Reader: is a ‘total debacle’

Regarding continuing problems with one of Gannett’s digital portfolio companies,, a reader says in a comment: “Now that we’ve just finished another weekend of the high school football season, is there any improvement in the HighSchoolSports.Net debacle? Last night and the night before, are papers getting their scores for online and print? Are photos and videos uploaded to BleachersTV getting through? Are the locally sold ad campaigns running on HSS yet? Over the last two nights, did HSS get any better at responding to support requests from schools and newspapers?”

The comment continues: “Does Gannett Digital realize what a total debacle HSS has been? If so, their communication to markets doesn’t make it clear that they do and that they realize they and HSS dropped the ball. This further erodes the waning credibility of a lot of people at Gannett Digital.
Although the failings are on HSS’s part, what accountability is there for those at Gannett Digital ultimately responsible for this?”

Join the debate, in the original post.

11 Responses to “Reader: is a ‘total debacle’”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    This is a total train wreck from what I see at our paper. I think the issues are with HSS and it is really not a Gannett Digital issue. Although, since we own it, it should be evryone’s problem.

    Our online director has told me that HSS has not delivered a complete product and that Digital is trying to get them to build it according to what we asked for.

    I also heard from our publisher that there are very strained relationships between Digital and HSS management.
    If this does not work for us in another week, we will revert back to our own solution.

  2. Anonymous Says: has issues. No doubt about it. It has been frustrating from the user end.

    But I think these problems can be resolved and the potential upside of this effort is much higher than past packages we have been given to use.

    Do I wish we had started this process earlier so we would have more time to de-bug it? Sure. But that’s not the way the business works these days.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    We shot mug shots of every high school football player in our area -over 15 teams, probably 750 photos in all – and discovered that when they are displayed on the HSS sight the watermark covers the face of the player!… what’s that about? can’t we do better than that?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Our tv station is up in arms with HSS. We have limited resources and now we are doing more work!

    Who is the moron that decided to buy this piece of shit company? Seriously?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I was not aware that anyone in the company was still using HSS. Our group abandoned it at the start of football season.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    “We have limited resources and now we are doing more work!”

    This is my experience with most technology investments by Gannett.

    Instead of tightly integrated content sharing software we get cobbled-together horse excrement. Planet discover for searching (sucks), HSS for sports scores (sucks) Digital Collections for archiving (sucks), whatever out-dated front end system your local property happened to buy before the turn of the century… is it any wonder we can’t compete? If they can’t give us the manpower to do the job, they could AT LEAST get us the technology.

    The one exception to this has been the RTC Media Manager, the photo transfer software developed in-house at DesMoines, I believe. Kudos to those guys.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    DC5 is a great product and does not suck. I agree with you on the others.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    From what I’ve seen, some of the markets do great things with Planet Discover… seems like a classic case of Garbage In, Garbage Out to me.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    HSS a debacle? We here at … call it a clusterf***. With nearly 30 FB teams in our coverage area, and scheduling overlaps lingering from last year’s SkedStar, we’ve been lucky to see half of our game results appear online.

    After weeks of micromanaging SS through the clean-up, what we’re left with leaves a lot to be desired. Whose bright idea was it to employ designers who haven’t got a clue when it comes to sports? (Dudette, ever heard of a safety? Well, it’s a pretty common occurrence in high school FB.)

    It would be nice if we could have an uncomplicated laugh at SkedStar’s expense — but the fact is that Gannett seems to make a habit of forcing the deployment of changes before (often WAY before) the technology, planning and refinement of those changes have been fully implemented.

    As a 40-something sports journo and longtime blogger, I’m a natural skeptic. But even I am surprised at the way Gannett has allowed its newspapers to look like complete idiots in their respective markets. If the goal is to keep current readers (grandparents), bolster readership among income-rich professionals (parents), and draw in readers of the future (high school athletes of every stripe), then Gannett has done nothing less than drive them all away in disgust.

    Only it’s the newspapers and their Web sites that take the fall.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    One wonders how many sports editors at Gannett papers were consulted before the decision to buy and implement was made. I’m fairly certain it was none. I thought the same thing about Preps Factory, which we had all sorts of problems with. is worse than useless to us — it’s a hindrance. We had planned on using the reverse-publishing aspect for our weekly stat leaders and asked our coaches to submit stats accordingly. Now, we have to do that ourselves by hand, which undermines productivity and weakens the product.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I have heard that management is a trainwreck and that they have been so for years. People in the HS sports industry all have had terrible experiences with them. Too bad Gannett didn’t kick the tires a bit more before forcing them down everyone’s throats.

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