Gannett for Sale? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Gannett for Sale?

The Wall Street Journal is blogging about the possibility that the Gannett Corp., which owns The Clarion-Ledger, may be girding itself to be sold:

Gannett may be hearing the footsteps of a potential acquirer approaching. Tuesday, the newspaper publisher amended several of its employee compensation plans with an eye toward a possible acquisition of the company. As the filing details, in the event of a change in control of the company, certain deferred compensation payments would be accelerated. The amendments also would prevent retirement-plan changes brought on by any merger deal that would reduce benefits to employees.

The filing says, "The plans and agreements were also amended, among other things, to clarify the definition of change in control by specifying the ownership level at which employees would not be deemed to be participating in a management buyout." Emphasis added because that makes Deal Journal wonder whether a possible management buyout of the company is in the cards.

Gannett stock has fallen 23% this year, giving it a market cap of $11 billion, so it could be seen by some as a bargain. (In fact, the stock is trading near a 10-year low, according to this posting from footnoted.org, which earlier spotted the new language.)

Previous Comments

ID
94539
Comment

Whoa, look at some of the comments undernath the blog post: This company is grasping and groping its way into oblivion. A takeover and breakup is long overdue. The chain model no longer works. Profit is too precious now to be sucked out by a distant corporate monolith instead of being reinvested in individual newspapers. The corporation has become overhead that papers can no longer afford to prop up. Best to sell off papers to the highest bidder and distribute the proceeds to shareholders as dividends. Comment by LICer - August 9, 2007 at 10:37 pm I left Gannett this year after nearly 25 years because their situation looks hopeless. Aside from the well-documented decline in print circulation, they have been badly outflanked on the online front by Yahoo and then Google as well as other unconventional, non-traditional media. Gannett’s online folks have moved far too slow on conventing print advertising dollars to online, and some of their products (ShopLocal, Topix.net, etc.) are so awful and ineffective. If not for their stake in cars.com and CareerBuilder, Gannett’s online department would have assumed room temperature five years ago. Why does Jack Williams still have a job? Comment by i bailed out - August 9, 2007 at 11:38 pm I compete with a Gannett paper, and I have never known a news company’s employees to be so a) prostituted, b) demoralized and c) disgusted. If it’s not the Shalala-type quota-mongering that goes on in their hiring and sourcing (right down to who gets their pics on the oped page), it’s their McPaper approach to journalism. I hope a billionaire with ethics and a zeal for journalism buys Gannett and makes the Indy Star and others great papers again. Comment by AReporter - August 10, 2007 at 12:39 am Why is anyone surprised? Gannett drew up its own blueprnt for its fate years ago when it decided that qualty does not sell. Now that economic conditions have worsened, their bottom line is not a selling point and they have no quality journalstic product to sell. Comment by A former Gannett Employee - August 10, 2007 at 8:48 am

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-10T20:49:43-06:00
ID
94540
Comment

Their stock fell 23%? That ain't good. I remember when WorldCom stock fell right after they gave SkyTel employees stock options. They told us there was nothing to worry about. Well...

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-08-10T21:18:27-06:00
ID
94541
Comment

You know, The Clarion-Ledger really did stop providing free coffee to their staff a few weeks back, right? Surely, that corportion could get cheap coffee in bulk, right? It sounds like a death spiral. The good news about a sale is that there is no way in hell they would keep some of the folks in charge here after the string of embarassments they've lorded over—from the Melton endorsement/Meridian lawsuit debacle to the TDN idiocy to passing on the Ridgeway story. No way. I would love to have better journalistic competition here. So let us pray.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-10T21:22:48-06:00
ID
94542
Comment

Oh, and let's not forget, the "jackpot justice" flub.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-10T21:24:33-06:00
ID
94543
Comment

You know, The Clarion-Ledger really did stop providing free coffee to their staff a few weeks back, right? Surely, that corportion could get cheap coffee in bulk, right? That's definitely a sign. When I first started at SkyTel, they provided free coffee, tea and cocoa. By the time I left, they had a coffee vending machine.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-08-10T21:25:19-06:00
ID
94544
Comment

I shudder to think if anyone would buy the Clarion Liar...

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-08-10T22:16:02-06:00
ID
94545
Comment

I'm sure it would be part of the Gannett package. Or maybe not. Conglomerate ain't what it used to be, profit wise.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-11T06:51:54-06:00
ID
94546
Comment

Whoa! that's criminal. Who ever heard of a newspaper that stopped providing free coffee for their employees? They're gone over to the dark side. Everyone knows the newspaper machine is oiled with thick black coffee; it's more important than ink.

Author
C.W.
Date
2007-08-11T09:49:48-06:00
ID
94547
Comment

Rupert Murdoch will buy it, to go along with his FOX, MySpace and everything else he owns. Then you'll really see a conservative CL. [img]http://messenger.msn.com/MMM2006-04-19_17.00/Resource/emoticons/wink_smile.gif[/img]

Author
LambdaRisen
Date
2007-08-11T13:46:50-06:00
ID
94548
Comment

Rupert Murdoch will buy it, to go along with his FOX, MySpace and everything else he owns. Then you'll really see a conservative CL Then it really will become unreadable. Murdoch owns MySpace?

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-08-11T21:39:17-06:00
ID
94549
Comment

Yeah, his News Corp bought them last year.

Author
LambdaRisen
Date
2007-08-11T22:29:49-06:00
ID
94550
Comment

A conservative CL? So that's where the cold front went....

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-08-12T11:50:57-06:00
ID
94551
Comment

A lot of the C-L's readers like to write in and complain how liberal they think the paper is. But then they appease them by endorsing Bush and Dole for president.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-08-12T12:25:57-06:00
ID
94552
Comment

Seems like I remember the CL endorsing the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage a few years ago as well. I could be wrong, but I thought I read that.

Author
LambdaRisen
Date
2007-08-12T14:30:01-06:00
ID
94553
Comment

I think it would be great if New Corp bought Gannet. The CL and the Gannet Corp are a left leaning organization. It would be nice to have a conservative voice in print for the Jackson area.

Author
LakesideRes
Date
2007-08-13T12:43:33-06:00
ID
94554
Comment

Yeah, a "left-leaning" organization that acts as Barbour's water-carrier and pushes myths about tort reform for the U.S. Chamber. Left-leaning. Right. How about describing them as bad reporting that is too timid to take a stand that offends the wealthy? They seem to have gotten their "lefty" label because they supported changing the flag. I can't quite see how else they got it. At least News Corp. would be honest about their views. That would be fun to be "alternative" to. (Rubbing hands together in anticipation.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T12:56:58-06:00
ID
94555
Comment

Oh, and I bet if Murdoch marched into town, some of our squeakiest trolls would stop screaming about the need for "objectivity" in media.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T12:58:03-06:00
ID
94556
Comment

On this topic, can SOMEONE please tell me what The Clarion-Ledger "leans left" on? I have an "Annoy The Clarion-Ledger: Vote Pickering" bumper sticker on my bulletin board, and I've never understood the damn thing. I mean, they even supported Judge Pickering, no questions asked, and now Southwick. What basis does this unsubstantiated rumor rests on? Someone? Anyone?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T13:24:36-06:00
ID
94557
Comment

They seem to have gotten their "lefty" label because they supported changing the flag. I can't quite see how else they got it. I don't know exactly how they got the "lefty" label, but those on the right have been calling the C-L a liberal paper way before the flag flap.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-08-13T13:27:25-06:00
ID
94558
Comment

On this topic, can SOMEONE please tell me what The Clarion-Ledger "leans left" on? I have an "Annoy The Clarion-Ledger: Vote Pickering" bumper sticker on my bulletin board, and I've never understood the damn thing. Reminds me of when Bush Sr. ran for re-election and there were those who were saying "Annoy the media, vote Bush" or something to that effect. But here's what GOP strategist said about liberal media bias: "I admit it: the liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures."

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-08-13T13:33:20-06:00
ID
94559
Comment

the clarion ledger nominally leans left on the grocery tax,cigarettes and MAEP.thats about it.they may have gotten a left leaning reputation a long time ago when rea hederman had the keys for a brief interlude before selling it to gannett and then after that peanut overby was viewed as having a relatively moderate bent.

Author
chimneyville
Date
2007-08-13T13:34:39-06:00
ID
94560
Comment

the flag referendum was an easy one. the mississippi economic council had already paved the way in favor of change. the flag was simply bad for business.

Author
chimneyville
Date
2007-08-13T13:38:20-06:00
ID
94561
Comment

the clarion ledger nominally leans left on the grocery tax,cigarettes and MAEP.thats about it. I guess my question is: How is supporting grocery taxes over cigarette taxes left? Same goes for public education. Methinks the folks accusing The Clarion-Ledger of being "left" are so far to the right that they've lost all perspective. Or, they haven't changed since the '60s and think that progressivism on race issues is "communist" or "liberal." Frankly, the Ledger takes some of the most uneducated conservative views of any paper I've ever seen. In other words, by default because they don't (a) do homework or (b) understand the issues. Or, I suppose, (c) because they don't want to offend advertisers. I'd much prefer a conservative paper that does actual reporting to this.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T13:54:39-06:00
ID
94562
Comment

Golden, you know that Barbour was a major architect of the "liberal media" strategy to paint any media that questioned wingnuts as "liberal media," right? I presume that's how The Ledger ended up being called "liberal"—and it shows just how absurd and anti-intellectual that strategy was. It was the kind Haley was/is really good at.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T13:56:06-06:00
ID
94563
Comment

Oh, and Chimney, if the Ledger is "liberal" because it supports MAEP, what does that say about all those conservative turncoats who are now claiming to be in favor of it!?! Are they all liberals, too? LOL.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T13:56:56-06:00
ID
94564
Comment

If I may... I think the CL got it's nickname for two reasons. It's an easy substitution; "Clarion Liberal" and "Clarion Liar". It's been around since I was a kid, and I've assumed "Liberal" is because they've supported something in the past that was moderate or liberal, and "Liar" (which I hear more of) because you can't trust them to report the truth if God engraved it on the front of their nice building downtown.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-08-13T14:26:25-06:00
ID
94565
Comment

I believe strongly that it came from their so-called "liberal" views on race issues, after the old Hedermans handed it over, and they decided to stop, er, running 12-page special sections for the Citizens Council. Remember that in this state, having progressive race views has long been all it's taken to get you labeled a "liberal" or a "communist." Or, supporting education—at least after the Supreme Court us integrate. (Before then, it wasn't liberal to support public education, only integrated public education.) I get the "liar" part these days, but the "liberal" doesn't make a lick of sense.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T14:29:49-06:00
ID
94566
Comment

I've never seen them support too much liberal, they've always been more adversarial since Gannett bought them. Whether that was for their views on race or what I have honestly no clue. Swapping from the old days to something more moderate would have been traumatic for some, to be sure. :)

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-08-13T14:42:01-06:00
ID
94567
Comment

increasingly the paper appears to belong to salter. i mainly know him by reading his words, and he is rather prolific. the life experiences he draws from appear confined to a small geographical area(neshoba ,scott and oktibbeha). he vacations at the fair and reports on politics from that venue as if it were reflective of the whole state. very seldom does he draw from any important journalism or editorilas outside of gannett world.guys like thad, chip, and trent seldom do wrong even while this trio fight against expansion of the CHIP program on the basis of some conservative principal that allows another generation of mississippi kids to fend for primary healthcare. guys like pickering and southwick are viewed as victims because a piece of patronage doesnt go their way. and even though only a river divides us we mississippi folks are praised as far superior in dealing with catastophe than folks in louisiana, given the dominace of the scoth irish heritage of our current leaders,and so unlike the black mayor of new orleans and that inept coonass catholic woman governor .

Author
chimneyville
Date
2007-08-13T14:50:09-06:00
ID
94568
Comment

Good post, Chimney. You've captured my thoughts about my Neshoba County brother very well. Smart, and very provincial. He could use his brains, and writing ability, for so much more if he would try. But he's too busy defending the status quo. Now and then, he breaks out with a *great* thoughtful column, but they're too few and far between. It's a shame, really. Oh, and re the whole vacationing at the fair thing. I grew up among people who thought that going to the Neshoba County Fair every summer was the greatest thing on the planet and would spend their only week's vacation there. I never understood that mindset, and I guess we can see what it leads to in reading Salter's columns. I'll try to say this gingerly, but if the paper "belongs" to Salter—basically the protector of the white, conservative status quo—why don't they make him editor? Why do they have non-effective, timid editors like Agnew and Hampton at the top of the masthead? Is it for show?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T15:07:04-06:00
ID
94569
Comment

reports on politics from that venue as if it were reflective of the whole state. Right, if it weren't for Salter, I doubt anybody would give a damn what anybody said or did at the fair. It would just be about getting drunk and cheating on your wife or husband. Told you I grew up there.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T15:08:36-06:00
ID
94570
Comment

Here are some more good comments under the WSJ blog post: I agree with LICer about Gannett “grasping and groping its way into oblivion.” Our reporters are being told to cater to advertisers. Who wants to read glorified ad copy? Isn’t this a breech of Gannett’s ethics policy? It’s obvious that Gannett’s focus is money, not employees or even readers. Comment by Garbage - August 12, 2007 at 10:22 pm Non-complainer - what you are reading here is the sheer frustration that current and former employees are feeling about their jobs. These are dedicated people that had challenging, fun and fulfilling jobs that they really cared about. But after being beat up over and over again the fun is gone as we watch the enterprise come crashing down. Major change is needed and it needs to begin at corporate. Comment by No leadership - August 13, 2007 at 7:25 am [...] It is clear from reading a number of GCI papers and following their Web sites that resources are being shifted online. That’s a good thing. However, it seems they are not investing much in *journalism* online but are putting all their chips on filling up the sites with free content donated by readers. There are plenty of announcements about Scout dinners and plenty of chatters on the mommy boards they are all creating now, and there are a lot of party pictures on the sites associated with their free “young professional” weeklies. But where is the news? Shriveling before our eyes. It may be that GCI has in fact hit on a winning strategy, and that if they can get enough traffic online, they can persuade local advertisers to come back to the fold. But it’s my impression they are in essence allowing the newspapers to fade away. Perhaps they assume that the entire print audience will be dead in a few decades? Comment by NewsJunkie - August 13, 2007 at 12:30 pm Print audience or online audience doesn’t matter if Gannett doesn’t realize now that if they don’t provide excellent news stories and editorials they might as well give up they never will. That’s the clue, great news stories sells newspapers. Invest in your news room! Comment by exgci - August 13, 2007 at 1:36 pm Newspapers that invest in their newsrooms will make more money, according to a study by University of Missouri at Columbia. The study, which was based on 10 years of financial data, said quality affects profits more than spending on advertising, circulation and other departments. Source: Reuters. IS NO ONE AT GANNETT STUDYING THIS STUDY? Comment by Anonymous - August 13, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T15:13:53-06:00
ID
94571
Comment

I guess this is the kind of user-generated content (UGC) that is going to save Gannett. I just looked at their StoryChat for the first time in eons, and one of the trolls we had to suspend here for posting trash went over there and, inevitably, is lying about what happened here. Here is my favorite part about me: she is just a plain idiot. It is my opinion that she is on some cheap crack.. not even the good kind... the cheap kind. I see. I don't allow people to puke all over our site, and I'm "on some cheap crack." Nice, Ledger. Keep it up, please. However, this is the most delicious comment: As far as the paper being rags, I would say it is definalty slanted to the librel way of thinking. Sometimes they actully hit the nail on the head with some of thier articles. Especially the articles written by Adam Lynch. That just might have to be the "Word" in our print edition this week. And, no, we won't spellcheck it first. ;-D Damn librels. (And, yes, I'm PDFing this page for posterity.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T15:28:28-06:00
ID
94572
Comment

Lakeside, thanks for piling on at StoryChat, and giving a link back here. We dig the page views (if it means any). ;-) And we must be doing something right in the quest to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted—on another site, I'm being called a "piece of garbage," I'm told. Don't be such a goose, though. You know we don't suspend people for disagreeing—if we did, your butt would have been gone a long time ago! You get suspended for violating the User Agreement repeatedly. You must have forgotten what jacksonian was posting here. Still, the best part is that The Clarion-Ledger doesn't mind that jack is accusing specific individuals of using crack. Intriguing, indeed.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T16:18:44-06:00
ID
94573
Comment

Back to the Gannett sale rumor: Here's a verbatim e-mail that Gannett Corp. CEO Craig Dubow sent to his, er, "co-workers" (who can't have free coffee anymore, at least in Jackson) after the Wall Street Journal posted the sale rumor: Dear co-workers: I want to put an end to the unwarranted speculation generated by a few bloggers this week. A change in control of Gannett is not in the works or even anticipated. This handful of bloggers made some incorrect assumptions about information in our quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. None of the bloggers called and checked with us before speculating that we were preparing for a sale. We are not. What we were doing is making routine amendments to our bylaws and compensation plans. Many of these revisions were mandated by newly adopted IRS rules about deferred compensation. The word "amendment" is important here. We updated plans that already were in effect. Actually, our plan for dealing with a change of control has been in place since 1990. It's been amended on occasion before and reported on over the years. So, stand down. Relax. Gannett - along with the media industry - is facing some tough times but we are actively and aggressively moving forward with our strategic plan. We are seeing success and creating more of it everyday. Come fall, we will have some interesting new approaches to innovation to tell you about. And there are lots of good things happening throughout the company, even though it may feel like a rough ride at the moment. As you know, I am very proud of you and all you are doing to make this transformation happen. Gannett needs you, and appreciates you. Thanks, and please keep in touch.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T16:20:36-06:00
ID
94574
Comment

One does wonder if stealing distribution boxes and racks—they still haven't given all ours back—is part of the "new approaches to innovation" that Gannett is so proud of.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T16:27:50-06:00
ID
94575
Comment

BTW, all, when you see one of those half (or more) empty TDN boxes sitting in front of a business with little "for rent" signs in most of the windows, please mention to that business that you support local media and would like to see MIPA publications like the JFP, Metro Christian Living, Homes and Land, Parents & Kids, and other MIPA publications back into their businesses. We got many of the spots back when the business owners realized what Gannett was up to, but there are still some out there that need to be convinced to support free enterprise. Please ask them nicely.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T16:37:28-06:00
ID
94576
Comment

Golden, you know that Barbour was a major architect of the "liberal media" strategy to paint any media that questioned wingnuts as "liberal media," right? Wow, I learn something new everyday. I didn't know that. But I do think that this whole "liberal media" cry is just a ploy to put all mainstream media under one conservative voice. Could you imagine the media not questioning why we went to Iraq? Oh wait, that did happen.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-08-13T17:21:59-06:00
ID
94577
Comment

Yes, this is one of the main things he's known for nationally, from his strategic days as head of the Republican National Committee. That, and the southern race strategy—which is tied closely to the liberal-media strategy. His name will be in the history, no doubt. But not under the hero section.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T17:24:56-06:00
ID
94578
Comment

What amazes me about the TDN boxes is how "smart" corporations like WalMart couldn't tell the contract was outrageous. I can understand little mom & pop places who don't have an army of million dollar lawyers to look over everything they sign, but WalMart? How in the world did CL get WalMart to buy into TDN? [img]http://www.clicksmilies.com/s1106/fragend/confused-smiley-008.gif[/img]

Author
LambdaRisen
Date
2007-08-13T18:46:36-06:00
ID
94579
Comment

Well, early on, remember that they gave companies a list of "accepted" publications—until we all found out and screamed bloody murder about them misleading the distribution places. I have no idea about Wal-Mart. I hate them, never go there and don't want to distribute there. But other MIPA members probably do. Wal-Mart has its own "competitive" devices, so maybe they thought it was just brilliant for the Gannett Corp. to try to mow down the locally owned publications.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T18:53:38-06:00
ID
94580
Comment

I don't think your personal hatred of WalMart should stand in the way of JFP, as a business, from being distributed there. It would double the readership, no doubt, and in the end: more readers = more advertising dollars. But I guess when you own the paper, you can make mind-boggling decisions like that. [img]http://messenger.msn.com/MMM2006-04-19_17.00/Resource/emoticons/wink_smile.gif[/img]

Author
LambdaRisen
Date
2007-08-13T19:35:50-06:00
ID
94581
Comment

Trust me: the hatred of Wal-Mart goes to the top of the company; it's not just "personal." No, it would be hypocritical to distribute there. And it wouldn't double the readership. Unfortunately, many of our current readers already go to Wal-Mart, and many of our boxes and racks already run out halfway through our cycle. So, we're good without ole Wal-Mart.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T19:52:57-06:00
ID
94582
Comment

I don't think you will find too many independent alt weeklies at a Wal-Mart or a K-Mart for that matter? Maybe when you get to the megalopolis "alt's" and the multi-city "alt's" like Creative Loafing which distributes in three or four major cities. That aside, they are still providing a niche service unmatched by today's dinosaur daily's.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-08-13T21:11:45-06:00
ID
94583
Comment

Creative Loafing actually has different papers in different cities, with some shared content. And they just bought the Chicago Reader and the Washington City Paper, which now has southern owners. I just came back from our writing/design workshop in Chicago, and this was a very large topic of conversation, as you might imagine.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T21:31:11-06:00
ID
94584
Comment

Oh, and we distributed at Wal-Mart, Lambda, it might indeed double the *trolls* on the site. ;-) Remember that fabulous post on the Ledger forum I quoted above? As far as the paper being rags, I would say it is definalty slanted to the librel way of thinking. Sometimes they actully hit the nail on the head with some of thier articles. I'm not saying all Wal-Mart shoppers write like that, but we would get more of 'em. These kind of posts would not, in turn, help us show that world that Mississippi is a different place than they think. ;-) I remember a woman who called me after we ran the cover story about the myths of the Iraqi War the week it started. A woman called from a beauty shop in South Jackson, cursing me out for criticizing "our president." If we kept bringing the paper to South Jackson, she barked, "we gone slap a lawsuit on ya!" We kept distributing in South Jackson. Oh, and we were right about the myths. And I still have her on tape.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T21:35:50-06:00
ID
94585
Comment

I got it: We should turn the phone messages into a JFP rap song!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-13T21:37:11-06:00
ID
94586
Comment

It would double the readership, no doubt, and in the end: more readers = more advertising dollars. But I guess when you own the paper, you can make mind-boggling decisions like that. No, Wal-Mart would not "double" JFP readership -- that would require the 5 or so locations in the Metro to disburse 17,000 copies of the JFP per week, or about 3400 copies per store. Since each box can only hold about 50-75 copies at a time, logistically this would be, well, a stretch. :-) Mind-boggling decision? Probably not. Especially since I have a funny feeling that the C-L is paying for the "privilege" and probably at a dollar figure that is dictated by Wal-Mart, not the C-L. The C-L is willing to incur considerably expense these days to create and/or maintain its distribution hegemonies; that's the business model that's mind-boggling. I'm perfectly happy to catch people while they're enjoying lunch, shopping in McDade's or Rainbow, stopping in at SuperStops, Chevrons, Fleetway stores, visiting Banner Hall, driving by a street box or visiting any of our over 400 distribution locations (and growing) in the Metro. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-08-13T21:39:50-06:00
ID
94587
Comment

What if you knew that any of those locations you just mentioned Todd, treated their employees the same as WalMart treats theirs? Would you immediately discount them as an outlet for your product? Assuming that's why Donna hates WalMart. I can't imagine it's because they are cheaper than anywhere else around, unless it's the whole "put mom & pops out of business" kind of hate for cheaper. Is JFP at Kroger, Brookshires, Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid? Why not? Has an attempt been made? Why are they any different or the same as WalMart? I just don't think as a business, you can discount any distribution outlet that gets your product out to the people. Maybe I'm missing something here. And don't take this as coming from a pro-CL person. I'm not pro-CL but I do rely on them to know what's going on around the state on an everyday basis. I don't read their articles looking for opinionated facts, just facts of what happened. Example: A Clinton firefighter and his wife died in a car crash yesterday. That's something I wouldn't have known about. I don't care that they decided to find the other driver guilty of being drunk before any blood tests were done, in the same news piece. I'd like to see JFP become a daily so we know what's going on now in the city, not a week later, and have a daily alternative to the CL. I imagine the path to daily would be high distribution, which brings us back to the issue: why discount any distribution channel?

Author
LambdaRisen
Date
2007-08-13T22:40:22-06:00
ID
94588
Comment

Actually, Lambda, it's not simply about employee treatment. Wal-Mart is in a class all by itself on so many levels. I'm sure Todd will expound when he gets a minute. I'm doing Jackpedia today, so can't blog in detail. JFP is not at many of those chains, no. The JFP is a daily—online. We break news right here nearly every single day. Many of the city's biggest stories (including Melton's demolition of the Ridgeway duplex) break right here on the Web site. As our resources grow, we will break more and more news online, and continue doing the in-depth reporting online and in print that people crave. To big media's downfall, they have sacrificed investigative and in-depth reporting for superficial reporting and silly entertainment stuff, which is why their readership is falling. And considering that the Gannett Corp.'s emphasis is shifting to their online "information centers," the competitive landscape between a paper our size and a paper their size is evening out tremendously. That's a major reason the company is in trouble. Think about it. And as they falter, more and more people will turn to locally owned media like the JFP for their daily news online and their longer, in-depth stories. I assume you know that The Clarion-Ledger's official circulation in Jackson is only 22,000, compared to our weekly print run of 17,000?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-08-14T09:05:08-06:00
ID
94589
Comment

What if you knew that any of those locations you just mentioned Todd, treated their employees the same as WalMart treats theirs? Would you immediately discount them as an outlet for your product? Assuming that's why Donna hates WalMart. I can't imagine it's because they are cheaper than anywhere else around, unless it's the whole "put mom & pops out of business" kind of hate for cheaper. My personal reason for not shopping at Wal-Mart is multi-tried, well-considered and in keeping with the American Way of voting with your dollars. I don't like the company, so I don't do business with them. My business reason for not distributing at Wal-Mart is that the Clarion-Ledger has obtained an exclusive contract with the Wal-Mart corporation that requires me to pay the Clarion-Ledger if I want to distribute there. I'd rather stab myself in the eye with a golf tee than pay the Clarion-Ledger for the "privilege" of distributing the JFP. :-) Is JFP at Kroger, Brookshires, Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid? Why not? Has an attempt been made? Why are they any different or the same as WalMart? From a business point of view, it would depend on the negotiations with those entities; from a personal who-I-do-business-with POV, I would be wary of some of the drug store chains but have pretty much no problem with the grocery stores. I just don't think as a business, you can discount any distribution outlet that gets your product out to the people. Maybe I'm missing something here. I don't think you're missing anything, but you may not see things from my angle. My personal feelings about Wal-Mart are part of the equation, but I also have to look at the cost-benefit of (a.) being part of TDN, (b.) potentially paying Wal-Mart for the distribution capacity if TDN is out of the picture and (c.) how doing business with Wal-Mart might affect my relationships with other customers. I'd like to see JFP become a daily so we know what's going on now in the city, not a week later, and have a daily alternative to the CL. I imagine the path to daily would be high distribution, which brings us back to the issue: why discount any distribution channel? Yeah, your point is well taken, but you're making some assumptions I'm not totally on board with: (1.) Being a daily *paper* isn't necessarily the end game here. After all, MOST dailies are struggling, which makes it a less-than-appealing business to get into, eh? (2.) If daily newspapering IS desired, then is the "path to daily" found in high-distribution? Maybe not...it could be that the most efficient daily newspaper models are more tightly distributed in the future -- witness targeted "commuter dailies" in Chicago, NY, Dallas, Atlanta. Paper costs are a serious issue in today's newspaper landscape, which is one reason why the Web looks so enticing to Gannett, et. al. (3.) "Discount" is a strong word :-)...I've thought about it pretty carefully. So far, I haven't seen a cost-effective avenue into Wal-Mart that makes sense for our business model. That doesn't mean I'm swayed from it forever. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-08-14T10:09:42-06:00

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