Archive for the ‘Greenville’ Category

Toll punches through 1,900; big dailies still missing

December 7, 2008

Gannett has eliminated 1,904 newspaper jobs in a mass layoff that moved into high gear last week, a new Gannett Blog survey today shows, as employees who survived the cuts now look ahead nervously to vastly changed working conditions.

At the urging of readers, I’ve added positions lost from separately announced press shutdowns in Asheville, N.C., and Clarksville, Tenn. (left). Our survey now includes 67 of 85 newspapers in this layoff round.

Still, papers that are missing or have incomplete figures include three of the company’s biggest individual employers: USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, and The Cincinnati Enquirer. Combined, those papers plus other worksites with missing figures employ as many as 5,500 of Gannett’s approximately 30,000 newspaper employees.

Gannett has estimated it will have cut about 2,000 jobs at the mostly small papers in its community newspaper division, once this layoff round is done. That estimate would cover Cincinnati — but not USAT or Detroit, because they’re managed in a division of their own, subject to separate budget-cutting goals.

Survivor: ‘No cavalry is coming’
Whatever the final tally, employees who escaped layoff now face a new reality. “Those left behind — at medium and small properties, anyway — are going to be crushed by the additional workload,” Anonymous@12:20 p.m. wrote today in a new comment. “I already put 10 additional hours in this week (exempt; no OT, of course), and that was nothing, because the hard workers who were laid off had worked ahead as always. . . . This week, we will begin to feel the real loss, as it is all on us and no cavalry is coming.”

There’s more: “I am not looking for sympathy. I know I am extremely lucky to still have a paycheck, and I know any number of unemployed journos out there would change places w/me in heartbeat. I am just saying that being a survivor is going to be very rough indeed, and I don’t believe we will stay on this melting iceberg very long.”

We’re tallying job cuts, paper-by-paper. Is yours included? Please post figures on our list, or in the comments section, below. You may also e-mail confidentially via gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com].

[Image: today’s Leaf-Chronicle front page in Clarksville, Newseum]

Asheville: Print moves to Greenville; 60 jobs lost

November 21, 2008

Asheville Citizen-Times Publisher Randy Hammer says there had been talk of combining production at the North Carolina paper with its sister Gannett paper, The Greenville News, 63 miles south, in South Carolina. “The economic downturn we’re seeing across the nation has pushed us to make this move sooner rather than later,” Hammer said, according to a story on the paper’s website.

Although 60 jobs will be eliminated in Asheville, some of the employees laid off could transfer to new jobs being added at Greenville to handle the extra work, the paper says. But any press job cuts will be on top of those eliminated at Asheville in the 10% workforce reduction now underway; those additional layoffs will be announced early next month, Hammer’s memo says.

Asheville: Production chief said axed; papers late

October 2, 2008

Two weeks after dumping their production director, a reader here says, the Asheville Citizen-Times in North Carolina could not get the newspaper out this morning, so had to print at a sister site in Greenville, S.C. “Papers were two to three hours late,” the reader says.

Lost your production director in the layoff of 100 managers? What’s the impact? 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.

Earlier: Readers describe big print woes in Louisville. Plus: our paper-by-paper list of laid-off managers

[Image: today’s front page, Newseum]

Documents: GCI eliminating 275 finance jobs; Asheville, WUSA-TV among first 11 taking hit

September 19, 2008

The company will eliminate the accounting and other jobs as part of the previously disclosed creation of two national shared service centers in Springfield, Mo., and Indianapolis, according to internal documents I’ve just obtained.

The documents were provided by a Gannett Blog reader who requested anonymity. They describe in detail the timetable and scale of the plan to consolidate finance work at newspapers and TV stations in a bid to cut costs as Gannett wrestles with declining revenue and profits. Previously published reports gave only a broad outline of the project.

The plan calls for a combined 11 papers and TV stations to be used as pilot sites starting last month, the documents show, with completion of the entire project expected by March 2009. About 55 jobs will be created at each of the two new centers — for a net job loss of 167 positions, the documents show. Gannett now employs about 46,000 in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

“The termination dates for employees losing their positions are determined by the implementation timetable,” one of the documents shows. “As a site begins migrating their activities to the national shared service centers, employees begin losing their positions.”

The documents say the first 11 pilot sites are the papers at Asheville, N.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Springfield, Mo.; Mountain Home, Ark.; Jackson, Miss., and Hattiesburg, Miss. The TV stations are WGRZ in Buffalo, N.Y.; WUSA in Washington, D.C.; WTSP in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.; WBIR in Knoxville, Tenn., and KTHV in Little Rock.

In sharing the documents, my reader says: “This is top secret. You have to protect my identity! So many people are frustrated because Gannett is keeping this such a secret. People just want an idea of when this transition is going to happen at their units. These people are not stupid — they know there’s a schedule out there somewhere, so why not share it — even if it’s tentative. So, here it is. I’m not sure if Gannett is on schedule or not. Do with it as you feel is appropriate.”

All readers: Can you provide confirmation — and further details? 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: yesterday’s Asheville Citizen-Times, Newseum]

Lansing State Journal’s mileage rate: 43 cents

May 12, 2008

Update at 2:47 p.m. PT: “The comment about corporate mileage is total bullshit. It is only $.21 a mile here,” a third reader just told me. “Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, we are screwed here just as much as everyone at the papers are.”

Earlier: And Corporate’s rate is a fat 55 cents, say Gannett Blog readers, now commenting on the abysmally small mileage increase at South Carolina’s Greenville News.

Join the debate, in the original post.

Reader: ‘Mileage rate at Greenville = sad’

May 10, 2008

I knew exactly what to expect this morning when I opened an e-mail bearing that miserable subject line. A Gannett Blog reader says South Carolina’s Greenville News has finally raised the mileage reimbursement rate from what had been 25 cents(!!!) a mile. “We’ve moved valiantly and courageously to 27 cents per mile,” he says. “Compared to your previous post regarding Cincy’s rate, ours is more abysmal, which means we win. Or do we lose?”

But wait, there’s more! “When it got moved from 23 cents to 25 about two years ago, senior management made sure we knew it was a huge sacrifice. . . . This time, especially since our clamoring for relief has been much louder (and perhaps more homicidal), there was no ‘we’re taking a bullet for you’ message. Also considering we’re pumping in $3.50 gas now with $4 gas on the horizon, it’s just downright pitiful that we’re subsidizing our own jobs.”

What’s your mileage reimbursement rate? When’s the last time it went up — and by how much? Leave a note, in the comments section, below. Or use this link to e-mail your reply; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

Hot Off the Press: The Greenville News

January 26, 2008

This is today’s Greenville News in South Carolina; click on the image for a bigger view. All eyes are on the state’s Democratic primary today, where Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards are in a tight race.

Online, the News says state election officials reported “no problems Saturday morning as residents headed to Democratic primary polls a week after one county’s voting machines failed to function properly during the GOP primary.” In print, the News has a strong Page One refer (inset, left) to its rolling online coverage.

[Images: Newseum]

Election focus shifts to Michigan, Nevada, S.C.

January 10, 2008

With a combined seven newspapers and one TV station in those three key battleground states, Gannett is now well-positioned to be a bigger presidential campaign player in the crucial weeks ahead.

Michigan is a battleground for Republicans regrouping after New Hampshire’s surprise upsets. “This race is about Michigan right now,” Kevin Madden, a Mitt Romney spokesman, tells The New York Times today. The state’s weak economy will be a major issue in Tuesday’s primary. Gannett’s five Michigan papers are led by the Detroit Free Press. GCI also owns WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids. The Free Press says GOP candidates “would do well to keep one fact in mind: Michigan has as many unemployed job seekers as Republicans had voters in Iowa and New Hampshire combined.”

For Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, the immediate focus are the Jan. 19 Nevada caucuses. They’re shaping up as the “head-to-head test of the strength of both these candidates,” the NYT says. The Reno Gazette-Journal said today that mining and the residential foreclosure crisis will play big roles in the caucuses.

And in South Carolina, Gannett’s Greenville News says GOP candidates “still standing after two bruising contests began assembling at Myrtle Beach to prepare for tonight’s nationally televised debate, a scene-setter for the state’s Jan. 19 primary.” The News has loads of video on the candidates, too. “South Carolina is going to be a turning point in this nomination process,” Republican candidate Mike Huckabee of Arkansas says, according to today’s Washington Post.

[Image: this morning’s Free Press, Newseum]

Cutlines Only: The Greenville News

December 29, 2007

Jerry Kelly holds $2 bills stamped with orange Clemson University “Tiger paws” that he got from a bank in Clemson, S.C. He and other Tigers fans will spend the bills at Monday’s Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta to show the economic impact of fan spending, The Greenville (S.C.) News says today. Photo by Alan Devorsey, News.

Cutlines Only showcases Gannett website art. E-mail suggested links here; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right. Or leave a note in the comments section, below.