Gannett boss: ‘We will unlock the full strength and impact of being the nation’s largest newsgathering force’

Bob Dickey, who has been named CEO of Gannett’s spun-off newspaper publishing unit, tells employees that execs are “planning some important and significant changes to our org structure” and that “we will unlock the full strength and impact of being the nation’s largest newsgathering force.”

His full memo:

Subject: Update on the New Gannett
From: A message from Bob Dickey
Date: May 21, 2015, 4:05 PM

Dear friends and colleagues,

On a hot and hazy Tuesday last August, when we announced the split of our business, you heard about a new publishing company that would have the freedom to carve its own future.

Now that future is almost upon us, and I know you have questions. What is our vision for the future? What are our plans for growth? How might our news business evolve? You might be asking, “How will this affect me?”

My leadership team and I promise to answer these questions in the weeks ahead—particularly on launch day. But in the meantime, I’d like to get started by sharing a few updates and painting an early picture of the new Gannett./CONTINUES

Let me begin with our leadership team. When I first started convening a group of leaders several months ago, I was impressed by the diversity, wisdom and talent of these remarkable individuals. But I’ve been even more impressed as this collection of individuals has transformed into a real team, ready to support one another, working seamlessly across divisions. It’s a microcosm of what I hope to see across the entire company in the coming months, and I will always be grateful for the contributions of Ali Engel, John Zidich, Henry Walker, Maribel Perez Wadsworth, Barbara Wall, Jamshid Khazenie, Andy Yost, David Payne and Larry Kramer in helping to launch this impressive enterprise.

Building our 3-year strategy

Our leadership team and I have been envisioning a new future for Gannett. We aim to build — with your help — the next generation media company; where we not only serve communities, but form the connective tissue that holds all elements of a community together; where we not only inform our consumers, but help them connect, act and thrive.

As part of that process, we’ve been shaping a bold, new corporate strategy. This strategy requires that we build a unified and nimble culture; create an even stronger presence at the local level; establish new sources of revenue; lead with digital and integrate it into every part of the business; build a world-class data capability that connects all facets of the company; and explore innovative new business ideas. These are some of the pillars that will form our new 3-year strategy, and my team and I will continue to update you on that strategy as it takes shape.

We’ve also been planning some important and significant changes to our org structure, largely tied to one of our most important initiatives: uniting our different news businesses into a single, nationwide news powerhouse.

Unifying the nation’s largest news organization

In one of our first moves, we will unlock the full strength and impact of being the nation’s largest newsgathering force. All of our journalists will form part of a single nationwide news organization, led by our Chief Content Officer. We will maintain and elevate our commitment to investigative and watchdog journalism. We will reveal and explain. We will surprise and entertain and delight. And importantly, we will strive for impact, connection and action in local communities and across the nation.

We will work together with unprecedented coordination to produce and share great journalism. Our content will inspire our readers to action in all of our markets, but by working together we’ll also connect our readers to news wherever it happens.

Our commitment to our local news brands and USA TODAY is unwavering, even as we seek to expand our content offerings for audiences.

Several top news leaders, including Kate Marymont and Dave Callaway, are hard at work shaping our new news organization. We soon will have more to share about this exciting initiative.

I hope you’re as excited by this future as I am. This does not mean the road ahead of us will be easy. But I know together we’ll create a healthier, business model that can grow and thrive.

Our strong portfolio of brands will drive our success. Drawing on the talents of our journalists, the content we create will prompt citizens and consumers to act. We will continue to forge deep relationships with business partners at both the national and local levels, and from those relationships create extraordinary growth.

Over the coming months, you will see from this company a more effective structure, new talent and better ways of working. You will see us using assets that our competitors don’t have, in new and surprising ways. You will see us pioneering innovative products in categories that no one else in our industry has attempted yet. And you will see us transform into a culture that’s far more nimble, far more agile and far more operationally strong than ever before.

Let us hear from you

You can expect to hear more detail on our 3-year strategy in the coming weeks. But I’m sure you have questions, and we want to help answer them. Write to and my team and I will provide answers as we have them.

In the meanwhile, my thanks to each of you for your role in helping to shape a vibrant future for the new Gannett company.