Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Crain's layoffs and salary reductions Previous Next
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Realitycheck
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Username: Realitycheck

Post Number: 366
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 5:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Publisher Mary Kramer blogs that she and everyone else company-wide gets a salary cut and that "some" staffers were laid off at Crain's Detroit Business.
quote:

These cuts are painful. . . . Crain Communications isn't immune from the economic tsunami we're all trying to survive.



(Message edited by RealityCheck on March 18, 2009)
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1926
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 6:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Where's Bill Shea - did you come out of this OK?
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Bshea
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Username: Bshea

Post Number: 58
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 6:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fortunately, Mary Kramer had the foresight to estimate that the 2009 economy would be worse for the media industry than most others assumed. We went through a rough round of adjustments in December, so we were not hit as bad as some this week.

Thankfully, I'm still employed. Mr. Crain spoke with us (I'm on vacation, but came in) personally today, and he was very forthright and answered everyone's questions. It was evident the moves the company has had to make were almost physically painful to him. Unfortunately, no one is exempt from the media downturn.

I've worked for some rough characters in the world of journalism, and some companies that didn't have sterling reputations. Crain's in every aspect has been the best place I've ever worked. Treating employees like adults and with respect is not always common in journalism, and doing so has helped Crain's become a desirable place to work and a valuable brand internationally. And while that seems like bootlicking, it's not. I survived massive corporate-journalism cutbacks that were both senseless and cruel in past jobs, and I also worked for the dreadfully cheap (and thankfully defunct) Thomson Newspapers corporation. It gives you perspective, especially in the down times, to have been to the gutter and woodshed in this business.

I try to tell my younger co-workers that they're fortunate beyond belief to be working for Crain's, and to not be in the daily newspaper industry these days.

These are dark times for print publications, but I've been there when it was a gold rush, so I have the appreciation for what pubs like Crain's has done for its employees in the past.

An important note Mr. Crain and Mary Kramer made: Publications like Crain's and others in the chain are more important now than ever in places such as Detroit. Information is what people need even more in times like these, and the Crain family's first priority is making sure any business decisions don't effect the quality editorial products the company is known for.

Again, this sounds like ass-kissing, but this is the first job I've ever had that I don't like to be away from. I'm off this week, but have a physical urge to be there, involved in what's going on, be among these awesome co-workers, etc. People I work with will tell you in all my time there I've never voiced a complaint about Crain's (other than maybe the men's room could be closer on my side of the building, LOL).
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Bobl
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Username: Bobl

Post Number: 652
Registered: 07-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 7:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

At least one other Discuss Detroit poster has lost a position there. It is sad to witness the decline of printed journalism.
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Realitycheck
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Username: Realitycheck

Post Number: 367
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 7:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Classy message, Bill. You're fortunate.

So are Crain's readers.
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Bshea
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Username: Bshea

Post Number: 60
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 7:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't see this as a decline as much as a retrenchment to survive the economic situation. Fortunately, niche print publications are in a better position to survive in their current format (print, bolstered by a growing and valuable online presence) than daily newspapers.
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401don
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Username: 401don

Post Number: 956
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 7:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How are Crain's on-line subscriptions doing? It seems they switched back and forth between pay and free in the past couple of yrs.
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 2254
Registered: 09-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 8:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think Crain's is the best media outlet in Detroit. I have subscribed to it for 15 years now and can count on it for in depth and intelligent news about the core of the Detroit economy. [And this in spite of my occasional disagreement with its pro-Republican POV's. LOL].

My wife worked there for a couple of years, before leaving to work with our business, and she has nothing but praise for the labor relations and the dignity with which she and other staff was treated.

Because they do such a great job and totally own the business media niche as a result, I am confident they will thrive in the long run.
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Bshea
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Username: Bshea

Post Number: 62
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 10:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How are Crain's on-line subscriptions doing? It seems they switched back and forth between pay and free in the past couple of yrs.

I'm not the expert on this, and I don't know the online numbers. All I've ever heard is they're growing.

The site was all free for a year or so because of technical issues with software on the vendor's end, I believe. It had nothing to do with reader interest. As soon as the issue was solved, it returned to the current mixture of premium and free.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 1928
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 11:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I hope the folks running Crain's are able to convince advertisers that the readership (of the print edition) is vastly in excess of the number of copies distributed.

Everywhere I've worked my professional career in Detroit, in academia or not, there has always been a copy of Crain's every morning which got buck-slipped around the office all week. If you got to the point in the pecking order where you were reading it by lunch on Tuesday, you were doing pretty well :-)

I agree with Lowell; it is a fine publication, covering the issues within and somewhat beyond its stated niche with thoroughness and consideration. Having spent time in local politics, I can tell you not all local publications go to the same lengths to be thorough and accurate. I can't count how many times the first time I found out I had said a thing was by reading it in the suburban daily :-)

The on-line publishing is a paradigm so new that nobody has figured out how to make it work yet. The Huffington Post model (we don't pay our contributurs) only works if somebody else is paying their contributors. Google (etc.) is just an aggregator. As I have read in many places, and so can't accurately source, "information wants to be free... but rent wants to be paid."

Hopefully someone in the news media can figure this out. I like print better than on-line but I like on-line better than nothing, and if nobody is paying journalists, we will only get a certain limited kind of journalism. Imagine New York City if the only law enforcement was the Guardian Angels.

For one thing, in an age of no paid journalism, nobody would have found out about those damning text messages that were at the center of the toppling of the previous administration.

So, I hope somebody can figure this out, and in the meantime, I'm glad Crain's is chugging along.
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Bshea
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Username: Bshea

Post Number: 64
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 11:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If I figure out that revenue model for the online age, you'll be able to find me on a beach for life in somewhere warm, sunny and next to blue water.
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Bshea
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Username: Bshea

Post Number: 67
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 5:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mary Kramer updated her blog entry today to reflect confusion/errors in the Detroit News story today on the Crain's cutbacks.

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