An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
selling off building is the latest trend, watch for the next one when they sell off production facilities, pocket the cash, and lease it back for the same costs they have now to operate them, mean time the cash rolls in to GCI.
2:10 it's. A smart business move. You make it soy d like your Mom just sold the house where you grew up. What's your point?
All of the evidence I have seen recently related to how GCI is selling off its capital assets (real estate, presses, etc.), failing to invest in technology, and otherwise making decisions that seem non -strategic to the stated purpose of a media company finally "clicked" when I recalled an excellent column by James Surowiecki in "The New Yorker" from January. http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2012/01/30/120130ta_talk_surowiecki?mobify=0 It seems pretty clear to me now that GCI has adopted a private equity management model in which assets are stripped and profits are diverted to individuals who reap huge tax advantages. Companies who undergo the process may or may not survive but that is immaterial to those who have monetized and shifted the assets.A google search for equity management and Gannett immediately returned a hit on the chair of the board who is herself a managing partner in a private equity management firm, Brysam.Bingo.For some time I have been convinced that the real focus of this company was no longer producing a quality product. Now I think I know why. I am, however, hoping that someone can prove me wrong. I am still fool enough to want to believe in truth, justice, and the American way.
Now that anyone with true innovation and a smartphone can become a successful publisher, newspapers are behaving intelligently by unloading expensive, centralized downtown offices. Compare that to what's going on in Cincinnati, where the Enquirer building has "ghost town" floors yet they're pouring money into remodeling the LIC.
Where is My Boss?
I love life away from Gannett.I wish you could all find a way out from the clutches of a Gannett paycheck.I know lots of you are trying .You need to make it a number 1 goal.Good luck.For those of you who hang on, don't try to get away and just pray you'll be one to last til the end ,you get what you deserve.Honestly do you any self respect left to even look in the mirror?
Jim please continue your blog. I have read things here that has come true and the only way I would have found out was through your blog. The crystal palace would love for you to shut down to keep some of the dirt they will be pushing out the door a secret until it ruins an employees life. You are helping so many and it is widely known. Your name and blog is mentioned in several meetings here at the crystal palace. Keep up the good work and ignore those that want you to vanish. Why would you keep coming to a place that you hate so much? You love it as much as I do!!!!!!
I would advise those of you that are skilled and excel in your position to seek out other jobs as the market is being flooded.In the south I can tell you production jobs are opening up everywhere and these companys will love to have people with the experience many of us have. I for one will be out of GPS as soon as I decide what offer fits me best.
http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120731/BIZ/307310086/Hotel-booked-Vine-St-Old Enquirer building to become hotelThe historic former Cincinnati Enquirer building at 617 Vine St. will become a $27 million hotel under a new plan set for final City Council approval today .SREE Hotels LLC of North Carolina plans to open the 238-room hotel and 12,000 feet of retail space on the street level by the end of 2014. Charlotte-based SREE operates 30 hotels in five states.The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The Enquirer moved from the building in 1992 (to 312 Elm). The building was also represented as the Flimm Building, home of the fictional radio station in “WKRP in Cincinnati.”
8:47 AM - seriously, go fuck yourself. Not everyone can just up and leave their current job. Goody for you that you got laid off and can therefore look yourself in the mirror. Maybe the reason you were canned is because you're such a smug ignoramus, and they got tired of your constant tripe. God knows we're tired of it.For real, go fuck yourself.
What is happening with the USATODAY 30th year anniversary? A class organization would honor people who built the brand. Instead, it's likely to be a bunch of newbies who have barely been there a year or two.Kind of sad.
8:05 AM - Good grief. One hundred percent of GCI is publicly traded. There has been no management buyout, nor is one in prospect. Debt is decreasing, not increasing. In light of your stunning economic illiteracy, may we assume you are a professional journalist?
As a variation on the old saying goes, Too many (well paid) chiefs, so few Indians to make the tribe called GCI run right. It's the "Indians" who this blog is for. We appreciate Jim shedding light on decisions and occurrences that corporate would rather you know nothing about or accept their spin on. Keep up the good work Jim.
Where will this company be in five years? If you're in your 20's, 30's you better find a different line of work.
9:54 Don't let 8:47 get under your skin. That person is obviously a bitter unemployed former Gannett employee who can't stand to see anyone else succeed.
Jim’s blog is the place to go for an understanding of what is happening within Gannett. It’s been a valuable resource since it began. Yes, it’s no party to work at Gannett these days. Colleagues have been laid off. Costs are always being cut. But, a number of us stay for a variety of legitimate reasons. Our kids, for example, may like the schools and we may like the area. And there are more basic reasons. Journalism positions aren’t that easy to find, for now. And there are plenty of people who would jump at the chance to replace any of us. Whatever the reason, we choose to stay. And those choices should be respected. I feel bad for Jim, and for other readers, when I open the blog every day and see the ugly diatribes. What self-loathing persons would spew such venom toward their present or former colleagues? What pleasure do they get from ridiculing others? Do they hate themselves so much? I hope that, one day, these sad people can move on with their lives. But for now -- to Jim and to those who daily post useful information -- please keep up the good work. Thank you.
8:47 You're right. I'm ashamed of myself for staying at the job I've given all these years of my life to, instead of exploiting my awesome marketability as a middle-aged pale male with medical problems. With all the other companies waiting with scads of money to land a prospect like me, I really have no excuse for not taking it.
How about selling part of the Crystal Palace? Not only is it a financial drain on the entire company, it's also a symbol of arrogance, which got Gannett into a lot of trouble and resulted in thousands of layoffs and ruined careers.
Just an FYI - President Obama is in Gannett-owned Manfield Journal teritory today for campaign speech.Not only is the website coverage baffling, poor, "golly-gee-willikers we got the prez here" in tone, but clearly unprepared to cover a U.S. president.So sad again.
Cue the Willie Nelson...
8:05 - sounds like you're finally on board with the belief that Corporate is bankrupting this company on purpose to reap the benefits before it goes under. It's a dying industry and will not survive. Anyone who believes otherwise is fooling themselves.
The comments here from ex Gannetteers that seem bitter and critical of Gannett employees is reflective of current employees who post here.The hatred that is commented here by employees seem very hypocritical.After all Gannett is the company that you all work for and therefore perpetuate it's existance and you take their money in the form of a paycheck.Doesn't that mean,at some level you are showing approval.
8:05, Though GCI is not owned by a private equity firm, I think you are essentially correct. GCI is pursuing a strategy (degrading the product, selling off assets)that makes no sense unless the managers are simply trying to extract from the company as much as possible for their own short-term benefit. Apres moi, le deluge. This is how I would expect newspaper managers (or anyone else) to act who believes they are in charge of a dying business...unless, of course, they are motivated by concern for journalism or common decency.
Everyone having fun today? GIADC crashed last night, RTC crashed, web server hosting all Gannett websites crashed today. Wow. No photos, no ads, no websites. How's that plan to place all your eggs in one basket working Virginia?
A previous poster wrote about the new deal site "Sweet Jack". Get in line. There are hundreds of "Daily Deal" websites across the country. This is why corporate are spending so much money and going crazy on getting the market share. All of these will fizzle out and if Gannett doesn't find a way to innovate on deals and give more value back to the advertiser, so will DealChicken.
DIM-WITTED" .. A google search for equity management and Gannett immediately returned a hit on the chair of the board who is herself a managing partner in a private equity management firm, Brysam ..:And does this person, actually have a name?This is Journalism 101. This is grounds for immediate dismissal. This is awful.As for Jim's efforts -- at least he's trying to do something. Rather that just bitch, bitch, bitch. And no, I am not his mommy.And he used to have his adult photo. It can be google'd. Duh.
BIZARRE" .. 8:05, Though GCI is not owned by a private equity firm, I think you are essentially correct .."Then .. you'd rather GCI declare bankruptcy? Because if nothing is done, BK is the logical outcome.The economy is getting worse. The public is reading less and DEMANDING MORE value. The old "yup, yup, yup" isn't cutting it. That is UNSUSTAINABLE.Look at higher-ed -- the old, ain't cuttin' it. Health care is approaching a chaotic time.You got some miracle cure - bring it. It would be worth tens of billions. Can't wait.
3:08's analogy is akin to saying that if one needs to breathe air one approves of pollution.
If those Olympic Asian badminton doubles pairs that were trying to lose to each other to get better seeding need sponsorship, Gannett would be a perfect fit!
Have they named a replacement for Roxanne Horn
I must find a new job - this place is killing me
3:08, just go away. No one wants to read your endless posts asking about layoffs and the constant insults. You're not better than anyone else.
Of course there will be a 30th anniversary party for USA Today. Maryam Banikarim and Sandra Micek and Susie Ellwood have to justify why they've been collecting excessive salaries for the last two years. Pull out the party hats. Who wants to place bets Banikarim gets herself front and center in the spotlight as the mistress of ceremonies.
Beusse' overbloated Sports empire is flailing. Very few ads sold during the Olympics. Complaints from readers. Typo ridden copy. And the worst choice of photos today because they used one without the Flying Squirrel. This is a gang that cant shoot straight.You should have kept some of the staff you canned, Tom. Ere is bery little attention to detail. That counts, not your hype and hollow promises.
I have been baffled by the decisions made by upper management. Nothing they are doing seems to make any sense at all. They have gotten rid of some of their best publishers, directors, reporters, etc., and replaced them with second rate managers. I've seen the most talented newspaper people leave the industry. Nothing surprises me anymore. If all of this isn't deliberate in order to bankrupt this company, then you truly have the dumbest people running the show. Is there anything that can be done by way of an investigation into this theory?
It will be interesting to see the next circulation figures. Gannett is obviously lower tier in Olympics coverage and will be in election coverage in fall. Loacal biz coverage has become a joke. TV sites are beating Gannett papers in many markets. It doesn't seem that our managers even care about this slide to oblivian.
12:44 Oh yes. Let's get Lois Lane right on it! Maybe Jimmy Olsen can help too!
I am the first to say out loud that the Enquirer mis-treats and dis-respects it employees. On the other side, the quality of the paper has actually improved. It has much improved its Sunday paper with many more stories of local interest. Editorial has listened. The results are obvious to readers.First good thing I have said about my paper in 9 years. But wanted to give compliment where needed. Thank youFor others...Quit bashing Editorial-if you don't even read the paper!
12:30 this is 11:03 from 7/30/2012. I didn't attend any journalism schools. My BS is in economics and my graduate work was in accounting. I don't work for Gannett or in this industry; never have. I am basically one of those former customers that used to pay for a paper. Gannet bought our local paper and after a few years it had declined to a level I considered the worst in the state. I had to cancel on principle. Based upon the precipitous decline in local circulation, there are many other former subscribers that have canceled as well. If I owned or managed this mess, I would figure out why those customers left. The customers you still have are probably there for your "obits, horoscopes and garage sale listings", at some point they too will figure out a way to get that on the internet. I hope you are just a troll and this is all tongue and cheek fun. If you are actually part of the decision making apparatus of this conglomo-mess, my suggestion is that you take some responsibility for this problem and actually try to turn things around. The "internet is killing us" and the "bad economy" excuses are red herrings. Social media is no panacea either, it should be free too. This is a total failure to understand the customer and a loss of the exclusivity of distribution monopoly. Smart, empowered, driven people can fix this. I don't see much of that here on this blog, or in the product put out locally. The internet killed your distribution channel and that means you have to actually compete with the products available in the new distribution channel. You can't just delivery garbage and charge people money for it, the customer will find the same garbage at a cheaper price somewhere else. This is all business 101 though, I am sure you have an MBA or two around that can explain it too you. Actually, if you asked the receptionist what was wrong with the paper, he or she could probably tell you. The hard part is really listening.
12:43 AM: Here's "Business 101" for you, friend: In the good old days you may have "paid for a paper," but you NEVER paid for its content. And believe me, you wouldn't be willing to pay anywhere near the actual cost today, either.
Well your "Business 101" is sorely lacking in content, support, or insight. Like the product you probably sell, after reading it, I am happy to say I am glad I can say "at least I didn't pay anything for that." In all seriousness, I think you are alluding to the fact that advertising revenue is what makes the whole thing thing possible. I don't know your business, but I suspect the advertising is 3 or 4 times the subscription revenue. I think your point is that what I am willing to pay is far less than what the content costs. This is an opportunity for you to contribute something to the conversation, please share something constructive. I always thought my subscription fee probably just covered the marginal cost of the physical product. The real money is selling my eyeballs to the advertisers. That is why I had to shuffle through endless pages of advertising to get to one or two articles per section. It was an ok value at 12 or 15 bucks. Now digital should have a marginal cost an order of magnitude lower. I should get the benefit of that. Based upon how you price this stuff in my market, I don't. It actually looks like you are trying to get me to a digital + Sunday delivery at a lower rate. The whole digital strategy is broken and it begins with the pricing. My pre Gannett paper's content/ journalism was worth maybe $5.00 a month. Post Gannet with "content", it is worth maybe $1.00, you are really running a web content machine that has a paper version. The physical paper actually has some value to me. So 5 or ten additional bucks a month to have newspaper delivered is probably about right. Now I am not opposed to paying for good writing. I pay over $500 a year for digital content and over $250 a year for a physical paper.In this market it looks like circulation has declined almost 50% since 2005. Regardless of what I am willing to pay for, you have lost 50% of your customers in 6 or 7 years. Think about that for a half a second. This seems like a batten down the hatches and suck as much money out of this franchise as possible via cost cutting. You need a growth strategy and I just don't think you guys have one. Whatever this mess is, the people, the product, the pricing, and the mindset(which you exemplify); nothing here gives me any confidence that you have a handle on this thing. You don't even understand what your customers are really buying (which is different from what is costs you) and the arrogance is oppressive.
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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