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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Hopkins’

More Furloughs Coming For Some Gannett Employees

Top executives and “others in higher paid positions” at Gannett will be asked to take a furlough in the second quarter of 2011, reports Gannett Blog. The news was confirmed by a memo sent by Nashville Tennessean Publisher Carol Hudler, who is also president of Gannett’s South Group of newspapers.

The top executives might not mind so much: many got big raises last year, including Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow, whose pay doubled to $9.4 million.

Gannett Blog’s Jim Hopkins says that Gannett has a precedent for setting furloughs based on income. In 2009, employees making more than $90,000 were told to take two weeks off while everyone else got one. This had the unintended (and to our eyes hilarious) side effect of some people learning that their coworkers made significantly more money for the same jobs.

The furloughs are likely needed. Last week, COO Gracia Martore said that the company’s publishing revenue would be down another 6 to 7 percent in Q1.

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How Many People Have Jobs At USA TODAY Covering Entertainment?

USA TODAY e-edition being read by a catTwenty-seven, according to a newsroom staffing flow chart obtained by Gannett Blog’s Jim Hopkins. Contrast that with the 5 covering Congress, he says.

Here’s the full chart.

More Gannett Cuts

We mentioned earlier this year that Gannett was going to consolidate its pagination into one of five hubs, which would result in job cuts at most of the newspaper company’s papers.

According to Gannett Blog those cuts may have finally come. As of yesterday evening, approximately 290 people had lost their jobs (130 at USA TODAY and an estimated 157 at the rest of Gannett’s papers) and four papers have imposed pay cuts.

Gannett Blog writer Jim Hopkins has put together a fantastic spreadsheet of all the cuts, here. Each individual paper’s only a few cuts here and there but it certainly adds up.

Layoffs Coming At USA TODAY?

USA TODAY e-edition being read by a catAccording to Gannett Blog, USA TODAY is reorganizing.

Details were not forthcoming in last Thursday’s meeting between publisher Dave Hunke and the paper’s staff, writes blogger Jim Hopkins.

According to anonymous commenters on Hopkins’ blog (who are often right, but take with a grain of salt), Hunke said that there would be no more furloughs or pay freezes, but that layoffs were in the works and USA TODAY would become a smaller paper.

Again, no timetable for when this is happening, but Gannett will be reporting its second-quarter earnings in mid-July, and it’ll do its 2011 budget in August, so likely big news is coming in the next six to eight weeks.

Goodbye To Gannett Blog

gannett-logo.jpgGannett Blog will be—is already—missed, since author Jim Hopkins shut it down after Gannett’s last round of layoffs. He covered layoffs inside the company, yes, but also all sorts of misdeeds that the execs got up to (paying for a golf tournament with company money after talking about how tight money was, funneling charity money to pet projects, etc).

Forbes caught up with him to do an “exit interview” and to see what the man’s been up to since.

What volume of Web traffic and how many posts did Gannett Blog average?

On a typical day I’d get 150-200 comments, mostly from rank and file employees. Traffic at the site always rose after a round of layoffs. On average it ranged from 30,000 to 50,000 visitors a month.

At one point you went to an advertising model for the blog. Was this a success?

No. I made a total $3,000 in ad sales and another $8,000 in donations.

Are you optimistic about Gannett’s future?

No. And I don’t say that with any joy. I love newspapers and I have many friends who still work at Gannett. But technology always wins. It is transforming the newspaper business, something that Gannett will not do. The biggest thing Gannett has going for it now is, which it owns half of. That’s a job site that has nothing to do with journalism.

You’ve just moved to Spain. What are your plans now?

I’m building a social network for gay business executives called Ibiza Confidential, named after the Spanish island. It’s a site where executives who control corporate budgets will find information about entertainment, travel and news. If I’m successful, it will launch early next year. But the gay travel space is already heavily populated. It will be a lot tougher than Gannett Blog, which had no competition.