Benjamin Gannett to Host a Creative Session at PCMA Convening Leaders 2020
Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in America, announced another round of job cuts Thursday due to declining ad revenues.
Deborah Sampson Gannett earned national renown through her Revolutionary service and subsequent publication of her romanticized memoir and speaking tour appearances, for which the town of Sharon, Massachusetts honored her with both a street and statue dedicated to her service.
Early Life and Education
Deborah Sampson Gannett emerged into public as a formidable figure after World War II. As both soldier and promoter, she used her revolutionary credentials and patriotic enthusiasm to gain attention for herself and make money off them. Her diary shows she was adept at organizing theater performances as well as printing handbills.
She battled hard for compensation and pension for her military service, but ultimately fell short. In her later years she lived with her husband in a three-room farm house in Sharon and bore several children together with them. Additionally she enjoyed supporting youth sports such as hockey, baseball and soccer among her grandchildren’s teams as well as watching Patriots games, Bruins games and Red Sox matches with undiminished passion until Alzheimer’s disease ultimately claimed her life.
Gannett will explore the art and science of creativity during PCMA Convening Leaders 2020. He will also offer his framework for harnessing its powerful force. On Jan 8th he will host a studio session dedicated to helping attendees develop their creative potential.
Sampson wed Massachusetts farmer Benjamin Gannett in 1784. Following her military service she spent many years farming and weaving until 1802 when she began lecturing on her experiences, often appearing dressed in full military garb to give lectures about them.
She capitalized on her unique double identity – that of a female soldier playing out military life while lecturing about it – to become something akin to a media mogul in her own right, becoming highly-regarded and sought after for speaking engagements about military life and experience. Through these exploits she made a living while keeping up a military masquerade performance career.
Achievement and Honors
Gannett was widely recognized for his generous philanthropy. Specifically, he established programs at Rochester Institute of Technology devoted to photography, printing science and graphic arts; as well as being an early supporter of teletypesetter technology which enabled newspapers to be typeset over long distances using electrical impulses.
He led an unprecedented expansion of Gannett Company, one of America’s premier newspaper chains. Led by Chief Executive Allen Neuharth, Gannett made a risky bet in the 1980s by publishing USA Today, an innovative national daily paper which pioneered new methods of delivering news and information to an expansive audience – an approach which ultimately proved highly successful.
Deborah Sampson Gannett became famous and well-known after becoming known for dressing like a man and pretending to join the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War as Robert Shurtleff for 17 months – earning an honorable discharge – earning fame and notoriety along the way. Following this experience she married Benjamin Gannett and eventually settled down in Sharon Massachusetts with him where they raised three children together.
She struggled financially and battled long to receive compensation and military pension for her service. A writer named Herman Mann assisted in writing The Female Review which was eventually published in 1797.
Ben was an avid sports enthusiast and was particularly fond of Boston’s professional teams, the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. He regularly attended Red Sox games at Fenway, Patriots games at Gillette Stadium and Celtics games at TD Garden. Ben also enjoyed sports fishing as well as water and snow skiing – hobbies which he indulged in regularly.
At his death in 1957, Gannett owned and published medium-sized newspapers across the nation and was one of the biggest newspaper publishers. Contrary to popular perceptions, his generosity extended far beyond mere profiteering; including supporting research in both journalism and aviation as well as health, education and welfare initiatives.
Allen Neuharth led the company’s most significant achievement under his leadership when they launched USA Today as a national circulation computer copy-set in 1982, taking an enormous risk that ultimately proved worthwhile and made their company even wealthier.
Investors should be mindful of the fact that this company’s earnings report may demonstrate decreased quarterly revenue and profit due to decreased advertising sales at local newspapers, and also that digital platforms pose challenges that threaten print ad sales.