Hearne: Sleeping With The Enemy; Star Hops in Sack w/ Dealsaver Rival Groupon

Yesterday was a good day for a funeral…

Or just about any outdoor fun. However, funeral day it was for scribe Craig Glazer‘s brother Jack. Not that I didn’t notice that enticing Groupon email offer for the Kansas City Star.

Hold it! The Star just went into competition against Groupon a few months back, what’s the deal?

Ever since the Groupon phenomenon took off here two years back, the money hungry hombres at the Star have been licking their chops to get in on on the daily deal loot. And it is, now that the newspaper’s dealsaver.com game is afoot.

Still, owing to its older demo and late entry into the marketplace, dealsaver doesn’t exactly appear to be lucrative.

Its Jerusalem Bakery deal yesterday, for example, had zero takers early this morning. Ditto for one for the Aesthetic Services by Angela Rome Pyper. And three month memberships to AKKA Karate USA sold just one. Overland Park’s popular Holiday Boutique fared better, choking out 163 deals.

Pretty tepid overall.

That brings us to yesterday’s Groupon….

A 59 percent discount on rival deal seller the Kansas City Star!

Which by the way, Groupon’s been able to peddle more than 400 of over the same time frame. A couple interesting points:

The deal applies only to a Wednesday/Sunday combo deal. Undoubtedly because newspapers make far and away the most money on Sundays. All those insert ads, you know. And it’s clearly circling its wagons around the Wednesday grocery store ads that the newspaper’s been struggling mightily tokeep from going to direct mail the past two years.

For example, there’s a pretty good rumor circulating about HyVee bailing on the Star at year’s end.

On a lighter note, comes word from Groupon that in addition to lining birdcages, the Star has other uses.

"Newspapers can be unfolded across a coffee table to conceal almond-butter stains or rolled into a handy bopping device to stun tarantulas," Groupon’s Star ad suggests. "Get a steady supply of spider-boppers with today’s Groupon."

Got that?

And as for talk of the Star’s shrinking "news hole," consider the following.

Look for the Star to substantially shrink its phyical size in the next few months.

But not to worry,  while a shrunken Star may dial back its usefulness as a Tarantula killer, it should remain plenty badass enough for the far more common, common houseflies.

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13 Responses to Hearne: Sleeping With The Enemy; Star Hops in Sack w/ Dealsaver Rival Groupon

  1. harley says:

    and kcc puddles along…
    threesomes..lobster…kids and porn…anti star articles…suicides…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz



    Guess you didn’t notice the 1,500 they sold for Fritz’s at Crown Center, because that would qualify as good news, and of course this doesn’t fit in with your storyline of THE HORRIBLE DISASTER taking place. THE NIGHTMARE.

    Also your little direct mail buddy is wrong. Again.

  3. Hearne Christopher says:

    You’re right I didn’t see the Fitz’s deal. I wasn’t combing the Internet for good deals, just taking a one day snapshot. Unfortunately, most of the snapshots I’ve taken have looked pretty paltry.

    It is horrible and it is a nightmare. Do you not watch the news? Maybe not, it can be pretty depressing.

    Oh and get that caps button fixed, you’ll feel much better!

  4. Can't say says:

    Sleeping with the enemy???
    I thought this was going to be a story about you, Mike Hendricks, and Aaron Barnhart having a threesome.

  5. Your best friend says:

    There’s little “anti-Star” news here
    In my observation, this site has done a pretty good job of reporting news on the Star. There just doesn’t seem to be much good news; if you follow media news at all, that much is clear. I think people believe Hearne has a beef with the Star, and takes out his frustrations by writing about it. I just don’t see why there’s so much enmity on the behalf of commenters. There are few people in this area that cover media; I appreciate the insights here and on Bottom Line Communications’ blog, and Fitz’s blog, too.

  6. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Desperately writing one negative column after another about your former employer is akin to checking your ex-wife’s wall on Facebook every day to see who she’s banging. Makes you look pathetic. Guess what else? Less than 3% of your readers even care about what goes on at the KC Star. Nobody gets their news from that rag anymore except housewives and mouth breathers. How many driveways these days do you see in the morning with a rolled up Star lying there waiting to be read? One out of ten?

    Move on bro. Quit barking at the wind.

  7. mouse says:

    What the hell is your obsession with Groupon!!!!!!!?

  8. Hearne Christopher says:

    You wish!

  9. Hearne Christopher says:

    You’ll never make it as a mind reader, Merle. You can try and fit this all into whatever box that works for you, but I’ve been covering media and The Star for a lot longer than you’ve been at trying to figure out my motives.

    I don’t suppose this will matter much to you, but when I was hired at the Star the biggest critique of my hire was my track record for bagging on the Star at the Pitch. No ex wife there then.

    When I wrote at the Star I pissed off people like Whitlock, Joyce Smith, even Posnanksi by writing carefully worded columns that were quite clearly critical of what they had written.

    Three percent, huh? An educated guess?

    Lots of people may not get their news from the Star – not directly anyway – but there’s no question it’s the big dog in the reporting of news and influencing of people and events in this market. To that end, somebody has to cover them. You’d prefer that nobody did? Simple solution, skip reading and move on to the next story and try not to let it bother you so much.

    To continue to harp on it would be like reading your wife’s Facebook page to see who she’s banging and I know you’d never stoop to that.

  10. Hearne Christopher says:

    How long you got?

  11. Hearne says:

    Mission accomplished!
    More than 850 Star subscriptions have been sold with nine hours remaining. I think it’s a safe bet that those sales came a whole lot easier and in greater number than the robo calls that have been going out in recent months. Especially the ones urging subscribers to order multiple copies of the Sunday Star

  12. Merle Tagladucci says:

    Hearne, your reputation at the Star whether you like it or not – was that you were a gossip columnist. I realize that does not encompass all that you cover but as a synopsis, that is what you’re known as and thought of as in this city by most people. Much of what you do here is a carry-over from that approach. We see columns on how the Watson’s girl has turned into a cyberslut, how crowded it is in the new Trader Joe’s and how Jack in the Box is your fast food of choice. Some people would call that wading in a shallow pond of journalistic credibility, others might call it light-hearted and harmless coverage of KC pop culture. Either way, there is humor in crediting yourself with “writing carefully worded columns” when that should be the bare minimum any journalist or writer endeavors to achieve.

    The pattern I and others point out is the ever-growing pile of columns you continue to devote to the Star. I don’t track your stats but I’d be shocked if there was any subject you focused on or wrote about more. After a while, it’s natural for people to wonder and start asking…

    1. Is Hearne Christopher obsessed with the Star for personal reasons or…

    2. Does he truly think his readers crave and care about every nugget of “news” that comes out of 1729 Grand?

    As for my estimation that less than 3% of your readers here care about what goes on at the Star, why not take a poll and find out? Some of the stuff that comes out of there is juicy – like affairs and DUIs and the Whitlock departure – but most of the coverage you provide borders on overkill at times, which is perfectly acceptable given full disclosure as to how much you enjoy the subject. There has to be a small network of media friends of yours that love to snicker at it all but as Mark X commented under your most recent column on The Pitch:

    “The dead tree media has died and some STILL haven’t gotten the news.”

    News reporting comes from all angles now – Twitter, bloggers, sites such as yours…and yes, there are still people who actually pay to have a hard copy newspaper thrown in their driveway each day. We call those people Baby Boomers. You know, the people who still use AOL for email and Internet Explorer for a web browser? I would wager a guess though that barely any of those hard copy Star subscribers give a rat’s ass about what goes on with the employees who work for the paper unless there’s some sort of real, legitimate scandal involved. Otherwise, day-to-day coverage of the Star staff is nothing more than a collection of soap opera chronicles.

    And all of that it doesn’t “bother” me in the least, as you suggest, but you do have a comments section here for a reason. It entices readers to come back because they get a chance to be heard (or read), and in cases like this, interact with you and other writers here. I use the term “writers” loosely when including Glazer in that grouping. Quite often the comments section is far more entertaining that the column itself…and if “harping” on your penchant for over-coverage of the Star is how you see my comments, well I guess we’ll both just have to agree to disagree on both of our intentions.

    PS – Total ex-Mrs. Tagladuccis = 0

  13. Hearne Christopher says:

    Wow, that’s a long one, dude. But because your name’s not Harley and I had a little time on my hands….

    Yes, while Brisbane and my direct editors did not want to call it a gossip column, that was the handle most often affixed to it. And thanks for noticing that it was at times a lot more. I also wrote many news stories in other sections of the paper, front page, metro or local and business, to name three. I did that to transcend the “gossip” bullet. Until my last editor asked me to keep things mainly in FYI so we could goose the readership (and probably her bonuses – yes, they have or had those at the Star).

    When I first signed on, coming from the Pitch and New Times, I ran the column as more of a pop culture / alternative news column. With some had stuff and inside scoops about bands and entertainers. But this really freaky editor that was there early for a couple years couldn’t take the heat. Me pissing people off and her having to answer for it. Not errors, just politics. She wanted it more vanilla.

    So she herded me to lighter ground and things can get a little habit forming.

    The part of the word “gossip” I don’t like though is the part that implies it’s under reported and/or involves lowbrow tabloid-ish stories about who is sleeping with whom. That it seldom to never was.

    Now if you call taking the measure of Trader Joe’s or finding out the real reason McCLain’s bakery moved out of its longtime home gossip, that’s your privilege.

    The fact is, while the subject matter isn’t Watergate material, both stories involved plain old, regular Star style reporting. Several visits to Trader Joe’s; first hand observations and third party weigh in. And don’t forget the Star and TV news reported the same news but failed to deliver the correct reason for the move.

    Or how about interviewing about a dozen people at Ward Parkway and reporting that none of them were getting any action out of Trader Joe’s despite all the hype about how much it was / would help the shopping center. Or talking with police, landlords and multiple sources and being the only one to report the Starker’s owner killed himself. And trust me, you don’t want to know the details.

    The Star is the 800 pound gorilla in local news, whether anybody in the comments section reads it or not.That’s their problem, not mine. If it wasn’t for the Star, do you know how short Tony’s daily blogs would be? No other media, including all the blogs you can think of (locally) put together come even close. So it’s going to get my prime attention, just like it did when I was running the Pitch.

    As for reporting on layoffs, don’t forget that the Star had like 2,100 employees when the dot com bubble burst. Now it’s barely 700. Look, if layoffs aren’t your thing and you don’t see how that connects to local news coverage, you don’t gotta read em. Look at it as that slice of banana cream pie you passed on at the grocery store.

    Or wait…

    Did you stop and have a rap with the HyVee manager about why were they carrying banana cream pie when it’s pretty obvious that 97 percent of their customers prefer apple and cherry?

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