An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Stories today about the 40th anniversary of the first mobile phone call -- at USA Today and elsewhere lack an important detail. From Wikipedia:The first mobile telephone calls were made from cars in 1946. Bell System's Mobile Telephone Service was made on 17 June in St. Louis, Missouri, followed by Illinois Bell Telephone Company's car radiotelephone service in Chicago on 2 October.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone#section_1
Sadly it's one of the characteristics of "modern" media to report slapdash on items without full context.
There is no comparison. Cellular technology enabled unlicensed, mass market switched communications.
Today's winner of most mistakes in one sentence.Before he voted a the Elks Lodget,Winnebago County Democratic Party Chairman Koby Schellenger, said he was encoraged to see the number of write-ins who declared candidacy after a lack of candidates left the seat formerly held by Council Bob Poeschl uncontested.
Why are there raindrops on the Deal Chicken site? Am I missing something? Who's making these ridiculous decisions?
April showers bring may flowers (on bottom of page)
Who's going to fill us in on the mysterious "Butterfly Project?" What are we in for now?
I believe the Butterfly Project is code for the 55 and 15 packages that are under consideration by hundreds of no longer wanted and respected Gannett employees.
Early retirement buyouts? As in flying away?I gather that 55/15 would be 55 and older with 15 years or more of service.
It used to be that your 50s was when you were at the height of your career. You were still a ways from retirement, but you had reached the point of acquiring a lot of knowledge and respect. Those were also your peak earning years.In low-paying professions like journalism, folks sacrificed salary for love of their craft. Smart, well-educated people, who could have made a lot more money a lot sooner in their careers, chose to work at newspapers because they had a passion for the business. And by the time they hit 50, they were on top of their games and of great value to newspapers that we're competing for readers. The 50somethings were the gatekeepers that demanded certain standards be met, the people with inside sources to break meaningful stories, the folks who trained the 20 and 30sometings (who were appreciative of that mentoring back in the day).Now, because of companies like Gannett and papers like USA Today, 50somethings are garbage. These papers create generational division. They push people out at the worst possible time in their careers and call it an "early retirement program." Well, for a select few, it might be an opportunity to retire a year early, but for most people, it's a premature career death that has seriously life implications. It's a betrayal and a lie. And the only silver lining in any of this is that these news products will eventually die off, along with the 50somethings, because you can't run a news business with only one demographic in your newsroom.
So sad. Imagine my chagrin having survived 25 years with Gannett, giving it my all, successfully surviving the obstacles of a sometimes outright hostile workplace all that time by the integrity of my work alone, only to be among three people in the building over 50 that were excluded from an "over 50" buyout offers because with the layoffs we "couldn't be spared" per both the publisher and the HR director. So we three didn't get the offer.In fact, it was the first and only time I had ever seen the publisher's office, let alone been inside it as we were summoned extremely discretely to a meeting among us three.And then only to finally reach the 25-year anniversary against the significant odds of office politics, continually passed over by the clique (always the same type of people) for any promotion for more of the responsibility I hungered for to really have some effect... while simultaneously being told I was over-qualified for my position, even derided for it in front of my co-workers.Years of coming in earlier, staying late when literally no one else would; years of ignoring my failing health like a good Boy Scout; and then having finally reached the magic 5 weeks of vacation promised in the employee's manual, an incentive for loyalty and hard work -- only to be kicked to the gutter almost to the day of that vaunted goal. Not so much as even a card.This was significant in the overall scheme of things, actually. At every anniversary -- 5, 10, 15, 20 -- there at least was always a card from the publisher. Signed in real ink. And for 25? Don't let the door hit you in the ass.On the day of my "No Small Feat" 25-year anniversary, the guy, an import from the way down South (his previous stop on the corporate ladder), sauntered past my workstation, hands in his slacks, absent-mindedly whistling some ditty en route to another meeting with the upper managers ensconced in their quiet offices in stark contrast to the constant interruptions we endured, expected to make not a single mistake, a situation the upper managers themselves created by their hare-brained ideas for functions they had no experience with.The protests of those effected by these schemes were unilaterally ignored. And each time a new upper-management widget would appear, they'd have another brilliant idea. It made 'em look like they were doing something before they, too, jetted for greener pastures.In all that time I never received a merit increase. Always and only cost-of-living. When a merit increase was recommended by an immediate manager who after all was right there in the trenches with us mostly), it was rejected up the line without exception no matter the evaluations citing said merits. This begs the question: If I were as mediocre as it would then appear with not one merit increase in four decades, why then wasn't I fired? Because I sucked it up and did good work -- for my sake, not theirs. Accolades from clients and staff alike were enough for me.Do I regret my priorities? Some antiquated work ethic? Damned straight. And it's a long span of time to regret. For what it's worth, and despite certain derision from some of the cheerleaders that pop-up on Jim Hopkins' Gannett Blog, I wanted to post my experience as a warning as to what those who now find themselves in the chronological-age/years-of-service crosshairs.I wasn't the first to be afforded this type of humiliation I've cited above and I won't be the last.
I sympathize with you. But look on the bright side. You are a still employed.
He isn't still employed. He took a Reno buyout. Same diatribe as usual.
Very good description 5:44 and good luck in whatever life brings you.And naturally there is always some Ganneett loving punk to make a snide remark like 9:26.
Good description of the Gannett culture 5:44. It's a situation our replacements won't ever have to face, since they aren't even close to staying until they are 30. How many of the newbies who replaced veterans have already bailed after they got a good taste of local Gannett managers?
Wow you just described The Times in Shreveport, LA and most other Gannett sites -
Well said 5:44. And the worst offender is USA TODAY SPORTS. The people who built who built it up into the lead section of the nation's largest newspaper were kicked to the curb with the worst severance possible and no job prospects in the worst job market in 70 years. And who made that decision? A bunch of nobodies, Beusse, Morgan, etc, who had never done anything and never will but somehow sold the ever-gullible Gannett that were the answer on digital. Please. Their front page "scoop" today on NCAA president Mark Emmert was a clip job patched together from 20-year old stories. Meanwhile, ESPN broke the big story that mattered about the Rutgers coach abusing his players. I bet the new Sports geniuses thought they had a real big hit there. Instead, it passed without a trace. Go back to what you know best: trolling for page views with juvenile posts about cheerleaders and "photo bombing." You make me sick to my stomach. So does Gannett.
To give USAT credit, that NCAA story in print today and another, related one online aren't entirely clip jobs; there's new information. And any hard-news sports story that isn't a game story/soft personality profile is a welcome addition at any newspaper.That said, I was surprised that such lengthy stories didn't delve more into the NCAA's finances. I just checked the organization's website and saw that it has an $800 million annual budget. How does that compare to previous years? Up, down, the same?Also, what does Emmert get paid now? The NCAA's site unhelpfully doesn't give that kind of detail. And, like USAT, I could only find the NCAA's annual IRS tax return for 2010, when Emmert started as president in October. The one for 2012 probably isn't done yet. But the 2011 return should be; it would reveal Emmert's full-year salary, which is likely well above $700K -- the amount his interim predecessor got paidThese returns are public documents; the NCAA must make them available to anyone who asks for a copy.I wonder how any of those figures line up with comparable organizations? Those are big paychecks, but perhaps not for an organization with an $800M budget.I also noted that the IRS return for 2010 details how much the NCAA spent on scholarships and other grants for each of dozens and dozens of colleges. If USAT turned that into a searchable database (assuming it doesn't already exist), that would be an interesting way for readers to see how much their alma mater/local school was getting.
At the end of the day, the way Callaway is completing ignoring most of the news staff is far worse than the petty crap beusse doles out. Why? Callaway is an even worse judge of talent, and the shit he is allowing to get on the website and newspaper is destroying what little integrity the 'iconic brand' has left.What a fucking joke he and Kramer are. They make the Gannett hacks look halfway decent.
Monday is Skank Day on azcentral. Photos of big breasted, scantily clad barflies.
And those are just the guys
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A reply in part 2 concerning USAT draws, not surprisingly, tries to turn the draw fiasco onto the carriers. I don't know about other papers but here, the carriers have to enter their numbers pretty much as soon as they get home. Would that be soon enough for your scenario?The sometimes laughable draws are also with the local paper as they are done by the same people. Places selling out getting fewer the next week. Places with 10-20 returns getting more.Like I said, the draws are only a part of what's going wrong with print but it's the most over looked. Lots of waste and lost sales.
With all due respect, Gannett is not in the business of "Lots of waste and lost sales". If the carriers are entering returns daily and weekly (by Tuesday noon) after collections are done each Monday then draws should be "SET" correctly according to USA Today's "Draw Forecast" system. Honest, when everything is done correctly the system does work. Just a few items to consider. Could you be going in and adjusting draws on your own? That can be tracked and should be brought to your attention by the DSM or CM. Are your returns being entered accurately or just "best guess" entries? Gannett and most other newspapers aren't in the business of wasting paper by inflating draws on one end and not giving enough papers on the other end. Have you talked with your DSM? If you have talked with your DSM and haven't gotten anywhere move it up a notch and speak with the Circulation Manager. I promise you that you will be herd. USA Today DOES want to get it right, for the customer, the company and for you the carrier. I know how it feels going into a location and have the Manager yell at you because they are receiving to many papers and is upset with the papers being stacked in a corner or the time it takes to tear the (flag) mastheads off of every paper. The Carrier is very important with draw forecasting. Reason, you have total control of adding/subtracting papers from locations, entering returns correctly and on time. Your help in getting it right is more than welcomed. Please, I encourage you to speak with the Circulation Manager and if you don't get results from him/her then send an email to the Publisher. As I said, you are the most important person in this situation in getting it right. Good luck, let us know how you make out.
The insipid stories littered with odd opinion have become a hallmark of Sports and is now spreading to the rest of the paper. 'tude is not journalism. And when its routinely done badly, readers find better stuff elsewhere. At one point Usa Today could have hired real talent and real editors. We have never been further away from that. Sad we are imploding while top down thinking nobodies flail, flail, flail.
“Obama to return 5% of salary because of sequester” USA TodayNot exactly as the net out of pocket, after tax cost to Obama is little more than $50 a week, a key fact missing from this story as he’ll get a $7,920 tax credit for that “charitable contribution.”http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/04/03/obama-salary-furlough-hagel/2050121/
Here's a question. I've often seen the same op-ed appearing in Gannett publications throughout the state of New York. Who are these individuals pitching to get this placement? Who decides which ones get syndicated? Is it individual editors or is this coming down from the top?
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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