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Comment Archives: stories: News: City Limits

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

In my earlier post, I was remiss in omitting courts reporter Bobby Allyn from the list of reporters who have left the Tennessean since last summer (he was among the Aug. 2013 layoffs). That makes eight in about a year ... which is probably about a third of the reporting staff, by my estimate.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by The Truth Teller on 08/15/2014 at 8:00 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

The Tennessean's demise began with Gannett's acquisition. The company has a one size fits all approach to newspapers, always has. This newsroom of the future is simply yet another spin devised to hide the chief reason: Reduce expenses and make as much money and feasibly possible. Michael noted that. And to produce the spin the company brought in an early 30s climber and so-called expert in consumer analytics, content programming and real time engagement. Talk about spin. Kudos to Murray for jumping on to this fad. Perhaps she can ride that a while until everyone figures out that the area of expertise is basically a crock of shit. When I first read her expertise, I thought she was a radio programmer.

18 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by FormerTennesseanWriter on 08/15/2014 at 12:21 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

As a former employee at the Tennessean, I can say this downward spiral has been a long time in the making. It's no surprise that a daily/weekly print publication is going to have a hard time competing in this new "instant" world of Twitter, Facebook, etc. There are many people out there that still enjoy the feel of a newspaper regardless of the fact that the news may be a day old. The real failure is in the fact that the top brass at Gannett are patting themselves on the back with multi-million dollar bonuses (read Craig Dubow) instead of figuring out a way to make a newspaper viable in this new era. This same old drivel was heard when television was the brand new thing, and the newspaper manged to make it through. Only today, corporations are too concerned with short term profits in the double digit range to even try. They just play a corporate shell game by "spinning off" the newspaper division. Once this is done they won't care if it fails, it will essentially be off their books so to speak. All the corporate Kool-Aid sipping top level managers and publishers will keep blathering on with pep talk buzzwords like "reset", and "stronger" "more engaged" Blah-Blah-Blah! The only people they are fooling is themselves. All the employees at those meetings are biting their tongues wishing they had chosen another line of work. I saw the writing on the wall many years ago and left in 2009, and glad I did! The last straw for me as a member of the Information Technology team was when the brass came to us and said that due to the cutbacks and layoff's, we would have to help the pressmen clean, and work on the printing presses, this was okay they said because the presses were controlled by computers so it was in our realm and we could do it. My response after a gasp of disbelief at what I heard was "I don't $@#*ing think so!" The person who said this is now a top executive at Gannett corporate. Big surprise? I think not! My hat's off to the now retired Gannett Blog, and the Nashville Scene for being a thorn in The Tennessean executives, and Gannett's side. They deserve it! And my heart goes out to all the hard working people at The Tennessean who were not as fortunate as myself to find another employment option. They must suffer in silence for fear of losing what "job" they have left. I include them in my prayers every night.

32 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael A. Paladini on 08/14/2014 at 10:10 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

When the parents of "baihehuao" and other spammers of his type had to choose between keeping the baby or keeping the afterbirth, they made the wrong choice.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pragmatist on 08/14/2014 at 10:03 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

Yikes, I worked for a Wisconsin Gannett newspaper, and they started thrashing the budget to the point where three papers were sharing editors, photographers and now all the designers are gone. I am saddened at the state of newspapers. More so, I fear for the students who are currently getting their journalism degrees.

14 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Anthony Holloway on 08/14/2014 at 7:18 PM

Re: “The Metro Council's minority caucus comes out unanimously against Emily Evans' push to shrink the council

This is just an attempt by conservative Republicans to reduce the size so they can grab more power. They feel it's easier to get 14 for a majority than it is 21. You should see this effort for what it is and flush it down the toilet.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Conservative Ploy on 08/14/2014 at 5:05 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

I gave up on the Tennessean at least 6 years ago and haven't missed it a bit. the news you're looking for is out there if you seek it out. and if there's a talented writer with a good head and nose for news, who is able to craft pieces that add context, history and depth to current events, why on earth would they go to work for a Gannett-owned daily?

23 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Doyle on 08/14/2014 at 3:16 PM
Posted by SortofJustDid on 08/14/2014 at 2:12 PM

Re: “The Metro Council's minority caucus comes out unanimously against Emily Evans' push to shrink the council

School Board: 9 seats. 4 out of 5 are minorities, or 44%
Metro Council: 41 seats. 11 out of 41 are minorities, or 27%

Bigger does not mean more diverse. Shrinking does not mean less diverse.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by NumbersDon'tLie on 08/14/2014 at 2:11 PM

Re: “The Metro Council's minority caucus comes out unanimously against Emily Evans' push to shrink the council

When has the mayor ever lost an initiative? Once, and it was by the skin of Sterling Marlin's yellow country teeth. This council is a glorified zoning body. If you're neighbor is trying to build a hotel or a duplex, your metro councilman can stop it. If your street light is out, your Metro Councilman will call Public works and they will fix your street light. (imagine the frustration of our public works, fire, rescue, and cops dealing with 40 members of Council?)

But if you want a legislative body that can check and balance the Executive branch, Shrink the Council www.shrinkthecouncil.com

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Weak on 08/14/2014 at 2:06 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

As a former newsroom staffer at 1100 Broadway, I can tell you that morale there was low – and sinking even deeper - long before Murray dropped the “newsroom of the future” bomb.

How can that be? you might ask. Surely things can’t be that bad at the Tennessean, you might say. Well, Pollyanna, they are … and here’s some reasons why:

December 2008 - The newsroom loses 25 people to layoffs.

January 2009 – Those who survive the layoff are ordered to take a one-week furlough. Translation: a 2.5-percent pay cut.

March 2009 – Another furlough.

July 2009 – Another layoff, this one claiming 35 jobs.

January 2010 – Yet another furlough.

January 2011 – Still another furlough.

July 2011 – Still more layoffs, with 20 newsroom casualties. One was a reporter who was notified while returning from her grandmother’s funeral.

January 2012 – Yep, another furlough.

August 2013 – Three more newsroom employees laid off.

Given all that, it’s no wonder people are fleeing the sinking ship known as the Tennessean. I can count seven reporters who have left just since last summer - education reporter Lisa Fingeroot; reporter/editor Heidi Hall; business reporters Duane Marsteller, Walker Moskop and Jaquetta White; investigations editor/reporter Walter Roche Jr.; and religion reporter Bob Smietana – all of whom were excellent reporters.

Now comes the coup de grace: Murray’s so-called “reset” of the newsroom, in which everyone loses his/her job and must reapply for such inane positions as “content coach” and “engagement editor” under her new world order.

So, it’s no surprise that Sisk is bailing out. I suspect more of my former colleagues will be doing the same. That will let Murray hire more recent college graduates (or people of college age) to write (cheaply) about such hard-hitting news topics as what color toenail polish to use on Wednesdays and who’s playing at the Ryman.

The people of Nashville and Tennessee deserve better. Alas, they won’t get it – not as long as Murray and publisher Laura Hollingsworth are steering the SS Tennessean into oblivion.

60 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by The Truth Teller on 08/14/2014 at 1:59 PM

Re: “The Metro Council's minority caucus comes out unanimously against Emily Evans' push to shrink the council

I agree with Patrick Keohane on the diluted representation issue. The current number of persons per council district is larger than most cities in this state. Davidson County is expected to grow, so my individual access to my down-the-street council member is going to become diluted eventually. Why would I want to increase the number of people a council member is responsible to? All that does is make the people who give to campaigns have one more level of government to control. I want to see more women, more races, on the council. Decreasing the number in the council will not do that.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Nashvillian on 08/14/2014 at 1:49 PM

Re: “The Metro Council's minority caucus comes out unanimously against Emily Evans' push to shrink the council

Term limits are the worst thing that has happened to Metro Government? Huh? Worse than Ronal Serpas? Worse than Bill Boner?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by notguilty on 08/14/2014 at 12:55 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

And the people it is affecting include the general public, who are continually being offered entertainment instead of actual news. Change may be inevitable, but that doesn't mean that every change is beneficial. This one isn't - and goes far beyond the people at the Tennessean who will lose their job.

44 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Nancy Henderson on 08/14/2014 at 12:42 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

Change is inevitable, its just a shame for the people it is affecting.

9 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Elena Bragg on 08/14/2014 at 11:53 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

Wait! What's that sound? Oh, yeah. That's the sound of my journalism degree tumbling into obsolescence.

23 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by CivicCynic on 08/14/2014 at 11:39 AM

Re: “The Metro Council's minority caucus comes out unanimously against Emily Evans' push to shrink the council

I wonder if Ms. Evans has tried to lobby this group from the perspective of the larger council having less overall say/power when it comes to proposals that comes from the Mayor's office? It's a nuanced discussion, but having the larger council does mean each individual member has less say/sway in decisions. So, you can choose to invest power in one person (the mayor, who has never been a minority), or in a body that at least has diversity. By choosing to maintain the council at the current size and current term limits, you are choosing to invest power in that one person.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by DavidsonCoNative on 08/14/2014 at 10:58 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

Better yet, why pay for the same news that populated my social media feeds the day before? I've noticed that after a trend picks up over on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (hi Tom Hanks at Barista Parlor!), it lands over on the Tennessean's site the next day. It's one thing to measure one's own web metrics, but to pick up on social media trends and use that as "reporting"? Not so much.

There are some very hard-working and dedicated people still left over on Broadway. I just hope they wake up (as did Mr Sisk) and see that their hard work isn't valued. The writing is on the wall.

31 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by MissBeth on 08/14/2014 at 10:18 AM

Re: “The Metro Council's minority caucus comes out unanimously against Emily Evans' push to shrink the council

One sick thing about this referendum campaign is that the shrinking of the council is only a secondary consideration to Evans. Its real aim is to weaken term limits, an idea that has failed more than once at the ballot box. Evans has polling suggesting many would prefer a smaller council so she tacked this popular idea on to her unpopular attack on term limits. But as this article suggests, her 'sweetener' might turn out to be a little more sour than she expected.

This is a referendum launched by a political elite for their own benefit and against the voters.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Philip Blumel 1 on 08/14/2014 at 10:07 AM

Re: “The Metro Council's minority caucus comes out unanimously against Emily Evans' push to shrink the council

IMO, the current make up of the council allows Nashville to retain the smaller community benefits while the city at a whole continues to grow. Each council member represents about 17,500 people (610,000 - 35 districts). This number would jump to 22,600 under the proposed amendment (27 districts), an increase of 29%.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Patrick Keohane on 08/14/2014 at 9:59 AM

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