Media General

  www.mediageneral.com
  www.mediageneral.com

Media General Reviews

Updated October 23, 2014
Updated October 23, 2014
58 Reviews
2.7
58 Reviews
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Media General President, CEO, and Director Marshall N. Morton
Marshall N. Morton
38 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • good pay and benefits, flexible schedules (in 3 reviews)

  • Active TV news industry; Health Insurance Better than Average; Vacation Days; High (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Crying out to upper management for help produced no results (in 3 reviews)

  • Still a newspaper, old school mindset to doing business that has been dead for at least 15 years (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Challenges are Met With Opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Richmond, VA

    I have been working at Media General

    Pros

    Opportunities as it expands business and begins making progress in the internet sector. Excellent networking opportunities and experience/growth available with the support of a professional working environment. The organization and different divisions within the company allow plenty of ways to migrate into other related careers. Certainly a great place for a variety of experiences.

    Cons

    Publishing and newsprint is a difficult market to be in. There is opportunities for the publishing division to be innovative, but they are resistant. Publishing is definitely not dead, but new ideas seem to be. Decentralized management, giving individual papers/locations relative autonomy makes it difficult to be effective in a support or management role.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in new ideas and begin centralizing the management. Have all divisions share a vision and purpose and push this, along with initiative from the top down. We can then minimize investment in resources, share and adopt best practices across the board and spend less time working on individual obstacles and focus on growing the business.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Prepare to work 55-plus-hour weeks for 30-hour week pay.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant News Director in Wichita, KS
    Former Employee - Assistant News Director in Wichita, KS

    I worked at Media General

    Pros

    You can't find journalism work elsewhere.

    Cons

    Downturn in the Florida economy.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dump the Balanced Scorecard initiative and other "busy"paperwork that suppresses all employees' true initiative and creativity.

    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Listen to your employees. They are the only people in the company that really know what is going on.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Circulation Manager
    Former Employee - Circulation Manager

    I worked at Media General

    Pros

    They really did have a lot of employees that cared about the newspaper.

    Cons

    They did not want to hear any of your ideas. They had hired people to give you the ideas that they wanted you to do. Managers had way to much to do that wasn't constructive. We spent to much time hiring and training people than trying to keep good peolple by paying them more. It was hard enough trying to keep the customers at one paper happy so the management thought it would be better to let us manage other papers close by and not compensate for all the extra work. Media General needs to go back to the basics and bring back the local news and try to keep good employees by paying them more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The way you are runn ing this company compared to other media companies is why you are struggling in all your divisions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Talk a lot of talk, but still a dinosaur that never woke up.

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

    I worked at Media General

    Pros

    Great people. Used to be a safe place to work. Nothing changed (if you like that.) Slow pace despite huge expectations. Expectations are clearly defined: Make your numbers.

    Cons

    (1) Company leadership talks a good game, but does nothing about it. (2) Disconnect between COO / CEO level and the next level down who oversee field operations. Causes confusion and makes everyone risk adverse because all senior level management are trying to just not get fired... despite highest level management talking about "innovation". (3) Slow to react (4) There is a15% rule in which you pretty much can't get a pay increase over 15% during any promotion. (5) The _CEO_ has to sign off on any and every position brought into the company over $50,000 salary. (6) Despite being somewhat of an Internet company, everything is old school... culture, mindset, etc.. (7) everything about this place is contradictory and therefore frustrating. (8) Unrealistic expectations (9) Senior management have absolutely NO PLANS yet beat down local properties because they can't make 'the numbers'. (10) Tons of layoffs and cutbacks... you can't even order copier paper.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retire. Get out of the way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    A dinosaur trying to say all the right things. Respect for employees? None. Honesty? Don't bet on it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Artist in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - Artist in Richmond, VA

    I worked at Media General

    Pros

    I enjoyed my work immensely when not impeded by supervisors whose primary function was to "write people up," as told to me by one disillusioned young supervisor. Benefits are decent. It would be nice if domestic partners were recognized for health plan purposes, but don't ever expect to see that in this conservative environment. It's a place to work for a couple years and gain experience. After that, you are yesterday's bird droppings, unless, sadly, you know or cuddle up to the right people.

    Cons

    Secrecy, shifting and fuzzy management whims, adversarial relationship with employees, a history of half-truths or untruths fed to employees (in a COMMUNICATIONS company). No interest in employees' feedback. It became where one's focus had to be on following the rules of the moment rather than on the actual work. Toadies, sycophants and 'tattletales' thrived--- the best people always left. Personally overheard from one manager to another: Q. How are you? A. Trying to cover my a$$ just like you." I always wanted to improve my performance, do my best work, and had great reviews-- despite the constant impediments of management. If you can accept this company culture, you'll probably do fine.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management has never been interested in the advice or feedback of employees in my 10+ years there. Management. At LEAST don't be a stumbling block to your employees' trying to do good work. Be truthful without an eye toward manipulation, please. And, being told at a group meeting that "We can replace ALL of you TOMORROW" is not a good incentive. This was actually spoken at one meeting I attended--this wouldn't be verbalized now, I'm sure, but would be otherwise implied. No doubts. And again, this is the company culture, not the result of current economic woes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Blind leading the blind

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

    I worked at Media General

    Pros

    Initially seemed like they were committed to multimedia journalism; decent benefits package; excellent environment to learn about how to work on other platforms

    Cons

    It's corporate journalism to its very core, which ultimately means it's a bean counter-driven operation. Any talk of "multimedia" inevitably came down to a way to downsize the operation, forcing multiple jobs on one person, which led to an inferior product. Poor judgment from upper management in evaluating good journalism. Upper management tried its best to marginalize innovative, contrarian ideas that did not match up with theirs, as well as the voices of young people (ie, the people they are trying to reach the most), which is frustrating to see as the young public continues to laugh at their product and their subsequent and transparent attempts to be "hip."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees at the worker level. Respect their input and don't put all stock in the ideas of a senior editor who hasn't left the office in 20 years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    District Supervisor, salaried position, work 50 plus hours per week with no additional pay. Work all
    hours of the nigh

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - District Supervisor in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - District Supervisor in Richmond, VA

    I worked at Media General

    Pros

    Nice office space, good location.

    Cons

    Day and evening hours with no extra pay for all hours worked and low salary, mimimum wage after working 50 plus hours on salary.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Raise salaries

    Doesn't Recommend
  9.  

    Blind leading the blind

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - District Manager in Richmond, VA
    Former Employee - District Manager in Richmond, VA

    I worked at Media General

    Pros

    If you get in the right department low level "old timers" will try and take you under their wing and train you.

    Cons

    Worked 80+ hour weeks for the pay of 40 hour weeks.
    Had to take a furlough pay reduction but still had to work on the days I was supposed to be off for it.
    Was told by the state circulation manager that I was not working hard or long enough even though I worked 10 to 12 hours a day 7 days a week to keep my district from collapsing.
    Anyone above the district manager level including state manager, metro manager, and vp of circulation does not know what it is really like in the field and will chew you out when they don't understand common situations.
    When I started I was promised training that was supposed to happen weekly, which ended up never happening after the second week.
    People are commonly laid off and their positions eliminated even when that person is needed to support others.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more selective about the postions that are eliminated.
    Have senior management experience at least the lower level management positions before being hired from other areas where things are run differently.
    Stop chasing the experienced guys out especially those that are forced to retire.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Only thing constant is change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Copy Editor in Lynchburg, VA
    Current Employee - Copy Editor in Lynchburg, VA

    I have been working at Media General

    Pros

    Middle-management is supportive and helpful, benefits are good for entry-level work. Facility is clean and well-cared for, town where I work (Lynchburg, Va.) is safe. Newspaper editors have a good grasp of what is relevant to their communities, and care deeply about good work being done.

    Cons

    There is a sense that the higher-ups are scrambling to deal with the economy's effect on the biz. Plans for progress seem to be shifting. Makes you worry they'll decide next year that your job, what ever it may be, is too expensive, and chop it abruptly. Also, there is so much turnover! People who know what they're doing are leaving or being fired in droves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tell us how you plan to pay for our jobs, in specifics. Too many meetings/memos are full of generalities, like "We will incorporate Twitter into our newsgathering" or "Online sales are the future" without any hard numbers.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    They will cut you off at he knees.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales in Richmond, VA
    Current Employee - Sales in Richmond, VA

    I have been working at Media General

    Pros

    If you are just starting out in your career, you should work here because you will get some decent experience.

    Cons

    Senior management decided to put all the sales people on straight commission. This would not be such a big deal except for the fact that the sales department is so disorganized. They hire whole departments and then decided to get rid of everyone in 6 months. There is no training and the managers are always changing their mind about what to focus on. Almost everyone in sales is looking for a job some place else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sales people pay your salary start treating us with a little respect and dignity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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