As USAT spared cuts again, readers defend Moon

(Updated.) Gannett’s flagship once more escaped the ax, even as the company ordered its other 84 U.S. dailies to chop another 10% of jobs by early December.

You’ll recall that USA Today apparently didn’t give up any jobs during the big August layoff — prompting my speculation that Publisher Craig Moon (left) would need to sacrifice something in return. Guess what: I was totally wrong!

Now, rival publishers across the company, doing a lot of really shitty work in weeks ahead, are no doubt wondering: What’s Moon’s secret? (Maybe all those rumors about the nuclear option weren’t so crazy!)

Defending Moon, bashing Hopkins
In a new comment here, and on his own blog, Tim Chavez notes that USAT‘s circulation numbers “are up compared to other Gannett newspapers. And a primary reason why is publisher Craig Moon, who used to be publisher at The Tennessean. It was my privilege to work with Moon during his tenure at the Tennessean. I found him to be honest and a man of integrity. He was actually a better journalist interested in what readers wanted than the people in charge of the Tennessean newsroom.”

Another reader, commenting anonymously, says: “Jim has a personal vendetta against Moon and it shows time and time again on this blog. But I for one think the man is a good manager. And I have seen him fight for jobs and those of you who do not know him, believe me, he has saved a lot of jobs. So maybe Jim does not like him but that is personal. if Jim was honest with his readers, he would report in an unbiased way. Moon cares about his people, even though he does not always win the battles.”

Please post your replies in the comments section, below. E-mail via gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: today’s USAT front page, Newseum]

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18 Responses to “As USAT spared cuts again, readers defend Moon”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I think nuclear is coming. Imagaine a free online USAT with pay- for- view local obits, jail dockets, property transfers, marriages and divorces. That local information would be free, though, to USAT subscribers. That’s a win-win for local and national, I think.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Instead of always making it personal, why don’t you try and look at the numbers. USAT fares far better than the other papers and will be a survivor. The business is just better.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Anon 6:08pm. HI ANGIE P. Are you defending Craigy-poo again? Get over it. USAT is going down. You know it and so do the rest of the people.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I hear that USAToday is going to announce a 20% round of layoff’s. I think this might include some big executives too.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe he’s got pictures?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Speaking of pictures, I look at that mug of Moon that Jim posted and think, “Would I buy a used car from that man?”

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I worked with Craig Moon in Nashville at The Tennessean. He is a good manager. Period. And he listens and likes good ideas.

    He treated me well and opened up doors that were closed to me by newsroom politics and the unwritten rule that Americans of Hispanic descent should not be writing about politics.

    He is a good guy and more of a journalist with an eye toward readers’ needs than the top bosses in the newsroom at The Tennessean.

    USA TODAY is very fortune to have him in charge. And he is the lone voice on the operating committee with any sanity.

    Thanks.
    Tim Chavez
    http://www.politicalsalsa.com

  8. Anonymous Says:

    USA Today is spared the cuts because it is not losing as much revenue as the community newspapers. Plus, I detect a corporate strategy here of making USA Today the fortress that will carry GCI into the 21st Century as a Web product, while the community newspapers are yesterday’s news. The dead tree products are going to left to wither and die off, but USA Today will flourish. It is quite a gamble, given that community newspapers currently provide the lion’s share of revenues for GCI. But I think the deep thinkers believe that is going to decline eventually and unfortunately we will never know because the community newspapers are going to be gone soon.
    Anyone working for these losers needs to realize what is happening, because there is no future in community papers.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Great job again, Jim. You have become the leading independent voice on what is going on inside Gannett. Tara must be tearing out her hair because she no longer can do her job of controlling the distribution of information on this company. I thought she was a lousy editor, too.

  10. Jim Hopkins Says:

    Thanks! Despite what some may think, however, I take no pleasure in making anyone’s job more difficult.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    In case you didn’t see Back To The Future part 2, USAT is alive and well in the future. It’s the one paper that didn’t lose circulation in the last statement; in fact, it gained. That’s why the staff is still intact.

    anon 6:11 – you are an idiot.

    anon 6:13 – you are an idiot as well.

    anon 6:08 and 7:28 have it right.

    USAT is a good place to work and there are people that are good at what they do and they care.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    If the USA Today business model is so strong and successful then why doesn’t Gannett impliment the same practices throughout all there other papers,thus creating a stronger company

  13. Anonymous Says:

    I am not sure I agree with Jim’s “USAT spared again” headline. The Dickey letter was addressed only to USCP executives. That is only one segment of GCI, and I believe we will hear from the others, including USAT and the Freep, in other letters yet to be seen. I come to this conclusion out of a back of the envelope conclusion that the cuts at the community papers won’t be enough to make up the revenue shortfall. The loss was less at USAT, so the cut won’t be as dramatic. But I do not think USAT will be “spared.”

  14. Anonymous Says:

    USA Today won’t be spared. Aside from expected reductions in staff, there are several jobs that remain open that probably won’t be filled – unless the job candidates meet certain demographic requirements. Unfortunately, the paper’s hiring editors should be more focused on bringing in talent, regardless of race or gender. There are plenty of talented journalists who have been forced out at their newspapers. Just check out the LA Times and New York Times, for starters. Unfortunately, the mindset is on filling quotas, not hiring the best available talent.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    8:19pm Anon…You are an ass kissing loser. USA Today is a money losing piece of shit. I used to work there and Moon, Webber, Lavington should all be thrown out. When is Dubow going to learn about the excessive spending going on over there at USAT.

    Perhaps living in the other “tower” has been good for Moon as no one asks him questions. Has anyone seen the lavish parties that they throw?

    Have you taken a look at the advertisements in USA Today’s paper? Everyday there is an add for Gold Coins and Life Insurance. Looks like sales is doing real swell in the flagship publication. Murdoch has nothing to worry about.

    We often forget about the USA Weekend boondoggle. I use that paper to wipe my ass with. Nothing good their either. Looks like Marcia B has got the goods on Moon. No reason why that three page paper is still around.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    I think 8:57 is right: USAT/USAW/Freep is a different division headed by Moon. It isn’t necessarily spared, just easier to leave until after the more complicated community division.

    10:33: Peace out!

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Anon 10:33p… You are so right. It is about time that someone started to talk about the crazy spending going on at USA Today. Someone needs to expose the spending on the ridiculous parties.

    When is Moon going to be fired anyway?

  18. Anonymous Says:

    I heard that Jeff Webber is on the chopping block. It is about time!

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