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More changes coming to Star in wake of layoffs

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A deep round of layoffs at The Indianapolis Star is only the beginning of a major restructuring of the company's news operations, Publisher Karen Crotchfelt told IBJ in an interview Wednesday.

The newspaper on Tuesday eliminated 81 positions, 62 of which had been filled, in a move it blamed on a sluggish economic recovery and weak national advertising spending. The layoffs, which included 26 newsroom positions, were part of a purge of 700 employees by parent Gannett Co. Inc.

The next steps for the Star, which remains profitable, include reassigning several remaining staff members to an online-only operation that will double in size to 21, and refashioning the newspaper's suburban coverage, Crotchfelt said.

Most of the eight reporters who lost their jobs Tuesday covered news and sports in suburban areas. Those let go include Josh Duke, who covered Avon and Brownsburg out of the newspaper's west bureau; Melanie D. Hayes, who covered Fishers and Noblesville; Robert Annis, a government and crime reporter in the north bureau; Ted Schultz, who covered high school sports in the north suburbs; and Kevin O'Neal, a reporter in the south bureau.

Suburban coverage will get a new look by the fall, Crotchfelt said.

"We are looking at our suburban strategy in terms of number of zones and doing significant consumer research to see what people are looking for," she said. "We will have a different approach but will continue to serve those readers with the content they tell us they really want."

She declined to elaborate, citing competitive reasons.

Tuesday's layoffs also claimed 12 copy editors, including sports copy desk chief Tom Brew. The Star will not outsource copy editing, Crotchfelt said. Most stories will simply get fewer reads by an editor.

"Be prepared for even more mistakes throughout the paper," wrote Annis, the former north bureau reporter, in a post on Twitter. In another post, he implored readers to "let Gannett know how you feel about their cost-cutting. Fewer reporters = Less news reported."

Crotchfelt acknowledged there will be fewer stories but said the paper will emphasize its "watchdog coverage" and "strong voices," including columnists Matthew Tully and Erika D. Smith.

"From a newspaper standpoint, what we do best that nobody else can do is compelling, in-depth, engaging stories," Crotchfelt said. "We're going to marry that great investigative storytelling with more utility coverage like lists of things to do, serving both ends. We can do that with the staff we have."

She said the Star will go from 10 employees focused solely on digital efforts to 21, with reassignments scheduled for the next few weeks. The digital team was not spared from Tuesday's cuts: research and database editor Michael Jesse and events editor Steve Slosarek were among those laid off.

Others who were let go include fashion writer Jenny Elig, copy editor and Guild treasurer Geoff Ooley, photographer Alan Petersime, and suburban reporter Gretchen Becker. The layoffs also hit seven employees in the newspaper's advertising department.

By continuing to cut local content producers, Gannett risks devaluing its product and putting itself in a worse financial position, wrote Rick Edmonds, who researches business and journalism issues for the Poynter Institute, in a column posted Wednesday.

The elimination of so many more jobs—this is the company's fourth large round of layoffs in three years—"risks accelerating losses of print circulation and, in turn, print ad revenues," Edmonds wrote. "But all-in digital enthusiasts will say, so what, that’s not the future."

Crotchfelt called Tuesday an "extremely painful day."

"We have a lot to work through but I also believe Star Media has a really significant role in the marketplace," she said. "It's going to take some time. We've got some healing to do. But we're going to figure out how to continue to be a strong voice in this community."

The Star has 630 total employees, and another 388 who work for Gannett directly. The newsroom now has 136, down from 230 in 2007.

The local cuts were deeper than the chain's national average because other newspapers laid off more people earlier or recorded stronger ad sales, Crotchfelt said.

She said any cuts she orders are not a factor in her bonus or incentive arrangement with Gannett. The company's CEO, Craig Dubow, earned $9.4 million in 2010, including a $1.75 million bonus partly tied to his efforts at "restructuring costs and creating effeciencies."

The Indianapolis Newspaper Guild plans to review the cuts to ensure the Star followed its contract with union employees, wrote Robert King, the newspaper's religion and philanthropy reporter and the union president, on the Guild website. Represented employees were offered one week of pay for each year served.

He called on the newsroom staff members who remain to focus on telling the city's stories and to continue to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

"Despite Tuesday’s unpleasantness, despite the corporate greed that made it possible, and despite the sense of loss we all feel, our readers still depend on us to put out a newspaper," King wrote. "We do it to pay the bills, as did our friends. But mostly we do it because we feel it’s important, and because we will never concede defeat to those rat bastards at corporate headquarters."

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  • Star Negligence
    I tried reading the Star. The editorial by George Will that I was reading was not complete and the paper said the full editorial was on the web site.

    Sooo, why buy the paper ?
  • We need a local paper.
    I unsubscribed from the Star some years ago because it had become a wrapper for junk advertising filler. Now that it's in its final death throes, perhaps some local business people could put together a truly local publication to challenge the out-of-touch Gannett subsidiary.
  • Gannett Sales Rep?
    Bout time to freshen up the ol' resume....don't you think?
  • Close
    SteveR, I just found your first post. My previous post was in response to your second one. I need to set the record straight on a few things you said. In advance, no, I don't work for The Star or Gannett, but I do work with the newspaper industry very closely.

    You said:
    "As one in the advertising agency business, the Indianapolis Star ad sales team has for years (since Gannett especially) been the most difficult media to deal with in terms of getting good placement and the best bang for my clients' ad dollars. Unlike other traditional media (radio, TV, cable, print), the Star gives the best position in their paper to those who spend the most. For example, I can buy a single TV spot on WTHR news that WILL run in the news. In addition, the Star switched from circulation to impressions to justify their ad rates. That is, the # of people who read one paper vs the # of homes/business that receive the paper. This makes for confusion on the agency's part when trying to compare one media to a newspaper in terms of audience reach."

    First, as I mentioned before, the spots go to whoever is willing to pay for them. One of a TV station General Sales Manager's biggest headaches making sure all the advertisers that were bumped from their "guaranteed" spots because a better rate came in are called and taken care of. You get your spot because your agency is a bigger customer than I am and I guarantee that if push came to shove I would get bumped in favor of one of your customers because of the amount of business your agency does with the station.

    Second, newspapers are switching from circulation to readership (not impressions, that's an online term) because for decades, broadcast (radio, TV and cable) has based their rates on viewership, not just the number of TV's in a market. Switching to readership should make the comparison of reach MUCH easier for you because reach is based on the number of people who see an ad/commercial, not how many newspapers/TV's are sold.


    You said,
    "As the Star's ad sales go directly to the client and ignore their agencies, many of us don't offer newspaper media direction because 1)we cannot guarantee ad position or a better negotiated price, 2) the ad salespeople don't deliver true audience figures and 3) newspapers have never given agency commissions or discounts as do broadcast medias. There has also been an ongoing merry-go-round of ad salespeople lately that eliminates the opportunity to forge long-term relationships between the client and their agencies with the Star."

    1 - you can always negotiate price, you just might not win
    2 - for decades, newspaper numbers have been underreported compared to how broadcast reports them
    3 - all newspapers have commissionable rates for agencies. Those rates are typically 17.65% higher than working directly with the newspaper so the agency can get their 15%. Understand that as opposed to other media, newspapers are self-contained advertising organizations meaning all sales, creative, and production can be done in-house which means that for a local retailer to work with a newspaper, they don't NEED an agency. (oops, did I just say that?)


    You said,
    "Still another big reason ad agencies tend to shy away from recommending newspaper advertising is the overwhelming glut of ads in any issue. Open today's Star and every page is crammed with all sizes of ads stacked in a column or along the bottom. It's impossible to gauge the "read factor" for clients when the Star has more ads than it does editorial content."

    And you can gauge the "read factor" for broadcast? Nobody turns on the TV or the radio because they want to find a good deal on a product. They do so for entertainment purposes and the ads are a part of the "necessary evil" to enjoy it. That is not to say that broadcast commercials are not effective, but to complain about ad clutter in a newspaper when I cant watch more than 8 minutes of a program without 3-4 minutes of commercials coming on is dishonest. Newspapers (and increasingly the Internet) are the only medium that people engage because they want to see the ads. $6 million national Super Bowl ads being the exception.

    You said,
    "It's interesting to read this week's Star publisher's comments on reasons behind the firing of so many associates whose talents were essential to putting out a well researched, edited and written newspaper. She claims the Star will continue to publish compelling, in-depth, engaging stories. My question is, "Just who is going to write, edit, research and direct these stories?""

    That is a very good question and one that every publisher has to wrestle with but I invite you to compare The Star's reporting capabilities in terms of number of people with any radio or TV station in the market.
  • Close
    Any TV spot can and will be bumped if someone else is willing to pay more for it.

    When you compare prices, don't forget to factor in the production costs of your ad. The Star (and every newspaper across America) will also help you design your ad if you want at no additional charge. Stations do NOT produce your commercial for free. In fact, if you take the money you'd pour into producing a (probably really bad) commercial and apply it toward your newspaper budget, you'd get more exposure AND you'd spend enough to get on a contract through which you could buy premium positioning if you really wanted it.

    Your lame cheap commercial doesn't do so well when it airs next to a national one - if it even does. Due to the amount of money they spend, the national guys are given the PREMIUM POSITIONS during the program while the local ads are usually shown between programs when everyone is channel surfing.

    It also does not make sense for any company to give premium positioning to a retailer who is going to spend $200 with you and bump a national advertiser who is spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars from the position they want. Sorry, premium positions are premium for a reason.
    • Nonsense Stories
      Feathers in hair above the fold on the front page on Saturday and an article about a man being bitten by a kitten are just 2 examples of how The Star is flailing....remember how they tried to take away the daily prayer? We need an unbiased - occasional happy story - paper.
    • Volunteers
      Just wondering how many volunteers we could get to go door to door like the Star did, only this time to cancel subscriptions. Food for thought don't you think.
    • 2 days + WSJ
      We went to the Thursday-Sunday option and added the Wall Street Journal for National and Int'l coverage. Though conservative the WSJ is very thought provoking. We got tired of reading about drive-by shootings, the Pacers and similar.
      • Ridiculous
        Some of the comments on here are simply outrageous and really serve to highlight the authors' ignorance about newspapers, journalism, America and more.

        As far as Gannetta and The Star go, I'd like to see a necrology of sorts that accurately reports the number of small, independently owned, community newspapers to which these behemoths have laid waste. There was once a nice crop of small weeklies and some dailies in Indianapolis and its outlying areas. But Gannett has systematically decimated these publications, purchasing them then shuttering them and, in the process, weakening American communities and eroding a key foundation of democracy.

        The only thing more sad is American citizens' utter apathy and their tawdry participation in the ongoing popularity contest this country has become.
      • I feel the pain
        It is just appalling to see how far Gannett is willing to go to kill newspapers. I used to work for the Gannett Muncie paper as a copy editor when they laid me off two years ago. They said they didn't need a fulltime copy editor. Yeah, right. You should see the errors and sloppy reporting that has persisted since then. They are now going to outsource their page design to a central location in Louisville. What kind of moronic common sense is that? How are they going to know about local names and spellings of streets and people? It is true what people say about big business. Gannett is the largest publisher in the U.S., but has the worst quality of newspaper and customer service. The delivery of my paper is a joke also because the circulation people are also outsourced to a central location. For a few examples, they started using a competitor, the New Castle Courier-Times, to deliver The Star Press. I didn't get my paper for the first two weeks of the changeover. This week, I started getting the Courier delivered every other day instead of the one I was paying for. Gannett is just like Walmart. When Sam Walton died, so did the customer service and his focus on serving only the customer. Craig Dubow is nothing but a gluttonous, greedy blankety blank who is ruining the institution of newspapers, just as big corporations are ruining everything else in this country. You only need to look to outsourcing customer service to India and trying to have a conversation with them when you have a problem. The customer is now last, and the greed is now first.
      • Alternative
        We have two locally owned papers. Nuvo and IBJ, maybe time fro one to go daily (five per week)
      • Star
        Too bad Bob Kravitz didn't get let go. That guy and the sports section are an absolute joke. Too bad for Indianapolis, great city with a worthless newspaper.
      • mispellings etc are already atrocius
        Yes, the misspellings, etc., certainly are atrocious.
      • not so simple
        People who miss the pre-Gannett days of The Indianapolis Star are not missing right-wing politics, we miss local ownership. For readers in the 1990s, for example, that meant at least an investment in reporters and editors who covered the city, cared about the city, and paid attention to its past and future. Editors, and page designers working on local copy from an office in Kentucky doesn't work. And making fiscal decisions based on an executive's compensation formula from his office near Washington D.C. is simply greed.
      • Erika Smith Not even close
        She is the farthest thing from a journalist...whole-heartedly biased and more like affirmative action at work. Every article she writes goes something like....minority, poor people, raise taxes, discrimination, life's unfair, tax money for some public welfare project.....rinse and repeat.

        She is the largest contributor to making the "fallen STAR" a rag of a paper. Seeing her picture on the main page gives me a gag reflex and makes me want to go to another website.
      • Seriously??
        My guess is that those who miss the OLD Star - you know - before they covered Gay people and icky stuff like that - actually really miss the Pulliam Family and their far-right John Birch take on the news. At least Gannett recognized what Century we are in!
        • Sad... but true
          The Star better turn around quick. I give the print version maybe 5 more years. Not much longer for the really sad online substitute. Both are a "falling" Star.
        • Slow death
          It appears to me that for the past few years we have and are witnessing the slow death of the Star. A $ .25 increase in the Sunday paper for a TV Guide is insult to injury.
        • Suggestion to the Star
          If you would lay off Dan carpenter, I would try a subscription again.
        • worthless paper
          good ridence, the star, should start over, worst paper in the continental US.
        • Newspaper Death
          Sad to hear that they let a veteran of the Indy news game like Kevin O'Neal hit the bricks. I enjoyed reading his crime stores. He was in the vein of Paul Bird and Mac Trussnic. He will be missed.
        • Good riddance
          Robert Annis was awful. Would only cover Zionsville. He didn't know any other cities (Lebanon, Thorntown, Jamestown, Advance existed in Boone County. Worthless for getting any news other than Zville's problems.
        • TV Guide
          I agree with most of the comments on the Star being a liberal, horrid paper. Right in the heart of America they continue to insult us with their liberal opinions and disgrace God on the front page by blaming Him for the weather! Now, to top it off, they want me to pay an extra $0.25 per week to get a glorified TV guide, when you can get one free through your cable company!! They must really be hard up by trying to bilk the customers for that...but I guess they want to keep that CEO fat and worthless. Why doesn't he take some leadership and stop this nonsense?? I am seriosly thinking about dropping....I've subscribed for over 25 years!!
        • Worthless Paper
          I subscribed to the Indianpolis Star for more than 40 years. I stopped about 2 years ago. The size, content are terrible and it is hard to beleive that they are able to attract any advertisers. I was hooked on the paper for most of those years, but now, by the time I receive what little content there is, it is, just old new. Thank goodness for the internet.
        • Too Liberal !!!
          The posters on this board were right regarding Erica Smith. The star is no longer in touch with the people of Indiana.We kept it for the ad delivery,only. They quit having a business section a long time ago,now charging for the TV section.After 65 years,it time for my family to move on. It is a shame the Indianapolis area readers have been served by this kind of trash reporting.
        • from 7 days to 2-then I read very little of those 2 days
          One, the newspaper is so dirty with ink all over everything.

          Two, I can get much better National and World coverage on the NET-usually the Washington Post.

          Three, Most of the local coverage is about killings, muggings, and it is as if they seldom look for good things. Check the police blotter and forget, I guess.

          I just next to never open the Thursday paper, and on Sundays-I throw out all the ads (unless I am looking for something specific at a store close to me). I look at the local/social that is happening around town, the editoral page for Letters to the Editor, the house of the week, and a few other odds and end.

          The paper is not worth paying for. I pull it up on the NET and look to see if anything catches my eye....not much does.


        • Ludicrous
          I believe there is already a typo in this first of statements - can we deduct a million in salary for every error? "....She said any cuts she orders are not a factor in her bonus or incentive arrangement with Gannett. The company's CEO, Craig Dubow, earned $9.4 million in 2010, including a $1.75 million bonus partly tied to his efforts at "restructuring costs and creating effeciencies."
          Perhaps a good time for a competitor to challenge the Star with a quality newspaper that the community will support. Too bad good journalism has taken a back seat to copying newsbites off the internet.
        • TV vs Newspaper ad pricing
          David asks a good question which indicated I didn't fully explain the difference between buying TV and buying newspaper ad space.

          A single spot on say WTHR news costs X. Regardless of their size and budget, any advertiser can buy that spot for the going rate (based on viewers/ratings) and be guaranteed their TV spot will run in the WTHR news.

          A smaller budget advertiser cannot buy an ad of any size and have it guaranteed to be placed in the first 2-3 pages (called Far Forward)of the Indianapolis Star.

          The Star makes no promises and you are basically at the mercy of their layout people where your ad is placed in that issue. Smaller ads are usually stacked upon each other.

          The more column inches of ads you contract for in the Star, the lower your overall per inch ad rate will be. If you don't have a contract (a promise to place X amount of ads over a time period), you not only pay a higher rate, you also will not be given premium placement. Thus, you cannot get your ad in the front of the Star unless you commit to a large contract.

          This isn't so with local TV. You can buy a single TV spot in any show at the going rate and be guaranteed it will run in that show.

          There are "low ball" TV spot rates available where you gamble and bid a lower cost for a spot but will be bumped if someone wants to pay a higher cost for that slot. But this practice is usually done by mass marketeers looking to bottom feed on unwanted TV spot inventory.

          Adding to the difficulty is the Star's sales staff inflexible stance of never giving the smaller ad budget clients a break with better placement or a lower price. If you don't sign a big contract you're not going to get good placement.

          Sounds crazy I know. But this is the way of newspaper ad sales and a big reason local clients tend to look at running an ad in the Star as a hit or more than likely miss proposition.
          • Agreed
            I have had that problem as well. Now that there are fewer of them, it probably won't get better.
          • Agreed
            I've heard similar concerns from others in advertising. The statement "merry go round of ad salespeople" points to either bad management or structural problems. Either way, they can't seem to keep good people.

            I am curious how ad pricing on television is different than the Star: at first blush, it makes sense that the advertiser who paid the most would get the best spot. But I'm not in advertising, so I'm sure there's more to it than this.
            • Numbers game
              When I worked for General Motors, a crafty accountant named Roger Smith became the executive Vice President...among other things, he changed the way GM depreciated assets, which led to a paper savings (some might have called it "cooking the books") in the 100's of millions $$$. Soon after, he announced receipt of a record bonus on the same day he announced the closing of 11 GM plants, including the one in Flint that inspired Michael Moore to immortalize the story in "Roger and Me"...a scent of deja vu to this story, except if the newspapers and news sources are being corporatized, the result is...well, no one who wants to keep his or her job is going to be ferreting out corruption, or doing exposes on advertizers. Perhaps it is time to bury the Star...it is a pitiful and neutered version of what it once was. I encourage the readership to send a message to the CEO with the fat wallet and his bag woman oft quoted in this article by cancelling their subscription.
            • Nothing
              In my humble opinion the Star is nothing more than an advertising vehicle. Investigative journalism? Hah. They cannot afford to make anybody mad that might cut back on advertising so you are never going to see anything of substance in the paper. e.g. What goes on in Carmel's government could have made for a series of great stories but nada, zilch. Carmel spends too much money advertising all of their government functions in the paper and on the Star's website.

              It's all very sad really.

              At least IBJ now has one of the best young reporters that recently worked at the Star.
            • Erica Smith, staying? A big disappointment!
              I enjoy reading a newspaper more than following the news on the internet. Also hate to see so many good employees dismissed by number counters who at the same time ignore the heafty CEO salaries and delivering a product worth paying for. More than once I have almost cancelled because of the BIASED articles by Erica Smith. "In-Depth" Reporting??? She no way comes close to the caliber of Matthew Tully!! As for the local section, not much concern has been given to the readers location. My section contains the Lawrence news. I am located Far North Indianapolis adjacent to the Hamilton/Boone county lines so it is useless to me.
            • Media Monopolies vs. Good Journalism
              Granted, the economy and the Internet can be blamed for some of the issues, but Gannett has always had a reputation for mediocrity. Good writing and dedicated journalists (like Josh Duke) who are passionate about a free press, are being chewed up by the corporate beast. These media monopolies threaten the very spirit of the First Amendment while decreasing the competition that made journalism an exciting and honorable profession.
            • Time for a change
              After reading this article, I logged in to stop the online payment for my subscription but I was too late. Guess I will have to wait six months, but with the decreasing value of the content over the past few years, I anticipate it will not improve over the next six months. And if not, I will stop my decades long subscription then.
            • Can I just get the coupons?
              The Star remains profitable, yet sees the need to send dozens of people to the unemployment line? Is there any reason other than corporate greed? I've always liked getting a paper every day, but I think Thursday & Sunday will probably be enough from now on, until I cancel completely. I've already resented paying to help keep the online version free to anyone, so this might just put me over the edge.
            • Maybe Now's The Time
              ---for someone to start a local paper in Indianapolis. Is there any way to make a daily paper work in this market?
            • Sad day
              The paper has not been the same since it was purchased by Gannett-and not in a good way. Local coverage is minimal, advice columns are arbitrarily shortened, and most news is fed from USA Today, a totally useless paper for local coverage. I long for the days of The News and the Star when there was enough
              competition that we got total in depth coverage, expose type stories to keep the politicans and criminals in line. Even Star Talk, the column that did get results in many local cases was dropped-I guess it couldn't be managed just be sitting behind a computer. Now there will be less editing-the mispellings etc are already atrocius. If you want a tv section, it is now an additional charge-and they wonder why subscriptions are harder to come by????
              • no more gorilla
                The level of editorial content of The Star has dropped dramatically over the last 10 years. That's one of the reasons that much fewer people subscribe. If you want to read a Gannett paper that still has s good amount of content every day, read USA Today, and even they have cut back a bit as well. Papers like The Star at one time the sucked up the majority of local ad dollars. It sounds like they may still be treating some ad agencies and customers as if they were still the 1000 pound gorilla in the ad market, when in fact nowdays they are a small chimp. Meanwhile Gannett's CEO gets a $1.75 million bonus.
              • Bah.
                Cutting local content? How about increasing it, that's a major reason for reading a LOCAL paper. Especially since there are far better sources for in-depth coverage of anything going on outside of central Indiana
              • Just what we wanted
                In the not too distant future, we'll be asked to subscribe to USA Today with an Indianapolis Star section. And Crotchfelt and Ryerson will be telling us that this is what we wanted.
              • Article about the Indy Star
                Interesting, but sad, development
              • Increasing liberal bias
                For years now, the Indianapolis Star has not been representative of this community as a whole. The recent coverage of the gay pride event is an example of how out of touch with most Hoosiers that the paper has become. Now it looks as though with these layoffs it has only increased that slant with the people that were kept on staff. The choices that Gannett has made in the past few years in relation to this paper, are only leading to its further demise in Indianapolis.
                • Losing more readers
                  One of the only reasons we continue to subscribe to the Star AT ALL is because of the once-a-week suburban section. We used to be 7-days subscribers and have pared down to Thursday-Sunday. I rarely even read the paper anymore, except for the Fishers section we receive on Thursdays. If they continue to shrink that coverage, which looks apparent since they severed our zone editor, we will drop our subscription.
                  My husband and I were just reminiscing about how excited we were as a young married couple when we finally had enough money to start getting the paper every day. That was a big milestone for us. Now I hardly see ANY value for the money we are paying. Sad to see big business once again ruin an institution.
                • Erika Smith is an in-depth reporter?
                  It is sad to see what has happened to the Star that I once proudly delivered as a boy and have been reading everyday for the past 45+ years. Have been seriously debating dropping my subscription in my current efforts at "restructuring costs and creating effeciencies." Blah, blah, blah ....
                • Awful Paper
                  The Star has gotten really bad in the last few years - Gannett has killed it now. The Metro/State section is a joke. 1-1/2 pages of "stories" 3-4 pages of obits(translated"paying customers" and another 2 of public notices. If it weren't for the puzzles that my husband does every day, I'd drop my subscription. Now it's bound to get even worse and I don't want to read the newsPAPER on-line. Wonder if they let go of the person who changes tha valuable Super Bowl Countdown Calendar?
                • Star ad revenues down for a simple reason
                  As one in the advertising agency business, the Indianapolis Star ad sales team has for years (since Gannett especially) been the most difficult media to deal with in terms of getting good placement and the best bang for my clients' ad dollars. Unlike other traditional media (radio, TV, cable, print), the Star gives the best position in their paper to those who spend the most. For example, I can buy a single TV spot on WTHR news that WILL run in the news. In addition, the Star switched from circulation to impressions to justify their ad rates. That is, the # of people who read one paper vs the # of homes/business that receive the paper. This makes for confusion on the agency's part when trying to compare one media to a newspaper in terms of audience reach.

                  As the Star's ad sales go directly to the client and ignore their agencies, many of us don't offer newspaper media direction because 1)we cannot guarantee ad position or a better negotiated price, 2) the ad salespeople don't deliver true audience figures and 3) newspapers have never given agency commissions or discounts as do broadcast medias. There has also been an ongoing merry-go-round of ad salespeople lately that eliminates the opportunity to forge long-term relationships between the client and their agencies with the Star.

                  Still another big reason ad agencies tend to shy away from recommending newspaper advertising is the overwhelming glut of ads in any issue. Open today's Star and every page is crammed with all sizes of ads stacked in a column or along the bottom. It's impossible to gauge the "read factor" for clients when the Star has more ads than it does editorial content.

                  It's interesting to read this week's Star publisher's comments on reasons behind the firing of so many associates whose talents were essential to putting out a well researched, edited and written newspaper. She claims the Star will continue to publish compelling, in-depth, engaging stories. My question is, "Just who is going to write, edit, research and direct these stories?"
                  • More changes
                    ". . . Gannett risks devaluing its product . . ."

                    Risks? How much more can the "product" be devalued?

                    All the changes to date have been negative to readers.

                    What is needed are positive changes, to encourage people to want to buy the "product." Any positive change (even one) would be welcome.
                  • Useless paper
                    And they laid off my friend, Michael Jesse! Anything further I say will be deleted.
                  • Sales reps and calls
                    Perhaps if the Star's sales reps would return phone calls in a timely fashion, if all, they wouldn't have revenue problems.
                    • Indianapolis Star
                      Erika Smith is an in-depth reporter? Just last year she was roaming around town riding buses for no apparent reason. What Indianapolis does not need are more USA Today stories that have nothing to do with Indianapolis. Give us local stories!!
                    • I miss local reporting
                      I've subscribed to the local daily newspaper wherever I lived for more than 30 years, but earlier this year I cancelled my subscription to the Star because there just wasn't enough local coverage to be worth the money I was spending on it. I read the newspaper primarily for local news -- I can get the national news online. I hope someday someone who cares about Indianapolis starts a newspaper here that truly reflects this community. The Star was never the same after Gannett took over. My heart goes out to the reporters and other employees who lost their jobs -- your efforts were appreciated!
                    • Explain to me
                      Can someone please explain to me why the CEO would get a bonus, much less $1.75 million, to lay off people. And I understand his salary doubled last year!!! How many of those layoffs could have been averted had the corporate management theft not taken place? How much more evidence does middle class America need to understand that corporations are NOT YOUR FRIEND?
                    • Useless paper
                      For the last couple years, I have been asking myself why I subscribe to this paper. They have no opinion pages, no business reporting (why I subscribe to IBJ), very little in it worth reading, but it does have coupons. I do it for nostalgia purposes because I like newspapers and have had one delivered for most of my adult life. But this paper is just useless and appears to be getting worse.
                    • goindy
                      Sad, sad, sad. And just when you thought the Star couldn't get any worse. We need more hard, local news, not long-winded articles in several parts aiming for awards. And we do not need more "strong voices" and blah, blah, blah commentary. I can visit a blog for that, and I skip right over the Star's efforts to make pundits out of former reporters. You reported six months ago on the Star's new publisher (thanks for having reporters, BTW):“I think it’s actually a great time for locally based media companies,” Crotchfelt said. “I’m bullish on the future of local media.” Honeymoon's over.

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                    1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

                    2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

                    3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

                    4. Exciting times in Carmel.

                    5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

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