An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
For Part 3 of this comment thread, please go here.
This headline appears today in The Journal News sports section, regarding the New York Jets.Brady on Jet's Cromartie: 'Maybe he really likes me'http://www.lohud.com/comments/article/20110113/SPORTS/110113002/Brady-on-Jet-s-Cromartie-Maybe-he-really-likes-me-
9:43, didn't you read the other thread? The problem is there were people editing those mistakes. They were too focused on getting things right, and the company would have thrived if everyone would have been allowed to do what they wanted to do. No guidelines, no editing, no deadlines -- somehow the product would have been better.
11:46, HUH? Your comment makes no sense. Neither does writing "Jet's" instead of "Jets" in a headline. I don't care if you have one person doing the job of 100 people. There's just NO excuse for that. Shame on The Journal News. Or what's left of it. Even the deposed and shuttled aside Henry M. Freeman, though 90 percent of his day would have been spent in the cafeteria drinking Diet Cokes or watching Georgia Bulldogs highlights on YouTube, would have caught this. Thought he couldn't have gone into the system and corrected it, he would have had someone do it. Wow. HF is already missed! Who would've thought?
8:53 I wonder if there is a relationship between "flouting just about everything Digital does" and "actually making money".
I just interviewed at CafeMom the other day and it appears that they heard that Gannett was a bad company to be acquired by. Seems like they were also familiar with many of the Ripple6 people and technology. Looks like now Gannett has a bad reputation in the corporate M&A world too. Good job Gannett executives.As a side note, some of the tougher questions to answer on the interview were:1. You just graduated from college, why would you join Gannett? Why wouldn't you join Gannett?2. You are an established journalist, it is now 2015 and newspapers are dead, do you feel extinct? How do you reinvent yourself? What is the second career for newspaper employees?3. If you would change one thing at Gannett, what would it be?Well the last question was easy, but it was also helpful to CafeMom to hear the answer as it confirmed their reason to walk away from the proposed deal. CafeMom does not trust the Gannett leadership.
12:19, of course it makes no sense. But that's what people are saying on another thread.They are defending their own bad writing. It's a pattern we've seen at the blog quite a bit.
The classified manager in Tallahassee was let go yesterday. Corporate eliminated the position. Was that position eliminated anywhere else?
Personally, I think the recent news of bigwig bonuses that shortly preceded the announcement of furloughs should be kept at the forefront of this blog. Though the bigwigs are also taking furloughs, it's hard to take any comfort in them "muddling through along with us" after they got bonuses. You guys want to prove you're REALLY muddling through? Give up those bonuses. Every dollar should go back to the company either as improving our company infrastructure or a small bonus check for EVERY employee. That would be HUGE for morale, especially if people realized where it came from.Them taking their bonuses and walking away only lowers morale and, to many, PROVES that all they really care about is themselves. This needs to be shouted over and over.
Blog comments have been outsource to 2adpro. Sorry we are for misteaks in grammer and spelling.Best of wishes!Chakrapani
Does anyone have any accurate informationon whether Cafe Mom is actually going to replaceMomsLikeMe or if it is being acquired in additionto the other product? There has been no news at our paper about anything changing with MomsLikeMe. What about the young reader publications? Will they be changing?
Off-duty copy editor here. Our days are consumed with fixing grammar, typos and punctuation. Do you seriously think we come to this blog to nitpick?
We are back grammar and punctuation again.I will bet that 98% of readers do not even realize or care very much about a damn punctuation mark mis-placed or slight mis-spellof a word.Oh, I think millions will re-new subscriptions if Gannett sent everyone to Grammar school to refresh their skills.Hey ,Gannett writers are getting their grammar correct again...here take my money and sign me up.Yeah ,right !
Wow, such negative vibes from 4:13, 5:42 and 6:43 (all AMs too, so I guess terminal bitterness keeps people up at early hours, huh?)I don't apologize for leaving GCI and immediately launching a successful business to any of you.No, I don't have to out myself either to prove it's not fantasyland, 6:43 and 5:42. But, please, keep believing what you want rank and file to believe. (There is no life after GCI, right? Because that keeps all the chickens in the sweatshop henhouse, right? And it brainwashes the chicken into thinking it's 'lucky to have a job' where it does the work of three or four chickens now, right?)And 4:13, wow, that's was quite a metaphorical/intellectual dissection there. Sorry to disappoint you, but my interest is only providing some semblance of hope for those who are still with GCI and see no other options. I still have friends with GCI and realize that far, far too many are 'hanging on' there with no Plan B -- and I suspect they're not alone. That's why I posted a generalized summary of my life post-GCI. Sorry life post-GCI hasn't been as kind to you, but hope you eventually land somewhere in design. Again, for the 99th time here, there are opps out there for writers, designers, editors, marketing folks, etc. if you just try to open up your interpretation of opportunity beyond the narrow vocational definitions of what you did before for five, 10 or 20 years.As for my comment about 'never looking back' post-GCI, I meant I've never regretted walking out of the building. As for this site? It's absolutely addictive to ex-GCIers -- especially the ones who got downsized and ended up better off as a result -- because it reconfirms to us that leaving GCI is the best thing that could have happened to us and our only regret is that it didn't happen sooner. (Hardly the sentiment of the 'bitter, crazy ex-girlfriend,' huh 4:13?)Anyway, ultimately it's about survival, right? You -- NOT GCI -- are responsible for YOUR career. So best of luck to ALL GCIers and ex-GCIers trying to start a new life! (Except the corp trolls of course ...)
Business start-up # 2 here.I agree with previous post .Life can be greatpost GCI.I am on way to my office soon with my own schedule,any very little stress.Just pushing myself, and not having some higherup telling me I'm not doing enough.Keep positive it can happen to you,if you push yourself to make it happen.
Take note of 7:07 a.m.'s post...wonder if this is part of a trickle of jobs that will build to the 4,200-5,000 layoff prediction?
Gannett and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association vs. the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association goes before a federal judge in Chicago today over streaming tournament games on the web.
9:26, you should post as B.S. artist #2. There is no office and no schedule. You might be pushing yourself -- just not in the sense you try to portray.
9:26, it must be sad to live your life as such a troll. Doesn't all the bitterness and resentment of people who discovered that life didn't end with the GCI pink slip, well, wear you down eventually? Doesn't it age you well beyond your years to feel this constant resentment (and most certainly envy) of former GCI stars who were dismissively shown the door who told themselves, "OK, screw it ... I can make it on my own, on my terms, on my schedule -- without insipid, inane, gutless, visionless GCI managers in my face everyday ..."?Just wondering, 9:26. Must feel so empty inside to live life doing the bidding of Craig and his enablers on this blog, all in hopes that they'll spare you for another six months or year. Because if they don't, you don't have the vision or drive to make it on your own.
There's no question that Gannett, whose reputation for quality has never been great, has sunk even lower on the respectabilty scale.What digital whiz would want to work for a company that apparently can only buy the ideas of others rather than develop their own?Unless the Board of Directors, which thus far hasn't been worth the postage to mail the members their checks, gets new and innovative leadership at the top, further staff cuts, smaller news holes and BORING WEB SITES will continue to drive Gannett down.
Not directly a Gannett story, but it is a company run in the same ruthless way Rupert Murdoch runs his media empire. If nothing else, this ex-MySpace employee's letter will serve as a reminder to anyone contemplating an insane work commitment that voluntary overtime is just that: Voluntary. If you're not getting paid, you should make sure there's something in it for you other than a promise. http://valleywag.gawker.com/5731134/worked-like-dogs-then-laid-off
It's pretty clear from reading these posts that pettiness and back-biting isn't restricted to the highly trained practitioners of those skills in Gannett management. People, regardless of your job, your seniority and your mastery of the language, you are in the same sinking boat and should band together to gather and share information, courtesy Jim, that will help you make more informed decisions and avoid bad scenes. Tyrants like those in Gannett love it when the workers fight amongst themselves. They pit you against one another to distract you from the shit headed your way from HQ. You have everything in common with your fellow workers, nothing in common with upper management. Don't sulk, bitch or snipe at each other. Either leave, like I did, or fight back.
10:38 here: Sorry 9:26, that wasn't directed at you. It was directed at 10:18, an obvious troll.Right on 12:33. But much of the back-biting is coming from Craig's designated trolls on this site, sniping at Jim over petty nitpiks and accusing those who have had a successful post-GCI life of making it all up. All the better to convince existing GCI rank-and-file to keep their noses permanently pasted to their computer screens and keep doing the jobs of three people until GCI finds a way to get rid of you.
Wow. What a comment thread. I left GCI on my own accord in 2008 for what appeared to be a greener pasture in publishing. That greener pasture turned out to be far worse (if you can believe that) and I ended up leaving after six months. From there I bounced to a PR job. During that time I also began creating a new skill set in commercial real estate on my own time and without going back to school. After 18 months I made a the jump to the business sector in real estate and am doing very well (not as a broker). I enjoy life, I make good money and I feel fortunate to have taken the path I have, even though starting a new career this late in life at times seemed unwise. I only mention this because I agree that people need to know that there is life after GCI, you just have to expand your horizon of possibility. That may be opening your own business. That may be another job. Whatever it is, those who make that jump, by choice or by layoff, are able to move on. I do come back to Gannett Blog from on occasion today. I spent a lot of time in the company and still have an interest on how things are panning out for former colleagues and for those who I never worked with but can relate to. I do look back. But, it's not with regret. There is a big difference. For those people who started their own business, I applaud you. It's a tough thing to do in any economy and with any trade. If you're finding success than you should be congratulated not torn down. For those of you who remain at GCI I wish you good luck. There is something to be said for staying where you are and continuing to produce a community service that has unbelievable value to our society and democracy. For those who are afraid of being let go (or for those who already have been) I wish you good luck as well. You, without a doubt, gave more than you got back.
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C'omon guys you are sounding like the blogs on the Asbury Park Press.
I work in ad production, and I can't think of how my skills could be used in any other capacity. It's hard for me to even explain to people what I do. Build ads? Yes, but it's so much more than that. I don't want to know the name of anyone's company, but I would like to know how those who left Gannett were able to use their skills in another job, especially if what they're doing now is completely different.
Congrats 6:20. You sound exhausted but in a good way: Working hard to achieve the American Dream. Best of luck to you and let us know how it goes.
Please, oh please, please call me a troll. That's really what I want. A lot. I actually smile when I read the term. Makes me feel, well, so atrollish. Then when I'm going home on the trolly while dreaming of my home town in the old country, Trollee, I skip and jump.
Touche 8:39! Well done.8:27, I understand how you feel. But keep in mind that every human being has skills and the capacity to grow those skills. You work in ad production NOW. That doesn't mean you'll be doing so six years/weeks/months from now. No, I do not know how to transfer ad-production skills. That's totally out of my vocational POV. But I'll bet someone who is grounded in that part of the industry does ... And maybe a little bit of shared knowledge via online communities or old-fashioned networking may help you start thinking of ways to transfer skills. Main thing is that you need to take the first steps. GCI certainly isn't going to help you do it. (Again, for the 999th time) YOU are in charge of YOUR career ...
8:27 here.10:18: Thank you for your encouraging words. My site is due for conversion to GPC shortly so I'm very aware that my time in this position will soon end. Hearing how others in production transitioned into new industries would be helpful, but I understand that they, we, are a minority in this blog's readership. Actually, my inquiry was about the steps others took to analyze their own skills. How do you step back and look at your job objectively when you feel like what you do is very specialized and you're not suited for anything else? I greatly admire those of you who've achieved success post-Gannett, especially if you're self-employed! But I have to partially agree with some of the critics that the details are a bit lacking. I'd never want anyone to reveal information that could identify them, not for fear of retaliation by Dubow & Co., but simply because it's nobody's business. Those details are irrelevant. I would like to know if what you're doing now is closely related to what you did at Gannett. Did you have other (different) skills to fall back on? How long did it take? What sacrifices did you have to make? What would you do differently? 3:28 shared some of that which I found helpful and appreciate!I'm past the point of caring whether there are more furloughs or layoffs. My assumption now is the answer will always be "yes." Not "if" but "when." So I pay very little attention to speculation and rumors. This blog serves to inform, but we can also connect and share and support each other, if we choose. Congratulations to everyone who is not only surviving but thriving after Gannett, and may the rest of us follow in your footsteps!
I wonder how long before Apple attempts this with US publishers?http://tinyurl.com/5usuje2
Why are Gannett location so managment heavy. My god in some cases manager almost out do sales staff.
Hey JimWhy were all the new,small business commentsremoved ?The comments seemed to motivate those of ustrying to find a way out.
9:11 That discussion, while productive and interesting, had become repetitive. I think we can all agree that some former employees succeeded in starting businesses, and some did not want to reveal the identity of their businesses -- which led some other readers to be skeptical.
1:58 - I'm in the same situation. While we wait for information from others and how they translated their present skills into a new job you might try to do a few online searches about analyzing your job skills. A start is:http://www.your-career-change.com/Analyse-your-skills.htmlWe all have been entrenched in our jobs so long we tend to overlook and take for granted all the skills we have learned over the years. Make lists of what you do, lists of how you do those things using action words. Take those action words and apply them to other situations not related to 'design' and you'll find you have many skills that are transferable to other jobs. Hopefully you've kept copies of reviews and self reviews. Read your copies of your past self reviews and reviews. If you've done a good job of describing yourself in your self review you already have a great start in beginning a list of your skill sets. Find those type of things in your past reviews also.Look at yourself and ask 'What is it I have always wanted to do but never have' Take your skill sets and apply them to this answer and see if you can begin a path to do that thing you've never done. Don't make it something very specific, make it more general and you will be able to apply this to more possibilities. A friend of mine did this after working years for the railroad in high level office management... he went on work for a company which helped developmentally disabled people in daily living situations, visiting them in their apartments and assisting them with their shopping, home organization, anything they needed. He absolutely loved this job, and at first glance the two jobs don't relate, however, the the skill sets he had were transferable.Begin making an outlined plan and follow through.Good luck to us all.
To 1:58 AM, start thinking outside the box. You're in production which means you're either looking at print quality while manning the press, working in the mailroom or somewhere in the building. You need to learn how to build on what you've learned when interviewing. My best advice is to find something that interests you and just start interviewing. If you don't get the first job, go to the second one, etc. Build on your strengths. If you've been with Gannett for years and years, you have proven you're a loyal employee. If you didn't know about production when you started, you're able to learn the job and stick with it. You're trainable. If you've worked on a press, you can probably transfer your skills to a machine shop, or something comparable. The possibilities are endless. You have to start looking and really think about what interests you, and then just go for it. Talk to your friends and see if they have openings at their companies and if they would be willing to give you a recommendation. Knowing someone always helps.Hope this helped. Good luck!
Let's not focus on Gannett for just a second... Give a few reasons to stay in the industry:1. There are signs of a rebound.2. People still appreciate what we do.3. Some other jobs pay better and some pay worse.4. Being self-employed comes with ebbs and flows too.5. There are still some good bosses and editors out there.6. If you don't see a future in print, there are journalistic endeavors online and in academics.
Reading this AP story about Gannett Wisconsin's bid to get live streaming video of state high school athletic events, it doesn't sound like things went well in federal court yesterday. http://bit.ly/gf3qkL
how come they are giving out furloughs and the asbury park press has overtime this weekend ? does that make sense ?
Overtime seems justified when a police officer is killed and there is an ongoing manhunt...
Here's another link to the Gannett lawsuit in Wisconsin:http://www.jsonline.com/newswatch/113819659.html
For your reading pleaser, an e-mail from our executive editor this week. Good stuff at the bottom of the note. Thanks for the heads up peerless leader of this newspaper located in the northern part of the state that looks like a boot. We will try to have 'great newspapers' on those days. God I can't wait to leave this friggin' place. xxxxxxxFolks,Our new regional corporate officers will make their first visit to xxxxxx Jan. 24/25. We will need to make sure our departments are very clean, because they WILL be touring.The remnants of the newsroom move – boxes, etc., need to be stored, put away or tossed.And we need to have great newspapers for those two days with Sunday –type centerpieces on the front and big news.I’m on furlough, but coming back right before they do. I am counting on you to plan, design and edit well for those days.Thank you,xxxxxxxxxxx
Yes, that is different. Normally the message says: Please throw all your trash on the floor so this looks like a pigsty. When people come to see us raz them, but make sure nothing looks good in the paper. In fact, leave stories out and only have white space.
To 1:58 re:job hunting. I found and have helped others that a resume filled with newspaper stuff is suicide and will not get you in a door unless you're pursuing the newspaper industry. Find something you're interested in and list your strengths and capabilities pertaining to the position available, not what you did in the newspaper industry. Unfortunately, I think many of us who left the industry have found it's not well received in other fields. That said, most everybody has marketable skills but it does require a bit of soul searching and swallowing one's pride. But take a moment to accept how others may view the industry.
7:49am is absolutely correct, corporate bonuses should be a constant discussion. Who doesn't want a bonus? And when you look at the size of corporate bigwig bonuses it's staggering. Here's a bit of Gannett financial stuff- furloughs were started a couple years ago and Gannett doesn't like seeing increases in YOY expenses so furloughs or layoffs would have to continue to not exceed the previous year. As revenue goes down, furloughs become a natural way of offsetting that difference as well. And when the expenses don't exceed the previous year (via furloughs), bigwigs get bonuses. And yes, they too have furloughs but they offset them with incentives and the size of their bonus. Just in case someone tries to support why/how corporate executives should receive bonuses while the average employee gets reoccurring furloughs and no bonuses- Let me just tell them now- Shut up, you're an idiot!
I hope everyone realizes 6:37 is a hoax.
Everyone talking about the corporate visit and what should happen for it is a moron. All of those posts should be discredited.
11:54 How do you know that's a hoax?
We previously received e-mails in Rochester just like that when corporate was coming... clean your desks, and make sure the papers are good. Not sure what makes that a hoax.
3:28 here. To 1:58, who asked about transferring skills to another industry, all I can say is you have to be creative and take a little risk. My work in commercial real estate, on the face of it, has nothing to do with my work in newspapers. I never pretended it would when I was talking with my current employer. I always had an interest in real estate and about two years ago, shortly after leaving Gannett, I got my real estate license in my home state. That cost $800 and required about 50 hours of study at home through DVDs. After getting the license, though, I realized that I didn't want to be a broker as that entails working purely for commission and drumming up your own business. In this market that seemed unreasonable, considering my mortgage and financial needs of my family. So, I went into PR. But, during that time, I started studying commercial real estate on my own time using college textbooks and through online courses offered through industry groups. I attended seminars and made cold calls to companies in town that are taking specific strategies with commercial real estate that I believe are going to be successful. Most of those calls fell on deaf ears. But, one of them didn't. A high-ranking official in one of the companies I called offered to grab lunch with me to explain more about the strategies his firm was taking that I found interesting. During the lunch, he said that I didn't have the qualifications to get a job with his firm but offered a number of things I could do continue my education of the industry (that didn't require going back to school). I did each one of them and kept him informed of my progress. After 12 months, he had an opening come available for an acquisitions analyst reporting directly to him and he contacted me. I was hired on a probationary status which only lasted 30 days as which point I was brought on permanently. I am paid a base salary, which is important for me and my family, but also get a piece of each deal I help to bring in. My path certainly wasn't planned out, but I worked hard to gain a new skill set (that has nothing to do with newspapers), made cold calls to firms that are doing what I am interested in, worked hard to cultivate relationships, asked those people what I could do to better my chances to break in, and followed through. And, I got lucky. My path was not easy and didn't happen overnight. It required a lot of "faith" that my hours of study every week would pay off. But, in the end they did. I hope that helps better explain how I made a move. I am proud of my new path but still miss newspapers a lot. I never despised working for Gannett, but never felt like it was a company that I could feel comfortable "retiring" in. There are no right answers. Just answers. I wish you and everyone else, whether they stay with newspapers and Gannett or not, the best of luck.
Very nice, 12:01. Good for you that you enjoy such success by thinking outside the GCI framework, setting goals, working hard and getting there. Jim, please don't delete obviously good-intentioned AND informative/helpful posts like this one. I respectfully question your decisions to delete like-minded ones here on this board ... You're letting the trolls 'have it their way' on this one.Speaking of which, 12:01, for leaving such an earnest, helpful post, you can fully expect the trolls to now seek to discredit you by attempting to convince others here that you're making all of this up.
I never completely understood the point of making things "look good for corporate" (e.g.: make those "two" newspapers look good). When corporate visits, they need to see an accurate representation of how things are -- good and bad. IF their decisions are causing newspaper quality to suck and buildings to look awful, they should see that. Otherwise, it's just perpetuating their thinking that they can continue to cut. This is business 101.
If you think you are going to be let go, just reinvent yourself in another area of the paper - learn new skills and kiss up - someone in the NJ group who was formerly in advertising did it...right AT?
Jim lets the trolls have it their way on most days.I'm glad he started zapping the pulp fiction here. The blog has been slightly tolerable the last couple of days -- no B.S. success stories, no gossip, no attacks on Gannett execs, aside from the stone-throwing in the Reno thread.
@3:42: Ha ha! That's funny, Craig. Thanks for checking in on a Sunday. Of course, you could write the book about the BS behind a personal success story.
"Stone-throwing on the Reno thread?" Please. Personally, Power is a good man; but in the industry, he is the most remote and loyal functionary I have ever seen. In Reno, too, they had the cry, "Corporate is coming! Corporate is coming!" Sure enough, walls repainted. Even instructions to have nothing on our desks (excuse me... we're working?). A favorite was a directive from an immediate superior who realized we don't have much time for appearances: "Then come in on your day off and do it." By hook or by crook the place is gussied up: a building of reamed chasms that is falling apart -- and regularly drenches rundown carpet during rainfall, garbage cans strategically placed to catch the water. Corporate arrives. They stroll around, never deigning to address the unwashed widgets. Then they go to a high-end steakhouse and have drinks. Lifestyles are lifestyles, but this is disgusting.
5:22 you are a blatant liar! Over a two year period Ted Power had that building completely repainted, carpeted, the leaky roof fixed, air conditioning put in the distribution center, a complete overhaul of the lunch area and myriD other changes that had NOTHING to do with a corporate visit. You are Obviuosly a hater.
Was he drunk to waste money that way?
Cheap shot, 10:23. Sad if posting that sort of thing makes you happy.
The changes in Phoenix may serve as an interesting metaphor for Gannett management. The combination of the newspaper and Channel 12 in The Arizona Republic building is now referred to on air as 200EVB, which doesn't exist. The address is 200 East Van Buren Street. On air, live broadcasts are on "The Plaza", which also doesn't exist, it's the corner of Van Buren Street and 2nd Street, a street corner. This may not seem like a big deal as they're just words, like "no more furloughs" and "we're concerned about or employees" or "we have furloughs too". Just words, possibly the perfect metaphor for Gannett management.
Just to break the sad news to 11:06 before he learns it on his own, there's also no rock outside NBC studios in New York with a 30 on it. Such lies!
Okay, okay, you are correct. I will never use Crystal Palace for 7950 Jones Branch Lane again. Sorry. I have seen the error of my ways.
Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."
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