I'm an advertising sale professional with 22 years experience, and I'm good at what I do. I recently left a job from hell with the largest newspaper in NJ. The paper is on the verge of demise, and was in trouble when I went there in 2007, but I had no idea how much trouble they were in. In the fall of '08, the publisher announced that 230 people would be offered buyouts and all contracts with labor unions had to be renegotiated, otherwise, the paper would go up for sale. If it didn't sell by January 5, it would shut down. We held our breaths and were spared.
Then, the two old men who run the sales department, a couple of idiots from the west coast, decided it would be wise to add 15-20 new salepeople and break territories down. Great idea, huh? Hire all those bodies at $50K starting salaries when the paper is in trouble? Expand when you should contract? I walked into work after the new year and found that most of my active accounts had been transferred to someone else. Wonderful. Then, in the worst time of year, in the worst economy in decades, they expected me to immediately do the same kind of numbers I'd been doing previously before they took away my accounts. What a bunch of geniuses. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.
The level of bureaucracy at this paper is atrocious. There are quotas for everything; ROP, special sections, online and in May, they decided to start selling direct mail pieces. DUMB! They want you on the road by 9:45, yet there is so much admin work that needs to be done all the time, you barely have time to get out the door.
They started a glossy magazine in '08, and it's tanking badly. They hired a separate sales staff just for the magazine and expected the ROP salespeople to sell into it also, leaving the mag sales staff in a terrible position.
Another idiotic move was to outsource all ad production to a joke of a company called ACG-American Custom Graphics, who have now changed their name to Vertis. This company caused so many problems for us last fall; ads not getting done in time, misunderstandings, lousy looking ads, you name it. Once again, another boneheaded move by the two morons in the home office.
In March 09, we found out everyone was to take a two week unpaid furlough. A month later, they told us everyone was taking a pay cut. That's when I decided it was time to go. The Gang of Two in headquarters had their contracts renewed. DEFINITELY time to leave...and I did, to something better with a weekly paper, with less stress, the same money, and a much less pressured existence.
I have to say, I worked for the nicest woman on the face of the earth in our satellite office; a great manager, one of a kind, a real gem. Leaving her was my only regret. I wish I could have taken her with me.
Whatever you do, stay away from a sales job at this paper. They eat people alive with the sheer amount of BS you must deal with. It's not worth it!