Despite the deafening silence surrounding Gannett (NYSE: GCI) acquiring US Presswire officially from Gannett, other tidbits of information are coming through the grapevine, and other interesting places.
One such interesting insight comes from Photographer Thomas Shea, who's shot for USPW for some time. Shea posted this on his Facebook account:
As such, it seems that Gannett is making good on all the back debt that US Presswire photographers are owed. This is often the case when a company acquires another company - they not only get all the assets of that company, but also assume all the debt. Also what happens in many cases, is, if say, a company is valued at say $1,000,000, but the company also has $500,000 in debt, that debt is deducted from the valuation and while the purchase price/valuation is $1M, the actual payout to the company's owners is the net amount. While it is unclear if this happened in the Gannett USPW deal, it often does happen.
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For photographers looking at the potential detrimental effects on their bottom line, the SportsShooter.com website (here) shows a $375/$400 range of pay for an assignment. That's an incredible rate in comparison to the $100/$125 payments that Gannett is making to USPW photographers under the new deal.
As late as Sunday September 14, USPW Holdings COO Bob Rosato, is still working for Sports Illustrated, having been on the sidelines of the Ravens game and producing an SI regional cover, here. It may be that Rosato is playing out the end of a deal with SI as the Gannett arrangement ramps up, or there may be some other arrangement in place.
Also of interest, is that apparently Getty Images and US Presswire have exclusive licensing deals with college schools, whereby here, one photographer quotes the Michigan Wolverines as saying:
"The school also does not credential photography services beyond Getty Images and US Presswire, which have licensing relathonships with the school, according to Ablauf."
Lastly, it seems that US Presswire (a la Gannett) is now covering high school sports - here. In the past (4 other times) USPW has covered a high school game, it was because 1. Ashton Kutcher was a coach; 2. Joe Montana's son was QB; 3.) Matt Barkey (went to play at USC). The only other thing about this game was it featured two USA Today top-5 teams. It could be that this is a new order, "on high", from Gannett.
It looks like photographers who used to earn $375/$400 won't be needed with the $100 photographer in abundance from the ranks of the USPW folks. This is yet one more example of how what you do not only affects others, but yourself, if, say, you were shooting for Gannett when they called, and USPW in the meantime - you contributed to your own cost-slashing.
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