NYT: GCI ‘paid a price’ for ignoring blogosphere

From, “In Era of Blog Sniping, Companies Shoot First,” a new story today in The New York Times, by Claire Cain Miller, a Silicon Valley business beat reporter.

Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper chain, ignored the blogosphere and paid a price for it. The company told publishers on Oct. 28 that it would lay off 10 percent of its staff. Jim Hopkins, a 20-year Gannett veteran who left the company in January and now writes the unofficial Gannett Blog, had been reporting rumblings along those lines for several weeks and broke the news on his site that morning, just as he had when Gannett laid off workers in August.

Gannett, which does not have a company blog, never issued a press release and does not return Mr. Hopkins’s calls. His posts detailing layoffs at the company and individual papers brought dozens of comments, most of them anonymous, including one from a Gannett employee who said people “might have been blindsided with news of the loss of their jobs had it not been for this blog.”

“I try to give the unvarnished truth,” Mr. Hopkins said. “I don’t think the company offers the same level of candor to employees.” In a plea to get readers to pay for the blog, he wrote, “How else will you learn about your layoff?”

Tara Connell, a spokeswoman for Gannett, said the company thought that “the overwhelming majority of employees” had heard about the layoffs from their local publishers. “We attempt to make those personal communications happen as quickly as possible,” she said.

Read the entire story.

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, upper right.

[Photo: Corporate’s offices in McLean, Va., Kohn Pedersen Fox]

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