Archive for August 13th, 2009

Gannett paper cutting advertising, news positions

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Gannett’s Journal News, of Westchester, New York, plans to eliminate 20 positions in advertising and 50 in news, says the New York Times, reducing the newsroom staff (which includes Web employees) by more than a quarter.

All 288 news and advertising sales employees were told on Wednesday that their jobs were being eliminated and they would need to apply for redefined positions by the end of the week.

The cuts include some midlevel managers, Michael J. Fisch, publisher and president of the newspaper, told the NYT. “Within the news and advertising departments, there are some managerial positions that have been eliminated in this structuring,” he said. “We had a number of high-level executive positions eliminated last year.”

Last week, the paper laid off 57 employees in areas like production, finance, and information technology.

AP refiguring how it shares

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

The Associated Press is considering withholding some of its material from members’ Web sites, instead allowing members to link to it on a central AP site, says an AP memo obtained by Neiman Journalism Lab. The idea fundamentally changes the consortium’s 150-year-old operating principle of sharing content among the membership.

The plan separates news stories into two categories: “utility” content, or stories other organizations are covering, such as a natural disaster, and “unique” content that only AP has.

“The AP would essentially be relying on its vast network of members to provide search engine optimization for its most unique content,” Zachary M. Seward says in the first of a promised series based on the memo.

He quotes Srinandan Kasi, the AP’s general counsel: “(There is) the ability now to be able to make a decision that says, this is not something we want to generically put on the wire and send to everyone to publish everywhere. We instead think this would be useful for people to use as supplemental, to enrich their storytelling. But it’s available for them [newspapers’ Web sites ] to be able to point to. And the reason to do that is, then you have a bunch of links that point to a particular piece of content. You have better search outcomes. You have better exploitation of the link value, if you will, to that piece of content. So there’s an ability to think of that piece of content differently because you’re trying to maximize traffic as compared to other content where the benefit is really about getting the initial engagement.”