Skip to comments.Gannett Blog: The Exit Interview
Posted on 08/01/2009 12:46:42 AM PDT by bruinbirdman
Jim Hopkins on his muckraking meta-site, loved by ex-employees and loathed by management.
Jim Hopkins worked at Gannett for 20 years, writing and editing in newsrooms at four newspapers, including USA Today. He took a buyout, then launched the Gannett Blog in late 2007. Unaffliated with the company, it turned into a sounding board for employees, at times resembling "angry talk radio," says Hopkins.
Drawing kudos for its crowd-sourcing, Gannett Blog used a community of current and exiled company employees to break stories, dish gossip and publish leaks. One section wooed them with this pitch: "A look in someone's eyes. A cardboard box on an empty desk. A final conversation. Please share your layoff story in three or four paragraphs."
Forbes: What was the hardest-hitting post published by the Gannett Blog?
Jim Hopkins: Earlier this year I broke a story about Bob Dickey, the head of Gannett's newspaper division, who had announced a round of mandatory furloughs and threatened the closure of the Gannett paper in Tucson, Ariz. After that announcement he flew to Palm Springs and entered the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic golf tournament. He paid as much as $25,000 to play with a professional golfer with company money. Employees were enraged after reading this on the blog. After I reported it, Dickey wrote a check to the company to reimburse the expense.
A bodyguard accompanied you to the Gannett shareholders meeting last April. How come?
I had concerns over my own safety that grew after I posted a report stating that a Gannett employee had brought a gun to work. Some people were upset. I'm gay, and I received an incredible barrage of anti-gay comments. Then things escalated--a couple of days before the meeting one poster suggested physical violence and another said I should be stalked. So my bodyguard
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
Good post on the difficulties of starting and managing a blogsite...evidently this one got a lot of trolls possibly paid by Gannett or still employed by Gannett. Looks like a template of the OBOT strategy against websites in opposition, IMO.
It faces two problems: a crushing debt load and a leadership crisis. In two years Gannett faces a series of repayment obligations under various loans which will be difficult to meet, given the trends in revenue. The only way they've been able to sustain profits is by cutting and cutting. At some point their newspapers wont be able to keep delivering content that gives it value, either for the print or web editions. Plus, Chief Executive Craig Dubow is out on medical leave. He had another round of back surgery in June, then announced he would be out for another four months.
More Gannett goodies in this post.
Actually, I think more people would buy their newspapers, both the USA Today and all the hundreds of local rags they own around the country, if they'd actually print news and not DNC propaganda.
But then again, I don't read newspapers any longer since the interwebs have been online, so what the heck do I know?
I take the Indianapolis Star on Sundays only (Thursdays with the grocery ads are thrown in for free). I take the Sunday Star for 2 reasons: weekly ads and coupons, and the list of things to do in Indianapolis for the next week (antique shows, fairs, museum exhibits, etc.).
I subscribe to our suburban county paper Monday through Saturday. I take this one for local news (zoning, county commissioner meetings, local crime problems, road closings, local business news, etc.)
I read neither one for national or world news, since they are usually 2 days later than what I read on line or hear on Fox.
Years ago the Indianapolis papers were among the most conservative in the US, back when Dan Quayle’s family owned it and M. Stanton Evans was the editor. How the mighty have fallen
*Mr*. Hopkins is in some mighty deep denial based on that statement, alone. Every rag & 'zine in the republic today (save for a couple) rides on staffs composed almost entirely of "Mr. Hopkins'", too.
With all those "Mr. Hopkins" around, helping, how could they lose. :o)