An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
1. Pointroll leadership team was in McLean yesterday for a big pow-wow with Gracia, Payne and others. It doesn't look good for that team and odds are that they are going to shuffle the deck chairs there.2. Banikarim is making a play to take over Digital and is trying to convince Gracia that her friends from NBC can help build the next Hulu.3. Hunke replacement will come from the outside as confirmed by the hiring of an executive recruiter.4. Banikarim is trying to take Matt Ferguson's (CEO, careerbuilder) role on CNBC as a spokesperson for jobless data and broaden it out to include newspaper data as leading indicator. Maryam would be the spokesperson of course.
APP now has a veteran reporter with a new job description - consumer advocate reporter. He'll be writing a new column "Press on Your Side." Any other paper doing the same?
Do you really think anyone would have paid money to have lunch with Carolyn Wasburn. Heck, a colonoscopy would be better than lunch with that bore.
So what's the deal with USA carrying 48-55 percent returns every day? There was a time, not too far distant, they cried about going over 20. Do they really think giving a store 12 a day when they only sell 5-6-7 that they're going to sell more? My kid knows better than that. Pretty hard to see when you're asked to give up a week with no pay and yet throw away 50 percent returns.
Ed Berthiaume (or some such spelling) the new Sports Content Manager at The Post-Crescent. Will continue as Lifestyles Content Manager. So that's what we're calling them now instead of editors?
Re: New Wilmington reporter who got canned for putting out a blowhard news release about himself.It's an example of what journalism schools are teaching these days. YOU are a brand, be an entrepreneur.
A very interesting note sent from Rob Gatto early this morning. It seems like he and his team had their asses handed to them while meeting with Gracia. This is an act of desperation on his part. It is clear Pointroll is losing and the wheels are falling off. More evidence the leadership team should go!****From: "Gatto, Rob" … they didn't get there because our parent sold them. They got there because WE GOT BEAT AT THE ADVERTISER …. OR IN SOME CASES DIDN:T EVEN KNOW THE DEAL WAS GOING DOWN.The time is now. DG Fast Channel is in chaos. We have a layup for a revenue plan and we have an industry with plenty of growth left in it. We are off to a good start, but there is so much more that can be driven in the next 8 months. What we need is your focus, territory coverage and fight to blow these numbers away. I am embarrassed when I see the growth these smaller players are driving at our expense … and I hope you are too. They are eating your lunch, taking your commissions and snickering as they do it.Let's go grab this revenue and make it ours again !!RobRobert Gattochief executive officerp: 630.854.6888a: 3200 Horizon Drive, King of Prussia, PA 19406
From: "Gatto, Rob"Date: April 12, 2012 3:01:49 AM EDTTo: PTR-Sales Department List Subject: OpportunityI sending this note out to address and discuss the opportunity you as sales reps have at PointRoll. Recently, I have heard much discussion about the struggles we have on the sales side:* Agencies want a single ad server* Money is moving to social & other areas we don' have solutions for* We don't have any new products to sell* We are experiencing pricing decreases* Certain agencies are working against us* Its impossible to sell against Google they have everything* My quota is too highI spend a fair amount of time with contacts in the investment community always looking for great new companies to partner with, trends and other happenings in our industry. Let me share some sobering facts:* PointRoll did $79m in revenue last year (less than $1m of which was video and mobile)* The Plan for this year is $70m ….. a plan that should be easily attainable and opportunity for everyone to blow their numbers away* Spongecell, Flash Talking & Pictela combined added over $12m in new revenue last year and expect to match or exceed that number in 2012* Video ad serving is growing at a rapid +50% growth rate and offers millions in potential growthSo why is PointRoll shrinking ? Its not because we lack new products. Sure new products would add additional revenue streams, BUT WE ARE FLAT GETTING OUR BUTT'S KICKED DAY AFTER DAY IN THE TRENCHES ON RICH MEDIA AND FLASH ADVANCED DEALS. Low end competitors don't seem to have the same issues we have with agencies who want "a single ad server". This is all about focus, strong territory coverage and competing with these players. If we cut into 1/2 the growth of the 3 companies listed above we would BLOW AWAY OUR NUMBERS. That is before you take the into account the in-stream video opportunity.PointRoll can return to growth if we simply:* Execute and compete better in the display ad space* Aggressively pursue the in stream video spaceI will insure we fix the mobile piece so that can be added in, but I need each and every one of you to look in the mirror and ask yourself. Am I covering every account in my territory? Am I prepared to fight, fight and fight some more against these competitors? Am I getting the lion's share of display ads run in my territory? It pains me to see Spongecell and FlashTalking ads run on USAToday.com … they didn't get there because our parent sold them. They got there because WE GOT BEAT AT THE ADVERTISER …. OR IN SOME CASES DIDN:T EVEN KNOW THE DEAL WAS GOING DOWN.The time is now. DG Fast Channel is in chaos. We have a layup for a revenue plan and we have an industry with plenty of growth left in it. We are off to a good start, but there is so much more that can be driven in the next 8 months. What we need is your focus, territory coverage and fight to blow these numbers away. I am embarrassed when I see the growth these smaller players are driving at our expense … and I hope you are too. They are eating your lunch, taking your commissions and snickering as they do it.Let's go grab this revenue and make it ours again !!RobRobert Gattochief executive officerp: 630.854.6888a: 3200 Horizon Drive, King of Prussia, PA 19406
This is a poorly written note by a CEo who is probably lacking a few brain cells. I cannot believe this guy is running what used to be the fastest growing part of Gannett.Pointroll is failing because we have ZERO new products, a questionable leader, arrogant head of sales and we are losing everyday.GRACIA....FIRE ROB GATTO AND SARAH RIPMASTER OR ELSE DEAL WITH THE PUBLIC HUMILIATION FROM THIS BLOG AND THE DOCUMENTS WE SEND TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
Hmmm. A Gannett newspaper editor who is upset that a quote FROM him was attributed TO him (accurately) in the media. And a newspaper that is shy about its logo getting free press/attention. Oh, and a minority reporter fired (and humiliated by his chosen employer in a very public way) before his first hour on the job. Man, I wish I was the lawyer for this guy!http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/Reporter_Fired_Over_Hiring_Announcement_041211_NewsCore_ncxReporter Fired Over Hiring Announcement In DelawareUpdated: Thursday, 12 Apr 2012, 6:58 AM EDTNEW CASTLE, Del. - There is such a thing as bad publicity.Journalist Khristopher J. Brooks was so proud at being hired by The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., that he announced it in an NBA-style press release on his Tumblr and WordPress blog.But the move backfired when the newspaper fired him for improper use of its logo and for using executive editor David Letford's hiring-letter quotes in the release, according to Brooks.
He needs a personal branding refresher from Ms. Banikarim.
pointroll will continue to lose due to an inferior product. Where is the new reporting tool sales has been promised for the past 4 years? Clients hate adportal and they refuse to pay higher CPMs becuase pointroll needs to throw bodies at operational issues the competition has solutions that work they have full adserving real platform tools and that is why they have been able to beat us and will continue to take market share. The smart sales people are already out the door especially since they know Rob is leaving. What was the outcome of the meeting in VA yesterday a long email to attempt to motivate sales
@7:20, one hopes common sense prevailed as Washburn should have never agreed to the lunch auction in the first place (nor should her staff) as it sends the wrong message at a time when even newspapers are increasingly struggling with credibility issues with their declining base of readers. That said, it’s too bad she dropped out as an 11th hour bid was likely going to be placed by former insiders so a “quality discussion” of how Enquirer Media has been run in the ground could occur.
Look for this type of email at all sites. This is how they motivate people? Really?
Email continutes to be out. It would be nice to get some work done sometime.
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Email out? In Nashville I have never seen so many Tech related problems.This has to be some kind of a joke..Can we get the ones out that don't or cant do a thing,and get someone, anyone in that can do this type of work..
Jim, you honestly think the kid deserved to be fired, as opposed to severely reprimanded for bad judgement? Sounds pretty harsh to me. Especially given that this is the very thing he was probably encouraged to do by career counselors/personal brand experts and possibly even his college profs. Were you ever 22 years old, Jim? Why is "you're fired" the automatic call these days for anyone who makes a mistake that gets out there in public light? Geesh, in today's social-media world, a whole army of us would have been canned at our first job -- when you're supposed to make your stupidest mistakes.
Gracia wasn't in McLean yesterday meeting with Pointroll. Jim, how about adding a BS meter on each comment? May increase the entertainment value of this blog further.
10:46 I'm certainly sympathetic to his situation.However, I would point out that he has a long history of interning and then reporting at other newspapers before now.He is about to complete a master's in journalism.And, based on his LinkedIn profile, he is 27 or 28 years old -- not 22.Having said all that, it's certainly possible that he could have been let off with a reprimand. But if I was the hiring manager, I would be uneasy about continuing his employment.This entire episode could have been avoided if Khristopher had run all this past his supervising editor before he published it online. It probably would have passed muster if he had simply omitted the quotes from the paper's editor, the paper's flag, and information about his new co-workers.
The young man who was fired should not have been fired, because he shouldn't have been hired in the first place. He's a narcissist who would manage to work himself into every story he covered. He has or is getting a graduate degree. He should teach journalism (the guy probably is a wonderful example of the future) instead of practicing the trade.
For all you pointrollers, this type of competitive intel does not belong on this blog. No matter how much you might hate pointroll, disclosing this on the internet for all to see is ethically wrong. I have seen very little business ethics in digital firms (including Pointroll's founder). Google, Facebook, all digital execs lack a basic business ethics meter.One way to kill a company is to leak out competitive information. Jim, you seem to print anything and I'm not sure that serves the greater good of anyone.I read the blog. I find it of value. But there is a line.These postings will hurt all employees...not just the incompetent executives.Think about your fellow workers. Yes, hold the executives accountable. But think about what you post and how if affects employees.
9;24 where's you hear that about Ed? I wondered what they'd do since he is pretty much a paginator and those jobs are going bye bye to Des Moines soon.How come that job didn't go to one of the remaining sports guys?WTF is going on in Appleton?
That entire message should have been delivered in person to the sales staff, using the wonders of videoconferencing or conference calls. It's particularly weak when you consider the entire operation knows you were in a come-to-Gebus meeting to hide behind a blanket email.Plus you could whip out the bat and make some real basebally cliches to drive home the point.Worst? I can't think of any salesperson I've ever met that can pay attention to more than two thoughts at a time, one of which defaults to 'lunch'. The whole thing falls under Too Long: Didn't Read.
Gracia needs to send over some Corporate training to Pointroll on how to act like professionals and not a bunch of kids. But hey, they all partied at SXSW and did an ad campaign called "TAP THAT AD" so do you really expect business ethics from anyone at Pointroll? Or any digital start up? Really? Barely out of their parent's basements.
http://www.coloradoan.com/section/subscription-options Digital for $8. Digital and delivery for $7.33. "I'll take digital/delivery...can you put a permanent hold on the delivery?"
I think the kid who got fired in Wilmington made several mistakes, and when put together probably warrant his termination ...1) Quoting your new boss from what is presumably a private offer letter. He should know better.2) Using the company logo. What's the point of that?3) The tone of his fake press release was so over-the-top and condescending, with talking about him being one of "The Big Three" for Chips Quinn Scholars at the paper and one of "only" 2 active reporters there with masters degrees. I'm sure everyone who read that, from his bosses to his co-workers, saw a major ego problem just waiting to hit that newsroom.Like others have said, this isn't a recent college grad. It's not a kid who doesn't know better.If he didn't do anything wrong, then I'm sure whenever he does land a job somewhere else, he's going to write a similar press release, quoting his boss, using the company logo and sounding like an insufferable a-hole then?
Far from firing Kristopher, I wonder if Gracia shouldn't have hired him to be her PR agent.
Does anyone know if all of the GPS have to take 2nd quarter furloughs? I read there is a minimum salary but my boss wasn't able to tell me for sure last week and I'm on vacation this week. Just wondering.
In a news release, USA Today just announced:USA TODAY Sports Media Group Senior Vice President, Content Dave Morgan announced today that Mary Byrne has been named Managing Editor, Sports for USA TODAY. Byrne will be based at USA TODAY headquarters in McLean.Byrne, who previously served as USA TODAY's Olympics editor from 2004 through 2006, has been the deputy sports editor for the Associated Press for the past six years.
I worked with Khristopher when he was an intern in Lansing. He was a good kid who worked hard and turned out good stories, and I'm sure his work has gotten stronger over the years. He didn't deserve what he got. But then, Gannett doesn't deserve the efforts of people who have a passion for journalism, either.
1:57, yes, there is a minimum salary. I think it's the same as the last furlough. "Fortunately", only 3 in my department of 20+ make enough to take one.
Look at all the empty desks in this Gannett newsroom at the beginning of a tribute to a writer taking the buyout:http://vimeo.com/39365729
I am old- over 50 let go from Gannett over 2 years. That young reporter should have been applauded, not fired. How can Gannett or any newspaper move forward into the digital world without changing. This is the day of personal brands- that is what twitter and facebook are all about. Someday soon, media companies will hire people who are personal brands with their own following. Maybe the problem was Banikarim can't stand the idea that someone else had a personal brand. One of the greatest weaknesses of Gannett is the need to control everything. Managers spend too much time trying to control people and projects. This is the paralysis of analysis to the utmost. I say so what. I hope he finds a bigger and better job.
Tech issues are a joke!
@4:14 You Must be in Nashville..
The digital pricing is way out whack with all these papers. Digital should be relatively inexpensive compared to the print version. A few bucks a month at the most for the majority of these papers. Lower prices in digital are the secret to circulation growth.
Will you accept lower pay - for producing digital content? There lies the problem - you cost the same - either in print, or digital. You cost more than newsprint.
I thought the reporter who issued his own press release was being creative and enthusiastic. I'm amazed people wanted to fire or even reprimand him.That business about quoting from the private letter and using the paper's logo is absolute bullshit.
I think the Miami Herald prices their digital version at $1.99 per month. That sounds about right. 8 or 10 bucks per month for small market papers with less content and journalism is another Gannett strategic error.
"...at $1.99 per month. That sounds about right."Compared to what? You really value your monthly content equivalent to a pack of gum? Do some math exercises and get a clue. It's a business not a charity.
The minimum for GPS employees is 30K, if you make less you do not have to take a 2nd Q furlough
TOP TEN DYING BUSINESSEShttp://wapo.st/HyYF7N1. Photofinishing2. Newspaper publishing3. Appliance repair4. DVD, game, and video rental5. Money market and other banking6. Recordable media manufacturing7. Hardware manufacturing8. Shoe and footwear manufacturing9. Costume and team uniform manufacturing10. Women’s and girls’ apparel manufacturingLOL @ Gannettoids
Banikarim shamelessly self-promotes herself at every opportunity she gets coming across as if she’s a new hire learning on-the-job, all while mentioning zero about what she’s done for Gannett, and this company does nothing.Brooks, excited about his new job, cleverly creates a “press release” of his being rehired by Gannett on his personal blog using a complimentary quote from the offer letter and Gannett’s logo and Gannett rescinds its offer.Seriously? WTH.Frankly, Gannett terminated its relationship with the wrong individual. Here’s hoping Brooks sees a lawyer as Gannett overreacted and Banikarim’s overexposure is Exhibit A, B, C, D….Retired Gannett Publisher
The better question is: When will Gannett recognize that it must accept lower profit margins with digital? The news staffs can't be cut enough, either in numbers or salaries, to make digital work at the kinds of profit margins that Gannett has maintained over the years.
4:47pm - Yeah the Miami Herald is about $2/month for the e-paper. The website is free. $15/month for access to a small paper's website (not the e-paper) is way overpriced, esp. for the lame, rah-rah liberal content Gannett churns out. They will learn, but only after it is too late.3:22 - That video, on a employee taking the EROP, appears to have been shot by someone who is not a staff videographer. What does that say about that place, that they'd have to outsource a video on one of their own? Well, since there's hardly anyone sitting at the desks in the video, I guess its no surprise.
Once again, usatoday.com is late ... this time with the Korea missile launch. Most other online, major media sites have it as I type this.Is there any sense of urgency in that newsroom? Are there any real journalists or editors left there -- people who know what the hell they are doing?Apparently ink/pixels do not run through the veins of current USA Today employees.USAT, you've become an embarrassment in print and are worse online.
I subscribe to both usat breaking news and CNN breaking news and usat consistently beats CNN by 1 minute or more. Stop being a drama queen.
Gannett showed their dinosaur thinking, run by legal and financial types, when they fired the young reporter.What dopes.
Hey Banikarim, when do we get that annual update on all your great accomplishments? Or do we have to book you through your speaking agent and pay you a fee to tell us you've accomplished shit so far?
6:35 right on....Gennett in digital needs to understand lower profit margins are required for survival. The fat cash cow must diet. Doen a lot ot reuce expense and struggle to push up revenue but can't keep cutting muscle out of the mix and expect readers to buy it.
The kid who got fired before he started at Wilmington got off easy.If he had misspelled Ledford's name, David would've had him beheaded!
Don't blame your local tech types for all the issues you have been experiencing. Their hands are tied.
Banikiram is NOT trying to take over digital. I laugh at all of the focus on the marketing lead, when all of the power plays are coming from David Payne. If anything, Payne will end up taking over more and more (think USA TODAY).
Let the power struggles begin within the "leadership team".
The GPS furlough break is $30,000'ish. Titles and whole groups are lumped together so that an employee won't know that they make $29k and are safe, but a co-worker makes $32k and must furlough.
@11:06 Some of that MAY be true with issues at Corporate IT, but My complaint is when Most the Tech guys have ether left or took the buyout, The cream did NOT raise to the top. In fact here The one that moved into a supervisor position pretty much cant fix anything, maybe if you need a speaker fixed or something to get him out of his office to flirt he will be there.But other then that the Tech Dept here is about to "Crash" again they got a new VP who Knows his stuff.. The worthless Manager left last week, That pretty much leaves whats we have here..Not every thing can be tied to Corporate.The Supervisor needs replaced or needs to follow The Old Manager out.and this place need some thinkers..
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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