Happy holidays from the Kansas City Star…
A rising economic tide (small but real) coupled with an optimistic outlook for retail sales this holiday season appears to have enabled new Star publisher Mi-Ai Parrish to dodge the layoffs bullet this quarter and make Christmas 2011 that much the merrier for the 700 or so remaining newspaper staffers.
Despite 3rd quarter earnings by parent McClatchy company down 21 percent and ad revenue off 10 percent.
That said, things are looking up on the local front.
“It’s a pretty unscientific observation, but business seems to be picking up advertising-wise, unlike the last couple of holidays,” says one Star insider. “Even Dillard’s and Macy’s are getting into the act recently. And apparently you’ll be able to hear a thud when the Thanksgiving paper lands on your driveway this year.”
Speaking of which, two years ago the newspaper created a firestorm by jacking the Thanksgiving Day Star price to subscribers an extra $1.25 to pay for the printing cost of additional ads it had sold.
"As a Star subscriber, you can look forward to our largest edition of the year on Thanksgiving Day," it said in a mailing to subscribers. "Your newspaper will be filled with sales inserts from all your favorite retailers to kick off the holiday shopping season."
However, this year’s Turkey Day price hike was disclosed far more subtly, buried in the ultra fine print of a “Publisher’s Notice” in today’s paper.
“The Star charges all subscribers an additional fee for the Thanksgiving edition,” it reads. “Subscribers who normally receive a Thursday paper as part of their subscription pay $1.25 and subscribers who don’t normally receive a Thursday paper are charged $2.00.”
The regular full retail price of the Thursday Star is 75 cents.
So happy holidays and enjoy all those extra ad inserts!