Consumer Reports "cr" Reviews | Glassdoor

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Consumer Reports Employee Reviews about "cr"

Updated Feb 15, 2019

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3.5
62%
Recommend to a Friend
72%
Approve of CEO
Consumer Reports CEO Marta Tellado
Marta Tellado
63 Ratings
Pros
  • "Accepting environment, great people, work life balance(in 21 reviews)

  • "Compared to the rest of the media world, CR maintains high standards for reporting, has enough people (6 million(in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • "CR has always been focused on the consumer(in 12 reviews)

  • "senior management communicates primarily in weasel words(in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "cr"

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "The truth... get a job at CR while you can"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yonkers, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    There is an immense amount of potential at CR for both organizational and individual prosperity. It would be best for those considering employment at CR to have an understanding of it's history. For many years, CR was the only player in product reviews. The organization as a whole got fat and happy without competition and a steady increase in revenue. Employment benefits were incredible, expectations were minimal, promotions were tenure- and not performance-based, and the need to innovate was not taken seriously. The age of the internet and competition came along and CR started loosing ground. Some senior leadership stayed too long and the tides of change were slow to react. CR found itself loosing subscribers, money, and relevancy to new audiences. Now there is an incredible senior leadership team whose influence continues to expand, responsibly may I add. They are dedicated to addressing the historical issues of both poor performing middle management and base level staff. The enthusiasm in various teams throughout CR is becoming contagious. The poor attitudes of entitled staff are fading. The culture of encouragement, excitement, and community is taking over. Staff, who have the foresight, ability, and ambition, can find the time and resources needed to thrive. Benefits and the mission are still top notch.

    Show More

    Cons

    Some of the dead wood remain. It takes time to change responsibly. There's lack of adventure and accountability in certain areas and levels. It takes focus, determination, and creativity to navigate around the out-going establishment, although this won't last much longer. Straight talk can be frowned upon.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to staff, investigate in to what's being said and take action, support the promising and contributing staff, ensure the work load is appropriately distributed based upon work level and best management practices, and nurture the risk-taking mentality as promised.

    Consumer Reports2017-02-17
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great place for service journalism and journalism in the public interest."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Editor 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Sane levels of work and reasonable deadlines. Compared to the rest of the media world, CR maintains high standards for reporting, has enough people (6 million?) paying a lot for content to let the company keep investing in reporting rather than cutting back. Effective reporting and writing appreciated. No danger that CR's going away anytime soon, unlike so many other outlets. Non-profit.

    Cons

    Not a place for narrative writing, or investigations without a strong consumer pay-off. A kind of crazy amount of bureaucracy and second- and third-guessing compared to any other journalism environment I've ever seen. So much emphasis on revenue (affiliate partnerships, subscriptions) that it can be kind of disheartening.

    Advice to Management

    Push editorial decision-making down the chain. The org is now super-hierarchical (more than years ago, I'm told), without lots of freedom to experiment or even to get day-to-day things done efficiently. CR's has really smart managers, but dealing with the processes can be like wading through chest-high mud.

    Consumer Reports2019-02-15
  3. Helpful (15)

    "Sad demise"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time

    Pros

    Great flexibility, nice cafeteria, non-profit with a good mission, great people.

    Cons

    Sad to see what has happened in the past several years. CR has always been focused on the consumer. It has always come first. Now what comes first is the bottom line. All we hear is praise about how many visitors to the site. So what? It is about helping the consumer and that's what matters and that's why we are here in the first place. It shouldn't be a surprise as all of the leaders are business people. The mission is purely an after thought. Hope from the employees is that the current leadership leaves before they put the organization and its mission into the ground. It is sad to see such a class organization with such a rich history be run this way.

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    Advice to Management

    Don't lose site of the mission .. that's why we are all here.

    Consumer Reports2018-03-19
  4. Helpful (15)

    "Senior editor/reporter"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yonkers, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Many/most employees believe in the mission, want to do meaningful and ethical work. I'm in editorial. Compared to most editorial outfits, CR seems better off financially and in terms of resources. That will sound odd for a legacy brand with an aging customer base, but we have 7 million paying subs and no reliance on advertising. We pay edit staffers well (not Conde Nast well, but well), and pay freelancers well. Management seems smart and does have a growth/survival plan that it's implementing with a fair amount of speed. Much more sincere in its attempt to transform than other media companies, in my experience. I don't know if it will work, but it's coherent, and it's being done. Since we're not launching hail mary side businesses, like many publishing companies, there's much more focus on the core brand. As a business, I feel pretty good about CR. Editorially, standards have risen sharply; we're now doing things professionally. If you want to do tons of service journalism with short deadlines, this is a good place. By the standards of many web outfits, our pace is very civilized. And if you work weekends or late at night, you get paid for it, thanks to the union contract. It's also possible to do more involved service-type investigations, but we're just starting to get there. Everyone has an office. If you've been working in a Manhattan magazine or web company, this place will seem quite civilized.

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    Cons

    I've seen a lot of rudeness, arrogance, and lack of trust on the part of managers a level or two above me. There's a real finger-pointing culture. I think this is improving somewhat. Editorial processes are very byzantine, and changes made with good intentions seem to really be made without listening to the users. That's a bad practice. Lots of inefficiency that seems to run downhill to the front-line editorial staff. For editors, there's a constant need to feed the web beast, but getting stories approved can be difficult. Too many layers, not enough departmental autonomy; it's not only inefficient, it's bad for morale. Just to say it again: lack of autonomy and a sense of empowerment. If you are used to varied editorial, with narrative and very high editorial standards, this can be a tough adjustment. It's got a newspaper/newswire sensibility, and very little patience for individual voice. Basically, we're doing a daily service-news website, reacting to breaking news with service pieces. That's where the main focus lies.

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    Advice to Management

    You might assume that bad morale is just legacy employees who don't like change (or demands for excellence). That's partly true. But there really is a layer with very poor management instincts and skills, including newer managers. Numbers have improved a lot because of clear output goals from above, and because we've hired a lot of better people. That's fine, but it's not really going to achieve excellence. For that, you need to push autonomy down the organization, inspire people, etc. But this may all reflect upper management's values and approach...from my level there's really no clear way to know if there's a disconnect there.

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    Consumer Reports2018-01-02
  5. Helpful (14)

    "Toxic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Yonkers, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Benefits are good. The mission is strong. Consumers need someone to trust. The food is decent. The CEO is a really nice person.

    Cons

    Toxic people are bad for your career and life. There are some nice people at CR but majority of the more seasoned employees at CR are terrible people to interact and work with. Believe the negative reviews, they are true. I attribute this to people battling to keep their jobs secure until they retire, without having to do much work for it.

    Advice to Management

    It is a tough spot to be in, dramatically changing technology and landscape, aging staff with antiquated ideas and philosophies. Advice to upper management, manage your managers.

    Consumer Reports2017-04-06
  6. Helpful (22)

    "Sliding Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Yonkers, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Consumer Reports for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Really nice commute from Westchester.

    Cons

    One strange thing we keep seeing is that for every negative or slightly negative review here, a positive review gets posted addressing specific negative comments. This is clearly CR HR replying and trying to address anything negative. This is a strange practice and is really dubious on Consumer Report's part. Can't they just let honest negative reviews be, this is a sign of an insecure organization. The fact is that the organization has gotten worse the last few years and there have been around three distinct changes in upper management over the last five years, this is a fact. There has also been a huge shift in the level right below VP and CEO, Director and Senior Manager. This has caused huge negative impact on the culture. The bottomline is that CR isn't the great place to work that it used to be and the current HR and Executive team is trying to hide behind things like: change, digital transformation, brand re-positioning, etc. And the fact is that the very best organization do this stuff without mass lay-offs, scare tactics, and monumental shift in core culture. At the end of the day, CR isn't a good place to work and every prospective employee should know that and the fact that revenue us sliding as well. Period.

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    Advice to Management

    Be honest. Stop trying to micro-manage and control opinions and truth in glassdoor.

    Consumer Reports2017-03-21
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Don't believe the negative reviews"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Yonkers, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Consumer Reports full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    As with many other companies in the publishing industry, Consumer Reports is transitioning from print to web-based. Change is hard but the current leadership has brought in highly-qualified individuals to steer the ship and things seem to be on course. CR is a non-profit and donations are up substantially along with digital subscriptions and the recent re-branding initiative was widely celebrated. Change is difficult and can be unnerving but it is crucial in order for the organization to survive. There is a small subset of longer-tenured employees who are arrogant enough to think that they have all the answers and anyone who disagrees with them is the enemy. HR has not written the most recent positive reviews as claimed, they were in fact, written by union members of which I am one. CR is a wonderful organization with a mission to inform and protect consumers. The staff is highly valued and well compensated with salary, exemplary benefits and working conditions. The aforementioned buyout was voluntary and the most generous in CR's history - 3 weeks' pay for every year of service along with three pensions, a 401K and other benefits. Many left CR with hundreds of thousands of dollars in severance and benefits - some might call that a bonanza, not a hardship and it's likely some have posted negative reviews while crying all the way to the bank. The buyout was voluntary but the departure of many has been celebrated as cleaning house and ridding the organization of dead wood; frankly it's too bad a few more didn't go. A small group of agitators seem to think they have a following but they don't. They have consistently presented themselves as the glue that holds the organization together but they are nothing of the sort, in fact most are under-performers. Shouldn't one professing to be a writer vet their comments for grammar and usage prior to posting? In years past, accountability was sorely lacking allowing underachievers to maintain their employment while being shuffled between departments and negatively impacting morale The current management has begun to address and rectify that but some can't handle being held accountable. If you do your job ably, as the overwhelming majority of employees do, you have nothing to fear. It's an exciting time to be part of the digital transformation of the storied institution.

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    Cons

    Internal communication could be better. Senior Leadership needs to better engage the staff and internal development needs improving.

    Advice to Management

    Don't believe the rabblerousers. The vast majority of the staff is behind you and supports the direction in which you are taking the organization.

    Consumer Reports2017-02-13
  8. "Terrific place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Consumer Reports

    Pros

    The new CR creates an environment for continued learning and opportunities for career advancement. Work/life balance is very strong. The current pace of growth is very exciting.

    Cons

    CR needs to keep paving the way for continued growth. Don't allow staff and negative reviews on Glassdoor to hold you back.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on creating change!

    Consumer Reports2016-11-05
  9. Helpful (13)

    "Change and Uncertainty"

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

    I worked at Consumer Reports full-time

    Pros

    CR has a long history of helping consumers make the beat possible decision on a wide variety of products and services - in addition to being at the forefront of consumer protection and safety

    Cons

    CR's direction seems unclear and shaky under the new CEO. Staff changes are endemic and decisions seem to be made based on the opinions of consultants. There's a real danger of losing its core values - sacrificed to efforts to negotiate new distribution technologies instead of believing in what it does best and is its real value to society. They need to be reminded that they are a not-for -profit.

    Consumer Reports2016-08-08
  10. Helpful (22)

    "An American Original That's Lost Its Heart, Soul, and Direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Consumer Reports

    Pros

    A unique institution. Not influenced by commercial or advertising interests. A respected voice on behalf of a better life for Americans. Unrivaled legacy and history. Helped change consumers' lives for the better. The only independent voice for product testing. One of a kind.

    Cons

    It's an organization in a state of excruciating, unrelenting, and unhealthy change. The Consumer Reports of 2016 bears minimal resemblance to its pre-2011 predecessor. Management from top to bottom has been gutted, with respected, experienced leaders replaced with hired guns, many of whom were brought in to make work life so miserable that existing staff will quit. In some instances, the "old new" leaders have been replaced by the "new-new" guard. The rationale for the "exciting change" in the organization's direction, according to former CEO James Guest (you can tell how CR has devolved by his corporate title of "CEO," which replaced the warmer and fuzzier "Executive Director") was that the existing business model was unsustainable -- a theory fomented by outside consultants. Consultants guide many internal decisions; some end up getting hired full time as managers. In the past few years, management has taken aim at rank and file, who are members of the once-formidable News Guild of New York. And as others have said, there is a full-court press by management to rid itself of the remaining veterans via a buyout known as a voluntary separation plan. Consumer Reports used to be a company you built your life and career around; and it attracted mission-oriented believers who would do anything for the cause. Today, the organization is looking for new, young workers -- and freelancers -- who are thinking in terms of months or maybe just a couple of years at best. There's nothing wrong with new blood, new ideas, and infusion of energy. But it should be part of a mix, not an end in itself.

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    Advice to Management

    Make Consumer Reports Great Again. We all understand times change and businesses must adapt. But don't forget the past or simply give it lip service. Remember, it was generation after generation of "true believers" who built this magnificent organization. Bring back the heart, soul, and values that made Consumer Reports one of a kind.

    Consumer Reports2016-05-20
Found 26 reviews