Archive for the ‘Gannett Foundation’ Category

Money trail: How to file an open-records request

December 14, 2008

I’ve sent the following letter to Western Carolina University officials Clifton Metcalf and Bill Studenc. Metcalf is vice chancelor for advancement and external affairs; Studenc is senior director of news services. In a telephone interview last week, Metcalf declined to disclose the whereabouts of $40,000 in Gannett Foundation gifts that CEO Craig Dubow directed to WCU for endowed scholarships. Citing university policy, Metcalf also refused to say whether the money went to the Craig and Denise Dubow scholarship fund. Also, foundation Executive Director Tara Connell has not responded to my requests for information. WCU is a public university, prompting this:

Dec. 12, 2008

Clifton Metcalf, Bill Studenc
Western Carolina University
Cullowee, N.C.
Via e-mail

Clifton and Bill:

Pursuant to North Carolina’s open-records laws, I am seeking access to all public documents relating to the Gannett Co. Inc., the Gannett Foundation, Gannett Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow, and other Gannett employees and representatives.

My request includes but is not limited to any public documents concerning contributions by the Gannett Foundation to the Western Carolina University Foundation, including any contributions to the Craig and Denise Dubow scholarship fund.

I am requesting an expedited response, and look forward to your reply.

Jim Hopkins
Editor
Gannett Blog

Advertisements

Documents show few Jennings scholarships; Gannett Foundation gave $159,250 in four years

December 14, 2008

[Income tax return shows the Gannett Foundation awarded
$42,250 in Madelyn P. Jennings scholarships in 2007]

Hard to believe, isn’t it? The Gannett Foundation apparently gave only $42,250 in college scholarships to employees’ children in 2007 — a year when the company employed 46,000 workers, according to public documents. That would be just 14 Madelyn P. Jennings Scholarships, based on the contest’s current $3,000 award value.

Those numbers appeared so low that I dived back into the foundation’s four most recent public income tax returns to learn more. But it turns out that 2007 wasn’t an anomally, if these reported annual totals are accurate:

  • 2004: $39,000
  • 2005: $39,000
  • 2006: $39,000
  • 2007: $42,250

That’s $159,250. For fall 2010, each scholarship is a one-time award of $3,000, sent to the winner’s college as a single payment. (Application instructions.)

Now, there are several reasons why these figures might be so low — but lack of money shouldn’t be one. In 2007 alone, the foundation donated $11.3 million to non-profits across the country. That included $320,000 in grants that CEO Craig Dubow and 15 other current and former executives steered toward scholarship funds at their alma maters, and to other pet charities, under a perquisite available to only the well-paid top brass. (Noteworthy examples.)

Of course, average employees aren’t so fortunate, according to foundation rules for everyone else: “The only scholarship program currently funded by the foundation is the Madelyn P. Jennings Scholarship Program for children of Gannett employees.”

Possible explanations
I can only imagine what foundation Executive Director Tara Connell would say about this, given that she’s not talking to me. (Indeed, I’m still waiting for Connell, who also is Gannett’s spokeswoman, to explain the whereabouts of $40,000 in other foundation money.)

Maybe there’s a pile of other Jennings scholarships disclosed somewhere else; I could only find one page summarizing the grants in the tax returns. Perhaps the scholarships aren’t getting promoted enough. Maybe the qualifications are too tough, or the application process too daunting. (Basically, college-bound high school seniors must score well on the PSAT/NMSQT test, plus meet other criteria.)

Whatever the reasons, Gannett Blog readers want to know more. “Where is that list of award winners?” Anonymous@4:35 p.m. asked yesterday. “We applied when my daughter was a junior, too. I was dismayed when we didn’t hear a single thing back — not even a, ‘tnx for applying’ note.”

How to apply for 2010 scholarships
Deadline for fall 2010 college enrollment is Feb. 28, 2009, for high school students who took the standardized PSAT/NMSQT test this fall. (Details, here.)

Got a Jennings experience to share? Post it in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar.

Let’s build a list: Other ways to give away $40,000

December 13, 2008

CEO Craig Dubow earmarked $40,000 in Gannett Foundation grants for endowed scholarships at North Carolina’s Western Carolina University. While we wait to find out where that money went, let’s think of other ways Dubow might have supported charity. I’ll go first.

The foundation’s Madelyn P. Jennings Scholarship Program offers one-time, $3,000 college scholarships to qualified children of Gannett employees. Why not double the award, to $6,000?

In 2007, the foundation awarded a grand total of just $42,250 in Jennings scholarships, public documents show. Add the $40,000 that went to Western Carolina, and foundation officials could have nearly doubled the awards to Gannett families.

Just think: Current and former executives have now directed more than $1 million in foundation money — often to pet charities, far from communities where Gannett owns newspapers or TV stations. Think of all the good the foundation could have done for Gannett families had it spent that $1 million on Jennings scholarships instead.

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

Money trail: N.C. school officials decline to reveal whereabouts of $40K in Gannett Foundation gifts

December 12, 2008

Gannett CEO Craig Dubow recommended the company’s charitable arm give the money in 2007 and 2006 to Western Carolina University for endowed scholarships, public documents show.

Now, nearly two weeks after I first raised questions about the $40,000’s disposition, a senior WCU official has acknowledged that the public school doesn’t have a scholarship fund named for the Gannett Foundation. Clifton Metcalf, the university’s vice chancellor for advancement and external affairs, also concedes that WCU offers student scholarships named for Dubow and his wife Denise. In a telephone interview, however, he refused to say whether the foundation money went to the fund honoring the Dubows, citing university policy on privacy of financial records.

The foundation’s public income tax returns show that the gifts — two $20,000 grants — were given for endowed scholarships at WCU. (The school, in Cullowhee, N.C. , has 9,000 students, and is part of the taxpayer-supported University of North Carolina system.)

I examined the foundation’s newly filed 2007 return late last month under federal open-records laws. Last year’s grant came while Dubow urged fiscal discipline and shared sacrifice, as revenue and earnings began a steep slide, prompting layoffs that have now cost employees thousands of jobs.

Elite executive benefit
Dubow (left) earmarked the $40,000 under a special perquisite for select Gannett executives. Under that perq, the foundation imposes fewer restrictions on donation requests from top management compared to requests from average employees and the public. For example, rules applying to regular employees and the public say: “In any public acknowledgment or signage, be sure to note that this grant is from the Gannett Foundation.”

Last year’s WCU grant was among $320,000 awarded to charities recommended by Dubow and 15 current and former Gannett executives — including some of the highest-paid brass, my analysis of the tax return found. The 2007 grants were on top of $724,000 the foundation gave in 2004-2006 to charities favored by executives.

Now, to reiterate what I wrote before, the Dubows may very well have established and paid for their scholarship fund with their own money. In fact, the 2007 tax return shows the Gannett Foundation matched an unidentified employee’s $10,000 gift under the GannettMatch benefit. That could have been Dubow, ponying up for his own fund.

So, where’s the $40,000?
Trying to answer that question, I e-mailed the foundation’s executive director, Tara Connell (she’s also Gannett’s official spokeswoman) on Wednesday. I posed these questions:

  • Did the $40,000 go to the Craig and Denise Dubow scholarship fund, which is listed on this WCU page?
  • If not, which endowed scholarship fund or funds received the $40,000?
  • How did these $40,000 in grants advance the interests of Gannett’s shareholders?

This is the second time I’ve asked Connell these three questions; the first time was Nov. 29. As I post this, I have not received any replies.

Earlier: Documents reveal platinum benefit for top executives. Plus: other noteworthy exec grants, and: Gannett sells Indiana newspaper to fund foundation projects.

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.

Unanswered questions about Dubow’s scholarships

December 1, 2008

I sent the following to Western Carolina University officials yesterday, with a copy to Gannett Foundation Executive Director Tara Connell. My questions concern $40,000 in foundation grants given to the North Carolina school for an endowed scholarship fund recommended by CEO Craig Dubow.

Nov. 30, 2008

Clifton Metcalf, Jim Miller and Bill Studenc:

The Gannett Foundation gave $20,000 in 2006 and $20,000 in 2007 to the Western Carolina University Foundation in Cullowhee, N.C., for endowed scholarships. Both grants were recommended by Gannett Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow, the foundation’s public tax returns show.

My questions:

  • Did the $40,000 go to the Craig and Denise Dubow scholarship fund, listed on this WCU page?
  • If not, which endowed scholarship fund or funds received the $40,000?
  • In what ways were these gifts credited to the Gannett Foundation?

How much Gannett got for the Marion newspaper

December 1, 2008

The company donated the Chronicle Tribune in Marion, Ind., to the Gannett Foundation in the spring of 2007, then soon after arranged for it to be sold to Paxton Media Group in Paducah, Ky., for a then-undisclosed sum. Now, the foundation’s newly-filed 2007 tax return shows it sold a newspaper that year for $12.3 million; it doesn’t identify the paper, but it’s surely Marion.

Historically, Gannett has funded the foundation with gifts of newspapers. Proceeds from the sale of these papers are then distributed as grants. Yet, with virtually no market for paper sales these days, I wonder how the foundation’s going to get money in the future?

[Image: today’s front page, Newseum]

As layoffs near, charity that doesn’t begin at home: Foundation pours more cash into execs’ pet causes

November 30, 2008

Gannett is about to launch one of the industry’s single-biggest newspaper layoffs, so I figured it was time to update my reporting on Gannett Foundation gifts to charities favored by company executives. (Who knows? Maybe we can save some jobs if someone in charge realizes there are other ways to economize.) The following is based on the foundation’s just-filed 2007 tax return, which I received Friday under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

As CEO Craig Dubow (left) imposed draconian budget cuts last year, the company’s charitable arm — the Gannett Foundation — made an unusual gift: $20,000 for scholarships at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. It was one of the foundation’s single-biggest direct grants of 2007, and followed an identical $20,000 gift the year before, public documents show.

The gifts were unusual for several reasons. The Gannett foundation’s website says it won’t give money to endowment funds; the two grants were for an “endowed scholarship,” the foundation’s tax returns shows. Also, the foundation’s stated mission is to help non-profit groups where Gannett owns a newspaper or TV station. The closest GCI business is 53 miles away: the Citizen-Times in Asheville, N.C.

But Western Carolina had a powerful ally: Dubow himself. He is the foundation’s chairman and president, and one of its seven unpaid officers, all Gannett employees. As Gannett’s CEO, Dubow is among a handful of current and former executives allowed to steer foundation money to favorite charities — often, charities including religious groups that would be ineligible under rules applying to regular employees and the public.

Sure enough, Dubow recommended both $20,000 gifts, the foundation’s new tax return shows. Last year’s grant was among $320,000 awarded to charities recommended by Dubow and 15 current and former executives — including some of the highest-paid brass, an analysis of the tax return shows. The 2007 grants were on top of $724,000 the foundation gave in 2004-2006 to charities favored by executives.

Unseemly ‘philanthropy’
There is nothing illegal about any of this. The grants were made under a little-known perquisite that Gannett says is meant to attract and retain top executives. Under the benefit, the foundation imposes fewer restrictions on donation requests from top management compared to requests from average employees and the public. For example, these direct grants didn’t require any matching money from the executives — unlike a similar program for regular employees, GannettMatch.

Based on last year’s giving, each executive got $20,000 in what amounts to play philanthropy money. All of it appears to have gone to non-profit groups. I suspect many other big companies offer a similar benefit to top executives. Plus, the $320,000 last year was just a fraction of the overall $11.3 million in grants approved.

Yet, with a mass layoff coming this week at papers including Florida’s News-Press in Fort Myers, spending on executives’ pet charities is at sharp odds with Dubow’s claims of fiscal discipline and shared sacrifice.

Besides, there’s something unseemly about sending foundation money to charities far from Gannett communities — at the same time GCI is reducing employment and news coverage in those same places. Why didn’t these 16 executives give their $320,000 in earmarked grants to the company’s Employee Disaster Relief Fund?

It’s not even clear whether Gannett is getting credit for all its gifts. Consider the $40,000 to Western Carolina University. The tax return says the money went to an “endowed scholarship,” rather than to, say, a general-use scholarship fund. Scholarship funds typically offer naming rights.

I asked foundation Executive Director Tara Connell which fund received the money. I asked WCU, too. I look forward to their replies. (Connell is also Gannett’s spokeswoman. Read her objections to my last report.)

The Dubow scholarship fund?
Meanwhile, I searched WCU’s website, but turned up just one reference to the Gannett Foundation, a $3,270 grant to a theater group in early 2003. Then I found a page showing a “complete listing of WCU scholarships.” But Gannett and the Gannett Foundation do not appear anywhere on the page. There is, however, a scholarship listed under the names of Dubow and his wife:

“Craig and Denise Dubow have established an endowed fund to provide scholarship support for deserving students at Western Carolina University. This scholarship provides support for full time undergraduate students from Jackson, Macon, and Transylvania counties who demonstrate financial need and maintain a B average.”

More than likely, this amounts to an out-of-date list on a website or some other innocent omission. The Dubows probably established and funded the scholarships on their own, using their own money. In fact, the return’s GannettMatch section shows the foundation matched an unidentified employee’s $10,000 gift; that could have been from Dubow, ponying up for his own fund.

But until I hear back from Connell and WCU, I still don’t know how the Gannett Foundation received credit for its $40,000 in direct grants. There’s reason to be curious: Last spring, I found at least two examples where foundation money went to other scholarship funds named after executives — rather than Gannett or the foundation. (Updated at 10:41 a.m. ET, Dec. 1: A WCU spokesman has now referred my questions to the the school’s fund-raising office.)

More liberal rules
The direct grants to endowed scholarship funds at WCU and elsewhere are made possible because of the more liberal foundation rules for the executives. For anyone else seeking support for their scholarship fund, the foundation’s website says: “The only scholarship program currently funded by the foundation is the Madelyn P. Jennings Scholarship Program for children of Gannett employees.”

Gannett provides all the foundation’s funds. Periodically, it donates a newspaper to the foundation, which then sells it, and reinvests the proceeds in stocks and other investments. That’s what happened to the Chronicle-Tribune in Marion, Ind., which Gannett sold last year via the foundation for $12.3 million. It had been a Gannett paper for 36 years.

More executive-directed gifts
Other noteworthy Gannett Foundation direct grants given last year on the recommendation of current or former executives. Each person directed a total $20,000 to charities of their own choosing.

Earlier: How to examine a non-profit’s tax returns

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.

[Image: today’s News-Press, Newseum. The paper is expected to lay off up to 80 of 600 employees in the next week]

Other noteworthy grants directed by top execs

November 30, 2008

Following are some of the other $320,000 in Gannett Foundation direct grants given in 2007, on the recommendation of 16 current and former company executives. Each executive directed a total $20,000 to charities of their own choosing.

Gracia Martore
Gannett’s chief financial officer, a major architect of the current round of layoffs, directed $15,000 to her alma mater, Wellesley College near Boston. Gannett doesn’t own any papers or TV stations in Massachusetts.

In the GannettMatch section of the return, I noticed the foundation gave an additional $15,000 to Wellesley, in the form of an employee matching grant. The return does not identify the employee; it’s possible that it is Martore. In any case, the 2007 money brings to at least $60,000 the total direct foundation grants to Wellesley since 2004.

Also at Martore’s request, the foundation gave $2,500 to the exclusive Potomac School in McLean, Va., home to Gannett’s headquarters. The K-12 school’s tuition starts at $24,340 a year for kindergarten, and tops out at $27,445 for grades 9-12.

Craig Moon
USA Today‘s publisher recommended two $10,000 grants. One went to Young Life Williamson County in Tennesseee; the other, to the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Willamson County. (Moon was publisher of The Tennessean in Nashville before USAT.)

The foundation gave $30,000 to Young Life in 2004-2006. The group’s website says: “Whatever the setting, every Young Life gathering or event is intended to give kids the chance to experience God’s love and to consider the relevance of Jesus Christ for their lives.”

The foundation’s guidelines for regular employees and the general public prohibit gifts to “programs or initiatives where the primary purpose is the promotion of religious doctrine or tenets.”

Doug McCorkindale
The retired chairman and CEO once more favored charities that included Columbia College, his alma mater; it got $3,000. The foundation gave $16,000 to Columbia scholarship funds in 2004-2006, including one named for McCorkindale.

John Curley
The foundation gave the entire $20,000 to Pennsylvania State University, where the retired Gannett chairman and CEO now teaches journalism. That brings to $80,000 the total direct grants Curley has directed to Penn State since 2004.

Dave Lougee
The foundation made two $10,000 gifts on the TV division president‘s recommendation. One went to Futures for Children in Albuquerque, N.M. The second went to Project Vote Smart in Philipsburg, N.M.

Larry Miller
The retired chief financial officer’s recommendations included $5,000 for Gospel Volunteers/Camp of the Woods in Speculator, N.Y., a “Christian family resort and conference center” in the Adirondacks. On its website, the group says: “The mission of Gospel Volunteers Inc. is to present the Biblical truths of Jesus Christ, develop Christian leaders, strengthen the faith of individuals and families, and promote global evangelism.” (Noted: the list of summer 2009 speakers.)

Earlier: How to examine a non-profit’s tax returns

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.

New, in CJR: ‘Gannett vs. the Gannett Blog’

September 4, 2008

From a story just posted on Columbia Journalism Review‘s website:

“When the news broke, when clarity mattered most to the nearly 32,800 people working in Gannett’s newspaper division, the announced elimination of 1,000 jobs came not from its eighty-four Local Information Centers but from a blog run by a man vacationing off the coast of Spain.

“About 2 a.m. in Spain on Aug. 14, Jim Hopkins, a fifty-one-year-old spending his summer on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, checked his e-mail one last time before bed. A reader of his site, the independent Gannett Blog, had written to him from Maryland, where employees at the Daily Times of Salisbury had received a memo from the publisher: ‘Across Gannett’s Community Publishing division,’ Rick Jensens afternoon dispatch read, in part, ‘about 1,000 positions will be eliminated — about 3% of the workforce.’

“Six hundred of those eliminations would come through layoffs. The memo confirmed rumors that Hopkins had been tracking. He sent e-mails to Tara Connell, Gannett’s vice president of corporate communications; Jensen; and Greg Bassett, executive editor of the Daily Times. Bassett replied and didn’t dispute the news. Hopkins posted an entry that unfurls like a news story — it flashes a leaked memo, delivers hard numbers, and provides context. It’s a more thorough account than anything a Gannett paper published the next morning.”

CJR‘s story continues, here.

Here’s my favorite part!
It’s Connell’s response to CJR, of course:

“Gannett’s Tara Connell, in an e-mail last week, said the blog initially was an open forum, and the corporate office responded to Hopkins as it would to any journalist:

‘But over time, the blog has changed. When we asked the blogger to correct factual inaccuracies — nothing happened. Standards of accuracy and fairness were dropped in favor of rumor mongering and sensationalism. The attacks he inspired became personal, particularly against women in the company. For these reasons, we don’t participate.”’

Indeed, Connell has very occasionally asked me to correct what she called factual inaccuracies. But it is not true that I did nothing. I responded, by declining her request. On one occasion, involving my first Gannett Foundation post, I offered to reprint her objections — which I did, here.

As to her allegation that I inspired personal attacks — particularly against women in the company — Connell neglects to mention the following e-mail exchange, on May 2. I initiated it, under the subject heading: “A comment that should not have been published.” Click on the image for a readable view.


Earlier: My life, on Internet time

Please post your thoughts 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.

Monday Recap: Special Unsinkable Dubow Edition!

August 25, 2008

[The band plays on: Shares have plunged since Dubow became CEO]

With so many new readers, here’s a chronology showing all the fun we’ve had since Craig Dubow became CEO three years ago.

2005
May 25: Waking briefly from a deep slumber, the board of directors discovers the Internets, and concludes that Gannett is going to hell in a hand basket. Reportedly turned down by its first two outside candidates, the board settles on No. 3: Dubow (left), head of the TV division. Gannett stock closes: $75.31 a share.

2006
Nov. 2: Dubow reveals a major part of his strategic plan to save the company: Reorganize GCI’s newspaper newsrooms around the newly created Information Center model. “This looks an awful lot like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” writes a certain blogger, who’s privately tracking Gannett. Stock closes: $58.25.

Dec. 29: In one of the first labor-management skirmishes over the Information Center idea, top executives at The Indianapolis Star (left) back down over demands that newsroom employees write advertorials.

2007
March 16: Shares tumble more than 4%, to $55.76, as GCI warns profits will sink. A Morgan Stanley stock analyst says: “Revenues look to be far from reaching some sort of a trough, and until we see some indication of stabilization, we would steer clear from owning the shares.”

July 24: The board approves a 29% hike in the quarterly dividend, the single-biggest increase since 1995. Summering in the Hamptons, Wall Street is unimpressed. Meanwhile, the bubbling U.S. mortgage crisis grows worse and — unknown to most employees — begins to emerge as the biggest threat to Gannett’s future.

Aug. 10: Dubow denies a Wall Street Journal report that says top management is preparing GCI for a sale. Stock closes: $47.37.

Sept. 11: In an alarming memo, Dubow warns that progress is coming too slowly, and hints at a big downsizing: “This is the hard part. This is where transformation gets really difficult. I want to begin talking with you more about this process and what it means. I can’t take away all the pain and doubt, but I can help lead you through it.” Also, Gannett Blog emerges from stealth mode, appearing in public for the first time.

Oct. 24: Former NBC News president Neal Shapiro named to the board of directors.

Nov. 8: Private investment company Brandes Investment Partners doubles its GCI ownership, for the first time claiming an 11% stake. Gannett Blog traffic surges. Stock closes: $40.44.

Dec. 7: In a dramatic downsizing, USA Today buys out 43 newsroom employees, nearly 9% of all — losing some of the No. 1 circulation newspaper’s high-profile staffers. (Those outmoded digital dinosaurs included a guy with an idea for blog. Oops!)

2008
Jan. 10: One of the company’s most powerful executives, newspaper division chief Sue Clark-Johnson, announces plans to retire; she’s later replaced by Phoenix GCI executive Bob Dickey (left). The next day, former USA Today reporter and editor Jim Hopkins reveals he has been the anonymous editor of the nascent Gannett Blog.

Feb. 15: The Poopgate scandal grabs headlines, as Courier-Post employees in Cherry Hill, N.J., threaten a U.S. Labor Department complaint if they don’t get paid for overtime they have worked.

Feb. 28: The 2007 Annual Report reveals that GCI’s workforce plunged 7% in the previous year, to 46,100. Looking ahead to 2008, Dubow promises: “I assure you, you will see progress.” Stock closes: $30.23.

March 13: Gannett discloses that Dubow was paid $7.5 million in 2007, including a $1.75 million bonus. Employees are outraged: “Gannett stock plummeted almost $50 a share inside of a year and he gets a $1.75 million bonus? And reporters and editors are making due with less staff, less resources — I’m beyond shocked,” one says. Stock closes: $29.97.

March 26: Public documents reveal the company’s charitable arm, the Gannett Foundation, has quietly allowed Dubow and other top executives to steer nearly $424,000 to their pet charities — far from communities where the company does business.

May 29: Squeezing employees more, Gannett lays off 55 workers at the Asbury Park Press and three other N.J. newspapers.

June 9: The financial picture worsens: GCI writes off nearly $3 billion of its assets.

June 11: Gannett freezes its retirement plan. Furious employees heap blame on Dubow: “Kiss my ass,” says one worker. Stock closes: $25.99.

June 27: The Friday Afternoon Massacre reorders the troubled newspaper division, putting publisher’s jobs into play at Indianapolis and Louisville.

July 16: Gannett discloses that second-quarter earnings plunged 36% from a year ago. Dubow says the near-term outlook is grim. Investors panic: Shares trade as low as $14.70. Stock closes: $16.57.

July 31: Monthly traffic surges on Gannett Blog. The number of unique visitors climbs 21%, to about 17,500. Page views soar 41%, to about 144,000.

Aug. 13: Management grows more desperate, disclosing plans to lay off 600 employees and eliminate another 400 jobs in the troubled newspaper division. Shares briefly surge, but soon begin falling again.

Aug. 18: Gannett starts issuing pink slips. Enraged employees complain the layoffs are taking too long: “The way that management carried this out felt very much like a hit and run.”

Aug. 22: GCI says July revenue dived 12.3% from a year ago, as classified ad losses accelerate. Stock closes: $17.67.

Sept. 9: In a major reorganization of its troubled newspaper division, Gannett discloses it has laid off about 100 directors — heads of human resources, production, advertising and other high-profile jobs.

Oct. 1: Gannett says Standard & Poor’s has put the company’s long and short term credit ratings on credit watch, with “negative implications.” Dubow tries to calm investors: “Our underlying fundamentals remain strong and we continue to be a solid investment grade company.”

Oct. 24: GCI says third-quarter earnings plunged 32% on a worsening decline in newspaper advertising sales, spurring more job cuts by year’s end — and encouraging the once-unthinkable: slashing the company’s unusually generous dividend.

Oct. 28: Reeling from a second consecutive quarter of big revenue losses, Gannett announces plans to lay off 10% of its newspaper employees — up to 3,000 workers — by early December. Stock closes: $10.22.

Nov. 28: Internal Gannett documents show every company newspaper but Detroit’s was profitable as of the third quarter of 2007. Highest profit margin: the Green Bay Press-Gazette, at nearly 43%.

Dec. 3: Gannett has launched newspaper division layoff. Within days, employees have counted nearly 2,000 jobs cut. Stock closes: $8.87. (Closing price the day Dubow named CEO: $75.31)

And these are just the highlights (lowlights?) What have I missed? 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.