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My publisher got fired on Monday

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Colton, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    beanpole: You are extremely fortunate to have "former" in front of "CNHI staffer."

    I've never seen it worse... it's just, in a word, awful.
  2. boots

    boots New Member

    Colton, you aren't alone. I just got off the phone with a lifer cnhi employee and he's ready to jump ship.
  3. Could not agree more.
  4. beanpole

    beanpole Member

    cnhi's problem is that they paid WAY too much for their newspapers. They didn't realize massive capital improvements needed at some properties -- an ancient press here, an awful front-end system there. For at least the first six years after the sale, the company still had zero equity and annually borrowed money through short-term loans to make its interest payments.

    In year 7, corporate vowed not borrow to meet the payment. That's when the layoffs began -- our paper lost about a dozen people that year, including a couple in the newsroom.

    I left cnhi firmly believing that some people in corporate want very much to have good newspapers and do quality journalism, but the company was leveraged too badly to invest in any improvements. Papers are pressed to have huge profit margins -- 27-28 percent was typical for our paper -- just to help pay the annual bill. Coupled with the downturn in readership and advertising and circulation revenues, the situation was ugly.
  5. You have obviously dealt with an entirely different set of people at CNHI, because I've never had the impression they want to do quality journalism.
    Even if there are some that do, it's obvious that those who have the actual power want nothing more than profits. They are willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING for that.
  6. beanpole

    beanpole Member

    It's like having an awful mortgage on a run-down house. As much you'd like to fix it up, most of your paycheck is used on the monthly payment. And god help you if the furnace decides to let go.
  7. Yes, but in your analogy, the person in the run-down house has a money-making machine. He decides to sell the machine to pay for improvements on the house.
    Maybe this fictional crazy person gets more out of selling the machine than he would make with it in a month, but he's clearly losing money in the long run.
    When you start slashing staff and budgets, you beg your readers to drop the paper. That will drop your profits.
    CNHI does not appear to understand this.
  8. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    [blue]Wow, I don't know the half of it. I guess I've got more things to look forward to![/blue]
  9. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    Here's hoping the ugly ends soon. I agree that the higher ups want to put out quality papers. I gotten e-mails from company VPs that complimented me on certain changes I make to the sports section after I took over.
  10. Got a letter from CNHI today explaining how all of our copays were going up because they are cheap bastards who plan to squeeze every nickel they can out of their employees before we all either quit or snap and start shooting people.
  11. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Okie: Yeah, wasn't that a pleasant surprise? So much for the yearly two-percent raise.... fuckers.
  12. Our publisher was fired Wednesday. She had been in place for 13 years and was really good to our sports department. Rumor is she was just not making enough money. There is definitely a sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
    We had been hearing rumblings that the Heart of Darkness in Alabama felt we were overstaffed in the newsroom. (In a related matter, the publisher and ad director at the Ashtabula Star Beacon were canned last month).
    In the nearly three years I have been with the paper, we have laid off a 20-hour a week typist, a librarian, a photographer and have not filled a news reporter or a pagination job.
    Early last month we were told we would no overnight travel is allowed. So we would not have been able to send someone to cover an area softball team if they went to the state finals (they were in the semifinal at the time of this revelation).
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