Asheville: Production chief said axed; papers late

Two weeks after dumping their production director, a reader here says, the Asheville Citizen-Times in North Carolina could not get the newspaper out this morning, so had to print at a sister site in Greenville, S.C. “Papers were two to three hours late,” the reader says.

Lost your production director in the layoff of 100 managers? What’s the impact? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar.

Earlier: Readers describe big print woes in Louisville. Plus: our paper-by-paper list of laid-off managers

[Image: today’s front page, Newseum]

26 Responses to “Asheville: Production chief said axed; papers late”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    (Quote) What the gasoline shortage in the Southeast allegedly means to the newspaper in Asheville:

    No Gas
    No Delivery
    No Sales
    No Revenue
    More Advertising Bonuses
    More Layoffs

    Did I read that right? (UnQuote)

    As for the production director in Asheville. He knew everything and that was a disfunctional move by Gannett. It seems that the paper is having random layoffs with no regard for running it day to day. My question is: What are they selling the paper for?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Single-copy (rack) sales apparently were non-existent in Asheville today. So instead of chipping in 50 cents (or $2.50 a week, or $130.00 a year – not counting $104.00 on weekends), I cruised over to the newspaper’s web site and read enough to last until the 6 pm TV news.
    And really didn’t miss much, except not having to wash my hands after reading the newspaper at my desk.
    So how will the AC-T survive at this rate?
    Counting its PAGE VIEWS, I guess.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    There was absolutely NO thought put into the day to day running of the papers when the layoffs occurred. Corporate wasn’t interested in the individual site’s needs or recommendations. The holidays will probably be a disaster.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    From the ACT web site:
    The Asheville Citizen-Times experienced press problems this morning. Newspapers were distributed late in parts of Western North Carolina. Due to carrier obligations, some Thursday edition newspapers will be delivered with the Friday edition of the following areas: Alexander, Black Mountain, Candler, Fairview, East Asheville, Cherokee, Cashiers, Sylva and Franklin. If you have not received your newspaper, please call the customer service department at 1-800-672-2472. The Citizen-Times apologizes for the inconvenience.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    It’s complete idiotcy to let your production director and your circulation director go. IT was already basically outsourced to Greenville. With all due respect to HR, I can’t see what they were really doing anyway, other than referring people to a web site if they had a question about their health insurance coverage or 401K. But to let go the production director and circulation director says very clearly, “We don’t care about the print product.”

  6. Anonymous Says:

    This is what happens when you have someone like Gracia, who knows nothing about the business, calling the shots. This is going to be fun to watch is a sick kind of way.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I hate to say it, but Burns was pretty much a worthless turd. He had no idea what was going on at the plant on Sardis and was more interested in disseminating his wonderful knowledge. People like him usually get their due in good time. Speak to anyone who has worked closely with him and they will concur.

    Good riddance.

  8. Dutch619m Says:

    I would like to hear from anyone in production at the Asheville Citizen-Times. You may e-mail me at
    Mike Heine

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I think the Gannett Ship named Asheville has hit an iceberg and is taking on water fast.

    Everyone to the lifeboats… paddle faster!

    And who put that garbage from the ACT website online. Those people read the paper not the web.
    That is why you heard that swoosh as subscribers were getting new subscriptions with the Times News in Hendersonville.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I have worked with Burns for many years. I can’t think of a better, more honarable person.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Hey 9:46, The Asheville ship hit the iceberg several years ago, it’s been
    taking on water and is just about sunk! I lost count, 6 Circ Directors in 5 years, huge advertising turnover, worthless publishers who are ego maniacs, actually Burns was one of the few people who knew what was going on and tried to stick it out. I’ve been in Gannett for a long time and it IS the worst run newspaper in Gannett.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Here Here, is there a magazine publisher interested in hiring the rest of the skeleton staff at the Asheville Citizen Times? They could get all the talent they need by setting up a job fair across the street in front of the building.

    Talking about a turnkey business and you know your overhead would be low because Gannett does not pay those workers squat.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    This is a production worker from Asheville, and whom ever posted the message about Jim Burns did not know him very well. The man spent most of his day at Sardis and any time there was any kind of issue he was there at any hour giving 110% to take care of the issue. And as far as his knowledge!!!! and the man has plenty of that. It sounds like he was trying to teach you somthing besides setting behind a desk posting comments!!!

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Hey 12:07 – The circulation ship had been turned around and was headed in the right direction. Two years ago Asheville was in the tank in all circ rankings – this year they’re near the top in every area. The reason – solid managers who care about their job and doing things the right way. tft!

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Wow!!! If Burns is a worthless turd for being a hard working well respected production director. Than I would hate to see what you would say about the rest of that toilet…..Damn he must have been a big turd because he sure plugged lots of holes over the years and did a good job keeping that place running..
    And that was before the new inserter and press up grade. When things where all to hell. Every night was a night you would fight fires just to produce a paper! Like the one that they had Wednesday night! So what do you do as a PD? You build a good team, give them the training and tools to do there job,get the place producing a paper very efficient on a daily basis. {{THEN}} you kick thim out the door. Well now I see what you get for giving a company 28 years of your life, missing your kids grow up because you where just to busy working day and night. I think I would love to be employeed by a company that cared that much for there employee’s.
    Back to the big turd ((BURNS)) what did he do to piss you off? Make you do your job? Hold you accountable for a mistake you made? Or was it that you just could not fill him full of BS to get out of somthing because of his knowledge? I guess what ever it was you have a good reason to bad mouth the best PD I have ever worked for just because he did his job well.
    The Production facility took a big blow when loosing Jim. You can not do the things he did from a remote location and expect it to be the same.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Great come back. I worked at the paper for many years and came to the realization that people up in those parts are of scared of change and anyone that seems educated more then them. The people in Western North Carolina are defensive about everything. Even a new guy working hard.
    I remember being told to slow down because I was making the other workers look bad. (It was a warning)
    I still kept my nose to the grindstone and earned the respect of people like Burns.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    I dont know where your thought’s about WNC come from? And I really don’t know who you think is scared!! But I worked with Jim for 10 years and know what he did for the Production facility every day.
    I know how much time he spent and the effort he put in his job. And to hear you trash him really pisses me off because if you really know know jim you would not say that about him on a personal leval. I was not trying write a good come back as you stated. I was just defending the fact’s about Jim. Is is a great person,A great boss, And care’s more for his employee’s than Gannett does.
    I guess if that is what makes him a turd than yes he’s a turd But far from worthless!!He was a great employee for Gannett and is a big loss to the Asheville Citizen Times!
    And yes I know because I was there before Gannett and I seen the progress and changes over the years. And if Gannett had more employees like Jim than thay would no be in the shape they are in now!!
    OH!!Also you are right about the change part. All except in production Jim was a great teacher to his supervisor’s and manager’s when it come to change. I think his words where ((You must adapt with the changes good or bad to help grow. And if you fail to do so than you will only be left behind))I would like to know why you think this about him because I have seen Jim at his high and low’s and never could I say that about him. Can you tell me what he done to you to make you fill this way? Because I really don’t think it was that bad or your words for him would not have been a worthless turd.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    I just forgot to add the part about you working so hard you where told to slow down!! I know that did not come from Jim or His supervisors at Sardis road production facility. Because On Sardis it is all about busting your rear. So you must have worked at O’Henry? And that means you did not see Burns that often because he was at Sardis Helping out!!!!

  19. Anonymous Says:


    I think you got a few paragraphs mixed up. As for Burns I was defending him and taking a swipe at the people talking down on him. And no I never worked at O’Henry where ever that is.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    I worked for Jim Burns for years and he was the best damn director I have ever worked for. He took care of the whole production facitlity and also took over facilities for both Saris and downtown.He was one of the most dedicated people that I have ever worked for. So if you didn’t work with him or for him you don’t have a clue. He was a hands on director and would help in any way that he could no matter what the issue was. He was probally one of the smartest and hard working directors i have ever seen. If you didn’t work directly with him you don’t have a clue how valuable he was. In my opinion he was the best and they made a great big MISTAKE by letting him go. He also treated his employees with respect and would not ask for anything that he wouldn’t get in there with you and help do. Who ever wrote that turd crap doesn’t have a clue about him and how valuable he was at all. I think the turd would describe the idiot that made such comments and didn’t know what they were even talking about. Jim Burns took care of the whole production facitly and things downtown. I have never met a more intelligent, team leader and a hands on boss in my life. He helped through all the press upgrade and cutdown and and got right in there and didn’t mind to get his hands dirty and thats a hell of alot more that I can say for some people. He will be missed greatly and in my opinion he was one of the best!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Anonymous Says:

    If the paper is sold it is because the paper has sunk to a level of pandemonium. The cutting of people with such experience seems to be very counterproductive.
    I would think if GCI is interested in giving their shareholders stock value they would think twice about these cuts.

    As for the turd comment made by 10:14. Need I say more, 10:14 is angry about something.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    10:14 sends back!!! No I am not angry. But I think if you are going to call a man like Jim Burns a worthless turd on a Gannett Blog where everyone can read it. Than you should know what the hell your talking about. I guess you don’t think it is a big deal because your name is not the one out there stomped on.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Enough about Burns. It was a Gannett move like no other. Regardless of the name mentioned he obviously did a great job and was a hard working employee.

    Like I said before 1:28 you seem really defensive about something. Any way I was not the one that started name calling. This is not a place to vent about people it is a place to vent about Gannett.

    As for the people at the paper in Asheville. Remember they have mouths to feed and mortgages to pay for.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Does anyone know if the paper in Asheville is up for Sale?

  25. Anonymous Says:

    1:28 am said “Speak to anyone who has worked closely with him” evidently a couple of those people voiced their opinion.

    And to 9:58 AM. It looks to me like everything thing is for sale. Asheville folks need to hope for a buyer.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    Anyone know of a Asheville and Greenville merger? And if so when

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: