Unity: Gannett attendance way down from 2004?

Updated at 11:05 a.m. ET to correct hed: Regarding my post about CEO Craig Dubow‘s low profile at this week’s mammoth Unity ’08 minority journalism conference, a reader says: “Another sour grapes BS post. There are a number of Gannett executives here in Chicago. At least 15. Instead of constantly bitching, people ought to at least have some kind of constructive words rather than always tearing down and then lying about the rest. This blog has been going from bad to worse. The company appears to have a major presence here, is a major supporter, and comments like this do not help any cause except the few malcontents.”

A “major” presence, eh? From the News Department’s ever-reliable weekly News Watch newsletter:

  • Yesterday: “More than 200 Gannett journalists and executives from across the company are gathered in Chicago this week.”
  • Aug. 13, 2004: “Doug McCorkindale, chairman, president and CEO of Gannett, welcomed about 300 people to a Gannett rally before the formal start of Unity.”

Upcoming today
Dubow and other executives are to host a reception for GCI attendees. Other top dogs expected at Unity, according to News Watch: Chief Financial Officer Gracia “The Knife” Martore; human resources chief Roxanne “Insurance Audit” Horning; USA Today Publisher Craig “Other Craig” Moon, and broadcasting division head Dave “No Snarky Nickname Yet” Lougee.

Earlier: At Unity ’08, the color of sponsorships is green

Related: Unity President Karen Lincoln Michel of Gannett’s Green Bay Press-Gazette says diversity is “taking a back seat” to industry woes

Your latest bitching (hah!), in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

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12 Responses to “Unity: Gannett attendance way down from 2004?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I think 50 people would’ve been more than enough of a presence. Diversity issues are not our biggest struggle right now in the news industry. Putting this many resources into the issue is very misguided.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Gee whiz. I WANT to support this blog. There’s so much great information in it.

    But once again…a one-source inaccuracy simply gets posted and then is proven to be wrong. Turns out, Dubow IS at the Unity convention.

    How about taking a breath next time.

  3. Jim Hopkins Says:

    @9:32 am: Please re-read the original item. The reader said: “I haven’t seen Dubow or anyone else from the upper echelon.”

    Sounds like Dubow may be spending too much time in his hotel suite.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    OH come on, it’s SO obvious:

    Dave “Hack A” Lougee

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Wouldn’t a change from 300 to 200 be a decrease of 33% instead of the 50% in the headline? And if it’s “more than 200” wouldn’t the delta be less than 33%?

  6. Jim Hopkins Says:

    @11:02 am: You wrote: “Wouldn’t a change from 300 to 200 be a decrease of 33% instead of the 50% in the headline?” Answer: Yes, to people like you, who can do simple math. But to total morons like me, well — let’s just say that I fixed the hed. Thank YOU!

    And you wrote: “And if it’s “more than 200″ wouldn’t the delta be less than 33%?” I dunno about that, another reason to fix the hed.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    omeone said that the Lord Craig Dubow is making a quick appearance today for a 2 hour “reception”. What a joke! There was only 75 people at the Gannett Employee Rally on Wednesday. I sat through that as bored as can be. Nothing new mentioned. Phil Currie did the same old wrap up with typical corporate-speak. I think they all share the same prepared notes.

    Did Dubow fly in on the corporate jet? What time does the plane leave to go home? He is probably coming in for a drink and some bullshit speech and then he and “The Knife” Martore are going to leave on their corporate jet.

    Now THAT is a waste of money! Tell Dubow he does not need to support this cause. He is so disconnected from his employees that people do not even want to see him.

    Btw, Roxanne is the most UNINSPIRING speaker I have ever listened to. Boring, old and out of touch!

    Virgil, brother, what is going through your mind?

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Tara Connell is walking around nervous that there is no one from the Gannett Executive suites here attending the sessions.

  9. Jim Hopkins Says:

    Whoo-hoo, Chicago! Keep those cards and letters coming!

  10. Anonymous Says:

    200 in these times is, I am sure, the biggest contingent there. 2004 was a time when Gannett papers were doing a lot better. Does it surprise anyone that the company can’t afford to send as many people to conferences? Should we send more reporters and editors to this conference and fund the cost with another layoff or two at a newspaper? I’m not surprised travel and training budgets are being used carefully during trying times. I mean, if you’re a Detroit journalist who just got laid off, would you be feeling a bit resentful if the paper sent a dozen or so people on another training “junket” — one of the ones that so often to result in zero improvement in the journalism of the individuals who attend. This is not a whack at UNITY, a fantastic event … but I mean a conference vs. more reporters on the street?

  11. Anonymous Says:

    You know, with comments like these, I don’t know why the scores of Gannett staffers who attended bothered?

    Gannett was very supportive, much more than many other media companies, yet people still complain. Just once it would be nice to hear the company get at least a couple kudos for good work.

    This should be called the complaintsonlygannett.blog.org

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Kudos to Gannett for supportiveness. There. You have it, Anon 6:30 PM.

    Kudos for good work, though? Hardly. I’d be fibbing.

    A commitment to diversity, I think, is something that’s ongoing. Managers where I worked showed me just the opposite by allowing hateful and hurtful comments to linger on the unmoderated forums.

    Sure. We had to keep the mainstreaming and diversity forms and contact lists updated—or else. But it seemed like a big joke the way my manager presented it. She told me it was a Gannett requirement, and that I needed to do the form so the executive director could send the numbers to corporate and get awarded some kind of score! Now that’s really managing up—and hardly what I’d consider a commitment to diversity.

    So kudos, Gannett, for successfully managing up. The sad thing is this— managing up doesn’t work.

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