MediaNews

  www.medianewsgroup.com
  www.medianewsgroup.com

MediaNews Reviews

21 Reviews
2.7
21 Reviews
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MediaNews Vice Chairman and CEO Dean Singleton
Dean Singleton
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    They think highly of themselves

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

    I worked at MediaNews full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    They are in a dying industry and trying some really innovative ideas to reinvent themselves. Nice people!

    Cons

    No 401k matching. They will be quick to advise they offer a 401k, but they don't match. Company has many silos, and very poor internal communication.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better communication, break down the silos, get rid of the old guard, bring in some mid level to high level people from outside of the industry.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Newspaper is dying - fast.

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

    I worked at MediaNews full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are a few really good people. The Denver office is a very nice facility - but only until they are able to unload it.

    Cons

    Leadership is still trying to buck the downward spiral that is newspaper and failing. There is a policy of no performance reviews because a positive performance review might imply that a raise is due. There have been few if any raises for the last three years. They are still cutting expenses, i.e. labor costs at a tremendous rate. And, still no 401k match.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a cue from Gannett and Tribune. Consolidate, centralize, and standardize your operations now rather than wait for everything to fall apart on it's own. Stop trying to make a content play in the digital space when the entire industry, especially the advertisers and marketing agencies, is moving toward analytics and operational efficiency.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    It is an exciting place to learn many venues of the newspaper business.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Ad Assistant in Red Bluff, CA
    Former Employee - Ad Assistant in Red Bluff, CA

    I worked at MediaNews part-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I won many awards based on my level of experience. My peers were n excellent source of learning my craft.

    Cons

    Lots of driving sometimes, 100 miles per day. Many accounts weren't disbursed very well to the right territories. My ad director had no experience in managing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give the right person the job of working with employees. Make sure they are not in conflict with the staff.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    This company doesn't care about its employees.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Reporter in Estes Park, CO
    Former Employee - Reporter in Estes Park, CO

    I worked at MediaNews part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The company is big enough you can find a niche for your special interest(s) in journalism.

    Cons

    Dean Singleton is a miser. He grew up poor and instead of learning to care about those who work under him, he treats them as expendable. They pay low, poor if any benefits. They jimmied the heater so we couldn't turn it up in the winter. We were pretty cold. People started bringing in heaters and had them under their desks to keep warm. They had us working in the dark. I got eyestrain so bad my vision was blurring. They said they were willing to get me a lamp - as long as the price was under $10. I quit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember your employees do their best job when you treat them with concern and respect.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Low pay, dying industry, but kind of getting their act together

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

    I have been working at MediaNews full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    After years of floundering, Media News Group is finally making a serious effort to become a web-based news organization, having partnered with Digital First Media and substantially increasing online advertising sales. They now have a direction and a plan to save a dying industry be transforming it into web - and social media-savvy news organizationl

    Cons

    They pay is low, and there have been no raises for about five years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find ways to offer more training to your willing and dedicated employees, who work like maniacs for low pay because they love the news business. Work for them even half as much as they work for you, and they will take you to profitability.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  7.  

    A great job, until the paper was purchased by a large media conglomerate and heads began to roll.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Design Editor in Loveland, CO
    Current Employee - Design Editor in Loveland, CO

    I have been working at MediaNews

    Pros

    Great colleagues, and a place where a good degree of autonomy existed in which to do one's job, as long as guidelines and deadlines were met with regularity.

    Cons

    Underpaid profession. Print journalism is not the place to get rich, or even live comfortably.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management in a difficult position since sale of company to new overlords. New operational policies made it hard to continue to turn out a product in which one could be proud. Advise to management would have been to give greater weight to employees' opinions; they truly cared about their work, but the working culture sometimes created the impression that voicing opinions was an exercise in futility.

    Doesn't Recommend
  8.  

    It's a job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Walnut Creek, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Walnut Creek, CA

    I have been working at MediaNews

    Pros

    The only pro is you don't have to be that good to keep your job. You basically have to use a really bad word publicly to even get a notice.

    Cons

    Lack of leadership. Lack of opportunities. Managment doesn't care and it shows. People who try to do a good job are just put aside so not as to threaten anybody above them. Serious lack of leadership, wimpy in fact. There are maybe two people in charge who can make a decision to save their lives.
    When mistakes are made, so are excuses depending on who made the mistake. It's always "OK' or 'fine."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It really seems like they don't care.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Creativity and good ideas are ignored or quashed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Web Producer
    Current Employee - Web Producer

    I have been working at MediaNews

    Pros

    There are some creative things going on at lower levels in the company. Some teams and managers are exciting and interesting to work with and for. Some managers are excellent at giving recognition and encouraging development and follow-up on good ideas. They don't begrudge time off or vacation taken but some managers will make you feel guilty for taking your earned vacation or a holiday off. Most of the time, within the microcosm of an individual group and at individual property, you get a sense of doing something worthwhile. But it is often stifled or ignored at a higher level.

    Cons

    Good ideas that might actually help the group survive or blossom in the downturn of the newspaper industry are ignored our outright shot down. Beyond a very small group level, recognition and feedback are either non existent or outright hostile. Benefits and pay are a joke. They want to hire the cheapest people they can get, but then can't understand why the projects they want done are beyond their scope. They wonder why the business model is dying but ignore or quash ideas from their own employees with experience in the technology and directly with audiences they want to foster and grow.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the employees you have who know what they are talking about. Rather than hiring so-called experts, talk to your own people who have been dealing with new technologies and directly with audiences for years.

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

    If you have no experience, start here. Otherwise, move on.

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

    I worked at MediaNews

    Pros

    It's a good place to get your foot in the door. But don't stay too long. Set a time limit for how long you'll be there. Build up your resume and look for the next step to advance your career. There are other opportunities out there. You just have to look and be open to jobs outside the newspaper industry.

    Cons

    Once you're in, there's no chance of moving up at the paper. Hours are long and the demands are high. Employee morale is low.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They should do more to protect employees.

  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    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
    .
    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

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