An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
11:38am part 3...What are you talking about laying off S/C drivers? Since it doesn't look like you followed up on your comment you are just trying to light a fire somewhere. First of all, single copy drivers are independents, not employees (or so they say) so they can't be "laid off". They would have to pull contracts which would require a 30 day notice.Second...single copy is still relatively strong, especially at papers where they still make a paper close to what a newspaper used to look like. The price raise and paywall is actually helping S/C in that folks are buying the days they want instead of paying for a week's wirth of garbage they don't want and paying online for something they can get free eksewhere.You infer yourself a digital geek whose livelyhood depends on print disappearing. Ain't gonna happen.
Jim -- Lansing's City Pulse (the alt. weekly) http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/lansing/ has an interesting story about how the State Journal is coming under intense pressure from Booth Newspapers who is invading the market as Gannett prepares to enact its paywall. Also, the pub has a remarkable photo of the State Journal building being blown up with a smart phone emerging from the roof. You gotta see it. I totally said Holy Shit when I saw it! Blog readers might find the cover interesting.
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"Retirements" don't play well in local media.http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/blog-3240-enquirer_sheds_12_newsroom_staffers.htmlAlso, Julie Engebrech, former Information Center news director and number two in newsroom, demoted to features editor. She's trying to put good spin on it, but if it was what she wanted why the tears?Seems like Carolyn Wasbhurn finally woke up
It's funny how people don't have the overall picture that GPS was implemented to help it get rid of employees. Take a buyout when you can or hopefully you will be laid off! I just took mine. Get your head out of your a** and think ahead.Hopefully GPS will let you go!
8:47 am I agree. Take a buy out or make them lay you off but do not walk out. At least you will get a package and some benefits for a little while until you land your next gig. But while here, focus on getting that next job. Gannett and USAT are no longer worth the investment of your talent and time.
Regarding this post -- will Maryam be taking her furlough during this period?Maryam Banikarim just got herself booked at Generation W Now in Florida on April 20. This CMO from "media giant Gannett" will be talking about how to advance your PERSONAL brand. And she should know. None better at self promotion than this Gen Wow womanHey Banikarim, this is helping Gannett HOW????
In Arizona, what will happen to the 20 people (out of 44) who refused to take the buyout? Do they have targets on their backs for the next round of layoffs? Phoenix offered 44 buyouts and would accept 44. Seems to imply that the management WANTED 44...And now the newsroom and Channel 12 are somehow going to be fully integrated. What does that mean for the print reporters? Management also says it is committed to watchdog journalism, but it is hard to see that. The Sunday pieces, especially, are bloated and ponderous, and not stories you want to spend time on. Nothing earth-shattering.
Yes Arizona Head advice to take a buy out if offered. When they closed Phoenix Offset they graciously allowed some employees to transfer to production jobs that they had no experience in and then fired them within probation period. Puff they lost their buy out offer and their jobs which they lost anyway.
5:57 - Engebrecht's demotion was written on the wall the day Laura Trujillo walked into the Enquirer newsroom. CW's note says she "has a plan" - and what do you think that plan will be? How about another Fort Collins shakeup?
The Arizona Republic, which bought out 24 newsroom staffers, is already advertising to fill an unspecified number of new positions: http://www.journalismjobs.com/Job_Listing.cfm?JobID=1343097The job description briefly mentions "multiple platforms," but everything else is about digital jobs.
Keeping my fingers crossed. After a long time of looking in this tough economy, I may finally have a way out of Gannett. Wanting out is the easy part - getting out can be tough, especially in my field where there's almost no jobs.
I'd love to work today, but once again technology prevents it. A digital company that can't send email to their iPads and iPhones? This is what happens when you cheap out on investing in people and products to keep the business running.
11;05 Was not trying to scare anyone. Not a digital geek either. I don't know where you work but there were still Single copy drivers that worked as employees of the paper,at least that was the way it was before GPS.
9;18 I agree take the buy out if that is an option. What benefits are you talking about if they lay you off? The only benefits I am aware of are State unemployment and a one week sopplemental check that adds up to your regular salary for every year you worked for Gannett. They used to give two weeks of regular pay for every year of employment but that ended two years ago. I would suggest any one who doesn't receive a buyouyt to look for another job now and leave if you can. Don't wait to be let go.
This is 11:41 Sorry for the typos.
My iphone email is not working today. great, huh? out of the office. I can read the incoming subject lines but can't access the content. get a "not connected to server" message or something like that. it's a corporate problem, supposedly. nice.
We're not a communications company anymore, you don't need a phone.
The abysmal No. 2 editor in Cincinnati deserved her demotion. She is a sports person and never had a grasp on how to develop a good local news report. She also showed awful judgment in laying off some consensus talented editors and reporters last year. She'll hole up in Features until she finds another job. CW was merciful in keeping her on board and giving her time to land somewhere else. Engebrecht's victims last year weren't so lucky.
Weiss needs to demote several people at Usa Today. So does Chet.
This is interesting. Gannett Midwest Group got these 2 emails back to back this morning.Thursday, April 05, 2012 – Gannett IT is currently investigating reports that users are having issues connecting to webmail.gannett.com from mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, and Androids. We are currently working to determine what is causing the issue. Updates will be sent out when available, thank you. Thursday, April 05, 2012 – Users have been experiencing SharePoint slowness. The slowness is caused by a storage controller conflict. Gannett IT has identified the issue and is working on a solution. This effects anyone who is accessing any site under sps.gannett.com or the Content One SharePoint sites. It is also affecting EDMS and ASAT users since we are all sharing the same storage controller. Updates will be sent out when available, thank you. What happens when we're all being done in Des Moines and a system goes down?
2:08, you go get a cup of coffee, relax and remember, it's not your problem. You get paid the same whether the paper gets out on time or not.
4/05/2012 1:10 PM Weiss needs to demote herself. Clueless.
Who wants to contact All American Speakers and find out what Banikarim charges for a speech?http://www.allamericanspeakers.com/infopages/requestspeakerinfo.php?SpName=Maryam%20Banikarim
Here's another one sent to the Midwest group yesterday:Wednesday April 4th, 2012 – Phone system in Oshkosh is currently down. IT is aware of the issue and we are working with the vendor to resolve as quickly as possible. IT will send an update once the system is restored.
Congratulations to Jim -- he's gone international:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Gracia-Martore
And the Gannett stock slowly sinks into the sunset.
Nashville paper was 3 hours late last week do to a systems shutdown, Tech Services could not get it up.Now with the word that the best tech took the buyout, The Managers last day is Friday (Thank you) and another tech is leaving, how many more times will this happen?Just cant see the Techs that are left maybe 2 or 3 that are new and 1 that is well lets just say "Not all that" we are in deep doo..
Gannett sounds the same since i left. GOOD LUCK!
Glad to see Siciliano is leaving the Assbury Park Press. He could not sell food to a starving person. He is that bad. He is the reason the Assbury Park Press is in the mess it's in. Within 40 feet of my desk in the information center, there are 20 empty desks. Thank goodness he is leaving. Maybe the new person in charge will know how to sell ads so that we can get raisers.
I see Rudd has a new gig.Finally updated his LinkedIn profile.http://verusandco.com/?page_id=94All of the business success stories are from BNQT and USAT
Who is the other guy on their website?
I agree with you about Mr. Towns. Not only has Asbury deteriorated, but the entire group of NJ newspapers has reached pathetic levels brought on by cutbacks combined with incompetent leadership in Asbury and also at the local level.
From NewsNetCheck. Paper Execs Buoyant on Digital Prospects... Bob Dickey, president of Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing Division, a big jolt of that energy has come from paid content strategies. "We truly believe that it is what will stabilize our business as we move to 2013," he said. "All of our research shows that the consumers value the content at a higher price than what they're paying."And Dickey said those revenue gains are going back into the newsrooms, which could use the infusion in more ways than one. "It's allowing us to reinvest," he said. "We're hiring more reporters."
Here's an edited version of 5:08's comment:At a staff meeting the other day, Asbury Park Press Editor Hollis Towns admitted circulation was down eight percent over the last three years. He admitted web hits were down five percent over the last three years. He said the numbers for both the newspaper and its web site were "worse than that beyond the past three years."
Assbury Park Press executive Hollis Towns must go. He announced at a meeting the other day that circulation was off eight percent and APP.com web hits were off five percent over the past three years. "Going farther back," he said, "the numbers are worse than that." He has been with the APP for almost four years. He is nothing more than an affirmative action hire. A white male with those numbers would have been pushed out the door. What is Gannett waiting for? Get rid of him now. Low numbers will result in big layoffs.
@6:01: White executives all over Gannett are seeing the same type of numbers or worse. It's not a racial matter. And pushing people out the door is exactly what this company does NOT need to do, especially if the people it keeps can help it get back on its feet. Nice way to betray your own prejudices, though.
Hollis was a sheer idiot when he was in cincinnati. We couldn't wait to get rid of him. And he was evil. There were complaints to HR. But it wasn't about the daily meetings he would have with only black editors.
?A sing along, going away party for buyout victim Fred Simmonds, the Asbury Park Press night editor and Page A1 guru, is raging in the APP information center. Goodbye Fred. Enjoy a well-earned retirement.
IT guy here...Recent outages of email, mobile mail app and web mail hit the roof today. As someone pointed out, we are not a communication company anymore. We are simply just another business, who is trying to hit a bottom line goal. I remember back in the day, when we were in charge of the mail servers at our location. We had a total of 1 outage, for a couple of hours, in more than 10 years. We have yet to see one week without notices being sent about upgrades, problems or some other issue, all after Corporate took over. I read a reply to one of the tickets I opened, and I was dumbfounded. A total of three lines of text, and not a coherent sentence among them. I would like to know where this person is located, because from the grammar and spelling errors, I can only deduct, that this person wasn't from the US. Did I miss a memo stating, that Gannett had farmed out the tech support to another country? If that is indeed true, I can only deduct, that you get what you pay for.
This must be the first anniversay of the duh-sign center operating in Asbury Park. A large Number One hangs in a window surrounded by streamers and balloons. Too bad the names of those who lost their jobs to the duh-sign center are not on the same window. Members of the duh-sign center horned in on Simmonds' party. One of Simmonds' underlings said, "I didn't know this party was for the duh-sign center?" Friction.
The issue with technology in Gannett is that the people that are now in charge of the technology and not impacted when there is a problem. Many of them have no clue how a newspaper operates. Because of that there is no urgency to fix problems or understanding of how what they do impacts the operation. We are totally dependent on corporate now to get the paper out. It will only get worse as the company continues to decimate it's technical staff.
Regarding the IT problems - part of the reason for tech problems is that we got cut hard during the last layoffs. My site never has more than two (and quite often just one) tech for support for 500+ users.Way for us to ride into the digital future - fire all the tech employees - "iPhones will save us - we don't need technicians".
I worked for the APP many years ago and Fred Simmonds' voice still rings in my head. Learned a lot from him. Thank you, Fred, and enjoy life outside of what has turned into a New Jersey toxic dump.
Only in a company like Gannett, which prizes everything but competence and managerial ability in its top editors, can an intemperate, aloof and news judgment-challenged person like Hollis Towns rise up to such an important job. He's not fit to be the Valdosta correspondent of the Atlanta Constitution (his dream destination), let alone a management job.
Hollis Towns is another failed example of political correctness and the.filling of quotas to meet affirmative action objectives.
7:00 p.m., one would think Gannett would have learned when it farmed out its local graphic artists' work to India. But no way.
GPS, Please stop the madness of layoffs it will come back at you. You will reap what you sow.
Why in the world aren't you people unionizing?!! Sounds like you are ripe for it.
Because there's nothing left to fight for. The industry is going down and we think Corporate is hastening our demise. Already, folks are being replaced with citizen voices. Look at huffpo. Low overhead. Journalists aren't valued by enough people, and so we don't have the leverage to fight back.
8:55, USA TODAY has 30 Hollis Towns.
Unionizing?There is a bright idea in an already volatile workplace. That would be like painting a target on those left.Ready! Aim! FIRE!Oooops! I mean LAYOFF!
I think you meant Ready! FIRE! then AIM. The true Gannett way!
Unionizing is a good thought - combined with one of the big investors groups and we might have something motivating to work with.
Unions haven't prevented one layoff in years. They lost all power when Frank Vega destroyed them in Detroit.
Now that Gannett is arming thousands of reporters with I-Phones, I would hate to be a photographer in the company. It's clear Gannett is introducing I-Phones to get rid of photographers. With so many reporters having I-Phones, why does Gannett need photographers? If I was a Gannett photographer, I would be stocking up on spaghetti and macaroni and cheese dinners. Anytime a company upgrades its technology, layoffs follow.The irony is photographers are training reporters to use the I-Phones. Talk about shooting yourself out of a job!!!!!! It's why the unemployment rate in this country won't fall much below seven percent. Companies don't need lots of people anymore as we transition from an industrial nation to a nation of hamburger flippers and Walmart greeters.
I disagree. Our photogs are crazy-talented. My best iphone pics cannot compare.
@10:09 So go out and produce a better product. I will actually pay for good reporting and journalism and I suspect other people will too(shocker, I know). The problem is that the company you work for thinks it owns the distribution channel and they believe that people will buy whatever garbage you dish out because Gannett is the only game in town. Distribution is what Gannett bought, not a bunch of journalists, but a market with distribution power. Similar to a movie theater not thinking twice about selling popcorn for $5.00 and blaming all their problems on the "economy" All this "economy is bad" and "the business environment is difficult" is just a bunch of cover for a seriously degraded product that is only appealing to a legacy market. The Gannett papers I have read (excluding USAT) are really on the level of free weeklies or maybe campus papers. These are not serious products that any market segment would really desire with the exception of the over 55 crowd or the people that buy those $0.99 jail photo publications. The internet is changing the game at the national level, but local competitive content is not there yet and you guys are leaving it on the table. What are you guys doing: local sports, police reports, ap wire, and cheap op-ed stuff. Seriously? You can't really expect people to pay for this. Go out and start a new online paper. Crack one story a week and really get people upset. Do in depth work, really get into what is going on. Get sued and make real enemies. Budgets, nepotism, cronyism, collusion, favor trading, spending priorities, are all great places to start. Journalists don't report this stuff anymore unless it is printed in a press release by the police department. Sad.
If all Gannett content stinks why the good first quarter with an uptick in revenue in USCP? The new paywalls are exceeding expectations. Circulation at most sites with paywalls are better than expected. Sorry haters but things are actually better than you profess. No furloughs in the second quarter despite insider" My Boss wannabes. Are things great? No. But are they s bad as you say? No.
Ok so I going to jump right to the Executive Summary. Normally this would cost about 75k and involve a few weeks of research and writing. You would get a beautiful 100 page report and 25 copies. I am going to give it to you for free on Jim's blog. Send him some money if it resonates with you. Here is what your company should do. Three product lines. One is the meandering mess you have now, let them keep doing their thing, budget cuts, bad content, basically suck everything they can out of the idiots that say " I have to take local paper". Then create two new divisions that compete with the legacy mess and each other. One is a free weekly, with decent local reporting and a youth focus. Lots of entertainment and internet blog content. Take the best of the web and publish it in the paper. It is a physical paper and you retain a sales and admin group locally. Give this thing away, it should be free. The second group is a web only news team led by the best journalist you can find in the area. Use interns and smart cheap younger workers. These folks are the real journalists in Gannet going forward. No advertising, printing, admin, marketing, sales, etc. They are subscription based, but the first half of their stories are available for free. The subscriptions are pretty cheap too, $5.00 a month maybe. Advertising is wrapped in and handled nationally or just farmed out to Google, no local overhead is the goal. These guys work out of a 400 Sqf office and at home and the whole budget is 250k annually for a medium market market. This is the product that concentrates brand loyalty. You want them to be responsible for people going to jail. You need an open, free thinking culture, with a very experienced driven local journalist leading the attack. All of this should create incredible customer loyalty. They have to put people in jail though. They have crack open stories. They have to report. These three division compete for 1 to three years while we start to get a better feel for what is working. They compete against each other in the same local markets. The whole goal is to figure out what works and what needs to be discarded. We need business diversity. They need to compete with each other, they need to enjoy local autonomy and control within a budget Most importantly, there should be lots of tracking and feedback to management. Encourage the diversity, but figure out what is working and why. To do this you need lots of management visibility in to local success.
Nice concept if your company wasn't public and massive amounts of stock wasn't owned by large investment companies. In the investment world there is no time or patience for this kind of experimentation
So happy we just got $75K worth of advice to give us the 2003 corporate strategy.
So 12:01, where does DealChicken fit in all that? We can't just leave our next, best hope running around headless....
The people you call haters 6:57 AM are realists to most.Warmer weather and an early Easter drove retail growth nationwide, both of which Gannett does not control. Regarding paywalls, how many millions did Gannett leave on the table and how many jobs could have been saved had Gannett not wanted so long, and it’s still waiting in many markets? How many businesses did Gannett overpay for only to have to cut them to the bone – harming why they were attractive in the first place, to support those prices? What do you think will happen if gas prices keep going up let alone in 2013 when all American’s and businesses that support Gannett get hit with higher taxes?The economy hasn’t helped but a big part of this company’s problems are due to its top-down, slow moving management. Using many of the same publishers who led this company into the ground and expecting that same lot to lead it out is absurd.
@7:30 Regarding the Tech problems,The Tech dept in Nashville, Who is left? The very best took the buy out, what does that leave? A guy that became a supervisor and only took him 28 years.Yep The cream of the crop left to make sure we are taken care of.This is the dead weight that needs replaced.
6:57, if things are as rosy as you say they are, why the furloughs the the GPS crew? Are you just going to start alternating the furloughs between GPS and USCP so people think they're getting a break? This company sucks and it's going to tank. You cannot run a business this way. I will believe we aren't in financial trouble when the furloughs stop for ALL employees, raises are resumed, and the harrassment by management over the monthly budgeting process ceases.
Single copy sales are down, Sunday sales are down and online numbers are down. The only reason the first quarter is good is because Corporate gave your site money to support the new pay walls. When that goes away so will your job. If all Gannett content stinks why the good first quarter with an uptick in revenue in USCP? The new paywalls are exceeding expectations. Circulation at most sites with paywalls are better than expected. Sorry haters but things are actually better than you profess. No furloughs in the second quarter despite insider" My Boss wannabes. Are things great? No. But are they s bad as you say? No.
I'm serious about unionizing. I posted this on another board and will post again here! My company had furloughs, layoffs, etc but we recently unionized and even though that won't prevent layoffs we have so much more protection. Minimum salaries, any furloughs would need to be approved/negotiated with the union, we have severance written in our contracts so if if we are laid off it won't be with nothing, etc etc. So worth it on many fronts. It's worth the battle and will make management think twice at least.
6:02, denying facts and your inability to look behind the numbers exemplifies why Gannet struggles today.Did you miss Gannett ordering furloughs for the second quarter? Did you miss how warmer weather and an early Easter drove retail sales up earlier than normal? Did you miss recent news how the percentage of U.S. workers compared to population has dropped? All, along with Gannett’s continuing questionable decisions, make intelligent people question Gannett’s longer-term outlook. Yet, you obviously missed it all and you want to call those haters who didn’t.Funny.Regarding paywalls, what you need to ask is why didn’t Gannett do this years ago and why is it still taking so long even after they gave it the green light? It’s cost this company dearly, still does.
10:41 I would add this question: Why is it taking as long as two years for Gannett Digital to relaunch all the community news websites?
Because Jimmy ever line of code has to be rewritten. EVERY LINE
1:54 YouTube was conceived, launched, built out and sold to Google for $1.7 billion -- all in 21 months. That's competition in the digital age.
@1:54 – Given past experience that’s pretty hard to believe, more so given how Gannett is basically using the same templates for all its newspapers. What’s more to the point is Gannett likely hasn’t ramped up with temporary help, etc. to make it a real priority. Given the money that’s apparently at stake the cost to do so is likely well short of the revenues this company would lose. Hence, why Jim and others questions about it are spot on.
Why not outsource all that coding to Bangalore? If it's good enough for our advertisers, good enough for our readers.
Jimmy now go and rewrite every line of code for YouTube. Plus Pay e has been here maybe a year. It's Payne's game. You'll eat your words before the end of this year. By the way the paywalls are going great.
If Project Firebug was going 'great', we would have had corporate directives to have all sites moved behind walls in Q1. At best, it's not sucking enough to scare everyone off.
What a silly post 2:57. There is a roll out schedule. It's working. Sorry to ruin your day.
Define working 12:31 AM as too many, and given the increased revenues Gannett has projected for doing it, the work being done is at a very slow and costly pace at best. One suspects the egos of those in control of this rollout explains a great deal as to why.
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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