Good Morning. For the next few days I'll be continuing to post documents and interviews relevant to the discussion over Gannett's plans to reorganize its newsrooms into "information centers." I'm going to start off by posting CEO Craig Dubow's memo that was sent to Gannett staffers late Thursday:
From: A message from Craig Dubow
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 5:16 PM
Subject: Information Center
I'd like to talk about a Gannett innovation called the Information Center. It's being launched now in some locations around the company, and plans are being made to broaden that rollout across Gannett.
What is it? The Information Center is a way to gather and disseminate news and information across all platforms, 24/7. The Information Center will let us gather the very local news and information that customers want, then distribute it when, where and how our customers seek it. It is the essence of our Vision and Mission and a key element of our Strategic Plan.
The Information Center, frankly, is the newsroom of the future. It will fulfill today's needs for a more flexible, broader-based approach to the information gathering process. And it will be platform agnostic: News and information will be delivered to the right media - be it newspapers, online, mobile, video or ones not yet invented - at the right time. Our customers will decide which they prefer.
Plans for the Information Center have been nurtured and developed in the Newspaper Division over the past several months. Pilot projects took place in 11 locations. Three - Des Moines, Sioux Falls and Brevard - were full scale implementations of an Information Center while other sites tested different aspects of information gathering such as crowd sourcing and multimedia.
What they found is remarkable: Breaking news on the Web and updating for the newspaper draws more people to both those media. Asking the community for help, gets it - and delivers the newspaper into the heart of community conversations once again. Rich and deep databases with local, local information gathered efficiently are central to the whole process. The changes impact all media, and the public has approved. Results include stronger newspapers, more popular Web sites and more opportunities to attract the customers advertisers want.
Editors who met at our headquarters in October were given the details of how to make it happen, and were asked to submit plans by December for converting their newsrooms. Sue Clark-Johnson and her team, including Jennifer Carroll, Michael Maness, moved mountains to make the Information Center concept real, test it and roll it out to editors in a matter of months. They deserve our gratitude.
There is much more, of course, to come as we make these changes. Linking advertising with this new effort is key and you will be hearing more about that in the coming weeks. Simply, appealing to more and different readers helps bring us more and different advertisers. A key facet of the Information Center is understanding our customers in ways we never have before - and that will help our advertisers reach the people they need.
Implementing the Center across Gannett quickly is essential. Our industry is changing in ways that create great opportunity for Gannett. Innovations such as the Information Center are one way we are meeting the challenge and implementing our strategic plan.
Essential to the success of our plan is your support. We will do a company-wide audiocast on the Information Center in mid-November to explain more about how it will work. You can read more about the Information Center right now at http://gannett.gci/infocenter.
Let me close by saying I truly believe the Information Center will transform our industry. I am proud Gannett is leading the way.
Thank you and keep in touch.