Posts Tagged ‘Gannett’

Gannett to tag properties everywhere

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

How big is Gannett? We’ll apparently get a demonstration beginning next week when it launches its first corporate branding campaign and puts its new logo all over its 81 community newspapers, 23 TV stations and more than 100 digital properties, according to USA Today, the publisher’s flagship, which will also display the logo.

New Gannett logo debuts Monday

The new Gannett logo debuts Monday.

“The goal is to communicate that the company — long identified as the nation’s largest newspaper publisher and a major owner of TV stations — has evolved into a forward-looking digital power,” USA Today says.

All of the company’s properties are to begin more prominently identifying themselves as part of Gannett via the new logo. The publisher will also run ads with the new tagline, “It’s all within reach,” on national cable news channels and in digital, print and social media.

Among Gannett’s digital properties is Captivate, which programs TV-like screens in nearly 9,000 elevators and lobbies, the newspaper says.

Newspapers cut fewer jobs in 2010

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Paper Cuts, the site that tracks newspaper layoffs, reported far fewer jobs lost at the nation’s papers in 2010 compared to the two previous years, says Fishbowl L.A. Of course, there are far fewer jobs left to be cut.

The industry shed some 2,800 jobs this year –  layoffs and buyouts the site tracks of newspaper personnel “from editor to ad rep, reporter to marketing, copy editor to pressman, design to carrier, and anyone else who works for a newspaper” – compared to about 15,000 in 2009 and 16,000 in 2008. The total does not count jobs lost through attrition, i.e., left unfilled after someone leaves voluntarily.

“But it’s also become more obvious that many papers are laying off employees and never publicly acknowledging it,” Paper Cuts’ Erica Smith told FBLA. “Even with many of those numbers filled in, though, I don’t think the total will hit 2008 or 2009 levels.”

The Paper Cuts site has Google Maps mash-ups that show job cuts at individual papers dating to 2007, including  2010 job cuts at The News & Observer in Raleigh (21; owned by McClatchy), The Winston-Salem Journal  (“unknown”; Media General), the Asheville Citizen-Times (4; Gannett),  the Star News in Wilmington (2; New York Times), NASCAR Scene in Charlotte (18; Advance Publications), the Independent-Tribune of Concord-Kannapolis (“unknown”; Media General), The Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. (7; McClatchy), The State of Columbia, S.C. (12; McClatchy), The Greenville (S.C.) News (7; Gannett), and The Morning News of Florence, S.C. (“unknown”; Media General).

USAT moves toward mobile, business interests

Monday, August 30th, 2010

USA Today, the nation’s second largest newspaper, has announced its most significant changes since its 1982 debut as it de-emphasizes print and ramps up availability via mobile devices. The move will include the elimination of  about 130 jobs and a breach of the church/state divide between news and business interests.

For starters, the newspaper will no longer have separate managing editors overseeing its News, Sports, Money and Life sections. “The newsroom instead will be broken up into a cluster of  ‘content rings’ each headed up by editors who will be appointed later this year,” the Associated Press says. The paper’s current Life ME will be executive editor of content.

USA Today’s restructuring will “usher in a new way of doing business that aligns sales efforts with the content we produce,” according to a slide show presented to USA Today’s staff, which The AP obtained.

The executive editor of content will have a “collaborative relationship” with USA Today’s newly appointed vice president of business development, according to one slide.

The paper will “focus less on print … and more on producing content for all platforms (Web, mobile, iPad and other digital formats),” the slide show said.

The AP says USA Today’s circulation has fallen from 2.3 million in 2007 to an average of 1.83 million during the six months ending in March. Advertising has fallen by about 50 percent between 2006 and the quarter ending this past June.

Here’s the news release.

Street no longer buying ‘cost-cutting’

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

Editor & Publisher’s Mark Fitzgerald takes a look at Gannett Co.’s second-quarter earnings and says in his Fitz & Co. blog that simply cutting costs, which for the most part means laying off staff, no longer flies for newspaper publishers.

“The Street will no longer be satisfied with earnings pumped up only by continual cost-cutting. Gannett (GCI) handily beat Street estimates of earnings – but its overall earnings, in a quarter when its broadcast properties were humming nicely, was down 1.6%. … GCI got hammered for those results Friday, falling more than 10 percent.”

Gannet’s print and circulation revenues were down for the quarter also.

Other publishers’ stocks are also down as their 2Q reports come in the next several days, Fitzgerald says.

Gannett joins Yahoo! newspaper ad group

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Gannett announced Friday that it would begin selling  targeted display ads to run on Yahoo! and sites for its 81 newspapers and seven of its broadcast stations nationwide.

The deal adds Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, to an advertising consortium that includes more than 800 members, according to Online Media Daily. McClatchy newspapers, the third-largest publisher, was one of the first members of the consortium, formed in November 2006.

Like other publishers in the deal, Gannett may also provide local content for Yahoo! properties in the U.S., including the Yahoo! homepage.

To date, the consortium has sold more than 40,000 ad campaigns onto Yahoo! totaling more than $100 million in sales to date, according to Lem Lloyd, vice president of channel sales at Yahoo!,” says Online Media Daily.

Yahoo’s publishing platform enables “local newspapers to target consumers according to geographic, demographic and behavioral factors in ads that appear on Yahoo! properties from mail to sports to news.”

Yahoo!, which at the time was being run by former Knight Ridder executives, said at the launch of the program that it was teaming with newspapers because they already had local advertising staffs.

Local advertising accounts for about half of the $245 billion in total U.S. ad spending, Online Media Daily says.

Gannett announced in May that it would begin to sell online marketing services, another program adopted earlier by McClatchy. GannettLocal offers search engine marketing, e-mail, digital display, website and geo-targeted print/flyers.

Gannett experimenting with paywalls

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Gannett has initiated a “small-scale test” of paywalls at three of its smaller newspapers’ websites “to help [the publisher] develop [a] long-term strategy for paid content,” according to a report from Poynter’s Bill Mitchell.

The sites for the Tallahassee Democrat, The Greenville (S.C.) News and The (St. George, Utah) Spectrum are charging $9.95 a month for online-only access. The fee for web access bundled with a print subscription varies by market.

Gannett’s Kate Marymont, vice president of news for Gannett’s Community Publishing Division, told Mitchell the company targeted sites with niche content – such as Clemson football coverage in Greenville and Florida State football in Tallahassee.

“We want to test the idea that our journalism is more of a service than a product, and that we should give readers a selection of delivery methods,” Marymount said.

Robin Pence, Gannett’s vice president of corporate communications, said the company will use what it learns from the test sites “to help us develop our long-term strategy for paid content.”

Gannett jumps into online marketing services

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, announced an initiative last week to  sell online marketing services to local businesses. McClatchy newspapers, the nation’s third-largest publisher, announced a similar program in April.

A company memo quoted by the Gannett Blog says, “GannettLocal is a new business model focused on working with small and medium-sized business to provide them a high-touch marketing consultation and a suite of multiplatform solutions (search engine marketing, e-mail, digital display, website and geo-targeted print/flyers) delivered by a team of dedicated experts over the phone.”

That’s “a high-touch marketing consultation … over the phone.”

GannettLocal is based in Phoenix and already in use by the the website azcentral at Gannett’s Arizona Republic.

Gannett leads off 1Q reports with a hit

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Cost cutting and a not-as-bad advertising climate in the first quarter made Gannett Co. look good in its 1Q earnings report Friday, and the tide lifted not all but some boats.

“Gannett did not issue formal earnings guidance for the current quarter or the rest of the year, and CEO Craig Dubow declined to give specifics on how ad revenue is shaping up in April,” The Associated Press said. “But he told analysts on a conference call that the year was ‘off to a great start.’ He added: ‘The momentum that we had at the end of the year continued through the first quarter.’

“Gannett was the first major publisher to report earnings for the January-March period and could offer a preview of what will come next week from McClatchy Co., Lee Enterprises Inc. and The New York Times Co.”

After surging to a new 52-week high of $19.68 in early trading, Gannett shares retreated to $18.04 Friday afternoon, down $0.10 on the day. McClatchy rose $0.42 to $6.46, and Lee shares jumped $0.31 to $4.35. The New York Times was down $0.36 to $12.35.

Gannett, which owns USA Today and more than 80 other daily newspapers along with TV stations, said its net income jumped 51 percent despite a 4 percent decline in revenue. Last year it cut 1,400 jobs, or about 3 percent of its work force.

As for McClatchy, which reports April 22, “JP Morgan forecasts that ads will be off by 8.4 percent as circulation continues to grow,” says PaidContent.org. “While the circulation gains might not offset negativity on the ad front, cost-cuts should help margins jump to 25 percent from 1Q ’09’s 12 percent. Ebitda should rise 91 percent to $83 million.

“In general, McClatchy’s heavy presence in Florida and California means that its fortunes are directly tied to the economic winds in those two troubled states. Ultimately, that will add to the general industry-wide woes affecting the publisher.”

Continued rough sledding ahead for newspapers

Monday, February 15th, 2010

A look at fourth-quarter 2009 financial results from five of the 10 publicly owned U.S. newspaper companies that have reported so far shows that “it’s clear the industry as a whole is still in deep trouble, with no strong indication that better days are ahead,” says a Nieman Journalism Lab report.

The report says that in Q4 2009 the industry “saw its 14th consecutive advertising revenue decline; the last nine of those quarters were double-digit declines.” And nothing indicates that January, typically a bad month for revenue, is looking any better.

The report examines the five publishers individually: Gannett, New York Times Co., Lee Enterprises, Media General and McClatchy Co.

At McClatchy, it finds strong online revenue growth comparatively, but scoffs at CEO Gary Pruitt’s claim that expectations of revenue declines in the low- to mid-teens percentage range in January indicate a recovery. “In other words, McClatchy expects the Q4 decline of 20.5 percent to be followed in Q1 2010 by a decline of somewhat less than 15 percent, and considers that to be an ‘improving advertising trend.'”

In another problem area, “Besides nearly $2 billion in long-term debt, McClatchy also disclosed that at year-end, its pension plans were underfunded by $494 million in the ‘qualified’ plan (their standard defined benefit plan, which is frozen), and another $100 million in the non-qualified supplemental executive-level plan. This accumulation of future obligations makes McClatchy one of the most-leveraged publishers out there.”

Gannett sings familiar tune

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Gannett Co. Inc., the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, is reporting a third-quarter profit despite a 28 percent drop in revenue from ad sales.

Gannett says it earned $73.8 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with $158 million, or 69 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2008.

Ad revenue fell 28 percent at the company’s newspapers, says MarketWatch, reflecting a 26 percent drop at U.S. papers, and a 29 percent decline, in British pounds, at U.K.-based Newsquest papers. Overall, revenue fell 18 percent to $1.34 billion, with gains coming via cost cutting and a tripling of payments from cable and satellite companies to retransmit the signals of Gannett TV stations.

“Gannett’s profit [which beat projections] reflects painful attempts to slash expenses during the past year, from furloughing and laying off workers to slashing pay,” Reuters says. “Similar moves at other publishers, such as McClatchy Co., which reported results last week, have helped them beat Wall Street’s forecasts.”

Gannett has been slashing its payroll costs aggressively, says the Associated Press’ report. It eliminated 1,400 positions this summer, 3 percent of the work force, less than a year after a 10 percent cut. The company also has frozen wages and imposed unpaid furloughs for most of its U.S. workers.