Ask Tara: Something amiss with e-mail alerts?

Updated at 9:35 a.m. ET. This just in from Connell: “We’re checking with thompsn, who handles the alerts for our major releases. Silberman wasn’t released through businessWire so may not have gone out on the alert system. We generally don’t put out publisher releases on bizwire. Are those the ones you are missing?”

Earlier: An occasional look at questions I ask official Gannett flack Tara Connell. (Who knows? Maybe we’ll even get answers!)

July 15, 2008


I am writing to you as both a journalist and as a Gannett stockholder.

It appears there’s something wrong with Corporate’s e-mail alerts for press releases. I’ve subscribed and re-subscribed to the service, using both my Gannett Blog e-mail address, and my personal address. Yet, your recent delivery of press releases has been sporadic at best.

Today, for example, I noticed that you posted a release about the appointment of a new publisher at the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore. (This was, of course, old news to my more than 10,000 readers.) I have no record of receiving that release. Perhaps it is a glitch at my end. Or perhaps it’s at yours. In any case, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to deliberately deprive me of the latest news about the company.

I do not know whether the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission mandates equal treatment of all shareholders when it comes to e-mail alerts. I do know, however, that the SEC is very interested in senior executives who post anonymous comments on websites — especially with the intent of shoring up stock prices. (Whole Foods CEO John Mackey learned that lesson the hard way last year!)

Thank you.


cc: Todd Mayman, vice president, associate general counsel, secretary and chief governance officer

Got an impertinent question for Ask Tara? Post it in the comments section, below. You’ll be glad you did! Or send it to me confidentially from a non-work computer, using this link; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.


7 Responses to “Ask Tara: Something amiss with e-mail alerts?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I like how she responded to that one in pretty good time. Sock it to the man, Jim.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I find it a bit amusing how much immediacy is being stressed in Gannett newsrooms, how we’re supposed to get that news up on the website instantly, even just a sentence or two, but corporate posts its release on Silberman being named publisher four-plus days after the announcement.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Oh please, things break. Don’t be arrogant enough to think somebody took the time to manually exclude this blog from the mailings.

  4. rmichem Says:

    YOU GET PRESS releases, from Tara? You lucky dog,Jim> I have yet, to get one. On the other hand, Shelia (before Tara), and Steve,( I wonder if he still works there) used to send me stuff, and be available any time I need something.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I love your subtle (?) threat about the SEC and equal treatment of shareholders. So clever and snarky. Of course, as a former business reporter, I would think you’d be a bit more up on what the SEC requires, especially after all those great stories you wrote for USA TODAY from San Francisco on executive compensation abuses in the high tech industry. Oh wait, never mind.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    The more interesting part of Jim’s note, I thought, was the part about executives posting on blogs anonymously, especially when there’s motive to drive up stock prices.

    That June blog post about pensions had a comment that caught my eye. It seemed to admonish Jim for “filtering” the IDs of those who comment here, because we are (gasp!) allowed the free speech to make sweeping generalities when stating our opinions and observations about life at Gannett.

    Someone seemed a little overly curious about who’s asking.

    Thanks, Jim, for being our front man. I probably speak for many in saying we greatly appreciate the time and talent you put to this blog.

  7. Jim Hopkins Says:

    Thank you, @9:37 p.m.: Comments like yours are terrific inspiration after long blogging days like yesterday.

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