Friday, February 15, 2013

We've now ID'd an estimated 40% of last month's 100 layoffs across Gannett Publishing Services

[Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET Feb. 15.]

Following requests from Gannett Bloggers, I've just created a read-only spreadsheet to track the estimated 100 layoffs across Gannett Publishing Services announced Thursday.

For a starting point, I'm using a list of the 81 U.S. Community Publishing sites. I'll update the spreadsheet as readers post new figures. As with any crowdsourcing project, the numbers are subject to frequent updates.

Overall, GPS employs fewer than 8,000 people. So far, I've accounted for an estimated 43 39 of the layoffs across 13 12 sites.

Please read the spreadsheet, then post the number of GPS layoffs at your site in the comments section, below. Don't see your site listed? Note that in the comments section, too. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.

74 comments:

  1. I personally know of one only at Indianapolis. Are we allowed to post names here?

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    1. 5 so far in Indy. I'm one of them.

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    2. Feel like a number! So no names? Numbers are meaningless. These are people that lost their jobs, not numbers. Detroit isn't listed on the report.

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  2. Journal News/Low-Hud let go all but two of its dozens of armed guards. Though temp hires, does this count as layoffs, Jim?

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    1. "LOW" hud. LOL

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    2. Pretty sure 11:03 was being (very) sarcastic, Jim.

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  3. Hi Jim, I noticed that your spreadsheet did not include "USA TODAY," which also falls under the umbrella of Gannett Publishing Services.

    I suspect that some "USA TODAY" staffers may have been affected by this particular layoff. However, since I no longer work at Gannett, I am not sure. But, I would not be surprised if there is a large percentage from the USAT division.

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  4. Meaning the USA TODAY folks at headquarters, as opposed to a print-site.

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    1. I've added a site for layoffs at McLean, Va.

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  5. USA TODAY did have it's own Production department (McLean), which was reduced and fully integrated into GPS, last February 2012.

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  6. Beyond the USAT HQ, the jobs in the field have been evaporating for many months now. Ask people who were living in the hinterlands (New Mexico, for example) what they're doing now. If they're lucky, they got re-assigned to another GPS property.

    So it's not just layoffs; it's re-purposing employees.

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    1. someone reported one from ft Myers you missed

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    2. I've added that one now.

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  7. GPS consists of all the circulation and production employees that were formerly part of USCP or USA TODAY. The layoffs for GPS were at both former USCP and former USA TODAY sites across the country.

    Believe it or not, there were positions eliminated that made sense to eliminate. I'm sure there were others that did not make as much sense and will make it harder to operate effectively.

    In both cases, the mid level executives in the field that had to select names for the lists, at least the ones I know, are very aware of the hardships this creates for those laid off.

    This stuff is painful to do and clearly far more painful to experience.

    If you are someone that got laid off this week, there are many folks praying for you to find work and make it through this tough time with as little harm to your family as possible. I know that means almost nothing. But it is true none the less.

    If you are someone that did the laying off, there are also people that understand that it takes a toll on you and those still employed. It certainly is much harder on those let go, but there is some pain for the people handing out the letters and having the conversations.

    For the corporate executives pushing the reductions, make this pay off please. There are many, many employees that want Gannett to succeed because they've staked their well being to the company. Some of those employees paid a price this week. I imagine more will in the years to come. I can accept that life in an industry going through this kind of transformation is going to have this kind of pain. But, make it work.

    There a people, that no matter how many times insensitive posters mock them for not leaving Gannett, don't want to leave. They like their work. They like their coworkers. They want this to succeed so that they can continue on with their career. Make it work.

    And, when you get to the point that you can see it is going to work, stop the furloughs and start giving out reasonable raises. Those still here deserve to get back on sound footing when Gannett gets back on sound footing.

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    1. I was laid off of GPS and couldn't care less if Gannett thrives in the future. Gannett showed me and thousands of other hard working employees that they never cared about the product, or the employees. Most of the laid off workers would still be employed their if they weren't part of Gannett.

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    2. Agree with you. Gannett makes good money but just wants more for their investors and executive bonuses -- sacrificing their own dedicated employees in order to do so. Just plain greedy with no soul.

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  8. Sad. The only time Gannett seems to make news any more is for laying off workers -- or infuriating readers as they did in Westchester. It's certainly not for the journalism. USA TODAY is in a tailspin. Morale's so bad nobody's even trying any more. Hopefully things will improve if the economy ever turns around.

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    1. You're kidding yourself if you think

      - Gannett's free fall is solely due to the economy
      - the newspaper industry or Gannett will return to what it was before 2008
      - the US economy will ever "turn around." People keep waiting for things to go back to pre-2008, and that will never happen. Moving forward, we're going to have to redefine our economic model. Unfortunately, media and advertisers will keep milking the "down economy" for as long as possible.

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  9. Did McLean's "Production Analysts" get cut?

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. I remove comments that make fun of someone's appearance.

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    3. This from someone who has a picture of himself from grade school. How mature.

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  10. 4:33, I love Jim's icon-photo. I often use childhood photos as my icons too.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  11. The layoff numbers will probably be much higher since they will also be letting go of people, aka fired, and those numbers won't be counted. The Advertising Director at The Baxter Bulletin was let go a week or so ago, but I'm sure he won't be included in the 100 mentioned. A way to reduce payroll without people knowing just how many get the axe...you know Gannett, they try to cover up their xxxx.

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    1. The position you mention has nothing to do with GPS, so it obviously isn't included the 100.

      Gee, I wonder if the powers that be really been pulling wool over your eyes... Maybe you're just not too observant.

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  12. You left Springfield, MO off your spreadsheet.

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  13. I wonder what percentage of the 100 layoffs reflect open positions that simply have been eliminated.

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    1. Answer: none. Evan Ray's letter says: "There will be about 100 staff reductions, effective today."

      If any of this involved open positions, I'm sure he would have said.

      In August 2008, when Gannett eliminated 1,000 newspaper jobs, it specifically said that 600 were layoffs and another 400 were open positions that were being eliminated.

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    2. Now you are assuming. That is great reporting.

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  14. Look, I work for GPS in one of the top rated press rooms for Gannett. Our circulation has been falling like a rock and I can see the need to let go of circulation folks, sorry to say but they are not needed when circ. is down 15 to 20% across the board. Our day is coming also, Gannett made almost 70% of it profits in Newspapers, but they are pushing digital. So GPS will fail to be around in a year or two, that's the facts, like it or not.
    HP

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    1. your spread sheet is lacking. C' Mon people help Jim out.

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  15. Bob Campbell layoff?

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    1. Campbell is still running around, spreading cheers and sunshine along the way.

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  16. USA Today layoffs and buyouts have been so mean-spirited, unnecessary and destructive on a personal and professional level that I can't help but wonder if the paper will ever truly recover from the bad karma of the last five years.

    USA Today was once a beacon of hope for journalism. It innovated in a thoughtful, planned manner and it protected its people, even while other papers were laying folks off every time newsprint went up in price. That all went out the window as soon as stock prices began falling at Gannett and national advertising took a dip.

    Fact. When the going got tough, USAT abandoned loyal and talented employees. I suspect it will pay a price for that for many years to come.

    I pity the people who remain who don't have many options for whatever reason. But I am almost angry at others who stay simply because of greed or fear of change. No one with any honor should stay at such a corrupt company if they have a choice to move on.

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    1. I think there are a lot of people staying at USAT because they don't feel they have any other choice. Maybe they're in their early to mid-50s, with kids still in college or just out.

      Now, they must focus like never before on building retirement savings that took a big hit during the financial crisis. What to do?

      Because of their age and the dramatic changes in the industry, they have few viable options outside the newspaper. Would they get a job that pays anywhere near what they make now, which already might not be that much in the grand scheme of things? For many, the answer is no.

      Could they settle for a contract position that doesn't include health insurance or other benefits? That's an even scarier proposition for people in that age group.

      In late-2007, when USAT made its first buyout offer to about 180 newsroom employees, only 42 volunteered. When I asked people who didn't, the overwhelming reason was fear that they wouldn't be able to get health coverage if they left. (That's how much our dysfunctional healthcare is distorting the labor market.)

      So, I'm more sympathetic to USATers staying put. To be sure, many want to because they believe the paper has a bright future under its new management and a (somewhat) stronger economy. They look forward to the challenge and opportunity in being part of that.

      It isn't necessarily about greed or fear of change or lack of honor. It's just reality.

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    2. You would not believe how much money senior managers make at Usat. Considering the lack of talent, skills and low workload, this is the best deal these people will ever get. You'll have to take them out kicking and screaming. That will be after they screw over anyone perceived as a threat. The sad thing is they don't add any value to the print or digital operation, and neither Callaway or Kramer give a rats ass

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  17. The problem is that USAT sales under the redesign tanked, the spiral downward is much faster. After being recognized by corporate in 2007 for sales growth, I couldn't give the paper away recently. The inauguration sales were worse than a normal Tuesday, which was already bad. Weekend sales are non existent anymore, hotel volumes down, home delivery customers back at pre-2000 levels. Now some of the DMs that were the holding their own were tossed aside during the GPS purge last week. It's mind boggling that GPS would keep 2 weak DMs in one part of a state, but lay off the strongest DM in the same state leaving a large area with nobody in charge. I really don't know how USAT will survive when the heart and soul of the distribution network is tossed out like garbage.

    For anyone under 50, the time to retrain is now. USAT will keep a few for online, but print is dead.

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  18. One is Wilmington site, for sure 100% possibly two

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  19. Did anyone in McLean HQ get laid off?

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  20. 6 for Shreveport, LA

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  21. And what earthly good does putting numbers on here do?

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  22. As with the layoff lists compiled in the past (here's the last big one, from June 2011), it lets employees compare sites to see whether some are taking bigger hits than others. That's especially interesting to people who want to know about sites where they once worked.

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    1. Also, in the days when Corporate announced a layoff was underway, but didn't didn't specify how many jobs were being cut, these lists helped reveal information the company didn't want made public. Many times, building these lists was the only way a broad layoff could even be confirmed. That's basic journalism.

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    2. I was under the impression that "journalism" involved "news".

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    3. For Jim, it involves rumors and assumptions.

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  23. The only people who wouldn't want this list compiled are the folks who still try to keep their heads in the sand and pretend everything is great in Gannettland.
    And of course,corporate who would try to keep layoffs
    way under the radar and as secret as possible.

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    1. And those who want accurate information. I have a hard time trusting a list with information provided by agenda-driven bitters who were tossed out of the company.

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  24. Thanks Jim. What "earthly good" does it do? It let's people know real people lost thru job and ability to feed their family. Maybe you could offer some prayers for those that lost their jobs.

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  25. One in Brevard.

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    1. Technically there were two layoffs in Brevard. As I posted earlier, one manager was notified, that his job would be eliminated at the end of March, but he was offered a position in finance.
      I believe he started his new position right away.

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  26. GPS top dogs. Austin Ryan retiring,Carpenter taking over ! The end is near !!

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    1. That's big news if Ryan is retiring. Can anyone else confirm?

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    2. Ryan's departure is only 1/2 the solution if Jerry Hill remains.

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  27. Is Tony Simmons still employed? if so what a damn shame.

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    1. Empty suits are safe with Gannett. Tony has no worries.

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  28. Would have been easier to fire Maryam Banikarim. Why reduce swelling when you can just remove the tumor.

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  29. Why do you care. The company hired probably 500 people last month. What is the big deal?

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  30. I thought Austin retired years ago. Am I wrong on that?

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  31. who was the 1 layoff in Brevard?

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  32. As can't be helped in an effort like this, the list is flawed. It purports to be a list of the GPS layoffs. However, I see numbers in the spreadsheet that reflect USCP layoffs, not GPS employees.

    I've also seen these referred to as stealth layoffs on this site. I'm not sure what is stealthy about sending an e-mail out announcing 100 layoffs. GPS management didn't hide it from GPS employees. No, they didn't publish a list of those laid off or how many folks were let go from which sites. But, who does?

    I participated in selecting people for the RIF list. Its no fun. People get hurt. But, if you ask me if we can still effectively manage my piece of the business, the answer is yes. It got a little harder with the layoffs, but we're not stretched too thin. I'm sure there are places that are too thin. It varies from place to place.

    We may grow tired of words like transformation. But, that is what this company is trying to do. They have not hidden the fact. We're shrinking the payroll on the print side and growing the payroll on the digital side.

    We are not abandoning print. We are trying to fund and investment in digital. Its a balancing act.

    Are we doing it well? I don't know. That's an honest answer. But, I know we have to try.

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    1. Then why is no one in upper management taking the same hits to fund going into digital?

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  33. There were two recruitment layoffs in Lafayette, La. One person accepted a position for way less pay. The other one left with the door swinging.

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    1. Which has nothing to do with this thread about GPS.

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    2. Lighten up 11:56

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  34. The remaining USAT production group seems like a instant area to completely eliminate for multiple reasons. I am surprised that they have kept them this long.

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  35. Bob Campbell layoff in Brevard!!!!!!!

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  36. Bob Campbell gone or not?

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  37. Yeah, 6:32 is right on the money. There are changes coming for that group. It has everything to with the overman fiascos and all that came about as a result of the fiascos. It's sad that everyone in that group will have to suffer and sacrifice because of it.

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