An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
This is disgraceful. Blue Balls Banikarim acting as if she's king of the hill and laughing off her offensive behavior while Martore stays undercover. What has this company become? Meanwhile tweets, stories, op eds, reports rage on making us the biggest joke in the country. Is this your idea of marketing, Maryam?
Say what you will about the USAT balls/ blobs but they are a great addition -- every four year old can now pretend to be a designer and draw little hats and faces on them. USAT has finally become useful to first graders.
I advise all of you to remember who pays your salaries and knock this bullshit off. You are doing more damage to our company with these ridiculous posts than any improper memo could ever have done (which I remind you was leaked out of our company).
They stopped paying my salary months ago but I can see the towers from where I work now, so pointing and laughing every day is fair game for me.
Today's USAT A1 design is the weakest and most hideous page layout ever. That's not even considering the fugly blue ball logo.
7:12 I confess that even I'm getting tired of that ill-advised memo.That said, what?!It "leaked" out of the company because Maryam Banikarim forwarded it to as many as 31,000 co-workers. Next, asked about her decision, she told blogger Jim Romenesko: ""I hope you agree that when someone does that kind of inspired memo, we should share it."Then, USAT's official Tumblr blog posted the memo -- followed by Gannett's social media chief Tweeting about that to her 5,500 followers.Sounds like this was just the sort of bullshit the company wanted, no?
Hey, any buzz is good buzz, no?That being said, 5:46 nailed it last night with his/her turning the tables take.
Yes, it does seem like that was the plan. You'd think they could have arranged a leak without involving the entire corporation, though. I'm sure it sounded clever in team meetings and to people in the know. But sharing it with thousands of other unknown employees demonstrated (to be generous) remarkable tone-deafness to audience values.
rofl at 7:12. Gannett management does enough damage to the company on their own, they don't need our help. Banikarim herself "leaked" the memo.You wanna talk about bullshit ...
Michelle Savoy, one of the creators of dealchicken, and the director of sales and operations is LEAVING. Chicken choked?
8:52 Is there a memo out there on that?
Here's her LinkedIn profile.
If anyone knows anyone at USAT, please email them and tell them to fix the markets graphic on today's home page. It's embarrassing!
@7:12 am – With all due respect, your “advisement” is key to why Gannett struggles today as too many have remained silent when they should have spoken up, the latter of which your lot obviously dislikes. And speak up all should now as I passed along Banikarim’s memo to an experienced HR exec at an entity larger than Gannett and they were shocked that someone at that level would applaud it, let alone pass it along without repercussions from Gannett’s top leaders. Banikarim’s decision elsewhere would result in a far different outcome than what’s apparently welcomed here.In addition, defending USAT’s changing dots (they look nothing like balls) as akin to Google’s for cover is absurd as unlike USAT – who has nearly unending elements and headlines to tweak, Google has really but one on its page – its logo. Sadly, that memo doesn’t reflect the professionalism and respect one would expect from a company of Gannett’s scale and talent, or does the new look well represent the exceptional design talent it has within it, though it has made it easier for people to recognize old copies, something they can more easily ignore picking up now.
This morning's Post-Crescent (Appleton, WI) is running as part of its national coverage the USA Today story from last week about "Will we be the first Martians?" Apparently, nothing more important is going on in the world than to run a week-old news story? Was that story even news?
Gannett definitely has a separate standard on sexual harassment/ hostile workplace issues if you're well connected. Cincinnati Enquirer folks remember a bureau editor who liked to remind everybody he was hand picked by the publisher. The publisher stuck by him in spite of complaints about innuendo and harassment. She tried to get away with a wrist slap until female employees were bold enough to force the issue. That editor finally got the boot but it took determination by low level employees. Never count on Gannett to do the right thing without someone forcing the issue.
9:53 Snort. Breitbart and others attack major media -- while "borrowing" content they produce.
10:28 Martians, Earthlings: We're different
And who can forget the Enquirer M.E. who liked to hug people all the time. I HATED her hugs, but she was the boss -- and had a reputation for being vindictive if you crossed her.
@Jim. There was an email sent out this morning informing all of Michelle's departure. I do not feel comfortable posting it here but she has "decided to pursue an opportunity outside of Gannett". What say all about DealChicken?
Sure do, 10:39. Ewwwwwwwww. I was also there when the Enquirer supervisor got caught downloading porn on a company computer in view of others. He got briefly demoted until the heat blew over, then promoted back to management. What a classy place.
I remember getting hugged by that Enquirer ME. It was like a puck to the gut.
7:12 is obviously a newbie to Gannett.This blog has been around for years and is the only place worn down, cynical, disbelieving, ripped off employees can come to share, vent and challenge management.If you don't like it, don't read it.But management isn't allowed to ruin lives, take millions in bonuses, screw up the value of a once-great company, become the laughing stock of the media industry without some accountability...even if it's from employees in a blog forum.
"...the only place worn down, cynical, disbelieving, ripped off employees can come..."LOL. Right, the only place, now that Jerry Springer's no longer booking guests.
12:30 if you hate the blog so much, why do you spend hours here reading it? And commenting?Because every single employee does.Management reads it too. And it has impact on their decisions...I've seen it for years.By the way, management also puts out memos with the very intention they will get leaked to the blog.
@12:30's comment conjures up . . . Gracia and Maryam on either side of the Springer stage. Then Kramer comes in, and . . . CATFIGHT!!!!!Thanks for the inspiration!
Sam Ward, great illustrator. Not so great designer. Sad to have this reflect on his much admired reputation.
I was in that Enquirer M.E.'s office once and must have accidentally said something that she really liked or appreciated. She said, "Stand up. I want to hug you." I couldn't see a way out of it, so I stupidly stood there and let her hug me. Alone in her office with the door closed. And her hugs were the kind that always lasted a second or two too long. CREEEEEEPY!!! HR (Bulling's predecessor) was aware of all this, by the way. I know for a fact. And did nothing.
Let's just agree Maryam threw Sam Ward under the bus.Welcome to the road kill Sam.
I'm no longer a Gannett employee-- been gone for 4+ years. Rarely jump on the blog but do it sometimes just to read the bitter, former employees who haven't moved on as of yet. If you are gone, why do you care so much and wouldn't your efforts be better spent trying to make your new company a great place to work rather than gossiping about a place you obviously hate? Thoughts?
The other day I asked is Gannett a follower or a leader? I already knew the answer Gannett is a follower. When have they ever had an original idea? I mean one that has had a positive outcome.
3:27 Doesn't look like you have moved on if you come back to read the bitter post from former employees on this blog. Any body that has truly moved on wouldn't even think about reading a blog about a former employer.
Curious why the defenders of the dots/balls wouldn't be willing to identify themselves here. I mean, I understand why anyone critical of USA TODAY would want to remain anonymous, as rocking the boat is historically a good way to get fired at any Gannett paper. But if you're so proud of the dots/ball and overall direction of USAT, why wouldn't you want to post your name?I am not a fan of anything USAT has done in the last five years. I had my issues with some of USAT's initiatives prior to 2007, too. But let's face it. USAT is a place where too much faith has been placed in some pretty ruthless people with some very small-minded ideas about the future. Their vision of running a national news product is not in anyway in line with the spirit of the founders' vision.Yes, times change, and USAT needs to move forward, but burning and slashing careers, replacing good people with selfish, here-today-gone-tomorrow types, is a recipe for disaster. So are the constant lies.So, c'mon USAT cheerleaders. Prove me wrong. Tell us who you are and why you believe what you do about all the wonderful things happening in recent years. Make a case for why it's a good thing to overwork some employees while coddling others. Tell me why it's so grand to sacrifice accuracy and sense of urgency for dots/balls. Tell everyone why do-nothings with every perk imaginable make six figures here and the people saving whatever is left of the USAT rep are barely making ends meet?
Not surprised Michelle Savoy is leaving her bastard child named DealChicken. Sales people and managers keep quitting. Deals aren't selling. Affiliates are refusing to help out the team. The ship has sailed folks.
A four year old could predict this was a stinking loser from day one. Of course, the idiot suits at Gannett thought it was to be the savior. Idiots!
Jim . . . don't be so dismissive of Breitbart. They do plenty of original reporting, as do you.Where do they get a lot of their information? Published reports, AS DO YOU. Good reporting often is as simple as taking common information and divining a meaning others have missed. Of just publicizing information in a more interesting way.The Mitt Romney "47%" video has been out since May. Yet TODAY it is big news. Why? Better packaging and promotion.
Redesign launch partner Google has now bailed. Sales are in bad shape and Paynes team is running out of time.
What BS 7:32!
7:32 What was Google's specific role?
Maryam and her off color memos and the hostile work environment created by Helen Hoffman. Buchannans Goddess complex. It's a good time to be a female in Gannett, you can get away with anything.
These toads are hilarious who come on here to say they never read this blog, well, except very rarely, but only just long enough to lament that so many others are still reading this blog.
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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