Alabama Media Group Reviews

Updated March 19, 2015
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  1. It was pure chaos during my employment there.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Media Sales in Birmingham, AL
    Former Employee - Media Sales in Birmingham, AL

    I worked at Alabama Media Group

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Overall, the benefits package was decent, although they converted to a new VERY high deductible health insurance plan in 2013. There are some nice perks, because they sponsor local events, you frequently have the opportunity to attend interesting shows, events, programs. Alabama Media Group is made up of The Birmingham News on the legacy print side, and AL.com on the digital media side. You will have the opportunity to work with many different businesses (depending upon what sales group you are hired in to) and will sell both print and digital advertising.

    Cons

    Because of the dwindling importance of newsprint, newspapers around the country are all frantically trying to figure out how to keep as many of their current advertisers from discontinuing their ads in the paper. Alabama Media Group is no different. The Birmingham News merged with their sister company, AL.com, in late 2012 to try and give their advertisers another medium to advertise in, without 'jumping ship' to a competitor digital site.
    It can be very difficult to get an existing advertiser who is ready to discontinue advertising in the paper, to agree to not leave, and move their advertising to the digital side of the business.
    Their business processes can be extremely convoluted, and for most of the time that I was employed there, they lost more employees than they hired! (They had a very large 'reduction in force' when they merged the two companies). They have sold their beautiful, 3-story, relatively new 'class-A' headquarters, and drastically downsized to a much smaller, much older renovated warehouse in a dumpy part of town (very close to a homeless shelter or mission, with lots of panhandlers roaming the streets around it!) I would conservatively estimate that 65 to 70% of the people I worked with only two years ago, are no longer employed there!

    Advice to Management

    Give the sales managers much more training on how to 'lead' and 'manage' their sales teams.

  2. False salary promises, suffocating micromanagement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Alabama Media Group full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Genuine camaraderie amongst coworkers trying to help each other weather the storm, highly knowledgeable digital experts in some positions.

    Cons

    Upper management, titles and job descriptions change daily. Goals for salespeople are not ready at the start of the month, are changed mid month, and are almost never met. What you are given as your commission potential will never materialize and if it does once, the structure will be changed before it can happen again. If you are the breadwinner in your family, you absolutely cannot depend on this job to support you. Commission"guarantees" will be provided for a new employee and every few months when the company has yet another structure shift, but they will be only a percentage of your full commission. Sadly, the company seems to have perfected a method for guaranteeing sales staff never gets paid what they were promised at hire.

    The level of micromanagement is a study in how to demoralize employees and run a company into the ground. The desperate financial situation of the company is evident as management pushes deals that aren't ripe for close, monitors every minute of the salesperson's day, and questions each and every move the employee makes. There is zero autonomy and zero trust in even a seasoned salesperson's ability to function. There is a clear closed door policy: your views on how to make things better are not welcome no matter how many years experience you have. The shady practice of management encouraging input serves only to root out "troublemakers" and those who think for themselves.

    Advice to Management

    This company desperately needs overhaul by an entity completely outside of its own walls. Bring upper management in from a successful media organization not from within the Advance Publications realm, if they'll come. The company is in such disastrous shape, those inside can't see the forest for the trees.

  3. Helpful (1)

    So much potential, but held back by upper management..

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales in Birmingham, AL
    Former Employee - Sales in Birmingham, AL

    I worked at Alabama Media Group full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    AMG consists of many employees who want to believe in what they are doing...people who want to do something great and make a difference in the community. There are people there who you are proud to know and work alongside.

    Cons

    The senior leadership team at AMG seems lost. Every 90 days, it feels like a new "Hail Mary" attempt to right the ship in terms of what the go-to-market strategy is. As such, morale and overall buy-in by those mentioned above is consistently low. There is an absence of employee development, whether it be developing a new account executive, account manager, and otherwise...or a team manager who maybe has no previous experience in management. As such, it just further adds to what's wrong at AMG, making things even worse. There are people employed by AMG today that are capable of making the company great; the problem is that the people that could do something about it will never let that happen.

    Advice to Management

    Engage with your people; learn first-hand what they are capable of doing that will make AMG a better company. Listen; there are so many people that have something valuable to say that easily change how they feel about their job. Invest in your employees; provide resources and tools and processes that will allow them to develop and grow with your company. And don't roll out the next go-to-market strategy until it has been fully "baked"; creating the title, putting a person in the role, and telling them that "we will figure it out" does not instill confidence that you are heading in the right direction.

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  5. Emotional Roller Coaster sums it up!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Mobile, AL
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Mobile, AL

    I worked at Alabama Media Group full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Coworkers were fun to hang with and were more helpful than anyone else there.

    Cons

    The company is in total disarray. Training was horrible and unorganized like the rest of the company.
    Constant changes in upper management and none of them knew what they were doing either.
    Was micro-managed to death!

    Advice to Management

    Other than my immediate supervisor, they all lacked in personal skills and overall ability to steer the company in the right direction. Get a full time person to train your sales rep's from day one.

  6. Good Products, Terrible Execution

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Birmingham, AL
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Birmingham, AL

    I worked at Alabama Media Group full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Powerful website. It is a great source for news and tremendous analytics. Great training!

    Cons

    The internal processes are a mess. Campaigns were frequently set up incorrectly and it was extremely difficult to get the corrections made. Billing was wrong constantly. Prospecting could be difficult because there was so much turnover and clients were frustrated by constant new faces. You had to earn respect and trust back for the company constantly. Sales staff was micromanaged in a ridiculous way but other departments were left ignored. Problems were not addressed and if they were brought up, you were basically argued with because management looked at that as you making excuses and wouldn't acknowledge issues.

    Advice to Management

    Open you eyes to the problems. Acknowledge them and address them. Hire top quality sales people by being a top quality company and paying top quality commissions. OR, hire recent college grads that don't know any better.

  7. Helpful (1)

    Ficticious promises followed by unethical commitments.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Birmingham, AL
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Birmingham, AL

    I worked at Alabama Media Group full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    My coworkers were all wonderful and pleasant. We had great times.

    Cons

    The promise from the interviews and offer for employment are all false. Whatever they say, even getting it in writing won't help. I was lead to believe my job was VERY different and exciting only to find out it was beyond difficult and shady. Your commissions are a bunch of BULL. They change your "goal" on you middle of the month of just whenever they feel like and rarely even give you your "goal" period. Doesn't matter what you sell, if you don't perform at their unrealistic expectation you don't get paid at all. You do a lot of other tasks that should belong to other departments as well. And you also don't get paid on those.

    Advice to Management

    Rework your entire business practice. Follow through on your promises. Be more helpful and less shady to your employees.

  8. Helpful (2)

    Working at Alabama Media Group was an emotional roller coaster.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Alabama Media Group full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The very best thing about the company, when I was employed there, were the people.

    Cons

    It is a company that lacks direction and strong management. It is very micro-managed. It is a shame that two great companies have been run into the ground to establish this new one.

    Advice to Management

    Get back to the basics. Trust in the people that you hire. Set realistic goals.

  9. Nothing left but a ravaged shell of a formerly great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Birmingham, AL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Birmingham, AL

    I worked at Alabama Media Group full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    You'll get to put on your resumé that you worked on the latest experiment in journalism.

    Cons

    You'll get to put on your resumé that you worked on the latest experiment in journalism just before it went under.

    Long hours, little to no editing of stories, VERY hands-on, overbearing management who like to micromanage. It's a struggling company with a very cloudy future due to both internal and external forces. Don't expect promotions, constructive feedback, salary raises or appreciation for you hard work.

    If you still want a job here, be sure to get all their promises in writing, then have them notarized and send copies to your lawyer. You'll still get screwed over, but at least you'll have something nice to remind you of what you thought you were getting.

    Advice to Management

    Leave your employees alone. Let them do the jobs they were hired for. Invest in your employees with training, bonuses and respect.

    Lose the transparently stupid "ice cream parties" for a job well done. Instead spend that $10 buying better ink pens that work.

    Look to the future of journalism, do your best to plan for that vision and STICK TO IT. Nobody knows exactly what will happen, but changing plans multiple times midstream will eventually fail.

    Lastly, HIRE SOME FREAKIN' EDITORS for Christ sake. If you can't put out a product people want, you'll continue cutting employees until there really is nothing left.

  10. Helpful (1)

    A publisher trying to turn the page

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director, Search Product Specialist in Birmingham, AL
    Current Employee - Director, Search Product Specialist in Birmingham, AL

    I have been working at Alabama Media Group full-time (more than a year)

    Negative Outlook
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Plenty of resources for a sales team
    AMG is fundamental to the state of Alabama and that presence gives advantages from a sales perspective
    Parent company (Advance Digital) believes in a digital first strategy

    Cons

    Like all in the publishing industry right now, numerous issues with trying to find a new market for their digital products.

    Advice to Management

    To turn the page, focus as many resources on product quality in your digital products as you do in your print ones.

  11. Helpful (2)

    Joined in a transitional period, in a word, it was odd.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mobile, AL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Mobile, AL

    I worked at Alabama Media Group full-time (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Extremely forward thinking company, the people that didn't leave every other week were all incredibly pleasant to speak with.

    Cons

    High stress sales environment; I wouldn't recommend joining their sales staff unless you already have a background in sales. The people that I was told would be there to assist me grow as a "sales" person simply weren't there.

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