Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cincy | For Buchanan, lessons from her own paper

Following is from a Cincinnati Enquirer project published in June about 2010's Top Workplaces in Cincinnati. On Friday, the newspaper confirmed that it had laid off 20 employees, about 2.5% of its workforce; I can't find any story on the Enquirer's website that reports this downsizing. The paper, one of Gannett's biggest, is led by Publisher Margaret Buchanan. A project excerpt:

As with companies and agencies all over the country, the best workplaces in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky have had to cut salaries, hours and, in some cases, jobs as the Great Recession hung on.

But one thing may have set them apart: A willingness to be upfront with employees about the economic challenges, explain the options and listen to feedback.

In responses to the survey that backed this project, at least six companies said they had to cut staff, benefits or salaries in 2009, but that top executives repeatedly met with workers to explain their actions, give updates as warranted and describe their vision of the future.

At downtown-based consumer marketing research firm Directions Research Inc., for example, president Randy Brooks addressed the company at a meeting and outlined further austerity measures that were being taken following the layoff of eight workers.

Note: The Enquirer's circulation is 157,574 Monday-Friday; 156,244 Saturday, and 255,037 Sunday, according to the Sept. 30 ABC report.

Earlier: Buchanan reportedly told staff she was unaware of plans for furloughs.

Related: this spreadsheet shows GCI has now eliminated an estimated 164 jobs at 21 worksites in recent weeks. Is your site included?


  1. Does anyone really expect Gannett executives to live up to expectations of fair play?

    For a newspaper company, Gannett is remarkably tight-lipped and underhanded in its treatment of employees and outside inquiries.

    The sight of the sun rising is an optical illusion. The expectation of an honest answer from a Gannett executive is delusion.

  2. Few things make me more annoyed than management of the "do as we say, not as we do" variety.

  3. Buchanan just can't rise above the mindset of her days as an ad saleslady. The Top Workplaces package was a journalistic joke. Companies were nominated and praised by employees at the strong suggestion of their bosses, so I heard. As a result, one callous mistreater of workers was hailed a Top Workplace. No independent verification was even attempted. Not that it's an easy thing to do. Contests like this are so subjective that most publications don't bother. Fortune magazine at least does it in a fairly scientific manner, distributing questionnaires to 400 randomly selected employees and also comparing companies' policies on compensation, benefits, opportunities, hiring, communications and philanthropy/morale building. The Enquirer took the cheap route of holding a superficial popularity contest so that it could sell ads to the winners. If it really wanted to perform a public service, it would have run a list of the worst places to work , too.

  4. How ironic that the Enquirer and Gannett never show up on the best work place lists. MB cares more about being accepted in Indian Hill social circles and the city's business elites than by her own workers. She NEVER stoops to pay a friendly visit to the newsroom, even though it's the heart and soul of the company. She NEVER sends a nice note to workers on the holidays. She AVOIDS elevator eye contact and chitchat with most workers. Now that he's been pushed into early retirement, I wish Tom Callinan would come clean and let everyone know how MB imposes her will on news coverage (and non-coverage)

  5. MB leads through bullying and subterfuge. May she reap what she sows.

  6. Buchanan was apparently out of town last week and will be on furlough this week.

  7. I saw some newspaper job cuts listed here:

  8. awesome site 6:57pm...thanks for posting!

  9. Bigger question: Does Buchanan still demand employees collect and properly plate her meals, deliver her groceries, fuel her auto and fulfill her other personal needs or have cuts finally reached the level whereby she actually has to take care of her own needs herself?

  10. Is Buchanan spoon fed too?

  11. Yeah she's spoon fed. She eats up whatever corporate is serving on any given day.

    Want a few heads chopped? No problem.

    Want to shrink the newshole? No problem.

    Want to a few nice stories about an advertiser? No problem.

    Want to kill uncomplimentary stories about an advertiser? No problem.

  12. She is a terrible human being and lives in the days of a class system. She speaks only to her OC members and a chosen few. I can only hope someone sees she is the problem not those she sent packing.

  13. If she's such a bad human being and a shill for corporate, perhaps they should consider her for the two vacant spots on the Gannett Board. Sounds like she'd be perfect.


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