Archive for April, 2008

ABC circulation: USA Today up, Republic down

April 28, 2008

Circulation continued its steep decline during the six months ended March 31, new figures out today show. Editor & Publisher says an analysis of the Audit Bureau of Circulations numbers is expected to reveal the biggest dip yet: An average 3.5% daily, and 4.5% on Sunday. Gannett papers appearing in E&P, with Sunday circulation, when provided:

Does anyone have the complete ABC list? Leave a note, in the comments section, below. Or Use this link to e-mail your reply; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: today’s Republic, Newseum]

Reader: ‘We are hemorrhaging pageviews’

April 28, 2008

Commenting on my post about retiring newspaper division Chair Sue Clark-Johnson, a reader says: “News flash — don’t believe anything you are told from Corporate about the Go4 websites. I can tell you we are hemorrhaging pageviews. There will be a lot of money going back to advertisers because pageviews are not delivering the impressions to advertisers.”

Join the debate, in the original post.

Monday Recap: Still hunting for the elusive eureka

April 28, 2008

Posts you might have missed last week, while top management was looking kind of pale:

  • Happy Birthday! Falcon Blog drew thousands of readers to The Indianapolis Star as web cameras caught chicks hatching.
  • What’s on TV: I wondered whether the broadcasting division is consolidating graphics-production jobs.
  • Eureka (not): Two years after its launch, the DIG research and development center isn’t exactly going gangbusters.

Are any Gannett newspapers ‘actively up for sale’?

April 27, 2008

Update at 9:57 a.m., April 28: Former Gannett Publisher Donna Donovan (left) wrote to me this morning to note that the “publishers, general managers and editors I mentioned in my column all work for other companies, some public, some family owned. The papers I referred to as being actively up for sale are not Gannett papers.”

Donovan, who remained publisher when GCI sold the Observer-Dispatch to GateHouse Media, writes about life a year later at the Utica, N.Y., paper. “It’s going very well, indeed,” she says.

But what really caught my eye: She’s heard from former Gannett co-workers. “Many of the publishers, general managers and editors I spoke with this past week were themselves in limbo,” Donovan says. “Some are at newspapers actively up for sale. Others asked if I’d heard the rumors they’re likely to be put on the block. Still others are worried that they’ll soon be looking for work, their job the victim of massive consolidations and job-sharing affecting our industry.”

[Hat tip, to a reader’s comment, here; photo: Observer-Dispatch]

What’s missing in Clark-Johnson’s farewell speech

April 26, 2008

I sometimes read remarks by Gannett executives, then wonder: Are we on the same planet? Check out retiring newspaper division Chair Sue Clark-Johnson‘s speech on April 15, when she left the chairmanship of the Newspaper Association of America trade group.

Laudably, she noted that government is as secretive as ever, underscoring the vital need for watchdog journalism. “Consider that Freedom of Information requests either languish or take years to respond to by a foot-dragging, resistant government,” Clark-Johnson said. “A Knight Open Government Survey in March reported that — government-wide — there are 200,000 pending federal FOIA requests. Individual reporters are routinely threatened with fines and jail time in an effort to chill the free flow of information.”

Fine. But what has Clark-Johnson done in the past year to bolster watchdog work at Gannett newspapers and TV stations? Why is she content to allow, for example, the Montgomery Advertiser to scrape by without a legislative reporter for months at a time? How are journalists to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable when they don’t have working photocopiers?

“We are restricted only by our creativity and will to embrace change,” Clark-Johnson said in her speech. Well, no: Gannett is restricted by the failure of leadership to understand that its strategic plan is failing — that more of the same won’t cut it.

(Confidential to Corporate: Couldn’t you have broadcast video of Clark-Johnson’s speech, rather than just publishing text in the News Watch newsletter? If you walked the walk more often, we might believe you’re really serious about digital distribution.)

Your thoughts, in the comments section, below. Use this link to e-mail feedback, tips, snarky letters, etc. See Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Hat tip, to a Gannett Blog reader, for this item; image: this morning’s Advertiser, Newseum]

Hot Off the Tube: WXIA-TV

April 26, 2008

A screenshot from WXIA’s website. The Atlanta station at a glance:

  • President and General Manager: Robert J. Walker
  • Founded: 1951
  • Joined Gannett: 1979
  • Employees: 221
  • Weekly audience: 1,639,000 TV households

Your thoughts, in the comments section, below. Use this link to e-mail feedback, tips, snarky letters, etc. See Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Cutlines Only: Statesman Journal

April 26, 2008

A city worker in Salem, Ore., moves a traffic cone so cars can move past an 18-inch water-main break on Friday, the Statesman Journal says. Photo by Andrea J. Wright, Statesman Journal, via Newseum.

Cutlines Only showcases Gannett website art. E-mail suggested links here; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right. Or leave a note in the comments section, below.

Is GCI broadcast adopting NBC’s Art House model?

April 25, 2008

In a productivity move, NBC centralized graphics production at a single facility, Art House, in Fort Worth, Texas; it now serves all of the giant network’s TV stations. As other broadcasters take similar steps, a Gannett Blog reader says GCI’s broadcasting division will likely be next.

“Gannett’s version will be online soon — probably after the major stations (KUSA, WUSA, KARE and KSDK) get more familiar with the Avid Interplay/ISIS media management and figure out who to rightsize,” the reader says.

Art House is a familiar consolidation strategy. It mirrors Gannett’s selling papers that can’t be clustered; the consolidation of photo processing at a central toning facility; the shift of customer service to the “Centers for Excellence,” and the centralization of copy editing and design at some Wisconsin papers. Plus, of course, Gannett is offshoring newspaper advertising production jobs, under a contract with 2AdPro of Los Angeles.

Your thoughts, in the comments section, below. Use this link to e-mail feedback, tips, snarky letters, etc. See Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Gannett stock ends rocky week, mostly unchanged

April 25, 2008

[Can’t see it? Click on the chart for a bigger view]
Shares closed today at $27.84, down nine cents, capping a roller-coaster week, when GCI hit lows not seen in well over a decade.

[Chart: Google Finance]

And you think gas is pricey where you live

April 25, 2008

A station today at 17th and Market streets in San Francisco, near where I live. The national average for regular is now $3.577 vs. $2.877 a year ago, says the AAA. California’s gas prices have historically been the nation’s highest, because of state regulations meant to curb pollution.