Friday, July 25, 2008

Gas pains

The Enquirer has breathlessly posted the final installment of its gas price analysis, which makes the following statements:
An Enquirer analysis of daily gas prices at 716 area stations in May and June, and interviews with dozens of dealers, consumers and experts, finds that competition is still the No. 1 factor influencing how prices are set.
Retailers say they usually follow the leader when it comes to setting a daily price.
Competition means you challenge the leader, not follow it. Which is it? No secrets revealed here, as were promised. Is this the best that the Enquirer can do?


Blogger Newsache said...

I haven't posted in more than a month, because there hasn't been anything in the Enquirer worth the effort of posting. Also, I used to read the Enquirer mostly online, and the redesigned web site has made that difficult. I'm reading less often now. All indications are that web traffic is down, and maybe readers are seeing that the content the Enquirer offers isn't worth the effort of burrowing through its terrible web site.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You ask: "Is this the best the Enquirer can do?"

Isn't the answer to that painfully obvious by now?

Former Postie

11:03 AM  
Blogger Margaret A. McGurk said...

A relative of mine, not a journalist but surrounded by same, used to say of the profession: "You guys have a genius for stating the obvious." This series raises that "genius" to epic scope.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Margaret A. McGurk said...

Let me expand on that last comment. I did not mean it to be snarky. What I mean is: We (meaning news people) do this all the time, to some extent. What else are typical weather stories but descriptions of something blatantly obvious to all? Still, it's part of what we have always done.

In this case, the acquisition of a detailed database made it possible to expand on things that are pretty obvious in specific and localized detail.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UDF routinely beats their competitor’s prices in more than a few of the Enquirer’s highly sought after demographic areas. Yet, despite their size, and unless I missed it, they’re conspicuously absent from any lists.

A snarky comment might suggest that maybe that’s still a little too close to the Linder family to report on them specifically by name.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous CLC said...

Enquirer insiders -- what's the reaction to the new Web site within the newsroom? Readers have obviously made their opinions known on the "Feedback Forum but what are editors saying? Is there an acknowledgment that this re-design went horribly wrong? Hopefully higher-ups realize that there's a real problem that needs to be fixed. A slow site with jumbled content doesn't exactly spell success for the future.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reaction to the web site is that it is a mess and folks have trouble finding stories. It also appears that stories are the last thing the web meisters want. It's all about blogs and comments. Traffic way, way down although Web spin folks don't indicate that in their nearly hourly reports. It sucks and people know it.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stopped visiting the new Enquirer site because I hate not having the option of not reading the insipid comments readers leave at the end of every story. I still don't understand why that has a place on a news site.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh??? Who's holding a gun to your head forcing you to read comments? When you get to the end of the story, you can stop reading.

For that matter, as with most stories (especially in the Enquirer), you can stop reading in the middle. Or even after one or two paragraphs.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one's holding a gun, and that's why I stopped going altogether. Too bloggy, not enough news.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to think, I thought the new site design was part of a well-executed strategy to ultimately force people back to reading the print editions.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the complaining in the world isn't going to help in regards to the website. It's a corporate decision - haven't you seen all of the other Gannett sites? The Enquirer's site was forced into this and now their web staff is left defending it, despite their own opinions. I feel bad for the girl taking questions on the feedback forum.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, the axe finally has dropped.

Any comments or thoughts?

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the memo:

Sent: Monday, August 04, 2008 3:31 PM

To: All non-represented employees

From: Margaret Buchanan

In the last few years, we have implemented a number of initiatives to help us compete in an ever-changing media landscape, and thanks to your hard work and initiative, we are poised to succeed in the future.

However, as I’m sure you’re aware, the economy has worsened in the last year. Despite putting in place many cost-control actions – including some reductions in staff and many non-payroll expense cuts – we find ourselves needing to cut expenses again.

To that end, we are offering a voluntary severance program. Here are some details about the program:

· It is being offered to all active non-represented employees of Enquirer Media, excluding Operating Committee employees.

· The company reserves the right to limit the number of volunteers accepted in order to maintain business operations.

· The program offers two weeks of severance for every year of credited service – up to 52 weeks. This will be paid out the same way as regular payroll until the severance period is exhausted. During the severance period, health benefits will remain intact.

The offer is open until August 15.
We are looking for 50 volunteers overall.

If more than 50 volunteer, we will review whether we can expand the pool. Decisions about which volunteers will be accepted will be based on position, job function and years of service.

If this voluntary offer doesn’t result in a sufficient number of volunteers, or if in the future, economic conditions worsen, it may be necessary to consider layoffs.

Please see the attached Q&A for answers to frequently asked questions.

Eligible employees who are interested should contact xxxx at Human Resources.

Employees who decide to volunteer should submit a request in writing (signed and dated) to Julie Sawyer in HR. The company will review the list of volunteers after August 15, make a determination and inform all volunteers who have been accepted. Separation dates will be set at that time.


6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blog is great resting place for the insipid daily beat writers like prendergast for example...fluff,fluff and dough...the main ingredients of most of the coverage of local so-called news..

8:51 PM  

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