Seattle Times

  www.seattletimescompany.com
  www.seattletimescompany.com

Seattle Times Reviews

Updated August 11, 2014
Updated August 11, 2014
71 Reviews
3.2
71 Reviews
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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 7 reviews)

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


Cons
  • The biggest negative, of course, is what's happening to the newspaper industry (in 7 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. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great experience, wouldn't go back.

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

    I worked at Seattle Times

    Pros

    -Great Benefits (health, vacation, etc)
    -Great Company History: Long standing locally owned company
    -Very good training throughout career
    -Career advancement available for the best employees

    Cons

    -Very low morale at company
    -Employees have little trust in the judgment of upper management
    -Sales is not compensated at the industry standard
    -Some unionized staff are not pulling their weight in the company
    -Feels like a sinking ship

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your employees need to be energized and rewarded. Remove the dead weight (staff that are not productive) and reward successful sales people like your life depends on it (because it does!).
    This is a great company with a hard road ahead. You shouldn't have separate print/online teams: just hire sales people that can sell both and compensate them for both!

    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Sales Rep for Seattle Times

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

    I worked at Seattle Times

    Pros

    Great flexibility and good commissions.

    Cons

    You have to be a self-starter. Training is ok, but you really need to do it all yourself.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay sales rep a base salary so they don't have to write bad orders in order to make a decent living.

    Approves of CEO
  3. 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

    I worked at Seattle Times

    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
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  5.  

    Overall a good experience, but had to figure a lot out myself

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

    I worked at Seattle Times

    Pros

    Culture of respect for employees; good daycare and decent benefits (although that might have changed now). Culture of responsibility and pride in the product. Management is usually good about evaluating priorities and ROI. Lots of people have been there for a long time.

    Cons

    Lots of RIFs lately and uncertainty about where the industry is headed. Some departments are more secure and professional than others.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer job-shadowing or connect a new employee with a more senior employee in a similar position for support. There is a culture of longevity which is difficult for new-hires to crack.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    One of the best places I've worked

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

    I worked at Seattle Times

    Pros

    Economic and industry conditions forced me out, otherwise I'd have stayed for life. The Times' pay and benefit package were far more generous than other companies I've worked for, including so-called "best companies." Great health and dental; four weeks' vacation after five years; etc. Senior and mid-level managers in the newsroom are smart, talented and great to work with. And I don't care what anybody says, Frank Blethen is a good guy who made some unfortunate mistakes. But it's unfair to blame the company's woes on his management without acknowledging the state of the industry. I hope he and his family can make it through this trough.

    Cons

    By the time I left the workload had become pretty intense -- resources shrunk, but not expectations. Don't know if that's changed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't give up. Seattle needs you.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    The Seattle Times Company: a sinking ship of fools.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Online Media Specialist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Online Media Specialist in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Seattle Times

    Pros

    If you like working for a place that you feel you can make a difference in your community, the The Seattle Times Company is a good place to start.

    Cons

    Little to no progression up the ranks into management. Many of the mid-level managers have been there for 25 years+ and are going nowhere unless they take early retirement. Tough to move up into any positions unless your willing to wait 30 or 40 years.

    Very "Status Quo" type place to work. E.g. they don't listen to younger/newer employees (less than 2 years experience) ideas for ways to improve.

    Basic "old school" type work environment. Very bureaucratic, "top down" management structure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Realize that by "serving the community" doesn't mean you must have a hard copy newspaper printed. Many online competitors are innovating faster/farther/better than you in the marketplace. Fundamentally, your business structure is top heavy and unwieldy, leading to managers to try and "silo" their department's knowledge bases to maintain their jobs, instead of helping the company get better/get well.

    Also, many mid-level managers are afraid of disagreeing with the top-level managers even when the top-level managers are obviously missing bigger opportunities by trying to reorg a broken business model such as the paper's. This leads to managers being more "yes men/women" than actual thought leaders.

    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Get out there as soon as you can.

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

    I worked at Seattle Times

    Pros

    They do hire more reporters than what is necessary.

    Cons

    Most of management have poor people skill and made poor decisions. The company does not promote talent but rear-end kissers instead. But they do have few good people work there. Company does not value employee's contribution fairly and have abandon their win-win principle. It is a top heavy company that managers keep forwarding emails from one to another. An simple issue could be forwarded 7 times on the average before it reachs the right person. Management have too much time for their "social functions" even with recent laidoff. Poor decision, they laidoff fronline management then use higher salary level managment to run lower managment work (front line). No wonder the company is going down to the tube.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Resign

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Newspaper job: Apply only if you love it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - News Desk Editor in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - News Desk Editor in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Seattle Times

    Pros

    They offer an excellent benefit package, even during these hard times. I'm not sure if this is a credit to the Guild or to the company, but it's available. Middle management is a nice bunch and they actually work with you when it comes to time off and/or special needs, be it carpal tunnel or your kids school schedule. My co-workers are very nice and helpful and everyone works their butt off. Everyone genuinely cares about the paper and its content. We have endless discussions about it and it's very rewarding to work with people that care so much about the news.

    Cons

    The Seattle Times sees itself as a "destination paper," so moving from the position you were hired for to another one can be hard. If you get pigeonhole into a position you are done. It's a catch 22: If you do your job too well, they are happy to leave you there forever, but if you do less than a stellar job, what chance do you have to get a promotion? I haven't been able to break the code. And it's so very easy to get labeled! They say they welcome a debate, but if you voice a different opinion they label you as bias, paranoid, "not-the-average-reader", etc. Those labels simply destroy your voice in the newsroom.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    One year ago it would be: Let people cross-train and experience other areas. Now, is keep the paper solvent and work with the unions instead of fighting them at every turn.

    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you want stability, work somewhere else

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

    I have been working at Seattle Times

    Pros

    Convenient location and good co-workers. Most of us have been there a while and feel like family.

    Cons

    Used to be a good place to work, but flat salaries, benefit cuts and repeated layoffs have resulted in poor morale. Most people are just keeping their heads down. No chance to build on successes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are some tremendous egos getting in the way at all management levels.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Supportive, relaxed place to work.

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

    I worked at Seattle Times

    Pros

    The Seattle Times New Media Department manages to attract extremely intelligent and talented employees across the board. There is a collaborative atmosphere and a distinct lack of petty office in-fighting. In accordance with the Seattle lifestyle, this is a very laid-back place to work, and management is very flexible when it comes to taking time off when it is needed/deserved (not just when you have accrued days off). Input from all levels is valued.

    Cons

    Compensation within the New Media Department is lower than similar positions at other technology companies in Seattle. This is to be expected somewhat because it is, after all, a newspaper. Senior Management decisions are not often justified or informed by the employees who are actually expected to do the work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Guidelines set forth for the structure and completion of projects should be tailored by the employees effected by these decisions, not just decreed from the top. The current format makes things more difficult for non-management to get their huge workloads completed.

    Approves of CEO

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