An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
For Part 3 of this comment thread, please go here.
Still no insight or comments about the soon approaching "doomsday" for financial report disclosure! Does everyone have theirhead in the sand .This is major ! Is no one concerned ?It will more than likely determine the number of layoffs for this year and course of Gannettin a major way. All right then let's pretend it's not coming and everything is just peachy in Gannettland.This should be the focus of the week ,not if it' your turn to empty the damn trash !Our site has been doing this for a year,the utility man/ janitor was laid off back then.Yes ,we do floors too!Will you have a workplace to come to,to be asked to empty the trash is the question !
We will have PLENTY of insight, comments and opinions as soon as the report has been released and processed. Until then, what can we say? Same sh**, different day!
In Ohio, Gannett dailies the Fremont News Messenger and Port Clinton News Herald will now be printed in Findlay beginning Feb. 28. It's the result of the Mansfield News Journal closing down its press. So sad since at one time those papers were locally owned and had their own presses.
We all know how miserable the report will be, especially on revenues. So why turn it up prematurely. It will be really bad.
Is your papers ad revenue tanking right before your eyes? While January has never been a great month, it's DEAD! NEVER SEEN IT SO SLOW and FOR SO LONG after the holidays. No sense of urgency or panic in our sales department, in fact its business as usual(a new set of sick days to start using and thinking how to use furlow days to get the most 3 day weekends). Anybody else having a terrible or historically slow January?
9:14 yes, same crap,Different day,week,month and year.Same old fricking life of being a Gannettemployee.Always, always waiting for the other shoe to drop.And in this case the next round of lay offs.That thought is ALWAYS present. layoffs.....there are coming,just who is the target,who amonst the herds will be singled out to be unemployed ?
Ad inches way ,way ,way down.Lots of inches of fill space,to put it mildly,if not for the fill,barely worth the printing.January is traditionally the low point of the year for revenue,you deal with it and go on to better months.But this year ,WOW ,no comparison,it is hard to see anything positive coming.No revenue means....what else .........
Even with all the layoffs, apparently one department is still actually overstaffed. The Journal News sports section today is all of three pages, including the pro sports schedule page.
We've just had a one-two snowstorm in New Jersey. Over a foot of snow across the state, buses shut down, abandoned vehicles along the highways, state government open only a half-day. Out of curioisity I checked the Gannett websites for my area.MyCentralJersey (C-N, HNT): Music-related photo gallery leads, missing persons second, storm coverage third.Daily Record: Speech by Gov. Christie leads, storm coverage second (almost an afterthought).Other statewide websites have the snowstorm the main story as it should be. And people wonder why Gannett is hurting!(Disclosure: I am employed at a non-Gannett company that provides content to a statewide website.)
No doubt that advertisers and agencies decided in their media placement meetings to steer more money to the Web and away from newspapers. If I were a media buyer and I saw how newspapers, especially Gannett papers, were hoarding profit by dis-investing in news gathering and news hole, I would take it as an unmistakable signal that those papers are Nowheresville.
NJ sales staffers not worried, they've got Yahoo to fall back on!
10:14 In fairness, I think the ad revenue declines came before the cutbacks at the paper. There is probably a snowball effect. But I think management hoped this would be a normal recession and that ads would bounce back once it was over. They did not do this, and have not done this.
If it continues this slow, management will start laying off people at the ad design centers! Our sales "management" seems to be content with the status quo. No matter how little a rep sells - they never held accountable or terminated. The culture of laziness(at our paper) in sales is sickening!! The worst part is that there lack of effort is causing hard working people in non-sales positions, there jobs.
10:33 "They did not do this (advertise), and have not done this (advertise), AND WON'T DO THIS. In NJ ReMax has prohibited ALL of its realtors from advertising in newspapers, I assume this nation-wide. A big hit for sure.
Likewise realtors in New York. Why should they pay a newspaper for what they can do themselves? And they do it better, too.Ditto for car dealers.These are just two advertising revenue streams that have dried up.Unfortunately, corporate doesn't like such excuses for reduced revenue, so get ready for more staff cuts this year. What's happening in New Jersey is just the beginning.This is the corporate model: keep cutting people to keep the ship afloat.
Real Estate advertising has dried up. Most days we have no real estate display ads. Cars ads are way down too. While we are a smaller paper, many days we only have 3 pages of classifieds, often will large fillers. The general public in turn sees such a small classified section and decides to place their ad on line. It's a downward spiral and I don't think there is a way to reverse it.
What has happened to real estate ads is just part of the problem for print. I don't blame Remax because they can present more information of properties they handle on the Internet, including all of the pictures of houses for sale, background info. on schools and community extras, etc. Newspaper ads just cannot compete. Same with cars. You can take a virtual drive, get behind the wheel, and see all aspects of a car via the Internet. Plus they have Facebook recommendations from other drivers who bought the vehicles, and more consumer info. than is available on Consumer Reports. Craigslist has siphoned off the rest of the ads.I think print needs to quickly come up with a counter-attack or all will be lost.
I hate to say it, but why doesn't the whole Gannett chain just give up print editions? Look how the circulation figures have dropped in the last five years; everything is electronic now - updated at the drop of a hat. I know it would put a lot of people out of work, but with high tech computers, who can't be a journalist/ad designer/web designer now? It's just not a specialized field anymore. Pictures are taken with cell phones and immediately put up on YouTube or blogs. You're not giving me, the average reader, anything that I haven't heard or read on the news/web a day or two prior. Lottery numbers are printed wrong, pictures are repeated in the next week's town local. I really believe our paper has more managers than readers now.
The DOW and GCI charts last intersected on Feb. 24, 2006. The Dow was at 11,061 and GCI was $62.71. The DOW was on its way up. GCI was deflating.Today, the Dow hit 12,000 before pulling back. And GCI holds resolute @ $15.
Imagine media had a do over. Who would suggest: Why not print a newspaper and then hire a fleet of carriers to drop it off at subscribers doorsteps. Even if they have no interest in sports they get a sport section. Give them a home and garden section too, even if they live in a high rise. Or. Give them specific information on the Internet. No paper, nothing to recycle. Face it, guys, we're working with a bad business model. Sulzberger said the he can see the day when the Times no longer has a print edition. The New York flippin' Times. Where does that leave us?
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Have the NJ reporters been told who's staying and who's going? Or will GCI give them less than one weeks notice?
Jim, do you use hallucinogenic drugs? You seem delusional.
7:07 PM - Craig... that wasn't very nice. Now, back to the country club.
3:50 here is a business lesson. Print still brings in 80% of the revenue that pays your paycheck. Why would any company kill their best revenue producer. When it falls below 45% then cone back with your kill the print discussion.
3:50 was called out earlier, but Jim deleted it. Jim's "be wrong" quota must be higher than usual.
8:31 PM - Craig did you get hammered at the country club? Again? Time to take a few more pain pills for you back and pass out ( Oops... I mean, fall a sleep). Pleasant dreams Craig. Good night.
Based on the inept coverage on the NJ web sites of today's storm, it appears the answer to 6:39 is that ALL of the reporters have been fired. What a damned shameful attempt to serve the NJ communities these newspapers once served so well It's events like these snowstorms -- as silly as it might sound in other parts of the country -- where the power of he Internet could make the connection with readers and serve the public some useful information. Instead, shallow, stale and useless. The 101.5 web site is going to be the source for local news across NJ because Gannett has given up on it's roots. What a shame. This is what it's all about of doing more with less ... Why bother,Tom Donovan? Why bother?
3:50 here. Print DOES NOT bring in 80% of our revenue (at our site). It's more along the 60-65% range. It's called "creative accounting". And yes, there are tricks you can use (net vs gross, holding off huge credits til the next period, etc). If they would let reporters be reporters and not follow the Gannett "Stepford Wife" rule, we would probably be around the 80%+ range. I love print; it just kills me to see a few really creative journalists not being able to color outside the box and go with their journalistic instincts vs. being told "this is what your write about and you only have 2 columns to do it in".
2:00 Pm revenue includes advertising and circulation. If you think digital equates to 40% of your revenues you are just plain wrong. Sorry but print still rules.
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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