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Gannett Voluntary Buyouts

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Woody Long, Oct 15, 2020 at 9:10 AM.

  1. ChrisLong

    ChrisLong Well-Known Member

    A previous sports editor explained that "printing extra copies" because of a big event is a necessary Catch-22. You gotta do it. But printing costs more than what can be recovered by single-copy sales. And few, if any, will buy an ad or a subscription after forking out a dollar for a "big event" issue.
  2. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    The only knowledge of Gannett is that I read the material on their investor relations page, go through the financial reports and read transcripts of the earnings calls.

    The Gannett-Gatehouse merger was sold as a way to build an electronic publishing revenues which would offset the advertising losses in traditional print. Why this merger would have lead to the combined companies starting to dramatically increase electronic revenues when the individual companies had spent the previous decade utterly failing at electronic publishing was left unanswered.

    Then COVID came along. Electronic publishing revenues did not increase and print advertising went down a lot more than expected. I think Gannett is like a drowning man in a flood. They have something like 1.7 billion dollars of debt and revenues crashing. I don't think they have a plan but are in panic mode.

    And if I worked at Gannett I would believe nothing Michael Reed says. The guy in earnings calls contradicts what the company puts on their investor relations webpage. I think he makes it up as he goes along because he is overwhelmed by the events.

    When Gannett announces earnings later this month we will learn more.
    sgreenwell and Fdufta like this.
  3. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    When "digital" was what print began pushing as a savior and then you've seen traditional digital only operations laying people off, you realized that digital was not going to be the savior they thought and really the only thing that is keeping these publications afloat is print.
    PaperDoll likes this.
  4. Fdufta

    Fdufta New Member

    This is great analysis and insight and what I come to this board for. Kudos.
    wicked and sgreenwell like this.
  5. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Which South Florida paper was it - I want to say Boca Raton - that had every A1 story hold to the front, no matter what? It also had a pink flamingo in the masthead.
  6. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    ... so you were working with a bunch of kids still in elementary school?
    HanSenSE likes this.
  7. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Well-Known Member

    Yep, the Boca Raton News. Knight-Ridder’s great experiment. No jumps, bunch of stupid color things that made USA Today look staid.

    It failed. KR foisted the Boca News off on CNHI, the first of several sales before it died.
  8. ChrisLong

    ChrisLong Well-Known Member

    OCR had a no-jump policy in the late 90s-early 00s. Columns were the exception. It was ridiculous. Angels, 9-inch gamer. Super Bowl, 9-inch gamer. Then we'd claim an emergency and jump something. Then another. Then somebody left and somebody else took over and said the hell with that.
    garrow, Liut and HanSenSE like this.
  9. Noholesinone

    Noholesinone Active Member

    When I left the company two years ago, the stock was about $11 a share. It's now $1.46.
    Liut likes this.
  10. rtse11

    rtse11 Active Member

    We tried that at one of my previous shops in the early 90s. They specifically said, "Just like USA Today". It didn't last more than a few months either.
    BurnsWhenIPee and Liut like this.
  11. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    I remember deep into my Gannett days, we had an EE come in from outside the company, and man was he a breath of fresh air.

    His favorite saying was, "I'd rather you ask for forgiveness than permission," and he didn't really care about the Gannett rules for jumps, how many different entry points had to be on a cover and all that.

    He trusted his people and gave them their space to do the work they were passionate about. If his people did something he didn't agree with, he would ask for their thought process. As long as they had a thought process and did some consideration, he would never crack back on them.

    He'd just say, "We get another chance to do it today, so let's learn from the experience and move on."

    Of course, he was Gannettized and moved on in a couple of years.
    wicked and PaperDoll like this.
  12. Woody Long

    Woody Long Member

    I've got a wife, a kid, and a mortgage. My wife has a good job. I'm not moving to continue in journalism. I live in a major market, but there just aren't jobs in journalism for 40-something folks. It is what it is. I'm not one for hustling and pitching freelance stories at $150 a pop when I make 90% of what I was making as an SE in the small business comms job I've been in for a year now. If a beat job or an ASE job opened up, I'd be interested. But beat jobs go to kids now and ASE jobs don't exist anymore, for the most part. So yeah, Yogi, I'm pretty sure it's over.
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