Hearne: Star Dodges Layoffs Bullet, Bags Readers Again for Turkey Day Issue

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!

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3 Responses to Hearne: Star Dodges Layoffs Bullet, Bags Readers Again for Turkey Day Issue

  1. Ry says:

    Happy T-Day everybody
    Good news for Star employees 🙂

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving Hearne, Cheers.

  2. smartman says:

    Mama Mi-Ai
    I’m beginning to think Mi-Ai is an acronym for Missing In Action Indefinitely. For someone who was sent here to revitalize the Star we’ve heard very little from Ms. Parrish. No Mi-Ai Manifesto in the paper, few if any public appearances where she states her case for the dead tree media. I’m beginning to think she’s just a token placeholder who’s getting some polish on her resume.

    As for the FAT THURSDAY paper, word is that rates were deeply discounted in order to get some of the not so usual suspects to participate.

    The PROFESSIONAL Black Friday Shoppers know well in advance where and when they will be. The Thursday ads are wasted on them. Lot of HYPE with even more HYPERBOLE!

  3. Hearne says:

    Actually, word is she’s all over the Star newsroom…
    Probably still getting her sea legs.

    That said, the editorial content of the newspaper has been overall rather weak. Which is disappointing because for all of his many character flaws, my bet was Mike Fannin was a good gamble for breathing some fire and new life into the Star. Somewhat obviously, that has yet to happen and he’s been at it for a couple three years now.

    The $64 million question; will Parrish feel empowered enough to make a change at the top given that the dude who hired her was the one who also appointed Fannin.

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