About spanking new Kansas City Star publisher Mi-Ai Parrish…
With the newspaper likely facing another round of staff layoffs and/or cutbacks following the close of its second quarter at month’s end, the question is, will Parrish’s first major order of business be the axing of however many staffers? As has been the practice for years under now-former head dude Mark Zieman.
Or will parent McClatchy grant its newly-arrived publisher a stay of execution for the sake of getting off on the right foot?
"Oh boy, I hope there aren’t more ropes lying around to hang the bodies from the ceiling," winces retired Star editorJim Fitzpatrick, who covers the newspaper on jimmycsays.
"That’s an interesting question," Fitzpatrick continues. "You know, surely they wouldn’t start her off with, ‘Give us five heads’ or ‘Give us 15 heads.’ Maybe they could hold off and double up next time."
That would be following the third quarter at the end of September.
Fitzpatrick’s reasoning: "If they do it now you know – the quarter’s over and we’ve got 15 more people to get rid of – it’s like trampling all over her and she’s just a ‘yes’ person. You know, all over the United States there’ve been editors and publishers that have quit because they can’t stand to see the dismantling of their newsrooms."
With a bit of clear thinking, the Star could maybe play the furlough card (across-the-board, unpaid, forced vacations) and/or find other savings (like shutting down or cutting back more of its money-losing, regional satellite papers) and grant Parrish, "Maybe a layoff reprieve," Fitzpatrick says.