I have been working at The News Tribune full-time (More than 10 years)
Great co-workers and the company is trying to improve.
Lack of opportunity to move up, static pay, no 401K match, upper management wants $100,000 level work for less than half of the pay.
Advice to Management
Try to innovate rather than follow just behind the curve in the advertising services available and focus on content of the paper. With great content, the audience comes back
I have been working at The News Tribune full-time (More than a year)
Always hiring new sales employees
Constant turn over and restructure
Advice to Management
I worked at The News Tribune full-time (More than a year)
The News Tribune is a long-standing community resource, as is its parent company McClatchy. I can say there is certainly value in the products they sell, namely digital, and the digital audience they bring. A few of the front-line managers are not only supportive, but also try to create a productive and positive environment. The corporate trainers also use the same methodology which will help the company in the future.
The publisher of TNT is a well-mannered and respectful leader who goes out of his way to know each employee and the work associated with him/her (Glassdoor has him listed as CEO). The actual CEO of McClatchy is Craig Foreman, who is new in the role and is very effectively pushing the organization where it should have gone years ago, digital readership and advertising.
The co-workers at TNT mean well and strive for success. They are very committed workers not only to the company, but to their peers. Most co-workers will go out of their way to help one another, and also support each other in this tough environment. Despite the internal and external challenges, these people were a joy to work with.
The training has improved as the company is finally investing more resources to provide quality training.
Benefits in general were great, as was paid time off. There were also plenty of opportunities for: days at the ball game, work functions, pot lucks, and more. Also, you worked 8-5 and were never really “required” to stay outside of that.
Lastly I learned a lot working at the TNT. I grew as a marketing professional and a sales person. This is a fast-paced industry that is heavy with talented competition. Before I move on to cons just know that the list is quite long. This is not a rant of anger, an attempt to defame. Unfortunately there is just a lot to fix at the TNT with very few ears actively listening, particularly at the local management level. I hope that this online review will serve as a wake up call to the VP and his team.
Before I continue...I want to point out I was NOT laid off or fired. I chose to leave given the following feedback:
The TNT is in serious decline. If you interview, be sure to tour the building to get an accurate representation of where the TNT stands today. The decline is especially coming from print & national advertisers, which is no surprise. However, this intense decline puts insurmountable pressure on the sales team & particularly digital sales. This condition causes:
Unattainable goals that are based on your sales trend, corporate budget, and last years sales (in a declining business?).
In turn your goals will be huge and typically won’t be given until until the day the month starts allowing for no realistic “gap to goal” planning.
Never-ending stream of one-on-one meetings, team meetings, department meetings, surprise meetings that are solely to discuss downward trend, how sales reps aren’t meeting goal, etc.
Your commission is paid only if you hit 75%-90% of your goal otherwise they keep every penny of the revenue you sell. Most other media companies do what is right and pay you based on all revenue you generate. Commission structure changes all the time due to constant “restructuring” of teams. To be honest, you probably have a different commission structure than your peer based on your hire date which seems to tilt in favor of new hires, enticing them to come on board.
The various sales teams are literally encouraged to fight against each other. The new digital sales manager encourages “just steal the accounts from the core team and sell digital. They aren’t selling it”. That same new manager also calls people on other teams “a joke” and crappy (different word) sales reps”.
The digital product suite is great. Most of the products are best in class. The problem is, most are farmed out to vendors creating very expensive marked up campaigns to push on your clients. There is an endless stream of forms and documents to launch simple campaigns. This often leads to campaigns running incorrectly or not at all. It’s all up to the sales rep to make-good, often times taking credit from their sales revenue. As if that’s not enough all the billing problems fall on the rep with zero support from finance. These things all take from selling time which leads to being brow-beat about not selling enough (typically VP to manager, down to the rep).
It’s by no fault of the TNT that print is in decline. However, despite knowing that daily circulation is appx. 33,000 (less than 10% market penetration of the 330k households in Pierce County according to City Data), they run a yearly “blow out sale” that bleeds profit margin. Clients are hard sold into annual print campaigns that stack the paper with ads yielding their add ineffective. The goal is actually just to up sell or transfer them to digital within the first 1-3 months which the reps are pushed HARD to do. When the advertiser cancels the rep is pushed to replace them, and is also up against the revenue next year.
Mileage is paid at $0.33 per mile (only 60% of the federal level).
Despite being a professional position selling to business owners, the base pay is only $36,000 or $17.30, even when the minimum wage for a barista in Seattle is $15/hour. The VP has said “you can’t pay too much base because if reps aren’t starving enough, they won’t sell”. Keep in mind the goals for commission are typically so high that less than 50% of reps each month are at 50%....so yes...they are starving for more.
The VP is a negative leader who spends a 30 minute weekly team meeting talking about decline, failure to meet goals, and picks apart “needs analysis” rather than just speaking to the good ones as an example, and encouraging people to replicate.
Turnover rate is embarrassing. Clients are aware of turnover and have had as many as 3 reps in one year. Often times campaigns suffer due to the churn. The turnover begs attention of corporate to find new leaders, namely the VP. I’m not sure that corporate has actually seen the exit interviews provided.
Advice to Management
Hopefully the list of cons above serves as advice to local management. The list is quite extensive and is actually a combination of feedback from previous workers, myself, and quiet conversations among those still there. Again, hopefully posting this online is enough to get the VP and other to actually listen. The last meeting held for “workplace betterment” sure didn’t do much. However, here are a few key points.
Do not hold people back from career goals. Don’t get angry when people apply to corporate. If you make them feel belittled or hold them back, they will just go to a competitor. Instead, coach them toward their goal and then bring in even better sales talent behind them.
Pick a path and stick with it. The constant restructure at the local level, changing rules of engagement, changing commissions distracts people from having fluidity toward the main goal, selling.
Managers need to be available, not behind a wall. Being available can be in person, phone, video, etc.
Don’t make so many excuses about working remote. This is an outside sales job. The technology is there and the rules are simple. Young & digital savvy talent go to companies that keep up with the times.
VP, a professional leader does not yell for their managers to “come her” from the office chair. The VP does not yell at sales staff in front of others. The VP does not say loudly and in earshot “my entire sales staff sucks. I should just fire them all and get better ones”. The VP does not complain that sales reps are in the office, and then complain “no one is here, but there are no sales”. The VP should be a leader. Get out in the field and face the challenges your staff faces. Also, listen to the feedback they are giving. The best ideas come from the team, not from the top.
Final advice; don’t listen to listen, listen to understand. Use the feedback from your talented sales staff and front-line managers to change the environment & processes. A lot of talented people have left that may have stayed. It’s time to take the advice.
I worked at The News Tribune (More than a year)
Good coworkers, good middle management.
Upper management is horrible. Salary not enough to live on. Freeze on all raises. Constant reduction of support staff so everyone else has to take on more work and responsibility for no more pay. Constant and ongoing changes from corporate keeps everyone stressed.
Advice to Management
More support and less criticism.
I worked at The News Tribune (More than 10 years)
enjoyed the people that I worked with.
worked you to death after laying off most of the staff.
I have been working at The News Tribune full-time (More than 5 years)
Good company along with great bosses, great co workers, good job overall. Lots of team growing events and perks. Defiantly recommend
There are no bonuses for this position so you base pay is what you will make. Constant misunderstandings between sales reps, management and orders, must verify run dates etc.
Competitive pay and 401 K.
Hostile environment encouraged, management simply looks the other way.
Advice to Management
The bottom line is important but people are more important.
To me the best reasons to work at the "Tribune" is the flexibility of the schedule, not very strict and no long hours...giving time to pursue other opportunities.
At this time working at the “Tribune” is a losing proposition; there is no raise in site and no room for advancement. There is also the double standard issue, one shift gets better treatment than the other.
Advice to Management
My advice to the leadership is…be more involve with the employees to get a better perspective on real important in real time issues. Consider the people and their needs, a small raise would go a long way in raising moral…which at this time is zero. Have a meeting at least every six months to hear ideas, opinions and concerns of the employees; after all, we are the blood-line of your company. More importantly, treat everyone the same across the board without favoritism and prejudice.
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