Dealership MarketingPR Announcements

Cox Auto Trader Makes Strategic Moves to Improve Online Automotive Advertising Business

ATLANTA (January 5, 2009) – Cox Auto Trader, parent company to AutoTrader.com and Cox AutoTrader/AutoMart, is making strategic changes to its business in an effort to better address the needs of both consumers and commercial advertising customers through its online automotive advertising business led by AutoTrader.com.

Cox AutoTrader/AutoMart, the print-based subsidiary of Cox Auto Trader, will cease publishing AutoMart and AutoExtra magazines. AutoTrader and Truck Trader magazines will continue to be printed. These magazines will continue to be distributed as before, along with other Trader titles owned by Dominion Enterprises.

The AutoTrader.com organization, based in Atlanta, will assume responsibility for AutoMart.com, AutoExtra.com and AutoTraderLatino.com (formerly known as AutoMercado.com). AutoTrader Classics and AutoTrader Latino magazines will continue as part of the AutoTrader.com suite of products and services.

“Consolidating the majority of our resources into a single AutoTrader.com organization will facilitate long-term growth and also help us maintain a singular focus on serving our consumers and advertisers,” said Sandy Schwartz, president of Cox Auto Trader.

As part of the consolidation process, some Cox AutoTrader/AutoMart employees will be reassigned as AutoTrader.com employees. Some positions in the Cox

AutoTrader/AutoMart organization will be eliminated. Impacted employees who are eligible will be offered generous severance packages. The print distribution system for the Trader family of paid magazine titles will not be affected.

The ongoing shift in emphasis to an online automotive advertising business strategy is in response to the decline in demand for print-based automotive advertising products. As more automobile dealers and private sellers shift their advertising from print to the Web to take advantage of the efficiency and reach that online platforms offer, Cox Auto Trader is adjusting its business strategy accordingly.

“We are ready for these strategic moves and look forward to supporting the needs of all of our consumers and advertisers,” said Chip Perry, president and CEO of AutoTrader.com.

AutoTrader.com is the industry leader for classified automotive advertising in the United States. Expanding its offerings allows AutoTrader.com to provide product and service combinations that no competitor can match, which solidifies its position as the most effective and efficient way to buy, sell or research a vehicle.

About Cox Auto Trader
Cox Auto Trader is one of the world’s leading providers of online and print automotive consumer information. Operating business units include AutoTrader.com and Cox

AutoTrader/AutoMart. AutoTrader.com is the Internet’s leading auto classifieds marketplace and consumer information web site with more than 3 million vehicle listings

and over 13 million qualified buyers each month. Cox AutoTrader/AutoMart consists of AutoTrader Publishing, a leading producer of classified automotive advertising publications with nearly 350 automobile and light truck titles and a total circulation of 3.5 million per week; and AutoMart, the leading provider of print and online classified automotive advertising for dealer customers with more than a million used car Internet listings from dealers combined with print publications in 75 separate markets. Cox Auto Trader is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, Inc.

About AutoTrader.com
AutoTrader.com, created in 1997 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is the Internet’s leading auto classifieds marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location more than 3.5 million new, used and certified pre-owned vehicle listings from 40,000 dealers and 250,000 private owners and the site attracts more than 14 million unique monthly visitors. Through innovative merchandising functionality such as multiple photos, videos, detailed descriptions and comprehensive research and compare tools, AutoTrader.com unites new and used car buyers and sellers online, improving the way people research, locate and advertise vehicles. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. The venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.

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A
I'm surprised they are still doing the AutoTrader.com magazine
D
  • D
  • January 5, 2009
We have seen a noticeable drop in leads originating from autotrader.com as well as cars.com could be a based on market conditions however ebay seem to be providing as much as ever...
T
  • T
    Tom Drake
  • January 6, 2009
I was a manager at Cox Automart until July 08 when the company was in the "middle" (?) of layoffs. Part of me is surprised, part not given what I saw STILL going on.
S
Thats too bad, the Automart print worked better than our Newsaper ads did.
The website worked well for the cost attributed too.
I guess Autotrader is going to provide it all now to US dealers, but that's not a surprise.
I hope we all save $$ from their consolidation strategy, but I'm sure we won't in the end:)
J
I'm somewhat surprised at the magazines they're stopping, and I feel sorry for the people that have been laid off from the company (like several of my close friends as recently as this week who were going on 5-10 years). Something else I heard today was interesting though. Not sure about the veracity yet, but if you look at the words chosen by Cox Auto Trader in their release, they say "[Auto Trader]...magazines will continue to be <strong>distributed</strong> as before". I'm told Auto Trader magazines, although distribution will continue, is moving away from the dealer advertisements altogether. In fact I spoke with a print rep this afternoon who said his last day (and everyone else in his area) will be on the 23rd. I guess they're forcing dealers to go the private party route, one vehicle at a time at full price. Makes sense to me, as profit margins are significantly higher on the dot com side compared to print pubs, but I know a lot of dealers aren't going to be happy. Besides, AT.com has been trying to figure out for years how they can combat the objection that every AT.com sales rep hears: "why do I need you when my print ads show up on the site for free?"

Whether it's a smart business decision or if they're just trying to consolidate and stay afloat when they're worried about other things, who knows. Interesting stuff nonetheless.
C
  • C
    Cox Employee
  • January 8, 2009
Want the scoop? The entire Cox Auto Trader company (minus Autotrader.com) was laid off Monday via an email that went out at 11:30am - probably about 3500 employees. The 140 top reps in the company were scammed into taking an AutoTrader.com rep position - they were told they wouldn't receive unemployment or a severance and offered them a whopping $25,000! My two top reps made $250,000 &amp; over $100k! This company continues to amaze me, what has happened to mankind? The top vp's responsible for the demise... they all have jobs now at Autotrader.com. And that's 'part' of the scoop...
C
  • C
    Cox Employee
  • January 8, 2009
oh by the way... they are only continuing with Auto Trader magazine because the private party part of the mag is managed by Autotrader.com - there will not be dealer ads in the pub. They are continuing to distribute because they're being sued by Dominion since they have an agreement to distribute their pubs nationwide.
A
  • A
    About to be jobless
  • January 8, 2009
I will be losing my job on the 23rd like many others. What I found interesting about this article is how in bold it reads that we will be offered "generous severance packages". Last I checked, one week is not generous and neither is the amount for that one week.

My best to the car dealers out there, it has been a pleasure.
S
Hopefully dealers will finally start to realize that our website, Carsforsale.com, is truly a great value at just $99 a month.
S
Dear Scott,

Do you sell flowers at funerals too? Seriously, anybody that was considering your site just stopped.

SP
S
O.K. SP. We are just trying to provide an affordable option to dealers in this tough economy instead of continuing to raise rates among other things and that should take us out of consideration? O.K. SP
C
  • C
    Cox Employee
  • January 8, 2009
so, "about to be jobless" - how did you find out what your generous severance would be? We don't get our until next Tuesday. I like how the news releases are really missing how whole store... and what a store it is for a multi-billion dollar company still in existence...
M
  • M
    Mike
  • January 8, 2009
Scott,

Shameless plug for sure. Not only that but what value will your site bring to dealers? Your site name is too long, I would rather pay cars.com even if its 5 times as much then carsfosale. No point in being cheap if you can't produce good results.

Mike
S
O.K. Mike. Thanks for the advice. We will try to do better this year. Produce good results. Get shorter name.
Thank you Michael.
A
  • A
    about to be jobless
  • January 8, 2009
My unethical, corrupt GED-holding Regional gave me the news about losing my job over the phone. He said the severence would be similar to the packages given to the AT employees when their market here was shut down a couple months ago. He said preliminarily that I will get one week and it will be an average of my weekly commissions so I have a good idea of what that is looking like. I will know more next week.
A
  • A
    about to be jobless
  • January 8, 2009
To "cox employee" what is the average your reps were billing weekly?
A
  • A
    Amazed
  • January 8, 2009
This is amazing to me. I can understand why Auto Mart Magazine was not profitible with their heavy discounting but there had to be profitible markets that could be salvaged and kept alive?

I have to believe that Dominion is next and if they are already suing Cox for distribution- I think the writing is on the wall! The whole internet only stategy seems like having all the eggs in one basket for these companies.

Also with all of these companies killing their print and pushing us all onto their websites - major saturation! Their internet rates are going to sky rocket and my ad budget is going to explode. I wish all of you media people well- very sad to see so many loose jobs and treated terribly.
H
  • H
    HORRIBLE NEWS
  • January 8, 2009
To comment on the rest of the bad news the rest who are staying on with Auto trader Latino formerly Auto Mercado will later be let go as soon as they are used for there leads and contacts....
M
  • M
    Mattie
  • January 8, 2009
I sympathize with those impacted by this layoff. I believe Cox will cull as much business as they can from the print reps they took on and will unload autotrader.com next year once they've rid the print part of the business to make it that much more desirable. I wouldn't be suprised if autotrader.com pared down it's field sales force mid year this year, they can't possibly need that many sales reps in this economy in all markets, save the major ones.
O
This is all terrible news. God bless the employees and their families that have been wronged after years of providing loyal service.

SS it would be wise to learn to read your audience before making your pitch.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 8, 2009
I have been employed with Trader Publishing, now Cox for 8 years. The beginning of the end was when the company was split in to a couple of years ago. It was a stupid move and its been going downhill ever since. AFter that, they started moving all the private party customer service to call centers which provided bad customer service. Our city always used to earn awards for our customer service. Once we were no longer taking our own calls, it went down hill from there. Every move these upper management people have made had been one wrong move after another. About 2 months ago they completely shut down all private party operations and the only way somebody could place an ad was on autotrader.com. Thats fine but there are lots of folks who do not use the internet.
I used to be a private party manager and my position was eliminated right at a year ago and I was offered to take severance or stay on in a much lower position. I chose to stay on and was later offered a new position in commercial sales running a newly launched service called Carspot. This thing had the potential to make alot of money but they ran it wrong, did not try to sell it. A month ago I was told they were shuting that down and I had 30 days left. Was bad for dealers we had signed up who put all their data feeds and collection with us. Left them in a bind. I think my last week is this week but not sure. Our office is having a meeting Monday about the severance. Such a shame. Maybe somebody will come in a buy it up and do it the right way like before Cox took over.
E
  • E
    Employee
  • January 8, 2009
I have to agree, the management is very poor and unprofessional. They were slow to react to economic changes locally and changes throughout the restructure. These managers just kept themselves scarce and acted busy while they were playing around.

My city was still billing a decent weekly amount and it would be a good opportunity for an independent publication to step in and replace us. Some of my clients are very sad to see us go and are looking for a similar replacement.
C
  • C
    Cox Employee
  • January 9, 2009
"About to be Jobless" - my top reps were still billing $25k/wk &amp; $12k/wk. Despite the economy we barely skipped a beat. Give me the initials of your 'GED holding regional' - probably the same as mine (BB). I think the public should know how Cox Enterprises, a multi-billion dollar company, has treated this division in the last year, it is just so wrong.
E
  • E
    eddie m
  • January 9, 2009
I too was a 12 year management employee at Cox. This is a heck of a way to blow 1.7 Billion. The real reason to close the pubs down is to be able to sell ATC and generate cash. They have NEVER cared about the employees. Even now the VP's for Trade are at Las Vegas and they were all given LARGE suites so that it would help them to "collect themselves" What a way to go!!
A
  • A
    about to be jobless
  • January 9, 2009
DP was my regional. Once the local manager left, we had a great temporary fill-in for a short while. After that, they just let it slide. No manager, no support, accounts dropping. The most we saw "management" is when HR was visiting beacause of problems between the employees and mgmt. No surprise, nothing ever changed.

We went from 80k to 20 or 30k billing in no time.

I am curious to see if they are going to deduct any outstanding account balances against our severance. It wouldn't be surprising.
C
  • C
    Cox Employee
  • January 9, 2009
To, "about to be jobless," yes know DP pretty well, just had a class w/ him a few wks back. My top two reps are in Atlanta now being swindled into taking this ATC job, offering them only $25k (they were making $250k &amp; $110k!!!) They told them there will be no severance and no unemployment so they HAVE to take this job. They have 90 days to prove themselves, change over some of their accts to ATC and then they'll dump them and again try to sell the company. They will have a small increase in sales while saving $$ by not paying these top producers a severance... when will it end?!?
J
I am blown away by this. I feel horrible for all that are in this position of losing their jobs and all.
From what I have read they tend to rip the little guys apart and take away as much as they can. If it was not for the staff they would not have been there in the first place. Geeze!

Good luck to all of you you have my support!!
A
  • A
    Also about to be jobless
  • January 9, 2009
I''ve been with the company for going on 7 years as a graphic artist for Cox Auto Mart and our last day will be February 6...Waiting to find out what my severance package will be, but I'm not expecting much. I agree with prior posters that the company went downhill after the buyout in 2006. Before that, it was a great company to work for and I truly enjoyed my job. I know that sales management wasn't great, and neither was composing.

"about to be jobless" - I know DP well as he works out of the office beside me, and your description of him is accurate.
Good luck on the job hunt, guys!
D
  • D
    Dan Stapleton
  • January 9, 2009
This company went downhill about 2 years after Cox purchased the company. I think the sales manager in San Diego hung himself and their were a ton of human resource problems and sexual harassment issues there. Quotas were inflated and sales mgrs. were rotated in and out. In Atlanta a few years ago top reps started their own company and later sold to another national mag. I think the same happened in San Diego but I can't remember the name of the company that competes against them. Management was horrific and all the top reps would leave. It is sad for all to see this company ruin a once thriving print magazine.
N
  • N
    Need another print book
  • January 9, 2009
I'm sad for the people that lost their jobs. The print gave us a lot of biz to and are rep was great.
They have too many wesbites they're trying to sell, and I guess it'll be part of autotrader.com now - which we only use the free listings, the cost is just too much.
We get bunch of traffic from web searches most of are customers find us on google.com, theres so many ways online for people to find cars, like easyautosales, carsearch, autopopulous, and everycarlisted which are all free. I don't see how thye can keep charging more for their websites.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 9, 2009
Actually, that is not correct, Cox did not buy anything. When Trader Publishing was started in 91, it was half owned by Landmark, half owned by Cox. In 06, Landmark was getting tired of messing with Cox (I assume) so Cox was deciding on if they wanted to take over the whole thing or not. Cox decided it did not want the whole thing and took their half. The automotive stuff when to them, everything else went to a newly formed company of Landmark, Dominion. Dominion is actually more or less the old Trader. Anyway, it seems to me like cox never wanted to take their half but were forced, and in hindsight, seems every step they have made since then had been deliberate move to run the company into the ground in my opinion. I know our office is still generating good revenue, and our dealers are really mad right now.
M
  • M
    Matt
  • January 9, 2009
Scott @ CarsForSale.com

Your website is a pretty blatant copy of AutoTrader.com. You need to make your website a little more original... geez
A
  • A
    andy sypherd
  • January 10, 2009
I totally agree that Cox did everything they could to eliminate these publications. I was a long time employee and unfortunately saw the writing on the wall so I got out about 5 weeks ago. All they kept saying is "print is dead". Well about 40 percent of the public still uses print so I am not sure how that is not enough?? And as for the few people they have offered positions on the autotrader.com side they will use them and then get rid of them as well. I am sad for all those who worked hard for this orginazation because Cox never intended to continue forward anyway. They are a very greedy company who does not care about the employees or the clients they serve. If I were a car dealer I would reeveluate any adertising decision in the future that involves using a Cox product. Because being a former employee I can tell you they are not looking out for them as a customer the decisions they make are only based on Cox best interest. Therefore the customer suffers from their poor decisions and does not receive what they have been promised.
J
I work for Auto Trader and the thing that has me worried and mad is that for some reason our branch gets paid on our receivables not on our sales. So I have thousands of dollars in unpaid commission owed to me. Since they are going to close the branch, how do I have any control over those collections and how can I be assured that I will get paid. I think that part of our final pay and/or severance package should be getting paid in full for this money. We worked for it, we earned it, and 99% of the other branches would have already paid their reps for it. Talk about getting ripped off. This is discrimination at the fullest.
B
  • B
    Brian S.
  • January 10, 2009
I feel for you Josh. Anytime a company puts incentives on collections and concentrates more on that than new business sales, something is up, like it's going to be put on the block or dumped. Good luck trying to get paid in full from them, I'm sure they'll spin your head with promises &amp; stories, I wish you luck.
M
  • M
    MMK
  • January 11, 2009
I'm surprised that no one has commented here that these decisions were made in the wake of a truly atrocious year for the automotive industry. It's most certainly unfortunate, but given what is happening in the economy and in the automotive industry- it seems completely unreasonable to blame management for the environment that created the necessity for this decision.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 11, 2009
MMK, do you work for Cox right now? If not, then it is reasonable to assume that you probably do not know what is going on. Being there before Cox, and after Cox, its clear they were steering toward shutting the thing down eventually right from the get go. Uncle Joe's state of the company addresses since he has taken over have been nothing but bad news. Every one. He then came up with this 3 phase plan. Im sure anybody who was there remembers all this, what these big changes were supposed to be for the better etc. Well I guess we know what phase 3 is.
L
I became a Cox employee when my city was acquired by them. I was thankful for the the generous severance I received when the original founder sold out and I decided to give my new employer a chance. It was fun to be a part of a very successful organization and I was well paid for my time. Everyone in the organization cared about the customers we served and we were one of the most profitable cities in the country. In my opinion, the company began to focus more on cutting costs than it did on customer satisfaction. I felt that the company did not want to listen to my ideas so I decided to quit about 4 years ago. It is sad to see so many people hurting because upper management did not adapt to the changing market conditions.

To all of those about to be laid off: The sooner you let go of your past and forgive your last boss for all the suffering you had to go through, the better off you will be in the future. Most of the middle managers I worked for at Cox were only guilty of carrying out orders from the top and the people at the top were just trying to keep their jobs. If upper management had been more responsible, the company could have been better off, even in a down market. Now more than ever, dealers need a decent place to advertise and it is too bad that something that used to be free as part of a print package now costs more and more every year. Good luck in your job hunt and make sure you get a job with a company that cares about you and the customers you will serve. I am glad I chose to quit on my terms instead of waiting for the train wreck but there are some good companies out there that will hire you as long as you put your best foot forward. Keep in touch with your friends and network as much as possible. When you are in a job interview, avoid bad-mouthing your last boss and you will soon be living the dream. Good luck with your job search.
W
  • W
    WOW!
  • January 11, 2009
I don't know if I am more suprised that they just killed the magazine or they would actually try to bring back auto trader as a paid publication in order for Cox to satisfy their distribution contracts???!!!

How can these "big wigs" come to the conclusion that print is dead. Most of our qualified leads came from Auto Mart and another free statewide publication here in Michigan (shall remain nameless here). Both pulled WAY more than autotrader.com. and both seam to do a robust business - we would have been screwed this year without these two magazines. Print may be dead in 10 years but for now I think this is a HUGE mistake for them.

I have a freind who owns a motorcycle shop and says Dominion is next and that in some Illinois markets they are eliminating cycle trader and pushing customers to their web sites because Cox wont deliver them!!

Pure stupidity!!!
C
  • C
    Cocks Employee
  • January 11, 2009
Ridiculous strategy!If you do an analysis in most every market - Print Pick up greatly exceeds Internet search results and leads. Direct navigation to the Automart site has increased dramatically - how does this happen ?? It comes from the print customers. I certainly am not bitter about the company's decision,I merely have a low tolerence for stupidity.Trader publishing could have set the standards for dealers and competitors this year but now will become just like the rest - nothing unique or different, but hey I do see a commercial about once every 6 months.I wonder if my 1000 phone leads a month from Automart print were better than the 20 e-mails we generated each month. Good luck to all former Cox employees.
G
  • G
    Getauto printing books now
  • January 12, 2009
The guy that takes car pictures for Dealers Specialty said the print books is going to be done by Getauto.com now.
I told my Auto mart salesperson to talk to them about a job, but she can't becasue theres a non-competing contract Cox had all sign.
I thought Cox and Getauto were the same, but after reading the posts here they're not, but were once??
What a cluster..... too bad for all the employess, i wish you all the best.
W
  • W
    WOW!
  • January 12, 2009
Never heard of it - and this is not the statewide pub I was referencing above (don't want to name the publication here because that is not the purpose of this forum) but it outperformed Auto Mart and is a FREE publication which is the only way a print pub will work in my opinion.

I will take a look at the getauto thing but it ussually takes many months if not years for a start up to gain traction - I have seen many come and go.

Good luck Cox employees!!!
K
  • K
    Kip Schumm
  • January 12, 2009
We are a family business that publishes weekly Auto &amp; RV magazines in OH,IN,KY,TN,MI,IL &amp; WI. We still have strong response to our print products and our web site autorv.com. We are always looking for strong sales people that can produce results. If you would like to talk call me at 800-733-4111 ext. 2328.
C
  • C
    Cox Employee
  • January 12, 2009
Kip, that is awesome - I will get your name and number out to my contacts from Cox in those states.
U
  • U
    Used, Abused, Chewed Up and Spit Out
  • January 12, 2009
Sad days indeed. The classic signs of doom were all there for the last year and a half! Talk about used, abused, lied to, and let down.
But don't blame the RD's. In the end, everyone got played and tossed aside and the fat lady is just warming up for her act...

If you have your health, shelter, food, and someone to love, you are far better off than millions of folks out there in the world that are hurting even more, so make the best of it, keep your chin up and get back in the fight.
E
Does anybody know if we are employable by competitors or if our non compete agreement still applies even though the company is going under??

Thanks!
D
  • D
    Dan Stapleton
  • January 12, 2009
all non competes are void. They never were valid in California as they are illegal in this state. No court in the land would be able to enforce a non compete when the company exits its business.
E
  • E
    employee
  • January 12, 2009
Technically the company has not left the market. Just a division of the company. right?
A
  • A
    Abandoned and left for dead.
  • January 12, 2009
I would check with an attorney about the semantics and specific language of the non-competition and non-solicitation aspects of the agreement that every regional director, general manager, general sales manager, sales manager, and sales representative or sales assistant signed as a requirement of their employment.
You will no doubt soon notice (if you have not yet received it) that a copy has been conveniently provided to you as part of your separation and severance package as a glaring reminder of how bad your life is really about to become.

The real issue is that COX has in fact abandoned print, but not dealer advertising and marketing per se and they know it.They have simply transitioned to a 100% online media strategy. The non-compete specifies that you will not provide services directly or indirectly, in connection with the marketing, sales, promotion, production, or distribution of any conflicting product in any conflicting territory.

However, all it may take is a precedent somewhere in the country where a judge interprets the actions by COX of slapping a restraining order on a sales person who goes out and simply tries to make a living doing what they know best as unjust, unfair, and with malicious intent on the part of the big monster company that first lays off hundreds of loyal employees and then tries to prevent them from gaining employment in the 10% unemployment world that we are all about to experience first-hand. After all, the true intent of the non-compete was just to keep people from jumping ship and divulging secrets, or after they got fired for being lousy sales people who would not make it anywhere else anyway.
Interesting puzzle for them. If COX comes on too strong here, what will happen is that every [former] advocate of the organization is going to hear from their former reps on how their dear friends and consultants who made their ndealerships successful are being absolutely trampled over every which way by the huge company that now wants to cram 3 internet sites down their throats and ask for more money yet essentially telling them at the same time that the thousands that they have been spending up to this point on print was a huge waste of money? Good luck with that one!
While you should not make disparaging remarks about your former employer or make inaccurate statements, you are still allowed to speak your mind. Remember that the voice of one may be small and faint... I would hope that when the collective voice of the many afflicted who rise up and state their case honestly and without prejudice and simply and truthfully tell their story, that things will perhaps change for the better and people will be allowed to work in their chosen field of expertise.
R
  • R
    Richard
  • January 13, 2009
Employee,

Don Stapleton is not entirely right. Non-competes are illegal in CA for the most part but not all cases.

There are a couple of circumstances of where they are enforceable and they have to do with selling ownership in the company.

Regardless of what state you are in, I would suggest you consult with legal counsel before making your own determination. It could end up costing you if you make the wrong decision.
D
  • D
    Dan Stapleton
  • January 13, 2009
The key semantic difference in a non compete is "you will not provide services directly or indirectly, in connection with the marketing, sales, promotion, production, or distribution of any conflicting product in any conflicting territory. As marketed by Cox print has been a separate entity wholly different from the internet. It would be extremely difficult for a valid non compete claim to be enforced. Cox by their previous marketing in that they differentiated print and internet will doom their efforts to prevail legally. However that does not mean that they will not threaten and bluster. Consult an attorney if you have doubts and good luck.
E
I worked for Trader as a sales rep for 18+ years. Four years ago after loosing faith in Trader management, I joined 6 other disgruntled employees to start ZoomAutos.com Magazine in San Diego(Trader's strongest market). There is great opportunity for everyone who has just been dumped by Trader. Start your own Magazine! I am offering ZoomAutos.com as a "Production Hub" for anyone wanting to start a new magazine anywhere in the country. We can provide Magazine layout, Display page building, Website creation and management, Internal ad management site, Dealer feed processing, Distribution plan, and General guidance for an affordable rate. You just need Sales and Distribution teams (and of course money). Checkout our site and email me anytime if you are considering your own magazine. [email protected]
E
I don't understand, I got an Email from my manager this morning and he talked about some secret managers meetings and that some cities may be looked at to continue running the pubs. Has anyone heard any more on this?
D
  • D
    Dan Stapleton
  • January 13, 2009
even if true do you really want to trust your future to a company that obviously does not care about its employees. At the first opportunity they will spit you out.
S
  • S
    Soon to be jobless
  • January 13, 2009
According to HR at Cox - every no compete will be held on a case by case basis.They may not enforce it but will enforce the confidentiallity agreement. I think this is hillarious considering we will be sharing trade secrets that apparantly don't work.LOL. I think we should all focus on the main issue here - the girl that posted this is HOTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 13, 2009
First of all, my last day was Friday, and to all who are wondering the severance is 1 week of your average pay over the last year for every 1 complete year of service.

Getauto is dealer specialties, which is dominion, and NO getauto.com is not going to take over the print books. Your dealer specialty rep doesnt know what he is talking about.

As for the non-compete, yes its in place but there is really not going to be anybody around (locally) to enforce it.

Our market here is still VERY strong in the book. I would not be surprised if somebody does not come in and start one up again. Our publication here, like other cities, was started years ago and was a family owned and run business, then cox (trader pub) bought them out.

I have not heard anything about some cities continuing to put out the book, its a nation wide deal, they are not going to pick and choose what to keep and what to dump. They are dumping the whole thing.
E
  • E
    employee
  • January 13, 2009
Always in need of a laugh. Especially as next week approaches!
Wish me luck on my round two interview tomorrow.
C
  • C
    Concerned Ex-Employee
  • January 13, 2009
I worked on AutoExtra.com for a little over a year. I was a developer on the website. It's no wonder this is happening when the entire web team is telling management the site needs to be redesigned and instead of allowing their own design and web teams do this, they hired an outside firm that charged around 2 million bucks. A lot of this money was for advertising and such, but why wasn't the in-house team allowed to do this? Some folks in upper management should've been canned for that, but instead, all of the hard-working employees are being laid off. Luckily, I jumped ship right after the first round of layoffs occurred in the Norfolk office.
E
Dan, I think you sound sexy when you get so passionate, you must be very bitter. I think I like it.
L
  • L
    Left Behind
  • January 13, 2009
Soon to be:
Who are your "sources" at HR?" Do you believe that they can really be trusted? I would think that consistent and deliberate enforcement would hold more water than selective, case-by-case enforcement, presumably based on the success of any startup or needle movement of a competitor? I guess it depends on the integrity of the select few who will now be swallowed up by ATC. Do you think that they will rat on their friends who they may be coming to soon for another opportunity anyway once their sacrificial mission plays out? I guess it depends on how brainwashed they got in Atlanta last week.
The other side of this is that COX has had no apparent problems or guilt in hiring sales people that came from competitors and the trade info that was asked for in that process. When I was hired up here in the North 2 years ago shortly after this "divorce" or whatever you all call it, I was not even asked if I had signed a non-compete with my former employer, and I was welcomed with open arms but was also "expected", (although not in writing) to bring my clients with me, which I did and they happily took the money with [again] no guilt whatsoever. Then all these good things I though were coming my way really started spelling the beginning of the end... AutoExtra lost the slick covers, went B&amp;W and all the positions that I was told I could sell on the new display program during the big blitz went ROP to save money. Then, all of the ads that I took and promised to my clients would appear on AT.C at no charge got blocked, as well as the blocking by ATC of my 800 tracking numbers that helped my credibility with my converted clients as that all changed, and my promised level playing field became a sand box that resembled a badly abused cat litter box, and I became elevated to a position of ceremonial shmuck with my dealer advocates and confidants. So I got pretty much lied to from day one. Bitter ??? Of course not! I am finally liberated next week.
It will be interesting to see what happens next.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 13, 2009
Employee: Where are you interviewing at?
L
  • L
    left behind-question
  • January 13, 2009
what happened in Atlanta?
I
  • I
    Interested
  • January 13, 2009
What are the offices saying that have already received theri servance pks?
D
  • D
    Dan Stapleton
  • January 13, 2009
Cox has a long history of screwing the business' that they acquire going back to The Weather Channel with John Coleman the original founder. It is poetic justice that they are now embroiled in a law suit with Dominion. Both companies have engaged in monopolistic tactics and have tried their best to stifle competition in any manner they can. I applaud you Carmen in your earlier post in offering help to any individual who wants to start an independent pub. I checked out your zoomautos.com site and its pretty nice.
T
  • T
    The Chosen One
  • January 13, 2009
Atlanta is where the top tier of ATP sales reps throughout the country were invited and entertained offers of employment from Mr Chip Perry, CEO @ AT.com.

Anybody here want to cash my next paycheck for me?
M
  • M
    MH
  • January 13, 2009
KNEW IT...

I am a former employee who chose to leave about 5 months ago. I served 9 years with Trader and Cox and believe me it was hard to do. About 2 years ago we were in a meeting in Ohio and all they could talk about was internet so I knew then that this would happen. Reverse market was my first thought and then closing locations.

I was one of the top reps in our office. It seemed about every couple of years they cut my territory when I had already built it up and paid my dues in cold calling. All of my managers with the exception of 1 or 2 were pure crap and only cared about themselves. Cox, I must say, was the worst company I have ever worked for. I was only a number to them and that's it!

After putting up with all the bull----, re-deployments, lying, and down right DISRESPECT. I finally said goodbye and have never been happier.

Thank God I found a company that knows how to treat there employees. My heart and thoughts go out to everyone that was wronged by this company who I am sure is sleeping well and not losing one ounce of sleep for all the pain and suffering they have caused.

Just remember Cox, "KARMA ALWAYS COMES BACK AROUND."
D
I am one of the so called "chosen few" that went to atlanta this weekend. I am very sad and sorry for all of my friends that I have worked with for all these years that are now out of a job. I don't understand the selection process, and they didn't brainwash us in Atlanta. They basically said "welcome to autotrader.com". Like we had a choice in the matter. Unlike those fortunate enough to be let go, we are not eligible for severance pay. So having made this career choice years ago and being a top producer for years because of automart print in a very depressed market, I thought that I would work for Automart forever. Or at least until I could convince my hubby to move to a warmer climate, and then I thought I could just transfer. Instead, Last monday, I get a call from one of my best friends who will soon be and ex-employee, and she is crying and asking me if I got the text message about us all being fired. How do you tell your best friend that you didn't recieve that text, instead you got invited to attend a conference call that was offering you another job??? My friend is a single mom and worked her butt off for this company, and I can barely stand to talk to her because of the guilt that I feel for still having a job. To all of you that are losing your positions, I am so sorry and I hope that better things are coming your way soon. And to all my dealers...I don't know what to say. We've laughed all these years about trader greed, well look who isn't laughing now. Good luck to all, and I hope that what some of you have said isn't true about them getting rid of us after they get all of our print revenue, but the way things have gone since the split I wouldn't put my money on it.
H
  • H
    Hey Carmen Zoom!!
  • January 14, 2009
Carmen,

Intrigued by your post. 2 questions..

1) What kind of start up cost are we talking about for a 45,000 Free ciruculation...

2) Do you outsource your printing?

Thanks!
C
  • C
    Curious
  • January 14, 2009
What was Auto Mart's top producing territory and what did the top producer in the country bill annually?? Does anyone know??

I know some markets offered sales assistants so the number might be higher in some markets but I am very curious to know the top annual dollar mark.
D
  • D
    Don't be a hater
  • January 14, 2009
Mean people actually putting putting initials up of their RD and bad mouthing them on a blog like this. You might as well write out the full name as if we cant tell who you are talking about.
How about some may have little education, however you clearly have no class.
M
  • M
    MH??????
  • January 14, 2009
What line of work are you in now?? I can't imagine life without deadlines and working for people who appreciate your hard work and dedication!!! Been thinking of a career move - any insight would be appreciated.
J
  • J
    Jobless and Looking
  • January 14, 2009
Hey Dan,

The Weather Channel was founded by John Coleman in May 1982, but he went to Frank Batten at Landmark with it, (not to COX) and Landmark took it, squeezed Frank out after about a year and developed it further and made it what it was until they recently sold it to NBC and the private equity firms Bain Capital and Blackstone Group.
As part of the TPC partnership, Landmark certainly helped make the company what it was before the split, and I don't think I can say enough good things about Conrad Hall. Without his incredible leadership over the last 18+ years, we would have nothing to be complaining about right now, because there would be nothing but little groups of publications here and there and a whole bunch of competitors. Without COX as a partner, we would have never had a unified brand such as AutoTrader, since they had bought the original publications from the founder in Florida.
It is unfortunate about what has happened and I sense alot of anger and dissappointment in these threads. It's OK to let it out and get it out of your system, but then take stock of your opportunities and move on.
Nobody likes having their cheese moved, and certainly this feels like the cheese was stolen, gobbled up and never to return, but it is what it is. Best wishes to my fellow comrades, I am out there looking just like you are.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 14, 2009
FYI, I was talking to the 2 reps here who "got" to move to ATC, they said it was for 60 days, then the company would evaluate if they were going to stay or not. These 2 reps are supposed to be moving as much revenue as they can from print to atc. You know what will happen in 60 days to those guys of course. They were making big bucks at our office, the atc job pays QUITE a bit less I have been told.
E
  • E
    Employee
  • January 14, 2009
Hello Fellow soon to be ex employees, the truth of the matter is we were told thru a mass email, that is what hurts, we worked in the heat, snow, rain, sick, you name it and we get told in an email. They have webinars, meetings every month for the vp's and the rd's, wine and dine them, and the people out there really giving there all for the most part find out like we are nothing. Or were we??
W
  • W
    What a Shame...
  • January 14, 2009
Employee, how right you are. That's perhaps the most frustrating thing with all of this. With all the technology around, ie: cell phones, text msgs, etc., they chose to announce to over 4,000 hard-woking and very loyal employees that they would soon be out of a job!-Via email in the middle of the day, when reps are out on the road with no immediate access to a computer to read the announcement. While some companies would not even offer severance pkgs. and I'm thankful that I will receive one. However, I believe that a company of this size could have AND should have conducted themselves with a bit more class and shown more respect to those who were told their jobs are now gone. After all, this was supposed to be "The Year of The Rep". Everybody remember that one? Best of luck to those who are staying because it sure sounds like you'll need it, especially in this economy. Best of luck to those who were caught totally off guard on Jan. 5 with your job hunting, we will need it too!!
C
  • C
    CAT Independent Contractor
  • January 14, 2009
I have wondered what's going on. Being on the distribution side for the print mags, I have seen decline, decline, decline in numbers and editions. I wonder when WE will get the news that our jobs are no longer there? ... and as an independent contractor, I have no recourse for unemployment or any other safety net, since my state does not recognize me as an employee. Does anyone know if CAT has to give us worker bees any notice?

I knew of the "re-assignment" of some employees to ATC, hearing through the grapevine that the chosen ones had to actually re-apply for their own jobs.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 14, 2009
contractor, I have done contracting for newspapers for years, and also when my management position in Private Party was eliminated last year and I was moved into circulation, I can relate to what you are going thru. I can tell for in my opinion seeing what is going on from the inside, I dont see the books lasting more than a month or 2. I know for example, our lease is up at our location end of February and I cant see them paying to lease a new place. For whatever that is worth. As to your question of notice, our contracts state that either party has to give 30 days notice before terminating the contract. Thats not to say that contractors (drivers) did not quit on us all the time with no notice, but if Cox just dumps you without giving you 30 days, you have grounds to sue them. I guess the only loophole there is if your contract is coming up for renewal anyway, say, in a week or 2, then they could just not renew it and you would be SOL.
C
  • C
    CAT Independent Contractor
  • January 15, 2009
Longtime employee, thank you for the insight. It is much as I expected, but in these days, I would not expect 30 days from a company in such trouble. If they can treat their inside employees this way, I would not be surprised at all if they just cut us loose, when the time comes. Who out here, as drivers and delivery people, could afford to sue Cox? And they know it. Coming from a corporate background, I can say that Cox is not the only company to treat its people so badly.

The thing that bothers me is that we have received NO word about anything! I've had to do my own web research to find out what is going on. Even my emails to request changes to my accounts have gone unanswered. I am already invisible. I just know that, in my 25-stop route, I am only delivering books to maybe 5 stops now.
J
  • J
    Jason
  • January 15, 2009
Any rep or manager in a market wanting to continue in this still great industry can. We are in this business as an independent and can offer design, customer service, print, distribution and a major national web feed for any territory in the US. This is your chance to have YOUR own book, we don't want to own it but can provide all the infrastructure for you to own your own at a cost per page you can make a fantastic living on. Email me if your interested and I can send you samples overnight of printed samples and we can more on the phone if you have questions. [email protected]
E
I hear Interco Print is having big meeting. Anyone Heard of any Interco Print moves?
S
  • S
    Shawn
  • January 15, 2009
I think that they have dumped the text to take over the dot com market very quickly. In my opinion the only reason for doing this would be to sell the dot com while it is at its peak. Like it or not people are shopping the internet for everything, and a website would have to sell for more than a print company. With such a low overhead "in comparison to text" and pretty much forcing dealers to go to the site it is a great strategy. I personally hate it because about 60% of our business originates from the text ads. At any rate it is a shame that they are putting together such a weak severance package for the loyal employees. Our rep may not have gotten everything right all of the time, but it was not due to a lack of effort. He truly cared about his job, and was a great help when needed. This is a sad day.
D
went out on some sales calls today with the atc rep, and sold an upgrade to a very good print customer of mine. The rep says to me, wow you just made 200% commission on this sale, and I said to him, I thought that was on new business only? So, I called my manager and asked him and he said "congratulations! you just made 4400 bucks already this month" again, I said I thought that was only on new business and he says "Oh yeah, you're right, you each get 12 1/2 percent" Woopee!! that combined with that huge salary and I can buy a lottery ticket.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 15, 2009
Yes, Interco is getting ready to have the same meeting. All the production department is being let go. There will be no need for them anymore since there will be no dealer ads, display or otherwise. All the private party ads will flow in right out of Advisor so there is no production work to do. Im sure they will keep some of the illegals around to print the books, well at least until feb when the evaluate the situation.
I
  • I
    IntercoPrint Layoff
  • January 15, 2009
interco Print is having big meeting dose anyone know how today went, I'm sure there were layoffs. I hear Fri there will be more.
P
  • P
    Print Costs???
  • January 15, 2009
Does anyone know what it cost to print Auto Mart?? In a market with 30,000 magazines what did those magazines cost to produce and deliver??
T
  • T
    Telemore
  • January 16, 2009
Hey "drank some koolaid", set up an emergency account for yourself now, you know down deep they're going to throw you under the bus as soon as they drain you of your contacts/relationships. Get ready because as time goes on they will change up your commish plan/precentage as time wears on.
D
  • D
    Dan Stapleton
  • January 16, 2009
For those who choose to stay with Cox, you only prolong your termination, you are a dead employee walking. This is Cox we are dealing with. Save yourself and find another job now or you will be "stunned" when you too are shown the door.
N
  • N
    New Identity
  • January 16, 2009
This was posted on You Tube in November...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCQ8dZ6n6hY

Auto Mart - launching a new identity. Why would these people spend so much money revising and launching a new look when they knew they were going to close it all down 3 months later? Clueless leaders?
Y
  • Y
    youtube
  • January 16, 2009
That "Launching a New Identity" video has got to be the most rediculous thing I have ever seen! What a joke for a company like Cox--with cable interests even--to have such a poorly done "ad" It's no wonder things went south!
W
  • W
    Wake up people
  • January 16, 2009
Every cat/am employee that is with autotrader.com what do you think they are going to do with you when you have turned over as much print revenue as you can? What do you think they are telling the .com reps as you are going into their accounts, do not worry these guys are on a transistion team and all accounts will be passed onto you. Why cant they say what will happen after 90 days? Because then you wouldn't help grow their buisness. WAKE UP PEOPLE
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 16, 2009
I do not know why they would change automart around, only to shut it down soon after. I guess the same reason not more than a month ago we had several people from home office down getting everyone ready to go "virtual" and work from home, even ordered 2 pallets of these printer/scanners/fax for everyone, then to shut the whole thing down right after. Makes no sense. As for the print reps going to atc, and needing to wake up, Im sure all of them that have gone there have woke up and know what is in store for them. I dont know if they told all of them or not, but our 2 reps here to are going over there would not have got a severance because they were being offered another job. AND, these 2 reps were also told that it was only for 60 days, then after that, they would see if they got to stay or not. They know good and well after 60 days they will be gone.
I
  • I
    InterCo Ex
  • January 16, 2009
I worked for InterCo in Phx. up until yesterday. We were told that 21 Auto Trader titles were being eliminated. 20 employees and myself were laid off. The Dallas plant is supposed to be laying off 20-25 by the end of the month. There is supposed to be layoffs throughout all the remaining plants. The Chicago plat was shut down completely.
I
  • I
    interco ex 2
  • January 17, 2009
Intercoprint winston-salem nc layed off 19 including myself due to cox crippling interco. What the h... are these people thinking in this time. We were doing more work than we've ever done until the split of trader pub. sad very sad. Everyone needs to network to help each other.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 17, 2009
This just gets me so mad. Cox has destroyed a perfectly good product and company. It took YEARS to build it up like it was, which required hard work by alot of dedicated people on the local level. Didnt take them long to tear it all down. The way I understand it, Interco is joint owned by Cox and Dominion. Wonder if there will be another lawsuit over that? FYI, we got our books out of the Dallas plant.

So are you interco guys getting severance?
C
  • C
    Contractor
  • January 17, 2009
Contractor ,its my understanding that you should be given 30 days rembirshment ,due to you via the contract,unless the circ manager finds that you were in breach.You have not been told anything ,and I can speak on behalf of many cites,due to the bs changining daily being feed to us by the so-called management that they are canning at the end of the month anyway.Contractor I would line something up asap.You maybe if you are lucky gonna last till mid Feb. or early March....
M
  • M
    maniplulation and mind games
  • January 17, 2009
is a short definition of whats happened to my city since June. The so-called Market Manager and Director,where a joke in evryones eyes that they poisioned with their ideas on how to totaly screw up a awesome bissnuess.They drove a good great preforming city into the ground.Shame on you Cox for ever putting these people in power.
T
  • T
    The New rumor
  • January 17, 2009
Here goes - AutoTrader.com is being purchased by yahoo - on one condition, kill the print. Automart.com and Automart print have been purchased by JV Rockwell and the announcement will be made in 90 days ( they have bought the name rights but can't put another book on the street for 90 days.).AutoTrader and Truck Trader will go to a monthly format in about 4 weeks and will last for 120-160 days - then disappear. Why?? To show more profit to the bottom line and YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Please write this down and remember where you read it - 90 days. Coincidentally look for an announcement from Dominion in the next week or so, they are next. If anyone can find out if this is absolutley true please post.
T
  • T
    The New rumor
  • January 17, 2009
Here goes - AutoTrader.com will be purchased by Yahoo - on one condition, kill the print. This announcement will be made in 90 days. Also, Automart and Automart.com name rights have been purchased by JV Rockwell - announcement in 90 days. AutoTrader and TruckTrader will go to a monthly publication and be killed in about 120 days . You will see heavy TV media for ATC during this transition. Coinceidentally you will see a very similar announcement from Dominion over the next week.
I
  • I
    interco ex 2
  • January 18, 2009
Are there any of the brand names that are not running at this time available for others to use as there own. like dealer auto guide, etc.
S
  • S
    Shelly Peacock
  • January 18, 2009
Having been in print in Atlanta, we watched the debacle of Trader run in circles, but with smart competitor strategies, and a magazine that worked, we had no problem sidestepping that storm. Now, stronger than ever, we have opportunities starting in the OKC and Tulsa market... probably more in the near future. Email me at [email protected] for more info... and good luck You have been granted a fabulous "Get out of Jail FREE" card!
D
Many former Trader people have started successful magazines. It is HARD, expensive, and not what you expect. But the rewards have been remarkable. My partners and I started a magazine a few years ago in Atlanta. CarSmarts.com has grown because we could respond to the market and we always kept our overhead low. We never took our customers for granted and appreciate the trust they have in us.

It seems like there are a bunch of us in this forum that are now on our own. Either with our own magazines or working for others. AutoTrder/AutoMart was a wonderful place to learn and we are thankful the education.

It was simple....put a lot of magazines into alot of hands and our DEALERS would win. We were blessed with great employees and wonderful (and patient) partners. This latest evolution by Cox is a shock and I wish my friends and former peers the best. Like many folks here, we are going to expand our market and will seek partners and oppotunities for the new markets.

A long time ago, a few people were terminated from great jobs and looked around and decided to start Home Depot. Home Depot was founded because Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank were fired. The opportunity to do something like that was put together in the ashes of disaster.

We wish the best to the Cox employees that will be given "generous" severance packages and offer them the opportunity to start over.

Good luck everyone.
Dan Fagan [email protected]
S
  • S
    Shelly Peacock
  • January 18, 2009
Well said, Dan!
I
The lay-off notices are in and 3,500 are facing an uncertain future. I was one of you four years ago when I quit my Auto Trader job in San Diego to become a partner at ZoomAutos.com. Many people said we were crazy to compete with such an established company as Auto Trader/Auto Mart but we believed the opportunity to create a better magazine and a better internet site was worth the effort. We also believed that it is the people who represent the product that can make the difference between success and failure.

All of us at Zoom are shocked at the decision by our former employer to pull out of print. Maybe Cox management looked at the future of print and saw the glass half empty. My partners see the glass half full and believe there is a bright future when print and the internet are managed and integrated properly.

It is true that it is not easy to go out on your own and it requires hard work and sacrifice but the rewards for those of you who can see the glass half full are great.

All of us at ZoomAutos.com are cheering for each of you to stay positive and wish you success with your next job. For those of you thinking about joining our team, look for the earlier post from my partner, Carmen Cafro and send him an email.
S
  • S
    SP
  • January 19, 2009
@ the new rumor,

Do you have any credible source for this rumor or are you just stirring the pot? Seems so unlikely to me that you just might be on to something.

SP
S
  • S
    SP
  • January 19, 2009
all of us here know that the Yahoo deel makes sense,this may have been in the works for a while.
S
  • S
    SAW THIS COMING
  • January 19, 2009
I LEFT TWO YEARS AGO WHEN COX BOUGHT THIS. I KNEW THIS WAS NOT GOING TO BE GOOD. I LOVED MY JOB TILL THAT POINT. MADE GREAT MONEY. HOPE YOU ALL THE BEST. JOBS ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN RIGHT NOW. OBAMA STARTS HIS NEW JOB TOMORROW, I HOPE HE CAN FIX THE MESS THE COUNTRY IS IN.
S
  • S
    SP
  • January 19, 2009
I don't agree that it makes sense. yahoo has been in financial trouble since they staved off the forcible takeover by Microsoft. I can't imagine that they could raise the funds to make this acquisition happen.

There is another wrinkle with a few of their content providers that an acquisition of atc would cause significant conflicts of interest. Where is "here" where this is such a sure thing?
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 19, 2009
RE new rumor,

We were told about this a couple of months ago here. There were several buyers interested, one was Google I think, yahoo might have been mentioned. But yes, bottom line they did not buy because of the print, they didnt want to mess with it. We were also told that the auto and truck books would be going to once a month. That will continue long enough to fullfill the contract with Dominion, then that will go away compeletely.
N
  • N
    NJ
  • January 21, 2009
What the location office in places like Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis????
B
  • B
    BK
  • January 21, 2009
All of your opinions are worth listening to and are very interesting. I also feel that COX will make a huge mistake by cutting out the printed books. Just goes to show you what these people with "MBA's" are capable of. Oh wait, we have experienced that for a few years now. Is it the greed that spurs recklessness or their "BOOK TRAINED BRAINS"?
T
I found out today - for sure, that JV Rockwell has not purchased AutoMart; but have heard from several people that the Yahoo deal will happen. If anyone from Cox corporate is reading this give the employees a chance to run the print business and be responsible for Circulation, composing etc. Hell, it doesn't work anyway - right??? I will purchase Automart print in my city for $1. In return I will support Automart.com or AutoTrader.com in the magazine - free advertising for Cox websites and great press for the Cox organization. As a matter of fact I will buy every city for $1 and make a damn good living doing it.My dealers are pissed about the decision and if I had $50 bucks for every phone call I received hearing people vent I could retire. ( But print doesn't work and Internet is booming ) My dealers are telling me that their Internet leads suck from everyone. Oh well I am sure there is a great reason for all of it. Maybe all the Manheim auction sites will close down as well because most dealers are buying online anyway. MY ASS !!
S
  • S
    Still Curious
  • January 21, 2009
What was Auto Mart’s top producing territory and what did the top producer in the country bill annually?? Does anyone know??

I know some markets offered sales assistants so the number might be higher in some markets but I am very curious to know the top annual dollar mark.
M
  • M
    MrBShoff
  • January 22, 2009
Yeah, it's been a sad couple months for what used to be an amazing company. I long for the days of Trader Publishing Company w/ B. Reith &amp; R. Jamin.

These so called CATAM "VPs", who were certainly over employed goofballs (except Menard), knew about this all along and led us on. Hmmm, let's bring in "The Scott" and "Uncle Joe" from ATC to turn this around. Turn it around? I was forced to watch my Auto Mart margins go from 35% on $40k weekly revenue to 5% after absorbing a monthly DD expense of $60k+ and ATP operations that had been losing money for years. It kills me.

Think about it; Reith "retires" from Auto Mart, RJ gets canned from ATP, they can half the ATP managers in a reorg, J. Moore is "laid off" (I think because he wouldn't play ball with these Cox clowns), the AM &amp; ATP managers "compete" for Market Manager positions, the MMs then lay off 50% of their managers, then MMs are canned, the RDs were lied to, then the whole thing gets closed down!

The writing was on the wall, I just didn't want to see it. Being an Area Manager who brought home brass each annual meeting, it breaks my heart to see all the effort, money, and time away from my family traveling all go to waste. Way to go Cox, way to stick with an investment.

BTW - Do you think Jimmy Hayes, Uncle Joe or "the Scott" have Call Source logins? Perhaps they should have reviewed dealer calls before deciding to kill it.

There's still demand for the products.
I hope each of the former RDs and MMS decide to grab that market share with their own books. Those Cox clowns are too disorganized to even go after non-competes. Trust me, I saw it first hand.

Thanks for reading my rant.
N
  • N
    NJ
  • January 22, 2009
Does anyone have a projected date that Cox will kill off printing Auto Trader, Truck Trader and the other?
S
  • S
    Shelly Peacock
  • January 22, 2009
Wow... it's really getting hot out there! Only means that the time is right... and BTW... We only have a couple of positions left for the new book... If you or anyone you know wants a seamless transition to a "better" print option, please email me at [email protected]!
The clock is already ticking...
Good Luck out there!
C
  • C
    Circulation/Independant Contractor in Motown
  • January 22, 2009
Just want to say thanks to all you folks who have worked hard and are now getting the shaft. I stumbled upon here after getting a little suspicious with the way circulation levels have fallen off ( I handle a route in SE michigan and the route brings in around a third of what it did a year ago when I started) Its pretty sad how this has all happened. When I first started driving in the early 2000's and began my first car search-the autotrader print mags were the ONLY way of finding a vehicle outside of going dealer to dealer or happening on for sale signs on the side of the road. My customers (the stores I dist too) have been complaining lately on how much both sales levels have dropped off and how thin the magazines are now getting. I'll admit to being a bit of a skeptic when reading info over the internet and such but I must say that the info here seems to fit pretty nicely with my own observations. Just want to say thanks and give well wishes to those that posted this stuff. Me personally, I'm just trying to hang in there till may at the latest-I'll have my undergrad degree then which hopefully will leave me with more options. Also just a couple weeks ago they forwarded a letter/email to all carriers about the changes with automart-seemed pretty vague though and seemed like it left room for more "cuts" or at least that was my interpretation of it- if anyone is curious to it let me know- thanks again and best wishes to all,
S
  • S
    Shelly Peacock??
  • January 22, 2009
Who are you and what are you talking about?

Your original post had a cox email contact. Are you with cox? I am confused.
L
  • L
    legal weasel
  • January 22, 2009
Regarding Non-competes in California:

A noteworthy exception to the willingness of states to enforce properly drafted noncompete agreements is a state with high concentrations of high technology businesses: California. Section 16600 of the California Business and Professions Code provides that "every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void." As a practical matter this means that in all but a very few and unusual types of situations, noncompete agreements are not enforceable in California.
S
I am a Managing Editor for a new publication in Oklahoma. I have a cox.net email address because they have cornered the market here in Edmond, Oklahoma on cable and internet, so we had no choice. It is unfortunate that the suspicion level is so high, but I was planning to launch my pub before AT even sniffled, let alone fell ill and died. I have competed against them for my entire vendor life, however I hope to clear up any confusion with this post.
The saddest thing that I see here is the absolute lack of empathy from the Cox group, and the eminent sale of ATC only strengthens their bottom line, a large part of which is ... wow... NEWSPAPERS... aka Print.
There are 3 ways to contact me, [email protected] (I use that to check my email remotely)... [email protected], and through Dan Fagan (see above post), as he is the COO of the company that I represent. Smart Media Solutions.
Google me if you have any further doubts...
but I will fill the gap immediately in Oklahoma.
C
  • C
    Cox Employee - NO LONGER!
  • January 22, 2009
Oh, the big scary email from corporate came today to all employees, "unfortunately, not all of our employees appear to be operating with the same spirit of hard work and professionalism" -- oh darn it -- after you fired 4000 of us in an email we're not working hard... (more quotes) "Any employee making such misrepresentations will be subject to immediate termination" - oh geez, don't terminate my employment, it only ends TOMORROW!!! This is from Buddy Solomon, VP &amp; CFO, Cox Auto Trader. So sorry BUDDY that we're disappointing you - let me tell you what a disappointment you and Cox have been as well.

signed,

one of 4000 people out of a job via email!!!!
C
  • C
    Cox Employee - NO LONGER!
  • January 22, 2009
To MRBSHOFF --- hey dude! Nice email. call me back!
C
  • C
    Cox- bye bye
  • January 22, 2009
To Still Curious...
my top producer was $30k week, we were up to $75k in weekly revenue in July. Stinks, eh?
D
Hi Folks,

Friday is the last day for most people, GOOD LUCK! We are going to be opening several markets and are seeking managers and reps. Please consider working for an establised firm that will commit to performance AND outstanding compensation plans. We are ready and hope many of you contact me when your active employment stops.

We will be in many markets in teh next several weeks and we need quality people. My emal is: [email protected] and my phone number is 678-990-2209
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 22, 2009
Yea, even though I am already gone I still get company emails. That one was funny. To Dan and Shelly, sent Shelly a resume per her request the other day, hopefully she got it, have not heard back yet.
S
  • S
    Still Curious
  • January 22, 2009
Thanks "Cox -Bye Bye!"

Did Auto Mart have a uniform commission structure or did it vary from market to market. I know dominion reps make anywhere from 14% - 25%. Was this true with Cox?

I still can't believe they see no value in keeping profitable, producing markets like yours up and running.
J
  • J
    just let go
  • January 22, 2009
btw.. the contractual obligation for print is for 28 years. LOL
J
  • J
    just let go
  • January 22, 2009
Dominion would make out like bandits but CAT is just going wait until they go out of business.
J
  • J
    Joey
  • January 23, 2009
Anybody that would continue to work for COX/AutoTrader.com is a fool. It is only a matter of time before they get you as well. You will be singing the same song as these poor guys who were canned. Read the writing on the wall. You are not employees. Your a number and nothing more. Reading these 127 posts is proof positive
I
  • I
    Interested
  • January 23, 2009
All my longtime friends that I've worked with for so many years. Have faith, I've enjoyed working with all of you for the last 13 years. I hope that our paths may cross again under better circumstances. I'm sure some of us will be working together again in the future. For now, the best of luck to everyone accross the nation that has been layed off. Reflect! Interested!
J
  • J
    Jas
  • January 23, 2009
I think the switch to focusing on women and their whole initiative of that, which included spending $1 million on an ad agency to come up with the new logo and design you see now. What a waste and it's a shame that bad decisions by upper management were what ruined AutoMart.com.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 23, 2009
Contractural obligation with Dominion is 28 years? What are you talking about? If you mean the distribution contract, its for 3 years, which is coming up real soon.
T
  • T
    the news on the street
  • January 23, 2009
anyone know why just two days ago,the word was NO Auto Trader will be returning.Now as of yesterday a privite seller book called ,I think ,,Auto Trader will return Febuary 6.
L
  • L
    longtime
  • January 23, 2009
I know for a fact that contract expires in 2011,providing Dominion is not bankrupt.
C
  • C
    Cox- bye bye
  • January 23, 2009
To News on the Street... what are you talking about? What is the book called? Is it a Cox book?
F
  • F
    Fly on the wall
  • January 23, 2009
My understanding is that there are 2 distribution contract/agreements out there:
One is for the free-distribution of the now defunct free pubs AutoMart, AutoMercado, etc, and that was for 5 years from the onset of the big D, and at a totally ridiculously negotiated (extorted) rate per magazine with a built-in 6% rate increase per year, and a minimum fee per week nationwide regardless of how many less magazines were printed, and must be paid until the contract expires regardless of the existence of the pubs. The other contract is for CAT to provide Dominion with delivery services and display (pockets) space on the racks for the paid Dominion pubs, Boat Trader, Heavy Equipment Trader, Cycle Trader as well as their national titles, for a period of 28 years at a fairly low rate per book sold in return. If both parties agree to an amendment, that deal could perhaps be changed.
You do the math and tell me who got the best deal here. The president once said in a meeting that the negotiation to dissolve the partnership between COX and Landmark was similar to taking a bowl of spaghetti and separating it one strand at a time. Unfortunately, I think that Landmark got all the spaghetti strands, and COX ended up with salty, starchy, hot water that turned cold very quickly.
Nice work.
I am enjoying and savoring my last day and I can assure my superiors that I am operating with the same spirit of hard work and professionalism as I always have.
I had a job all lined up at Circuit City until last friday...
S
To Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee:
Please resend your resume, as I have received several, and am interviewing right now. Since this is anonymous, I have no idea which one was yours, but I would love to talk to you!
F
  • F
    Fly on the wall
  • January 23, 2009
Hey, News OTS: I heard that in about 10 or 12 markets that had been "shut down" a while back like: Winston Salem, Raleigh, Roanoke, etc., that the private-seller Auto Trader will come back in a week or two in those shuttered markets.
The source, aka {Deep Throat} is no longer employed but I believe it, and figure that DE is playing hardball on contract enforcement and the financial penalties are most likely severe, so they might as well deliver the AT in those markets anyway if they are delivering the DE books.
On another note, my prediction for Private-Seller revenue/activity for '09 is that it will continue to die a slow, miserable "you can pry my cold dead fingers off of my upside-down payment book" death as ATC will probably abandon run-till-sold packages in lieu of 6 or 8 weeks max to control runaway print costs(or raise the package price substantially,or, maybe make an 84-grid postage stamp sized photo book?) and the skinny little books will be replaced by more robust free pubs and free-ad websites and venues launched by attentive, caring competitors across the land.
For example, when all private-seller calls started going to the big ATL call center
(the cloud) last January, I started my own little analysis on total average ATC weekly ads vs Craigslist.org automotive entries in some key markets. ATC was getting famous for forcing customers to place ads online only. Need a photographer? Forget it, with a capital F-U.
Interesting stuff, and by now you can all guess the outcome... If not, just picture a pronounced trend line that is not moving in the appropriate direction on a big graph.
My attempted advice on the matter fell on stone-cold, deaf ears, of course. When the organization took the unbelievable and legendary, warm &amp; fuzzy service away from the very customers who made us famous,(and I have to tell you, my heart bleeds still for all those great private-seller folks that were sent packing on those little secret consolidation missions) the private sellers went away as fast as they could press the backspace key. I think this is the part where I say that you ought to dance with the one that brung ya.
To make matters worse unfortunately, the joined-at-the-hip-but-not-really connection with Dominion (that customers still don't understand), made the situation much more harmful, because their new call center in Seattle was pathetically 15 times worse.On-hold times of 30-45 minutes were normal and the association with AT crippled the effort. Long time customers would come to field offices (if they could find them after the offices moved) to try to change and ad and AT folks were required to say:
"You'll have to call them, you are out of my data base now"
The former AutoTrader claim to fame is no longer. No more brand recognition, cover changes, cover price changes and trials, no more engaged employees proudly portraying the company vision, and a lot of advocate customers that were brought along to financial success, one car sold at at a time, now have nobody to turn to.
Let's see word of mouth and referrals start working now.
What a sad day indeed.
Sorry for the lengthy diatribe, but now I feel much better.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 24, 2009
Fly on the wall, you hit the nail on the head. I was in private party all except the last year of my 8 years. The last year I was first in circulation then in commercial sales. Our city used to be the call center, if you want to call it that, for our region of 5 other cities. That was right before the big split. After the split and cox took over, when our csr's quit, we could not hire anybody to replace them. Then pretty soon we started rolling overflow calls to orlando. In the mean time, the prices started going up to the point I guess they were trying to do away with the RTS ads. When customers would get Orlando, things would get screwed up big time. Pretty soon, we were no longer taking any calls and everything was going to Orlando totally. Right about this same time last year, our last 2 employee in private party besides the managers and supervisors were let go all the sudden one day. Both had been with the company close to 15 years. One was one of the CSR's, the other was our front counter person. My postion was also eliminated and that is whey I was moved to circulation. Anyway, after that, all they would get coming into the office was mad people who had their ad screwed up on the phone. It just got worse and worse. It was like they were trying to run us out of business (which turns out they were I guess). Right before thanksgiving when the completely closed private party across the country, our last remaining employee up there of 30+ years was let go. Everyone else in the office was assured that this would be the end of the layoffs and everything will be fine. See how that turned out.

As far as the books coming back to certain markets, the auto and truck trader are not going away at all. They are still going to be printed (for now) except only with private party content. With all the mad customers, and no dealer ads, the books will be mighty small.
S
Hi, I'm Shaun Smith, the Assistant Publisher for Auto Round-Up Publications, Inc. We just learned of the unwarming news. We are a 35-year old company that publishes 3 classic car and truck titles nationwide. We are always looking for sales reps and we treat our team members with respect, and in return, we have loyalty, in fact, our core group has nearly 150 years of total experience! It sounds like some of you are having a rough time and we would like to extend our deepest concerns and will be thinking of you. If anyone is interested in contacting me, here is my contact information:
[email protected] or phone 304-884-7641, ext. 7# (I prefer email).
F
  • F
    Firings
  • January 26, 2009
I heard the company was pretty serious about the letter mentioned by "Cox Employee No Longer" and fired a couple people including that guy DP mentioned before. I wonder if they'll fight their unemployment, too.
E
  • E
    Ex Auto Trader Pub. Employee
  • January 27, 2009
They say there's a generous severance package, but I don't think 2 weeks is anything! One rep only worked with us 3 months and she got 2 weeks. I was there 2 yrs. and I got 2 weeks!
2 weeks is NOT generous.
D
  • D
    don carlson
  • January 27, 2009
Former independent contractor: I am totaly ticked off at this outfit. I have been with them close to 3 years. They say they are continuing to print auto trader and truck trader but cut out our jobs of delivering them to the stores? Is our severance pay 2 weeks more than our check or what? Please help me out with a answer. Thanks
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 27, 2009
The severance packages are supposed to be 1 week for every year. I was with the company for 8 years, but only got 7 weeks, go figure. Not only that, but my weekly pay is going to be LESS than what I was making. This is because its based on the last 12 months average pay. I made quite a bit less in 08 than before because last year my management position was eliminated and I was moved to a much lesser paying job. I have also heard that managers get 2 weeks for every year. I have not been able to verify that yet. So, once again I got screwed because I didnt get 2 weeks considering I used to be a manager, I just got 1. AS far as contractors, I cant see where there would be any severance there. Those guys are out of luck. What area is this that Don Carlson is talking about them not delivering the books anymore?
F
  • F
    firings
  • January 27, 2009
it is pretty quiet abot the DP guy and his sidkick TB. One of you know the details about this
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 27, 2009
Oh yea, just looked, guess its a min of 2 weeks pay. So we hired a couple of people who were there maybe 2-3 months. Guess they got 2 weeks as well. Does not seem fair.

Firing: Who is DP and TB?
E
  • E
    Eliminated?
  • January 27, 2009
Can anyone list all the publications that cox eliminated? Title by Title of publications - I have been getting conflicting reports.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • January 28, 2009
Its supposedly just auto extra and auto mart. Although in our market we also have a classified publication that is supposed to be going away. My guess would be anything that is NOT auto or truck trader is going away.
D
  • D
    don carlson
  • January 28, 2009
I am delivering in Northwest Indiana. All Cox trader publicatons will end you will be delivering nothing but 3rd party . Auto trader, truck trader,commercial&amp; heavy equipment, rv trader, boat cycle &amp;rv trader, classic car, chevy and corvette trader, ford and mustang trader, also aero,yaght,milstone series and racing ( All monthly and weekly cox publications) is what they told us
P
I am offering consultation and services for startup magazines in Texas. We can provide design, layout, printing, and distribution services. We have a printing and publishing division with three locations in Texas which have non heat web and sheet fed presses.

I have an extensive background in print and advertising with 9 years at Trader Publishing. You can look up the details at linkedin.

Contact: robert.nusbaum (@) persidea.com
D
  • D
    don carlson
  • January 29, 2009
I found out that we are not getting any severance pay what can be done about this and they are also shorting us one week of pay.
L
  • L
    legally weasely
  • January 29, 2009
Don, you are most likely out of luck here. As an I/C you are not entitled to much because you are not an employee. As an I/C you are in business for yourself, and (were) providing services to a comnpany that essentially just went out of business. there is no recourse there and even though you are supposed to get a thirty day notice for any change made to the contract, I will bet that going out of business is a mitigating circumstance that does not apply in your case either.
As an I/C, you cannot even claim unemployment, here again, because you are not an employee.
It's unfortunate, but it is what it is. If you review your signed contract very carefully, you will see that the company has protected itself very well. It's like teflon, nothing will stick.
As far as pay being witheld, it does not make sense. Check your pay schedule; some cities were paying the same week as a delivery, some were paying a week behind, and some even paid 2 weeks behind. Sorry for the bad news, and good luck to you as you are now in the same situation as everyone else that provided service to this company.
F
  • F
    Former Automart Employee
  • January 29, 2009
I worked for Automart for 2 years and got out by the skin of my teeth in July thank God. I started to see the writing on the wall when they mergerd the Automart and Autotrader sales forces in my city with no clear cut plan for how the merger was actually going to work. Unfortunately Automart magazine was a great publication that that was bought out and then shut down due to greed. And they kept the .coms which sucked
D
  • D
    DENNIS
  • January 30, 2009
our small independent dealership started day 1 with auto mart,very affordable at the time and good results,1 year later the small dealers were squeezed out and all the big boys started to use the magizine,and the price for a full page over night went from 200 to 425 a week we could no longer afford this,so we stopped using it,we and several dozen independents/up comes auto deals (same office) lower quality of ink/paper cheap knock off not even in a magizine form some weeks you were blurry some you were okay,but a lot more affordable, they never pused much for there step child paper even if it had a good following they would shoot pic,10 day before the mag. would come out ,we would have 30 to 40 % of our cars sold before the ad finally caught up to the day it came out on the stands,here is the thing,you stopped caring about your customers (the dealer) I WAS tired of hearing how comming out on a tues.or wed. didnt work for you,well that was when most dealers in our area would pick up new inventory! so we could put fresh (10 day old) inventory into your magizine and look like we were turning product.YES we did get calls from your auto deals,we are a small mom and pop and we have spent consistantly 2800.00 a month for 8 year solid/on 4 of their magazines,and their web site,each year prices go up and quality/service/and what you pay for went down,but the calls that were generated were great,even if they sold out the dealers,and the customers,NOTE THIS THEY HAD A MONOPOLY ON THE AUTO MAG.FORE EVER,COX OWNS THEM ALL! ANY ONE OUT THERE BESIDES COX STARTING UP A NEW DEALER PUBLICATION I HAVE 2800 A MONTH IN MY BUDGET AND AT LEAST 2 DOZEN DEALER FRIENDS WE ARE WILLING TO GIVE YOU A GO!!
S
  • S
    Seriously Though!!!!
  • January 30, 2009
Will there be value in the autotrader/automart.com web sites? How can there be when all of these print customers are being pushed into them. It seems to me that the web packages are going to get awful expensive, the sites are going to be overloaded and you will have to have the lowest price inventory to win. I just don't see this as a sustainable business model without print support. COMMENTS????
D
  • D
    don carlson
  • January 30, 2009
Look at your contracts. They are to give us 30 days written notice. They gave me notice over the phone and also told us they needed to keep us working for the 4 weeks but they are only giving us 3 weeks. They had a transition period where we did not get paid for 1 week so they say we are getting a 2 week check 1 week for the transition period we did not get plus the week they held back when you started and then the final week we delivered for a total of 3 weeks. Please go over your contract and then reply I did calll a Attorney on this.
P
Dennis, what city are you in? Is their not a print option for Autos?
D
  • D
    don carlson
  • January 30, 2009
If auto trader, truck trader and other trader publications are still being printed and put on racks how are they going to accomplish this with getting rid of all of us I C's
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • February 1, 2009
Was at the store yesterday and saw the first books out without the dealer ads. WOW, what a joke. Ours were were probably 25% the size they used to be. Bet they only needed 1 pallet for those on the truck.
C
  • C
    Circulation/Independant Contractor in Motown
  • February 1, 2009
Here in Motown I havent heard any word about them getting rid of us. This week came the news that Tradin Times has been cancelled-not even printed this past week and that the Muscle Car trader will be cancelled as of this coming week (first week in feb) Other then that though, they gave us new contracts, so I'm guessing they intend to keep us around for at least a short (maybe a month or two?) while longer-interesting to note is that on the contracts it states that a new one is to be issued every April 1st, so maybe they are just waiting till then..although again, like was mentioned, without even reading it fully I'm SURE the contract is teflon, one can only hope that they skimped a little on costs there though too and missed something..but I kinda doubt it. As for killing off the ic's completely, here in motown it could be done if they got a contract with a company called suburban magazine delivery-but I would think that would be more expensive (much more) then having it done by us IC's. An interesting thing that i noticed as well was that this week the auto trader was published without a glossy cover as the previous weeks had been. Also our circulation center hours were cut a bit as well, and judging by the mood of the one person running it in the afternoon and from reading on here I wouldnt be surprised if more cuts are on the horizon. Also, again to confirm what was said on here-Auto trader is now private seller only, though with the customer service issues reported on here I doubt that will last long as well. Hope this helps.... Thanks for all the info
D
  • D
    Dominion
  • February 2, 2009
Where does Dominion fit into all of this - are you guys still delivering their mags?
S
Hey Dennis-
Where are you located?
T
  • T
    Trader Hokie
  • February 3, 2009
Has anyone heard anything about Dominion Enterprises launching their own AUTO search portal? AutoFind.com was a property of the old Trader Publishing company that was left to the wayside for a long, long time. Now all of a sudden, they have begun beta-testing.
Go to www.autofind.com
I know that they probably had an agreement about competing with AutoTrader.com, at the split, but why would they suddenly need to launch a new site if they already had GetAuto.com running, hosting Dealer Specialities listing? Now obviously, it looks like the listings are just feeding from Dealer Specialties much like GetAuto.com, but it seems suspicious that they are developing another site, behind the scenes... Anyone have any insight on this?
T
  • T
    Trader Hokie
  • February 3, 2009
I also thought this was interesting. Their source code tag gives the following description: "Find a new or used car or truck using AutoFind Search. Better and faster results than cars.com or AutoTrader. Ajax technology makes this the best vehicle search out there."
F
  • F
    Former Automart Employee
  • February 4, 2009
I'm still hearing rumors about books starting up all over the place. Do you all know of any that have launched yet?
D
  • D
    Dan Stapleton
  • February 4, 2009
I heard from sources that Dominion will be rolling out Auto mags in Texas, Virginia, Florida, and Mississippi in phase one of their rollout. Apparently they are going to be in violation of their non-compete with Cox. Looks like a legal battle is brewing.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • February 4, 2009
If cox does not want to do print magazines anymore, why would they care? Well, we know why but still...
T
  • T
    Trader Hokie
  • February 5, 2009
That may be Cox's way of getting out of the original lawsuit regarding the distribution agreement... Let them have their auto magazine, as long as Cox is allowed to cease its involvement in distribution. Who knows? Dan... On a scale of 1-10, how reliable are these sources, regarding the books in VA, FL, TX,etc.?
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • February 5, 2009
where did this info come from as far as dominion and auto mags? I still have some contacts at dominion, maybe I should see if they know anything.
E
  • E
    Ex-Gal
  • February 6, 2009
I read the string about Bill Reith and Richard Jamin. Like you I miss the days where these guys were leading the charge. Bill retired because he hated seeing the changes taking place and felt his ideas fell on deaf ears.

Jamin was a smart leader who pulled the Employment Guide out of tough times after 9-11. In fact, they ran higher margins on the business after 9-11 on lower revenues. I know for a fact that Jamin was fighting for several strategies that would have worked and kept the publising units operating well beyond today. He was also an inspirational leader who understood the value of good local management and strong sales teams. I was at the national meeting where he stood up and SINCERELY celebrated the success of the top reps. Hell, half the room was in tears. This guy got it!

It seems that anyone who had a different viewpoint than Cox was quickly transitioned out.

As for the IC's, check your contracts, you should receive cancellation information in writing, it's the law. Also, CA distribution people were employees not contractors, they would recieve severance.
R
Open letter to all sales reps...
I have published Cruisin' Style Magazine for the last 15 years and never really had a sales "Staff". Check out the mag online. Anyone across the country who needs an income and can sell display ads is welcome to contact me at [email protected] Being an independent publisher, in these hard economic times, I don't have deep pockets for draws or salaries so I'll make it simple... I'll give 50% commission on all ad sales for the first two months - paid cash in the door. After two months we'll look at the sales reps on an individual basis and adjust the compensation. After you get your ad sales up to a decent weekly amount my goal is to have all sales reps on 25% commission. At that point you can make as much as you want. Our reps get paid every two weeks. You can check out our rates by clicking on the link "Advertising" on the left side of the home page. We discount these rates to local/regional businesses but this will give you a range. What do you think? Let me know... Thanks for your time. Ray Martino, Publisher
E
  • E
    Ex Trader Alumni...
  • February 6, 2009
To All Ex-CAT/AM employees who signed Agreements with Restrictive Covenants:

I believe that it is time for you to unite as a group and send a clear message to the corporate entities to abandon enforcement of the agreemants that now are perceived as crippling those who just want to make a living doing what they know best...
You can be anonymous or outspoken, send email or snail-mail, but there are a few reasons that you should send a correspondence to:

Jimmy Hayes
Sandy Schwartz
Buddy Solomon
Joe George
Deborah Thomas

And....Tell everyone you know who is affected to do the same.

Times are tough. You all know that. Many ex-employees who were recognized many times for exemplary performnce over the years are now on the verge of having to cancel or diminish their lifestyles, purge thoughts and aspirations of prosperity, forget about hopes and dreams, and are even facing the prospect of pulling their kids out of college, out of private schools, or even dealing with the reality of losing their homes.

Alot of employees took a "leap of faith" at the time of the big divorce; they were told "that everything was going to be fine" only to then be subjected numerous changes including position eliminations or having to reapply for their jobs as many as 3 times in an 18 month period.
Combined with those agonizing periods of stress,(twice, yes TWICE, around the holidays, mind you) anguish, uncertainty about the future, false hopes and once again, shattered dreams, the least that this "great company" with so many "guiding principles" and evocation of statements about "how our employees make the difference", and all those other really nice attributes that prospective employees seek from a big successful company when they want a new place to call "home", it's time to prove it.

(This is the SAME company that unselfishly jumped in to help victims (as well as it's own employees) of Katrina, Rita and even Ike) That shows great generosity.
(This is also the same company who asked it's employees to go out and volunteer time for the good of others - like the 8 hour challenge, AND THEY DID!) That demonstrates teamwork!

So now, what can this great company do for the ones abandoned and scattered amongst the decaying ruins? Can they actually give back to their own after all of this?

To the CEI Mgmt Teams:
Show some respect, show some good will, and RELEASE every single CAT/AM employee that had to sign an agreement as a condition of their employment, promising that they would not jump ship and go somewhere else,(and they did not, the ship left them), and let them go pursue gainful employment doing what they know best.
So what if it's a competitor? If your own ex-employees don't do it, someone else will! So what difference does it really make?

COX said through it's actions: "PRINT is DEAD", not your employees.
The print media arena has therefore been abandoned through those actions.

CEI,and through the actions of the remaining Execs in charge have selected the "superstars" that they wanted to take along for the rest of the big ride, and cast the rest of the synergy that made it all work aside.
At least let those who you hold no value for do what they do best.
Let them do their part in trying to revive an ailing economy any way they are able.
A magnanimous action on the part of CEI will do far more good for the bottom line than the alternative of slapping restraining orders on those who are just trying to eeek out a living in a cruel and harsh world.
8%+ unemployment??? We have not seen anything yet. 500K jobs lost each month?
Does CEI want to really give back to the communities that it serves?
Let these people go!

So, it's time, my brothers and sisters, to write to the ones who are trying to tie your purse strings and ask to be freed, once and for all.

Jimmy, Sandy, Buddy, Joe and Deborah: You are all great folks, good corporate citizens and just like the rest of us.
I really hope you look at sounding boards and forums like this one, to keep your pulse on what eventually should feed your very souls in the end.

Now, only four little words...


"DO THE RIGHT THING".

Make it a big announcement and be proud.

Let them go out and at least try to survive.(Some might even come back one day when things get better.)
No disparaging remarks, no crude comments, no hateful prose... Just a plea for your ex-employees who gave so much and are asking for so little in return.
S
Ex Trader Alum,
Beautifully written and delivered, my lord if you preached that tally of heavenly script in a church full of ex-Cox peeps they'd need to send baskets down the aisles too replace the trays, and they better have a Brinks truck outside, Wheeehw Hellawhoooyah!!
It'S a fact.... Print ain't dead, but it just ain't AS profitable as the digital AD stuff! TRULY Typing, there you have it folks - the REAL reason is out for Cox killing print.
The (juice) Print; paper, plants, magazines, delivery, sales, admin, and peep's overall wasn't worth the squeeze for Cox... sorry.
Just like our Military being based in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, or Middleastistan... the juice is oil, and it's worth the squeeze... for now.
I'll put it this way, if given the choice too own/run a print biz product for $100m year in revenue, 3,000 employees, which gives you $20 in profit.
Or
Run a online ad biz for $200m year revenue and $100m profit with 50% less peeps, which would you choose?
It's simple math, with a bitter touch of reality.
Print Ads will still get great results for business's, but the cost factors will decline over time.
Compare this too online Ads and Print becomes a small business opportunity, but just not designed or attractive enough for big biz.
The best message I gathered from Ex-Trader Alum was for former employees to start their own print biz locally, work your contacts, and create a profitable brand... And for Cox to acknowledge a dis-interest in legal action for doing so.
I
  • I
    Interested
  • February 8, 2009
Good comments by all....
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • February 8, 2009
Last week I was at a store and saw the new books out, they were about 25% the size they used to be. Today I was looking at one a little closer then I realized they had 4 cities in the same book. Had different sections based on city. WOW.
D
The markets that were abandoned by COX wll have new magazines soon. Some will add automotive and be new, some competitors will expand into new markets, and some will start from scratch.

We started Oklahoma and will be opening in Florida, Texas, and the Carolinas.

If anyone is seeking opportunities in those markets please let me know. We need great people and we look forward to helping dealers sell more cars.
E
  • E
    Eric Lantz
  • February 10, 2009
Call me Dan, you have my resume for the Carolinas.
B
  • B
    bottom feeder
  • February 11, 2009
Ex-trader alum your comments are very sincere and I hope you all the best.I only have one thing to add to it. My management,which I assume would be on your level,judging by your comments,set back for a 7 month span a took ALL the credit and incentives for the efforts ,ones under them should have received.So ,in behalf of the markets that these two represented,they deserve everything that is and will be dealt to them.They know who they are and what they done to the wonderfull hardworking employees under them
Jobless, no problem. TO be honest these posts get so much traffic and comments I can't keep up and usually not able to read them all. Yours happen to hit my inbox at the right time so I thought I would give a quick response.

I know these are some tough times for many of us and loosing your job...well I can't even imagine.

I hope everyone stays strong and looks at times like these as an opportunity to grow and change.

I know it sounds cheesy but when I'm feeling empty, down and I have a lack of gumption to want to do anything, I find myself a great motivational book or book on CD/MP3 and listen to it a few times.
P
  • P
    Paid nada
  • February 12, 2009
Has ANYONE recieved severance pay yet? Or know when these checks are supposed to arrive? I was told the 12th. Mail came and went, direct deposit empty.
P
  • P
    Payless
  • February 12, 2009
Paid nada: Payday has always been Fridays. If you are DD, you should see a deposit after midnight Thursday. You should also check and make sure that you signed all of your appropriate paperwork and sent it to (HR yourself, noyt just handed to someone at your office, and hopefully by registered and traceable mail)and, make sure that they received it. If they don't have it or you did not send it for whatever reason, you will not receive anything until they get it, since you had to agree to the terms and conditions on the agreement.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • February 12, 2009
I did receive my 1st check the other day. Of course they are screwing me out of 80 hours of vacation time I had accumulated. I did find out that in the Tulsa OK area the former rd, sales managers, and a few of the sales people have started a new free pub here. Shelly, does this have anything to do with your mag or is this going to be competition? Anyway, the funny part is that if you call our old office number, there is a recording saying if you are a dealer wanting to place an ad (caller would assume in the autotrader since that is the number they called) to call such and such at certain number. So in other words, these former cox employees are basically using a cox phone number to drive business to their new business venture they were probably in the works of starting while still employeed by cox. The only reason I mention this is not because am a big fan of Cox, but because my dislike of these certain people outweight my dislike for cox.
S
Wow JK you should charge an online-access fee for this kind of drama! DR might hit syndication on SOAP network!

Seriously people let's avoid the legal involvement crap on this board, take it elsewhere.
P
  • P
    Paid nada
  • February 12, 2009
I knew it was Fridays, but we were told by the HR rep that came to our town that we'd see the 1st round of checks on Thur the 12th. Which I thought was bizarre. Then again, everything about this situation has been bizarre!
Thanks for the input!
BTW... I signed and FedExd all the paperwork!
M
  • M
    M.W
  • February 15, 2009
Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee why such the hate? Don't you realize it wasn't your local upper management that did you wrong, it was Cox? If the allegations are true of a new magazine, let them be. EVERYONE is just trying to make it in a very difficult economy. I wish those who do come out with a new magazine the best of luck. Hopefully in the near future it will create more jobs for those who are still without one. Kudos for those who are moving on and to those(Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee)who choose to keep gossiping on what they think they know the truth is, realize the sooner you let it go, the sooner you will go on to bigger and better things. Good luck to ALL.
F
  • F
    Former Landmark/Trader Publishing employee
  • February 16, 2009
M.W.

I could not have said it better myself. I also salute any former employees of Cox that have went out on their own to try and start a new magazine.

It is no secret that when Cox made the decision to pull the plug on the entire country that they left a lot of money on the table in doing so. There were several markets for print that were running a very healthy profit margin despite Cox's unbeleivable incompetence in the last 2 years since the split.

If some former employees want to try to profit from Cox's incredibly stupid decision to walk away from print markets that were running around a 40% profit margin, then more power to them. Anybody that thinks print is dead and everything should be on-line has lost their minds. Any ex employees that want to try to make money that Cox walked away from should not be ridiculed but commended.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • February 16, 2009
M.W., yes I am aware it was not local managements fault, that is not the point. I am all for starting new magazines. The problem I have with this particular group of people has been their general attitude over the years. If you are not a "manager" we do not speak to you sort of attitude. I do not hate them for starting their own mag, I just think its a bit under handed to have a message on the old office number direct you to call them. Do I really care if it hurts Cox? No. I just think its a bit tacky but on the other hand more power to them. BTW, I have moved on, I have a new job in a completely different industry. Dont get me wrong, I sure miss the old days of autotrader, wish I was still there for sure.
J
  • J
    J ex Auto Mercado Rep
  • February 16, 2009
I worked for this magazine for approximately 5 years as a top producer and a candidate for management, which I never accepted due to their poor negotiating skills. I am sorry to hear that so many good people lost their jobs. Management was horrible, there was no structure and no leadership. As they say "the right hand had no idea what the left hand was doing". Dealer pricing for ads was all over the place, distribution was never near the numbers they stated and there were never solutions for any problems; just "smoke and mirrors". Hopefully a capable hand steps in and takes over a product that has potential and can work even in a tough economy, it just takes business skills, determination and some gray matter. Shame on you Cox and its management team, shame on you!!!
B
  • B
    broke and no answers on when we'll get paid
  • February 17, 2009
Anyone else having a HELL of a time getting a response on when they'll get theirseveranrce? I have been trying to reach HR/Payroll since Friday without any response. Spoke to someone today who basically told me, we'll get to it when we can, but the ONLY person who can approve severance packets will only be in the office a few hours this week!
This is unacceptable, and saddening. Is this seriously legal? If your job is to sign pieces of paper to help former employee welfare how are you allowed to leave your office without having that done? How about holding that person's paycheck until all of us receive our money?!?! Bet it would have been done already.
I was not upset with Cox until all of this. I am so disappointed!
S
Long Time Trader Employee-
No, the Tulsa mag is not mine, and is indeed competition for me, but only because of the deluge of dealers in OKC, and the fact that I haven't had time to even get to Tulsa yet.
We plan to add it, but right now, I am busy in my own town.
Competition doesn't concern me, because when we started in Atlanta 4 years ago, we had a ton of books to compete with. Slowly they all went away... even the "Mack Daddy" of all. Now, we are the last man standing, and publishing a huge book with no competition. Publications may come and go, but we have a formula that works, and plug and play is the operative term these days.
I wish you all well... email me if you want to get on the train!
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • February 18, 2009
Thanks Shelly, yes I might be interested in getting on the train. I will be emailing you again soon.
A
  • A
    anyone else having severance withheld
  • February 19, 2009
Just curious how many people r out there in same boat!

Think I should find representation?
S
  • S
    Scared ATC employee
  • February 19, 2009
Has anyone heard anything about the current CarSpot Vehicle Photographers being laid off soon ? We have been told that Homenet will be the new platform (replacing CarSpot platform) but rumours have been surfacing that Atlanta home office is having issues getting the CarSpot equipment (camera and DUO) to be compatible with the Homenet platform and most likely ATC will be stopping their photo service to current dealers, leaving us photographers out of a job. Management has been very secretive telling us they are testing equipment in certain regions right now and that they will have training for us soon. A lot of what we are told is that they can't tell us specific things ~ "I wish I could tell you - but I can't. Trust me."
I even heard that someone of importance was answering questions at a training session in Atlanta recently and told the Advertising Consultant's that "CarSpot in no longer. Homenet will NOT be replacing CarSpot...they are two different things. We will not be selling photo service anymore."

I just found this message board and am very nervous now about my job !!! A lot of what I have read I have witnessed first hand (regarding the Advertising Consultants traveling now with former Trader Pub reps to switch the magazine revenue to ATC online) and what I have heard about the layoffs, so I am hoping for a reputable source here.
E
  • E
    EX Employee
  • February 19, 2009
Hello!!!!!!!! are you kidding me now they are playing with severance, if your last day was the 23rd of January you should of had your first severance pay on the 13 of Feb. people whos last day was feb 6 should get the first severance check on Feb 27th. My understanding is the person working on our packages was let go also and then they called her back to get Cox thru the transistion of closing automart,autotrader. So I am sure she is not all dedicated to doing so, knowing that her job is done when she is done with that. So hopefully we should get our checks, if not maybe Joe and Ian will hook us up with some cash to get by
S
Scared,
Sorry to confirm what you've heard, but I've heard the same that Carspot is going away. I haven't heard Homenet mentioned to replace them though.
I've heard Homenet is handling all the car data for ATC now, but that's it.
O
  • O
    OH MYYYYYYYYYY
  • February 19, 2009
Hello out there please someone let me know if they have received their severance, i hope this is not gonna be an issue!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A
  • A
    anyone else having severance withheld
  • February 19, 2009
OH MYYYYYYYYYYYY

most people have received theirs...some of ours are being held. id contact a lawyer than the company. no one will give you answers about anything so be prepared.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • February 19, 2009
scared, yes it is true carspot is going away. In fact, it was Carspot that I was working on when i was let go in december. Our city was a test city for running Carpot from the print side. I was offered the position of running it mid last year. Before that, I was in circulation. If I would have stayed where I was, I would have still been working there. Of course that would only have delayed things because the circ people will be going too.

Its funny though, our office went thru a big deal of getting dealers switched over to Carspot. The dealers I had loved it quite a bit and depended on it. Then all the sudden they go back to the dealers and say sorry, we are not doing it anymore so you are SOL. Carspot Pro is still up and running, and all my old dealers can still just go in an upload their own vehicles and it all still exports to where it was. So basically all these dealers are getting the exports etc for free.

Anyway, keeps up posted on this, I am sure interested to see what happens to carspot. I had a feeling something was up with it for several months before I was even told I was getting canned. Have not heard about this homenet thing.
O
  • O
    OH MYYYYYYYYYY
  • February 20, 2009
PRINT IS DEAD PAY US
D
  • D
    Dedicated
  • February 20, 2009
I dont understand I know i am suppose to get paid Friday I have just one pay ocming as severance do you mean i will not get it, I thought Jim Kennedy and his Mom were all about the working people??????????????
I
  • I
    I Think Not
  • February 20, 2009
Wake up and smell the cofee Dedicated!!!!!
C
  • C
    Chill
  • February 20, 2009
Relax they will not screw you
I
  • I
    Interested
  • February 20, 2009
Be patient, as long as you turned in your paperwork signed, sealed, and delivered you will get your check. They have followed through on everything they said they would.
I
  • I
    Interested
  • February 20, 2009
By the way, I don't think print targeted publications are dead. There will always be a need. The results will depend on the economy and will go up and down like it always has. Customers would admit that results were down with all of their advertising mediums. They just cut way back because if their not selling cars, they can't pay for it.
A
  • A
    anyone else having severance withheld
  • February 20, 2009
all- dont let Cox bring you down! you have to rise above. stay confident people will do the right thing--i guess, with time and lawyers? either way...
J
  • J
    Joe Diaz
  • February 21, 2009
Great idea, Jeff Kershner! You should go around the world and distribute great motivational books or books on CD/MP3 and tell them to listen to it a few times.
You know.. people drinking water that's contaminated with sewage, or scrounging for a few grains or roots, children doing slave labor in sweatshops, others in this country who are down to their last penny, with no where to turn. Those books and cd's will cheer em up! Maybe they just need a good kick in the ass to motivate em; you can do that too, cause you have real "good" solutions to these problems!
R
  • R
    r.green
  • February 21, 2009
I got my check on time. I am sure you will all get what they promised you, the people left to handle all the problems will be out also, I'm sure their morale is in the basement, good luck to all of you in any and all new endeavors...From a 20 year employee!!!
H
  • H
    HI
  • February 22, 2009
Hello thanks for the imput r. green and good luck to you also!!!
N
  • N
    NJ
  • February 23, 2009
Has anyone hear if Cox is closing down all hardcopy books?
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • February 23, 2009
I have not heard that but all logical evidence points to it.
F
  • F
    Former Employee
  • February 24, 2009
Would it surprise you? First lets see did they meet with everyone at the Auction and tell them it was the year of the rep and everything is peaches and cream, if so then your done!
S
  • S
    SoCal New Employee???
  • February 24, 2009
I am interviewing for a position with ATC Latino, but after reading all these comments I don't know what to do. Why are they hiring if they just laid off 4000 people? What should I do? I don't want to jump onto a sinking ship.
A
  • A
    Advice
  • February 25, 2009
SoCal: You said it; it is a sinking ship and the upper mgt is full of lies and promises. Ask any of the visitors to this site, and I think you'll find that they agree. If you have another option, I would certainly entertain it.

To those who are or have launched books in the wake of the disaster: I wish you the best of luck in your new venture. We have all learned from Cox's mistakes and "penny-wise, pound-foolish" ways!

Isn't it funny that the managers who rode the sinking ship that was CATAM are now piloting ATC?
P
  • P
    Pogo Parr
  • February 25, 2009
I was with Trader/Cox for 11 years and recetly went to work for Call Source, running their Autos division. We are looking for reps across the country, good base salary with high earning potential. Please email me your resume of your interested. Thanks Pogo Parr
A
  • A
    Advice
  • February 26, 2009
How right you are! not many of them went down with the ship either they hopped off and went to ATC and did not even acknowledge the ones they left sinking!
S
  • S
    so be it
  • February 26, 2009
all this has got me thinking of a Nietzsche quote "God is Dead and we've killed him."....basically Cox wants dealers to think print is dead..."Print is dead and Cox killed it."
It is so not true. Really, targeted print is key. It still contributes a significant percentage of automotive sales, has a high pick up rate and generates leads.
E
I worked for Cox Autotrader in Orlando for 5 yrs. i bailed ship before it started sinking in 2007. Their structure is horrible, business ethics were lacking, customer service was horrific, service was sketchy, and people were over-paying for ads. $69/2 weeks come on now...The biggest and best got to their heads and too many people over-paid for non-useful positions. ex: $2500 sign on bonus w/NO terms, so they would get the job, then take the $$$ and never show up again. Print is over, they will be lucky to save online... I am now their boating competition and we are about to surpass boattrader.com and their 2nd hand "have to have because of print" online site. Good luck to all the employees who were laid off, some good advice, "the biggest and the wealthiest companies are not always the best to work for"
S
  • S
    shrek
  • February 26, 2009
anyone heard how dominion is doing after losing all those titles?
E
  • E
    Elantz
  • February 26, 2009
POGO....please let us know an e-mail address to submit to you.
P
  • P
    Pogo Parr
  • February 26, 2009
Hi

Please email to [email protected] Cell: 858-603-9871

Pogo
D
  • D
    Dominion
  • February 26, 2009
Shrek-

Dominion books are thin!!!!!

From what I hear, they doubled or tripled rates in some markets - customers are dropping like flies.
A
  • A
    Advice-Too
  • February 26, 2009
Advice is absolutely correct! I witnessed in horror the complete dismantling of spirit and enthusiasm of this highly profitable business. The beginning of then end began with the split from Landmark. Bill Rieth and Britt Reid were the architects of what was a wonderful business for over 15 years!. Then came the team of destruction... A group of inadequate, dysfunctional leaders who managed in less than two years to level the business and morale to the ground. I have moved on, and I am enjoying what I do best, building and developing a business I love.

Winners Win!
W
  • W
    Wondering
  • February 27, 2009
Anybody ever hear of this law and does it apply here?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/27/spansion_sued/
T
  • T
    To: Wondering
  • February 27, 2009
If you took the severance agreement, you have released Cox. Read the language in the agreement.
E
  • E
    ex-employee Dominion
  • March 1, 2009
Hey, I heard from a pal who is still employed at one of the plants, that they are started to bid on outside work and that 1 plant has even started running other start up books from outside the company. And the pricing is great!
E
  • E
    employee plant
  • March 1, 2009
yes that is true we are printing outside work now.CALL DOMINION FOR A QUOTE!
E
  • E
    ex-employee Dominion / employee plant
  • March 1, 2009
The two quotes from above are obviously from the same person. Not sure if you work for the plant or Dominion - but what is your objective - Who are you with- really?
And why would you have us call Dominion and not the plant?
N
  • N
    NJ
  • March 2, 2009
I can not wait until Cox close all their offices and shut down the printing plant.
L
  • L
    Longtime Cox/Traderpub employee
  • March 2, 2009
Well first week severance check mailed, next week, was direct deposited, now its the 3rd week, no direct deposit, has not shown up in the mail. Guess Im going to have to call a raise some heck
D
We have launchd two markets that were abandoned by Trader. We are in OK and Texas and the economy may be tough but dealers are still seeking solutions. I have heard that many other ex-trader people are doing the same and we should compare notes someday.

Interco is now printing outside titles and they have good pricing.
C
I never should have left Cruisin' Style Magazine. I became a freelance graphic artist in 2007. Last year I got a call that seemed like a dream job...

AutoTrator contacted ME about a graphic artist position in Tampa, I didn't go looking for them. They offered me all kinds of bonuses that were oh, so tempting. I was supposed to get $41k a year salary, $4100 for a bonus in February, quarterly raises and sent to the Photoshop/Adobe seminars to keep my skills sharp.

I took the bait, only it turned out to be a bait-and-switch.

Every one of those promises were broken. Starting with the "salaried" position. I ended up working 45+ hours a week with no overtime compensation, which turned out to average somewhere around $13 an hour. I was forced to use PDO's for doctor's appointments where I only needed to be gone an hour or two. Only after pitching a fit about the overtime was THAT resolved.

The next thing that never happened was the quarterly raise. They said that since we were now AutoTrader.com instead of AutoTrader Classics we were only going to be getting yearly raises. I was unable to meet the excessively (impossibly) high expectations of the art director who admits to being OCD and a perfectionist to boot. Somehow the final decision was determined by Atlanta which is hundreds of miles away.

Bye bye raise.

Next on the hit list was the 10% bonus I was promised verbally at the interview. Only after finding out that the bonus had evaporated, did I re-read the offer letter. It was cleverly written in perfect CYOA: "0-10% of your yearly income..."

Bye Bye Bonus.

Finally to add insult to injury, I ended up getting left out of the photoshop convention because some one had to stay behind at the office from the art department just in case. What was so important that it wouldn't wait until Monday- the next business day? The brand new professional photographer/graphic artist in training got to go, but I didn't, even though I was there longer. I even offered to pay my own way, but was told if I didn't show up to work I would be fired.

Asshats were going to fire me anyway. So I was doubly screwed on that deal.

No matter what I did, it wasn't good enough. If I improved on an area that they wanted me to, they'd look for something else to give me grief about until they were nit-picking to the point of pointing out that one picture box in a layout was 51/5000ths of a inch lower than the one next to it.

Do you think that a reader is going to pull out a micrometer and say "this box is .0106 inches lower"? That was less than half the width of a 1pt line. InDesign itself didn't even pick that up.

All of this came on suddenly over the last 3 issues. I was banging out magazines once a week. All of the editorial of the core books were mine to layout. If I had to ask for help, I was punished for it. If I didn't ask for help I was punished for it. I just wished someone would make up my mind...

The only thing I got that they promised was insurance, and its a good thing too, because the stress was making me sick.

I left a WONDERFUL job freelancing because I was stupid enough to reach for that carrot that AT dangled in front of me. I am eternally grateful for the work I had from Cruisin' Style. It wasn't until looking in retrospect, that I realized the amazing deal AutoTrator promised, wasn't much more than what I had been getting all along by just freelancing.

Ray Martino is an awesome guy to work for and Cruisin' Style is one hell of a magazine. Its readers are faithful and its a nationwide publication. CSM is the car show bible with hundreds of event listings from across the USA. Its grassroots and appreciates its readers, advertisers, contributors and employees. Its one of the few publications that interacts with its reader base.

If you want to work for a company that treats you like a PERSON, contact Ray. Visit www.cruisinstyle.com There you can link to the actual magazine and see the way it looks printed. There is an interactive site that allows you to flip through the magazine page by page. Its a really cool function!

I'm looking forward to going back to a magazine where my creativity and opinion are valued and promises that are made are kept. Cruisin' Style is awesome. I shouldn't have believed that a cold, corporate giant like AutoTrader would be better. After all, its only a rag mag (newsprint) fit for the back of a toilet at a swap meet.

I heard a rumor that AutoTrader former employees were starting their own company. A letter came down from the corporate office ranting and threatening legal action against any opposition, so I figured it must be true. I feel like being a rebel. If there really is a magazine made by former AT employees, the editors/owners can feel free to contact me. I'm available for freelance work. AT has no hold on me anymore.

AT expects you to get written permission to work ANYPLACE other than AT, even if its babysitting. Psychos... There is no need for a Non-compete clause, I am a professional who's been doing graphics for 20 years, 9 of which were with Cruisin' Style. I know how to handle a client base. I don't share trade secrets. Your graphics are secure with me.

My email is located on my under-construction site GrafixASAP.com I'm available 24-7
C
  • C
    Commissions
  • March 8, 2009
Just found this board - I am considering a position with a regional trader type magazine out west - commission is 16% on everything I sell - is this normal? What did Cox pay (AutoMart/ AutoTrader)

Thanks for your help!
T
  • T
    To Commisions
  • March 11, 2009
Have you not read the board, print is dead, automart/autotrader are dead, they dropped us all like hot potatoes, are you out of your mind???
P
  • P
    Prints Death has been Greatly Exaggerated
  • March 12, 2009
Print is dead? That's bollocks, the fact of the matter is that rag racks the country over are still flush with print ads.

You keep perpetrating such poppycock, it may well assist in keeping competition down.

Cox's drunken fumble will end up ushering in a golden age for small independents, captained by those who actually made the cogs turn at previous bloated behmoths.

Proprietors may indeed take some time to warm up to doing business again after having been sodomized by Cox. (Crikey, pun not intentional, I promise.) But once honest small time pubs are given the chance to show their colours, even the most jaded old sod will be clamoring for a print spot.

But you mark my words, a return to business values and God's honest customer care will do for this industry and this land what no room full of suits filled with smug sacks of questionably useful flesh or even a bloated stimulus package can ever hope to achieve.

The best revenge is to succeed. So get right back out their and do that.

And 16% is standard commision there chap
P
  • P
    Prints Death has been Greatly Exaggerated
  • March 12, 2009
Print is dead? That's bollocks, the fact of the matter is that rag racks the country over are still flush with print ads.

You keep perpetrating such poppycock, it may well assist in keeping competition down.

Cox's drunken fumble will end up ushering in a golden age for small independents, captained by those who actually made the cogs turn at previous bloated behmoths.

Proprietors may indeed take some time to warm up to doing business again after having been sodomized by Cox. (Crikey, pun not intentional, I promise.) But once honest small time pubs are given the chance to show their colours, even the most jaded old sod will be clamoring for a print spot.

But you mark my words, a return to business values and God's honest customer care will do for this industry and this land what no room full of suits filled with smug sacks of questionably useful flesh or even a bloated stimulus package can ever hope to achieve.

The best revenge is to succeed. So get right back out there and do that.

And 16% is standard commision there chap
C
  • C
    Circulation/IC in motown
  • March 13, 2009
Just wanted to pop back on here and give you guys an update on whats been going on from this end of the pipe...

Equipment trader (landmark) was phased out/ discontinued this week, its now combined with the Commercial trader...which even with the addition is about as thick as it was without it...

Books themselves all around are pretty thin... I'd speculate that RV trader will be combined somehow next, as it is VERY thin this week, even by current standards.

And given the size, the books seem to be covering a laughable amount of territory..... like 4 or 5 states or more....

To top this off did a little more chatting then normal with my customers (stores) today and all in all came up with about 10 or so inquiries (just this past week) for Tradin Times.... plus an inquiry in person from someone who saw me putting this weeks books out on the rack. While there is no doubt that print isnt what it used to be given competition from the net, its far from dead... When targeted and done correctly it seems like it has a very good chance even here in one of the worst states economically..

Hope this info helps...
H
  • H
    Hello
  • March 16, 2009
Has anyone seen the Auto Solutions book in RI getting bigger and bigger every week, and all with old Auto Trader/ Auto Mart customers, that tells you how dead print is, and it is a fine looking book....... Pick one up
S
  • S
    Still unemployed ex autotrader rep
  • March 16, 2009
Hi everyone. I'm also a former employee of Auto Trader. I just came across this article and had to comment. The bold print of generous severance package is freakin hillarious! We were all notified through EMAIL that our jobs were being eliminated due to the decline in print media. The funny part about it all is that right before thanksgiving weekend we had some big shot fly from the east coast to California. We thought at that point that they were shutting down production due to rumors...but instead he came out to notify us all that "we were sitting in the basement with the lights off". And that all rumors were not true and although times were hard there was no way that we would be closing. He said he flew across the country to tell us that...hmmm...then on January 2nd we were all sent the lovely email. Details on why they were closing the doors, but still had to remain for another month while everything was settled and transitioned to the .com reps. As you can imagine the atmosphere was horrid and managment didnt make us feel any better. One rep in my office was "transfered" to autotrader.com...and the rest...well who knows. Anyway, the way they let us go...the way we had to see our dealers knowing we were about to be unemployed...and the not generous severance package was just all over wrong.
A
  • A
    Appreciative
  • March 17, 2009
You guys all need to put on your big boy/big girl panties and be glad we all got what we got-they didn't have to give us anything! It doesn't matter how long you were employed, COX let us go-NOT TRADER PUBLISHING CO. We only worked for Cox for 2 years so I feel they were very fair! Go ahead-sound off against me but it's time to move on. It is what it is so just focus on the future.
M
  • M
    My oh My
  • March 18, 2009
Dear Appreciative:

COX was a 50% owner/partner in Trader Publishing Company since April 1991, with Landmark being the other 50% partner/owner. The partnership was quite financially productive to the owners under the inspired and visionary leadership of Conrad Hall and the senior executive team that paved the way to a very successful branded stable of publications as a result of carefully thought-out and deliberate strategies that were spot on with the times. Not too many companies can boast the double-digit gains in revenues and profits that were enjoyed during the next 15 years, especially from a point of where the internet evolved from relative obscurity to what it has become today.
I believe that the point that many ex-communicates are making on the blogs out there is that COX embraced their new ownership of the agreed-upon entitlements very generously at first but then quickly changed that environment into one of disconnect and obfuscation of facts and strategies.
When an associate of mine scribbled "The beatings will continue until morale improves" on the sales board in the office, it was simply an innocent attempt at humor, but also and unfortunately vibrant foreshadowing of the unpleasant times ahead.
By the way, Morale improved, but the beatings continued, all the way to the very end.
I think that most employees will agree that they would have much rather known the truth early on so they could go out and get better jobs that came up, rather than pass them up based on false hopes that things would get lean, but at least continue on.
It's all speculation at some point, but the reality is that alot of employees were left out in the cold with nowhere to go and now their non-competes are being waved in their faces as they simply try to survive in this new world, doing what they know best.
I agree with some of the posts earlier on, and that is to let the people go out and work, create jobs [even as competitors] and try to eek out an existence. If COX stands behind their declaration that print is in fact dead, then it really does not matter, because any competitive print startup will fail miserably, right? And, those failures will further reinforce the story they tell... right?
Just a couple thoughts.
C
  • C
    circ guy still working
  • March 18, 2009
Just a quick update from someone who is made to feel like they are lucky to have a job.The B.S is still flowing freely. Same old trader lies. They still don`t know what they`re doing.
R
  • R
    RE:Commissions
  • March 26, 2009
Commissions-

I work for a small regional- We get 18% on everything in our region and 15% on everything sold into the next region over. We also get a year end bonus if we exceed last years sales. The best I have ever heard from other competitors is 25% - the worst is 10%.

Good luck! Print is far from Dead - I have many happy customers. It's all about results!
I know some will hate me but I think it's time we close this thread here on DealerRefresh. It most likely should had been done some time ago but to be honest this thread ran so ramped that I lost track and was no longer monitoring it.

Looking at some of the comments..I'm sure many would agree with me. Please refrain from sending me hate email if you will. I'm sure everyone can understand that it has become (a long time ago) non relevant to what DealerRefresh.com is all about.

Thanks for reading.

Jeff Kershner
D
  • D
    dominion employee
  • April 21, 2009
Intercoprint is starting to do a l;ot of outside work.. with very good pricing give them a call and see if they can beat what your presently paying.. It can't hurt it might save you money!!!!!
E
  • E
    Eugene
  • September 18, 2009
AutoTrader.com is monopoly in internet. I hate any monopolies! Don't do any deal with MONOPOLIES, EVER!!!! It'll cost your children an air!
N
  • N
  • November 8, 2009
Fantastic! love this blog
L
  • L
    Lars
  • November 28, 2009
Well then. Nice to find this site and discover what happened. As a former owner of and AT, and employee of Trader it is a sad affair to see what a few good men and women can destroy.

Conrad, George, George, Brit, Norman. What a shame and shame on you. But then I would guess we are all retired now so it really doesn't matter. Does it.
U
I feel in the world of tough competition online auto websites need to think out of the box for promoting their websites. Many companies are struggling to make their presence felt in the automotive industry.
D
  • D
    D
  • August 31, 2010
Lol, there are several Ad sites that are giving them a run for their money. Autotrader been sending attorneys after people so they can monopolize. So, if you have autotrader in your name you are F&#039;ed. They think they created other peoples domains names and paid for it. There is a site that is awesome looking in design and their ranking isn&#039;t bad for the time they been on the net called Bogartsautotrader.com. They got attacked - funny thing is it seem like they waited to see if they were going to do good then hit them from a reliable source of mine. Internet monopoly I mean you are going up against COX, corporate gangbangers it seem. If you are a small guy they can&#039;t handle competition what do they do - gangbang in suits and ties instead of man up and give people that made them rich help like all those dealerships that are going down I&#039;m sure they made COX and AutoTrader.com rich so when they going to help the car industry like lowering their fucking feed prices. I know BogartsAutoTrader.com was doing this and people were happy. Spread the word, in my opinion they went after them BogartsAutoTrader.com because they are honest and is trying to help the car industry instead of rob them when the economy is down. Our country needs more honest businesses like BOGARTSAUTOTRADER.com. I won&#039;t doubt if Autotrader start harassing them to give up their domain name. That is what wussies do in my book must know you suck when you got to worry about the little guy, lmao sad. Money gangbangers once the corporate peanut butter kicks in they will get you stuck like a ghetto with no option &quot;AUTOTRADER&quot;.
Y
  • Y
    You have a great att
  • September 1, 2010
Dude, WTF? You STEAL someone&#039;s trademark and then have the gall to use the word &quot;honest&quot; to describe yourself? There are lot&#039;s of sites out there to advertise on so AutoTrader isn&#039;t a monopoly. Try calling yourself kraigslist and see what happens. Wait, you like craigslist - did you get rid of your 240 yet? <a href="http://(http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/cto/1875150113.html)" rel="nofollow">(http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/cto/1875150113.html)</a> Better yet go out and open a fast-food restaurant named Stick&#039;s McDonald&#039;s. How &#039;bout Bogie&#039;s Burger King?


Be an honest guy. Build a real business that doesn&#039;t include another company&#039;s trademark in your URL. But wait, then you&#039;d have to build your own traffic on google without using the words AutoTrader, Auto Trader or AutoTrader.com.


By the way, are you done &quot;exposing&quot; dealer &quot;fraud&quot;? <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkLLJFdUTH0&amp;feature=channel_page" rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkLLJFdUTH0&amp;fe...</a>

Dude!
F
  • F
    Former Employee
  • November 7, 2010
I have come across this site years after working at a branch for Trader Publishing located in NC. Unfortunately, I had lost my job just as the merger was taking place. I would have loved to have the opportunity to put years in this company but had this opportunity taken from me under the grounds of petty personal greed and corruption.


The higher ups in this company (much like many) did not even have a remote idea of what was happening in this office. Even some of the managers and other supervisors did not know what was really going on. I watched so much happen before my eyes while still trying to remain optimistic while believing that things were not really as corrupt as they were beginning to seem. I am not focused on the company as a whole in my account, but this specific branch and more specifically, a division within this branch.


I was honestly a great worker that had much to offer this company. I was placed in this division with two others. I was efficient with my work and was there to offer the reps techniques to make the ads for their dealers be outstanding. However, when I was helping the most and really shining in this branch; the others in the office with me would only treat me with indifference. They had begun to sabotage my position within the company and seemed outraged by my &quot;go the extra mile&quot; approach. For instance, when tailoring some graphics and other aspects of ads they would tell me to tell the reps that &quot;the program will not let us do that&quot;....even though I had proven that it could and it was fairly simple for me.


I had this person trying to keep customers on the phone while discouraging them to talk to me when they would can to speak with me after previous correspondence. After completing my work, I would be working on the work of the other division members after they would become behind (this was nearly everyday). I also came to realize that they were even holding onto to incomplete work until I would come in. They would receive bonuses after I would play a major part in the work that they received bonuses for. They would go on vocation, be extremely late, or have to miss days and I would be there to full in for them. This is while they received full time hours every week, health insurance, a savings plan, and vocation time while I received none of these regardless of my work and devotion to the company. I was mocked for &quot;not having a life outside of work&quot; by the same people in my division because I was so dedicated to this job. I had reps that would tell me what a dealer expected and I would help them reach that goal. This led to satisfied reps and dealers.


I saw sales rise while I was there. I realize that as an individual that I played a small role within the company. I also realize that I still made a great impact within that company. Eventually, the women that I worked with got together with our immediate supervisor (who was also a friends that they went out with after work) and planned. I came in one day to have them seemingly more motivated than I had seen them at work as the exclaimed &quot;today is a wonderful day!&quot; while in the most professional attire that I had seen them in. The same day, I realized why they were so enthusiastic after being taken into the conference room to be fired by this supervisor. I was fired for being late. As I understand that companies should not tolerate lateness; you must also be aware of the fact that I filled in for the others in the same division as they were extremely late (sometimes so that they could take care of personal business). I was told by this supervisor that &quot;the five minute grace period did not apply to me because I was a part-time worker&quot;.


If you give the power in your company to those on the relatively low levels of the company, then you can lose good employees based on personal thoughts of this person. The better I was, the more I was disliked. It was not about how great the work was, but the feelings of these other division members. If you keep employees based solely on seniority then you will lose chances to have more dimensions and better work ethics added to your company. I do feel bad for the workers that had been there for years that lost their job. I would have loved to have had the same opportunity before my job was ripped from me after I had begin to grow within the company.
D
  • D
    Doopie
  • November 15, 2010
hmm, being a sort of long time employee, I just hate to see what was once a good thing. I was lucky enough to be there when Stewart Arnold owned it back in the late 80&#039;s, and when they were bought by wayne hazinga. Then sold to Landmark/cox... But when I was re-hired later on things were going along fine until Dominion and Cox got into a spat.... And Dominion wanted to sell out..... I figured cox would buy them out, but alas they had higher hopes...they were trying to sell the dot com name and nobody wanted it while it was attached to the publications. But we all know the next part with Dominion buying cox out. Because cox only made a 23% profit, instead of 25%. For 2 years I&#039;ve heard that Dominion was

dedicated to printing, and those of us who were left put a ton of hard work into keeping them profitable... But first cox pulled their national books out of interco to save $200,000 a year... Sure doesn&#039;t seem like a lot to me to kill off the books. But Dominion started seeking outside work, after years and years of not looking for it. But how dedicated to printing and outside work can you be when the total of our local sales force is NONE... WTH? do these people think a line is going to form outside the door just because you went commercial...? Get real! I&#039;ve had the luck to work at a real commercial print company in between auto trader stints... And they had a WHOLE office of people dedicated to selling our services. And now every week another publication disappears. Come on how can Florida not sell enough books to keep a boat magazine profitable...REALLY? This is all just a case of 2 big companies being greedy and having a different vision of the future. I still agree that at least 1/4 of the US looks at print since they don&#039;t have a computer or even access to one. But I am in no means bitter about this whole thing, times change technology moves on, it was great in it&#039;s heyday, now it&#039;s on the endangered list. In a few years people will remember printed books/magazines like we remember the 8 track, cassette, VCR&#039;s.

My main reason for the hint of venom is for the way we the workers have been treated, even though we see the &quot;writing on the wall&quot;, they don&#039;t have the cahonas to man up and just tell us when the actual last day is. It&#039;s not like anyone still here is going to just stop doing their job, we all want the severance we hope is coming. But you should at least show us some class and make the last day public, &#039;cause we all KNOW it&#039;s coming around the first of the year. Just show some class, soon to be x-employees would like to move forward with life.... Until you grow up and give the date there will be an air of disgust coming from Norfolk.
D