Friday, February 04, 2011

In a must-read column, laid-off N.J. sports editor raps Gannett: 'We're all victims of corporate greed'

Several readers have sent me the text of laid-off sports editor Frank DiLeo's column today in the Daily Record -- a column they were surprised to see in print. (Me, too.) The paper, in Parsippany, N.J., is one of three Gannett dailies losing nearly half their combined 99 newsroom employees this week in a work consolidation.

"Everyone is cheering and wondering how it ever got into the paper,'' one of the readers told me. "It is not available on
the Daily Record's website. Please publish it as a post on your blog."

The column appeared under the headline, "In the game of life, there are few winners."


"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.'' -- Mark Twain

The Daily Record sports department has strived over the years to bring you the best coverage of Morris County athletics as possible. Whether it was online or in print, in a weekly newspaper or a daily, we took great pride in the service that we provided for the community.

But all that work, all the sacrifices we made are worth nothing.

For the second time in two years, I am being laid off from my job as sports editor of the Daily Record. This despite being a 35-year-old manager who has received nothing but praise and exceptional reviews, always put his employees first, and truly cared for the community. In my 12 years with the company (Gannett), I have received almost every local, state and national award for my field, from headline writing to page designing and much more.

I even won the first New Jersey Press Association award for innovation a few years back.

It's ironic that in such a short time, I became a dinosaur.

Why was I laid off . . .  again? I wish I knew, as do the other great folks here who put in decades of service only to see their career come to an end with no explanation.

I worked hard to build my career, only to be left with a few weeks of severance and reminders of what used to be.

Those of you who know me well know that I don't put much stock in emotion. But I can't help but to feel like a rube on the midway for thinking that someone as young, talented and loyal as I was would be able to stick with a company after proving time and time again that there was nothing I couldn't or wouldn't do for the good of the corporation.

I've worked through pneumonia many times, bronchitis, pleurisy, broken ribs, migraines, a gallbladder that stopped functioning for six months and many other ailments that I ignored doctors orders to stay home. All for the good of the company. This is where it got me.

But I am not alone in my bitterness.

Many great people worked their last day at the Daily Record on Friday. Nearly half the staff has been let go from an already thin crew. Folks that have been for over 30 years had to reapply for their positions and drive to Neptune, some of us had to do it four times in a span of two weeks, to be asked the exact same questions as the previous trip.


You'll have to ask Gannett management that question yourself, because I've never received anything resembling an explanation.

My guess is that we're all victims of corporate greed, just like millions of folks out there going through the same thing.

Things like truth, honor, work ethic and integrity mean nothing on an Excel spreadsheet. It's all about profit margins.

Gannett is not alone in this new world order of treating customers like an annoyance and employees like dogs who should be happy with whatever scraps are leftover.

Pick any major company, and you'll find an indifference to customer service and quality.

The Daily Record, more so its parent company Gannett, is no different.

Many talented, innovative, caring people were let go today. Meanwhile, the empty suits at corporate collect six and seven-figure salaries while accepting massive bonuses.

Please don't take this as knock against the Daily Record's bosses. They're great people who truly care about the community and this newspaper. Corporate greed everywhere has run amok, and we the people are left to deal with the consequences of its wake.

But it still hurts . . . again.

Frank DiLeo can be reached at

Earlier: How Gannett's "transition pay" benefit replaces severance

A cardboard box on an empty desk. A final conversation. Job applications and phone calls going unanswered. Please share your layoff story in three or four paragraphs. Post replies in the comments section, below. Or e-mail via jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: today's front page, Newseum]


  1. Looks like an inside job to me... I bet he had another column that was replaced at the last minute before the plate was sent to the press room.

    What are they going to do, fire him?

  2. Wow. Laid off at age 35? Are they gonna replace him with two 17-year-old unpaid interns?

  3. God bless him to have had the courage and balls to do what he did. My work record, service and loyalty mirrored much of his but like him I was also let go. He is a better man than I.

    Not that it makes any difference to the bastards in corporate, I hope that this at least chipped a little at their conscience.

  4. Three cheers for Frank DiLeo! Hip, hip hooray!

    Well said. Everyone still working in Gannett should read it. It's amazing that anyone still believes he or she is insulated from eventual termination. Trust in knowing that you're not. Frank DiLeo is the poster child for that. How, how, how can the muckety mucks at Gannett corporate continue to pay themselves and accept such salaries/bonuses when they are rampantly destroying so much that should be sacred?

  5. Awesome! Way to go Frank. See what happens when nobody's around to check the paper when it comes off the press, where ever that press may be...

  6. Heck! All those ailments and only 35 years old. Do you still have a pulse? If I were you, I'd wrap myself in some cotton wool and keep warm. Poor thing.

  7. Congrats to him for getting it published. That said, this kind of opportunity would have been better exploited if there was more in there about what this means to readers in the bigger pix rather than the standard self-serving language about working hard, awards won, outstanding evals, etc. That's the line every slighted journalist trots out. Readers don't really care.

    They do, however, care about what happens to the product they're buying (if they're still buying it) and why personal greed is playing a huge role in that product's demise.

    But, that said: Congrats to Frank for getting it published. The readers have a right to know this stuff.

  8. I'm with the 2:59 poster. Frank DiLeo, I suspect in a year you be far happier and far healthier than you have been in years. I, too, spent years working (and overworking) in Gannett, and within a year after leaving I felt reenergized and fit. Journalism is great, but it can really wear on you, and it won't matter much how much fun you had if they have to carry you out of the building.

  9. The fact that this ran speaks volumes about the kind of news operations Gannet is running all over the country. No one is left to mind the store. Sad. Sad. Sad.

  10. Way to get the word out to Gannett's unsuspecting subscribers, Frank. You spoke for all of us. No doubt heads are rolling over its publication. No doubt procedures are being put in place to keep it from happening again, anywhere in Gannett.

  11. Someone hire Frank DiLeo. Now.

  12. I agree with poster 2:59...I appreciate all Frank's awards, illnesses and such, but feel it was self-serving bitterness that corporate types will dismiss as so much sour grapes. If he had, as poster 3:05 noted, put the layoffs as hurting journalism, sports reporting and such, then the readers would be able to relate how important this loss really is, and how it will affect subsequent sports coverage -- less high school sports, etc.
    I'm just a reader from the West Coast who got tipped to this column from a friend.
    Congrats Frank for the ingenuity to get this printed and good luck, really, in finding another position where your dedication will be valued.

  13. looks like coffee station art, for all sites.
    Frame it and hang it. Keep plenty of spares.

    And I agree, this is what can sneak through, when there aren't enough eyeballs left to proof the product each day.

  14. Jim: You've done a public service to employers by posting this column and including the author's name. Thanks to you and Google, Mr. DeLeo will never work for a media outlet again.

  15. Cheers to Dileo as his note highlights exactly why companies who’ve behaved like Gannett will struggle more than most once this economy switches from an employer market back to an employee market.

  16. WAY TO GO FRANKIE!! Very well written! You're so right! It's so sad to see the way this country has changed. Especially the corporate world. Like you said, you give them your ALL, and they can't give 'just a little'. I'm tired of being everybody's doormat! We need more people to stand up to them, and for ourselves!!

  17. WOW! Bravo! Balls-out thinking could turn around the company. Gannett, however, is too afraid.

  18. 3:45 slams anonymously, while Frank had the courage to sign his name in public.

  19. Right on, Jim. And 3:45 is wrong, btw. He will work again.

    Frank and others there I'm sure are already checking out Patch. While pay is low, I've heard good to great things about everything else there.

  20. Heh Frankie, make sure you show this great column to your next perspective employer. I bet they will fall over themselves to give you a great paying job with lots of responsibility. Every company is looking for someone who will bash them in a public setting. And before you lemmings say something original like "Hi Craig. Thanks for stopping by Craig!" You know you are thinking the same thing. What a dumb move.

  21. 3:59 Jim, you are so wrong. Sure lead the cheer for this 35 year kid. What employer in his right mind would want an employee who would bash their employer? He won the battle and lost the war. Not everyone is independently welathy like you, this kid has to work. I wish he had a mentor because this was stupid.

  22. I'd like to disagree with the Debbie-downer poster. Who in journalism hasn't felt the way Frank does right now? What editor couldn't sympathize? What reporter wouldn't applaud? A smart hiring manager says, "Hey, this guy's got balls. And he just spoke for all of us."

  23. I'm sure Frank's future plans did not involve newspapers. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been dumb enough to do it. I worked with him years ago, he's a smart guy and ran probably the best local sports section I've seen anywhere in the country. Clearly the bosses have jumped on here to try and bury him, but it only serves to further prove that they're truly heartless "empty suits" as he wrote (hopefully I'm not the only "Wire" addict that noticed that line, maybe McNulty's best line of the series). Way to go Frank.

  24. It was well-written, heartfelt and rang of the desperation everyone who got laid off this week feels, I'm sure ... and after 12 years of giving everything to the company and being kicked to the curb, I'm pretty sure someone will be able to overlook this. If I were Frank, I wouldn't be too worried about the next career step. Really.

  25. Any company run by people with integrity will understand why Frank did this. People, companies do have people with good judgement, integrity, honor, loyalty and conscience. Those are the companies that will succeed and will continue. Gannett will not and having loyalists attack Frank on this blog will not help them or Gannett.

  26. Frank,
    I just sent your article to Chris Saridakis, Gannett's former Chief Digital Officer and his response.."Good for Frank for standing up for what he believes and expressing his opinion. I do not know him, but Gannett needs more Franks, not less. Please have him send his resume to and I will introduce Frank to many online companies that would appreciate his experience"

    Thank you for posting this as well.

  27. Cheers to Frankie!!!! Way to go, not letting "them" get away with a slap in the face w/o a slap back. Its all about corporate greed these days. Lay off the people in the trenches so that greedy execs will have enough money to buy their wives another pair of $1,800 Jimmy Choo's or maybe a $10,000 Rolex. That's the American way. We should revolt!

  28. Good for Chris too. How did a guy with that kind of capacity for leadership end up working in GCI anyway?

  29. 4:31 oh please. Send us all what you are smoking. Sounds great in a speech. Please list the companies you admire that will jump through hoops to he this guy after what he wrote. I mean I get you hate Gannett and admire what Frank wrote but lets talk about his options Monday morning.

  30. Like Saridakis really wrote that. Please!!!!!!!!! Why would any company want an employee who bashed their previous employer in such a public manner? The answer is they wouldn't. Try and separate your emotions from the reality of the situation.

  31. Actually Frank sent a very similar note out to all employees the last time he was laid off and guess what it didn't hurt his employ-ability at all because he was hired back by the same idiots who laid him off twice and were unable to keep his words out of their own paper (oh my gosh how incompetent can these suits be? Their names should be listed as those NOT to hire not Frank.)
    I don't know how you did it Frank but as one of those who got cut in the first bloodbath, I am in awe of your ability to get it published in the paper this time.

  32. I wouldn't hire him. And, to me, this column serves as a clear explanation of why he was let go.

  33. Courage is doing something risky when you have something to lose. Burning the bridge behind you isn't courageous, burning the bridge under you is.

    Thoughtful people plan their next move before making the current one. Jim published here anonymously until he officially left the company. Prudence is a key employability trait as well.

    All that being said, had this sports editor focused less on himself and more on the community's loss this column would have had real impact, and been worthy of reprint in E&P, CJR and others. By focusing too closely on the 'woe is me' he is covering ground millions of people have had in their own lives - in short, he's left the "new" out of "news."

    Instead, had he pointed out that the reader's kids wouldn't see their game scores in the paper - that would have created a lasting buzz.

    This creates a 'wow, can't believe they printed that' for two seconds. Then they turn the page.

  34. Interesting article. I think you stated a fact about our society today...that it is based on corporate greed. It is a shame that in the good old USA today workers, even educated professionals, are treated so poorly. Very sad.

  35. 4:55 is incorrect. I have confirmed that Chris Saridakis did, indeed, write that e-mail about Frank.

  36. Yes, perhaps Frank may regret in the light of day everything he said in his column. Most of us do when we are angry. That is why we have - thank God - a delete key for text messages and emails.

    And yes, I agree that he might have been better served to point out how bad this will be for readers in the future of the newspapers there.

    However, don't think for a moment that anything he wrote will make any difference to those in charge of this miseable company. It will not.

    In fact, I dare say that those on high will now feel even more justified in his termination. They have a "oh, those terrible ungrateful workers. If only we didn't have to contend with all their annoying problems" mentality anyway.

    Nothing sticks, sad to say.

    And yes, when I quit in disgust after a miserable little publisher ruined my career, my physical and mental health skyrockted. His will too.

    Ultimately, I say, good for you Frank. They got what they deserved. (Whoever "they" might be!)

  37. Grow up people. Corporations exist to be profitable, particularly publicly held corporations like Gannett which must answer to its stockholders and creditors, and most particularly like Gannett which recently became indebted to a notorious Wall Street hedge fund that requires a minimum buy-in of $1 million and has paid an ROI of more than 200 percent to its investors for the last two years. Payroll is the largest corporate expense. Reducing payroll is the fastest way to cut costs. Why didn't DiLeo know this? Or if he did, why did he thing good things were going to happen because of it?

  38. Everyone please Google "Gannett Blog Stockholm Syndrome," then read those posts.

  39. A journalist speaks truth to power and he's unemployable? I'd submit that that notion says far more about the sad state of journalism (and many journalists) than about Frank.

    Newspapers should be hiring the most fiery, piss-n-vinegar malcontents they can find, particularly ones who aren't afraid to call "bullshit" on their own company.

    If he's unemployable for what he said, then journalism truly is in the shitter.

  40. Why anyone would actually go to school and take out loans to go into this business is beyond my ken.

    ...and this is exactly what is killing the capitalist golden goose. GREED.

  41. Hello, Daily Kos readers, following a homepage link from one of that site's diaries.

  42. He'd get an interview in my shop if I had an opening.

  43. If his "readers" can't see how his situation also applies to him, then they are blind and deserve to go through the same torment in order to learn first-hand.

    This column should win an award, but won't. It also would have been the most read article on, but you won't find it on there.

  44. Lois and Clark2/04/2011 7:06 PM

    This column is great. I've read it five times today and it has made me do a lot of thinking about my career, my attitude and my worldview.

  45. Saridakis is a very cool guy. He just wrote a great letter of recommendation for me to go back to graduate school later this year. I believe he would write that and would follow through on it.

    Frank, you are a hero! I hope you land somewhere. Gannett management are very weak. Bravo to your publisher for letting your article get printed.

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

  47. 8:16's comments are way out of line, Jim. Highly personalized attacks that cannot be substantiated. Please remove.

  48. Did 8:26 work with Frank? Then you don't know, do you?

  49. Comments like that -- directed at anyone, and especially without documentation -- are inappropriate. That is why I take them down as quickly as I see them.

    Please use common sense in posting any comments. Consider whether what you're writing is something you'd want to read about yourself.

  50. Gannett far from the only company that applies here. Add Lee to the list.

  51. I sympathize with anyone who has been laid off. Been there myself, and its excruciating. But I thought the column was a little whiny.

    It's painful for me to hear people protesting their layoffs by reciting how talented, dedicated, and hard-working they are. That means they believe their layoff is the result of an evaluation of their contributions. Of course, layoffs ignore those things completely. Layoffs are blind. That's part of why they're so painful.

    I don't know Frank, but if he's worked that hard and won so many awards, he'll find a better place to be. Your work speaks for itself in this business.

    And while I'd never defend the way Gannett has treated many employees, "corporate greed" isn't the reason for layoffs or furloughs. Anyone who thinks that is kidding themselves. We are losing readers for a reason, and it's not because of exorbitant bonuses. I wish there were fewer people here (and in my newsroom) complaining about corporate suits and more talking about how they can make a difference and get more readers to their paper. We're the ones who do that, not the folks in Tysons Corner.

  52. Bravo Frank. You are a writer by nature and you did what any one could had they had the chance. You can fill in any big corp name, they are all the same. Your talent and skill is evident and your readers wish you the best of luck in the future. On to bigger and better.

  53. Anyone who knows Frank, understands that this was not a job, it was his life. Frank loved what he did and sports literally runs through his veins. He took pride in getting to know and report on the local athletes while knowing every detail about sports around the country. He was hurt and is dealing with it using the skills he has and the media outlet he loves. He took a risk bad mouthing a huge media mogul, it took guts and given the chance most of us would love to have the same chance. I suspect the 10% of unemployed people would jump at the chance to address their previous employer. Frank will be successful in whatever he does. Anyone can sit back and take it... Frank showed courage.

  54. I met Saridakis a few years ago during a visit he made to our shop. I knew immediately he was not one of "THEM." I also knew that because he had principles and was a forward thinker, he, like myself, would decide to move on from Gannett.

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

  56. He was braver than me. My last Gannett column was coded ... the first letter of each paragraph read "Fuck Gannett." Nobody ever caught on, but I sure enjoyed it.

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

  58. Was Frank being ironic with the Twain quote?

  59. I could feel this man's pain, the sense of betrayal. I doubt the publisher knew about or approved this article ahead of printing but if he did, good for him and if not, good for Frank. Sure, this will scare off 'some' employers but not those smart enough to want someone with his integrity and passion. That's an employer we all want and that's an employer who will want Frank. Jim - great confirmation on the Saridakis comments. Hope Frank is reading this and follows up. Something tells me Frank DiLeo doesn't have anything to fret about. He's going to do just fine.

    Oh, and if the Daily Record publisher actually approved this article for print, he/she should start looking over their shoulders.

    Great piece Frank DiLeo and good luck wherever the road takes you.

  60. Excellent, Frank, Excellent!

  61. Another reason why not to outsource your printing. You see, the DR is not printed at a gannett site. When the button is pushed, and the file is sent to the press, nobody on the other side will even care what is on those pages.

    Frank, you should have seen the look on JC's face when he marched through Asbury's doors friday morning looking for someone to blame.
    The Daily Record was Shawshank, and you Frank are Andy Dufresne.
    You are free. and now legendary.

  62. You suck so much shit, Jim. I can only hope that someday someone writes a piece that details thoroughly what an insignificant twit you are.

    The people here cheering this move are about as dumb as dumb gets.

  63. How come there wasn't this much outcry when poor Ed Carroll was basically worked to death in the DR newsroom? Now THERE was a man of integrity; a man of honor; a true journalist.

  64. Add me to the "dumb as dumb gets" category. Screw it. Good for you, Frank. I don't know you, but I sure as hell feel like I understand you. It makes me wish I had shown more courage when I got whacked a while ago from my own place -- not Gannett, but unfortunately too many places are starting to resemble it now. I wanted to at least say good-bye to my readers on my blog, but bailed because I was unsure what to do. Though I did take pride in one small victory. They told me to sign a non-disparagement clause for my severance and some crappy Cobra. I was actually stunned. I was a columnist. I made my living -- for them -- by sharing my opinions with conviction, unfiltered as much as they could be in print. Now I was supposed to agree not to say a single negative thing at all? Not that I planned at bashing them at every turn -- or going off on this type of rant -- but it was completely wrong to me as a journalist to do that. So I did something that felt right. I reported. Found out through the union, I was entitled to the damn severance with or without their little non-disparagement clause. I would only lose the Cobra. Screw it. Did it. Now, if I ever decide to write something that includes my time there, I don't have to parse words. I don't need to take gratuitous shots, but I can do what we're supposed to do -- tell the truth. That's what Frank was doing here to me, even if he let his emotions blur the message a bit. But so what? As another poster said, if it's a bad thing to speak truth to power for a journalist, then we're all done. This isn't supposed to be like any other business. He cares. That's why this came out the way it did. You can read it from how he bled it if you have any inkling of what this is supposed to be about. He cared, they didn't and he's hurting from that vicious wound. As for the person who said it's about attracting readers, give me a break. Yes, it IS about that. But you don't blame the people who are getting two to three jobs now between multi-media as well as that of their fallen colleagues for half the pay. You blame the cheap bastards who no longer care about their product. For the readers outside the business: Maybe Frank didn't spell it out completely, but that is what he's talking about -- the product will be worse for you and that does bother him along with his own fate. I don't know him at all, but do you know how I recognize that? Because you don't get into this ridiculous business with its absurd hours and microscopic paychecks if you don't care. OK. End of rant. Except to say, Bravo, Frank. Bra-freaking-vo. I hope to hell someone hires you, not just because you need a job. But because it would be the type of person that could get me to care again after meeting too many of the other types who leave you numb.

  65. Great column Frank! The sad thing about this is that none of the knuckleheads who run Gannett New Jersey in Asbury would even be aware of this column if it weren't posted here and on a couple of other websites. They don't even read their own product!

  66. I was at a goodbye party last night for the Daily Record employees whose last day was yesterday. More than 100 people attended, from currently employed to laid off and already departed but still interested DR staffers. When Frank came in, the entire room was filled with applause. Frank spoke for all of us, and we are grateful. He was the one with the courage to stick his neck out. For those who say his message was too personal, I would offer that the corporate suits need to see how personally devastating a layoff is to the rank-and-file, and maybe they'll think before they take the next mega millions salary and bonus package that takes resources from the local papers. Oh, hell, who am I kidding, they never will.

  67. "I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!" - Animal House

    Face it, Frank spoke for many Gannetteers and ex-Gannetteers, and newsies in general. So what if it was it a bit whiny? When you pour your soul into a career, the cut feels like betrayal. And if you say what's really on your mind, that's what comes out.
    I think that everyone on the floor knew exactly what Frank had written and because it was his neck and not theirs, they were happy to let the shit hit the fan. And happy to let him speak for them.
    Way to go Frank

  68. 9:21, you bring up good points and those are appreciate. Yes, all employees still with GCI should continue to take a pro-active position on increasing innovation, interaction and engagement with readers. (Because such vision sure as hell isn't coming from up high.)

    But you are kidding yourself if you believe that the layoffs and furloughs are not a direct result of corporate greed. Jim has revealed in documentation on this blog that Dubow and Co. are given lavish bonuses based upon their ability to reduce headcount by layoffs and/or furloughs. That part of the board's statement was issued without ambiguity. That means Dubow and Co. have a clear, personal interest in eliminating jobs. It would be naive for anyone to believe that their professional judgment isn't being clouded by their clearly demonstrated high level of interest in personal gain.

    This means, for however long it takes, that Dubow and Co. would much rather reduce the product quality (via continued RIFs) to the point where they're no longer salable, eventually shut it all down, and ride off into the sunset with the millions they've made by destroying their company and their employees' careers. It takes far, far less energy and imagination and market knowledge to do it that way, right?

  69. Add McClatchy to the list. After 30 years in journalism and holidays in the newsroom, working 12 hours a day (because God forbid you should have a family), taking a pager on vacations so I could always be reached, winning award after award, putting my heart and soul into every newspaper I ever worked for, I also got laid off twice in the last 18 months. Never again. I'm done. I'm now working for myself and couldn't be happier. Money is an issue, but peace of mind is priceless.

  70. DiLeo took a chance and called gannett out. Corporate greed? Not so sure, but they could care less about the newspaper. They are a m/edia giant with tv to boost profits. If they cared as deeply as frank or some of the others they would have taken a chance to rebuild the newspaper market. It is a dying, perhaps dead medium. To the are just too afraid to speak up which is even more reason why writers like Frank are needed.

  71. Furloughed Fury2/05/2011 10:26 AM

    Dear 1:38AM:
    Perhaps it would interest you to know that DR staffers were told the paper would not not officially runnany "fare well" columns. The closest (outside of DiLeo's surprise) was a short graph in Fred Snowflacks blog. This is how they treated a man who worked for the paper and was the dean of county politics for damn close to 30 years.
    A photographer, who has written columns before was denied her last farewell column by the EE, even though he complimented it in a memo telling her it would not run. In fairness to him, he may have had to follow marching orders from on high.
    The point 1:38 misses is that DiLeo showed his reader more respect than upper management ever has by telling them what's going on. Everytime one of these cutbacks is executed, management pretends that the "dumb" reader will never notice the difference and will continue to buy the paper or visit the website.
    How wrong they are. The reader is more perceptive than people in the glass office or glass tower ever give them credit for. And the company, at least in NJ has given them one more reason to stop reading.
    Don't believe me. Believe reader John Merwin's letter to the editor (which I applaud the DR for running)and the comments that follow. Take heed of them glass office dwellers, remember them when circulation and page views fall off.|newswell|text|Opinion|p

    The dummy here isn't DiLeo for having the courage to speak from his heart to the readers. It is 1:38 and his/her corporate masters who bash the blog readers and Jim while this company circles the drain due to bad decision making at the top.
    Anyone who works at a local paper knows you live and die by your sport section. Of course, to know that , you have to leave you glass office and actually talk to a reader.
    Stop playing with the content and get a 21st century business plan. The clock is running.
    The rank and file, from reporters to the guys in pressroom will continue to give it their all, even though the deck has been stacked against them by corporate...again.
    And we will continue to be grateful to Jim for printing the truth-as a true journalist should. Enjoy your $5 1:38.

  72. "sports literally runs through his veins"

    That's got to hurt like a sonofagun during javelin season.

  73. Jim, get a grip. Define "greed." Government employees (including academics) who seem to "coast to retirement" on the public dime? Politicians with no operating experience, having access to TRILLIONS? Would-be Al-heads who are good at throwing punches -- but not taking punches?

    Hard-copy has been dying for years. Ever seen a newspaper in "Star Trek?"

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

  75. I think we all "get" that corporations exist to "make money." Heck, who exists to lose it? But, the part that is morally wrong about layoffs such as this is that the suits (whether with a skirt or pants) continue to make exorbitant salaries and collect bonuses while the people in the trenches, (or on the fields in Frank's case)- the ones skillfully reporting and editing the news, do the REAL work of making the company profitable. I'm in the health care field and sadly, it happens here, also.

    Good for you, Frank, for having the courage to remind the folks who fired you of the loss they will feel upon your absence. You WILL get hired again, hopefully by someone who will appreciate what you bring to the table. In the interim, keep the faith and take care of your health. What goes around, comes around.

  76. Is Flax out since this happened on his watch? Maybe he'll be reunited with Joey Donuts high on Garrett Mt?

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

  78. Corporate greed gives the people a news media without gatekeepers. Only journalists understand this.
    A sport editor fired in New Jersey competes with blackbirds falling from the sky in Arkansas.
    It'll all be over in 2012.

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  80. I would define corporate greed as Gannett's earnings jumping by 30 percent in the 4th quarter of 2010 and still turning around and refusing to rehire without ANY explanation people like Frank and Fred Snowflack.
    I would define corporate greed as Gannett paying Craig Dubow $4.7 million, including a $1.45 million bonus, and then NOT giving laid off employees a REAL severance package. Kudos to Frank, but he was too kind in describing what Gannett is offering as severance. Please read the memo we got that Jim posted here:
    Frank, you are my hero. Good luck to you.


    Jim, along with "getting a grip," you should post this IMPORTANT cavaet:


    It may feel good for a few days.

    It may hurt your lifelong earning potential. Really.

    Look in the mirror. If one of your employees did that to you -- how would you react?

    Look how fast the president of NPR News was thrown under the bus after the Juan Williams matter -- a couple of days, tops. At least she had her pension.

    Are years on food stamps, really worth a few days of glory?

    Think. Deeply.

  82. A little less "woe is me" and a lot more emphasis on the newspaper's quality would have been nice.

    And as a previous poster opined, why the heck do journalists view themselves as so special?

    Look around folks. There are more than 14 million people in the U.S. unemployed these days.

    A lot of those people worked for those "heartless" big corporations.

    You're not special. Being laid off, being excessed, being terminated in the name of what's for "the company" has happened to a lot of people these days.

  83. Following is an edited version of a comment posted at 10:19 p.m. yesterday:

    Suppose an employee of Macy's is let go. Imagine what would happen if that employee started running through the store while shouting, "Don't shop here! They're unfair to their employees!"

    In all likelihood, the police would be called to the scene and that person would be taken into custody.

    Many of us lost our jobs today, Frank. The difference, Frank, is that we held our heads high, cleaned out our desks and walked out the door with our collective dignity intact. We'll meet for drinks, drown our sorrows and, come Monday, join thousands of others on the unemployment line.

    You, however, probably jeopardized any chance of receiving your benefits.

    Following is an edited version of a comment posted at 11:51 a.m. today (it may have been hyperbole, but I don't want anyone urging someone to kill themselves):

    To 1:38am - get some sleep. This blog will only make you more angry because you have no control over the truth being revealed. [XXXXX.] You cannot stop a freight train and this one's moving at light speed. [XXXXX.] The truth is the light and the light will shine, even through all the lies and subterfuge. How's that reduced personnel, outsourced printing thing working for Gannett leadership now? No doubt management will install "quality control" measures to prevent this from ever happening again. But you can't unring a bell and the sound of DiLeo's parting shot will live-on forever in the world of cyberspace.

  84. Jim - I think you removed my comment about 1:38am needing to get some sleep and calling he/she an "asshat". Don't understand how you can allow 1:38am's comment saying you suck shit and then remove mine. It's OK, maybe its the pergorative that got me booted. But 1:38am needed to be called-out as the little twit he/she is. Truth is a powerful entity and one that won't be cowered or held down by those in power. Thank you for this blog Jim and the day-light it sheds on all those secrets corporate has been hiding for decades.

  85. 12:31 Our comments have crossed paths; I just reposted an edited version of yours.

    As a general rule, I err on the side of leaving comments up when they're directed at me. But there are exceptions.

    (An aside: Comments like 1:38's this morning are among the most provocative on this blog, and so drive traffic higher -- an unintended consequence, I'm sure.)

  86. Jim - It was hyperbole. I would never encourage anyone to harm themselves and I'd never physically harm anyone. Forgive me if I went too far but 1:38am is a jerk.

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  88. Frank is right.
    This company is nothing but a giant leech.
    I hope Frank finds a job at a place that cares about journalism, or at least has a modicum of class.

  89. I had the honor and privilege of working with Frank for several years. He's not your average "think I know it all cause I'm a reporter" stuffy type; Frank, all 6'2"+ of him, is a very low-key guy. Great sports writer, friendly, went out of his way for you. As for Frank having trouble finding another job? Let him just show all his awards, his writer's portfolio and the backing of every coach in Morris County and he should have no problems.
    Best of luck to you Frank! You were mad as hell and couldn't take it anymore! I applaud you!

  90. my 2 cents from Jersey2/05/2011 2:20 PM

    Dear Maggie: Perhaps if you read Frank's column with a little more thought than a passing glance, you could have taken out the company name and journalism references and inserted pretty much any occupation and corporation. (except for CEO, CFO, COO's, presidents and various hedge funds and banks).
    You are right, this has happened in many other fields to many other people. I watched my sister go through it, along with a years unemployment before landing another job. But don't you think that Frank speaks for a lot of people who endured the same thing in different industries. The fact that he has a platform at least gives them a little bit of comfort that "I'm not alone" in what they endured.
    The bitterness expressed in his column and echoed in the blogs is that this is a company that has no other solution except to cut staff and dilute the product.
    It would be like Toyota building a really bad car that everyone knows is a piece of crap and charging you more money to buy it. We've seen how well that's played out for GM and Chrysler. And there is no bail out coming for the big G.
    And whether you like it or not, newspaper work IS different. It is a "calling." Journalist on the local level are expected to work for peanuts, be on call almost 24/7 and tunr out an award winner on a dime, ditto for photogs, editors etc. It is a calling and it takes a special breed to do it.
    And if I were an editor, I'd hire Frank in heart beat.

  91. I worked with Frank when he was an editor at the Courier News years ago, and like Frank, Friday was my last day with Gannett. So I definitely can appreciate where he is coming from. I'm not so sure I would have gone through with that column, though. Count me in the "he's burned his bridges in the journalism world for good" group. I have no doubt Frank will land on his feet, probably doing better, more-rewarding work and getting paid more somewhere else. But I do not think he will ever work (or be allowed to work) in the journalism field again. Not that it will be around much longer, anyway.

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  93. What people fail to realize about corporate greed is this: If the company is doing so badly that they can't afford to keep workers employed, at a full salary, without paycuts, then they shouldn't be able to afford executive bonuses.

    Problem is, though, is that Gannett proves that they can afford it, each and every year.

    It's undertandable if a company is going out of business, or even if technology is improved enough that employees have to be let go.

    But if Gannett can afford to give Dubow $2.3 million in bonuses for the last two years, plus other compensation in addition to his already hefty salary, then they're cries of poverty fall on deaf ears.

    Bravo to Frank for having the courage to write that column. And hopefully, he'll find an employer who has just as much guts to hire him.

  94. Now I'm curious -- what is top of scale for a veteran reporter at the 3 NJ papers that downsized on Friday? Knowing the cost of living in NJ, it should be $60,000.

  95. Frank, you were the right person for the wrong company. Stand tall and ignore the sniping from the pissants. The are as pathetic as the Mubarak friendlies on camelback.

  96. @4:37 -- I was with the company for more than a decade before saying my final goodbyes yesterday, and my salary was right around $49,000.

  97. Journalism is a different line of work, and that's why the people at the top get away with what they do.

    Most of us would rather put up with the problems than leave the field. I saw a posting for an internship in San Francisco that pays $14,000. The only reason the company can get away with that is because some kid somewhere will work for that because they want to get into journalism.

    How many other fields have interns willing to work for free to get a job with a full-time salary that will start them at $25,000? Not many.

    Being a watchdog of government, of large corporations, etc is an important job. I hope in 10 years there is still someplace for people to practice it.

  98. Way to go, Frank!
    .. miss the NASCAR mags!
    I know that YOU know whom this is, now!
    Many blessings!

  99. to 5:14 -- you have every right to say NJ management exploited you and your newsroom co-workers. Best of luck in the future.

  100. Regarding layoffs -- both involuntary and voluntary -- I received assurance that I wouldn't be required to sign a non-disparagement agreement before I accepted my January 2008 buyout from USA Today.

    For that reason, I was able to collect severance plus company-subsidized health insurance for 40 weeks, even while I blogged about Gannett. I don't think Gannett has offered buyouts to rank-and-file workers, however, since early summer 2008.

  101. This thread is the blinking neon light of why Gannett has failed. The same flaws are on display: people who cannot think and cannot write. "they're cries of poverty fall on deaf ears" Really? Someone types this and has the hubris to claim the problem is with the execs? Dumb.

    Frank: Good luck collecting jobless benefits when the company contests them because of the farewell column. Get used to it, though. It will be the first of many obstacles. Hope the F-U column was worth it.

  102. 8:59 I've said it before: We aren't all from the newsroom here. I've never discounted comments simply because of misspellings, typos, etc.

  103. Jim, we covered this already. If people want to come across as bumpkins and rubes, that is their business. When they do it as they criticize others, though, then they leave themselves open to be attacked in return.

    Think about it for a second. You and your group are hostile toward management for any number of reasons. Communication style is probably high on the list. Yet you want a pass for the same thing? Not gonna happen.

  104. Frank had it all wrong.
    He should have shoved people who worked for him under the bus, bullied the weak; and kissed the as- of those higher than him. Then he would have earned a promotion.
    Gannett is making Lean Dean Singleton look a tad better. Who knew? Gannett blew!

  105. I think many people who used to work for Gannett are wrong in their assumption that they lost their job because of corporate greed. The truth of the matter is that the internet killed their jobs. I worked for Gannett for many years, survived several rounds of layoffs, only to turn around and quit. I didn't do it because I was mad at Gannett, I just knew from reviewing the advertising revenue reports that there was no future there. Newspapers used to get the majority of their revenue from classified ads, but then along came craigslist, social media, Google, etc, and they made newspaper advertising obsolete. So if there was a giant sucking sound as most of their revenue went flying out the door, what did you expect Gannett executives to do? Press on as if nothing had happened? If they had not laid off people, not consolidated departments, not moved their advertising efforts towards online revenue, then they would have lasted a only a few short months and the headlines would have read, "Gannett Closes Doors and Calls it Quits." That may still happen, but in the meantime, try to remember that it's only a job, and you have every opportunity to move on to something else you may like better.

  106. Paul Kolsti was another humble, hardworking, truly talented, award-winning graphic artist/illustrator at the Daily Record. While there, Paul took ill. Before the cause of his illness could be determined, his kidneys shut down.

    Instead of crying, Paul dragged his sick body to work after three-hour dialysis treatments that he endured three to four times a week for months. He easily could - and probably should - have stayed home. But he wanted to make things easier for his coworkers; that was his main concern.

    As his health deteriorated, he learned he needed a kidney transplant. Paul continued to come to work wearing a surgical mask to protect his compromised immune system. At Christmas, when he was at his worst, he came in with an IV in his arm because, he said, his assistant had children and he wanted her "to be able to spend as much of the holidays as possible with them."

    His goal was to retire out West to live out what was left of his life. Before he had a chance to do so, Gannett pulled Paul aside and told him that because of his illness, he had become "a liability" to the company and was terminated.

    If anyone at the Daily Record is worthy of the title "hero," it would be Paul Kolsti. His work deserves to and will stand the test of time.

  107. 11:54 -- You're right that it's just a job but you are dead wrong that people are not losing there jobs because of corporate greed.

    1) First, the executives who run this company are continuing to receive multi-million dollar bonuses, stock options, etc., despite the fact that revenue continues to fall. Since the state of the company continues to worsen each year (so much so that employees need to be fired) they don't seem to deserve anything beyond base pay. If they worked for base pay only it wouldn't save all jobs, but $6 million in bonuses would translate into approximately 120 jobs at $40,000 per year. The bigwigs take their bonuses nonetheless. Corporate greed.

    2) There is an argument that we have to make cuts no matter what to save the business. If that's true, all the money saved through layoffs, consolidations, etc., should be reinvested in the company. That might allow it to build a future as a digital company. Instead, millions of dollars are being pumped into executive compensation and benefit plans while the core products are operating with technology that's at least a half-decade behind the times. Corporate greed.

    3) The bigwigs at Gannett were excepting even bigger paydays then they are now during the heyday of the company. Had they been paid just a little less, there would have been extra money to pump into the properties and fight back against then-upstarts like Craig's List. Instead the money was funneled into the wallets of key execs. I remember an office manager hassling reporters over using every inch of a notebook before taking another one, while the company was pulling in 30% profit margins. Corporate greed.

    The Internet, indeed, hurt the newspaper industry. But if you don't think corporate greed plays a role in all this, the greedy bastards that run this country have you right where they want you. We're supposed to believe there was no way around this. We're supposed to believe that everybody's hurting. We're supposed to believe that they feel bad about the cuts.

    None of it's true. They've been greedy bastards for years. It's just that nobody paid much attention when they had a modicum of stability in their middle-class to lower-middle-class jobs. Now that the Million-dollar failures are firing our friends while continuing to accept disgustingly large paydays, people are paying attention.

    It is all about corporate greed my friend.

  108. 8:59 -- Good luck to Gannett trying to cancel jobless benefits over that. The column was professionally written and reflected an opinion, and Gannett chose to publish it. The fact that nobody at the paper chose to run it by the folks in McLean is not the writer's fault. The fact that Craig Dubow probably didn't like it is not the writer's fault.

    I write things everyday that are not checked out by corporate. Writing something corporate doesn't dig does not constitute a fireable offense ... especially when all of the upper management allow it to run. Now, if he hacked into the computer system and used other illegal means to run the column he might have a case.

    But you and I both know, you can get just about anything you want into a Gannett paper these days. In most cases there's nobody in the newsrooms to proof pages.

  109. Magpie -- I've written essays of this nature ... lamenting the layoffs of others. I would not, however, attempt to publish one in a Gannett paper while still working there as it would mean termination.

    What he wrote was worthy and we should see a lot more of it. We don't because all the mainstream media are the same and people fear for their jobs.

    What Gannett is doing is bad for journalism and, thus, bad for our nation. Don't give Frank a hard time just because you didn't have the gumption to attack this topic.

  110. I am ashamed to say I had forgotten Paul Kolsti! What a talented, gentle man. Yes, if the DR killed anyone, it was Paul. RIP
    If you haven't seen these cartoons, they are great:
    And to the poster commenting about the Internet killing the paper, check out the spreadsheet Jim posted that shows print continuing to drive Gannett ... at least until people cancel their subscriptions en masse at papers like the DR because they are no longer getting any local news. And, uh, who do you think writes the content that goes on the Internet? I'll give you one hint: It's the print reporters.

  111. Someone mentioned Paul Kolsti above and it spurred me to come out of hiding for the moment. Paul truly was a hero. Working late at the DR, Paul, like the rest of us, grabbed some fast food that ended up getting him really sick and shut down his kidneys. And he kept working through all of it as much as he possibly could until he was let go because he missed too much time. He passed away soon after that, a great man, a true friend and loyal employee.
    But there's someone else we need to talk about being a hero, who was screwed over more than me.
    A women, I will not ID her here unless she wants to ID herself, who worked at the DR for at least 20 years. When she was hit with Cancer, she continued to come in after getting radiation. When the whole paper switched over to a new system, she was there all the time to ensure the changeover went smoothly. She worked tirelessly despite battling cancer, and a few months later, she was laid off.
    Her and Paul were true heroes.
    Thank you for the kind words, and never forget the great man that was Paul Kolsti.

  112. Frank - did you see today's paper? You're still listed as the Sports Editor on page 2 staffing contacts. Just goes to prove that no one is really in charge or managing the paper. A lot of the people that got let go are still listed as editors, photographers, etc.

  113. 1:20 a.m. Corporations are in the business TO MAKE MONEY. And guess what, heads of corporations are in it for the money too. Let's say we were to eliminate all bonuses and bring the salary down to say the average salary of a Gannett employee. Do you REALLY think that you will find someone who can run this large of a corporation for that salary? Corporations pay bonuses and large salaries because they have to compete against other corporations for those same employees. It's called paying what market conditions dictate. So is there greed in corporations? Hell yes! It's called capitalism. Companies are about the PROFIT. If you don't like it, go work for a non-profit (see how much you get paid THERE.) Or better yet, start your OWN damn business! It's a free country. No one OWES anyone else anything. All I see here is whining about how unfair they were treated. Get off your ass and do something about it then. Complaining gets you NOWHERE in life.

  114. CEOs just don't seem to understand that their actions -- like choosing to borrow a huge amount of money to buy a chain of papers, as Lee did -- can run the company into the ground, but that they aren't actually responsible for success.

    A successful company depends on every person at every level of the company to work properly. So instead, failing companies hack personnel.

    Anyone who's upset by Frank's column should write to their lawmakers and ask that companies be banned from giving bonuses if employees are laid off, because those companies are costing the U.S. jobs and will cost all levels of government more money through unemployment, food stamps, subsidized school lunches, charity health care and more.

    People with money in 401(k) plans should contact plan administrators and complain about executive compensation, relating their complaints directly to job layoffs and reduced headcount.

    Reporters left at newspapers should start covering unemployed people more -- even daily if they can get away with it. With every profile, report as much as possible about how the company directors and CEO and other executive officers are being paid. That was one thing Frank should have included, and people who said he didn't say enough about local impact and about how well Gannett did are right.

    Sadly, what we really need are millions of people nationwide looking at executive pay and throwing open their windows and their facebook comments and their tweets to say they're "sick and tired of it all and they won't take it any more."

    Maybe that's why people are so fascinated with what's happening in Egypt.

  115. 1:26, you clearly know nothing but want to sound as if you do.

    Any company can choose to contest jobless benefits. In many states, the company doesn't even need a solid reason to do so.

    Now, would little crying Frankie eventually win an appeal? I guess it would depend on his claim. But in the meantime, the company can block the benefits.

    Someone else here says the people who comment don't know how benefits work. I guess that's true.

  116. We all get that corporations are there to make money. No one disputes that. But when is enough enough? Tell me something, corporate hack, what does the profit margin have to be to be able to reward the people who made those profits for you, or even give them a decent raise? 15, 20, 30 percent? It doesn't matter if it's 50 percent profit, the corporation isn't going to reward those who achieved and exceeded their goals to make that profit possible. Why? Greed.
    Yes, greed can be good in that it drives people to succeed. But the corporate greed we've seen over the last decade has been out of control. Enron, BOA, Goldman Sachs, Haliburton, BP, ExxonMobile, the list of corporations that put greed ahead of everything else and led to major disasters, economic instability and a country divided.
    And here's a gem that I've seen few people talk about here. Gannett stock has obviously taken a hit over the years. Who did that hurt most? The same hard-working employees who were encouraged to invest their paychecks back into the company through stock options. The employees of Gannett have lost millions because of the stock slide and they continue to be treated, as Frank stated, like dogs, expected to be happy with any table scraps that may or may not be leftover.

  117. 4:28
    "little crying Frankie"?
    Frank stands 6'4 and weighs in probably around 250. And I think if I ever saw him cry, the world would come to an end.
    Frank is without a doubt the greatest boss I ever worked for. He's the kind of guy you would do anything for because you knew he would do the same for you. Maybe his column was career suicide, maybe it was foolish, but he didn't single out Gannett and he probably could've mentioned some of the people who were responsible for this travesty, but he didn't. Above all things, he's a human being who cares about other human beings, good, bad and greedy.
    I'm just glad I got out of Gannett 5 years ago before the bottom really dropped out!

  118. This has been an interesting read tonight, of all nights, as I've been sitting considering whether or not to agree to a redundancy option on the table. Godspeed to you, Frank, wherever your career takes you. It was a brave move, one that I don't think I'd be bold enough to emulate if I do decide to walk, and if some of those criticising you can't see the value in having employees who are passionate about their job, they deserve the yes men they wind up with as their business grinds to a halt.

  119. Bravo Frank, Bravo. I met you for the 1st time at the farewell party. My wife worked there for many years but left quite awhile ago though she's still well thought of by former and current employees. They did a paper for her when she left, back when it was much easier to care for one another.

    Maybe those times can be recaptured but sadly, it doesn't appear that way.

  120. Frank gave a voice to the voiceless, which is, after all, what good journalists do.
    Maybe it's not wise to say out loud what so many are screaming inside their heads, but the world needs people who will step up and speak truth to power, to blow the whistle.
    Lord knows we reporters rely on people like that every day.
    There was a time, really not so long ago, when corporations would have been shamed if they laid people off simply to maintain profit levels. It would have been seen as a sign of poor management, and a short-sighted strategy.
    Yes, corporations are about profits, but you don't grow a strong company by treating employees like pack mules.
    There was a time when employees gave their companies loyalty, and they got loyalty back, in the form of job safety and pensions.
    Now, employees who sacrifice for their employers are left feeling, in the end, pretty much the way Frank described it - like rubes on the midway. Like the guy who didn't realize the game was rigged.

  121. "Frank gave a voice to the voiceless,"

    Stop. Just stop. How stupid are you people? Are you really so rudderless that you grab onto this screed with your tiny hands and hold on for the little your pathetic lives are worth?

  122. 3:41 -- Your first two sentences could be rewritten as: "Corporations are in the business of greed" and "Guess what, heads of corporations are greedy, too." That's all I said in my original post, so thanks for agreeing.

    Since you seem to think this is all so American, I should note that many corporations used to operate differently ... and some of the best ones still operate differently.

    The job of a well-run corporation should not be simply to make money, but to create a business model that ensures the ability to grow and make money for years to come. Gannett executives have done quite the opposite out of pure greed (the desire to maximize profits now even if it means the death of the company in the long term). That is not the sort of thing stock holders buy into a company for and it's why Gannett is hanging by a thread. Google, on the other hand, is a thriving, highly profitable company that just gave all it's employees a raise. I'm not saying the executives there aren't at all greedy. I will say, however, that the company could have likely cut wages and made even more money and still had relatively low turnover. This is an employer's market and people are lining up to work for Google. That move would have been shortsighted though. By making Google a better place to work, they are building employee loyalty and a better company overall.

    As for your question about CEO wages, my answer is, "Yes." First, I didn't suggest paying the CEO the wage of an average Gannett employee. I suggested base pay, which is about $1 million a year.

    Gannett stock is now selling for about 25% of what it was when Craig Dubow took over. The company has also pulled in less revenue every year for at least two years (it may be longer, I'm sure Jim knows).

    So, if you are asking: Do you think we could hire a CEO capable of devaluing the company by 75% in just six years, if we're only willing to pay $1 million. My answer is, "Yes. I think we could do it for $500,000."

    Since you seem to be all about people making it on their own, tell me this. Why isn't the super-intelligent management team at Gannett running their own companies. The answer: Because running your own business is hard. Working the system so that you get paid even for your failures is easy. The people running this company now are not entrepreneurs. In fact, they've run the only truly entrepreneurial people out of executive management. They are conmen and conwomen, fleecing stockholders and employees legally.

  123. 4:28 -- Of course the company can contest the benefits. I do know that. What I meant is that the company would lose that fight. Gannett wouldn't have a leg to stand on in the case.

    But you're probably right that we're run by the sort of petty morons who would contest the case ... costing the company even more money ... knowing there wasn't a chance of winning.

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  125. Lesson #1: Don't think it can't happen to you. Back in the mid 1980s, GE CEO jack Welch stirred up a hornet's nest within GE by declaring there is no logic in a big corporation like GE to have loyalty to its employees.

    Lesson #2: Unionize at your place of work. Join a union drive and get collective bargaining for a contract. It's a lot better than just being kicked out of your office one day. Unions may not always be able to prevent layoffs, but they can fight like hell for you.

  126. Corporate greed? Wat is corporate greed? Is it making a profit for shareholders who risk their money by buying shares in a company with nothing but hope they will earn a return in retirement? After all most shareholders are your co workers not Big Mouth Al. Is Corporate greed doing what it takes to make a profit in a lousy economy thereby insuring that as many as possible keep their jobs at the expense of a few. This rant that Gannett should keep employees on the payroll at the cost of losing money is a pretty good look at the man who lost his job. He says he would do anything for his company and for his employees. Well sometimes those thing clash as happened here. Which side did he support when the economy crashed. Perhaps if the majority of the self deluded eliterate had supported the truth instead of getting Dems elected in 2006 that started this catastrophic economy and then lied to the voters again to elect BO so he could make things even worse for corporations they would not have had to fire as many reporters and union flunkies as have lost their jobs as of late. The Govt. employees kept their jobs of course. Perhaps this time around the sycophants of the Democrat Party will learn their lesson about sponsoring bloated government SOMEONE ALWAYS PAYS and this time it was 20 million unemployed people. And yet they still allow themselves to be deluded it was the businesses that caused the problem not greedy Politicians from both parties one side and greedy unions on the other side picking at the companies and employees who are the only ones actually producing and earning anything.

  127. A thought I see many posts from people who claim the CEOS and CFOs and all the rest do nothing get paid tons of money Do not know what they are doing and should work for far less. I also see that they state the only reason the paper goes out is the hard work of the struggling writer who is underpaid and only does it for the good of manking.

    What BS

    If Gannett is really making tons of money, something the columns I have read says isnt true based on profits not revenue then the CEOs are responsible and doing their jopbs they are paid to increase earnings not lose money. Is there even one damn editorial person that knows anything about economics? The CEOs except for AL do not delight in firings or layoffs it makes their jobs harder too. I have 20+ years at various newspapers. The Editorial dept is never hard working they sit around most of the time complaining that they are hard working but actually working less than 4 hours a day. They delight in attacking people politicians, corporations and others who actually work hard and succeed. Their goal is to put out a newspaper they want and they ignore the reader. I have never seen an editorial person turn down a raise or refuse a paycheck for the love of the greater good though I have seen them except cuts too keep the job. For decades the other departments at the newspapers have been getting cut to offset losses the editorial department causes by ignoring the truth and the readers and they never gave a crap. Now that they are having to share the burden they are upset whining. Heres a helpful hint start writing the truth instead of your bias, use the edit/correction software on your computer to correct your writing, Pick stories people want to read not what you want them to read, write in a clear concise entertaining fashion and then if people start buying the paper again you can get those jobs back. Companies are not paying you to write what you want they are paying you to write what a paying reader wants.

  128. What Gannett executives are doing is hurting Gannett. Losing a dedicated employee, a young and flexible one like Frank, can only hurt in the long run.

    There is a saying that any idiot can manage for the short term, and any idiot can manage for the long term, the trick is doing both at once. Short-term greed, hit the numbers now, is what's at work here, with no thought for the long term.

    Why is everyone so short-term focused - because the corporate folks too think they'll be out of a job, or just move on, within three years anyway, so why worry about maintaining quality staff and products that are essential to a profitable future.

    I used to think as Frank did that hard work and dedication would be rewareded, at least rewarded with the opportunity to do more hard work. But having seen what I've seen, I now realize that I will never miss one of my kids events, or any other important family occasion. Nothing lasts, especially not jobs.

  129. 4:55. The only people who lost money on Gannett stock were the ones who left their money IN Gannett stock. Many people (like me) actually MADE money off with when it dropped to about a $1 a share and then rose back up dramatically. It you were dumb enough not to sell the stock when it was freefalling, that's no one's fault but your own. I recommend a financial advisor. You also mention many companies that made poor decisions. That's what they were, poor decisions and they deserved to go out of business or be penalized. Then their competitors will reap the benefits. It's what happens in a free market. All this talk about "corporate greed" is stupid. If you replace the word "greed" with "profit" and then tell them there is a limit to their profit, then you get into the whole redistribution argument which actually kills business. Honestly, you all need to stop working for other people and start working for yourself. Open a business or at least open a trading account and follow the numbers with business. If you had some of your own money invested, then you might actually care about "profit" a little bit more and stop complaining about "unfair" everything is. You all and Gannett are like a bad divorce. You just can't move on and have to talk to all your friends about how bad your ex was.

  130. You could search and replace Gannett with McClatchy throughout Frank's compelling, if short-sighted, column/essay.
    Read a few editions of The Sacramento Bee and learn what happens when a paper is left in the hands of editors who can't edit (or, apparently, even read) and managers who can't manage.

  131. Wow.... Good for him, saying what's on his mind. Bravo!!!

  132. The blame can be placed squarely upon afirmative action and Roe v Wade:There aren't enough white people with good enough jobs to buy newspapers.

  133. Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z

  134. Love this guy! Love even more that it went to press that way....

  135. compnies get biger and biger fat cats get more and more monney but then the working people get less and get poorer if you still have a job

  136. Maybe I'm missing something here, but do layoffs happen when times are good? Usually, layoffs happen when revenues dry up. I know companies try to squeeze every dime out of the turnip but laying off half the staff either tells me that this portion of the company was either struggling with money or they are trying to move towards some sort of shared service.

    The guy that wrote the article has some real brass for doing it. I had a local TV show a few years back and was told one morning that I was being laid off at the end of the week. Their mistake as I gave the GM's number out to the viewers that night. The next morning the GM called me and told me that he made a mistake and there was a future for my show.

    You do what you have to do and then hope that's good enough when you pay the piper. Best wishes to you all.

    To the person writing about how this writer won't work again in the media? How short-sighted. Talent usually wins out.

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

  138. Does anyone care about retirees or LTD Gannett folks? With 15 years in with Gannett, I had to "retire" because of a stroke and MS. Cigna took over and we have not received one dime since Dec. 23. Wonder how corporate would like to go w/o a paycheck for almost two months?

    We were supposed to receive a "half of a check" today via direct deposit but didn't. Calling the benefits dept. hooks me up with the Phillipines, and that is the truth. Calling corporate you just get the answer "CIGNA is working to alleviate the problem." Someone should make this public. We cannot even pay or have access to the online Web site anymore. I asked how long it would be before I could pay for my health benefits and I was told they would "probably never" get the site up for us. It really stinks. I worked hard for Gannett.

  139. It's funny years ago I worked with Frank at the Courier News. I had a brief conversation with him about working conditions, opportunities, and such at Gannett. I suggested that employees get together, (not exactly form a union), but at least talk about things. He laughed it off, told me Gannett treats and compensates its employees well. I am not a genius, but I knew this was not the case. I left Gannett soon after. Frank stayed, I wonder how he feels now?

  140. 5:36: I am coming late to this party but I'd have to say Gannett's cost cutting by continuing to lay off its employees isn't working because here we are in June and they have yet to come up with an idea that is profitable other than letting go of all of their staff. This company is in trouble. Anyone who doesn't see that has blinders on.

  141. Another prideful, arrogant journalist with a child's view of the world and its economics, using vague, bumper-sticker phrases like "corporate greed" yet providing no examples as any ignorant activist might. And while we're discussing disturbing trends in journalism, how about the desperate belief that awards actually mean something? I was given a handful of Keystone Press awards for design during my few years in the state for work I simply came in and did and thought nothing of. Perhaps competing at a fairly high level in sports has given me a different perspective on what it means to truly win something, but so many individuals/papers wrap their entire self-worth up in some plaque. Granted, it's clear that few of them have ever had the opportunity to defeat anyone else in a non-subjective competition and that this is just an extension of the pride they felt toward academic achievements during their schooling. I hate to be the one to burst the bubble, but pretty much anyone can win a journalism award. They are not an accurate reflection of your abilities. So Frank wrote a winning headline? Howmonumental! He was able to string eight words together in a clever manner one night. Strap a camera onto a monkey's ass and he'll likely take an award-winning photograph eventually. These things have more to do with how many categories you submit in than whether you are actually talented. Keep entering as much as you can and you'll rack up quite a few honors. And let's not forget the geeks actually running newsrooms/papers who put great stock in sweepstakes awards in which such solid journalistic criteria as company diversity and a dvertising are factors. Ultimately Frank is just another journalist with an incredibly inflated view of himself and his abilities and an infant's understanding of his environment (who I'd also not want on my company's health plan) who decided to blindly lash out at some imagined foe. There is no bravery here. As a previous poster stated: there is nothing brave about burning the bridge after you've crossed it, althou I have the strange feeling that ole Frankie has yet to learn how his little tantrum might impact his job search. Something tells me he hasn't looked beyond his own front door for employment in a long time, if ever.


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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