Archive for the ‘Utica’ Category

Are any Gannett newspapers ‘actively up for sale’?

April 27, 2008

Update at 9:57 a.m., April 28: Former Gannett Publisher Donna Donovan (left) wrote to me this morning to note that the “publishers, general managers and editors I mentioned in my column all work for other companies, some public, some family owned. The papers I referred to as being actively up for sale are not Gannett papers.”

Donovan, who remained publisher when GCI sold the Observer-Dispatch to GateHouse Media, writes about life a year later at the Utica, N.Y., paper. “It’s going very well, indeed,” she says.

But what really caught my eye: She’s heard from former Gannett co-workers. “Many of the publishers, general managers and editors I spoke with this past week were themselves in limbo,” Donovan says. “Some are at newspapers actively up for sale. Others asked if I’d heard the rumors they’re likely to be put on the block. Still others are worried that they’ll soon be looking for work, their job the victim of massive consolidations and job-sharing affecting our industry.”

[Hat tip, to a reader’s comment, here; photo: Observer-Dispatch]

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Ex-Gannett publisher: ‘bottom line didn’t work’

March 2, 2008

A reader challenges my view, in a comment here, that Gannett papers subject to sale in a restructuring are “vulnerable.” Look at what’s happened at the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, N.Y., the reader says, since GCI sold it to GateHouse Media less than a year ago.

In a column last fall, Publisher Donna Donovan said the paper was prospering anew, after returning key customer-service jobs to Utica that Gannett had consolidated at distant call centers.

“To get to the bottom line — the bottom line didn’t work,” Donovan wrote. “It was costing us more to out-source these operations, and others, than to run them ourselves. Plus, we knew in our hearts that our customer service would improve, our classified ad sales would grow, and a whole host of other parts of our operation would be better run if they were here. And now they are.”

(Confidential to Corporate: The Observer-Dispatch is still listed as a Gannett newspaper, on this official company page.)

Anyone else have examples of how the new call centers are performing? Use this link to e-mail feedback; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the sidebar, upper right. Or leave a note in the comments section, below.

[Image: this morning’s Observer-Dispatch, Newseum]