Saturday | Oct. 25 | Got news, or a question?

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51 Responses to “Saturday | Oct. 25 | Got news, or a question?”

  1. Jim Hopkins Says:

    Hi!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Is now a good time or a really bad time to sign up for Gannett’s 401K if you haven’t already? How much would you suggest putting in it, if the answer is yes.

  3. mr. whig Says:

    Cincinnati endorses John McCain for president, in what might possibly be the most glowing endorsement not written by the GOP itself.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Still wondering when we can expect the layoffs to begin. Anyone out there got any info on this?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Most papers’ holiday advertising peaks around Thanksgiving… and also the work that goes into pushing those bigger papers out the door. In a logical world, the end of P11 should be when 6,000 of us find out that this year, Christmas sucks.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Get in the 401(k), put in as much as you can afford – up to 50% of your income is allowed since the pension plan went away. AND then don’t look every day. Once a quarter is good enough.

    You will never see a better chance to buy low and sell high than we are seeing right now.

    Whether or not you keep the company match stock is how you feel about Gannett’s future. I’m letting it ride right now, but I only have a few hundred there.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    While you may be able to put in up to 50 percent of your income there is a cap on your annual 401K contribution limit — $10,500 I believe. That’s an IRS doing, not Gannett. It increases annually.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Putting money in a 401K? You gotta be kidding, right? Turn on the TV and look at the current collapse of the stock market, and you will see what is happening to stock prices. Investing in this market now is absolutely crazy because the market is still collapsing and will continue to collapse. It is lost money. Gone for good. I stopped my 401K contributions.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    yes, contribute to the 401K, the very least you should do is the 5% of your income that G will match.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    8:01am said “I stopped my 401K contributions.”

    A man or woman after my own heart! There are better and more immediate places for your hard earned money… Like paying down debt. This may not be conducive to Capitalism but, Simplify, Simplify!

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I wonder if the 120 drivers that the APP just laid off counts towards the numbers that corporate wants them to meet,either dollar wise or employee reduction

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Contributing to a 401K depends on where you are in your life. Sounds like you might be a youngin’ just coming into the workforce. If so, I would contribute as much as I could. “This too shall pass” on the current economy and I agree with the “buy low sell high” statement earlier. There’s a lot of doom and gloomers on this site. The world didn’t end after the crash in the 20s and it won’t end now. We survived Pearl Harbor, 911, etc. We’ll be okay. The key is to live within your means, not over them and you’ll be fine. Yes, if you have debt, pay that down first. But as soon as you feel comfortable open and start contributing to your 401K.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    “Still wondering when we can expect the layoffs to begin. Anyone out there got any info on this?”

    Yes. You will be laid off next Thursday, and all other non-ass-kissers will be cut on Christmas Eve.

    Now, go produce some work, slacker.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    The 120 drivers from APP were technically laid off back in August effective Sept. 28th. They must have kept them around a while longer for their own reasons. Therefore, the 120 DOES NOT COUNT towards the projected 150 from the APP also known as the NJ Newspaper Group. Nice try!

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Gannett’s 401K overhaul after the pension freeze capped contributions at 50 percent. There is an IRS cap on the total of about $15,500 this year. Workers age 50 and older can make “catch-up” contributions — $5,000 more? The company pumped up the plan a bit when it froze pensions, creating a pretty big incentive to get into the 401k.

    It’s very hard not to want to shelter everything in the account in stable value categories right now. A lot of people are arguing that this is the time to jump into the mutual funds and such, because there MIGHT be a bottom nearby.

    At the very least, it’s possible to push everything into a very small growth arrangement for now, using money market and stable value. Some of the losses I’ve seen have been horrifying, at least for those who never check. It didn’t have to be that way. The flip side of bad is checking every day and trying to maneuver the money around based on news and intuition. The limitations and ban on same-day transfers make it frustrating.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Really, for anyone contemplating a 401K, you should at least do 5%- it’s a 100% match! If you have any debt pay it off before putting more in. Just my opinion.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    In normal times, the favorable 401(k) advice makes sense. But I’m thinking about stopping contributions despite losing the match. The Gannett match comes in Gannett stock only, and about 1/3 of its value has been gone before you can even move it for a couple of years now. Not sure how it is the ubiquitous “investors” consistently get dividends and our Gannett stock consistently has done nothing but lose, lose, lose cash. That benefit is marginal right now.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but Hewitt Resources, the manager, is an LLC, and the accounts are not FDIC insured. Are they insured by anyone else, like AIG? I’m not sure how much good that’s going to do if the bottom drops out, either.

    We can’t move our 401(k)s to a bank’s IRA to get FDIC unless we severe from the company.

    As for “buying low, selling high,” these pieces of advice seem unsophisticated to the market. Our 401(k)s are invested in groups, not individual stocks. You don’t know what those groups are buying and selling. I think this is a lot of pablum investors feed us just so they can keep our liquidity to play with.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    you must be out of your mind not to contribute as much as you can to your 401k – especially now. First, it shields the money from the IRS. Second, you get company match which you can move out of Gannett stock. Third, the market is down now so you will be getting more shares of whatever you choose to purchase than you could have in the past – the stock market over the long term has been the best investment.

    Save, save save for your retirement. The 401k is one of the best benefits that you get from Gannett. You would be a fool not to take advantage of it. Of course, there are many fools on this board.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    MAXIMUM ANNUAL 401k Contribution = $15,600.00

  20. Anonymous Says:

    You should always put in at least to the % of the company match. No matter where you work. So what if a third of it is gone before you can move it out of the stock, that is 2/3 you did not have yesterday.

    If they match 5% but you can afford 8% take that extra 3% and put in a ROTH IRA outside of the company. Yea you may pay the taxes on it now, but it will save you from the tax hit at retirement, unlike the gains on your 401k that will be taxable.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    defer taxes at all times – use the 401k and contribute to a taxable roth as well

  22. Anonymous Says:

    We’ve never lost 1/3 of share price between the day we get our match and the next business day. If you waited longer than that to move it, tough beans.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Re NJ Group: Previously all the numbers they gave NJ for buyout, layoffs were for the whole group, and no one ever officially provided a breakdown of how many were laid off/took buyout from each site. Some of the higher ups privately would provide numbers for their paper, but not sure if even they knew the numbers at the other sites. So don’t expect this time to be any different.

    I mean, why keep your workforce informed and non-paranoid?

  24. Anonymous Says:

    If I were entering the 401K plan right now, I’d put in at least 5% to get the company match, and place it in the stable value fund. Then I’d move the company match each pay period out of GCI stock into stable value. Wait for signs that the market is recovering. Everything I’m hearing is 12-18 months. Then dump it all into aggressive funds, especially if you are young. Yes, you will probably miss the huge surge in stock value increase when this crisis passes, but it’s the safest plan.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Anonymous 9:46 a.m., you’re awfully pushy about “buy buy buy” Gannett 401K investment.

    But you don’t address the question of whether our money is insured there. What if the CEO of Hewitt moves it all into a personal offshore account and goes missing? Too bad, so sad.

    What percentage of their 401K money did Enron and other bankrupt companies ever get back?

    Gannett and Hewitt have a vested interest in keeping us investing to the max so they have liquidity, right?

  26. Anonymous Says:

    “defer taxes at all times – use the 401k and contribute to a taxable roth as well

    10/25/2008 10:30 AM”

    This is written by someone who must make a hell of a lot more than I do. In my tax bracket and with a family, the tax difference now or 30 years from now won’t be much different.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    Has anyone out there heard any updated news on the “Finance Project”? When the announcement was first made, we were told that layoffs/operations would begin in Oct. APP/Neptune lost 6 in credit/collections last week – their last day is Nov. 7th. The rest are staying to help with problems???? What about GL/accounting, payroll and single copy? Does anyone know what’s going on in the new sites (Springfield/Indianapolis)? We heard that their system blew up?!?!

    As far are the 150 layoffs for APP/Neptune – can we work any harder or do anymore “combined” jobs to get this paper out? As with the last round, I’m sure it does not include the “Finance Project”. As usual, we’re in the dark but keep plugging along!

  28. Anonymous Says:

    11:12- Why assume that? Who knows what your future is?

    Are you someone who just assumes that everyone is better off than you so whatever tibit of advice they may offer is a personal insult to you ??

    For all you know over time the $50 that you may put away NOW may grow so that you could increase your retirement payout by $100 a month. That is $1200 a year for those not doing the math, which is probably more than you/me/we are getting with the yearly raise(haha).

    So why not try and take advantage of every possible trick in the book. You do not have to make $200K a year and hide cash in a Swiss account.

    And this coming from someone in a household that has gone from 3 sources of income to 1 over the last 5 years, so just never assume things will stay the same or get worse.

    Stop the pitty party and do not dismiss someones advice because “This is written by someone who must make a hell of a lot more than I do.”

  29. Anonymous Says:

    Hey 11:48 you are getting pretty nasty to someone who made a pretty benign comment.

  30. Jim Hopkins Says:

    I just deleted a comment that was purely political, and had no bearing on Gannett. Please don’t leave those kinds of comments.

  31. Anonymous Says:

    Anyone know if they will be axing anyone from ADS? How’s the outsourcing going?

  32. Anonymous Says:

    outsourcing a complete failure; nothing as promised starting with the COE and continuing with 2AdPro. Jim – do you know if Gannett 401k is insured?

  33. Anonymous Says:

    At the Iowa City Press-Citizen, there has been so much "consolidation" with the Des Moines Register this year that IC is hardly able to function (NO CUSTOMER SERVICE). HR, Circ & Ad directors were eliminate – Advertising was combined with marketing – 3 directors were laid off in the Sept. layoffs. To those of us left, looks like the entire paper could be heading towards a consolidation with DM; close the IC site, have a few reporters in IC and a couple of ad reps, all who report to DM supervisors/editors and give them a tiny office with phone & computer. So much for the local newspaper. Many are already calling the IC paper the Des Moines Press-Citizen. Anyone know of this happening anywhere else?

  34. Anonymous Says:

    As for Outsourcing. It’s the Gannett way of letting people go without the legal hassle.

    As for the 401K. When GCI hit $90 and then fell to $50 that is when I started moving it every week into something more diverse. I did this for several more years until I left. I took my vested pension amount and rolled that into an IRA with my 401K at Schwab. I would not say I have not lost money, but I sure have not lost money like the folks holding onto GCI. Stay diverse people. Now GCI will rebound eventually but do you want to wait and see if you are still employed by them.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    @925: Is it normal for a newspaper’s editorial endorsements to be based solely on what’s best for the newspaper corporation’s business, or do newspapers traditionally look at their readers’ interests in recommending their best political leaders?

    Historically endorsements have been made on what’s best for the newspaper corporation’s business. This has held true regardless of who owns the newspaper.

  36. Anonymous Says:

    If you chose to look a gifthorse of a 5% match in the face and say no your are a blithering idiot.

    Any fool can understand the benefit of placing 5% of your incomce in a stable or even self-directed fund and having the company double your money. You’re also an idiot if you don’t tke the match and convert it to some other investmet or a money money market fund. You don’t have all your income coming from your company regardless of your company.

    If you have debt stop spending money you don’t have any pay it off – and donate 5% tax-free to double your money. That or sell your computer because you probably don’t have the sense to use it!

  37. Anonymous Says:

    @11:10 – First, do you know what “liquidity” means?

    Second, Enron employees who had their 401k invested in Enron lost their shirt. Those that diversified and put their money into some other investment option kept their money at whatever value it had at the time Enron went out of business. The two were completely unrelated. The 401k plan that you have an option to use for investing at Gannett will outlast Gannett if Gannett goes under or is bought by another company. Don’t make the choice to invest in the 401k based on the fact that you don’t like Gannett.

    Third, Hewitt essentially manages moving your 401k contribution into the investment options that are provided as part of the plan. Yes it is possible that Hewitt may act illegally and steal the funds instead of passing them onto the actual funds in which you choose to invest in. However, they are an audited company. Their business would not last very long if they were doing so and it would be quickly obvious that it was happening. Of course, any investment firm could steal your money and take a vacation but if you are worried about that your tolerance for risk is such that investing is not for you. If you stick your money in a bank, what return will you get? Almost nothing. Probably less than 3% currently which won’t keep up with inflaction.

    Fourth, the best adage is still always pay yourself first. Whatever you do, no matter how much you make, you should always attempt to put at least 10% of your income into some investment or savings plan. I’m sure someone will respond “I don’t make enough to save.” This of course is stupid. If you can’t afford to save then you are undoubtedly making terrible consumption choices. Living within your means is possible but usually not a very popular choice. Taking advantage of the 401k plan so that you don’t even see the money coming out of your check is the easiest way to make this happen. Not using your credit cards will help as well.

    Fools and their money are soon parted.

  38. PissedOffJournalist1 Says:

    Jim,
    I have heard from a really good friend that Gannett is going to do some seriously large layoff’s in the Newspaper division. I heard as many as 3,000 jobs soon!!!!

    Can you ask your readers if they are hearing this? I know Dubow and Dickey were on site at our newspaper and mentioned layoffs, but my friend has always been accurate on each corporate initiative.

    I actually think it will be healthy for Gannett to layoff some employees, but this sounds really high. What about the other areas like USAtoday, shouldn’t they be laying off there? I used to work there too and it seems like they are way too fat. You never hear about that paper doing anything. Why does Mr. Moon get a free pass?

  39. Anonymous Says:

    11:48, I guess my sarcasm didn’t translate. What I was saying that I pay about $2,000 in federal taxes now, because of low pay and a few dependents, so retirement with SS and the 401K I already have is looking to be about the same tax obligation. So, for me, the tax shelter isn’t an incentive.

    I think you’ve missed my point: If Gannett and/or Hewitt don’t make it through this recession, that $50 you are pushing people to put into a 401K today could end up being $0, not $100 a month at retirement. Zero to 10 percent of what they put away is the way it worked out for workers from other troubled companies that have gone down.

    Of course I have mine in “fixed,” but it’s still a risk to have it invested at all. That’s the game of investment in routine times, and now the deck is stacked wtih wild cards from gross lack of oversight.

    How can an objective-minded person not see that there’s at least two sides to this coin, and maybe more?

  40. Anonymous Says:

    and we could all get hit by a Mack truck today too!

    so stay off the streets.

  41. Jim Hopkins Says:

    5:23 p.m.: Lots of rumors about pending layoffs appear on this blog in the size range you’ve cited. Some are higher; some lower. To answer your question, I’m always asking readers for inside information about the company — including plans for job cuts.

  42. Anonymous Says:

    and we could all get hit by a Mack truck today too!

    so stay off the streets.

    10/25/2008 5:45 PM

    Why are you so persistent about urging people to invest and so personally confrontational with me, a newsman who is naturally skeptical?

    Why are you replying at all if you don’t have anything new or constructive to contribute on this subject? I figure you may be in an onery mood and taking it out on me, or you may be a corporate tool trolling.

    Anyway, I checked the SEC filings, after someone reminded me Hewitt is “audited,” but with the limited information and the SEC’s failing to enforce laws in recent years, I’m not assuaged by what I saw. Maybe Jim or someone else understands the details in Hewitt’s reports (my undertanding is our 401K is in the LLC).

    Again, does anyone know if Hewitt has our 401K money insured at all? If so, by whom?

  43. Anonymous Says:

    11:48 here-sarcasm acknowledged and appreciated. Alas one of the failings of the internet, to accuratly portray ‘tone’. I just wanted to emphasize making an informed decision vs tossing off a suggestion due the source, unless the source is doing time 🙂

    as for 401K being insured:

    http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/special/index.html

    I have no idea what all is in it I zoned out after the 2nd paragraph.

    The SEC site is hard to find info on.

    Or just google 401k insured

    And on that note I am going back to the Styx concert on HDNET.

  44. Anonymous Says:

    @6:48 – Are you just obtuse or what. Hewitt doesn’t hold your 401k money. Yo invest in either Gannett stock or the funds available in the plan. Hewitt is JUST the administrator of the 401k plan which means that they are a pass through and present you with a web page that shows your 401k results. There is no insurance for these investments but the risk is not with Hewitt. It’s either with Gannett stock or with the fund that you invest in.

  45. Anonymous Says:

    I found the details of Gannett’s plans, including 401-K, pension, etc. at a site called free erisa. That site shows the actual forms Gannett has to file every year with the IRS.

  46. Anonymous Says:

    Do the matching 401k. You’re foolish not to. You automatically double your money right away since they match. BUT, don’t leave it in Gannett stock! Move it right away. If you leave it, you will lose your shirt. Ask anyone who bought Gannett a couple years ago and is now seeing a $9 stock. Put it in anything not newspaper related.

  47. Anonymous Says:

    In a state that hasn’t been a presidential battleground since 1964 and maybe 1968, the Indy Star endorsed NO CANDIDATE for President! Unless some major newspapers kick in a non endorsement soon, the Star will be the largest circulation and largest city newspaper to “wimp out” and not give an opinion on a race that everyone in the Indy market HAS an opinion on. 9:25am and 2:23pm commented on whether newspaper endoprsements are made for business considerations.
    In the hottest election Indy’s had in YEARS, the biggest media in the state wimps out. Do commenters think the Star’s editors and publishers were afraid of a backlash from the print paper’s base if they endorsed Obama and a backlash for progressives, young readers and a Black community the Star has trouble penetrating and serving if they went with McCain. Did the Star wimp out or were they just protecting the bottom line?

  48. Anonymous Says:

    Louisville C-J endorses Obama in Sun paper

  49. Anonymous Says:

    To clarify some of the bad information posted in prior comments:

    401k Contribution limits:

    2008 – $15,500 + $5000 catch-up for age 50+
    2009 – $16,500 + $5000 catch-up for age 50+

    Gannett 401k match:

    100% of your contribution to your 401k, up to 5% of your salary, in Gannett stock. Do you want a 5% raise? Contribute 5% to your 401k if you don’t already.

    Invest your 401k in broadly diversified funds (stocks, bonds, international funds), with as small a load as possible. This is spreading risk and reducing your investment cost. Consistently contributing to your 401k every pay period is also dollar cost averaging, a much better strategy than trying to time the market.

    And one other important thing you should do to spread risk: Sell your Gannett match as soon as you get it and convert it into your chosen diverse funds (do it every two weeks in on the Hewitt/YBR site, on payday. This in effect makes your Gannett match a cash match).

    As Enron made very clear, here’s why: Your future bi-weekly paychecks are 100% invested in Gannett. Your future paychecks are tied 100%, to the health of Gannett. Unless you leave the company, you have no real control over if that future paycheck is really going to come. Therefore, don’t invest your past paychecks (cash you already have received) in that same investment; spread your risk over a broad base of investments.

    There are a lot of things we cannot directly control in our lives, such as the economy, the relative health of our company and the business decisions they make. You can control your investments to minimize your personal risk and maximize potential gain. It is your future, take control of it.

  50. Anonymous Says:

    To clarify the clarify – certain individuals will be limited to 7% 401k contribution based on salary. If you fit this means test limitation, a Roth is the way to go.

  51. Anonymous Says:

    11:08pm well posted

    clear accurate info

    thanks az pressman

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