Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dec. 27-Jan. 2 | Your News & Comments: Part 1

Can't find the right spot for your comment? Post it here, in this open forum. Real Time Comments: parked here, 24/7. (Earlier editions.)


  1. I'll be online only occasionally through early Thursday, so my posting will be very light.

  2. One thing has stayed the same the whole time this blog has been around.

    No matter how much people cry about Gannett, the real problem is too many employees spent too much effort shouting about how they did not need to change. While they were immersed in the way things had been, the world passed them by.

  3. 12:50 -- nothing wrong with change. change is a constant. but, i think what most employees are really crying about is accepting change that includes taking on so many added responsibilities and getting no compensation for it

  4. My Boss is Stacy Cunningham!

  5. 12:50- I couldn't disagree with you more. I've seen many instances where posters on this blog had far better ideas to "change" the company.

    If anyone can't manage to get their heads out of their asses..... It's management. The only thing they've been able to change in the last ten years is the amount of employees this company has.

    Unlike you. Who is/was obviously management, we cannot effect change at Gannett. When we even look like we're trying to outshine, or rock the boat of our managers.... well.... many of you know. You're on the shit list and they'll find a way to get rid of you.

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

  7. It is not accepting change or taking on added
    workloads that has all Gannettoids completely
    stressed over the limit.
    It is the not knowing when you are going to be
    laid off ,no matter how hard,long and for no extra pay that you work.
    You have co gaurantee that you will have a job
    I excepted more work,responsibility,hours,
    did work for others,no extra pay naturally, and was totally stressed and then one day last year was told that I was being laid off and was no longer needed.
    There is the ...end game ...no job ..no matter
    what you do ,how you achieve,how you give your
    life to Gannett,they don't give a damn !!

  8. It's not change itself, but change that is badly planned and executed.
    My job has changed tremendously in my time here. Some of it has been technology-driven, some has not. In some cases, it seemed as though the change was a step backward but driven by corporate concerns rather than local needs.

  9. Jim, I do congratulate you for your Newseum special report. It's wonderful and it's the type of long-form, make-a-difference investigative reporting that all journalists long to produce.

    However, I'm surprised, and perhaps disappointed, by your proclaimation that you will no longer engage your audience in daily blogging in order to write more in-depth stuff.

    You list yourself as the publisher and editor of this site. As publisher, think for a minute about the audience you've built through your hard work as a blogger. What do they want most from your site? What brings them here everyday? What moves them to open up their wallets and send you money? I would argue that your service as a daily aggregator and interpreter of developing company news is what brings folks to this site, prompts some of them to give you insights and leaks and moves them to become financial contributors.

    Your desire to pursue the top-shelf projects is the special-projects reporter in you, crying out for more attention. I get that. I worked at a lot of newspapers and with a lot of great projects writers and I know this: They would make lousy publishers. They can do great work, but they often paid scant attention to the fact that our audience bought the newspaper for the daily utility of the information we provided them. The projects, while meaningful and a magnet for awards and recognition, were certainly value-added and essential to building a strong watchdog reputation, didn't come out every day, so they alone didn't cause our readers to take or buy the newspaper daily.

    Your relaunch of this blog has been successful and filled a needed void. Walking away from the audience you've restored through daily updates is unwise. While no one stepped up in your absence before to serve as a daily conduit, it seems foolish for you, as publisher, to leave such an opportunity available for others.

  10. Right on, 2:11. 12:50, dunno what alternate reality you existed in with respect to GCI-land, but here was the GCI I knew:

    A place where workers could see full well what was coming. So, with management's blessing, they had meetings and came up with actionable plans to incorporate blogs, social media and all forms of digital content -- video, audio, etc. -- to enhance the print product. Using print to promote digital and vici versa too via contests/reader polls, etc. too.

    Rank and file (obviously this is editorial) more than happy to take all of this up. Yeah, it was more work. But we knew it was all a part of being relevant. Besides, some of it was pretty fun and provided more interactivity with readers, gaining more insight and engagement with them.

    But as 2:11 notes, management never offered more compensation for the work. Of course not. A couple employees may have cautiously brought up the subject, but never contentiously. We all knew it was a matter of survival at this point, and those who demonstrated that they 'got it' and embraced the 'new way' seemed in better position to hang on. (And these people weren't just the 20/30 somethings either. PLENTY of 40/50 somethings were blogging and posting content with them-thare 'digital thingamabobs.')

    In the end, it didn't matter. Young and old both got tossed during the great purges. It wasn't about our survival ever really. It was about keeping the highest levels of management employed, fat and happy.

    I'm somewhere else now, in a far, far better place. Good riddance GCI.

    The blizzard was the first real test of Westchester and PoJo outsourced printing in Rockaway NJ. There is no way The Journal News will make it's way to homes on time in this morning, then again if you ever seen the extremely thin Monday edition of The Journal News you will realize that it might no be worth the effort. The big brass at Gannett does not care about the readers, if they did they wouldn't of outsourced Westchester, PoJo and USA TODAY to Rockaway, NJ. With 18 to 22 inches of snow on the ground, Route 80 was closed part of the night and the newspaper trucks were stuck. Will TJN and PoJo refund the few advertisers that they have left?

  12. Well it is once again the Christmas season not bonus here. I have decided my new years resolution is to hook up with those employees who got let go or have left. They are doing better now and have a better outlook. I thought I was better then them the day they got let go and felt they deserved it. Now that is not the case. They are the lucky ones. Here I sit with my Husband out of a job and working for Gannett going day by day in an area that continues to see losses. One thing I learned is maybe I should have kept some of the relationships with past employees. If you know someone that left you are going to find they are good sources of new jobs don't let them go.

  13. This just in: Washington Post just posted its annual 'Top 200' list of employers in the area, both public and private. GCI is one of only TWO on the ENTIRE list that didn't make the number of local employees available to the Post. And that includes the private companies!! Oh my, this company continues to take the Dickensian thing to new levels, doesn't it?

  14. If you must know, it's 3,856.

  15. It's hard to give Gannett management any credit for positive change. Change seems to be a lesser-of-evils path for Dubow & Co. Their actions come across as guessing, groping and hoping for digital home runs, when they never developed the kind of entrepreneurial culture needed to succeed. Beyond that, the "change" that is most palpable at the operating level is the surgical cutting that has made Gannett newspapers an easy pass for readers and advertisers. Without a real journalistic commitment, not just lip service, what's the point of putting out a paper?

  16. I heard that corporate has ordered the community papers to do a series about the job situation in the "down" economy.

    At least this is the way it was presented at one paper.

    Any others laboring under the orders? And what the heck? Isn't this kind of old news? And haven't the community papers been doing these stories without corporate's interference?


    And this just in:
    I don't know about the JN.

    This is to inform you that delivery of the Poughkeepsie Journal is expected to run late today, December 27, 2010, due to the current weather conditions. We apologize for the inconvenience; however, you can access our electronic edition right now by clicking on http://cl.exct.net/?ju=fe3415717561017c751377&ls=fdfa1171756c0c7870107074&m=fefc1777746c04&l=fe9b1672746506797d&s=fe1c11797565037b7d1d76&jb=ffcf14&t=

    This e-edition is an exact replica of the printed version that will be delivered to you later today.

    This email was sent by:
    Poughkeepsie Journal
    85 Civic Center Plaza
    Poughkeepsie, NY, 12602, USA

  18. Geez, no one in NJ got their Star Ledger or Record at home either. I know there is deep rooted hatred for The Journal News but your bashing for today's non-delivery is unwarranted. We had a BLIZZARD overnight.

  19. I don't care that the pathetic, Journal News print product didn't make it to folk's homes today. What's really pathetic is that at 8pm last night when there was already a foot of snow on the ground, the digital product (Lohud.com) had only one story saying that snow was expected. Wow.

  20. Before posting on this blog, perhaps people should think about it's impact, if not to the company, then to those who work hard and take pride in their contributions.

    To the masses of whiny bitches who do nothing, but generate negativity and spread partially or completely inaccurate information. Your words damage the company and morale of those, who you claim to support. In many cases, it creates an environment of tension and distrust. Information is power, even if inaccurate. To those who share company confidential information, shame on you. If you don't agree with the decisions that your company is making, find a new employer.

  21. 2:02 pm Consider this, however: Gannett newspapers and TV stations depend on inside sources at local companies to keep readers up to date on what's going on among major employers in Gannett communities.

    Would you also discourage those inside sources from stepping forward, to help Gannett tell important stories about local businesses?

  22. Word is that business sections will be producing a 13-week package of sunday stories about jobs that will start next month and run into April. It's tied in with classified advertising.

  23. Jim - what do you know about "My Boss"? Lay out the facts. Let the community see what they can build together digitally to put the pieces together.

  24. I wonder if this a ContentOne-CareerBuilder production?

  25. I see zero value in exposing the real identity of posters -- including those who are critics of this blog. Anonymity is a cornerstone if this site.

  26. It's a matter of taking the responsibility of information very seriously. There is no "yes" or "no" to your question. If a company is committing a crime or creating policy that is egregiously unethical, then it's those sources that are valuable. However, that same level of content from those self-serving who simply don't agree with decisions made by management, that's another situation. Every situation should be evaluated on its own merit. So ask yourself, "what is the real value and potential damage of information distributed?" And by the way, prematurely disseminated information is not "value added" just because it's early.

  27. I did not receive my copy of The Journal News today.

  28. Furloughed Fury12/27/2010 5:50 PM

    Dear Nobody's Boss: Perhaps you should change you name to Craigy's Boy, since you are obviously spouting the company line. How dare you call us, the few, the proud, the overworked, "whiny bitches?"
    During the "December surprise" layoff, corporate offered no explanation to the rank and file in a very "let them eat cake" fashion. So, yes, we turn to the Gannett blog to do what years of training have taught journalists to do, ask why and to get an answer, any answer!?
    Are there unfounded rumors here? Yes, in the comment section. But there are those that are very founded and Jim's reporting has bee top notch and more forthcoming than anything the company tells us.
    And, while there some management bashing here, there also are some well thought out comments and even some suggestions the company would do well to pursue. But they don't, because they don't come from a glass office.
    I don't know who you are, what you do or even if you still work for the company. But this is a reality check, pal. This IS what people are feeling and they're scared and fed up.
    What affects my "pride" more than what I read here are the lies the company tells us and the horrible business decisions they make time and time again.
    They monkey with the content and the size of the paper and pricing of ads when it's the business model that needs to be fixed.
    And the company fails again and again to come up with a 21st century business model that will pay in the digital age. And failures who make these decisions get rewarded for failure, at our expense. Hey that really hurts my "pride."
    What also hurts our pride, is seeing a once great company that many of us worked for and were proud to say we work for, descend to this level.
    It is embarrassing to my PRIDE when I have to make excuses to our customers about why the paper is so thin, why the price is so high, why the news that happened on Monday doesn't run until Thursday because circulation has been outsourced to a company that tells US when the deadlines are.
    Gannett blog couldn't begin to approach that level of pain that has been inflicted by the company on its employees. If you're so damn concerned with my "pride", take it up with the over paid under worked glass office dwellers in McLean, not with this blog!
    To paraphrase a comment made in a totally unrelated industry, "I love what I do, I just hate the people I do it for."

  29. The short-term Career section was another trial balloon floated, approved and forced down the papers' throats before any thought of how to actually accomplish the aims or bring REAL value to readers or advertisers.

    Planning for something like this (which could be MASSIVE if done right) should have been started in June. Instead it was dropped on the sites with weak examples of what 'could' be done with promises of more to come from Mary what'shername, the editorial chief who also promises answers to the design studio questions eventually.

  30. peter in Poughkeepsie12/27/2010 6:06 PM

    9:40 am and 12:16 pm-

    my home delivery copy of the Poughkeepsie Journal was in the tube this morning. I live on a fairly well-plowed secondary road- maybe if you didn't get delivery it was because of the individual driver rather than the Bergen printing delivery trucks. I checked at 9 am, don't know what time it was actually delivered, but on regular days it sometimes has been there as early as 4:30 am.

  31. Why does no one on the east coast know how to deal with snow?

  32. Curtis Riddle was selling newspapers at the Wilmington Amtrak station this morning!

  33. My Boss is correct Jim. I was talking to some people in Digital today and Ripple6 is closing down. Apparently their entire team was fired by Jason Tafler recently. Gannett is buying CafeMom for $125 million plus some type of earn-out. Jason Tafler has agreed to leave Pointroll after his term expires in March and will be replaced by their CTO. Everyone in Digital believes that Josh Resnik will be leaving soon as he has not appeared on campus for weeks and he was officially told by Gracia Martore that he will not be the CDO.

  34. Thank you 6:11 p.m. Well said. And I'd like to expand on that thought. I'm tired of seeing East Coast blizzards covered in the media, which is mostly headquartered on the East Coast, as if it's a Disaster of The Century. The same sorts of blizzards in the Midwest get cursory coverage (at best) in the East Coast media. But geez ... if it happens in New York it's automatically more important. Watching CNBC this morning I thought for a moment there must have been a new terrorist attack on the U.S. Nope -- it was just a snow event that prevented Wall Streeters from wearing the Cole Haans and Manolo Blahniks. Oh, the horror and injustice! Those people would starve to death on an island with a pond teeming with trout even if you gave them fishing tackle and a knife.

  35. Jim, to thank you for keeping us abreast of all the shenanigans within Gannett. I just donated $20 so you have made your goal! Wish all Gannett management was as helpful in helping team members achieve success! Here's to the blog in 2011!!!!

  36. 10:40 said:
    "This just in: Washington Post just posted its annual 'Top 200' list of employers in the area, both public and private. GCI is one of only TWO on the ENTIRE list that didn't make the number of local employees available to the Post ... Oh my, this company continues to take the Dickensian thing to new levels, doesn't it?"

    You know, I never had an employer remind me of Scrooge from Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." But Gannett now does. They absolutely loathe their employees. They absolutely loathe paying their employees. GANNETT = AMERICAN SCROOGE

  37. Crotchfelt was selling papers on the corner of Ohio St and Pennsylvania St this morning to promote her new position as President & Publisher of the Indianapolis Star

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

  39. SO. It looks like Gannett Digital is completley unravelling. If the internet is the future. And Gannett has no Digital unit. What does that say about the future viability of the corporation. Not much.

    It almost looks like it's being done by "intelligent design".

    Is the company worth more in pieces than as a whole?

  40. My Journal News was delivered when I looked for it at 7:30. It was also the only daily paper that got delivered to my 7-11 today

  41. 9:24, sounds like a nice fairy tale.

    I'm hearing the Journal News only printed a few thousand copies today and blamed the non-deliveries on the weather. Just another cost saving measure/excuse by Fisch. By the way, when is Freeman's official "last" day - which in reality was about 8 years ago.

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

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

  44. Gannett Digital will continue to unravel. Employees are miserable, no one is making any money, campaigns cancel and under deliver and prices are going up. Gannett Digital employees are set up to fail. All of the experience leaves for better opportunity. Gannett Digital has people that can sell, but no one that can lead in leadership roles. The few people that can lead the digital team have moved on to other roles..its ashame.

  45. Hello 7:15 p.m.....How wrong you are!!! For weeks we in the East were hearing about the ungodly amounts of snow falling in the Midwest. And my gosh, when a tornado touches down, even if only upsets a hog trough in some Indiana backwater, we hear about it all day long.

    And let's not forget the California fires and mudslides. We read, hear and see all about it for weeks and weeks on end.

    As for why Easterners can't cope with snow, don't believe all the garbage the news media feeds you. The media has a well-earned rep for blowing things way out of proportion.

    That said, mix a big storm and a holiday weekend and you have a story of thousands of people stranded in airports, rr stations and bus terminals.

  46. Couple weeks ago when Wisconsin had its big snow, my Sunday newspaper arrived on Tuesday. Seriously. Tuesday.

  47. Jim you remove the last several posts but not 8:48? Where is the line?

  48. 5:50, you're right on most points and thanks for putting Nobody's Boss in his/her proper place.

    But don't lump ALL CP workers in the same glass palace. I'm a former CPer and I can tell you first hand that many, many employees there are just as overworked and anxious as the rest out there throughout GCI properties nationwide. It's only a select few who are the 'protected class,' and I have a feeling you know which positions get this kind of status.

    That said everyone, keep your spirits high and your heads low into the New Year. Get your Plan B going now, if not yesterday. Knowing you can walk away from GCI for good -- either by choice or not -- and not have to worry about your career or finances will make that final day liberating, not frightening.

  49. 80 million people were effected by the East coast storm, of course it'll get a lot of coverage.

  50. 9:22 It's gone. Clearly, I'm going to have to scrutinize any post mentioning that individual's name from this point forward.

  51. 7:15 and others: I don't want to get into a fight over whether our natural disasters are worse than yours, etc. But I do want to point out that New York is the financial capital of the world and that anything that stops or slows down trading on the stock exchange is certainly newsworthy. Washington is the nation's capital and essentially a southern city that gets one or two snowfalls each winter. The cities that don't get much snow don't pour resources into snow fighting equipment that those in the midwest do and as Marion Barry, the former D.C. mayor once observed, the best method for dealing with snowstorms is Spring.

  52. Whomever seemed upset about the storm coverage in the east needs to look at a map and population breakdown. There are probably more people at one of our local east coast malls than many towns elsewhere and not that is not meant to be a smart remark. Just a fact/

  53. re comment from 12/27/2010 10:30 PM
    You heard only 1,000 copies were printed.. and on Fish's orders. You heard? Anything stronger? Who did you hear it from? The night cleaning crew? Did ask anyone before throwing this out here.
    You heard all this and yet you have to ask when Henry F's last day is?
    I hope you are not a reporter for the newspaper.

  54. 7:15 pm. That was funny. I think because it's the holiday and people are traveling the media is taking advantage of the slow news cycle. The coverage of the storms before the holiday wasn't as bad. Plus, the tv media replays the same storylines so storm stories really get overdone.

    8:50 am: You could have kept that response in your back pocket. You knock the media then say don't believe what they say. And to bash people in tornado alleys..... At the least, your comment was thoughtless.

    12:34 pm: Qouting Marion Barry, really? Financial capital...Hmm, it has a little affect but that doesn't explain how the coverage is overdone and goes on for so long....East Coast folks know how to handle the weather. The media would make you think everything and everyone shuts down and stays home in storms. Not so.

    1:46 pm: Population difference? Who cares. If someone dies in a weather-related accident in one region, it's just as painful a loss to their family as it is to family members in another region.
    NYC has a high population, but many of the surrounding cities and 'burbs are about as big (pop-wise) as many other communities across the country. Don't fool yourself and mix the average city pop. with NYC proper pop. Regional pops and actual border pops are different.

    I've lived in the Midwest and on the East and West coasts. I'm a news junkie who watches several news programs and cable news stations. The NATIONAL media will give the East Coast storms more coverage more often than other regions because:
    1.) The storm affects them (the producers/journalists) directly (they're living/working in the region.
    2.) They (the producers/journalists) lack perspective. The country doesn't revolve around the East Coast nor D.C.
    3.) They (the producers/journalists) lack the creativity to find different, relevant angles, making the coverage repetitive.

  55. For Part 2 of this comment thread, please go here.

  56. I'll BINGO! 7:39

  57. Disparaging comments about storms aside, I noted from watching TV this week how the networks are all relying on freelancers from the Weather Channel to cover the storms. The old days of Dan Rather going to the storm front are gone. Now it's just pay a stringer.

  58. The news media does blow things out of proportion on a daily basis.

    The funny thing is no one has thinner skin than a lot of you media folks. From your perspective you sit on high from where you judge everyone and everything. And of course, your judgements are so much better than those of others. Wrong!

    Get off your high horses and face the facts: there are a lot of people working beyond the news biz who labor under idiot bosses, pay freezes, pay cuts, higher insurance premiums, etc.

    What we're facing here is the evolution of a new ecomony. Don't like it? Fine. But don't expect things to go back to where they were.

    And please, don't start on how unbiased, how wonderfully vital is the news media. That's BS from this reader's and viewer's perspective.

  59. 9;52 don't you love it when you read that every single person, I mean EVERY single person who left Ganentt found the job of their dreams paying double and has cheaper benefits? Of course they never name those wonderful companies, they just wax poetic about how happy they are and how much more money they make. New ruloe; when you tell us your story identify the company. Of course you won't because that would some how put you in danger. Big bad Dickey would find you and punish you. Braaaaahaaaaaaaahaaaaaaa!

  60. I got my raise this year (month late as usual) and all I got was 1.5%. Wow I'm rich! First raise in 2 years! I was told that is the highest raise anyone will get in my dept. And I've been with Gannett for almost 20 years.

    Do you think Craigy boy will only get 1.5? Of course not. He always gets his millions no matter how bad the company does financially. And course we'll probably get another furlough - to offset our measly raise.

  61. 9:52 am and 2:38 pm: You sound bitter? Just because the country is shifting from an industrial-based to technology-based one doesn't mean the economy is changing. Nor does it mean workers can't vent. It's arrogant and self-righteous of you to tell people legitimate frustrations can't be expressed or their on their high horses if they do. Just because a person complains doesn't mean they think they're better than anyone else.
    I'm tired of folks like you accusing media folks of being arrogant-know-it-alls -- though there are some in the profession. There are just as many in other fields, including science, technology, Internet, marketing and advertising. If you're from the latter two disciplines, I don't think you have room to talk. Everyone wanted news folks to open up and open their minds to others coming into the newsroom and sharing ideas. Nothing wrong with that except it was one way. I didn't see much "openness" and accepting of ideas from news folks to others -- advertising, marketing, etc.

    2:38 pm: Why is posting the name of someone's new employer necessary? They don't have to prove they're happy to you or anyone else. That's just silly.
    Posting it will debunk their claim they're happy? No one is even concerned about Dickey or anyone else at the corporate level.

  62. Working in the media (or did!) I can read easily which folks in these posts are on the top or, the majority, on the bottom. Yet even the former have a distinct interest in remaining anonymous. Insults are traded and offense taken. But a fact remains blazing bright: There is no contrast in reality where there is not also rank deception. And Gannett, once a substantial company, has proven itself to excel at every level in that regard -- business deals more important than information. All one needs do is read a Gannett product. It's like reading Pravda. And for Gannett's policies, a similar ending.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.