An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
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Good news . . . and bad news.Think Warren Buffett is the savior of print news? Don't be so giddy. He's very clear about the direction of print. And what will happen when print no longer pulls its weight. Buffett is famous for buying on the cheap. What gets less attention is that he will cut loose an investment when it no longer performs. Lots to read here. Very informative. And very clear.http://jimromenesko.com/2013/03/01/i-love-newspapers-warren-buffett-tells-shareholders/#more-37148
Agreed, 6:03. At age 82 and in good health, I wish him many more years. But at some point, others will run Berkshire Hathaway, and there's no indication that they also see newspapers as a reasonable short term investment.
With all the staff and coverage cuts we've had at GCI community papers, do you think the managers are smart enough to read this?"We do not believe that success will come from cutting either the news content or frequency of publication. Indeed, skimpy news coverage will almost certainly lead to skimpy readership. And the less-than-daily publication that is now being tried in some large towns or cities – while it may improve profits in the short term – seems certain to diminish the papers’ relevance over time."Skimpy sure seems to describe the Gannett products.
Skimpy G has a certain ring to it.
Anheuser-Busch InBev chose to run ads in major Newspapers across the Country to defend itself against the watered down beer controversy. I wonder why they chose print to reach the most people and get the best bang for their buck. GM pulled ads from Facebook last year saying they saw better options. Could it be advertisers are finally waking up to the lies Digital has promised.
If you're asking whether print advertising revenue is still headed to zero, the answer is hell yes.
Bang? Maybe twenty years ago. Now it's not even a pop. Circulation declines are so bad that now there are key zones across all of our advertising area with Sunday coverage that is below 40%; sometimes less than 30%. In other words 7 out of 10 HHs are not getting the paper.Wake up and smell the coffee.
Oh I don't see in any of the articles that they chose USA Today or any of the Gannett Local Papers. Only found four of the ten papers listed. N.Y. Times, L.A. Times Houston Chronicles, and the Chicago Tribune. They were full page ads too.
I think we should consider paying people to read our products. This is not really working.
Agree, disagree, I don't understand those squeaky mindsets of those who want this blog to go away and just die, gasping. Guess what! Ain't gonna happen. Why? I dunno, gee, may be because Gannett treats their people like dry wall and spackle, another hole in the wall for cosmetics.Sure, I was dumped: that "deadwood" the jackals love to cite like an ever-ready insult, no idea, all that really gross saliva betraying any proof of humanity nor conscience let alone business sense.This enterprise, Gannett, is going down in a huge way, not only affecting the riff-raff and the talented. It's a huge tragic torch lit by these marketing people who rely on edicts and magic rather than any input from the stinking, unwashed masses.
6:29, when this place started, I thought it would be great.It has been a huge disappointment. When Jim resuscitated it, I knew he would not keep his promises, and I was right.It's good to know you know you were dead wood. That's why 90-95 percent of what gets posted here has zero cred and should not ever be trusted. You and the many, many bitters have nothing better to do than to slam, bitch, and lie.
Yes, and you pray every day that some upper level manager will not consider you "deadwood".Because it sure as hell does not matter if you are an outstanding performer,it only matter if you are an expense that can be eliminated.
But it is still more info than our editors, or so-called "Information Center" managers, give us. That says more about how gullible you are, 7:31, than it says about Jim, this blog or the posters.
9:51, that makes no sense. I am not sure you know what "gullible" means. It certainly does not mean being skeptical of 90-95 percent of what is posted here. How does having "more info" help if most of it cannot be trusted?I think your post says all we need to know about you.
any news on Phoenix staff reductions?
You mean that rumor from weeks ago?
last post about phx said something was to be announced last friday? just curious
Following up on previous thread:Yes, ad rates are higher for video ads, which has Gannett chasing that dollar like mad.But in traditional Gannett fashion, nobody is looking at what happens next. In this case: What happens when Gannett becomes so identified with garbage videos that people actively avoid them? And what happens when advertisers get around to realizing (a)the poor quality video their products are associated with and (b) how few people actually look at the videos or the ads?This is a short-term solution at best. And when this sad little bubble bursts, Gannett will be in an even weaker position, having refused to try to build for the future.
The art and science of advertising is still trying to catch up with the new media, but it is getting there. For example I recently purchased a mixer through Amazaon and now I am greeted with ads for mixer accessories when I visit various websites. News stories can use their metatags in the same fashion, for example, a story about an impending snowstorm can kick up an advertised special for snowblowers. There is a "next big thing" out there for advertisers but it will be a lot more subtle than a bank ad preceding a video about the local high school basketball game. You can bet Gannett is trying to figure that out like the rest of the industry. Advertisers want results and without advertisers this industry cannot survive.
With all due respect, smaller, more nimble players in Gannett’s space – including other industries, for years, have utilized what you’ve apparently awakened to now.It’s just one of many examples why few bet Gannett will lead in the new media world despite even its acquisitions as its real strength is leading from behind, well behind as evidenced by how its responded to new, disruptive entrants and technology. Failing to adopt paid online access alone cost hundreds of millions in revenues and untold subscribers and Gannett jobs.What’s equally bad is despite musing by its CMO, Gannett really doesn’t appear to understand even its users. Else, it would be writing more comprehensive, unbiased stories versus still clinging to old media’s agenda setting model, which is increasingly exposed by what’s presented by the multitude of sources that those users have such easy access to today.Frankly, the longer Gannett takes to revolve even that, the less relevant it, and this industry becomes to them and especially to advertisers who have far more expanded options to reach consumers without it.
Good points. I like the support for the pay wall, while constructively criticizing the content. Just because a paywall fails, does not mean the concept is bad. We rarely address the fact that quantity and quality of the content has declined precipitously within the pay-wall argument. It is not black or white.
Well stated 1:39pm. Gannett will always lead from behind because the CEO is a spreadsheeter not a visionary leader. That's the culture of the leadership team, the board and, as a result, the culture of the company.In their view, mining spreadsheets, cutting costs, and making occasional small/low-risk bets equals good quarterly earnings. Visionary leaders look well beyond the spreadsheet and the here and now. They invest in really understanding consumers in an intimate way. They have astute skills to anticipate, plan, and have the discipline to allocate appropriate resources to develop/create new ideas into products for 2, 3, 5 years from now. They have the guts to take big risks and give their employees the freedom to stretch their imaginations and fail and learn in order to break new disruptive grounds. They just have a six sense to “see” what’s next and not just talk about it, but do something about it.No one at any senior level of the company has this type of “DNA.” Nor do they he background, experience, or skills to do this. Absolutely, no one. And, yes, this might surprise a lot of people, but that includes the CEO Whisperer Blue Balls Banikarim. This is one of the many reasons why Gannett will ultimately fail. To Gannett, leading from behind is uh, still leading. And, the sad thinking there is that since the stock has moved from $3 to $20 in the past couple of years, it's time to have a party, not significantly change anything they are doing operationally.No one reading this should not be surprised – at all. This is the Gannett way. It will never change. Gannett's slogan should be: It's All Within Reach of the Next Quarter.
Buying items from Amazon isn't the only place where your actions are being tracked. A few weeks ago I searched Cars.com for a specific make and model, and ever since then, my Facebook page shows ads from Cars.com, always with one ad I was looking at displayed. I have deleted cookies, history and everything else I can think of, and yet it still pops up.This holds true for other items I have researched in the past as well. They are indeed getting smarter.
The (Cincinnati) Enquirer may have made the transition to a “Full-Access” website, but its business as usual sadly as a promo for last months’ Auto Expo 2103 (held Feb 21 & 22) is still on the main page touting a show this weekend.Errors like this are all too frequent suggesting Buchanan/Washburn should assign the Enquirer as a beat to one of their 150 “journalists.
They are probably too busy posting photos of buxom, drunk college-age girls at the many events in Cincinnati over the weekend. Isn't that what pays the online bills? Clicks on babes with big breasts.
I am generally against this whole trend, but business is business and clearly we are not in the journalism business anymore. I say we turn a few of our college town newspapers into trial sites for a new "european" style daily. Kind of like we did with that paywall thing. We could ramp up the topless babes and promote the local talent. We could cut back on hard news and journalism. Hell, we are halfway there, now that I think about it. If we pick a town with lots of crazy women hot women, we can pull in all sorts of new advertisers. Sugerdaddy's and global playboys will be a whole new segment. We could expand the circulation beyond the actual number of subscribers in the market. Brilliant.
First item on the agenda for our Gannett how-to-do-better-videos training this week 9-9:15 ... coffee.
Weak at first glance, but many people with some managerial skill know it's better to break the ice first before addressing substantive issues.If you don't like it, skip the 9-9:15 portion.
If it helps those who will be in the meeting be more enthusiastic (or at least better fake their enthusiasm) for this training, it's a good idea. But so far the enthusiasm that has been shown is waaaay low.
There is some other big news today.Ready? Here it is:#3 King of Pain vs. #14 Tiny Twins: The king might not look imposing until you see the spiked end and recall the climactic exit of this bad boy. No pair of Tiny Twins can match that. The winner is King of Pain.Curling Giant and Cornyoucrapia already have advanced.
A memo came across my desk from the managing editor at Florida Today, praising our efforts and enthusiasm at last weeks video training. The memo went on for a full page about future use, importance and so on and so on...I realize that this is for the website only, but the emphasis placed on video production, and the added work load, will certainly take something away from the printed product.We are quickly moving away from in depth reporting to cater to the demographic, who has less than 30 seconds attention span.
Why don't they end all print and go all digital now? When will Gannett allow a single copy purchase of a digital only newspaper.
They have to milk the installed subscriber base to fund the new digital pipe-dream. If they did just digital, we would be gone in one quarter. This whole scam is predicated on an assumption that print is dead and can never grow, so we need to build the new digital world (wink wink). The problem is that the digital world doesn't really pay and the crack head customers are not too loyal or deep. The print world loves to pay or can't figure out how to stop paying and we can really stick it to them until we figure out some way to make some money off this digital crap... or the sun comes up, we run out of drugs, and figure out the golden goose needs some food or it dies. Maybe the cops show up early and end the whole thing, the old goose might make it.
3/05/2013 12:00 AM says, "The print world loves to pay."Have you been even been paying attention? Industry-wide revenues have collapsed and are still shrinking.And no, it has nothing to do with the "quality" of the "journalism".
Of course I have not been paying attention, don't you see me sleeping back here. "Industry-wide revenues have collapsed and are still shrinking." Industry wide includes all sorts of dismal results, including ours. Papers that are doing it right have much greater market penetration and in some areas are showing growth, usually from a much higher market penetration point than our papers. There is nuance in there folks, dig a little deeper.It really has a lot to do with the quality of the paper. It is a component in the decision making process of the consumer, along with cost. If you follow your logic, we can just feed people garbage and they are going to buy whatever we put out. Unfortunately this is true for a certain portion of our subscribers that are left. Yes they will pay anything for whatever we dish up. The problem is that all those customers we lost and will lose in the future actually care about the quality of the journalism and they are constantly making purchase decisions based upon the price and perceived value.I am not saying this is your mentality, but I come across people that at times almost sound like it is the community's job to get our revenues back in shape. At that point and after a year of pocketing the cash, we will start to sprinkle a little more journalism into the paper. The marketplace concept has disappeared from the local paper side of the equation. Now in the online world, we are keenly aware of it. I don't understand the disconnect.
Paywall? U have to be kidding me. The lead story on USA TODAY SPORTS' web site today was a picture of ESPN analyst Jay Bilas posing with cheerleaders at some college basketball game. That's it. A photo with some snarky headline.Anybody who's ever been to a game, any game, know the TV people are always being asked to pose for photos with fans. They do it constantly.The photo proved once again the new geniuses in Sports have no clue, zero, none. They're now clutching at straws, hoping their infantile bloggers will generate cheap clicks. Somehow I don't see that being the lead on the NY Times web site.
Infantile. I couldn't describe the mess posing as sports journalism any better. Only Money is more feeble.
Is it just me or does it look like USA Today's pages are designed by drunken ad people with an anything-goes approach? I mean, color type just thrown anywhere. Varying fonts. Uppercasing entire words for no apparent reason. I mean this is the kind of stuff they do in my HOA newsletter -- and it's put together by a mom and her teen-age daughter. And don't even get me started on the placement of stories, news judgment or basic editing, particularly on the website.Is the lack of elegance, accuracy and perspective all of a sudden in style at USA Today? I can barely read this paper anymore. It does not speak to me in any manner. But I guess that's OK in Gannettland, where if you're not under 30 you're not worth catering to. Unfortunately for USA Today, most newspaper readers are over 30, but that simple fact seems lost on the idiots who must be running the place.
How do you expect accuracy and perspective when veteran reporters do a story or two every couple of weeks? Editors completely checked out, too. Just a bunch of sorry asses waiting for the next stupid proclamation to come down and getting by doing as little as possible. That leaves the kiddie corps naively in too many positions to wmbarass
I think the design of the paper is more youthful.
I agree. It looks like a first grade, class project.
First graders have lots of disposable income. Grandpas are poor. Avoid them at all costs.
It is clear circulation declines since 2005 were in a large part due to delivery problems as Gannett took jobs away from in company control of drivers and tried to do it all with outside contract positions.
Gannett's New Leaders are sharing their big thoughts with staff March 18. Can't wait for their vision of the media business and blueprint for success.
More big news:#4 Stick and Pile vs. #13 Midnight Mess. Who doesn't enjoy a good midnight dump? This is a close contest, but the satisfaction level of unleashing a Stick and Pile is higher. Stick and Pile wins.Stick and Pile joins Curling Giant, Cornyoucrapia, and King of Pain in the next round.
I like the support for the pay wall, while constructively criticizing the content. Presswire
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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