Tuesday, April 03, 2012

USAT | Health & Wellness overtakes YourLife

Some 17 months after its closely watched launch, USA Today's YourLife vertical has been downgraded on the homepage.

It had been one of eight main sections occupying prime real estate near the center of the page. Now, it's been replaced by one called Health & Wellness. (See screenshot, above.) I don't know when the switch was made; I first noticed it today.

YourLife still exists here, and there's still a link on a bar across the top of the page.

But its lower visibility seemed inevitable when Susie Ellwood, the paper's deputy publisher, announced a shift in overall management of verticals in late January.

YourLife was to be one of several specialty sites focused on topics that would boost readership and advertising revenue. The paper had planned to add three more -- on personal finance, technology and entertainment. They never appeared, however, even though the paper is still promising them here.


  1. Another one of David Hunke's dumbass decisions that was going to make us millions. Instead we got saddled with Heather Frank, yet another one of Hunke's dumbass VP hires.

  2. The concept was I'll conceived. The real problem was Heather Frank and , her out of touch concept and lazy, clueless team of unemployed AOL cronies. Same with the people she hired to sell ads. They never did.

    The verticals were a failure out of the gate.

    . Recipes and how to wash your face graphics are more appropriate for Good Housekeeping than they are for the heavily skewing male, traveler and upscale targets that read the paper and the websites. (I'm not forgetting the younger demographic, either.)

    Heather and her crew are blissfully ignorant, thinking they can force feed 30 year old ideas on today's readers.

  3. Now we are stuck with 10 members of her vaunted team, each making well over $100k. They don't even know how to use Newsgate. Theyve been handed another Gannett bauble to destroy: USA Weekend.

    How much longer will Gracia Martore allow this folly? The salaries these people suck up could be far better used elsewhere.

  4. You keep calling Ellwood the Deputy Publisher. There is no such title. You're getting lazy

  5. Wow, this may be even lamer than the vertical. The lead story is written by a freelancer, and it appears 95 percent of the content is wire.

  6. Banikarim you want Hunke's job so bad then wave your magic wand and get rid of him. We'll take anyone, even you, over this man who is destroying what little we have left of USAT. It's just one failure after another.

  7. 9:34 I've explained this before, but perhaps you missed it.

    I have adapted the Associated Press's style for use on this blog.

    Based on that style, it would be incorrect if I wrote: Deputy Publisher Susie Ellwood.

    But when it's lower case, (d)eputy (p)ublisher, and when it follows rather than precedes her name, that indicates it is not a formal title.

    Her formal title is simply too long to use; indeed, her own paper -- USA Today -- would never use it. In order to save space, the paper refers to executives by the shortest version of the most important title.

    In USAT, she would be EVP Susie Ellwood. On a good day, with the copy desk not looking, a reporter might get away with EVP and GM Susie Ellwood.

  8. Wow. It's as if your commenters are competing to see how ignorant they are.

    The AOLers weren't all unemployed, and I'd be shocked if they were all making six figures.

    And as far as demographics go -- ever heard of trying to expand your audience?

    Good grief. The allergies to new ideas among this blog's commenters are paralyzing.

  9. Except for Nancy I dont edit copy Kerr, how many of Frank's hires were employed? Consultancies don't count. Why are most of you just learning Newsgate after more than a year on the job?

    what empirical data did Frank have to determine recipes and silly lifestyle stories would ral to business travelers and men? Why were so few advertisers enamored with the concept?

    More important, why, after such huge failures and turmoil, are those people still employed by Gannett and still drawing fat pay and bonuses?

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

  11. Banikarim doesn't want Hunke's job. She wants Martore's. Five more years and little sister will get what she wants. Think how many more speeches and puff pieces will come until then.

  12. 9:49, and how is that working out so far?

  13. Hundreds of thousands spend on consultants, countless hours in meetings strategizing and organizing, and now USAT will re-organize for the 3rd time in 14 months. Would these "leaders" please find the jobs they really want and let us get back to making this brand meaningful again.

  14. We keep seeing comments about another USAT reorganization on the verge of being announced. Does anyone have a timetable?

  15. Jim - timetable is one re-org every 6-7 months. This way no one gets bored.


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