Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

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Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby Jim Hopkins » Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:22 am

1. Will you concede that the stock buyback you engineered has helped bring Gannett to the point of bankruptcy? Background: http://tinyurl.com/m6zpfj

2. Will you and other members of the Gannett Management Committee continue to take your bonuses entirely in cash? If so, why should employees and other investors continue to hold shares of Gannett stock? Background: http://tinyurl.com/ks6cv8
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Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby Gannettoid » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:40 am

Thanks for the post, Jim. I separated this topic so your questions can be a starting point.
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Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby Guest » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:57 am

What is the plan to adjust publishers and corporate officers compensation levels to match performance results?

What is the plan for Gannett to meet its' debt repayment obligations?
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Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby Guest » Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:20 pm

1) Are manager bonuses paid annually for performance going to be eliminated next year?
2) Does corporate management realize that gutting newspaper content also guts digital content? If there are no more reporters, there's nothing being reported on the web, right?
3) Is there a long-term strategy in place to deal with the changing marketplace, or are you simply being reactionary?
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Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby another guest » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:12 pm

1. Right-sizing... that's all we've heard for 2 years. Surely by now, management has some idea of what the end goal is. Please share.

2. What are the short-term and long-term goals? Please share them with us, your employees. And please refrain from using the words "right-size" -- "nimble". As employees and shareholders (for the majority of us), we really do have the right to know.
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Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby GM's boss » Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:23 pm

I am so tired of hearing people say that they get their news online and newspapers are "dead."

Why don't we run some kind of campaign to help the regular "joe & judy" out in the world understand that the quality news reports they read online are actually produced by quality journalists in newspapers and broadcast. And that their salaries are paid by the revenues generated from newspaper and TV station advertisers. Please let us dispel the fairy tale that quality news appears out of thin air. And dispel any notion that our online revenues could even pay for 1% of those salaries.
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Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby Arazi » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:32 pm

I honestly think people are starting to understand that.

At least in my (sports) world, casual fans now see that the web-only enterprises like Rivals and Scout are riddled with spelling errors, inaccurate/speculative information and vague sourcing.
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Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby Gannettoid » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:52 pm

Any chance anyone did a check list and listed to find out if any of the questions posed here were covered?
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Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby guest » Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:14 pm

I didn't hear any of the questions posted here mentioned in the earnings call or the employee chat. Although I found it very surprising in the employee webcast that Robin and Gracia actually mentioned gannettoid.com and then regurgitated the information they had already given the gannettoid.
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Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby Gannettoid » Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:25 pm

guest wrote:I found it very surprising in the employee webcast that Robin and Gracia actually mentioned gannettoid.com and then regurgitated the information they had already given the gannettoid.


Really? Do you recall how they presented it? Anyone else hear this?
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Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby Guest » Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:42 pm

My sense of the Gannettoid mention (yeah, Gannettoid!) is that Robin was indicating that she wanted Gracia to address some of the types of questions that have been coming up here frequently or that you've posed to her in e-mails.

Gracia made it sound like there were all of these inaccuracies floating around about the "transition pay" and "medical benefits." But then the way she explained it was almost exactly what we've seen here and on Gannett Blog: making up the difference in unemployment pay until you find a job or until your allotted "benefit" period runs out, plus COBRA immediately with partial payment by the government. They encouraged laid-off workers to call some 800-number if they're not getting acceptable service from TMS, but they didn't give out the number. I guess it's in the literature.

Someone asked why, if the company is making a profit, did Gannett just lay off more than 1,000 people. Her answer: Basically, profits still aren't as good as they were, and we need to adjust our budgets, just like we do with our personal budgets. (Not a very good answer, I don't think. Not given: a dollar amount saved, total layoff figures or anything about more cuts coming this month.)

Someone asked whether Corporate was going to have to share in the pain. Her answer: Well, Corporate has lost 10% in the last year and has reduced expenses by 11% (as if the USCP papers haven't lost tons of people and reduced their expenses!). There was only a subtle mention of examining efficiencies at Corporate. (I'm pretty sure Corporate is going to have cuts, but this wishy-washy answer did nothing to reassure the papers that Corporate will not make it through August unscathed.)
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Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby devilsadvocate » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:13 pm

Original Devil's advocate posting:

I did not hear one word about Gannettoid mentioned on the dog and pony show
with Gracia. Gracia did not answer one question directly. She waltzed around
every subject. Found the whole thing very disheartening. But why would we
expect less from Gannett. You know every question used was carefully screened
by the lawyers of Gannett before it was presented.
devilsadvocate
 

Re: Questions for Gracia Martore on Wednesday

Unread postby Anonymouse » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:00 pm

devilsadvocate wrote:Original Devil's advocate posting:

I did not hear one word about Gannettoid mentioned on the dog and pony show
with Gracia. Gracia did not answer one question directly. She waltzed around
every subject. Found the whole thing very disheartening. But why would we
expect less from Gannett. You know every question used was carefully screened
by the lawyers of Gannett before it was presented.


I believe Robin mentioned something along the lines of "here are a couple of questions from gannettiod.com". About 20-30 minutes into the web cast.

Folks, the reason they need to do the layoffs and cut expenses is to make DEBT payments. In 2011, they have to come up with (someone correct me if I have the wrong number) 700 million and in 2012, 2.5 billion.
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