Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish

Dateline: Sun 09 Feb 2014

My friend and fellow journalist Jim Hopkins is closing down Gannettblog after 7 years of ferocious bulldog journalism, having kept a heroic and credible watch on Gannett Corp. as only a former investigative reporter/business reporter for USA Today could do.

First, a note of thanks to Jim and gratitude for his tireless enthusiasm. He covered Gannett like a blanket; he smothered those mothers in HQ when they tried to put their PR spin on things, and instead he gave us scintillating, wise and hard analysis. Thanks also to his readers, who were prolific with tips about the goings-on in Gworld.

His comments about shutting the blog appared yesterday on Facebook, as well as on his site. 

Here's the juice:

"...with the purchase of 20-station TV company Beloin late December, Gannett is no longer the same company. Corporate projects broadcasting will eventually account for more than half of all earnings; throw in digital, and the figure is forecast to rise even higher. In other words, Gannett is now a TV giant with a side interest in newspapers, its mainstay business since 1906, when Frank Gannett founded the company with a single daily in Elmira, N.Y.

"Gannett is also a much smaller enterprise. It has eliminated more than 20,000 jobs since the workforce peaked at 53,000 in 2003. Revenue fell to $5.2 billion last year vs. a record $8 billion in 2006. GCI shares trade for $28 vs. an all-time high of $90 in 2004.

"And now Wall Street is raising pressure on Corporate to spin off the troubled newspaper division. I had much of this in mind in early December, when I wrote about Gannett's digital efforts in a lengthy post that also serves as a history of this blog."

So what I am haring is Gannett as a newspaper enterprise is pretty much history. 

So it goes.

All that said, good luck to the courageous reporters still left telling good, accurate and truthful stories. Especially, good luck to Hopkins, because he did that job both at Gannett and as an outside force.



Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Recently a long-time Gannett employee, terminated not long ago, told me "Gannett will continue to prosper" when I offered condolences and shared commiseration about the woeful state of newspapers these days. The demise of newspapers can be linked, though maybe not causally, with the degradation of literacy in America. Chicken and egg. Still, I fell we as a nation are the less for the disappearance of newspapers, romantic notion thought that may be. The creating of a blog by punching an "enter" key has no comparison with the mechanics of producing a newspaper.

2014-02-09 17:17:39

hendy [Member] said:

Nah. They picked TV. I haven't owned one in some time now, and am the better for it. What did I miss? You tell me what's exclusively on TV.

Gannett just blew a lot of $$ on still another medium that's slowly dying on the vine. Remember what Andy Grove posited: two eyes, 24hrs. That's it.

2014-02-11 13:34:08

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