They said it wouldn’t be done…
Nearly a month after notifying department heads of the need for staff cuts – then waiting a tortuously long time – the Kansas City Star unloaded on the faithful this morning as the cutting began.
As expected, the cuts come on the first day of a new pay period, Friday having been payday. However, the rumor was employees might have somehow dodged the layoffs bullet afer weeks passed and January came to an end.
It’s early but staffers rumored to have taken the hits include copy editor Don Munday who doubles as the newspaper’s Monday morning poetry quarterback with his Page 2 "Munday on Monday" poetry feature.
Munday declined comment, but insiders say he’s one of a group of staffers offered a buyout. Another longtime reporter, Jim Sullinger,reportedly got the same offer and took the Star up on it.
Gone more forcibly is longtime business reporter Randy Heaster – son of exhaulted, former Star business columnist Jerry Heaster. Heaster is a well-known live music aficionado and club dude around town of the first order.
No word yet, but FYI may have dodged the layoffs bullet when editor/society maven Ann Spivak bolted earlier this month to becomes the development director for the Genesis School.
Because of the long gesttation period between the time the layoffs were announced and finally executed, many Star staffers thought that the newspaper had found a way to make the needed quarterly cuts sans any bloodletting. That proved incorrect.
However, while being politely asked to retire is a far better fate than the plankwalks of recent year’s, it’s not exactly a vote of confidence for those entertaining the offers. Which, apparently, remains to be learned.
Fittingly, Munday’s poem today, "Terms of Confusion," begins as follows:
"Of all times to happen, the worst, there’s no doubt."