Penske Media - Excellent Company | Glassdoor
  1. "Excellent Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Accounting Manager in Danbury, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Penske Media full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great work environment, President truly cares about his employees, flexibility when personal crisis arises

    Cons

    Older building a bit run down

    Penske Media2019-08-24

Other Employee Reviews

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Disappointing"

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

    I worked at Penske Media full-time

    Pros

    I worked on an editorial team within Penske, and I actually really loved my team. My coworkers were friendly and welcoming, my managers were generally down-to-earth and understanding, and there was a lot of room to do genuinely interesting, creative work. However, the values disseminated from the top down were nothing short of disappointing, and that definitely trickled down to affect everyone else.

    Cons

    Management doesn't seem to have any idea what they're doing. They're buying up once-high-profile media companies, but they don't appear to have the editorial expertise to guide and grow them. They seem to be more concerned with appearing successful than actually being successful—probably PMC's main flaw. Editors are expected to be seated at their desks from 9:30 to 6:30 each day. PTO is somewhat limited. Office... holidays are kept to a minimum (Christmas Eve didn't even make the cut). Working remotely is discouraged. And Summer Fridays aren't offered. Together, these restrictions paint a striking picture: Upper management has little regard for work/life balance, and they also have an archaic understanding of what it means to be an editor. Much of an editor's job happens away from their desk—at events, on shoots, building relationships, etc. The idea that a full-time editor is not responsible enough to decide how best to spend their time is patronizing and insulting. And it seems like a decision made for the sake of optics, rather than for the sake of actual productivity. PMC spent a lot of time designing beautiful offices to house all its brands. And the offices really do look nice. However, upper management seemed to care more about keeping the offices looking pristine than making sure we could actually do our jobs in them. They didn't account for interns in one of the brand floor plans, for example, and instead of giving that brand additional seating, they shut down their internship program. (God forbid they ruin the feng-shui!) They also told staffers they weren't allowed to put anything on top of their desks (photos, gifts from PR brands, anything). Most staffers openly defied this rule, but the fact that it was stated in the first place spoke to a lack of appropriate priorities. (A pristine office is more important than an office that staffers actually want to show up to every day?)

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    Advice to Management

    There are some really wonderful brands housed within the PMC portfolio, and many of them are full of potential. However, it's hard to build an empire (or anything, really) if the priorities trickling down from the top aren't particularly thoughtful. Trust that your employees know what they're doing. You hired them for a reason—they're responsible enough to decide whether sitting at a desk for 9 hours is the best... use of their time. Put more of an emphasis on work/life balance. Anyone who works in digital can essentially do their job from anywhere, and they might be more productive if you let them. The same is true with office holidays: The company isn't going to lose a ton of money if you give people Christmas Eve off. In fact, it make end up making more money (and it almost definitely will in the longer-term) if you focus on retaining the staff you have by treating them with respect and understanding.

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    Penske Media2019-10-03
  2. "Great company but its biggest brand is suffering under disconnected and totally incompetent leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Editorial 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Penske Media full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    PMC seems like a very entrepreneurial company, with a collaborative & innovative CEO who has great vision for his portfolio of brands. But....

    Cons

    Things at my publication within the company are a total wreck, with the top "management" lacking every necessary leadership quality and actively hurting the company's morale, editorial strategy, and bottom line by making ill-informed decisions, bullying employees, and spending all their time sucking up to the CEO and COO. Though PMC's CEO pledged to turn the company into a digital-first brand, it has been 2 years... now since the acquisition of this publication with no significant structural shifts, which has left everyone on the overworked digital team wondering if things will ever not be horrible. We were told the purchase would help turn around the failing legacy brand, but the opportunities don't seem to be there and it is painful to watch such a major consumer magazine flail under mediocrity and middle-of-road aspirations. The younger people they have hired are being asked to do the heavy lifting while the veteran employees sit around doing nothing. The talented could-be leaders are forced to do their bad managers' grunt work. The top editor outsources his own editor's letter in the magazine to someone else. It feels like PMC wants the editorial operation to sort out its issues internally, but this is not possible to do internally, because the poor "leadership team" that makes decisions is itself the company's biggest issue and weakness.

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    Advice to Management

    PMC is great with analytics and quantitative analysis of performance. But it should focus more attention on qualitative issues such as morale and company culture. I have not seen or conducted a manager/employee review in my entire time at the company, and most staff members that I talk to seem totally in the dark about anything that's going on elsewhere, because the top leaders purposely don't communicate it. The... managerial play-acting is apparent to every single person on the floor (it's an open secret that talking to the top editor will make your job harder and that he only cares about how he looks to the CEO, for example). At times it seems like the company is unfortunately just set up to fail.

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    Penske Media2019-10-20

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