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Posts Tagged ‘Gannett Co.’

Gannett Splits Publishing and Broadcast Businesses

gannett_logo_200x200Gannett is the latest mega company to split its publishing and broadcast/entertainment businesses. The company, which publishes USA Today, plans to complete the separation — which will happen via a tax-free distribution of assets to shareholders — sometime next year.

In the same announcement, Gannett reported it will buy the 73 percent interest it doesn’t already own in Classified Ventures, parent company of Cars.com, for $1.8 billion in cold hard cash.

Gannett’s split is similar to ones conducted by News Corp, Time Warner and Tribune Company. Each sought to get rid of publishing companies that have been a drag on their bottom lines. Of course that’s not how the companies spin it.

“The creation of two highly focused companies with enhanced financial and regulatory flexibility will accelerate growth and create additional value for our shareholders,” said Gannett’s chairman of the board, Marge Magner, in a statement.

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Newspapers are (Still) in Trouble

According to the Wall Street Journal, newspaper companies are scaling back advertising expectations because things got worse in the second quarter than they thought it would. Analysts also expect that the trend will continue into the third quarter, which would perhaps lead to even more massive layoffs (in June, Gannett cut about 700).

There are a couple reasons why ad dollars slowed so severely:

The key drag on ad results for a number of these companies was a significant pullback by local retailers, which account for more than half of ad revenue at many local papers. The uneasy economy and the longer-term shift of ad dollars online continue to play a big role, analysts and executives say. Another factor is the emergence of daily-deal sites led by Groupon Inc., which have siphoned at least some ads away from papers, said Craig Huber, a senior analyst at Access 342, an independent stock-research company.

See that Groupon lovers? Because you can’t pay full price for a month of Subway foot longs, the newspaper industry is dying. Shame on you.

Gannett Lays Off 700 Newspaper Employees

This is bad. Poynter just reported that Gannett is laying off 700 of its newspaper employees, which represents about two percent of the company’s workforce. In a memo to staffers, Gannett’s Bob Dickey, the head of its Publishing Division, explained that cost-cutting measures haven’t worked well enough, and that employees will be hearing about their future soon:

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.

More Furloughs for Gannett Newspaper Employees

Gannett Co., the country’s largest newspaper publishing company, is ordering employees at 81 newspapers to take a week off without pay. This marks the third year in a row that Gannett workers have been subject to furloughs. The move is designed to avoid further layoffs. The company has already eliminated over one thousand jobs since 2007.

“This was, quite frankly, an option I had hoped we could avoid,” Bob Dickey, head of the company’s U.S. Community Publishing division, said in a memo to employees. “Furloughs, while difficult, do allow us to protect jobs. The staff reductions we have taken over the past few years have been very hard and further reductions are not our first preference. ”

Dickey himself is subject to the furlough, which must be taken by March 27.

California newspapers affected by the furloughs include The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, The Salinas Californian, the Tulare Advance-Register, and the Visalia Times-Delta.

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AgencySpy: Advertising industry trade Creativity-Online has decided to erect a pay wall.

AdAge: Advertising Age has a new executive editor, Abbey Klaassen, who is replacing Jonah Bloom, who is leaving to join business-to-business blog network Breaking Media.

BusinessJournalism.org: American Journalism Review is cutting its print schedule from six down to four issues a year. Add that to today’s news about E&P‘s closure, and it’s been a very sad day for journalism trades.

Washington Business Journal: In its predictions for next year, Gannett Co. Inc. signaled that it will probably only require a few job cuts.

MediaDailyNews: Nielsen reports that ad spending fell 11.5 percent from January to September this year, compared to last year. Spending on national magazine ads dropped 21.4 percent, national newspaper ads were down 21.6 percent and b-to-b’s saw ads decline 33.1 percent. Sunday supplements saw the greatest ad decline, of 48.3 percent.

Video: New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin on “The Daily Show” last night, talking about his book Too Big To Fail.

USA TODAY To Launch E-Edition & Weekend Paper Next Week

usa today logo.pngLast month, USA TODAY publisher David Hunke told us to expect a e-Edition of the paper on August 3. Today, the paper officially announced the launch of a new digital version of the nation’s top-selling newspaper, along with their first-ever weekend paper.

The new Saturday-Sunday edition will be called USA TODAY EXTRA and will be available only to subscribers of the paper’s digital or print versions.

USA TODAY is perfectly modeled to suit all the new and emerging technologies we are seeing in the marketplace,” Hunke said in a release. “We’re very pleased to be able to bring the e-Edition to our readers and we will continue to look for new platforms to grow on.”

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Layoffs Coming At Gannett

gannett.pngReports are swirling that USA TODAY publisher Gannett Co. will be laying off a large number of employees soon.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the company will cut 1,000 and 2,000 of its 41,500 employees. The layoffs will come from Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing division, consisting of its 80+ daily newspapers, and USA TODAY will not be affected, the Journal added. The New York Times points out that Gannett’s U.S. and British newspaper divisions have cut more than 10,000 jobs in 2007 and 2008, which includes about 2,000 layoffs this past fall.

In May, our sister blog MediaJobsDaily reported exclusively that USA TODAY had laid off three ad sales reps in its New York office and one in Chicago on May 13. Gannett has also made other cost-cutting measures this year, saving $20 million through furloughs in the first quarter and requiring most of its employees to take a second furlough before June. Apparently such measures were not enough to avoid additional layoffs during the second half of 2009.

We’ll keep you posted as this story develops. But we have a feeling this bad news may come down on Thursday afternoon or Friday when all the world is already on vacation for the Fourth of July.

Update: Gawker has published an internal memo from Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing division president Bob Dickey, which states that about 1,400 people will be losing their jobs and announcements should be coming down on July 9.

truTV Ends Daytime Programming|Is Gannett Doomed?|AP Union Disputes New Social Media Policy|Author And Page Sixer Froelich Sits For A Fun Hamptons Interview|Allison Bids Adieu To TONY

TVNewser: Turner Broadcasting owned truTV is shutting down its “In Session” daytime programming. Up to 65 employees could be let go as a result.

TheDeal: A week after Gannett Co. CEO Craig Dubow took medical leave, questions are raised about whether the company can survive beyond June 2011.

Editor & Publisher: Leaders of the News Media Guild, which represents AP employees, have requested a meeting with editors to discuss a contentious social media policy distributed to staffers last week.

Plum TV: Jaquelynn Powers interviews former colleague, Page Six’s Paula Froelich, about her book, “Mercury in Retrograde”.

Time Out New York: If you read her blog you know that Julia Allison broke up with Time Out New York, where she was the dating columnist, a while back. But today, the pub has an exit interview with the media celebutante. And yes, she’s still single — and she blames her apartment. “It’s like walking into a giant tutu,” she said.

Media Stocks: The State of the Top 13

Gannett Co.‘s in serious, serious trouble. The company’s stock dropped to barely more than $3.00 per share before recovering with a late Friday rally back to $3.45. Still, that’s a decline of $0.31 on the week, and it continues to trend towards zero. Elsewhere, only Viacom and DirecTV Group gained ground on the week. To the jump.

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LAT In 90 Seconds

typewrit.jpegBest Subhead of the Day: This Patrick Goldstein story bears the subhead, A recently published history of screenwriting reveals that Hollywood’s contempt for writers goes back decades. We can’t think of a use for this book — unless a writer wants to climb up a stack of them and then kick them out from underneath his dangling body should the WGA vote to strike on Thursday.

33549453.jpgThe Factory: Reporter Ann Powers sets a beautiful scene of an animated Kanye West performing for Marc Jacobs, who is mouthing every lyric of West’s hits, while Takashi Murakami bobs his head along to the beat inside the Louis Vuitton store that opened as part of an exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. There were probably other cross-pollinating bold-face names at the opening, but Powers had our head spinning enough.

227206_ratio4x3_width152.jpegGreat. More Editors: Gannett Co. is getting a piece of the Metromix action. The Virginia-based media company is working on a joint effort with Tribune Co. to expand the entertainment sites throughout the U.S.