Archive for the ‘Lansing’ Category

Battle Creek: Paper eliminates 50 of 105 jobs

December 3, 2008

The Battle Creek Enquirer‘s nearly 50% job loss is pacing all all papers in this layoff round. The paper, which Gannett has owned since 1971, is shutting down its printing press and moving all production to its sister paper in Lansing, Mich. “The reduction affects 18 full-time employees and 32 part-time employees, with four of those cuts taking effect immediately and the rest during the next two months,” the paper says today in a story.

The presses go silent Jan. 4. How many communities are even aware that Gannett is shutting down printing presses for the last time?

Building a list, checking it twice: Our growing paper-by-paper tally of layoffs and other job cuts. Is yours included?

Detroit: Freep said bunking at capital with Lansing

October 20, 2008

Cutting costs, the Detroit Free Press is closing its state capital bureau in Lansing, and the two reporters there will work from the Freep‘s sister paper, the Lansing State Journal, a reader says.

Meanwhile, Gannett’s Observer and Eccentric staff in the Detroit suburb of Livonia will vacate their offices, and work from the Detroit Media Partnership’s headquarters in Detroit, another reader says today. (The GCI-controlled partnership handles business affairs for the Freep and the former Gannett-owned Detroit News under a joint operating agency agreement.)

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.

Once tops, Lansing now ‘incredible shrinking’ paper

August 31, 2008

Lansing State Journal veterans recall a vibrant newsroom a decade ago, with more than 20 reporters, “including three alone covering the state capital, and reliable coverage of the neighboring communities,” alternative weekly City Pulse says in a new story, “The Incredible Shrinking Lansing State Journal.”

Now, City Pulse says, “the LSJ’s staff list consists of seven news reporters and three business reporters. The daily capital newspaper, physically located five blocks from the dome, has been mostly relying on Associated Press wire copy for its news coverage since its last Capitol reporter, Chris Andrews, retired in February. One of the seven news reporters, Derek Wallbank, is leaving shortly, and the LSJ has no immediate plans to replace him. Instead, his position has become one of 13 the Journal is slicing off this month to satisfy parent corporation Gannett’s orders to eliminate 1,000 jobs. Of the 13 in Lansing, five will be by attrition; the rest will be layoffs.”

Amazing: I remember when, in the early 1990s, Gannett held up the LSJ as one of its best newspapers. How times have changed, huh?

Earlier: In Montgomery, watchdog reporting on a budget. Plus: paper-by-paper layoffs

[Image: this morning’s front page, Newseum]

Layoff day 2: Agony continues for newspaper staffs

August 19, 2008

[The Lansing State Journal laid off eight of 380 employees]

Gannett today resumes the slow torture of more than 30,000 newspaper division employees, still waiting to learn today — but maybe not until tomorrow — whether they’re among 600 workers being laid off at the company’s 84 community dailies. With the simultaneous elimination of 400 other division jobs, the downsizing is one of the newspaper industry’s biggest mass layoffs. (Paper-by-paper list of layoffs.)

No duh: Employees are mighty pissed about how Gannett’s handling this. A sampling of Gannett Blog comments — with one reader saying Corporate has now lost control over its employee communications:

  • The decision to announce the layoffs last week, and then drop the hammer this week, borders on inhumane. It’s definitely cruel and unusual. There’s nothing quite like having a full weekend to worry about your future.
  • This is all so Mickey Mouse. They announce it Friday, so that makes the weekend miserable. Then the cuts aren’t coming until Wednesday, so Mondays and Tuesdays are further misery. I can’t blame anyone saying they can’t stand the stress. You really have to ask yourself if you need to be treated this way by a company you have only shown loyalty towards.
  • I think the day of an employee finding out anything from Gannett before Jim does is over. The way I see it, the word was given to publishers from Corporate on Wednesday of last week to send the word out to the employees by Friday about the layoffs. Jim found out the same day as the publishers. The publishers didn’t even have a chance to print their letters to their employees before it was posted on this blog.

All human resources employees: Can you please explain why Gannett could not announce these layoffs and tell those employees losing their jobs — all on the same day? 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.

Earlier: Corporate’s layoff instructions to newspaper publishers

[Image: yesterday’s State Journal front page, Newseum]

Rochester’s Kane named new Indy Star publisher

July 16, 2008

Updated at 5:43 p.m. ET. Gannett just announced that Michael Kane (left), vice president of the company’s East Publishing Group and publisher of the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., has been named Interstate Group president, and publisher of The Indianapolis Star. Kane, 49, replaces Barbara Henry, retiring Aug. 1, after the Friday Afternoon Massacre. Kane joined Gannett in 1992, when he was hired as marketing manager at The News Journal in Wilmington, Del. In comments, below, he’s getting good reviews: “Michael is a class act,” one reader says.

Related: the Star‘s story, plus the Democrat and Chronicle‘s

Earlier: Ooh, la, la! Rochester ‘threesome’ a surprise hit. Plus: the Democrat and Chronicle‘s school textbook probe

Fun facts about Babs!
The sex-survey lovin’ Henry has ginormous feet, according to newspaper division President Bob Dickey, who told the Star today: “Michael has huge shoes to fill.”

Rochester: What can you tell Indy about Kane? And who’s going to replace him at the Democrat and Chronicle? 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: Democrat and Chronicle]

Salem, Palm Springs papers name publisher, editor

July 10, 2008

Updated at 7:56 p.m. ET. The Friday Afternoon Massacre continued to reverberate across Gannett today: A new publisher was named at the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore., and a new executive editor at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif.

Sun Executive Editor Steve Silberman (left) was appointed publisher of the Salem paper. (I don’t know Silberman’s age; the Salem paper’s story doesn’t say.) He replaces Brian Priester, made publisher of the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal on Tuesday.

In Palm Springs, Managing Editor Rick Green replaces Silberman, according to Publisher Richard Ramhoff. Green, 43, will oversee the daily newspaper, five weeklies, the website, and three niche magazines, the Sun says.

Ramhoff and then Priester were shuffled in the Friday Afternoon Massacre. Ramhoff had been publisher at Lansing. In addition to Palm Springs publisher, he’s now a vice president in the newly created West region.
Daily circulation data
  • Lansing: 61,990
  • Salem: 47,961
  • Palm Springs: 49,304

Calling out Palm Springs: Salem wants to hear all about Silberman. Post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, use this link from a non-work computer; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Photo, from when Gannett named Silberman the Sun‘s top editor; circulation data, 2007 Annual Report]

Salem’s Priester named Lansing State publisher

July 9, 2008

Brian Priester created a stir last fall when he publicly dressed down his own newsroom for failing to cover a Christian music festival while he was publisher of the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore. Priester, 44, was appointed to the top job at the Lansing State Journal yesterday; he replaces Richard Ramhoff, who was named publisher of The Desert Sun in Palm Springs as part of Gannett’s big newspaper division reorganization.

Priester had been publisher at Salem only since February 2007; that seems like an unusually short tenure. His move to Lansing, of course, creates an opening in Salem for a new top executive.

Quote-O-Matic Alert!
From the press release announcing Priester’s promotion, a classic almost-sounds-believable quote, courtesy of chief company flack Tara Connell; this one is attributed to newspaper division President Bob Dickey: “Brian’s rich background in marketing and circulation will be strong assets as he moves to Lansing. We have no doubt that Brian will be a fantastic leader and excellent new addition to the Lansing State Journal.”

Related: the State Journal‘s story about Priester’s appointment

Earlier: Lansing sorry about that state worker database

Salem staffers: What can you tell Lansing about Priester? Post your reply in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, use this link from a non-work computer; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

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.

Datelines: Spitzer trap could get you, too

March 12, 2008

Datelines is an occasional roundup of news topping Gannett websites.

Wilmington, Del.: What snagged New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer could snag you, too. Mountain Home, Ark.: In less than a week, Flippin High School students saved 100 trees. Lansing, Mich.: Semitruck driver TJ Lewis has seen the first $4-a-gallon diesel fuel in his career. Honolulu, Hawaii: More than 400 high school students rallied in support of air-conditioned classrooms.

[Image: this morning’s Lansing State Journal, Newseum]

Hot Off the Press: Michigan primary day papers

January 15, 2008

The political world is focused on Michigan today as Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney duke it out in the state’s primary. Here’s how two Gannett Michigan papers looked this morning. (I would have liked to have included the Lansing State Journal, but I couldn’t find it in the Newseum’s database.) Both the Detroit Free Press and the Times Herald north of Detroit are reporting light turnout so far.

The Free Press hits a cultural trifecta this morning: politics, in the presidential primary; the annual Detroit Auto Show, and that other contest, the start of American Idol‘s seventh season.

The Times Herald, where local officials were tamping down expectations of long lines at the polls.

[Images: Newseum]