Seattle Times Reviews

Updated August 2, 2015
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Seattle Times Publisher and CEO Frank A. Blethen
Frank A. Blethen
8 Ratings

Pros
  • Employee benefits and work/life balance are good (in 7 reviews)

  • paid well, good people, interesting business (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Newspaper industry is facing tough times (in 7 reviews)

  • The business model is broken, and has been broken for many years (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Culture

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Respected news media organization, lots of smart and wonderful colleagues.

    Cons

    Ongoing struggles to increase revenue, lack of job security.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Good digital training to use as a stepping stone

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

    Pros

    Good introduction to digital sales, good sales training for a junior rep or a rep new to digital sales. Opportunity to meet local clients and agencies.

    Cons

    No career path or development so once you have your experience it's time to move on. The money isn't great and no opportunity to make more. The digital offerings are basic and they are the last place in town to offer anything new or leading edge.

    Advice to Management

    Give sales people an opportunity to build a career and grow if you want to be more than a revolving door for digital sales people.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Good company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - IT Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Seattle Times full-time

    Pros

    paid well, good people, interesting business

    Cons

    industry is dying, profits are down


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Great paper, not so great employer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Seattle Times full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    It's a great daily newspaper and an excellent product

    Cons

    The business model is broken, and has been broken for many years. Little feedback is requested or considered from current employees and support staff, and recent management decisions have left little confidence in the paper's future.

    Advice to Management

    Start listening to your support staff instead of eliminating them and hiring management teams with no plans.


  6. Helpful (2)

    Limited future

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Worthwhile community-focused values and mission.

    Cons

    Innovation is hampered by roadblocks and politics.


  7. Helpful (3)

    It's winding down quickly

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Seattle Times full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It is not a cut throat culture. Think the movie "Wall Street" and take the opposite and that is much of how the culture is at The Times. Currently, the health care benefits are really good. As a category (news), it felt good to be contributing to that effort.

    Cons

    Poor leadership... risk averse... still living in 1985 in how they (leadership) thinks they are perceived by both the community and the advertisers... comp is not competitive... Having more than two years of "Seattle Times" on your resume isn't considered positive with many employers... Unless you NEED a job today, don't send a resume.

    Advice to Management

    If Frank wants to set up the Times for the 25 years after he retires, he will hire outside the newspaper industry to make the difficult decisions he has been unwilling to do to reshape the company. If not, just sell to McClatchy and let them straighten things out.


  8. Helpful (3)

    Lacks integrity

    Former Employee - Account Executive in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Seattle Times full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people I worked with were awesome. I have made some great lifelong friends at the Times. Convenient location, close to bus lines. Brand recognition.

    Cons

    Rather than venting about everything I didn't like about this job, I'll say that overall the Seattle Times lacks integrity in relation to their employees. I worked here twice---two years the first time, then I moved out of state to care for family members. When offered the sales position, I was told that I could easily make the money I was looking for. A few days into the job, I learned that it wasn't even possible to make that amount because of caps on commission. When I left, they tried to deny my unemployment, which I appealed and won. A few years later, I came back for a temporary position that was supposed to turn permanent. When the permanent position became available, I was told that although I was meeting my goals and was a great contributor, they were not offering me the position because I have a foster child with special needs and I took too much time off for my child's doctors appointments. How much time is "too much" you ask? Once a month I had to take off an hour or two early to take him to the doctor. I always made up my time and finished my work, yet although several others required special accommodations, the one accommodation I needed "didn't jive well with their busy call center environment"...by busy they meant about 20 calls a week between 6 account reps. They actually told me that FMLA doesn't apply to my family...doesn't the "F" stand for "Family"? So, they won't employ a foster parent who cares for special needs children, but they sure will boast about their donations to their Fund for the Needy. There are so many issues in this organization--micromanaging, managers who won't listen to employees' ideas yet blame those same employees for the failures of the organization, it takes forever to get promoted or move to another position within the company, management spends lots on money on band aid solutions that don't work, but will not even consider long term proven solutions if they cost money. While I was there the second time, they hired a "consultant" that had just been terminated by another failing paper, to come in and consult on how to get more business. Her consulting consisted of taking some of our ideas and relaying them to management. They spent money on this! Yet when I actually researched what other successful and GROWING papers were doing and made suggestions based on what they were doing, my ideas were laughed at. Ah well, so Seattle Times is not the employer for me.

    Advice to Management

    Hire your managers based on their qualifications and expertise, not based on who they are friends with. Listen to your employees and trust that sometimes they know what will work better than upper management does. Stand behind your word.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Would not recommend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Executive in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Account Executive in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Seattle Times full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The benefits are pretty good, and they provide you with tools, ie, laptops, ipads, etc to do your job. Flexibility to work out of the office

    Cons

    Not a forward thinking company. Not a good place to work if you are an innovator or want to embrace the new digital age.

    Advice to Management

    Get on the same page with each other and cut dead weight.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Print heavy needing to move to digital

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

    I worked at Seattle Times full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice people in most work groups.

    Cons

    Their business model is based in the last century.

    Advice to Management

    Looked bad when you laid people off the same time you bought a new porche. But hey it is your money.


  11. Helpful (5)

    Looks good on the resume, but not a place to grow in one's career

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Marketing in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great work-life balance - especially if you are an affiliated employee (part of the Newspaper Guild). Managers can be very fair and even inspiring, depending on the unit you are in. If you're upper-level management, pay and benefits are probably decent for the hours you put in. The company stands behind its journalistic mission and does not compromise on that. It is very well-respected for its ethical journalism covering local news and the economy, and for that reason employees are proud to stand behind the brand.

    Cons

    Poor communication between departments. Circulation, online operations, advertising and marketing operate largely in silos. Perhaps a big part of it comes from not wanting to disturb "comfort zones" by doing things differently or gaining exposed to new ideas. Process improvement suggestions are slow (if not impossible) to assimilate. Uncertain financial future for the newspaper industry and for the company overall means that few opportunities are created for associate or assistant-level employees to move up the ladder. This is also true for middle managers reaching director-level status. As of right now, there's a significant lack of competent, "get-it-done" leaders who have the people skills needed to motivate their teams in some of the units. This is de-motivating to say the least, and has led to significant turnover. Having a top-down approach to every aspect of the business also contributes to employee dissatisfaction. Digital news operations face an uncertain future... the landscape changes much faster than the company is able to keep up, largely because of deprioritization and "analysis paralysis."

    Advice to Management

    Be as forthcoming and transparent as possible about what is going on in the company - you'll gain the respect of your teams when you do. On innovation: Don't allow yourselves to be crippled by the thought of failure - a small investment can go a long way when it comes to digital business models, and you won't have far to fall if you do fail. Treat every experience as a learning opportunity. When in doubt, test and iterate...



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