Seattle Times

  www.seattletimescompany.com
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Seattle Times Reviews

Updated Jun 20, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 69 reviews

63% Approve of the CEO

Seattle Times Publisher and CEO Frank A. Blethen

Frank A. Blethen

(38 ratings)

39% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Employee benefits and work/life balance are good(in 6 reviews)

  • paid well, good people, interesting business(in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Newspaper industry is facing tough times(in 6 reviews)

  • The business model is broken, and has been broken for many years(in 4 reviews)

19 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    Good company

    IT Manager (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    Prospaid well, good people, interesting business

    Consindustry is dying, profits are down

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great paper, not so great employer

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsIt's a great daily newspaper and an excellent product

    ConsThe business model is broken, and has been broken for many years. Little feedback is requested or considered from current employees and support staff, and recent management decisions have left little confidence in the paper's future.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart listening to your support staff instead of eliminating them and hiring management teams with no plans.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Limited future

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsWorthwhile community-focused values and mission.

    ConsInnovation is hampered by roadblocks and politics.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    It's winding down quickly

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsIt is not a cut throat culture. Think the movie "Wall Street" and take the opposite and that is much of how the culture is at The Times. Currently, the health care benefits are really good. As a category (news), it felt good to be contributing to that effort.

    ConsPoor leadership... risk averse... still living in 1985 in how they (leadership) thinks they are perceived by both the community and the advertisers... comp is not competitive... Having more than two years of "Seattle Times" on your resume isn't considered positive with many employers... Unless you NEED a job today, don't send a resume.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf Frank wants to set up the Times for the 25 years after he retires, he will hire outside the newspaper industry to make the difficult decisions he has been unwilling to do to reshape the company. If not, just sell to McClatchy and let them straighten things out.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    1 person found this helpful  

    Lacks integrity

    Account Executive (Former Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsThe people I worked with were awesome. I have made some great lifelong friends at the Times. Convenient location, close to bus lines. Brand recognition.

    ConsRather than venting about everything I didn't like about this job, I'll say that overall the Seattle Times lacks integrity in relation to their employees. I worked here twice---two years the first time, then I moved out of state to care for family members. When offered the sales position, I was told that I could easily make the money I was looking for. A few days into the job, I learned that it wasn't even possible to make that amount because of caps on commission. When I left, they tried to deny my unemployment, which I appealed and won.

    A few years later, I came back for a temporary position that was supposed to turn permanent. When the permanent position became available, I was told that although I was meeting my goals and was a great contributor, they were not offering me the position because I have a foster child with special needs and I took too much time off for my child's doctors appointments. How much time is "too much" you ask? Once a month I had to take off an hour or two early to take him to the doctor. I always made up my time and finished my work, yet although several others required special accommodations, the one accommodation I needed "didn't jive well with their busy call center environment"...by busy they meant about 20 calls a week between 6 account reps. They actually told me that FMLA doesn't apply to my family...doesn't the "F" stand for "Family"? So, they won't employ a foster parent who cares for special needs children, but they sure will boast about their donations to their Fund for the Needy.

    There are so many issues in this organization--micromanaging, managers who won't listen to employees' ideas yet blame those same employees for the failures of the organization, it takes forever to get promoted or move to another position within the company, management spends lots on money on band aid solutions that don't work, but will not even consider long term proven solutions if they cost money. While I was there the second time, they hired a "consultant" that had just been terminated by another failing paper, to come in and consult on how to get more business. Her consulting consisted of taking some of our ideas and relaying them to management. They spent money on this! Yet when I actually researched what other successful and GROWING papers were doing and made suggestions based on what they were doing, my ideas were laughed at.

    Ah well, so Seattle Times is not the employer for me.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHire your managers based on their qualifications and expertise, not based on who they are friends with. Listen to your employees and trust that sometimes they know what will work better than upper management does. Stand behind your word.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Would not recommend

    Account Executive (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsThe benefits are pretty good, and they provide you with tools, ie, laptops, ipads, etc to do your job. Flexibility to work out of the office

    ConsNot a forward thinking company. Not a good place to work if you are an innovator or want to embrace the new digital age.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet on the same page with each other and cut dead weight.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Print heavy needing to move to digital

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsNice people in most work groups.

    ConsTheir business model is based in the last century.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLooked bad when you laid people off the same time you bought a new porche. But hey it is your money.

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Looks good on the resume, but not a place to grow in one's career

    Marketing (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsGreat work-life balance - especially if you are an affiliated employee (part of the Newspaper Guild). Managers can be very fair and even inspiring, depending on the unit you are in.
    If you're upper-level management, pay and benefits are probably decent for the hours you put in.

    The company stands behind its journalistic mission and does not compromise on that. It is very well-respected for its ethical journalism covering local news and the economy, and for that reason employees are proud to stand behind the brand.

    ConsPoor communication between departments. Circulation, online operations, advertising and marketing operate largely in silos. Perhaps a big part of it comes from not wanting to disturb "comfort zones" by doing things differently or gaining exposed to new ideas. Process improvement suggestions are slow (if not impossible) to assimilate.

    Uncertain financial future for the newspaper industry and for the company overall means that few opportunities are created for associate or assistant-level employees to move up the ladder. This is also true for middle managers reaching director-level status.

    As of right now, there's a significant lack of competent, "get-it-done" leaders who have the people skills needed to motivate their teams in some of the units. This is de-motivating to say the least, and has led to significant turnover. Having a top-down approach to every aspect of the business also contributes to employee dissatisfaction.

    Digital news operations face an uncertain future... the landscape changes much faster than the company is able to keep up, largely because of deprioritization and "analysis paralysis."

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe as forthcoming and transparent as possible about what is going on in the company - you'll gain the respect of your teams when you do.

    On innovation: Don't allow yourselves to be crippled by the thought of failure - a small investment can go a long way when it comes to digital business models, and you won't have far to fall if you do fail. Treat every experience as a learning opportunity. When in doubt, test and iterate...

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Talented passionate people work here, but it is difficult for new people to acclimate

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsThe people that work at the times are very passionate about serving the public and bringing issues to light that the public should be aware of.

    ConsThey don't promote information/education sharing among co-workers to grow the teams collective knowledge base. It is also difficult for new people to become part of the work community since most people have worked here for many years.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt is time to embrace new ideas and merge them with the traditional approach you've taken. If we don't change we will become extinct.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Do it only because you love putting out a paper.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsYou truly do help keep that 4th branch of government running. The worker bees really love each other and want to do a good job.

    ConsIt's a rough time to work in print. Many of the great benefits that have drawn solid talent to the company have dwindled away.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere is a ridiculous amount of management compared to non-management at The Times. Redundant managers while good lower level people that do the grunt work get fired. The system has become excessively report and meeting heavy, probably because people want to know where the money is going. Also, the prices of advertising are going up as demand goes down. This is a failing economic model.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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