PennWell Corporation

  www.pennwell.com
  www.pennwell.com

PennWell Corporation Reviews

Updated November 12, 2014
Updated November 12, 2014
20 Reviews
2.7
20 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Robert F. Biolchini
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great brands

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

    I have been working at PennWell Corporation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very good and talented people work here. The benefits are decent. There is a real sense of community among the employees, they help and care for each other.

    Cons

    Decision making is disjointed. Departments are in silos most of the time. There tends to be a lot of meetings that are less than productive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you don't know how a decision impacts your customer, find out.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Upper Management is extremely incompetent; it trickles down.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Video Production in Tulsa, OK
    Current Employee - Video Production in Tulsa, OK

    I have been working at PennWell Corporation full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The only pro is the pay.

    Cons

    Tulsa HQ building is disgusting - infested with cockroaches, mold, etc. Most employees are not afforded even modern luxuries such as ergonomic chairs and desk situations. Management is so scattered and unfocused, and they are not knowledgable about their supposed niche. The environment absolutely quashes all possible creativity; the atmosphere is stifling and stagnant.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Those younger people with built-in digital media experience? Let their ideas be heard and truly considered, perhaps even executed. What's the point in hiring an "expert" when you don't let them exercise their skillset effectively because you're blocking them at every turn?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Struggling to adapt in changing marketplace

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

    I have been working at PennWell Corporation full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, good people, opportunity for worldwide travel, trade shows and conferences

    Cons

    Stuck in a print model when rest of the world is converting to online and digital. Not to say they don't try or pretend that they try to move away from print but some of the long-timers are resistant to the change, especially since the model at PennWell is such that they make more revenue from print sales.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clean out a lot of the old guard in management and hire new, fresh, innovative employees that can advance the company forward.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Old Boys Club

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Editor in Tulsa, OK
    Former Employee - Associate Editor in Tulsa, OK

    I worked at PennWell Corporation full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Because management is so terrible, I had a lot of independence and was given a lot of responsibility from the beginning, which was a great opportunity to prove myself. There is a good work-life balance; the company has a relaxed atmosphere. People can get by doing the bare minimum and most people leave by 4:45 every day.

    They pay really well. I countered their first offer and they raised it by 25%. You're eligible for a 5% bonus every year, which wasn't hard to get as an editor (although they never discuss what the qualifications for reaching your maximum are beforehand so you can't really work for it). Raises also seemed to come about easily. By the time I left, I made $20,000 more than what they originally offered me two years before. I hated working there, but it's a great place to start and if you just want to make some easy money and have little stress, it's the place to be. If you want to advance your skills and career, you're better off somewhere else.

    Cons

    Management in general. My publisher admitted that he didn't read articles, whether in print or online. Meetings are ridiculous, full of corporate speak that means nothing, and everything is pushed off for later dates. A lot of "We'll follow up and email so-and-so and then we can discuss this at another meeting next week," which just goes on and on. There's no communication; nobody ever knew what was going on in my department. There's no collaboration or planning. It seems like people are just trying to do enough not to get noticed by management, which means people stay in the same position for 20 years. Also, seems they only promote men. There was a lot of evident sexism in my department that went unchecked. Decisions are not made proactively, things just kind of happen. The company in general is terrified of change, and Bob Biolchini gives an address every year about how excited he is about digital publishing (he's about 10 years behind) and how much he hates Obama, so that's always a good time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retire.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good place to intern.

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

    I have been working at PennWell Corporation as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good environment to learn. Lots of people willing to teach/ help you learn.

    Cons

    Not a lot a movement- very sedentary.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Learned a lot, found lots of opportunity to contribute to company's digital efforts.

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

    I worked at PennWell Corporation (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great place to focus on an area of B2B editorial for which you have passion. Running a Pennwell media property or participating in its operations provides great access to the industry that you're covering.

    Cons

    Company can sometimes feel more like a family than a company. Some people seemed to find this comforting, but it seemed to hold the company back.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring in more people from the outside with diverse experiences.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Stable company with decent work environment

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at PennWell Corporation

    Pros

    Great to work for, great coworkers, great location (Yay NH), room for growth in the company

    Cons

    Corporation with a lot of different magazines to juggle: although there is breathing room for creativity and growth, you are limited by the fact that it's a corporation and you have to stick to corporate processes. Although if there weren't any in place, it'd be even harder to get anything accomplished.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My manager is great.

  9.  

    Great forward thinking company to work for offering personal growth potential

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

    I worked at PennWell Corporation full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    My personal experience working for over 16 years with this company was a very positive one. By working hard and doing my personal best I was able to move, with promotions to 4 different positions within the company. Each position offered a learning curve, but also people who were more than willing to help me learn. This company, with over 300 employees feels like a family where everyone knows your name. They are also a company that gives back to society in the many charitable drives they sponsor. They offer a decent pay, and a good benefit and vacation package.

    Cons

    The main challenge I see is what I am outlining in the "Advice to Management" below.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    My advice to upper management is for all to be as understanding as my manager ( Senior VP Nashua Division) has been with my family situation. Often people struggle with work and family demands. Once an employee proves him or herself to their manager as being trust worthy and hard working I believe managers should allow flexibility with hours of work, within reason, to meet the needs and demands of Family and Job. I believe managers will have happier, and more satisfied workers with a higher probability of retaining them as dedicated employees of the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    A great place to work BEFORE the internal family feud which led to a change and decline in the very upper management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Conference Management in Tulsa, OK
    Former Employee - Conference Management in Tulsa, OK

    I worked at PennWell Corporation full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    There were great people to work with back in the 1980's and 1990's, and lots of career opportunities. There was a friendly culture environment. People wanted to work together for the betterment of the whole.

    Cons

    Poor management - focus TOO much on the bottom line. There's more to life, a career, a company, etc. The company become so focused on making money only that it drove good people away.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be humane. P.C. Lauinger is rolling over in his grave at the way things are being done, and the poor way in which people are treated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Not impressive

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

    I worked at PennWell Corporation full-time

    Pros

    Lots of travel if you're in the event planning section.

    Cons

    Not transparent at all. Decisions made and handed down from on high without input or a chance to question and understand the thinking and reasons for them.

    A family-run business that doesn't have to answer to anyone but the CEO.

    Company uses twisted logic to defend what most companies would deem indefensible decisions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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