I worked at A. H. Belo (More than 8 years)
Great Co-workers. good location, ability to meet people
minimal diversity, minimal pay increases, minimal opportunities
Great work/life balance. Time off as needed. Flexible schedule. Decent pay/benefits. Friendly environment.
Decisions on software products have been made by people outside IT department, which led to terrible large-scale purchases. Old technology/l lots of Perl/PHP scripts that only a very few people have a clue about. Very old/clunky/inefficient/unreliable home-grown systems. Developers are expected to support this old software. Very few (none?) new projects using current technologies. Newspaper industry's immanent demise has been accelerated by the recession causing thousands of layoffs, followed by pay cuts across the board and cut-backs on some benefits.
Advice to Management
I have no advice for management. Unfortunately this field is required.
The company pays very well for a nice combination of work life balance. They truly do want people to have time outside of work to live their life. The company has a number of great opportunites for sales people as they are the life blood of the company. I do truly believe that the management wants to bring the newspaper into the future, and they have a lot of pride in the company's history, particularly in Dallas.
There is a very strong "A team" mentality. You'll see the same people in meetings all the time, talking about the same things. There's very little acceptance of dissenting opinion, even if it is factual data from an objective third party. In fact, frequently the data will be refuted because it doesn't match someone's "gut." Of course there's also the cloud that's hanging over the entire industry that doesn't help with a "can do" attitude. There's also this strong tendency to become enamored with the latest idea, but never put any resources behind it. The work is put in on the front end, but the product will be left to die on the vine after launch. Realisically its a company that's run by a controlling family with almost complete authority.
Advice to Management
Encourage constructive criticism. The best ideas are tested in fire, not by sycophants. Realistic expectations go along way. Look out for people that consistenly over promise and under deliver and reward the reverse.
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