Friday | Oct. 17 | Got news, or a question?

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49 Responses to “Friday | Oct. 17 | Got news, or a question?”

  1. Jim Hopkins Says:

    TGIF, eh?!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Unless, of course, you don’t work Monday-Friday …

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I can’t see too many papers completely dropping the AP. It’s critical for filling the paper at my site – at least 3-4 pages in the A section each day. We wouldn’t be able to put out a features section without AP. And there are always those times when you need a regional story to fill a back local page at the last minute because something fell through.

    Why negotiate with 10-20 unreliable freelancers or startup Web sites when you can still get it all from one source?

    (That’s not to dis freelancers! I’ve both been a freelancer and managed freelancers. But getting the right kind of copy from the fight kind of person requires a lot of finesse and a lot of work.)

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Wilmington launched Metromix this week. It looks like the same old entertainment and event listings from the daily, the web and the under-30 weekly regurgitated for a new Web site.

    Can someone explain how this is a strategy to make money? Seriously! I don’t get it.

    You set the existing known brand aside (the print paper and web site) in favor of a new site that no one’s ever heard of and requires its own advertising campaign. The name even sounds like a two-bit nightclub. The site seems to add nothing in terms of content or value except a map.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    “But getting the right kind of copy from the fight kind of person requires a lot of finesse and a lot of work.)”

    And if management needs to drop AP to make its number, you think they will care if it’s more work why???

    Sorry, from first-hand knowledge, any “caring” would be hollow. If they have to make a number, they will do what they have to, especially at the smaller and mid-level sites now focusing on local. Not bitching, it’s just true. It’s the nature of their jobs these days.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I meant to post the above comment in the AP thread.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    No one has mentioned that the VP/Circ at The Tennessean “retired” and that some Circ type from Florida (Tallahassee?) is taking his position.

    Yeah, right, he retired…

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Is anyone else using the software Kronos? We are implementing it sometime soon, and it’s like a time clock where you have to scan an ID badge as well as a FINGERPRINT to clock in.

    Management says it’s to make the process easier and ensure everyone works their hours…which is funny because we are so understaffed they might actually find they owe people a buttload of OT instead.

    Does this sound like overkill? Or maybe 1984?

  9. Anonymous Says:

    When we brought Kronos in it did make it a lot easier for me to see if people were staying longer than they should. Now I can make sure they hit the door after they do their 40, and they can keep better track as well.

    What irritates me, and them, is the rounding scheme and the way lunch breaks are computed. We’d all appreciate it if the minute you punched was the start of the shift, and the minute you punched for lunch was the start of that.

    Well, and we really don’t like the bloody fingertips laying around for people to punch in their buddies.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Isn’t it sad good old time cards aren’t good enough anymore. Says something about people these days doesn’t it. Does it eliminate any time card/paycheck errors?

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Kronos does not eliminate errors. The timeclocks don’t always work. At the paper I worked at, it was hit-or-miss as to whether some of the clocks reported your fingerprint scans to the system.
    People also forgot to punch in or out or when going to lunch. So, management set up a few people in each department to input missing punches, in effect, turning those staffers into payroll timekeepers. It is a mess, and takes far more time out of a staffer’s day than simply filling out a timesheet at the end of the week.
    I imagine it was installed to eliminate a few payroll clerk positions at the paper, but it resulted in turning news staffers into part-time payroll clerks. Another brilliant move!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    When I worked for one company we had to log into a designated computer every time we entered or left the building. You would use a employee number and password to do this. There was one at each entrance. If you forgot to log in or log out you had to turn in change request to HR signed by your manager. This made sure you logged in and logged out.

    It worked great for thousands of employees.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    This is so funny!
    One of the Google ads on the blog page this morning was “Vault” a company that apparently checks out the working environment of employers.
    This is what it said about Gannett:

    Lots of opportunity, lots of pressure
    Gannett’s “mammoth” size gives its employees an “unparalleled” range of career development opportunities. Thanks to an internal promotion policy, entry-level employees can look forward to “extensive options” concerning their training and location. Says an insider, “Once you have your foot in the door there are so many options. Gannett will always hire from within.” ……

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Why do they need a fingerprint though? I am fine with an automated clock system, but that part freaks me out.

    And they say it cannot be recreated if the system ever gets hacked, but I just don’t buy that with how many cases of employees, credit card holders and college students personal info keeps getting stolen.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    So why are we at the Statesman Journal in Salem Oregon having to have a scheduled meeting with the publisher over coffee? Does he really want us to tell him the truth about managment?
    I mean, us in advertisement are having to do daily reports through our noses. Dailey hour long meetings with managment, sometime twice a day. It’s a wander why our sales our in a decline, management doesn’t know how to run sales. They funny thing is, we have 3 retail sales mgrs, 2 classified sales mgrs and a ad director. You would figure one of them would know what they are doing.
    Does our publisher, Steve Silberman, really want us to tell him the truth about things?

    Any ideas on what I should do…

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, 4:46 a.m. poster from advertising: LEARN TO WRITE a #@%$ sentence! Sad part is, these advertsing people… with the above posting as great example of the writing skills, will soon be turning out “advertorial” content for Silverman’s paper….. It is what he deserves.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Some young Phx employees are having lunch w/pub today too

  18. Anonymous Says:

    well, 10:10 a.m., at least Salem poster spelled publisher’s name right. Be careful if you’re going to be snotty.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Yes and they are 9:46 am not 4:46 am…get the facts correct

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Just imagine how successful meetings could be if they were conducted off-site with real consumers and subscribers instead of staff-to-staff. Frankly, I don’t see how anyone has time anymore to justify the expense of internal meet and greets.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    conclusions of off-site meetings with consumers and subscribers are just twisted to fit the manager’s latest MBOs, resulting in things like phx’s grids and making reporters prisoners of lifestage prisms.

  22. doglover Says:

    RE Silberman. Be careful. He’s a passive aggressive. Whatever you say, he will turn back on you today or some day. Do not be critical, do not be, as someone said, snotty. Be general and broad in comments. And good luck, you’ll need it.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Here’s an interesting story from MarketWatch:

    “You won’t leave home without them”

    “Paperless coupons link discounts to loyalty cards, cell phones”

    http://www.marketwatch.com/

    So how long before paper Sunday coupon inserts go away?

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Kronos can be kind of hinky. I’ve had it round up when it should have rounded down and beep when it accepted a swipe and not recorded it. Keep a record of times you swiped in and out.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    11;38 I have used both online and paper coupons.
    some advertisers prefer the paper and some the digital. there are a lot of control issues with the digital forms.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    5:40 a.m.: You are right on about the OT. At least at my paper. They tell us not to work OT, but there is no way the paper would get out without it. Many people work OT everyday and don’t report it. I am a manager – and still have to fill out a time sheet, though I don’t have to put hours, just check boxes. I regularly work 50-60 hours a week – but they have no idea. Of course, I am a ‘working manager’ who has a title but is the only left in my department.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    Watch out for that coffee and lunch shit they pull. Where I worked, they did that with the “young” people. That left the “old” people nothing more than a bunch of extra work. I grew to resent it.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    No one except the porn shops get any results from online and we are suppose to go all digital someday?
    Who’s going to pay for it? The
    advertisers are catching on that their web ads don’t work. It really is over for the industry.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    I probably work 60-80 hrs/wk., and am doing 5-6 times the amount of work I was doing 5 years ago, with the additional web duties and the numerous rounds of headcount reductions. And I rarely get OT, and have to fight for what little is approved. Management thinks their big “get out of jail” card is that they don’t care about the quality or substance of the work, as long as it is completed in 8 hours. Well, duh, their name doesn’t show up next to it!

    It doesn’t take a math major to figure out how I’ve been able to keep my job.

    Gannett is a ticking time bomb for an OT class action lawsuit. I believe there exists a farm load of evidence, for someone willing to plow through it.

    It will just take the right group of lawyers to go after them.

  30. Anonymous Says:

    4:49, you’re right when ypu say:

    Gannett is a ticking time bomb for an OT class action lawsuit. I believe there exists a farm load of evidence, for someone willing to plow through it.

    It will just take the right group of lawyers to go after them.

    however, that kind of lawsuit would have had more appeal to lawyers (who get paid only if they win such cases) back when gci was at 80 or 90. and, of course, “managers” are exempt from such laws, which is why the phone companies and other companies like gannett have so many “managers” with so little real authority.

  31. Anonymous Says:

    5:04 PM
    Companies are not allowed to misclasify employees. Misclasification has been the basis of some of the successful legal action.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    Someone told me today that Gannett is losing so much money that it could simply close the doors any day now: lock, stock and USA Today. How close to the truth is that?

  33. Anonymous Says:

    Very close… and in my opinion – a good thing. Serves this awful company right.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Does anyone out there know how the Newark Star Ledger is doing? Looks like they’ve remained afloat for now.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    4:49pm: I feel so horrible for you. Do you have any idea how many McLean individuals (GCI non-managerial, no less) – who don’t submit timesheets – take UNLIMITED vacation/sick/maternity/personal days off – and work regular hours – and haven’t worked enough years to earn this time off?? Their bosses are well aware of what they’re doing but close their blind eyes and keep their mouths shut, and no one gives a damn. I’m looking forward to the day when they’re shown the door when GCI sinks because no other workplace would tolerate their despicable behavior.

  36. Anonymous Says:

    6:15pm: I hope you are correct.

  37. Anonymous Says:

    6:15 give me a break! There may be properties that are losing money, but I do know where I’m at had a net income before taxes of 14 million last year. This was before the buyouts, layoffs and cutbacks of this year. If we’re down 90%, we’ll still make a profit this year. No, we’re not one of the top 10 properties either.

  38. Anonymous Says:

    Gannett is the definition of hostile work environment. They certainly ‘walk the line’ of what is legal and what is not.

  39. Anonymous Says:

    6:01 pm: Are you kidding me? Whoever told you that is way wrong. Gannett still makes lots of money. Only a couple of papers lose money and they aren’t losing much. Gannett is still a very profitable company.

  40. Anonymous Says:

    60 hours a week? You’re all beginners! How about a 28 hour shift? Obscene? Yep. I had not one, but two, in the last year I worked for Gannett.
    If someone wants to go after Gannett for OT laws being broken, I’d be glad to share my story.

  41. Anonymous Says:

    Does anyone know info or the status of the Salem site, Statesman Journal? I mean, is there layoffs coming,close to shutting the doors or what?

  42. Anonymous Says:

    dear 5:12, as i recall, news workers lost this issue in the 80s w/a lawsuit that involved the manchester (nh) union leader. i hope i’m wrong, but gannett has the very best union-busters money can buy.

    given that nothing seems to happen in gannettworld without virginia’s consent, even our executive editor probably would be eligible to be salaried rather than being a true “manager,” but where newspapers are concerned, the labor dept turns an especially blind eye.

    sincerely, 5:04.

  43. Anonymous Says:

    Interesting comment about Gannett closing its doors — a paper here in Wisconsin that used to have a staff of 14 in the good old days of Thomson ownership is now down to one managing editor and one reporter under Gannett, and the paper is being put out largely by clueless young kids in another city 50 miles away who have no idea what really goes on in this town where I live. Not only that, but I was surfing a real estate site and saw that the newspaper building is also for sale.

    Gannett thinks they can do it with smoke and mirrors and “citizen journalists,” but Joe Public isn’t stupid. People aren’t buying it here … and it’s a really sad sight to see.

    As someone who got his start in Cincinnati 26 years ago and watched Gannett just destroy that outfit over the years, I am so glad I no longer work in this business.

  44. Anonymous Says:

    28 hours, 11:37? You beat me and that’s impressive! I pulled many all day/all nighters back when I worked in the newsroom – and no one really “cared.”

    Well maybe they cared for 10 minutes – if they even acknowledged it – and then they would just assign another project, which they would call “opportunities.” So glad I wised up. I only wish it hadn’t taken me so long.

  45. Anonymous Says:

    8:10: Indeed! It certainly makes sense to me why there are people in my department who screw up, blow things off, etc. They know that if they were to do (good) work, then they’d just be asked to do more. So you end up with people who do the bare minimum and people who do a tremendous amount of work — all in the same department. I think those of us who do the bulk of the work feel obligated/responsible. But you need to step back, assess the situation and set some boundaries to find a balance somewhere between the doing bare minimum and regularly working overtime. Otherwise, you’ll be used and abused by Gannett or, really, anybody who wants to take advantage of hard workers. (I also think that Gannett should make more of an effort to make the bare-minimum (or, sometimes, less-than-the-bare-minimum) workers do more to even out the load.)

  46. Anonymous Says:

    If you’re working overtime and not being compensated for it, for gosh sake’s, quit working overtime!

  47. Anonymous Says:

    If you are being asked to work unpaid overtime and you are not an exempt employeet, that’s illegal.

    If you are convinced that you will be fired if you don’t do it you should, at least, keep a detailed log of every hour of unpaid overttime that you work.

    Then, when you’ve finally had all you can take, you should go to HR with the log and demand payment. I’ve known people who’ve done this … and they got paid. Faced with paying the overttime or dealing with a lawsuit, most companies will pay … especially when there’s a legitimate case to be made. It might be uncomfortable to do this, but not as uncomfortable as working 70 hours a week without pay.

    Honestly, though, I’m not sure why anyone would let it come to that … unless they’re making something like six figures. Take two jobs somewhere else, and you’ll probably make more money overall … even if both pay considerably less than the current job.

    Example: If you make $20 an hour and work 70 hours a week, you make only $800 per week. If you work two jobs that pay $12 an hour for a total of 70 hours, you make $840.

    This doesn’t take benefits into account, of course, but you might be able to get benefits with one of the other jobs. And you’d have the satisfaction of not padding company profits with free labor.

  48. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, Gannett will always promote within because they can pay you less and work you more. They have hooked you and they know it. If you are smart you will try to get out if not already and go find a company that will compensate your true market value. Speaking from experience.

  49. Anonymous Says:

    2:14 – Agreed. If you get promoted, your raise will be minimal. It’s frustrating to know that if they had to hire from outside the company for that job, they’d have to pay waaaay more. The money’s there; they just don’t want to give it to you. (Is that a business-world thing or a Gannett thing?)

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