Capital Newspapers
2.9 of 5 9 reviews
www.madison.com Madison, WI 500 to 999 Employees

Capital Newspapers Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2014

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2.9 9 reviews

                             

17% Approve of the CEO

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William K Johnston

(6 ratings)

43% of employees recommend this company to a friend
9 Employee Reviews
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Reporter

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Capital Newspapers full-time

ProsInteresting work and a friendly environment

ConsIndustry is not doing well

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great Job....Horrible Pay

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Madison, WI

I worked at Capital Newspapers full-time for more than a year

ProsIt was nice having a flexible Schedule, getting free suite tickets to the Kohl Center was a nice bonus. Very nice co-workers.

ConsNo formal training program in place. It's a revolving door with sales reps. No growth opportunities and veteran employees get all the leads. Incentive prizes not given fairly.. all reps that make the incentive are put into a drawing instead of top reps getting the bonus.

Advice to Senior ManagementIn order to attract and retain top talent increase salaries and commission structure.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Very laid back

Mobile Developer (Current Employee)
Madison, WI

I have been working at Capital Newspapers full-time for more than a year

Pros+Flex time, and overall scheduling
+Good pay and benefits, no complaints there
+Low Stress, and clear goals

Cons-Newspaper industry isn't sure what its going to do long term. Makes your job description fluid, so understand that going in.

Advice to Senior ManagementA more clear idea of where the company is going would help a lot. Other then that I have no issue with management.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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The ship is heading for the rocks

Ad Sales (Former Employee)
Madison, WI

I worked at Capital Newspapers

ProsGreat co-workers. Satisfying to see your work in the paper the next day. Discount newspaper subscription. Good benefits but expensive.

ConsThe industry is hemorrhaging and the current management has no idea what to do about it. Sales management leans pretty hard on the staff to sell worthless products invented just to increase revenue.

Advice to Senior ManagementQuit and allow someone to take over who knows what they are doing. At least try to undo the harm created by years of high-handed treatment of customers because you were the only game in town.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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It is chaotic and confusing.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Madison, WI

I have been working at Capital Newspapers

Pros-Newspapers are a dying industry, yet are so important to the community. It feels good to help keep age-old industry afloat.
-Great work-life balance.
-For the most part, fellow employees are polite and pleasant to work with.

Cons-The pay is very difficult to live on.
-The environment is high pressure and the communication among the different departments is deplorable.
-The technology used is way behind the times and makes every task take longer than it should.
-There are few opportunities for advancement or even a raise.
-There are very few windows in the building, no cafeteria and no coffee machine (isn't coffee supposed to be standard at a newspaper?!).
-The company is not doing very well, so there is little money to compensate their employees.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Doing God's work in uncertain times

Reporter (Current Employee)

I have been working at Capital Newspapers

ProsAnyplace still doing journalism is a good place to work, and the people (at the Wisconsin State Journal) are quality journalists who support one another and work well together.

ConsRaises are few and far between, and staff cutbacks make it feel like you're doing the work of two people.

Advice to Senior ManagementFind a way to restore raises.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Worst place to work...EVER

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Capital Newspapers full-time for more than a year

ProsSome of the people are hard-working and good to deal with.

Cons-Environment is horrible (grey cubicle walls, and no sunlight)
-Pay is horrible (wages frozen, except if you are in management then you can just make up a new title for yourself and get bumped up in pay)
-Management is horrible (unqualified kiss-asses who sit in meetings all day and just say 'yes')
-Product is horrible (articles are mostly pulled from AP, and website is a joke...everything is done with as little effort as possible)
-Company is going under because they mass apply every idea across their whole network. If it works in Montana then it must work in Madison. (WRONG)
-Good ideas get passed by because their management hierarchy chain is a joke, and people would rather fall in line than rock the boat.
-The separation between department is ridiculous. There is no communication.

Advice to Senior Management-Pray that you never lose your job, because if you went to a company where you actually had to know something or have a backbone, you would fail miserably.

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

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Just ok. Must love what you do to work for peanuts

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Capital Newspapers

ProsHours were ok and benefits were comparable to an average company in the area. Company was organized and employees had a fair work / life balance.

ConsPay was low and work was stressful due to numerous deadlines. May have changed though as it has been a few years since I left.

Advice to Senior ManagementHire competent management not just someone that can talk their way to the top. Make sure management actually shows they care about their employees. Try not to fly off the handle in stressful situations.

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Be a sailor on a sinking ship

Reporter (Former Employee)

I worked at Capital Newspapers

ProsQuality journalism encouraged and approved
Staff members are typically friendly
Editors are fair, bring out the best in their reporters

ConsPay is just barely enough to survive on for single person, so if you have a family your spouse/partner better be doing much better than you or you'll need food stamps
Job isn't safe given their constant downsizing over past two years, even for longstanding loyal employees. Editorial staff are seen as an expendable, loss-making portion of the company.
Territorialism of editors/reporters make cooperation with other publications impossible for regional stories.
Working outside your defined role discouraged. For example, suggestions on their websites, which are a sad joke, are completely ignored.
Promotion choices are based MUCH more on favoritism than merit.

Advice to Senior ManagementLearn how to make money, especially from the internet. Capital Newspapers' websites are pathetic, hard to use and loss-making. Massive potential for revenue lost there that will NOT be recouped from print.
Cutting editorial staff to save on costs isn't going to bring in more readers.
Consider taking a larger pay cut than the staff, since your inability to adapt to a changing news market is what's sinking the company, not the journalists, print staff, IT people or ad coordinators.

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Capital Newspapers reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Capital Newspapers CEO William K Johnston. All 9 reviews posted anonymously by Capital Newspapers employees.