Seattle Times

  www.seattletimescompany.com
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Seattle Times Reviews

Updated August 11, 2014
Updated August 11, 2014
71 Reviews

3.2
71 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Seattle Times Publisher and CEO Frank A. Blethen
Frank A. Blethen
38 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Employee benefits and work/life balance are good (in 6 reviews)

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


Cons
  • Newspaper industry is facing tough times (in 6 reviews)

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

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    How much longer?

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

    Pros

    Hopefully they will be remembered fondly in the future.

    Cons

    It's been heartbreaking to see the company fall apart over the last several years. The Seattle Times once stood for something and was a company you could be proud to work at, sadly that has changed rather dramatically in the last 3+ years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Time to implement your exit strategy.

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

    A Company at War With Itself

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

    Pros

    The company is divided by the Newsroom managed by the Writers Guild Union and a hodgepodge of adrift employees organized under what was once called the New Media Department. The Newsroom is by far the best part of the company. It has somehow managed to stay professional, independent and excited despite the economic realities of the industry.

    Cons

    The New Media department was a short lived experiment. Its incompetence in management and the war Frank Blethen continues to wage with the Newsroom Unions has left the future of the Seattle Times in doubt. What is left is a group of nepotistic appointees by Frank Blethen and a few middle management directors struggling to remain relevant within the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As the company sells of the remaining assets to stay afloat it needs to double down on its online strategy. In the past the Newsroom has had to use strikes to correct the mismanagement of the Blethen family. They may need to do that again order to gain control of the online strategy and hire a *single* general manager to advance that strategy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Low morale, even lower pay

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

    Pros

    The people--met a lot of great friends and enjoyed working with most people
    The work (when we had it)--lots of variety
    The location--up and coming SLU

    Cons

    Terrible conditions. The company was always telling people how terrible they were doing. I worked there for almost 5 years and never heard a positive word. It was depressing. There is a union that a lot professional jobs fall within--it creates an odd dynamic--the union workers vs. the management. It's not comfortable at all. I'd never work anywhere that has a union again.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Figure out how to get rid of the union. It really creates a lot of animosity that is unnecessary. Plus the union does nothing except take money from people who need it! Figure out how to be positive in a depressing industry.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lacking knowledgeable leaders

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Manager  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Sales Manager in Seattle, WA

    Pros

    conveniently located, dedicated to quality journalism.

    Cons

    The executive team is out of touch with current marketplace with regards to sales. They rested on circulation and national advertisers for so long that when the advertising well dried up to other, more proven advertising options...they chose not to react and instead stayed the course on the sinking ship.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire someone that actually has successfully led a sales force...(outside of print)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Good company

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

    Pros

    paid well, good people, interesting business

    Cons

    industry is dying, profits are down

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great paper, not so great employer

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Limited future

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

    Pros

    Worthwhile community-focused values and mission.

    Cons

    Innovation is hampered by roadblocks and politics.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's winding down quickly

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

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

    Lacks integrity

    Former Employee - Account Executive  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in Seattle, WA

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Would not recommend

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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