Archive for the ‘Hattiesburg’ Category

Things we say when we’re scared and desperate

November 18, 2008
“Does anyone know
anything on papers in Mississippi?”

Anonymous@9:57 a.m. on Sunday, in a comment reflecting the desperation I described today among employees seeking details about the mass layoff now underway in the newspaper division.

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]

Weakened storm Gustav lands west of New Orleans; hundreds of employees publish live news coverage

September 1, 2008

[Army National Guard members patrol the 5th District today after Gustav skirted New Orleans, in this USA Today photo]

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET. Gannett employees from Louisiana and Mississippi, fortified by teams from Florida, Des Moines, USA Today and elsewhere, are covering Hurricane Gustav‘s landfall today, publishing videos and other news reports live and real-time. As millions fled inland, The Times in Shreveport, La., and other sites streamed live storm video.

Watching the story unfold, Gannett Blog readers cheered: “GREAT JOB SHREVEPORT!!!!!!!! The best paper in Louisiana, and the best operating committee and publisher in our company,” one said in a comment, below. “You guys are doing a great job covering the storm.”

[Storm updates: The Timeshomepage, moments ago]

Do you know co-workers there? Wish them well! Please post your notes 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.

Earlier: Gustav revives the overtime-pay debate

[Photo: Rob Curtis, USA Today]

Hot Off the Press: Hurricane Gustav front pages

September 1, 2008

Updated at 7:02 p.m. ET. Gustav was the big story in the most vulnerable places: Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida — but also further away. A sampling of today’s front pages; I especially liked the lede head at The Indianapolis Star.

The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, La., two hours west of New Orleans. (Bigger view):

The Hattiesburg American, about two hours north of New Orleans. (Bigger view):

The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., three hours north of New Orleans. (Bigger view):

Florida Today
in Melbourne, about 11 hours to New Orleans. (Bigger view):

Green Bay Press-Gazette in Wisconsin, about 18 hours to New Orleans. (Bigger view):

The Star, about 12 hours to New Orleans(Bigger view):

Got a front page to recommend? First, find it at the Newseum’s Gannett pages. Then paste the link in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, use this link to write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]. See Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: Newseum]

We’d be happy just to get time-and-a-half

August 31, 2008
“I would pay ya all double-time.”

Anonymous@10:53 a.m., commenting on Hurricane Gustav staffing at the Hattiesburg American and other Gulf Coast media.

Hurricane Gustav sparks overtime pay questions

August 31, 2008

[Storm tracker: the Hattiesburg American‘s homepage, moments ago]

Updated at 9:54 p.m. ET. As the mammoth storm stalks the Gulf Coast, readers are debating OT policy in today’s edition of Real Time Comments. A sampling:

  • Hattiesburg American news staff has been told it has to spend the night at the paper if Gustaf hits Monday. Do they have to pay us overtime for forcing us to do this?”
  • “We’re in Gustav’s path and the salaried employees have been told they are essential, which means we’re supposed to be at work during the worst of the storm.”
  • “Anyone who doesn’t WANT to be at the newspaper when a hurricane hits the town they cover isn’t much of a journalist. Overtime? That’s the last thing anyone should be thinking about. It’s a calling, people.”

[Today’s print front page, from the Newseum]

Datelines: Chicken fears, and a marijuana retailer

March 7, 2008

Datelines is an occasional roundup of news topping Gannett websites.

Salisbury, Md.: Small chicken farmers are growing wary of giant competitors. Hattiesburg, Miss.: Sen. Hillary Clinton is visiting, and the Hattiesburg American is live-blogging the event. St. Cloud, Minn.: Officials want to boost the area’s below-average foster child adoption rates. Palm Springs, Calif.: Two Cathedral City residents are determined to keep their medical marijuana store open; it has up to 600 customers.

[Image: the American, Newseum]