Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Central New York | Laid-off 'performed vital jobs'

Publisher Sherm Bodner sent the following memo to employees yesterday at New York's Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Elmira Star-Gazette, and the Ithaca Journal:

Within the last hour we finished notifying those of our colleagues whose positions have been eliminated this week. I want to thank you all for your patience during this extremely difficult time. I know you have met as individual departments and work groups, and have heard from Jodie or Neill or Bruce, but I wanted to add a few words:

A news story planned for tomorrow quotes me as saying, “All of the employees laid off were valuable to our organization and some were with us for many years.” It also says, “Our strategy was to emerge with the least impact on our readers, our digital audience and our advertisers.”

Please don’t read that to mean that the people who have left us were not important to those efforts. They were; all performed vital jobs. But we have found other ways to get that work done: Some tasks have moved to Gannett’s Digital Employment Solutions Center in Indiana; some to an expanded East Group Digital Center in Rochester, and some to an expanded advertising support team, also in Rochester. Elsewhere, work is being shifted to other people or teams here in Central New York.

We’ve experienced other restructurings over the past seven years and emerged from them with a continued commitment to serving our audiences, our advertisers and our communities. With your help, we will do that once again.

Thank you.



  1. Binghamton 20, Ithaca 6 and Elmira only 1???
    Binghamton Sunday paper $3.00, Elmira $2.00??
    It seems to help having a local competitor in Corning.

  2. I work in Rochester and never heard of the East Group Digital Center or of an expanded advertising support team. Anyone know what he's talking about?

  3. East Group Digital Center sounds like more consolidation--but will it handle programming functions or day-to-day posting to the paper's web sites? Wonder if it will create "packges" that flow to all the web sites similar to the USAT pages that go into the print products.

  4. @8:26 AM It's probably more of a help that there's hardly anything left to cut. There was one round a few years ago where they couldn't cut, and everyone took a pay cut instead.

    1. Gannett was being nice to the Elmira readers when they took the Rochester and Binghamton Sunday papers to $3 and left Elmira at $2. They don't care about the money :)

  5. Yup, Digital Center sure sounds like another production hub. Load some pages and push them out to several sites. The Gannett sites already use a template that looks the same throughout the company. Might as well just program most of them from a single production center and leave a few open holes for the local sites to drop in their own content, right? That ought to save some more payroll. Here's where Gannett is innovative: In finding ways to cut payroll in bold new ways.

  6. "Vital"

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  7. If you're talking about "Digital Employment Solutions Center" it sounds like a new way to try to sell employment classifieds - help wanted ads. Tried consolidating that from Montgomery. I know that most of the big local players were pulled back in house because they weren't getting the attention they thought they deserved.

  8. @ 5:14 - the DESC isn't's been around for a few years. With this latest round of layoffs (especially in advertising), I can't believe they'd allow any markets to keep classified employment reps!


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