Wednesday | Oct. 1 | Got news, or a question?

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56 Responses to “Wednesday | Oct. 1 | Got news, or a question?”

  1. Jim Hopkins Says:

    It’s the first day of the month; surely, THAT’S worth commenting on!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    From CNN yesterday:

    NEW YORK (Associated Press) – Shares in most newspaper companies dropped sharply in the third quarter, in many cases performing worse than the general market as a weakening economy depressed advertising revenue that was already slumping because of the Internet.

    Since the start of the quarter, shares in The McClatchy Co., for instance, lost 35 percent to close Tuesday at $4.40. Gannett Co. shares dropped 22 percent to $16.91. Stock in the E.W. Scripps Co. lost 22 percent to $7.07, adjusted for a 1-for-3 reverse split.

    In the same period, the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 9 percent.

    Gannett and McClatchy both announced major job cuts during the quarter as advertising revenue plummeted even further than anticipated as retailers, employers, auto dealers and others cut back.

    Gannett shares dipped most in mid-August, when the nation's largest newspaper publisher announced it was eliminating 1,000 jobs, including 600 layoffs.

    A month later, McClatchy slashed 1,150 jobs because of the advertising woes, its second 10 percent reduction in three months.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Does anyone know what is going on with the corporate email server? A bunch of us at my site (I’m a ‘whiny’ NJ group employee) have had a miserable time with email all year. Email arriving in spurts every hour or so, email staying in the outbox for hours and sometimes days. Our IT people say it’s because we are on corporate’s exchange servers now and there’s nothing we can do about it other than use the webmail interface. To be honest, the lagtime disappeared for a month or two in early summer. But now it’s back.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    So whoever got us all fired up about “something big happening in Nashville” last week was full of it? I have a feeling a bitter manager or two were just trying to mess with us!!

  5. Anonymous Says:

    What exactly is GMTI’s role?

  6. Jim Hopkins Says:

    That last question from 10:07 am refers to Gannett Media Technologies International, http://www.gmti.com/

    But I don’t understand the question: GMTI’s role in what?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Jim, with your Bay ties, you may be interested in this, and to all others, remember, Gannett is deeply involved in MediaNews operations:
    E&P's version excerpt, but CCTimes has own story up:
    The Bay Area News Group, which owns the Contra Costa Times and other daily and weekly newspapers in the San Francisco Bay area, named a new East Bay president and publisher on Tuesday.

    The company said David Rounds, vice president of circulation for the San Jose Mercury News, would replace John Armstrong starting Oct. 17.

    Armstrong, 65, joined the Times as editor in 1995 and became president and publisher of the paper and its sister publications in 2006 after Denver, Colo.-based MediaNews Corp. bought them and the Mercury News.

    He said he was told last week that his "skill set" no longer fit the company as it struggles to retain advertising revenue amid the changing reader habits that have led to a historic revenue slide for the newspaper industry.

    "It just wasn't a good fit based on how they had newly defined the job," Armstrong said. "I don't quarrel at all with the need to consolidate the operation so we're as efficient as possible. Where that leads you, that's to be determined."

  8. Anonymous Says:

    John Zogby offers a few insights about how America is changing that also seem to intuitively suggest additional reasons why Gannett’s future stock value is not so bright:

    Socially responsible investing – Individual investors increasingly, and overwhelmingly opt for companies that are loyal to the communities they serve, their employees and the environment, not just those with strong performance. They know the pains felt by employees and what happens when companies do basically anything to boost value. As such, more and more of them seek companies that will not only satisfy their investment goals, but their conscience as well. Gannett increasingly fails at both.

    And, despite all of our differences, this country seems to be agreeing to a simple set of principles about everything…”be fair, be honest, practice ethics; don’t just talk them.” Too many Gannett employees know the sad truths about Gannett’s internal short comings here and given American’s increasing distrust of the media, it seems that this is yet another reason why investors may ultimately go elsewhere.

    Apparently, a company’s character and the company it keeps, really does matter. Imagine that.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    One of GMTI’s biggest roles in Gannett is management of web services for most of the newspapers and broadcast station (currently hosted out of the Maryland Operations Center).

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Other other role of GMTI is to take a good thing and totally screw it up.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I keep telling myself I need to start looking for another job.

    Every day without news or rumors of some impending GCI corporate panic-fueled mass layoff leads me to believe I have security in my job.

    I need to give myself a swift kick in the arse, then start my job search.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    At the “Arizona Republic” they are in the process of not only downsizing the workers but also downsizing the width of the paper! It is quite commical the paper width is being reduced and the type is being enlarged. But the classified section type is being even more reduced making me wonder who the heck can read such small type? You would need a magnifying glass or maybe they want to drive that part into the ground. But the good news is bigger type for the common stories with less content and it is starting to look like a comic book! I kid you not. Soon after so many reductions of the size of the paper we can just use a roll of toliet paper then reuse the paper after we read it! They also have unloaded the whole process as to reformatting the paper and selling it to the “base customers” as they have been listening to them for years and are now using “their” ideas but refrained from telling them that they took inches off the width of the paper! I am sure they will figure it out and will realize why the heck are we buying this “rag”? Lets see how we can save more money for the oversized management and overpaid CEO!!!!! Unbelieveable sad and detrimental!

  13. Anonymous Says:

    12:48 Is this reducing the width further than what many Gannett papers did last spring?

    Our readers didn’t make a peep when we shrunk – and they are generally vocal. I think it actually makes it easier to use. It’s funny to compare it to the size from 5 years ago (we’ve gone through a couple of size reductions). Makes you wonder how you managed a paper that large. Of course I’m talking paper width, not page count.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I believe it is going to 46 inches from 48. “Just a little off the sides mr.”

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I was in Phoenix last week and I would bet that’s the ugliest paper in the chain. Ugly fonts, crazy type sizes, looks like it was designed on somebody’s kitchen table with Pagemaker.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    I can’t wait for the “showdown ” between the “hockey mom” palin and joe biden! This , I hope , will expose the bad choices that McCain made in her. I am shamed, being irish, that mccain will say anything just to be president! Well we will see this thursday if the “Pig or pitbull has lipstick” or is just another “dan qualye”. Hey Jim, this ought to shake up some posts!

  17. Dutch619m Says:

    Pretty sure Phx going to 44″ web, same as Louisville. With newsprint over $600 a ton, and reportedly headed for $700, it saves a lot on cost.
    Still looks funny to us here.
    I guess next is a Tab

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Parsippany ‘Daily Record’ Taps PCF for Home Deliveries

    http://tinyurl.com/4dd9pp

    As goes one Jersey paper, so goes the rest of the Jersey paper.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Yes dutch you are right!!

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Wow 1:33,isn’t that the same quote what the Bush adminestration and Paulson were saying for the past six months!!!!! Get ready the plane is going down and it is time for the golden parachute! Yipeeeeeee capitalism at it’s finest! Hooray for the wall street bailout!

  21. Anonymous Says:

    I would feel better about the bailout if we the people could just take some of these crooked CEO’s, like the muslims do, out to some expensive stadium and flog the crap out of them or chop off their greedy little hands! I would be for the bailout 100 percent then. We the people!!!

  22. Anonymous Says:

    dutch wrote: “Pretty sure Phx going to 44″ web, same as Louisville.”

    Got word last week that our paper will do the same next spring. I’m betting it’ll happen Gannett-wide.

    Might as well just be a tab.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    What exactly does that credit watch mean?

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Lee Enterprises shares are going at $3.46.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Asbury is going to 44″ this month.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    8:04 a.m. — Exchange servers are a joke here too. It’s maddening because you miss e-mails from colleagues in the same building when you’re working on a project — Or it mangles web links — at one time
    “corporate e-mail” seemed like a boon but if they can’t learn to manage a server, we’re all better off communicating with our private e-mail accounts.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    USA Today is doing an excellent job online and in print on the economic crisis. I worked for Gannett years ago and I travel a lot now. People still read USA Today a great deal on airplanes and I always have some guy next to me asking to read my copy.
    I have been addicted to the USA Today coverage the past few days. The online coverage is especially rich and dimensional.

    I also watch CNBC, MSNBC, read the NY Times and go online to marketwatch.com

    I have not seen anyone cover this event with as much perspective as USA Today. Great job.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    The move to the 44-inch Web has been in the works for more than a year now. Nothing new about it.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    yes phx is going to 44-inch webs.

    one of my colleagues took a vacation last year to Australian and brought home some Aussie papers. they are still using 60 (or62?) inch webs. it was pretty comical to place them next to our 48-inch web papers.

    az pressman

  30. Anonymous Says:

    doh!!!

    Australia not Australian

  31. Anonymous Says:

    Is anyone running a story online and/or in print about Gwen Ifill’s upcoming book, “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama” and her role in moderating the Vice Presidential debate tomorrow night?

  32. Anonymous Says:

    I think Indy went to 44 inch web in February. Old hat. Now check out the Lafayette, Ind., paper, which is Gannett-owned and was the first Berliner paper in the U.S.

  33. Anonymous Says:

    Talk about shrinking newsprint width. The newest project at Gannett Skunk Works calls for newspapers to be printed on toilet paper rolls. Subscribers would mount the paper in their bathroom toilet paper holders and sit down for the 49.8 seconds it takes to read the average Gannett paper. Two leading toilet paper makers are said to be negotiating buying minority stakes in the operation. A Moms version is also in the works.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Jim,

    I'm surprised you haven't picked up on Standard & Poors "Watch status" put on GCI today – and the subsequent statement from the company that things are just fine.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    Wow. Cash your paychecks as soon as you get them, because the credit crisis has come to GCI. The announcement by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services placing Gannett’s debt on credit watch "with negative implications," means the ratings agency doesn't have confidence GCI can meet the revenue/expenditure goals it promised when it took out the loans. In practice, it means no more loans in this climate where only those with sterling credit can get loans. It also certainly means more layoffs and very soon, because corporate will want to get GCI on the right side of Wall Street regardless of the human costs it will bring. Watch out. On your paychecks, it also means corporate will have trouble getting short-term loans to make the payroll — a normal way of doing business for most large companies. It is certainly an indication of how a corrupt and venal management is leading this corporation down a rathole. I would not be surprised to see heads roll at corporate over this. It is astonishing GCI would allow anything negative to be weighed against its debt at this point when the markets are in an uproar over comapanies that cannot pay off what they owe.

  36. Anonymous Says:

    How could management allow GCI’s credit ratings to be downgraded? The board of directors should be sued for malfeasance in office for failing to ensure that GCI’s credit ratings aren’t the best possible. I cannot recall this ever happening before.

  37. Anonymous Says:

    All I can hear inside my head is the line from the movie…

    “Iceburg…Right ahead!!!”

  38. Anonymous Says:

    Oh no, I must close my eyes, is the slasher going to get management……..?

  39. Anonymous Says:

    Des Moines Register and Iowa City Press-Citizen went to 44″ in June 08; the same time GM press department (30 jobs) and began publishing IC Press-Citizen in Des Moines. Many, many problems getting the paper delivered on time in IC and it hasn’t even snowed yet. customers are cancelling subscriptions every day.

  40. Anonymous Says:

    4:39

    That’s funnee

  41. Anonymous Says:

    Does anyone know anything about more layoffs before end of the year?

    Any word that Gannett may close some of the smallest newspapers?

  42. Anonymous Says:

    We’re associated with one of the smaller papers, and I know that none of the budgeting for that paper for next year is happening locally, whatever that might mean.

  43. Anonymous Says:

    GMTI suffers from the same corporate e-mail servers as everybody else; they’re Gannett IT’s responsibility.

    Granted, telling all the Mac OS X people they don’t get e-mail anymore was a nice touch (unless Parallels or the like).

  44. Anonymous Says:

    When Craig says “fundamentals”, does he, like Senator McCain, mean “people”?

  45. Anonymous Says:

    I was wondering what that means—underlying fundamentals. Is that standard financial talk?

  46. Anonymous Says:

    Rumor has it that Wilmington may see layoffs by November, and a sale is possible.

  47. Anonymous Says:

    Wilmington? Didn’t the company just put most of its East Group management eggs in the Wilmington basket? A sale doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  48. Anonymous Says:

    2:01

    This explains the reason for the credit watch a little better.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081001/gannett_s_p.html?.v=1

  49. Anonymous Says:

    ::::Rumor has it that Wilmington may see layoffs by November, and a sale is possible.:::

    Sung to the tune of Nashville Cats.

    But seriously, “rumor has it”? Informed sources? Or just uninformed fear?

  50. Anonymous Says:

    I never realized before this hour that Gannett is facing the same debt problems that Avista is facing with the Strib, and Billy Dean Singleton is facing with his papers. This is unbelievable. How could corporate allow the debt to get out of control? That Standard and Poor release means they are about to downgrade GCI bonds to junk bond status. That will certainly mean more revenues GCI will have to commit to paying off debt, and so more pressure on cost-cutting measures. I thought Gannett was secure from this economic turmoil we are about to see, but we clearly are not and are now in the middle of the storm. If someone told me this morning there was any prospect GCI would collapse, I would have laughed. I’m not laughing now.

  51. Anonymous Says:

    12:29 I am happy even if it means I don't have a job I cannot wait till the jerks they call managemant get the axe> mutiple levels of incompetence and this is acceptable!!!!!!!! Bring it on as george W said the first term!! I love it!!!!

  52. Anonymous Says:

    Would someone please explain, in a way a third-grader could understand it, the difference between the corporate credit rating and the commercial paper rating?
    Thanks.

  53. Anonymous Says:

    Where’s Jim?

  54. Anonymous Says:

    Commercial paper is essentially short-term debt, while corporate debt is longer-term. Big companies use commerical paper all the time, to deal with payroll and other immediate needs. Revenues don’t come in evenly, and the commercial paper serves as a bridge loan while accounts are reconciled. The longer debt is used for buying big ticket items like presses, equipment or newspapers, etc.
    I find the corporate press release misleading because it confuses the two, insisting that GCI’s credit rating remains solid. Wall Street doesn’t agree. If there is a delay in getting your paycheck, you will know who is right.

  55. Anonymous Says:

    9:15 gives a good explanation. Payrolls and other costs are constant throughout the year, but ads surge and retreat according to the seasons. Commercial paper is used to iron out the dips and surges. S&P is saying there ain't going to be no surge this year, which is what others have written on this blog. Frankly, I would not be surprised to hear some of the properties are now running in the red.

  56. Anonymous Says:

    BTW, just got word that the holiday party has been nixed at corporate HQ in favor of a 25k donation to the employee disaster relief fund. Not sure if this had been posted or not.

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