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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

More Gannett Layoffs
Andrew Fielding, Photographer, Photo Editor
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 4:46 PM on 06.21.11
->> Gannet is letting 700 more people go. I wonder how many of these are staff photojournalists.

http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/romenesko/136527/gannett-to-layoff-about.../
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Robert Scheer, Photographer
Indianapolis | IN | USA | Posted: 5:10 PM on 06.21.11
->> Just came to post. We lost one photographer at The Indianapolis Star. About 26 from the newsroom, including many excellent copy editors and a really good features writer who I'm good friends with. I'd rather not give the name of the shooter, but he's a veteran with 30+ years in the business, many with Gannett (here, and in Marion, IN).

Share price was up over 3% today. Go figure.
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Jonathon Bird, Photographer
Port Clinton | OH | United States | Posted: 5:53 PM on 06.21.11
->> How will that work If they eliminated copy editors at the Star I thought the papers in Ohio were soon to be edited and designed in Indianapolis. If so it must be the classic do more work with less people routine
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 6:24 PM on 06.21.11
->> we lost ALL our copy editors last week when it was announced all copy editing would be done in charlotte....starting in august...I think the total was 20-25.
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Robert Scheer, Photographer
Indianapolis | IN | USA | Posted: 7:54 PM on 06.21.11
->> Chuck, so sorry.

Jonathan, heck, I dunno. A lot of our work is/will be done in Louisville, from what I gather. Will know more tomorrow (department meetings with brass).
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Matthew Putney, Photo Editor, Photographer
Waterloo | IA | USA | Posted: 11:45 PM on 06.21.11
->> Here is the Gannett Memo and a story posted about the Des Moines Register. Never a good day to see colleagues loose their jobs. Good luck to the 700 and their family.


http://www.kcci.com/r/28309963/detail.html


Gannett Memo

"As we reach the mid-point of the year, the economic recovery is not happening as quickly or favorably as we had hoped and continues to impact our U.S. community media organizations. We have made continued progress on the many initiatives underway to seek new sources of revenue, build a world class sales force and better serve our customers through watchdog reporting and stronger Sunday newspapers. While we are seeing improved circulation results and audience growth, weakness in the real estate sector, slow job creation and now softer auto ad demand continue to challenge revenue growth in the division.

"National advertising remains soft and with many of our local advertisers reducing their overall budgets, we need to take further steps to align our costs with the current revenue trends. Each of our local media organizations faces its own market conditions, challenges and opportunities. Therefore, it has been up to each local publisher to determine his or her unique course of action.

"While we have sought many ways to reduce costs, I regret to tell you that we will not be able to avoid layoffs. Accordingly, approximately 700 employees within USCP, or about 2 percent of our companyís overall workforce, will be let go. Publishers will notify people today and we will make every effort to reach everyone by end of day. It is important to note that these decisions do not reflect individual performance and we thank and respect those employees for their work. We will do everything we can to help them and to minimize the impact on our other employees going forward. In an effort to reduce the number of people being let go, there will be furloughs in the coming months but they will be limited only to those on the USCP corporate payroll who make over a certain salary. You will be notified by your publisher if you are among this group.

"These have been extremely difficult and painful decisions to make. I know the impact is felt by everyone within USCP and companywide.

"I appreciate and thank you for all that you do to create and deliver award-winning journalism to our customers and communities every day. Even under these challenging circumstances, I know you will continue to do so and your efforts are greatly appreciated by our customers and colleagues within Gannett.

"As always, please feel free to email me directly at rdickey@gannett.com with any questions you may have."
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Dave Einsel, Photographer, Photo Editor
Houston | TX | United States | Posted: 1:10 AM on 06.22.11
->> http://gannettblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/urgent-gannett-announces-700-newspa...
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 1:28 AM on 06.22.11
->> Today's cuts came after many newspaper workers took one-week unpaid furloughs during the current quarter; virtually all took a furlough in the first quarter. And they come three months after GCI disclosed that Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow got paid $9.4 million last year -- twice what he earned in 2009. Other senior executives also got huge raises, company documents show.Dubow's pay included a $1.75 million cash bonus, based partly on his success in reducing costs through layoffs, furloughs and other austerity measures. Bonuses awarded other executives were also calculated according to that same formula.

Incredible. The guy is paid $9.4 million, twice what he was paid in 2009 while they have the nerve to let people go to trim costs.
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Paul Hayes, Photographer, Photo Editor
Littleton | NH | USA | Posted: 2:27 AM on 06.22.11
->> Any idea what the impacts are to papers in the Northeast?
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 9:31 AM on 06.22.11
->> John Gaps III, one of the best shooters in the country, was let go by the Des Moines Register. Sean Keeler, a sports columnist, was also supposedly let go.

These kind of cuts kill you in the long run.
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Chad Ryan, Photographer
Fort Wayne | IN | USA | Posted: 9:46 AM on 06.22.11
->> Those that make "over a certain salary" get some time off work while those that actually produce the product, well, they're just not necessary anymore. I'm guessing the salary threshold for determining the furloughs is right about the amount it takes to be able to afford taking unpaid time away from work. The other thing I love is the folks who run the show think the best course of action is to build "world-class" sales forces. Who needs a product to sell anyway? Apparently not a world-class sales force because they bring salvation.

I just wish they would stop their PR folks from trying to spoon feed everyone the we're making every effort to "better serve our customers through watchdog reporting and stronger Sunday newspapers" line. Nevermind the watchdog reporters and those who make a stronger Sunday newspaper are being cut so the corporate pirates ... uh, I mean executives can get raises and bonuses. They obviously don't think much of the intelligence of their employees, let alone their customer base.
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Jonathon Bird, Photographer
Port Clinton | OH | United States | Posted: 9:48 AM on 06.22.11
->> I was off Monday and Tuesday maybe when I get in today they'll tell me I'm on permanent vacation
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 10:45 AM on 06.22.11
->> Gannett stock (GCI) reached a high of $18.64 cents in April 2010. It was at $1.95 on March, 9 2009. A far cry from where it was in 2000 when it was hovering around $65 a share. So my guess is the stockholders are screaming for action as it has remained stagnant.

Still, management doesn't hear the feedback that the reporters and photographers hear when we're out working. Readers notice the lack of coverage, poor copy editing and the kind of mistakes that could get you sued which in the end, could cost the company millions. So until something drastic happens, it's like walking across a frozen lake, hoping you don't fall in at some point.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 8:57 PM on 06.22.11
->> It's always sad to hear when anyone loses their job ... but I think we are well past the phase of finger pointing ... we unfortunately are witnessing first-hand the end of an era ... gone are the days where the traditional media will reign on high for our news gathering and distribution ... with so many folks willing to choose lesser quality, albeit free "news" from non traditional sources ... the "paid" sources were bound to suffer ... Why buy The Daily for the iPad for 99 cents a week when you can get Pulse, Flipbook, Zite ... and yes ... even USA Today ... for FREE ... sounds eerily familiar to the tale about a cow and the milk it produced ...

I honestly don't think that blame for the results can be placed at the feet of any singular cause ... I think it is the culmination of several factors that have been in the making for decades ... and when a vehicle like the Huffington Post can garner $315M for an organization primarily built on free and low-cost content sources ... where a single individual can not only sell out herself but also those who made the sale possible ... and expect to continue on with business as usual (and looks to be succeeding at it) it was bound to send a chilling message to the industry as a whole.

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring ... and I surely do wish those who felt the wedge of the axe today don't have to venture forth long to find employment and a market for their talents and skills.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 12:27 AM on 06.23.11
->> Butch, sorry, but there IS a need for finger pointing. It's called assigning financial responsibility for the lack of performance. It's not the photographers, it's not the writers, it's not the copy editors, the department editors, or even the managing or senior editors - it's the idiots that went to Wall Street initially to "leverage the assets" and today's "leaders" like Craig Dubow who took home $9.4M last year.

A simple question: The stock is in the toilet - so what did Dubow do to deserve his salary and bonus? He cut 700 jobs to prove he was doing something and save his worthless a$$ from getting forced out? In any sport when the team is not performing properly, at some point, they fire the coach and his assistants. Did you see anyone at the top of Gannett take a hit?

In a small business if we have a tough year I don't take a extra DIME out of the business. There are no bonuses and only a modest salary. I take care of my people best I can. If I can do it, why doesn't Wall Street? The answer is simple : they are all feeding at the same trough. They are not being held accountable. It's that simple.

But there was a simple solution:

Let's do the math for a moment, shall we? Let's assume for a moment the average salary of the terminated employees is $50K. That's $35M total they cut. If Dubow got $9.4M, I would be willing to bet the senior staff collectively got the same amount as the CEO.

They could have found $20M really easily. And cut a lot less people. And have enhanced shareholder value.

Gutless wonders, my friend. And they should be held accountable. If I ran my business the way they run theirs (with someone else's money) I'd be out of business.

One last thing: the most visible people they laid off in Des Moines included Sean Keeler, a sports columnist. The average sports reader picks up the Des Moines Register and he's not there. This begs the question: If you cut enough good people, why will people buy your newspaper?

The more they cut, the faster the decline will occur.

The people running these newspapers are stupid. If you're going to commit suicide, a Glock and one round would be a lot faster.

Sorry if I offended anyone, but this is greed and stupidity at high levels and I have a tough time dealing with the consequences.

M
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Phoenix | AZ | United States | Posted: 9:25 AM on 06.23.11
->> Well said Michael.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 9:46 AM on 06.23.11
->> Michael, well put sir. Well put. And you're estimate of the average salary of $50k a year I think is high. But I'm down here in Smallville so what do I know? Well I know somebody was paid $9.4 million and did nothing, absolutely nothing to deserve it.
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Robert Scheer, Photographer
Indianapolis | IN | USA | Posted: 10:22 AM on 06.23.11
->> I don't thin 50K is unreasonable an assumption. Fewer large papers, but many more people per paper evens it all out. Some of the longest tenured people laid off at The Star the other day made significantly more than 50K.

Still, with us, there was not consistency. We lost some top wage earners, and some newer types who presumably make less money.

In addition to a great photographer, and many on the copy desk, my paper (The Indy Star) lost our newsroom's only Spanish-speaking reporter (native of Peru), who had only a few years at the paper, and presumably a lower salary. Huh?
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 10:25 AM on 06.23.11
->> Jeff, I used $50K because with payroll taxes etc you have additional costs in addition to the salary. Still might be high, but all that means is that more people would not have been cut.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 2:25 PM on 06.23.11
->> Michael, very true. I was only considering take home pay before taxes. Of course with benefits, $50K is not an unreasonable number at all.
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Scott MacDonald, Photographer
Salinas | CA | USA | Posted: 4:26 PM on 06.23.11
->> Here's a great read on all this:

http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/gannetts_multimillionaires_reg.php
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Princeton | IN | USA | Posted: 10:17 PM on 06.23.11
->> Iím not a Gannett shareholder, thank God. But if shareholders had exercised their say-on-pay (Just kidding. I know that doesnít work, but bear with me!) and reigned in executive pay along the lines Iím talking about, that would net us $22 million. How many jobs could generous Gannett execs save by making their paychecks somewhat less obscene?

Shareholders don't exercise a say. The board of directors do that and they're the ones who agree to pay these outrageous sums of money to people who apparently have done very little to help realign anything, except their paychecks going into their pockets.
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Thread Title: More Gannett Layoffs
Thread Started By: Andrew Fielding
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