Friday, August 08, 2008

The axe cuts deeper

Many functions of the Enquirer's Finance department are being outsourced to a central operation being set up by Gannett in Springfield, Mo.
TO: All Enquirer Media employees
FM: Margaret Buchanan

In meetings yesterday afternoon, all employees in the Finance department were informed that parts of our financial operations will be moved to two "national shared service centers" located in Indianapolis and Springfield , Mo.

The changes will primarily affect what we do in the areas of accounts payable, general ledger, credit and some aspects of cash accounting. Our Finance division will continue to locally support the organization in the areas advertising billing, circulation billing, payroll and financial analysis.

Because this will be a fairly long undertaking, it is difficult to know exactly how and when employees will be affected. Cincinnati will be among many Gannett sites moving these shared service centers in the next 6 months or more.

The timing of this announcement – during our Voluntary Severance Program – will provide additional options to affected employees. Severance, benefits continuation, job opening information, and employee assistance are among the options available to employees.

I just wanted to make you aware of what's happening.

We appreciate your cooperation. And if you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask me, Dave Wuertemberger in Finance, or Keith Bulling in HR.

Margaret

The email above doesn't say how many jobs will be cut. It's also not clear if the number being cut in Finance affects the 50 buyouts announced on Monday, but my guess is that these are in addition to the 50. Those people who are losing their jobs will find comfort in knowing that the newspaper they are leaving is poised for success.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When their terrible switchover of their website happened and it became a slow slog to upload and navigate, I figured no one over there was in charge or cared. I stopped reading the daily and then the Sunday over a year ago but used to visit the online every day until they made it worse. I don't read the enquirer at all any more though I do pick up Cin Weekly if I have a free hand at the grocery store.
Do they not understand their business at all?
Granted the internet has affected things but it wasn't like they haven't had years to prepare and adapt. Instead the Enquirer made their website worse at a crucial time.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@2:22PM : Please do not blame the Enquirer staff for the dismal new website. That piece of crap came from Gannett Corp. and the Enquirer minions have been left to deal with it.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting to note that the meetings to which MB refers were held AFTER Finance employees went to their VP and asked if the consolidation/outsourcing which they were reading about on Internet blog sites(ie. Gannett blog) would impact Cincinnati.

It was only after the story was reported online that management felt compelled to hold informational meetings.

Some media company! Information Centers? Ha!

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gannett will not improve until Buchanan, and people like her, learn to better communicate with employees and/or the entire lot of them are given the boot.

And, if the Enquirer can't be trusted to report newsworthy items about itself (the buyouts) in print - especially when it reports the same info about others, then is it really any wonder why people have gone elsewhere for news and information?

Media outlets need to hold themselves to a higher standard. The Enquirer, under Buchanan, won’t even report on itself on a equal level with those that that they cover and that’s pitiful. More and more advertisers should run.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Natsayer said...

I DO blame the Enquirer for their dismal new website. Obviously Buchanan & Co. do not have the balls to push back in the Corporate Overloards at Gannett.

The website is a complete disaster, and the Enquirer's web traffic has withered as a result. Ad revenue from Cincinnati.com was the one bright spot in the Enquirer's otherwise dismal financial outlook. Not anymore.

And it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys. Seriously, fuck the Enquirer. It's a lousy excuse for a "news" paper, and they deseve to crash and burn to the ground.

Burm baby, burn!

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I guess the disgrunted-ex-employee community has been heard from.

But there is more at stake here than personal grievances (which the Enquirer has collected by the thousands).

This and other Gannett papers are vivid examples of an industry in extreme crisis. Rigid, top-down hierarchy, lack of imagination, fearful leadership, and a historical addiction to racking up big profits on the cheap have left Gannett near meltdown.

They've still got money, but they have no idea how to use it to make something that people -- readers or advertisers -- are willing to buy.

When these newspapers (and many others) cease to exist, the "news" will be delivered almost entirely by propagandists and bloviaters with no respect for hard fact. That's not a prospect to be welcomed in a democracy.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The timing of this announcement – during our Voluntary Severance Program – will provide additional options to affected employees."

There are so many things wrong with that statement that it's hard to know where to begin. Suffice to say it's interesting to see that management considers learning that one is getting shitcanned to be an additional option.

Former Postie

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks ugly nationwide.

http://gannettblog.blogspot.com/2008/08/memo-gci-laying-off-600-newspaper.html

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 8:51 re "The timing of this announcement – during our Voluntary Severance Program – will provide additional options to affected employees." I think you're misinterpreting. This means that someone who might otherwise be laid off without any severence could, if they choose the voluntary buyout, get two weeks per year worked plus health benefits. I think anyway.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...basically, a number of finance jobs are still going away.

Though, the additional "option" is that impacted finance employees can take the package being offered now or get the same package (and, maybe a bit more for staying) once Buchanan has all of her centralized finance ducks in a row later this year to boot you out. The sooner the better for her as she'll save more.

Bottom-line: if you can go now, you should.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone with gray hair would be a drunken fool not to sign up for the buyout. As anyone in corporate America knows, the first buyouts are ALWAYS the most generous. The 1,000 layoffs should serve as a reminder that if the people with targets on their backs (50 years+, $50,000+, uncritical job, with max vacation and health issues like smoking) don't take the buyout, they'll get a pink slip instead.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@natsayer: It's nice of you wish unemployment on the more than 1,000 poeple who work there who aren't the publisher or editor.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It comes down to this: Take the buyout, get two weeks' pay for every year of service, and stay on the company health care plan for a year tops. Or run the risk of getting laid off anyway, get ONE week of pay for every year of service, and NO health care. Seems a no-brainer to me.

10:32 AM  

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