Tony: Time to Celebrate Even More Upcoming Star Layoffs!


A few weeks ago Hearne was the first in Kansas City to report that McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt was in town to bestow some awards on Star reporters for a feature that only senior citizens read.

But like most media stunts, word is that was nothing but a ruse.

Like it or not, the word at Kansas City’s so-called “paper-of-record” is even more layoffs are on the horizon. The Pruitt drop-in was just proof that cutbacks at the local institution aren’t just part of The Great Recession but really a manifestation the ongoing decline of dead tree media.

Even in a recent conference call, Pruitt noted that classified advertising is still lagging so hope of a newspaper recovery is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Still, the office politics of Kansas City Star layoffs are what really make interesting gossip for media people all over this cowtown.

For instance, very few people understand why Jene

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40 Responses to Tony: Time to Celebrate Even More Upcoming Star Layoffs!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Aaron Barnhart
    THAT’S more like it, Tony! When you were over on your “humor blog” at 7 a.m., and you wrote something mildly disdainful of my blog, it seemed like you were holding back.

    Fortunately, I posted a comment pointing out that you don’t even READ my blog

  2. Anonymous says:

    greg
    Say what you want about the KC Star staffers who catch a great deal of heat on KCC, but guys like Barnhart and Hendricks post their thoughts here on this site under their real names. I give them a lot of credit for stating their rebuttals on the record and not under pseudonyms.

  3. Anonymous says:

    craig glazer
    Tony there is alot of competition in the media today. It is awful to see how the “online” age has set back everything we grew up with, like t.v,music biz(almost gone now)movies,and magazines and newspapers, even books are down over 50% in sales. So I feel bad for those people who lose their jobs because of all this. I for one enjoy reading the paper. I think holding it in our hands and having a keepsake if needed or wanted, gives the paper credibility lacking from online information. What do you think?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Lauren
    lauren wants to know…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tracy Thomas
    I agree with Tony–
    Jenee’s column is, as Rev. Cleaver said, “touristy frou frou”. I’d also nominate for termination: Brad “the Grump/Mama’sBoy” Cooper–the shill for mass transit who hangs up on you if he disagrees. And Lordy Lordy, why doesn’t the Star just let Kevin Collison’s puff pieces be paid for, by the Chamber and the developers?? As they should be. The reason that boy has such uncalloused hands is he just imports their press releases and then attaches his byline. He also editorializes constantly, without labelling it as such.

    I am so old I remember when we had the KC Times delivered to my apartment on Knickerbocker Place every morning, and then the KC Star arrived right before the sun set every evening.

    And yes, Craig, I too, enjoy holding the paper, tearing out articles and coupons, and I still send the best sports reporting about the Chiefs to two of my brothers in Denver. I think they secretly read it on line, but this way, I get to write smily faces and comments and sass Whitlock back. Yeah–how about old Jason–he should perhaps be on the Hangman’s List. He’s earning (and apparently eating) enough for 3 normal reporters.

    I miss Joe Posnanski the most. His writing often brought tears to my eyes.

    When the Star is gone, which will be sooner rather than later, I guess I’ll do that 3 day a week NY Times deal for $5 a week, and just read one section a morning with my coffee. And then read KCC of course, because at least Hearne and his people will actually report what’s happening. Like being the first, by 5 days, to call the Plaza event a flash mob. Thank God I had put my prom dress in mothballs for the season. Hearne saved me a dunking!

    Gulp.

  6. Anonymous says:

    hearne
    I second Greg’s comment / opinion

  7. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    I find it hilarious that Barnhart comes onto this blog to comment when he denies his own critics that privilege on his own highly censored blog.

    Tony hits it pretty well on the head, The Star’s workforce is pretty much an inverse pyramid with a lot of highly paid dead weight at the top and very few productive worker bees at the bottom.

    The entire editorial board could be fired and no one would miss them and yet it took three weeks before they reported on the Plaza’s difficulties.

    Hire back some of the reporters, let them write about what’s happening here locally and ditch the duds.

    The establishment doesn’t need Barb Shelly shilling for their latest scams and is anyone really wondering what Lewis Diuguid’s next column will be about? Does Miriam Pepper even do anything?

    Derek Donovan hasn’t fooled anyone for ages, he’s the most abusive Stalinist in the house.

    Keep and re-hire our local reporters and actually let them write about what’s going on instead of forcing them to pimp for corruption.

  8. Anonymous says:

    bschloz
    At .65 cents per day….show me a better value in KC?
    I would bet The Star still does lots of the heavy lifting for MNI.

    We can have all the Apple bullshit devices in the world…I still say navigating the web while drinking coffee and watching the news is tedious at best!

  9. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    A few years back George magazine declared Kansas City to be one of the Top Ten Corrupt cities in the country. Give me a paper that uncovers that corruption instead of pimping for it and I’ll subscribe.

    When I first moved to Kansas City I got into The Star’s library and read everything Rick Alm had to say about Wyandotte County. Then Brisbane gutted the WYCO bureau and installed happy chat under that weasel Fitzpatrick. Steve Nicely retired and immediately went to work for Marinovich and didn’t even have to change his writing style. Since then, when he’s not bailing his honey out of the hoosegow (what ever happened to that farce, did they manage to find yet another sympathetic judge?) Zieman has continued that pattern of shilling for every scam that’s come down the line.

    Fire the editorial board, hire reporters to write about local issue and then let them write about what they see in front of them. What a concept, someone should try it. How pathetic is it when The Pitch has more credibility than the Star?

  10. Anonymous says:

    the return of
    Rick. I haven’t read Tony junk in awhile. But when I heard he hit Barnhart I decided to make a return appearance. Aaron you are the bomb. A professional that cares and has a passion for what you do. You’ve always been kind to me even when we disagree. Love watching the pilots with you at the movie theater. And the others are right that you are classy and bold for posting under your own name. No cheap shots form you.

    Here’s hopping we have Chuck around another season. With 24 and Lost going out the door I need something to watch. Returning to my boycott.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Bob
    Hey John A. How is it possible to take “three weeks before they reported on the Plaza

  12. Anonymous says:

    barry
    i guess i’ll never understand the glee at anticipating someone losing their job.

    as far as barnhart goes, i am not privy to his readership numbers, but i have seen the numbers of tv critics at other papers, and they are generally pretty good. i’ve seen his columns quoted on national sites, so i suspect his numbers are relatively strong as well.

  13. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    If you’d been paying attention and reading closely the weekend of the riot was the culmination of 3 weeks of hijinks down there. There were also problems the previous two weeks, but The Star failed to report on it, as they have on much of the crime that occurs down there. Thanks for asking.

  14. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    Again, I’d love to have an honest paper to subscribe to. There is nothing like sitting down with a real newspaper and a cup of coffee. And I certainly am not celebrating the loss of jobs. I know and like some of the folks who lost theirs. That said, it’s triage time and the industry ought to be asking what services it can provide that no one else can. Is there anyone here who would tell me that retaining Lewis Duiguid, Miriam Pepper and Barb Shelly over Julius Karash, Rick Alm and John Schultz serves that purpose?

  15. Anonymous says:

    smartman
    If the Star would get back in the news business instead of the opinion business they might save themselves. The internet has opened the floodgates on opinions disguised as reportage and most people are too stupid to tell the difference. We are in a cultural war in our city and country. I believe it was Churchill who said the first casualty of war is the truth.

    I think Nietzche said it best when he said, and this applies to many of the “players” in our local media, “The vain man does not wish so much to be prominent as to feel himself prominent; he therefore disdains none of the expedients for self-deception and self-outwitting. It is not the opinion of others that he sets his heart on, but his opinion of there opinion.”

    Like the horse and buggy, newspapers have outlived their relative usefullness. I can get coupons for free all day on the internet. I get real time news updates from a dozen different outlets on my PDA. Why kill millions of trees every year when I can get all the content I want or need on a variety of devices.

    The failure of the print media in the US is the finest example of the free market at work. When The Star starts telling us what we need to know instead of what they want us to hear they might make a comeback. I don’t see that happening because they still believe they are smarter than we are and have to spoon feed us the nanny state apple sauce utopian diet.

    It’s time for a trip back to Owl Farm at Woody Creek and some REAL Gonzo journalism. Fear and Loathing in Kansas City.

  16. Anonymous says:

    the problem
    Smartman is that in “general” you are not going to get two things on the net. In depth investigative reporting. And unbiased local news coverage. This is one more step in the dumbing down of society. So let’s look at Yahoo’s four big stories currently.
    1-A 94 year old who lived in caves died.
    2-A-Rod walked across the pitcher’s mound.
    3-A fish has defied the odds and lived a long time.
    4. Simon Cowell makes a lot of money.

    Wow I’m glad I have the net instead of a local newspaper for my news source. Can’t wait for the daily Lindsey and Paris stores.

  17. Anonymous says:

    smartman
    El problemo, I respectfully disagree. Once someone begins to deliver high quality local content they will be able to monetize the endeavor. That was the hope and promise of this blog but that mission was not accomplished. I subscribe to a number of services that cost anywhere from $20.00 to $100.00 per year that deliver me concise and accurate info on topics that concern me. 10,000 people at $100.00 a year is a million bucks. You can’t tell me that there aren’t at least 10,000 people who wouldn’t pay $100.00 a year for good, accurate, honest reporting on all the crap that goes on in KC that’s actually relevant to our day to day existence as a city and community. I don’t need any fluff about where to eat or what to do or what to wear. I can get that from a dozen sources. Knowledge is power and accurate information is the DNA of knowledge. Someone will get it right in this market sooner or later and they will make money where others have failed.

  18. Anonymous says:

    the problem
    Smartman here is the problem with your logic. You pay that $100.00 a year. Some other guy posts that same information, that you are paying for, on the net for free. So me the buyer has no interest or motivation to pay $100.00. And you will eventually learn that you are paying for something that you could get for free some where else. And most people who are smart men and women will stop paying.

    We see it all the time in the current situation be it exclusive interviews, n*de pictures, whatever. You can always find a free source.

  19. Anonymous says:

    “the worker bees”
    Any newsroom worth its salt would keep the likes of Karen Dillon.

  20. Anonymous says:

    chuck
    There is still a real newspaper that you can subscribe to with actual news. It publishes six days a week, consistently has four full sections and costs $15 a month. It’s the Wall Street Journal and Star employees even print and deliver it for you. Everyone wins!

  21. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    Local news, I want a paper with local news. We don’t have one. Some of you reporters from The Star need to get together and create a real newspaper. I know you guys have talent and actually do know what’s going on in this burg. Tell us about it.

  22. Anonymous says:

    smartman
    The problem. You make a very valid point.I trust that in time lawyers, guns and money will come into play to control the raping and pillaging of exclusive or proprietary info on the internet.

    In addition to paying for info I’m also paying for convenience so I don’t have to do all the searching. Time is money. The time is approaching when we will be able to order our news off a menu, and like eggs get it over easy, scrambled, sunny side up or hard boiled. We will be able to have customized news delivered to us daily, or throughout the day with news from reporters or organizations we trust on topics that are relevant to us. That is the beauty of the digital age.

    It’s worth three dollars a day to me to be able to get info in that format. And, just like when I log onto Amazon there will be recommendations provided to me about other things I might be interested in.

    If the pen is mightier than the sword, the internet is mightier than the pen.

    We’ll be able to store “our” whole lifetime of news offline, on thumb drives or hardrives.

    We’ve all survived the transition from peach crates full of vinyl LP’s to the ipod. We’ll survive this as well.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Robertoe
    I’m loving the trend to online delivery. The Star was caught so flatfooted on this, they built a $200 million print facility that was obsolete b4 it was done. Why would I want to get me news from a smug, hubristic clueless has-been like the KC Star that couldn’t see this huge trend?

    Evaluate what they put out with this facility. 80% of the paper is ads, fluff and crap. As a society we need to get past dead trees and millions of tons of unrecyclable slick fluff going into landfills. Even though they’re the main perpetrator, did the Star do anything to address this problem of diminishing landfill space? No, just the opposite. They increased the printing of slick ad crap that can’t be recycled. Its karma!

    Being a news junkie, I can now puruse the NYTimes, SFGate, Guardian & Telegraph daily!Absolutely love it. My daily news intake has competition and the Star is at the bottom of the quality ranking.

    In terms of local news, it’ll be fun to watch the transition and a two way flow of news like here at KCC. Its not just dumbass one-way pronouncements fron the Star like their editorial board declaring going into Iraq being a good idea.

    Hearne just needs to clean up the ‘anyone can post anything annonomously’ approach here. But if he doesnt, he’ll have competition emerging that will have a better quality feedback system. This is only the inception. And with products like the Kindle and the IPad, you’ll get your morning newspaper experience and it’ll be much better environmentally.

    Good ridance KCStar! You couldn’t figure it out and you’ll continue to sink!

  24. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    I agree with ridding the Internet of anonymous posters. If you haven’t got the courage of your convictions to sign your real name to what you write, you don’t need to be allowed to criticize others who do.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Ptolemy
    I third what greg said and second what John said.

  26. Anonymous says:

    MandDShagger
    Let me tell you why you want to post anonymously. One of the biggest growth areas in HR/IT is companies that scour the internet looking for information on and content posted by prospective or even current employees. Facebook, Twitter, dating sites, message boards, etc. Let’s say your boss is a commie lib and you’re a gun toting tea bagger. You perform well at work but you know that he doesn’t like you becasue of the McCain-Palin bumper sticker on your Hummer H1…the REAL Hummer.

    Depending on what type of footprints you have left on the net, that can be a crack in the door to start to find a reason that could lead to your termination, put up a roadblock to future promotions or creating a situation where you are forced to leave that employer.

    Big Brother isn’t just the governemtn anymore. It’s your employer, your spouse, your parents, your kids. Hell, there are devices that can be installed on any car in a matter of seconds by anyone with two fingers that provide 24/7 tracking and monitoring of that vehicles location, speed, destinations, stops, etc.

    The internet is a conduit for thoughts, ideas and concepts. I don’t care if they come from jojo, Hearne or Craig Glazer. It’s up to me to determine their worth based on my world view. I’m more concerned with the art than the artist. If it moves me that’s what’s important.

    Now more than ever is when people need to work hard to disappear electronically. I’m amazed at stuff some people post on Facebook. Where they are, where they are going to be, where the damn extra key is to get into their house.

    Too much of anything can be dangerous, whether it’s food, drugs or personal information.

  27. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    And you would want to work for someone who would not allow you to express your own political opinions because…….? Better you should move on to work for someone with an open mind who would value you for who you are as a worker and a human being.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Rainbow Man
    The Star has not made it very easy to feel sorry for them. I do not enjoy watching people lose jobs and I do enjoy a physical paper, particularly on Sundays. But generally, I use the net for news. I can easily list why The Star has zero credibility:

    1. They did eveything they could do to stop light rail, even though the voters wanted it.
    2. They did everything they could do to get Funkhouser elected.
    3. In Reardon’s first KCK election, they opposed him just because Marinovich liked another guy. They had no clue who the other guy was. Sometimes they would just ask a local contact who they should endorse.
    4. They allowed the publisher’s wife to vomit all over the editorial page.
    5. Yael Abhoulakskfjhiureoifjoeijahdeuwfourhfokah

  29. Anonymous says:

    Ptolemy
    I second what Manshagger said.

  30. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    There should be a higher standard demanded of comments submitted anonymously. The should have to be logical, related to the topic and make a rational point. No trolls, no ad hominem attacks, etc. If you want to get mouthy with someone you ought to be able to sign your own name instead of hiding cowardly behind anonymity.

  31. Anonymous says:

    the log
    I, too, like to read actual paper in the morning. The only reason I subscribe to the scar is the sports and the comics (i.e the editorials). I love the article today on CNN’s eminent demise. Here’s the scar giving advice to CNN on how to improve and not lose their advertisers. How rich. What’s hilarious is that lamestream media doesn’t get it. They’re so used to lording it over us stupid hillbillies with their leftist liberal agenda, they can’t fathom why the public is turning away in droves. I’m sick of their constant race baiting, whitey doesn’t care or spend enough on urban KC crap. I moved back to KC from South America 4 years ago and couldn’t believe what a piece of crap the scar had become. I kind of understand Diuguid or the others because they further the leftist agenda but why does Jenee have a job? Incredible. I would love some real gonzo reporting that’s not saturated with political correctness. Believe me, south of the border pc doesn’t exist. I, too, don’t look forward to people losing their jobs but let the marketplace decide. Thats why liberals hate capitalism: because they can’t compete in it. Maybe soon Lewis Dogood can dress up like a homeless guy for real. Put out a better product that doesn’t shy away from telling us things like when crime is committed by illigals or black on white crime. Just tell it like it is and let the market decide.

    Oh and this is for those pussies over at comedy central. Muhamed can suck my left nut!

  32. Anonymous says:

    K Keitzman
    Hummer? Did I hear someone say something about a hummer? I hate people that post anonymously or use other peoples name. I like hummers though. They are great to get to drive or drive while u r getting.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Roy Langford
    Wouldn’t it be awesome if Tony was the only site in town! every one would hate each other because every one is a racist EPIC FAIL EPIC FAIL RACIST!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Karen
    I agree with ridding the Internet of anonymous posters. If you haven’t got the courage of your convictions to sign your real name to what you write, you don’t need to be allowed to criticize others who do.

  35. Anonymous says:

    smartman
    John, not everyone is so fortunate to work for an employer who supports the notion of freedom of expression, particularly if you work for a small privately held company. Lots of damage has been and is being done to individuals and careers as a result of internet espionage. In one case an individual solicited contact with a female through a dating site with the intent of getting her to go on the record about her employer. After several dates she did just that and BAM! Bye bye bye.

    Just this past week a voiceover guy that worked for Geico got whacked for leaving a douchebag-ish but certainly not threatening message on a tea party groups answering machine. He got outed and the internet was the primary source of the outing.

    I think he got the shaft but in a day of employ at will where you can be terminated for any or no reason you can never be too safe.

    In that yin yang way the internet is a force for good and evil

  36. Anonymous says:

    Robertoe
    There’s lots of ground between posting with your real name and this current KCC wide open, anything goes approach. I’d suggest a very short registration process. Then ban by user name or subsequently by IP address if needed. Let these KCC boards self police- ie online elect administrators. Then smartman or robertoe or whomever always post under their same names and one can’t go in and post any kind of crap at any point without attachment.

  37. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    OK, as I said, let some people post anonymously, but hold them to much higher standards since they’re not willing to stand behind their posts. No anonymous insults, no trolls just trying to disrupt the debate, only comments that contribute something of value to the ongoing debate.

  38. Anonymous says:

    but
    where is the fun in that?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Perspective
    Keep in mind that every news outlet has one or two crackpots. Altevogt is The Official Star Crackpot.

    Who in his right mind, in 2010, would refer to someone as a Stalinist? When did it get to be 1959 in here?

    He’s made death threats against its employees and led protests. If you want to see some of his lunatic ravings, go look up an old blog called McClatchy Watch.

    Just keep that in mind. Be careful with this unstable person, Hearne. Don’t encourage him or he could be at your door one night.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Simon
    OK, as I said, let some people post anonymously, but hold them to much higher standards since they’re not willing to stand behind their posts. No anonymous insults, no trolls just trying to disrupt the debate, only comments that contribute something of value to the ongoing debate.

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