Donovan confirms layoffs, cites ‘adverse’ conditions

Asbury Park Press Publisher Tom Donovan told employees in a statement now quoted by his paper in a new story: “This is not a decision that is easy to announce at this, or any other, time of year.”

The story confirms earlier reports by my readers: Gannett has eliminated 55 jobs at Asbury Park and at three other papers in its struggling N.J. group. Today’s layoffs come three weeks after management offered voluntary buyouts to nearly 170 employees.

Donovan disclosed today that only 83 employees accepted those buyouts — triggering layoffs that had been warned if Gannett didn’t reach its targeted cost savings. The three other papers are the Home News Tribune in East Brunswick; the Courier News in Bridgewater, and The Daily Record at Morristown.

Employees losing jobs can apply for open positions at the papers. “It is my hope that the total number of impacted employees will be reduced as a result,” Donovan said.

Related: N.J. employees use Gannett Blog to report buyouts

[Image: this morning’s Asbury Park Press, Newseum]

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31 Responses to “Donovan confirms layoffs, cites ‘adverse’ conditions”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Had the economy overall been better, the target number would have been achieved. Gannett sucks as an employer.

    Hope that as many as possible jump this shitty, freaking company.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Donovan cites ADVERSE CONDITIONS!! GCI uses the trouble that our country is in to justify what they are doing to employees. Yes, times are hard, yes advertising is down, yes the NY Times and Washington Post are doing it too. But there are papers that are not resorting to such drastic measures. The bottom line is that Gannett is a horrible company to work for with idiots in upper management. HOW ABOUT CLEARING OUT SOME OF THE MANAGERS ON ALL LEVELS!!!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Here’s a thought. Managers could accept pay cuts to reduce cuts. It’s not unheard of, Sun County Airlines announced their managers are taking 10 percent pay cuts to avoid more layoffs. Here’s a link: http://www.startribune.com/business/19304584.html?location_refer=Most%20Emailed:Homepage

  4. Anonymous Says:

    From the Sun Country story: “Gadek took a 15 percent pay cut last week.”

    Do you think that Dubow would EVER take a pay cut? He got a $1.75 million BONUS at the same time GCI stock was sliding into the basement.

    Silly employees, you seem to want LEADERSHIP. Don’t look for it here…

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, Gannett sucks. Not just because they can’t find their ass with both hands, but because they continue to widen the divide between the haves and have nots. What is even more pathatic is that they don’t care. Shareholders best wise up before nothing is left.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Every time you get close to vacation, Jim, something big happens in NJ. Poopgate hit the fan (!) when you were in Brazil. Now you’re almost off to Spain and here come layoffs.

    Uh, you’re not traveling for a long time once you get back from Spain, mister. We need a break here in Joizey.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    One can only wonder how many people are still going to the “Employee Picnic.”

  8. Anonymous Says:

    The layoffs are terrible. Get rid 0f the “managers”. The Home News has 2 worthless managers in advertising. I know firsthand. And I hear that the retail manager at the CN is not much better.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    from the “Gahndi heads to Philly” post:

    “Latest rumor: Enron-style accounting practices may have been the reason the NJ Gannett papers were showing whatever profit they were for the last few years.

    The current buyouts and layoffs are the results of re-doing the books on a reality basis.”

    What’s going on?

  10. Anonymous Says:

    You mean the Employee (Bring Your Own) Picnic?

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I love it when companies announce layoffs and talk about how it was such a “difficult decision.”
    No, layoffs were the easy decision. Other options — standing up to higher management/Wall Street or reducing the pay and bonuses of the top brass — well, evidently those were the choices that were just too difficult.
    Spare us the crocodile tears, and unload your truck of BS somewhere else. Your actions, not your words, demonstrate your true values.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    I work for gannett and i wish i didnt,but i was there when jules sold us out to them ? IM STUCK THERE WITH 25 YEARS….WHAT DO I DO ? LESS PEOPLE MORE WORK !!! AND MY RAISE IS PROBABLY GONNA BE 2% THE CEO SHOULD TAKE A CUT WHY DOES HE NEED 8 MIL PLUS STOCK OPTIONS THAT HE’LL CASH IN AND MAKE MORE MONEY…THIS MAKES ME SICK AND THE COMPANY PICNIC AT THE BLUE CLAWS I HOPE EVERY GOES AND THROWS A BASEBALL AT DONOVAN WHEN HE GETS OUT ON THE MOUND FOR THE FIRST PITCH ….SCREW HIM HE DOESNT DESERVE IT…ITS A LOOK AT ME THING ….GROW UP DONOVAN!!!!!!

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Does anyone know how many people have signed up for the picnic?

    Maybe the others should go separately and “boo” Donovan when he throws out the first ball.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    There will be an eerie silence thats for sure..Dont forget to bring your christmas gift: your Asbury Park Sweatshirt!!! Lets remember that Donovan is just a soldier and is doing what corporate is demanding. Its Collins and Ghandi that we should throw to the Lions! They are the crooks who stole away our careers.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Umm, company picnic? Blue Claws? Christmas gifts? Company sweatshirts? Where I work, we’re excited the toilets now work and we’re getting new carpeting sometime this budget year.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Hey anon 6:32: What, are you one of the staffers from India? Maybe a re-shoe for your camel would suit you.

    Hey anon 5:57: Maybe we could give you one of our centraljerseymoms.com sweatshirts meant to promote that junky website we started. Of course the only color it comes in is a baby-poop-greenish-tan so you’ll have to re-do your wardrobe to match it with anything. Perhaps some pants from the Salvation Army?

  17. Anonymous Says:

    If Gannett hadn’t forced newsrooms to sacrifice journalistic ethics and good news judgment, readers and advertisers (print and online) would be flocking to our product in today’s corrupt North American media environment.

    That’s the destruction that was inevitable once Wall Street became in charge of a product it stupidly thinks is just another widget anyone can produce all the same.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    What? You expect national or regional corporate to realize that the only way to stay relevant to readers is to come up with unique local content that impacts their lives?

    Why do that when there are inflammatory readers’ posts to pilfer?

    Or we waste page space on personal columns from Erma Bombeck- and Dave Barry-wannabees who think they have something interesting to say, but are only “yuppie whining”?

  19. Anonymous Says:

    i can imagine donovan being that stupid to go throw the first pitch at the blue claws game. but, my guess is that he is.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Hey anon 3:09 thanks for the offer but I am having a hard enough time with my own APP sweatshirt, the cat likes to lick herself on it! I think it serves its purpose.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Since mine didn’t fit,It bacame quite usefull as a SHOP RAG

  22. Anonymous Says:

    As one of the 55 that was layed off, I have to defend Donovan, it is the higher ups, his only downfall is that when he took this position he said that letting people go was not the best way to handle financial difficulties, those words are biting him now. As for the picnic at the Blue Claws game it was a barter thing.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Hats off to you my former fellow employee! Just know those that those of us that were left behind to pick up the pieces are hanging thier heads even lower than they were before. Every day is something new. Monday Freehold and Toms River ad design bureaus were told to pack it up and move to Neptune starting Monday, um I think they called it consolidation..we really think its getting all the sheep in one corral for the slaughter. See ya at the picnic!!

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

    Donovan is going to hold meetings with the employees to explain what’s been going on!

    On Wednesday there will be three meetings with all employees welcome to come to hear what he has to say.

    Just like he did when he took over and told us all how things were going to me more relaxed and motivated.

    This should be good.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Do tell, do tell. I wonder if he’ll say what happened to Gandhi.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    Oh great another PowerPoint presentation! This poor schmo has to stand in front of us and basically eat crow with a side of White Horse. I hear he posted the saddle on Wal-Mart’s free classified website! God Help us!

  27. Anonymous Says:

    SO I was wondering how the Company picnic went? Hope the HERO’S had fun braging about how there going to save us all….

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Wasn’t there, but so many managers said they “had” to go to show they support Donovan . . . and keep their jobs.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    What an amazing speech by Donovan!

    The “lost valued employees” turned into “expense corrections” inside of five minutes.

    But the new products are “powerful.”

    The 40-74 magazine is showing great growth after only four issues (three actually, July hasn’t come out yet).

    Sure.

    But we can’t prove it. There hasn’t been enough time to get the data.

    So maybe it’s not growth but initial enthusiasm.

    Check out http://www4074mag.com

    If you click on “About Us” you get a page with a slideshow of covers, none of them are real 40-74 covers, they are “Good Life” (the previous [failed?] magazine). But it does make the magazine look like it has a history.

    Then click on “Archives” and you’ll see the four covers.

    One, a re-working of Saul Steinberg’s “A View of the World from Ninth Avenue,”
    cover of The New Yorker from March 29, 1976. No maybe I’m wrong, but wasn’t that a subtle satirical dig at the attitudes of New York denizens? So is the magazine taking the same swipe at their audience?

    The second is supposed to mimic the cover of a Mary Higgins Clarke book (I guess) but it looks more like her funeral notice. Where’s the sense of fun? The wink-wink? At least they could have spent some time PhotoShopping her picture to match her book jackets. They spend the time “fixing” the editor’s picture.

    The third is a direct rip-off of the “Endless Summer” movie poster. At least they come clean and admit it.

    Fourth, a standard magazine cover shot of Robin Quivers at her house. So original.

    Where’s George Lois when you need him.

    Back to Donovan’s speech. Comments heard:

    “What I expected, ‘we’re (screwing) you but want you to keep working until we don’t need you.'”

    “We threw the sacrificial lambs to the wolves and we’ll do the same to you if we have to.”

    “I trust him as far as I can throw him.”

  30. Anonymous Says:

    You have to ask : How come none of the layoff’s or buyout’s were given to managment? Now you have Dept’s that have MORE Boss’s in the dept’s then you have actual workers..So now less is getting done,and then they wonder why there plans don’t work out

  31. Anonymous Says:

    Is anyone keeping track of mistakes since the buyouts and layoffs and whether they are increasing?

    Like the template page that was printed instead of a news page and the mysteriously disappearing jump stories (either the jump or the first part missing)?

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