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KC Star lays off "about 50"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Diabeetus, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member


    In the third round of cost-cutting in less than five months, The Kansas City Star on Monday began to notify about 50 employees newspaper-wide that they were being let go.

    Calling 2008 “one of the most challenging years in Star history,” Publisher Mark Zieman said in a memo to employees that the newspaper had “taken a number of extraordinary steps to keep The Star safe during this harsh economic downturn, and to buffer this great newspaper against future financial pressures.”

    The affected employees include workers in The Star’s news, advertising, circulation and other departments. All of them will receive severance pay, benefits continuation and outplacement services, according to the memo.

    In June, The Star cut 120 jobs, or about 10 percent of its workforce, as part of the elimination of 1,400 employees companywide by its parent company, The McClatchy Co. of Sacramento, Calif. An additional 65 employees accepted voluntary buyouts or were laid off in September. An additional number of positions were eliminated through attrition.

    Earlier in the year, two dozen employees accepted voluntary buyouts.

    In his memo to employees, Zieman said The Star was marketing its downtown circulation complex and planned to move employees in those buildings into the headquarters at 1729 Grand Blvd. in early 2009.

    Zieman also said that The Star was exploring a possible sale and lease-back of its printing plant building. Under such a deal, the newspaper would continue to own and operate the presses within the building. The $200 million glass-enclosed press pavilion began full production in mid-2006.

    “But to be clear, our commitment to downtown remains steadfast,” Zieman wrote. “We plan to be working and publishing here for years to come.”

    The Star is one of a growing number of metropolitan newspapers seeking to reduce expenses during a historic shift in the media industry. Many newspapers, including The Star, are attracting record numbers of readers to their news and advertising content. But most new readers are coming through the papers’ online Web sites, while readership and advertising revenue from their core daily printed products continue to soften.
  2. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Page 2 sports columnist Jeffery Flanagan is one of them.
  3. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    Here's some more.

    From Bottomline.com:

    The Kansas City Star is currently undergoing its fourth round of layoffs (terminations) this year and the cutbacks implemented today involve some of the most veteran and recognizable folks at the area's largest newspaper.

    One reporter referred to it as a "journalistic bloodbath" in Kansas City.

    Heading the list of editorial employees given pink slips included Hearne Christopher, Jr., who has written one of the most read columns at the newspaper for several years.

    Jeffrey Flanagan, who wrote a "Top of the Mornin'" column in the Sports Department since 1996 (and most recently a blog), spent 19 years at the paper, including as a beat reporter for the University of Missouri, Kansas City Royals and as National Baseball reporter.

    Laura Scott, Assistant Editorial Page Editor, who spent more than 30 years with the paper, including as an editorial columnist.

    Lee Judge, who was nationally recognized as the Star's acerbic political cartoonist, was also given his walking papers. Judge was hired by the Star in 1981.
    Others reported to us include:

    Angela Curry ("At Your Service" columnist)
    Alan Holder
    Greg Clark (Indep. Bureau Chief)
    Les Weatherford
    John Shultz
    Tony Balandran
    Monroe Dodd
    Jeanne Meyer
    Mike Casey (Bus. Desk)
    John Schultz
    Kevin Hoffman (Indep.)
    Stan Austin
    Allen Holder (travel editor)
    Kit Wagar (statehouse reporter)
  4. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    Damn. I've always liked Jeff, and I'm sure there are others that I know of know of that aren't on this list.

    This just sucks.
  5. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    Christopher, Judge and Flanagan are three of the most recognizable names in the paper.
  6. joe

    joe Active Member

    Worked alongside Flanagan way back in the day when I covered Mizzou men's basketball for the Missourian. Damn shame that the Star is just like any other paper in the country.
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    About 50... like 49 so WARN doesn't kick in?
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Yeah, for awhile people who worked there were bragging that the SE was so smart that they weren't going to have to let anyone go.

    I'm not implying that's it's any person's fault, but it is really sad to see a place that is run as well as the KC Star get hit like this. This isn't a place that is known for the excesses like Dallas back in the day and to a lesser extent Orlando.
  9. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Big fucking shock.

    Laying off HC, Jr., is just horrible. People in that town who've hated the Star for this or that have always liked him. There's a reason; too bad respect doesn't mean shit anymore.
  10. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    never cared for the star as a paper. as a sports section? a fantastic fucking read. but the paper had a stranglehold on the region.

    watching the star come undone, for me, signifies that we're in the last lap of a really good run.
  11. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    As expected, a friend in the business told me today the KC Star has resisted firing the management fucks who go to the 10 a.m. meetings. Just the people who produce. This business is getting what it deserves with the shitheads who run newspapers.
  12. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    Man ... Flanagan? He's been a daily read for me for years. But the one that shocked me was Heare Christopher Jr. Wow ...

    Good luck to all those folks.
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