Carroll: Gannett Digital now in ‘major’ hiring push

The digital division will eventually include more than 100 technology and IT staffers, more than doubling the number before the late 2006 launch of the Information Center model, according to an interview Jennifer Carroll gave to PBS’ Media Shift blog. Carroll, a main architect of the Information Center strategy, was named Digital’s vice president of digital content in April. From the Q&A:

Media Shift: Many newspapers complain that it’s expensive to get good programmers or that it’s difficult to recruit them because they’d prefer tech companies or start-ups. Has it been difficult to hire them at Gannett?

Carroll: We’re right in the middle of a major hiring period at Gannett Digital for exactly those kinds of people and we’ve been very impressed by the response. Some are coming from start-ups, some are coming from existing online companies, others are those that we’ve gone out and recruited in the past couple years. We have been a lot more proactive about being in places we weren’t before, like tech conferences and R&D sessions. We’ve tried to learn and grow so we can stay ahead instead of running to stay in place like everyone else.

We’ve done a lot of hiring over the past three months in all these areas: product development, audience, technology and operations. At the same time, the economic realities that are affecting all sorts of pockets across the United States, including in real estate, have forced newspapers to make reductions so we are putting a premium on innovation and growth to support some of the work that our local newspapers are doing. We are taking on the R&D role that they don’t have the staff to do.

[Hat tip, Romenesko. Image: today’s Des Moines Register front page, Newseum; Carroll singles out the paper for praise]

10 Responses to “Carroll: Gannett Digital now in ‘major’ hiring push”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    If they truly are hiring programmers — not just hack designers from faulty start-ups — then the R&D actually should pay off down the road. My biggest complaint is Gannett's over-reliance on third-party software.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    this is reassuring… to me at least. I’m in an online department and I was hoping that I was out of the line of fire for any future layoffs.

    as long as they don’t start some hardcore consolidating, i feel secure.

    also yes, gannett online products are duct taped together at best. just look at the load times and page weights of our GO4 sites. horrible.

    i hope we get some real talent that can start doing some in house developing, instead of trying to stitch together a montage of third-party solutions.

    lets hire some of those people over at google.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Seems the more they talk about innovation, the more the sites all look the same. That’s just a hollow word.

    Research and development???Shouldn’t that have all been ironed out before they announced that transformation? What in the world is left to research and develop?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    good…hire some smart people

  5. Anonymous Says:

    “We’ve done a lot of hiring over the past three months in all these areas: product development, audience, technology and operations.”

    Which, if any, of these areas are responsible for gathering, verifying, organizing and composing news?

    That would be news meant for publication in the products they are developing for the audience they are seeking using the technology they operate? Seriously, what do these “areas” mean in English?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t necessarily see the point in hiring at GMTI. The people at GMTI are to say the least, morons. They create major issues for the programmers at the locals and when we call to ask for support we either get our messages ignored or an answer with a question.. i’ve even had some ask me how to fix it. Why not pay the GOOD programmers in the locals more money rather than hiring more morons.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Certainly there is more to Gannett Digital than GMTI.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Gannett’s history of true digital innovation is shorter than this post.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Audience? Now, you tell me what someone in Virginia is going to know about or do with an audience thousands of miles away. I’d say the money might be better spent keeping beat reporters engaging audiences with strong reporting, writing and presentation.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Carroll says: “Our newsrooms have adopted the mantra of write for online, update for print. Everything is thought of for immediacy and getting it out the door.”

    This isn’t the mantra at our site.

    Almost everything still written for a late-afternoon deadline for the morning paper.

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