Typical greedy GateHouse behavior on display

This type of sh*t is no longer the news. I now fully expect GateHouse Media to do this short of shit, then run to bankruptcy court to have all their debts forgiven:

Kirk Davis, Chief Operating Officer of GateHouse Media, which is the parent company of the Providence Journal [as well as the Peoria Journal Star as well as almost every other newspaper in this part of the state] received more than $1 million in additional compensation in 2015 over his 2014 income.  During the same period the Providence Journal continued to loss advertising revenue and circulation, and the company made substantial staff reductions in Providence.

Davis’ overall compensation increased from $917,000 in 2014, to $2.1 million, according to SEC documents first reported by Boston Business Journal.

Davis’ compensation increase of over $1.1 million. His 2015 compensation was comprised of a base salary of $500,000, a cash bonus of $600,000 and $1 million came in the award of stock. During the same, the Providence Journal went through two round of layoffs and buyouts.

During the past 12 months, the parent company’s stock has dropped from $23.87 per share to a close on Friday of $15.62 a share — a 34% decrease in stock value.

Sad news as another employee-owned newspaper is absorbed by GateHouse Media monster

Sad:

The Monroe News, which serves southeastern Michigan, was sold to New Media Investment Group, which is the holding company for the GateHouse Media newspaper group. The Monroe News was an employee owned paper.

“The changing media environment has been very tough on single, stand-alone newspaper companies like us,” said Steve Gray, chairman of the MPC board of directors. “Despite the team’s best efforts, it became clear that our employee shareholders needed to be able to diversify their holdings.”

The paper was family-owned from its founding in 1927, becoming fully employee owned in 1999.

My advice to Monroe News staffers: Start a group blog immediately. That way, you will have some place to write when GateHouse starts firing people.

Here’s an FOIA status update for the sniveling little shitweasels at the PJS

Attention sniveling little shitweasles at the Journal Star: You cannot excuse away your newspaper’s general GateHouse Media-mandated inferiority by commenting on Facebook about my use of free WiFi at Starbucks or my frequent posting of Eye Candy pictures. As if my blogginess has anything to do with it.

I know the paper has far fewer reporters than it did when I was a lowly intern there back in the late 1980s. But certainly they can spare one to go through official complaints filed against Aaron Schock. You know, the guy who just got driven out of office because of similar complaints. It’s what newspapers do. Just four hours of time, that’s all I ask.

I know it’s tough trying to be a journalist for an organization so dedicated to destroying journalism in the name of corporate greed. My advice, start a blog and NO ONE will dictate what you write. But then, no salary, alas.

And by the way, the Attorney General’s office is reviewing the Illinois Comptroller’s office’s denial of my FOIA request for information about their hiring of Next Generation Public Affairs. They say this information is exempt, I disagree. Anyway, the AG’s office notified me of its status on March 13, 2015. The Comptroller’s office will get back to me after that. I’ll keep you informed.

 

GateHouse Media charged with labor law violations

Because you are NOT NOT NOT going to read about this in the Peoria Journal Star or any other GateHouse Media publication. These are charges filed by the National Labor Relations Board, NOT accusations tossed out there by the United Media Guild at the Rockford Register Star:

  • GateHouse retaliated against our members after the UMG objected to unilateral changes to how photographers were to be scheduled. By labor law, such changes must be negotiated due to the status quo protections for working conditions during a initial contract negotiation. When the UMG would not agree to the changes, the NLRB charged that the newspaper “threatened employees and announced that it would change its policy regarding the ability of employees to alter schedules.”

  • GateHouse took that action in a letter to employees, the NLRB charged, “in order to undermine the (UMG)’s status as the employees’ bargaining representative.”

  • At the bargaining table GateHouse subsequently proposed that it have the right to outsource all photography-related work. The NLRB charged the company with doing so “because the employees . . . formed, joined and assisted the Union and engaged in concerted activities, and to discourage employees in these activities.”

  • By doing so, GateHouse “has failed and refused to bargain in good faith with the Union as the exclusive collective-bargaining representative of the Unit.”

GateHouse Media’s wage slaves need to revolt

gatehouse_cheapskates

 

Via Romenesko:

GateHouse Media CEO Mike Reed has been collecting six-figure annual bonuses while his journalists haven’t had raises in seven years. As reported here last week, a health-care reporter at GateHouse’s Springfield (IL) State Journal-Register works at McDonald’s on weekends to make ends meet. This cartoon was drawn by Chris Britt, who was laid off from the State Journal-Register in 2012.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: The cure for greedy corporate journalism of non-corporate journalism. When a corporate CEO is faced with the choice between $500,000 annual bonuses year after year, regardless of bankruptcy, and and giving workers pay increases, they will always choose the bonuses.

My advice to SJ-R reporters: Stop waiting around for Micheal Reed to spontaneously develop a conscience. Stop waiting for a white knight to come along and hire all the laid off reporters back and give everyone 50 percent raises. It ain’t gonna happen.

What a bunch of you need to do is publicly and loudly quit GateHouse Media and start your own online-only news organization. Someone is gonna have to sell ads, too. Yeah, a bunch of you will have to work part or full time at McDonalds or some other God-awful place to make ends meet. Which is different HOW from what is going on now?

 

There’s an article out there about how GateHouse is making money, but it’s behind a paywall

gatehouseThe Democrat & Chronicle is making money too, because they are actually charging MONEY for their online content. Since i have no intention of subscribing to the Democrat & Chronicle, I can’t really link to one single story.

Suffice to say that we can all expect GateHouse Media to pump some more money into new hires and to boost salaries, as well as paying off some of its debt.

HA HA HA! Just kidding. All the cash is going to David Reed’s third yacht. And to a 27 cent dividend to make share holders happy. Because making share holder’s happy is the MOST IMPORTANT THING.

Never mind. I got it:

Shares in the parent company of Perinton-based GateHouse Media LLC rose 6.4 percent Thursday after it reported a profit after adjusting for refinancing costs.

New Media Investment Group Inc. also declared its first quarterly dividend, 27 cents per share, payable to shareholders as of Aug. 12.

For the quarter ending June 29, New Media reported adjusted net income of $7.6 million on revenues of $158.4 million. Revenue increased 32.5 percent compared to the same quarter in 2013, but declined 0.5 percent on a same-store basis.

“Our strong second quarter results mark New Media’s sixth consecutive quarter of improving revenue trends, driven by more than 60 percent of total revenues coming from stable to growing segments of our business,” said New Media CEO Michael E. Reed in a statement.

Shares in New Media closed Thursday at $15.06, up 90 cents.

New Media was formed through the merger of GateHouse and Local Media Group after GateHouse emerged from bankruptcy late last year.

Earlier this month, New Media announced it would buy The Providence Journal for $46 million.

New Media will operate in 363 markets across 27 states once the Journal acquisition closes. In the Rochester area, it operates a number of weekly newspapers in Monroe County suburbs and The Daily Messenger in Canandaigua, Ontario County.

The link is here. Good luck getting past the pay wall.