Tonight: I’m Back, Joe’s Leaving, Take a Number…

Talk about one-two punches…

I don’t know what you thought about me being mostly MIA the past two weeks, but it’s clear you were thrilled by my brainstorm to have Joe Miller execute a 10 parter on his way out of Kansas City. I thought Joe did a kickass job, by the way.

He butchered some sacred (and not-so-sacred) cows and let his hair down just enough to  incur the divine wrath of KC Confidential’s finest, our comments Hit Squad. For the vast majority of readers who never venture into our online mosh pit, I assure you Miller’s exploits here – journalistic and otherwise – were significant.

That said Kansas City is a barbecue town and clearly our comments crowd prefers its ends burnt.

WWE style…

Joe joins a long list of writers who have come and gone on KCC the past three years. For various reasons. Money being one. People tend to need actual incomes and writing on a site such as this for very little to no money can take a toll.

Especially for folks used to making, for example, well into five figures doing essentially the same thing. Now they’re out of work, the unemployment has run out and the burden of delivering the words for mere lawn mowing money is too great.

In other instances, knowlege of the subject was there but the difficulty and/or annoyance of having to write it all down was too great. And at times, too time consuming on my end.

In at least three instances, the comments section was too brutal for the writers.

Uh, thanks, guys!

And some people just like being on their own and doing their own thing. It’s not like the old days at the Pitch where writers had little choice if they wanted to practice their craft in public. Then again, not many "blogs" have a quarter million unique visits a month and seven million-plus pageviews. So there’s that.

Allow me to say I’ll miss Joe. Just as I miss Tony and Maria and Greg Hall. There’ll be others too, so let me add in advance of their even coming here, that I already miss them. Whatever.

Thing is, it gives me more time to get out and report and write.  Which was actually the intended purpose of this venture following my job layoff – not firing – at the Kansas City Star. Like many, I got a handsome check when I left. Unlike many, I got an invitation to come back and do essentially the same thing two months later. But for chump change.

Speaking of which, don’t be surprised from time to time if some of the escapees don’t magically reappear here.

But don’t hold your breath…

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10 Responses to Tonight: I’m Back, Joe’s Leaving, Take a Number…

  1. smartman says:

    Lay Off the BS
    To quote Chris Rock
    “Abraham Linclon was assasinated! Martin Luther King was assasinated! Biggie and Tupac, them niggers got SHOT!”

    In business lingo the term layoff generally means that one is being let go temporarily due to a decline in business or sales, and should business conditions improve they could or in some cases have to be rehired.

    Why all sensitive about that and insisting on the term layoff? Please explain

    Getting fired from the Star is a badge of honor. Wear it proudly.

  2. Hearne Christopher says:

    Here’s why; for the commenters who suspect I have an ax to grind when I critique the Star.

    Since you know me, you know that I was all over the Star long ago when running the Pitch. It’s part of what the alternative media does. I just happen to be better at it than some because I worked behind enemy lines for 16 years.

    I was also critical of the Star in in my column there (carefully) and in my interactions outside the newspaper. As for wearing the “badge” – eh, doesn’t really do anything for me.

  3. mark smith says:

    Ahhh the noble watchdog and protector of truth…..
    C’mon Hearne, show the human side. There isn’t a little bit of anomosity and need for some get back in your reporting of the Star? Sorry, that dog just won’t hunt. Human nature is an undeniable force. From the spurned lover to the disgruntled ex employee. Close to half your working life spent reporting on the french poodle crowd, then cast off like it never happened. Of course it’s personal with you. I’ve no axe to grind, never worked at the star, except for tossing papers as a kid. You have it out for them, right wrong or otherwise. It’s personal.

  4. Markus Aurelius says:

    The Star is crashing and burning with or without Hearne….
    throwing logs onto the fire. Their printed paper is always a day, if not more, behind the news I read online and they’ve emaciated their writing staff to the point that those left standing are no more talented than the average blogger, whose articles are free to read. Occasionally, the Star will do interesting, in-depth articles but it’s not worth paying the money to wait around for those once or twice a month.

  5. Hearne Christopher says:

    Mark, I won’t argue with your logic.

    But I will offer this; I crucified the Star when I ran the Pitch in its key, formative years. It’s what the alternative press is supposed to do.

    I barbecued other print media, radio and TV when I wrote for the Star. It’s what I did and was highly read in doing.

    I also did quite a bit of Star bashing from within while I was writing there. I won’t bore you with the specifics here, but I’ve outlined a few examples the past couple years.

    Trust me, the people I dinged there IN MY COLUMN, IN THE STAR know that that’s true.

    Now I’m back in alternative press land and the Star is red meat. I can tell from your comment and writing that you probably get that. I got laid off alongside hundreds, nearly thousands of others.

    I understand the situation. Do I disagree with the decision? Of course. When you have a highly read column,. four times a week, with three to five stories in each – all of them local – it’s dumb to save pennies there so you can retain people who write once in a blue moon about 30 year-old news stories. Or who are not well read.

    So yeah, you’re calling me out and I’ll grant you that I think Z made a dumb call.

    I’ll go you one further, I could make a pretty good case for why he made that call. And if Brisbane or Mac Tulley had been the publisher, I’m pretty sure I’d still be there. Maybe with a (S) haircut.

    But I’m down the road, brutha. I’m doing what I need to do. What Tony does. What the Pitch does. What readers do.

    Here’s the difference.

    I spent 16 years sleeping with the enemy and I know how the game is played and where the bodies are buried.

    Am I gonna pass that up? Thought about it.

    I could have been a good little boy and sat out 2009 and been making decent money doing the exact same thing I did for 30 cents on the dollar. But I would have had to sit out this historic time for newspapers knowing what I know and having the connects that I have.

    So you see it how you want to see it, I’m just doing my job.

    Maybe I’m deluding myself, but that’s how I see it.

  6. mark smith says:

    good answer
    fair enough. And I agree about the current remaining writing staff.

  7. bschloz says:

    Welcome Back
    While you were gone…Craig tried to set up an IPO for KCC –and Tracy or Mildred tried to move KCC to Shawnee,KS.

    Hearne Christopher the underdog…Mr. Lunchbucket’s friend…The voice of Joey baga donuts….fuggedaboutit? Do your thing the local stuff…love the forum. ….You and Craig are now personalities you both interact with your readers and I think that’s what this whole social network thing is about. It’s instant information and discussion…I had to laugh about Joe getting $500 for 10 articles, he’s is a fine writer…but nobody is interested in hit and run, with no push back. Was that expensed to KCC or your trip to AZ?

    Man this is some wild shit, wonder what this looks like in 6 months?

  8. chuck says:

    Where is the fuckin love?
    I’m back too. 🙂

  9. Hearne Christopher says:


  10. Hearne Christopher says:

    Give him a hug, smartman. Don’t worry, we won’t watch

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