Thursday, March 03, 2011

Survey | How does your newspaper compare?

[A view of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Building]

Here's what I saw today in a sample of Gannett newspapers in the Newseum's database of front pages:
  • The Tennessean of Nashville, bottom right corner: "© 2011 Gannett Co. Inc."
  • Florida Today of Brevard, bottom left: "Gannett Co. Inc."
  • New York's Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, bottom left: "Copyright 2011 Gannett Rochester Newspapers."
  • USA Today, lower left: "© Copyright 2011 USA Today, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Earlier: Gannett Bloggers debate agenda for tomorrow's companywide meeting

Where does your newspaper disclose that it is owned by Gannett? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. In Cherry Hill, Gannett currently listed at bottom left of cover, but with new branding initiative it must go in masthead starting tomorrow.

  2. From what I hear, get ready for news of a P.R. spending boondoggle.

  3. 1:17 I believe you mean that it must be part of the "flag," which is jargon for the name of the newspaper on Page One.

    The masthead is a list of names of executives -- publisher, advertising director, editor, etc. -- that typically appears on the editorial page. In magazines, it's often in a box toward the front of the book.

  4. Why would "Gannett" go into the masthead, logo or anywhere else? The name means absolutely nothing to the consumer. It barely means anything to the employees. Just brilliant.

  5. Jim - you heard right. Think of the last great marketing campaign for Kraft and how much that made you want to pick up a pack of Trident.

    Nothing like muddling up the brand awareness/identity. Marketing 101.

  6. @Jim, you have no idea. By the way, this isn't geared toward consumers; it's focused on advertisers and agency types. Well over $1 million to try to establish Gannett as an innovative, influential media brand in the minds of agency and advertiser staffers.

    The problem is, having a known brand name means nothing if there's no substance behind it. Had Gracia put that much money into streamlining processes and creating efficiencies around placing buys across GCI properties, we might have seen a meaningful return on the spending. Instead, we get slop about Gannett as a leader, an innovator, the coolest thing since Charlie Sheen. Of course, it's accompanied by the SOS once a planner actually tries to incorporate GCI into a schedule. Solidified print audiences? Nope, they're still shrinking and less engaged than ever. Innovative digital strategies? None, as the entire digital division continues its rudderless tailspin. Broadcast is doing well, but that's largely because of political/advocacy revenue, not because anyone's made good on the promise of cross-divisional synergies that get advertisers more bang for their buck than cherrypicking the best assets and tossing the rest.

    Actually, between the furloughs and layoffs, staff-related issues (e.g., billing errors, selling in silos, etc.) will probably be worse than this time last year, fueling more complaints from clients in an already-troublesome area. And ROI for advertisers will be weaker than ever because the products have been gutted.

    At least there's money left for executive bonuses, right?

    I will LMAO when this effort falls with a splat.

  7. Please, say it ain't so. This is a complete joke....but pretty typical, too. I'd expect nothing less.

  8. Since when is investing in your brand a boondoggle? I wish had one extra bonus dollar for every one of you whiners. The industry is mature, ad revenue is down and something has to be done. Frankly, some kind of brand campaign should have been done long ago but better late than never. Why won't any of you give people a chance?

  9. So none of you know anything about it and it is already a joke, a boondoggle, etc? Nice balance Jim. No you don't have an agenda! What a sad bunch of LTs! You really deserve one another.

  10. 5:20 Balance means publishing your comment.

    Meanwhile, please tell me how time and money spent adding "A Gannett Newspaper" to a prominent front page spot will boost ad or subscription revenue?

  11. The executives, managers, directors and others who still care about the future of this company (I think you whiners call them Trolls) won't answer your question. You'll find out about it after the announcement to employees and then those who lack understanding and insight will begin to blithely critique things and the blame will begin anew. Not knowing the rationale, plan and big picture must be driving most of you nuts. Tee hee. :)

  12. Apparently, 99% of Gannett's employees are the great unwashed "others."

  13. This is one more sad, misguided and wasteful initiative by a clueless leadership. You know, Gannett once did have a viable national brand that it could have and should have built on -- USA Today. Regardless of what you think about the paper, it has a widely recognized name and once had considerable respect and a substantial following among readers all over the country. The company could have even renamed itself USA Today and used that brand as a platform for sharing ads and news content. But this company has squandered, debased and devalued USA Today by stripping the paper (excuse me, Mr. Dubow, I mean platform) of its ability to generate sufficient unique material that readers and advertisers want to pay for, whether on paper or pixels. This is one more waste of a lot of money that will probably be paid for by further thinning the staff and the product.

    Gannett? Most people can't even pronounce it, much less identify it.

    But, I'm sure some consultants made bank off the idea already. And Mr. Dubow, Ms. Martore and their "team" will pat themselves on the back while declaring the whole thing a great success. And they'll help themselves to more bonus money because of it.

  14. 3:41 & 9:31...on the mark! Average consumers have no idea who gannett is but more important, advertisers don't recognize either... A massive identity campaign won't hurt, but it wont help - nothing there to leverage. The resources and time would have been better spent partnering with other non-gannett papers or perhaps organizations like NAA to rebrand the entire industry. The newspaper medium is what needs help.. Wait, who am I kidding, thats too big a project for this company.. no matter how great an idea, gannett is piss poor at execution

  15. I'm all for it! Let the few remaining readers know, if they didn't already, that a distant, heartless, stockholder-owned, corporation owns the local paper. Maybe it will make it harder for Fox News to rant about "the left-wing media.''

  16. hey, Nutty Jimbo!! 99 percent, huh? and you base that number on what statistical analysis?? yes, more Hopkins hopskotching of the truth! You have absolutely nothing to base that percentage on -- except your own innate hate, bias and agenda. if you said 50 or 60 percent, that might be defendable. but 99 percent? bull.

  17. "...then those who lack understanding and insight will begin to blithely critique things and the blame will begin anew. Not knowing the rationale, plan and big picture must be driving most of you nuts."

    Actually, *knowing* the rationale, plan and big picture behind this marketing program will drive us nuts.

    The same people who are driving our digital planning and acquisitions, the same people who are forcing cuts to our core staff to trigger slight stock gains, the same people who have given us such memorable slogans and branding as Real Life, Real News, Local, local, local, ContentOne, QuadrantOne, ShopLocal, Ripple6, these are the same people who green-lighted whatever it is we have coming at us today.

    Lots of us love Camp Iwannado News. Everybody works hard here, tries to do their best to make it nice for visitors. Forgive us if we remember how the camp counselors continually molest us, and we're a little wary.

  18. Gannett is a name that's becoming more and more well known every day. That's because of blogs like this, and the annoyance of readers with a company that has ruined their local newspaper.

    When I told a couple of friends from New Jersey and New York - different times - that I used to work for a Gannett paper I got decidedly negative reactions. Neither person, by the way, was involved in any media-oriented career.

    Fair or unfair, both perceived Gannett as a money-grubbing outfit that ruined their papers and put their neighbors on the unemployment line.

    Gannett needs more than a slogan to overcome the ill will that I suspect has spread across the country.

    Then again, as a previous poster stated, maybe Gannett is simply getting out of the news biz.


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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