Archive for the ‘Shreveport’ Category

Shreveport editor asks, ‘What did we do wrong?’

December 7, 2008

The Times in Shreveport, La., wiped out 21 jobs, about 7% of all — spurring a soul-searching column by Executive Editor Alan English. “What did we do wrong to lay off good people from their jobs before Christmas?” he asks today, referring to those made jobless at his paper, and across the nation.

And he concedes that regular folks get hurt the most, writing: “The front lines are the last to know. They get stung from their familiar routine of solving a customer’s problem, hammering at a keyboard, tightening a car wheel, bouncing a toddler at day care.”

Earlier: Management and employees must heal post-layoff wounds

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Shreveport drops daily section, weekly TV guide

December 1, 2008

Foreshadowing similar cuts at other newspapers, The Times of Shreveport, La., today switched to a three-section newspaper, and stopped publishing anonymous comments and blogs as a regular print feature, Executive Editor Alan English told readers in a new column. “While our diverse local economy, bolstered by oil and gas, helps insulate us, we are not immune to the impact of the financial meltdown and economic repercussions now showing on our Main Street,” he said. “By the end of the year, the Times will have reduced its work force and expenses by 6%.”

10% cut: Shreveport said eliminating a section

October 31, 2008

Part of an occasional series on how Gannett newspapers are preparing for an unprecedented layoff in early December.

A reader says The Times in Shreveport, La., started talking about trying a three-section paper, instead of the usual four sections, a week or so ago. That was well before News Department chief Phil Currie began soliciting such ideas this week.

“The paper actually printed three sections instead of four on Monday, prompting 15 to 20 customer calls about the ‘missing’ section,” my reader told me in an e-mail. “Honestly, the four sections seems overkill, anyway. The editorial page morphed into several pages of opinion, blogpinions, etc., a year or two ago during one of the seemingly endless redesigns, taking up valuable newshole. Our top editor got the Currie call Wednesday or Thursday, but no word on any decisions or cuts.”

Earlier: How one paper is preparing for the 10% staff cut

How are you preparing for the 10% cut? Post replies in the comments section, below. E-mail gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: today’s front page, 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]

Seeing Olympics ’08 through photographers’ eyes

August 23, 2008

[Race is on: Appleton’s Dan Powers, lower right, transmits photos]

Part of a series of posts by Gannett Blog Olympics news analyst Ed Hutcheson, a pen name for one of my long-time readers. Ed, an employee at a GCI paper, will file occasional dispatches about Summer Games coverage. Over to you, Ed!

The images from the Beijing Olympics by Gannetts team of photographers have been terrific. Again, here’s the plan: Deliver coverage of hometown athletes to their newspapers, then let the Associated Press do the rest. Most of the dozen or so photographers are from USA Today, along with Matt Detrich of Indianapolis and Jeff Swinger from Cincinnati. Two of their colleagues are fine shooters from community papers, including The Post-Crescent (left) in Appleton, Wis.

Like his reporting counterparts, Greg Pearson of the The Times of Shreveport, La., has been blogging from Beijing in addition to his assignments. Monday’s post will dash any notion of the Olympics as a glamorous gig. “The past few days have been EXTREMELY busy. I’m now getting between 3-5 hours of sleep a night. I’m ok for now, but I know that when I get home I’ll probably sleep for an entire day! One day I had absolutely no time to eat anything at all. I hadnt showered for two days. My last break in shooting was spent lying on a bed for 30 minutes and taking a quick shower. My clothes need to be washed again. I’ve had no time for shopping for souvenirs for the wife and kid. I bought some postcards, but the problem there is I need to find time to write something down and then mail them! I’m falling asleep on short bus rides.”

I liked Thursday’s gallery from the freestyle wrestling venue (left). Pearson, like the others on the Gannett coverage team, is not shooting just the Americans. The U.S. is in it, but freestyle wrestling is dominated by Eastern Europeans.

Dan Powers of the Post-Crescent also is blogging from Beijing. His paper’s use of Blogger software makes it easier to view a photo blog than the Pluck software so widely used now. Powers’ blog posts are mostly about the technical and logistical aspects of getting just the right shots at the Olympics. That’s not for everyone, but it’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes read — especially as he pursues Michael Phelps at the swimming venue — if you’re at all interested in photography.

I liked Powers’ Aug. 10 gallery from the fencing venue. He’d never covered fencing, and you couldnt tell. He got this shot (above) of U.S. gold medalist Mariel Zagunis after her victory, and then this: “After transmitting all of my photographs and packing up my gear, I ended up sharing a elevator ride with a nice young lady and her two companions. The companions I believe were PR folks. But the young lady just happened to be the gold medal winner, Mariel Zagunis. And as we headed down to the first floor, she pulled out the gold and let me hold it for just a second (she never let go of it . . . I think I got about three fingers on it). I thought that was pretty cool.”

[Image: today’s Post-Crescent, Newseum]

Olympics-sized coverage from two smaller papers

August 20, 2008

Part of a series of posts by Gannett Blog Olympics news analyst Ed Hutcheson, a pen name for one of my long-time readers. Ed, an employee at a GCI paper, will file occasional dispatches about Summer Games coverage. It’s all yours, Ed!

Updated at 10:31 a.m. ET. The Beijing Olympics are more than a week old, and so far, so good for Gannett’s coverage team. GCI’s plan is simple: Deliver coverage of hometown athletes to their newspapers, then complement it with broader coverage. Let the Associated Press do the rest. It seems to be working.

A byline count suggests a team of at least 16 reporters: 10 from metro and community papers, five from USA Today, plus Gannett News Service columnist Mike Lopresti. If two staffers from the smallest papers are any indication, Gannett and those hometown papers are getting their money’s worth.

Kevin Tresolini, a sports writer at The News Journal in Wilmington, Del., covered at least seven sports, including swimming, field hockey, soccer and tennis, in his first week.

Tresolini describes the job on his blog from Beijing: “Most of what I write (is) Gannett-paper specific — a story about the wrestler for the Shreveport, La., paper, the weight-lifter for the Salem, Ore., paper, the women’s basketball player for the Nashville paper, the field hockey player for Cherry Hill, N.J.,” he says. “Wednesday at swimming, I popped out three different dispatches for three different papers on three different swimmers.”

Bob Berghaus, the sports editor at the Asheville Citizen-Times, covered softball, canoe/kayak, tennis, cycling, swimming and shooting in his first week. He’s also writing columns and blogging.

On his blog, Berghaus confesses that he went into a women’s restroom by mistake, ate some mystery meat, and passed out on his flight to China. On Friday, he wrote a column about how he tried to bend the rules at the swimming venue and didn’t get away with it.

Tresolini has blogged about dishes he has not eaten, spitting in public — and the smog.

Got a tip for Ed? 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.

[Images: yesterday’s front pages, Newseum]

In Shreveport: Is it editorial, or advertising?

March 18, 2008

Wandering around the The Times website today, I stumbled across the Shreveport paper’s entertainment section — and a curious selection of travel stories. The Times, it turns out, has a content-sharing agreement with USA Today, under which the Gannett flagship provides travel stories to Shreveport.

But holy mislabeled advertising! As the screenshot from the Times website shows (above), those “Specials and Deals” are just links to Travelocity, Orbitz and other companies selling trips. Update on Wednesday: See the revealing follow-up, in the comments section, below.

Got an example of advertising on your paper’s site that’s presented as editorial copy? Use this link to e-mail your reply; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the sidebar, upper right. Or leave a note in the comments section, below.

Shreveport adopting smaller ‘Berliner’ format

December 21, 2007

The Times will be the second Gannett paper to adopt the modified tabloid format popular in Europe, especially with younger readers. U.S. publishers like the Berliner because it gives them another way to cut down on newsprint.

GCI’s Journal and Courier in Lafayette, Ind., was the first U.S. daily to go Berliner, Editor & Publisher says. “We believe print is here to stay even though the Internet is a bigger part of what we do,” Publisher Pete Zanmiller told his paper in its story. “This press will allow us to give a modern-day paper to the city.”

Of course, Gannett’s broadsheets are getting smaller, too.