nothing yet from Indy.
Some of the sheep in wolves' clothing at USA TODAY graphics get to continue their deceptions. Appears to be no layoffs at the nation's newspaper. Also appears to be no greater awareness from on top of what goes on in that one department. The sick dictator leaves after decades of abusing his staff and the corrupt smoke-and-mirrors gang takes over, and still little changes other than even less gets done now. Mistakes keep piling up, thereby putting even more pressure on section and copy editors.What does that rather sizable department do? I know some folks work hard down there, maybe even too hard, but increasingly, there are people who seemingly can milk one task for months and fail miserably on even the most routine assignments. This pertains to managers and worker bees alike. What order and process there once was has gone out the window in the last year or two, making it more difficult to get things done. Some on the front lines are outright incompetent. Nice people, but without a friggin' clue!Every department has its problems. There is an ebb and flow to the level of functionality in the sections. But what amazes me is that the faces change in graphics, but seemingly always for the worse. And because my job occasionally is tied to that group, it's awfully frustrating to see how they fly under the radar year in and year out. Again, I am not bashing all of them. There have been some fine journalists and artists, past and present. Some people who could really rally the troops and get things done in a timely fashion. But there is something about the core of the new leadership that has created an atmosphere that just isn't conducive to newspaper work. The ethics seem diluted, as does the institutional know-how.
You know, it bothers me tremendously that other papers are being made aware of how many layoffs they can expect to see, but Cheryl Lindus in Montgomery just sent what basically looks like a form letter when she forwarded Dickey's message last week, with no site-specific information.
9:08am: C'mon! Hono?
Biggest worksites are USAT and Phoenix. Can't imagine closing the Republic, no matter how much it might be losing. Surely some GOP-er would buy it, no?
UK's Newsquest, all or some -- for another write-off?
I heard an estimate of 100 getting fired in Wisconsin. That's a lot for us, since many of the smaller shops are running with skeleton crews as it is. And yet, there's still dead weight in places.
i a curious to know how the Nj group works out this time around.the HNT seems to just be on a downward spiral thanks to the guidance of the new leadership of skippy and the courier news circulation is in the 20k! why even bother keeping CN in the market? what a joke!
A great read for all GCI folks: "The Unraveling of Newspaper Economics"http://seekingalpha.com/article/146934-the-unraveling-of-newspaper-economics?
I seem to remember reading there's a few dozen specialty pubs, community pubs, web sites... in Phoenix. Is that true? How is that managed and is it a model others should be looking to?
Nothing so far in Louisville. Just the form letter from corporate.
Yep, Hono is my candidate. Phoenix is secure. Arizona will continue growing as a retirement center because there aren't that many hurricane-absent sunny parts of the U.S. around. I think they will hold Phoenix until the newspaper, well, makes a Phoenix-like rise. Hono, on the other hand, is a money-loser. As for Newsquest, I never understood who did this and why they thought a U.S. company could make regional papers in the U.K. produce the sort of big profits GCI wants. If whoever in the hierarchy came up with the idea is still there, he/she needs to justify continuing with it now. I would not be surprised to see it Newsquest put on the block, but that would not have surprised me last year. I just don't understand the business strategy.
Anything above 1,400 would need to come from somewhere beyond USCP -- unless plans have changed. So, in fact, that rules out Hono.
Waiting for John C. to give blessing?
When are the Wisconsin group cuts coming?
Thinking outloud: I still keep wondering about a new, fundamentally different role for USAT. Moon and Paulson didn't leave for nothing. Some special tie-in with ContentOne?
My candidate for departure is the Californian. It is reportedly losing money, and has lost circulation.
If they have outsourced the severance packages, nothing will be done until they have finished and had it approved by corporate. I'm speculating of course.
Re: Californian. Salinas totally took it in the chops in December. But that's not a huge number of jobs.
Has anyone heard what the severance terms are going to be yet? Has the company "working through the weekend" finished their homework?
10:09: Not if they close it. The report was 4500 from community papers, and although Hono is losing big bucks, they seem not affected by these cuts. So corporate has some special hell in store there. We wait the 7/15 disclosures.
Any news on Wisconsin Group yet?
10:00: Yes, Phoenix has 18 community products. Many are doing very well. The community products, which are tabs, have their own director with strategically placed newsrooms across the Valley. Publication is three to four times a week depending on the section. Much of the copy produced in these sections is repurposed for the State & Valley (or B section). As for Web sites, each community has a subindex at azcentral.com.There were a number of specialty products but they are dwindling as they are cut or rolled into other sections amid belt tightening. For example, the weekly Yes section (it's a fashion and style section) is being rolled into the Friday AZ Living pages. Explore Arizona, which also was a Friday section, is being killed with copy that would have appeared in those pages being parceled into regular Features sections throughout the week.
When people are getting laid off, are they being contacted by phone before their shift, or do they find out when they arrive on site?
Rumor has it that Louisville will have more than 50 but less than 100jobs cut. This is total speculation but it is the only thing I've heard.
My stomach is in knots. We've heard that these cuts will be aimed at mid-management, which unfortunately already is lean. Mid-managers are doing their job plus the tasks of their previously laid-off staff members.I want this week to be over. I'm tired of the wait.Jim, I will miss this blog and your efforts to keep us aware of all things Gannett.
well in Cherry Hill they could get the paper printed elsewhere like Wilmington,or Freehold. This would eliminate quite a few jobs (press/mailroom). Close the inside classified reps (3-5 or so I would guess),1 artist from production,1 from systems, 6-8 sales reps,1 ad manager (do they really new a CAM and RAM these days anyway) 5 from news buy killing the communities ( if this is done them they will save shifts in both press and mailrooms). 1 from systems.1 from accounting.There is your 65. I feel the number there will be 20-25 without moving the printing. Unless they kill the circulation by outsourcing HD.In time we will know I guess.
I can see Vineland NJ selling the Hammonton office and possibly the DJ building to move to rented space. They do not need the huge building they have.
Post, don't coast!So far, I've rejected fewer than 10 today, all off-topic of layoffs, except a few that were just too cruel. Thanks!
10:58, Thanks, great information but I think there was a post that mentioned the paper (I guess where you work) advertised over 30 different products under Media Republic.
Tucson was told that they are not participating in this round because of the Citizen being closed and the 60+ jobs that went with it. There was some wording in the letter that was sent out that said cost reductions were still being looked at, and they'd let people know soon. Still may be layoffs in store for Tucson. (No Gannett paper but the operation is still 50% GCI owned.)
Board of Directors laid-off and replaced by a large replica of the "Dogs Playing Poker" painting.
I think someone said this before, but I wouldn't be surprised if they waited until July 9 to start layoffs. Maybe even Friday, July 10 when Jim's blog officially closes down.
11:04 a.m. -- I don't know how they're doing it this time around. I was laid off last time around, though (and hired at another Gannett site, like several of my former colleagues. Go figure). Not long after I arrived for my shift that day, my supervisor called me into the executive editor's office. The HR rep was also waiting to break the news.All of us being laid off told us we were finished working at that moment, and we could choose whether to leave immediately or stick around to pack up and say our goodbyes.
re: 12:08 and Tucson...You gotta love Tucson! It's down to near nothing and it is STILL the punching bag for Gannett. Here's a life-lesson for everyone: Don't give Gannett everything it wants or asks for... They will only take it and more and then leave you when the chips are down.
9:39, 10:23: One hundred cuts in Wisconsin sounds high -- but remember there are also 10 papers. It's still high, but spread out proportionally, that could be very real. We're guessing at our Wisconsin site that the news will come on Wednesday again. They always have before. That's when some of the HR reps make the rounds, too.
you're right. if the number in CH is 65, then it's a sign that printing/packaging will be outsourced, probably to Inky. Nice way for the work to stay within the union jurisdiction without being moved over to AFL or somewhere else ... that would give more than enough to hit that number and beyond. Contracts are expiring, so not that far out there of an idea ...
Countdown to the many layoffs to be announced at the A.P.P. in N.J.
My name is Rick Kahn, I worked at The Arizona Republic for nearly ten years. While deeply saddened about the continuing difficulties the industry and my friends face, I was especially struck when recently hearing about the sale of the R&G Ranch in Phoenix. While I completely understand and agree with the reason for the sale, I found myself being deeply touched. For those unfamiliar with the Ranch, it’s a place you would have expected to see in Mayberry or any black and white family movie with a happy ending. A pool, softball field, train, citrus trees that always seemed to have fresh fruit, covered area for weddings and family get-togethers and enough grills to accommodate several gatherings. Employees met future spouses there, some employees’ parents got married there. We played softball (VP’s, Managers and new entry level employees) while people were setting up for a wedding and families arrived with the kids for a day at the Ranch. Departments looked forward to the annual “Corporate Olympics” at the Ranch where I first met the then new Publisher who attended in a toga and connected with at least one person. Inside one of the buildings were black and white pictures of happier days, families and friends enjoying a picnic, some just coming off their shift at the presses or delivering a route. Some will arrive later after covering a ribbon cutting or local event. Best of all, the grounds just outside the windows looked the same as they did some 50 years earlier. Even though my nearly 10 years was nothing compared to those spending 20, 30, 40 and more years in the industry, I felt a special pride, connection and responsibility from those old pictures, (and applaud those who’ve poured a lifetime into the industry!). I was walking in their footsteps, literally and figuratively. I was there because of their efforts, yes the industry changed, but these people laid the groundwork. While the demise of the ranch may be a metaphor for the industry, the value of a connection should not be lost. I suspect many will say I’m just whining about the past and it has no bearing on today or the future. Some may not be able to relate with those who’ve been with a company longer than they’ve been alive and some may say you never look back when heading forward. Some may say I was let go because I’d wander away from meetings at the Ranch to see the pictures. And they might all be right, but when you’re the current stewards of a 100+ year-old industry the strength and insight gained from the past may help in the future. While not every paper has a Ranch, every paper has a long history, unique in its respective towns built by people with “ink in their veins”. I’m not writing to fight for the industry, I just wanted to pay respects and thank those who built it.Rick
Has anyone heard about the Florida Today cuts?
That was nice, Rick. We didn't have a ranch at our site, but I could feel your emotions and relate to them with a different backdrop. I had fourteen years and was let go last year and it still hurts. I wish all those going through this next round my sympathy or I suppose it would be empathy. Good luck to you all.
Nice post, Rick.What previous owners of our town's newspaper did to build it for over a century, Gannett destroyed in the last 3-4 years.
The director of advertising at Cherry Hill/Camden resigned this morning. She doesn't have another job. Standard "wants to spend more time with her daughter."
Excellent post Rick. i understand your sentiments.
Having been among those laid off in December, I'm a bit surprised to find myself so interested in this round of cuts. I'm sure it has something to do with my friends facing the prospects.Please keep the details flowing. A steady trickle would be more manageable than the December avalanche.
USAT reporters win Grantham Prize! http://www.granthamprize.org/
All quiet on the east coast. Thanks for making us wait corporate.
Why are they keeping the actual date - Wednesday? Thursday? - such a secret? What gives?
YOU GOT TO BE KIDING ME!! NOT OFFICAL BUT HAS ANYONE SEEN THE OUTSOURCED SEVERENCE PAY BEING PROPOSED ? WOW IS ALL I CAN SAY !!!
2:55 --What do you mean by outsourced severance pay?
No word here in Phx I.T. ... Just want them to get it over with it so we can move on ...
Check gannettoid.com, like Jim recommends, where the details (and it may not be true) are posted: supposedly, you'll only get paid by Gannett the difference between your unemployment (which you'll be required to apply for) and you Gannett salary.
Don't just throw up a statement or better yet, a question of that nature. There's too many people with their guts in knots - so what gives with the OUTSOURCED SEVERANCE PAY... or do you have any real information on that subject besides Wow?
So, then, they're asking the taxpayer to pick up the tab, then?
Is it true USA Today, one of the biggest if not the biggest Gannett work site, is exempt from these layoffs? Or are the layoffs there just not being publicized? Just a curious outsider interested in knowing the reasoning behind this and what y'all think about it.Very few corporations don't cut where there is the most to be trimmed. I am talking numbers, not making a judgment on the quality of those people or the tasks that need to be performed. Would be a somewhat baffling decision, from a business standpoint, if such a large site didn't share in some of the pain, not that I am advocating any cuts anywhere. Being laid off right now is more or less a career-death sentence for newspaper people.If USA Today does not face any staff reductions, I would also be curious to know how the many hundreds of employees at other sites feel about that. Does it add insult to injury? Or is it sort of expected and accepted?I would really like to do an article one day on this newspaper chain. Gannett seems to approach many things in a unique if not troublesome manner. This blog has proven there is a lot of passion (good and bad, but mostly bad) about this company.I go back to the early 80s. I have always thought of Gannett as a heavy-handed, but financially capable company that focuses on volume rather than quality. Now it just seems heavy handed, and maybe not all that smart.Just for the record, I have never worked for Gannett, but know many people who have and most have regretted it, including two from USA Today.My theory about companies bombarding employees with a steady stream of layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions is that they will ultimately fail. Workers can't work and innovate under the constant threat of reductions. It is very difficult to remain loyal and competitive when every few months there is more bad news jobs, pensions, benefits, etc. Stress makes people bitter and sick and generally unproductive. Filling in for the person next to you who was laid off plays on your mind and is often logistically impossible.There are also a fair number of people in and outside of the newspaper business that see Gannett as a company taking advantage of the economic climate and doing what it would have done anyway, but over a longer period of time, to boost profits to pay off its debt for some lavish spending.But I digress. Just really interested in the USA Today situation and whether what happens there impacts other sites in any manner.
His the last time I'll say what I've been saying for more than a year. Would someone in the 40 and over crowd PLEASE ask HR for a list, by job title, of all the eliminated positions. You no longer have anythings to lose, and the information might really help the people who want to claim age discrimination.
Here's the link at Gannettoid.com about the supposed severance package:http://www.gannettoid.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=57My state subtracts severance from the unemployment benefit, and Gannett (according to the link) will subtract the unemployment benefit from the severance. Does that mean those two parties will be playing chicken, staring each other down, with me in the middle of the road?
3:22 I read that one, and it doesn't pass the smell test. My quick view of it is that the unemployment office will say such an arrangement amounts to a continuing salary, and so disqualify you from unemployment benefits.
To 3:22:Where on gannettoid is the severance info posted. I cannot find it. The site is hard to navigate, so it is not obvious...If what you say is true, that is the worst deal yet in this year of turmoil...
3:58 p.m. I'd like to claim job discrimination.Discriminated against for being YOUNG. Seriously, people. Stop whining about making layoffs based on age or the number of years you've sat in the same desk. Let's start talking about what yo have to actually OFFER -- you know, ability to (report, write, edit) well, multimedia skills, passion for your job, etc.Maybe this industry would start seeing an upturn if we worried more about QUALITY and got rid of the people who whine about corporate and want to protect jobs based on something as meaningless as the number of days you've sat at a desk.
It seems like Gannett could very easily subtract severance payments from unemployment bennies, especially if the severance was handed out in a lump-sum payment. It all depends on how the buyouts are structured. For the fat cats who received double furloughs last quarter, this probably won't hurt much. The low folks on the totem pole would be squeezed harder.
I'm a former 10+ year employee at a Southeast Gannett newspaper, and my husband is still there after 30 years. At this point, I've told him since last year when these layoffs started, that he'd be better off being laid off - get the severance package and his retirement and we will just do what we have to do. Sooner than Later, bankruptcy will be coming down the road for Gannett and all that is left of it. They will not legally be able to offer a severance package that is contingent upon unemployment paying first... that is a contradiction in and of itself... unemployment won't pay while severance does.
The Courierpost retail advertising directors departure is being spun as her resignation. Bullcrap! Good riddance...glad to see her go. Maybe they'll find a PROFESSIONAL to fill that role. Or maybe even consolodate and share a director with other NJ papers, if there is anyone who is qualified.
Any word on anything at the APP today?
What a difference between newspaper companies. When friends got laid off in Houston and the Seattle P-I (both Hearst papers), they got lump sums which in some cases totaled more than a year's salary, AND they qualified immediately for unemployment. The lump did not count against unemployment payments at all. So, they at least have some time to try to land on their feet and not have to worry about an income.
4:03 is right. They cannot force you to take unemployment if you do not want to. Some people regard unemployment as welfare and refuse to take it. It is voluntary. You have to ask for it.
Another day gone and not one word about what is going on, it is ridiculous, I know the lists are done so let's get it over with already!! UGH!
I don't think that the govt. is going to go along with that plan for unemployment/severance. Here in Michigan every dollar you receive of pay of any kind counts 50 cents against your unemployment payment, so if you make $500 per week and get $346 in unemployment, then they can't simply say that $154 will make up the difference because you'll automatically lose $77.
Still quiet in Phoenix. I heard we find out on Wednesday. I wish everyone luck!
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