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More Gannett fun

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TimmyP, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. TimmyP

    TimmyP Member

    I didn't see this covered elsewhere, so apologies if it has been, etc. ...

    I see where the hammer is continuing to swing at Gannett, with the much-talked about Regional Design Centers (or some similar shitty name), where local papers will edit their stories and send them to one of 5 places to have the pages designed and then returned to the local papers to be put on the press. Rumors are that it will result in about 500 layoffs on the copy/design desk at the local sites.

    Apparently there is a Webinar with corporate and top editors/publishers this morning, to be followed by staff meetings at the papers to explain (lie about) what's going on.


    I was a Gannettoid for about a dozen years until getting out in 2007, and I'm glad I escaped when I did, but I feel horrible for the friends I have who are still there and going through this. I used to think the people in upper management were largely good people put in a bad spot. Now I pray every night for them to be raped to death by a wild boar.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Understand your feelings, TimmyP, but I doubt Gannett will be the last paper to do this.

    It's actually better than just bleeding each individual paper.
  3. TimmyP

    TimmyP Member

    I'm sure you're right, Ace, but it's the motives I have a problem with.

    I don't think this is being done to save the chain or save the individual papers. I think the only objective in mind is to boost the bonuses for and put more money in the pockets of the top execs. I realize Gannett is not alone on that island, but it still sucks.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I agree that the folks at the top should do more than their share of belt tightening to start with.
  5. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Alot of problems with this beyond the fact that many hard-working people could be losing their jobs.

    I used to work for a small Gannett paper. The copy desk would always catch things in my stories that I didn't know about because I was new in town. Little style things that you can't always learn in one day.

    They also left the office late at night or on the weekends to chase stories, or go to the house fires when the reporters were gone home for the night. They also helped edit the web site.

    Of course it is all about the bottom line. And if cutting five people can save $200,000 in healthcare, payroll and 401k costs then they are going to do it, even if costs them subscribers.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I don't think that there is any question that having a full editing staff at each paper is best. I just think it's inevitable that chains will continue to go to these universal desks for editing and designing papers.
  7. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    We've got four papers under the CNHI banner here and we tried to have a centralized desk. It was a failure. Eventually each office got sent 4-5 paginators/desk people. Biggest issue was no communication. You tell someone over the phone or on email how a page should look and it comes back totally different. I suppose with the way Gannett wants a streamlined look they probably have more stringent guidelines so that won't be as much of an issue.
  8. GlenQuagmire

    GlenQuagmire Active Member

    I believe that's the Gannett motto.
  9. GlenQuagmire

    GlenQuagmire Active Member

    Your timing is incredible, Timmy P.

    Gannett apparently has started to announce the creation of the five regional News Design Centers. Will be located in Des Moines, Nashville, Phoenix, Louisville and Asbury Park.

    Horrible news for page designers/copy editors.
  10. Every time I hear talk of an out-of-town universal desk taking over somewhere, I can't help but wonder how any misspelled names and places or incorrect items of note dealing with local history would ever be caught. Oh well.
  11. TimmyP

    TimmyP Member

    I heard the rumors from friends my former Gannett shop and then read about it on the Gannett Blog.

    So is everyone on the desk at the local shops getting laid off, or is that still to be determined?
  12. GlenQuagmire

    GlenQuagmire Active Member

    The people I'm hearing this from say there's no timetable. Could happen sometime in the next two years.
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