MediaNews

  www.medianewsgroup.com
  www.medianewsgroup.com
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Sales Journey at the San Jose Mercury News - Don't stop believin

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Sales Consultant in San Jose, CA
Former Employee - Sales Consultant in San Jose, CA

I worked at MediaNews

Pros

Speaking from a sales point of view, the newspaper in San Jose is a great company to work for if you can handle the heat. Tip: To survive and be financially prosperous there you have to be a go getter, fearless, charismatic, friendly and persistent. If you have a positive sales mentality already where a client may say "no" to you, but you hear "yes I'm interested, but tell me more", then you're already ahead of the game.

Politics aside, I have to give the company kudos for providing the best training program for sales reps to learn and grow from in the Silicon Valley. Every rep has had the pleasure of being trained, at one point, by the Training Director, once a college teacher, on "Consultative Selling" and it blows away any other program that I've personally experienced out of the water! I wish every MediaNews paper had the training that is provided in San Jose. The training department. is #1! Here's what makes it great. The training for all sales reps is...ongoing! Yes, ongoing! It never stops! Why am I yelling? LOL
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Training: Every week you can learn something new, every other week there are group training sessions and every month there are department training seminars to train you in every technique you could possibly imagine. At times, the training department will even make it fun where sales reps get to compete with each other like on a game show i.e. Jeapordy.

Although there are numerous classes and labs offered, much like being in school, you are not required to attend all of them. They are there for you when you need them as long as you are able to fit them into your work schedule while maintaining your desk and more importantly achieving your revenue goals. If you're a young sales rep with a few years of sales under your belt to a seasoned professional, it doesn't matter. The training provided caters to all levels.

I was an employee there for a number of years and I left with a plethora of sales skills worth gold and endless sales knowledge. Also, the pay is very competitive. Without saying how many years I've worked there or the kind of experience I have the average base salary is $50,000 + commission + sales spiffs. There's always room to negotiate. That's all I'll say about that.

And lastly, the people who work there make it worthwhile. They truly hire only the best sales reps with unique and open-minded personalities. If you're a social butterfly, have the gift of gap, have a sense of humor and respectful to all, you'll fit right in. Not a day went by where I didn't crack a joke or hear one down the hall. Q: "What does a duck like to eat with soup?" A: "Quackers!" Ok, lame attempt I know, but you'd be surprised at how many laughs I get with that one. hehe. Yes, a good handful of the reps are funny which also adds to the workplace environment. I believe humor is a key quality to have.

From working on a team to karaoke in the cafe, to fighting for that sale to being out in the field or competing in a fun sales game with your rival teammates, everybody just naturally gets along with each other . It’s great.

Cons

Well, it goes without saying that nobody ever likes the politics or what happens behind closed doors of upper management, right? I have to admit that it's because of the management that I decided to leave. But putting my personal case aside I will say this. A majority of the managers and upper management are very experienced, support their reps and believe in helping you achieve personal success. I can only speak on the advertising side of things. Editorial might be a different story.

This is partially negative. I had the pleasure of working for some very great managers at one point. I am forever thankful to them as I wouldn't be the successful rep I am today without their support, trust, vision and guidance. They never stopped believing in me and they forced me to never stop believing in myself. And I haven’t. "Just jump, and the net will appear."

So yes, there are a handful of managers of high caliber there if you’re lucky to get on the right team. The company was just no longer a good fit for me nor could a follow along with all of their methodologies. You just have to follow your heart. Overall, I'd rate management as being spectacular.

Another downside to working at the San Jose paper was constantly living in fear of losing your job. Let me explain. The paper in San Jose is a well respected company to work for, however, over the past couple of years it has been struggling to keep up with competitive powerhouses such as Google, Yahoo, Craigslist and the SF Chronicle.

During the past few years there have been several layoffs and certain departments have had to either be relocated to other cities or moved overseas to save costs. There have already been two layoffs in 2008. This isn't confidential information. It's public. It's been in the paper. I once had cream of the crop benefits up until 2007 when our benefits were drastically cut. And employees who had accrued 5 weeks of vacation from the prior year went to zero on Jan 1st of 2008 so I heard. Before employees could take that time off anytime they needed to during a given year because they earned it the year before. So they didn't lose 5wks, but to explain it a little further it goes back to zero every January 1st and then you earn it back gradually throughout the year.

It's sad to see not just the Mercury News, but all MediaNews newspapers struggle in this digital age. Regardless of what's happening in the print industry now and despite their continued efforts to compete online, I'm glad to see the company not giving up or stop believing that they can still remain successful in such a competitive media market. I just wish it wasn't at the cost of losing valuable employees. Regardless, I am grateful to have worked at the San Jose Mercury News. I left on good terms and gained a tremendous amount of sales knowledge.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Professionally speaking, I'd like senior management be more careful with who they decide to hire or place in a managerial position and not pass out promotions to upper management like candy on Halloween. If the candidate does not grasp onto the training or lacks the appropriate sales experience/background for the position, don't hire/promote them! I would have stayed if it wasn't for that.

I believe there are many great people out there with the right experience who would be more than happy to take on the role of being a sales manager at the Mercury News. So as one manager once told me, I say to you senior management, "don't stop believin" Qualified managers are out there. Please don't be hasty in hiring someone because time is running out or for the sake of filling a body.

Just as sales reps are reviewed each year, so should managers. Repercussions should be set for them. And if they do not live up to your expectations to help grow the business with forward innovative thinking, then let them go!! Your future sales teams will appreciate it.

Disapproves of CEO

21 Other Employee Reviews for MediaNews (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A newspaper has never gotten better under Singleton's ownership.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Copy Editor in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Copy Editor in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at MediaNews

    Pros

    It's preferable to unemployment and might be a good place to start a newspaper career.

    Cons

    Owner purchases properties and puts them on life support. Products never get better, they are simply kept alive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find ways to grow the audience and pay higher attention to quality.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    learn quickly and move on

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Sales Representative in Denver, CO

    I worked at MediaNews

    Pros

    name recognition and good office location for Denver professionals

    Cons

    spotty technical execution of online ad serving customer service, overworked staff

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    hire more qualified people and more resources to get the job done well, provide more opportunities for career growth

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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